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Alita Brown holding a wine bottle while smiling

A SAIT graduate who earned a diploma in hotel and restaurant administration from the School of Business and Tourism — as it was then known — in 1982, Brown returned in September 1999 as an instructor, bringing two decades’ worth of experience working for hotels in Edmonton and Calgary, including the Fairmont Palliser, and Kananaskis to the classroom.

Throughout her career, Brown has worked in all aspects of the hotel industry from banquets and housekeeping to catering manager and operations coordinator. Believing her work in management roles, mentoring and supporting staff, translated well to teaching, she applied for a job as a bar and mixology instructor in the Highwood, launching a new 20-year profession as a teacher. Since joining SAIT, Brown has taught courses in wine and spirits appreciation, facilities management, food and beverage hospitality and instructed students in the Highwood.

She has taken part — and led — SAIT study tours, including to Thailand, Chile, France, Spain and Australia, where students could see vineyards, cooking schools and old hotels, learning about the challenges and opportunities in the different types of hospitality, and seeing just how far afield their diploma can take them.

Among the highlights of her time at SAIT is participating in the Seasons cookbook, doing wine pairings for the chefs’ recipes and working with fellow instructor Patricia Koyich to teach WestJet staff the art of service when the airline was launching its business class options on flights to Europe.

Awards and Achievements:

  • Has earned level four diploma from the Wine and Spirit Education Trust, nominated for Saitsa’s Instructor Excellence Awards.

If I wasn’t doing this: "I would be working at a winery or a wine store." 

Media interviews:

Media looking to speak to any of our experts should contact Jill Purdy, Strategic External Content Team Lead, Communications.

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