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IMPACT Sustainability Travel & Tourism – ONTARIO: A Regional Event

07 May 2023 @ 8:00am EDT
09 May 2023 @ 3:00pm EDT

Event Details

Thank you for being part of the first ever IMPACT Regional Ontario!

We would like to express our sincerest gratitude to all the attendees, speakers, sponsors, and the event team who made IMPACT Sustainability Travel & Tourism – ONTARIO: A Regional Event a success.
In 2.5 days, we've been privileged to engage with a wide range of experts who share our passion for sustainable tourism. Together, we've gained a wealth of knowledge and insights, and have been empowered with the tools we need to create positive change in our communities, businesses and beyond.
We are incredibly grateful to everyone who joined us and contributed to the dialogue, and we look forward to continuing our work together to drive progress in our industry moving forward.

Click here to RSVP for IMPACT Regional Ontario 2024.

The Honourable Randy Boissonnault

Minister of Tourism and Associate Minister of Finance

Minister Boissonnault is a successful entrepreneur, community leader, and philanthropist with a strong record of leadership in business, public service, and the not-for-profit sector.

Minister Boissonnault served as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage from 2015 to 2017, championing Canadian arts and culture. A strong advocate for Edmonton Centre, he worked to address the needs and priorities of his community, including strengthening transit infrastructure, supporting businesses, and creating jobs.

In 2016, Minister Boissonnault became Canada’s Special Advisor to the Prime Minister on LGBTQ2 issues, working with organizations across the country to promote equality for the LGBTQ2 community, protect the rights of its members, and address discrimination against them. 

After serving as Chair of the Centre for Family Literacy in Edmonton, he founded Literacy Without Borders to help promote literacy for children and adults in Canada and the developing world. Minister Boissonnault has also served as Vice Chair of TEDx Edmonton and Chair of the Board of Directors of the Conseil de développement économique de l’Alberta, the Francophone Sport Federation of Alberta, and the Canadian Francophone Games. 


Dolf DeJong

President and CEO 
Toronto Zoo

Dolf began as Chief Executive Officer of Toronto Zoo in September 2018. His focus revolves around a commitment to raising the Zoo’s community connections to ensure we are working together to deliver on the Zoo’s new Strategic and Master Plan. These Plans focus on saving and protecting wildlife, igniting passion, delivering exceptional guest experiences, serving the community, and revolutionizing technology.

Dolf has a Master of Environmental Studies from Wilfred Laurier University, a Bachelor of Education from the University of Toronto, and an Honours Bachelor of Science from Brock University.

Jean-François Archambault

Founder and General Director
La Tablée Des Chefs

Founding president of La Tablée des Chefs, Jean-François Archambault is dedicated to reducing food waste and poverty by linking food surplus producers with food banks, shelters, and soup kitchens. Through his socially responsible work and business innovation, he empowers youth to adopt healthy eating habits and provides many Canadians in need with nourishing meals.

Shannon Guihan

Chief Sustainability Officer & Head of TreadRight
The Travel Corporation

Shannon has been involved in sustainable tourism development for more than 15 years. As a tourism development specialist, she has worked with brands and destinations worldwide to monitor and reduce the impact of their tourism operations. Shannon currently oversees all sustainability efforts within The Travel Corporation.

Cathy Kirkpatrick

Partner & Senior Tourism Strategist
Alphabet Creative

Cathy joined the Alphabet team in 2012 to build and lead the agency’s tourism portfolio. She has worked across all facets of tourism marketing including destination brand development and strategic marketing planning, which includes the development of annual destination marketing plans across hospitality and tourism sectors. Her more than 30-year career has included roles in media, retail marketing, and the ad agency business where she has been a senior strategist and account planner on a variety of accounts. 

Vince Accardi

President & CEO

Vince is responsible for the Association’s strategic plan, business plan, and budget.  He advocates for the association on a provincial and federal level and he oversees the daily operation of the association and membership activities.

Jasveen Rattan

JKR Consulting

JKR Consulting, is a boutique firm that delivers consulting assignments in a variety of sectors. Dr. Jasveen Rattan is passionate about helping her clients create responsible initiatives and sustainable solutions for their organizations. She has consulted on community projects and presented at conferences worldwide.

Her expertise lies in program evaluation, operations improvement, stakeholder management, sustainable development, communications, and public relations. Jasveen sits on several boards as a Director, including Destination Ontario for the Government of Ontario.

Kevin Eshkawkogan

President & CEO
Indigenous Tourism Ontario

Kevin has been a key player in the development of Indigenous cultural tourism in Ontario since 2003. Kevin was an integral part of the development and growth of the Great Spirit Circle Trail (GSCT) on Manitoulin Island.

Kevin works tirelessly to unite Indigenous tourism providers, grow market reach and bring meaningful employment opportunities to the region. 

Kevin sits on a variety of boards including the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO). He has also helped establish ITO, Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC), Northeastern Ontario Tourism, Destination Northern Ontario, the Manitoulin Hotel and Conference Centre, and many other tourism organizations and businesses. He also sits on the Destination Ontario Sector Advisory Committee, Tourism Skillsnet Ontario Council, and the Trans Canada Trail Indigenous Advisory Committee.

Dr. Jessica Ng

Director of Policy and Government Affairs
 Tourism Industry Association of Ontario

Jessica leads advocacy on key tourism files including economic development, regulatory frameworks, labour, and infrastructure. Prior to joining the tourism industry, she was a policy researcher and educator at the London School of Economics in England. She holds a PhD in social policy and degrees in global development and Canadian studies.

Kelly Haussler

Director of Destination Development
 Ottawa Tourism

Kelly assists in strategizing and executing projects which support the effective development of Ottawa as a visitor destination. Most recently, she led the development of Ottawa’s Destination Stewardship Plan – a collective 10-year roadmap that aims to ensure the long-term prosperity of Canada’s capital region.

Prior to Ottawa Tourism, Kelly spent six years in Australia working for a world-leading sustainable tourism consulting, certification, and advisory firm, in which she helped lead numerous major strategic tourism development projects, provided experience mentoring support to small tourism businesses, and co-authored national publications on tourism risk management and experience development. Kelly holds an MBA Essentials certificate from The London School of Economics and Political Science, as well as a Bachelor of Science (Honours) degree in Marine Biology and Oceanography from Dalhousie University.


Dr. Altaf Sovani 

Founder & CEO
Alzen Consulting, Inc.

Altaf has over 25 years of experience in academic leadership and as a professor in post-secondary institutions as well as an entrepreneur and consultant in the private sector. He has teaching experiences at different prestigious institutions, such as Glion Institute of Higher Education (Switzerland), University of Guelph (Canada), and Conestoga College (Canada). Under Altaf’s leadership, he led the design, development, and delivery of eight new programs including the first-ever Bachelor of Hospitality and Tourism Management (Honors) degree in Eastern Ontario. 

Altaf is a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for his exemplary work in the field of education and has received an award from Meetings Professionals International (MPI) for National Meetings Influencer.

Sean Billing

Managing Partner, Frontenac Club, and Executive Director
Brace Hospitality Consulting

Sean brings a wealth of hospitality, accommodation, and tourism experiences with him, having held corporate, regional and senior property positions with International brands over his 30+ year career. Sean’s path has seen him lead in resort areas around the globe, including the Canadian Rockies, East Africa, the United States and in several Ontario destinations. He has also held executive positions at luxury city-centre hotels in Ottawa, Guelph, Chicago and Nairobi.

Sean serves as a Board member on both Regional Tourism Organization 9 & on RTO 4 . Sean is a graduate of the University of Western Ontario and attended hospitality school at St. Lawrence College.

John Gunter

President & CEO
Frontiers North Adventures

John is the President & CEO of Frontiers North Adventures, a Certified B Corp travel and tourism company, whose purpose it is to share in the stewardship of the communities and environments in which they operate. Frontiers North hosts guests in Churchill, Canada where they broker safe experiences for guests to dine beneath aurora, kayak amongst beluga whales, and lock eyes with wild polar bears.

Angela Nagy

President & CEO
GreenStep Solutions Inc.

Angela is a sustainability expert with more than 20 years of experience in project management, business development, marketing, and public relations. She has lived and traveled extensively throughout the US and Canada, working with all levels of business, and utilities, as well as various levels of governments, on a variety of engineering, energy efficiency, environmental and sustainability-related projects. Angela is certified in Organizational GHG Accounting and as a Sustainability Practitioner through The Natural Step.


Thomas Power

Co-Founder & CEO
Pura Aventura

Pura Aventura is dedicated to protecting and benefiting their destinations and partners overseas, enabling clients to experience both the ‘bumpy beauty’ and iconic highlights of Spain, Portugal, and Latin America. Pura Aventura has been recommended by The Independent, Wanderlust, and Condé Nast for innovative sustainability initiatives, and is trusted by BBC Radio 4, The Financial Times, Which? & CNN as a voice for certifiably responsible travel. Handpicked as the official European launch partner of Patagonia's Route of Parks, the world’s most ambitious conservation tourism project, in 2020 Pura Aventura became one of the first UK travel companies to achieve B Corp certification.

In 2021 Pura Aventura co-founded Travel by B Corp alongside Intrepid Travel, the world's largest adventure travel operator.  Thomas co-chairs the group which now numbers 26 members with combined revenues above $250m.


Shannon Fernandes 

Climate Change Coordinator, Environmental Services
Town of Lincoln

Shannon is the Climate Change Coordinator for the Town of Lincoln and a PhD student at Brock University's Environmental Sustainability Research Centre and holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a Master of Environmental Studies in Sustainability Management from the University of Waterloo.

She is focused on building a more sustainable Lincoln through developing and implementing climate adaptation and mitigation. Having experience in environmental consulting, community outreach, and sustainable supply chain management, she sees the potential in leveraging meaningful community engagement and research to drive evidence-based policy-making and the move towards a low-carbon resilient future


Dr. Xavier Font

Professor of Sustainability Marketing
University of Surrey

Xavier Font is a professor of Sustainability Marketing at the University of Surrey, and Professor II at the University of the Arctic in Norway. He researches and develops methods of sustainable tourism production and consumption. He has published widely about sustainable tourism certification and has consulted on sustainable product development, marketing, and communication currently serving as advisor in Prince Harry's Travalyst coalition of Amadeus, Booking, Google, Expedia, Skyscanner, Travelport, Trip,  TripAdvisor and Visa. He has conducted over 200 courses for more than 5,000 businesses on how to market and communicate sustainability. He is currently the Principal Investigator for the University of Surrey for the Interreg project Experience to develop low-season sustainable tourism visitor experiences in the UK and France.


Şimal Görmüş

Communications & Multimedia Specialist
Tourism Industry Association of Ontario

Şimal has been in the tourism industry for several years, working in a variety of areas including communications, learning & development, events and restaurants. She recently graduated from Centennial College’s Hospitality and Tourism Administration program, during which she won the Global Goals Jam contest with a social venture supporting food security and tourism. She's also completed a multidisciplinary Applied Research Project in Zagora, Morocco where she worked with women’s collectives, associations and tourism operators in creating multidisciplinary Train-the-Trainer programs and strategies on eco & niche tourism. 


Tracey Nurmi

Senior Manager, Business Development Commercial Specialist
VIA Rail Canada

Tracey has been working as a Senior Manager, Business Development at VIA Rail for 12 years.  She is a senior leader with 30 years of experience in leading sales and marketing teams across a broad spectrum of industries and businesses. 


David R. Maracle - Tehanenia’kwe:taron

Bear Clan of the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory

David has been crafting his artistry since 1985, from the Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory, bringing to life the ancestral teachings of the Haudenosaunee People’s ways of life into his magnificent Stone Carvings. With every piece being a unique, one-of-a-kind piece, he has sold his carvings to many corporations, and private collectors alike, with that of the Estate of the Late Nelson Mandela owning a piece of his work, The Emperor of Japan, and many other famous collectors. His work has been featured on cheques across Canada and has helped to encourage Indigenous Youth across the country to follow their dreams with the gifts they have within them.

David has released over 17 Musical compilations and albums over his multi-faceted career. David has received two Gold Records from the Recording Industry RIAA, for his world ambient sounds of the Iroquoian Flute, and Multi-Instrumental fusion of sounds, with rare world instruments that he has mastered over his successful career. He has also won various Canadian Aboriginal Music awards. 

He has actively worked with youth in various communities globally, bringing his Indigenous teachings, culture, and art in the form of workshops; Medicine Wheel Teachings, Iroquoian Flute Teachings, and also Earth & Air Teachings to many communities across Canada and Pakistan. 


Stephen W. Tooshkenig

Indigenous Business Advisor
Indigenous Tourism Ontario

Stephen has worked alongside businesses all across Turtle Island building strong relationships in the area of business development through the Three Fires Skode Workshop series. Stephen believes in community, grassroots, and economic sovereignty. Currently Stephen serves as a board member for the Ministry of the Attorney General of Ontario as well as holding his professional golf certification with the Ontario Professional Golfers Association.

Stephen W. Tooshkenig currently resides within Bkejwanong Territory and operates a family-owned cottage business along the beautiful blue water of Bkejwanong. (Where the Waters Divide)



Dr. John P. Smol

Distinguished University Professor
Queen's University

John Smol, OC, PhD, FRCGS, FRSC, FRS is a Distinguished University Professor in the Department of Biology (cross-appointed with the School of Environmental Studies) at Queen’s University, where he also held the Canada Research Chair in Environmental Change for the maximum three 7-year terms (2001 – 2021). Smol founded and co-directs the Paleoecological Environmental Assessment and Research Lab (PEARL), a group of ~40 students and other scientists dedicated to the study of long-term global environmental change, especially as it relates to lake ecosystems. John has authored ~680 journal publications and chapters since 1980, as well as completed 23 books (with 2 more in preparation). Much of his research deals with the impacts of climatic change, acidification, eutrophication, contaminant transport, and other environmental stressors. Smol was the founding Editor of the J. Paleolimnology (1987-2007) and is current Editor of Environmental Reviews. Since 1990 John has received 6 honorary doctorates and has been awarded >70 research and teaching awards and fellowships, including the NSERC Herzberg Gold Medal as Canada’s top scientist or engineer and the International Ecology Institute Prize. He was named a 3M Teaching Fellow and, following a nation-wide search, Nature chose John as Canada’s Top Mid-Career Science Mentor. In 2013, he was named an Officer of the Order of Canada for his environmental work and in 2018 a Fellow of the Royal Society (London). He was elected President of the Academy of Science, Royal Society of Canada (2019-2022). John is also a Canadian Geographic Ambassador.

Peter Odle

Urban Expeditions & The Urban Guide

Peter is the founder of The Urban Guide. For over a decade, Peter has explored big cities and led a team of award-winning travel professionals skilled in the art of crafting profound visitor experiences. Together, they create customizable small group tours and digital games that strengthen the local urban cultural connection.

The Urban Guide is a digital companion that uses self-guided city tours and games to reconnect people to their rapidly changing cities. They blend mapping with story-telling and gamification to help strengthen the urban cultural connection. Their evolving suite of features will also help citizens earn rewards for participating in local urban adventure.

Meredith Brown

Director of Special Projects
Royal Canadian Geographic Society

Meredith Brown, Director of Special Projects for Canadian Geographic, leads Biinaagami, a multi-media, Indigenous-guided initiative about our shared responsibility to the Great Lakes. Meredith is an environmental scientist, educator and consultant, community volunteer and the founding Executive Director and Riverkeeper for the charitable organization Ottawa Riverkeeper. Meredith led and grew the organization over fifteen years and was awarded the honourary title of Riverkeeper Emerita.

Meredith has worked collaboratively across Canada on issues related to water pollution, instream flow, river restoration, watershed governance, watershed health, community-based monitoring and rights of nature. Meredith serves on the Great Lakes Water Quality Board of the International Joint Commission who oversees and protects the shared waters of Canada and the United States. Meredith is a Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society and a Director of the Canadian Canoe Museum. Meredith is the mother to two nature-loving teens who have grown up exploring our regional rivers with their canoe-tripping, night-swimming parents


Sarah Sproule
Wayeshkad Furs

Sarah is a graduate of Queen’s University in Biology, Physical Education and Teaching. She grew up hunting, trapping, and fishing in her Traditional Territory in the North Frontenac region. Currently, Sarah manages a registered trapline with her Indigenous father and family - turning furs into hats and mittens which are shipped globally through her business called Wayeshkad. In addition, she offers trapline tours and guided bear hunts to both resident and non-resident individuals. Her passion is in the outdoors, remaining connected to and living off the land — Sarah and her family harvest much of their meat for food throughout the year. Carrying on these important traditions is integral to her life and business. 


Mayor Bryan Patterson
City of Kingston

Bryan was first elected as the 96th Mayor of the City of Kingston in 2014. He was re-elected in 2018, and on Oct. 24, 2022, he was re-elected for a third term as Mayor. He first ran for City Council in 2010 in Trillium District. In this role, he used his background as an economist to push forward a progressive agenda centered on growth and quality-of-life initiatives. 
As Mayor, Bryan's vision is to establish Kingston as an innovative and forward-thinking city. This vision aims to harness the incredible assets we have as a community and build a culture of collaboration to make Kingston a leader among cities.   

Megan Knott
Executive Director
Tourism Kingston

Meghan Knott oversees all units of Tourism Kingston, including Sales, Business Events, Travel Trade, Sport & Wellness, Film and Media, Marketing & Communications, and Special Projects. She also coordinates partnerships to leverage the outcomes of the tourism master plan. Jane works closely with the Tourism Kingston board of directors, the Kingston Accommodation Partners board of directors, and the City of Kingston.
Her favourite part of the job is the fast-paced, collaborative environment of the tourism industry and the amazing group of professionals on the TK team.

André Soucy
Director of Visitor Services and Customer Experience
Tourism Kingston

André manages all aspects of the operation of the Visitor Information Centre, including managing the Enhanced Profile Program, supporting other units at Tourism Kingston, and coordinating special projects such as the sustainability assessment.

His favourite part of the job is collaborating with staff to implement new ideas and solutions, helping at the Visitor Information Centre, and talking to people from all around the world.

Bonnie Ruddock
Executive Director

Bonnie has been with the RTO9 since the inception of the Regional Tourism Organization in 2011. Bonnie was appointed to Executive Director in 2017 after 6 years as Operations Manager for RTO9. With a background in finance and a passion for the tourism industry, Bonnie is a true leader.  In 2020 Bonnie completed her MBA in Community Economic Development.  Prior to her career with RTO9, Bonnie was Executive Director for the 1000 Islands Gananoque Chamber of Commerce for 10 years, where she was instrumental in growing membership and launching the first official Bi-lingual Visitor Guide for her destination.

Sapphire Supersad

Special Projects Coordinator 

A graduate of Centennial College’s Hospitality & Tourism Administration program, Sapphire discovered her passion for ethical issues and economic/community development. This particular interest led Sapphire to join the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO), where she presented at the Ontario Tourism Summit in 2022 on the labour crisis from a youth perspective and currently leads their Advancing Sustainable Tourism in Ontario project, supporting the enhancement of sustainability efforts of destinations and organizations across the province. Through this project, Sapphire recognizes how vital a sustainability lens is to all aspects of tourism and encourages industry members to learn more on the topic and implement sustainable practices into their work. 


Stephen W. Tooshkenig

Indigenous Business Advisor 

Stephen has worked alongside businesses all across Turtle Island building strong relationships in the area of business development through the Three Fires Skode Workshop series. Stephen believes in community, grassroots, and economic sovereignty. Currently Stephen serves as a board member for the Ministry of the Attorney General of Ontario as well as holding his professional golf certification with the Ontario Professional Golfers Association.

Stephen W. Tooshkenig currently resides within Bkejwanong Territory and operates a family-owned cottage business along the beautiful blue water of Bkejwanong. (Where the Waters Divide)



Angela Nagy

President & CEO 
GreenStep Solutions Inc.

Angela is a sustainability expert with more than 20 years of experience in project management, business development, marketing, and public relations. She has lived and traveled extensively throughout the US and Canada, working with all levels of business, and utilities, as well as various levels of governments, on a variety of engineering, energy efficiency, environmental and sustainability-related projects. Angela is certified in Organizational GHG Accounting and as a Sustainability Practitioner through The Natural Step.


Ticket Name Sale Ends Price Quantity
SOLD OUT - IMPACT Conference + Day of IMPACT (May 7-8-9, 2023)
01 May 2023
Sale Ended
WAIT LIST - Conference + Day of IMPACT (May 7-8-9, 2023)
09 May 2023
Sale Ended
IMPACT Conference (May 8-9, 2023)
09 May 2023
Sale Ended

07 May 2023 @ 8:00am EDT
09 May 2023 @ 3:00pm EDT

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