Our Board of Directors
With his 20 years of restaurant service experience, as both president and founder of Mind The Bar Foundation, Shoel is dedicated to changing the way the industry engages with the issues of mental health, substance abuse, and workplace harassment by establishing better support and resources for others within the hospitality community.
Shoel is also co-owner/operator of Gringo Restaurant and a collaborating partner of Slim's BBQ in Vancouver BC.
Nich is passionate about connection and innovation. He actively peruses books, attends courses, and explores the web to develop a better understanding of the industry’s backstory and means of operation. His eagerness comes from desire to understand why things are the way they are (why was this glass designed with a foot?) and to find new efficiencies (is this the best way for us to be zesting lemons?). Generation by generation, hospitality wisdom for creating magical nights has enthralled locals and passers-by alike.
From behind the curtain, Nich encourages a culture of unity— at restaurants, this can be as simple as checking in with his teammates. Nich finds that when people look out for one another, services run smoothly. He has seen the performative and intensive nature of services cause problems to be ignored until the end of shift before being washed down with a drink and a dance.
Caring deeply for his peers, Nich sought to synchronize his passion for connection with a broader-scale initiative. MTB’s search for a Treasurer and Nich’s significant education in Mathematics found harmony in 2019, when he signed on for the role (even though he was eager to join in whatever capacity the foundation needed). He has been happy to be a part of a wave which stirs people up about mental health, becoming more aware of their own, receptive to others’, and finding more peaceful states of being.
From bar/restaurant concept creation, menu formulation, staff training and launch guidance, to branding, marketing and public relations strategies - Shawn’s experience and advancement of the industry have been prolific.
Shawn has co-authored the books Cocktail Culture (2013) and Great Northern Cocktails (2019), and provides ongoing contributions to publications such as Liquor.com and EAT Magazine. As a dedicated and vocal proponent of the industry, Shawn has presented keynote speeches (Lisbon Bar Show), increased public awareness for distillers in BC, Canada (BC Spirits) and continues to advocate his mission ‘to make the industry better for everyone’ (PostShift podcast.)
His input has been vital to the launch and/or ongoing success of numerous highly-acclaimed bar and beverage programs, such as Little Jumbo (2013), OLO (2015), Cafe Mexico (2016) and Pagliacci’s (2018).
To accommodate his growing role as a consultant, Shawn founded Soole Hospitality Concepts (SHC) - a network of industry leaders with decades of
multi-faceted experience. Together they provide innovative responses to all the needs of hospitality-oriented businesses.
His firm belief in the importance of consistent personal growth drove him to recently complete a diploma in Advanced Hospitality and Tourism Management (Camosun College), achieving a level of distinction that placed him on the Dean’s List.
In 2019, Shawn traveled to Singapore to consult on the the conceptual development, systems implementation, and launch guidance for Miss Fitz and Roxy, two bars under the SOS Group banner. In 2020, he returned to the bar that started it all and took back over the multi award winning
Clive’s Classic Lounge.
Over the last 5 years, Shawn has set about creating and building multiple companies to fill deficiencies in the hospitality industry, from Human Construct Branding + Design, Acclamation Marketing and Media, Coalition Craft Co. Agency and Canadian Bar Store; his driving force to build a true
one stop hospitality consulting service has become a reality.
His aims with Mind The Bar are to help nurture a culture that will heal our industry amidst these damaging years we’ve had and too shift our focus to the future where our teams can thrive beyond just trying to survive.