GFG Goes Way Out West at The Westin …


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“The GFG samples the best of both worlds at The Westin Bayshore Hotel for the Global Freight Group’s Vancouver conference …

GFG Group Administrator, Rachel Marchant, reports on the Vancouver conference, 13 – 16 October 2013

The best of both worlds …

Offering both city convenience and beautiful mountain and harbour views, the Westin Bayshore Hotel in Vancouver was the stunning location for the GFG’s mandatory conference in October 2013. Situated in Coal Harbour, nestling between the downtown Vancouver and the city’s famous Stanley Park landscape, the Westin welcomed almost 100 GFG guests.

The hotel’s obvious attraction was the location and views of water, harbour and mountains. However, its interior qualities succeeded in rivalling its exterior qualities. Sumptuous breakfasts, luxurious guest rooms and efficient, friendly service ensured guests were happy with all aspects of the hotel, chosen by the GFG’s local conference hosts, Rutherford Global Logistics. Romas Krilavicius and his wife, Gwen, had visited on numerous occasions to assess and negotiate the best hotel at the best deal for the GFG, and it certainly paid off…


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Below: – GFG Fishing Trip.

During one of Romas’s many visits, he researched leisure activities for the GFG members.  One such treat was fishing for the famous West Coast salmon.  Matt, Jimmy, Greg and Romas, below, enjoyed a harbour sunrise.  Final score = GFG 4 : Salmon 1.

 Matt and Greg took the ‘catch of the day’ title…
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Directors take in a meal in downtown Gas Town before their meeting…

Starting work a day before other members, the Directors are rewarded with a social dinner on Saturday to catch up with each other’s news before their full day of meeting on Sunday. This time they frequented Al Porto restaurant, with its Wine Room offering the Directors their own tratoria in the Gastown area of Vancouver.
 The journey to the restaurant provided a taste of the lively, social downtown area and the famous Gassy Jack clock. Built as a monument to Gassy Jack, whose statue stands close by, the sudden emission of steam attracts people to wonder at it.

Inside Al Porto the Directors were transported to the wine vaults of an Italian trattoria, as they settled into the Wine Room, to enjoy a selection of wines and culinary delights.                                                                   

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Sunday is a work day for the Directors…

Sunday brought a long day of meetings for the Directors but softened by the stunning harbour view just outside the window. Vancouver’s weather had broken all records, remaining dry and sunny yet again.

The agenda was fairly intense as updates were reviewed for the GFG’s new website creation, the marketing role, prospective new members and the GFG Contract.  Plenty of debate and discussion took place, ensuring the Directors consider the best course of action for the GFG and its members.

As the Directors broke for lunch, they were welcomed by another incredible view from the Seawall Restaurant, watching cyclists, dog walkers, families and friends making the most of the sunshine along the harbour. The glass walls of the restaurant offering a panoramic vista across Coal Harbour.

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Friends Reunited in YVR…

Sunday evening brings the start of events for the majority of members, with a welcome cocktail party.  Again, hosted in a room with marvellous views across the bay, the GFG welcomed each other, eager to catch up on news, both business and social.  As partners joined delegates, almost 100 guests created an enthusiastic chorus as they caught up on the intervening six months since their last meeting.

The usual hum of conversation filled the room, culminating in the arranging of dinner plans offering continued socialising.  Members left armed with their agenda book for the next day’s meeting, GFG Vancouver shirts courtesy of Rutherford Global Logistics and plenty of friends…


Pianos at every level…

The General Assembly on Monday was held in the conference area of the hotel, set aside from other guest amenities and offering the perfect space for meetings, catering and business.  Accessed via glass sided escalators, looking out through glass walls, past the seemingly omnipotent piano, members gathered to set about the work aspect of the conference.

With 53 member companies represented by 80 delegates, there was a strong crowd of faces as the General Assembly addressed the GFG’s news and developments.  There were siginificant exchanges of opinions, creating interesting debate about the GFG’s membership and progress.  Plenty of ideas and offers of involvement arose, resulting in the setting up of a marketing committee to assist in raising the profile of the GFG.

 YVR RMarchant6 Sales Meetings take over…

After an excellent lunch, offering the local delicacy of fresh West Coast BC Salmon, the members were suitably fortified to handle the multitude of sales meetings throughout Monday afternoon.

The schedule showed over 1400 meetings were due to take place during Monday afternoon and the full day on Tuesday.  The members have had a chance to catch up socially so the sales meetings are fully business orientated, with many strong deals being discussed and sealed.

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Tuesday sales meetings see the unison of the GFG Shirt Day.  Normally, members purchase the shirts so that they can all wear them on the same day – Tuesday.  However, this year, Rutherford Global Logistics kindly presented each member with a complimentary shirt, proudly worn by all members.

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GFG MEMbers from around the globe meeting up: Indonesia and Malaysia – Australia and Sweden – Taiwan and Italy

YVR RMarchant16 Romas Krilavicius (centre back) and his team lead discussions during the event for which they are the local hosts and organisers.  With offices across Canada, Rutherford Global Logistics were represented by their staff from Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver.

Left to right: Greg Krilavicius, Romas Krilavicius, Michael McKay and Bhagwahn Randawe.

Royal Pavilion…

Having worked hard, it was time to play hard and so the GFG members alighted the transport to the GFG’s closing event at The Pavilion in Stanley Park.

Renowned as a beautiful venue, particularly for weddings and social events, Romas, on behalf of the GFG had booked the Pavilion for its closing dinner.  As members meandered on foot or by bus along the path through Stanley Park, they were greeted by the charming building in the woods that is The Pavilion.

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Above Photos:  The GFG’s President, Ilan Fidler, awards the departing Directors in gratitude for the service.  Left to right: Luiz Garcia, EMili Ventura, Marina Marzani and Romas Krilavicius.
Right: Herry Kim receives the President’s Award for Hansaeng in recognition for their excellent service to the GFG members.  They received the most citations of good service in the 2013 Member Survey.

Below: the last bus home…
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 Highly Strung Day Trip…  
  Wednesday’s group of 29 participants, waited in anticipation for the start of the day trip.  The itinerary promised wildlife, spectacular views and landscapes, with a little dare thrown in for good measure courtesy of the suspension Capilano suspension bridge.  A couple of visitors were almost as highly strung as the bridge when considering its swaying height but they crossed admirably and were rewarded with beautiful woodland trails and tree platforms from which to view the landscape and learn about native Indian history.

The trip’s second stop was at Grouse Mountain – the gondola ride challenging a few people again but all was well.  Vancouver lay spread out below, visible through a hole in the clouds as it glistened in the autumn sunshine.  A further ski lift trip rewarded with even greater views off the mountain.  Truly beautiful.

Even at the top of a mountain the meal offered by the restaurant was superb.  Fresh salmon or steak, accompanied by great company and views.


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Competing for attention were the grizzly bears who had been rescued as cubs.  They attracted a crowd of fans appreciating their ambling, awesome appearance during a brief break in their tree sheltered slumbers.
 The final stop on the day trip was Granville Island, enabling members to explore the shops and cafes in the area.  Many chose to stay behind as the coaches returned to the hotel, taking the opportunity to dine out with friends in the beautiful city.


At the end of each event, there is the inevitable feeling that it has all past too quickly.  However, with conferences twice a year emmbers have the choice and opportunity to attend both if they wish, ensuring that it is never too long before they meet again.

Los Angeles will be the next destination in April 2014… put the date in your diary!