2019 Ontario Tourism Summit

29 Oct 2019 @ 7:00am EDT
30 Oct 2019 @ 10:00pm EDT
Event Details

Join us for the tourism industry event of the year—because tourism matters.

From October 29-30, gather with industry colleagues and tourism leaders at the Blue Mountain Resort to network, gain new insights, explore trending topics and celebrate excellence at the Ontario Tourism Awards of Excellence Gala.


PRESENTING PARTNER


Cancellation Policy

Please be advised that the Ontario Tourism Summit does not offer refunds or cancellations for registration. Substitutions are permitted, however only for full conference registrations and/or gala ticket purchases. If you have any questions or concerns, please call the TIAO office at 416-483-1691.

 

DAY ONE

Tuesday, October 29

7:00 AM – 8:00 AM

Grand Huron Ballroom

Breakfast Buffet

 

8:00 AM – 8:20 AM

The Courts

Welcome & Opening Remarks

Beth Potter President & CEO, TIAO

 

8:20 AM – 8:35 AM

The Courts

Greetings from the Hon. Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries

8:35 AM – 8:45 AM

The Courts

Message from TIAO's Chair

Minto Schneider, CEO, Waterloo Regional Tourism Marketing Corporation; TIAO Board Chair

 

8:45 AM – 9:30 AM

The Courts

Transformational Tourism - How Tourism Helped Rebuild Greece’s Economy

Victor Maligoudis, Consul General, Consulate General of Greece

 

9:30 AM – 9:45 AM

The Courts

Take 5! – Your Labour Shortage Has a Housing Problem

Leigh Bursey, Brockville City Councillor & Vice-President, Ontario Non Profit Housing Association

 

9:45 AM – 10:15 AM

Huron Grand Ballroom

Break

10:15 AM – 10:45 AM

The Courts

IMPACT 2020 - Defining Tourism's Legacy Across Canada

Deirdre Campbell, Managing Director - Canada, Beattie Tartan

 

10:45 AM – 11:15 AM

The Courts

Sustaining the Tourism Industry? Global Risks and Mitigation 

Rachel Dodds, Professor, Ted Rodgers School of Hospitality

Joanne Gellatly, Professor, George Brown College - School of Hospitality and Tourism Management 

 

11:15 AM – 11:45 AM

The Courts

Sustainable Tourism – An Ontario Case Study

Panelists:

  • Meredith Maywood, Tourism Specialist, Oxford County
  • Jacob Murray, Director of Sales & Marketing, Topsy Farms
  • Mark Fisher, CEO, Council of the Great Lakes Region

Moderator:

  • Angela Nagy, CEO, GreenStep Solutions and Sustainable Tourism 2030

Sponsored by Parks Canada 

 

11:45 AM – 12:30 PM

 

Concurrent Sessions

1. Working Within Your Community to Grow Indigenous Tourism 

Kevin Eshkawkogan, CEO, Indigenous Tourism Ontario (ITO)

Luke Wassegijig, Tourism Manager, Wikwemikong Tourism 

Location: Petun I+IV

 

2. Social Media Content Marketing: How to Be Competitive in a Crowded and Expensive Marketplace

Kate Monk, Senior Director, Strategy & Communications, Explorers’ Edge (RTO 12)

Location: Petun II+III

 

12:30 PM – 1:45 PM

The Courts

Lifetime Achievement Award Lunch

Sponsored by Air Canada

 

1:45 PM – 2:30 PM

Concurrent Sessions

1. Bon Voyage - The Importance of Francophone Tourism

Isabelle de Bruyn, Project Manager, Tourism, La Société Économique de l'Ontario (SÉO) 

Location: Petun I+IV

 

2. Looking Beyond The Transaction: The Real Value of OTA Partnerships

Brian Winters, Account Manager, Booking.com

Location: Petun II+III

 

2:30 PM – 2:45 PM

Grand Huron Ballroom

Break

Sponsored by Tourism Toronto

2:50 PM – 3:00 PM

The Courts

Take 5! – MAT: Good Governance Makes Best Practices

Karen Poste, Manager of Economic Development & Strategic Initiatives, City of Belleville 

 

3:00 PM – 3:45 PM

The Courts

Climbing the Staircase in a Global Landscape 

Lisa LaVecchia President & CEO, Destination Ontario

 

3:50 PM – 4:30 PM

The Courts

Partner Marketing: How to Collaborate and Create a Winning Strategy 

Panelists:

  • Ryan Moran, Senior Manager of Marketing, Niagara Parks

  • Alison Vandervelde, Community Development Officer, Frontenac County
  • Chuck Thibeault, Executive Director, Central Counties Tourism (RTO 6)
  • Megan Knott, Executive Director, Kingston Accommodation Partners & Tourism Kingston

Moderator:

  • Katherine Scarrow, General Manager, Globe Content Studio, The Globe and Mail

 

Sponsored by JLM Strategic Marketing 

 

5:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Algonquin

Summit First Timers Reception

First time at the Ontario Tourism Summit? This reception is for you!

 

6:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Georgian Bay & Silver Creek

Welcome Reception

Hosted by Blue Mountain Resorts and Grey County

 

DAY TWO

Wednesday, October 30

7:15 AM – 8:15 AM

Huron Ballroom

Breakfast Buffet

8:20 AM – 9:00 AM

The Courts

Welcome Remarks & Day One Recap

Beth Potter, President & CEO, TIAO

Odette Bartnicki, Deputy Mayor of the Blue Mountains

Brian Saunderson, Mayor of Collingwood

Selwyn Hicks, Warden of Grey County

 

9:00 AM – 9:30 AM

The Courts

Tourism SkillsNet Ontario: Addressing Ontario’s Labour and Skills Crisis

Adam Morrison, Vice President, Projects and Partnerships, OTEC

Sean Billing, Executive Director, Brace Hospitality Consulting 

 

9:30 AM – 10:15 AM

The Courts

Keeping Great Staff in a Seasonal Business 

Panelists:

  • Brody Purser, Director of Human Resources & Administration, Deerhurst Resort
  • Benjamin Guth, Founder & CEO, Mobilize Jobs 
  • Peter Watson, Consultant 

Moderator:

  • Jesse Hamilton, General Manager, Deerhurst Resort 

10:15 AM – 10:25 AM

The Courts

Take 5! - Vote Tourism: Post Election Industry Briefing 

Meagan Zettler, Manager, Public Affairs, Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC)

 

10:25 AM – 10:45 AM

The Courts

Trending in Spending – Where and How Is the International Market Looking

Chris Baron, Senior Vice President – Sales Central & Western Canada, Global Payments

 

10:45 AM – 11:00 AM

Grand Huron Ballroom

Break

11:00 AM – 12:00 PM

The Courts

There's a Crisis With Your Name On It 

Panelists:

  • James Henry, Vice-President of Hospitality, Blue Mountain Resort
  • Rod Raycroft, Executive Director, Northeastern Ontario Tourism
  • Alexandra Rodgers, Director Research & Policy, Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO) 
  • Warren Weeks, Media Trainer, Weeks Media 

Moderator:

  • Andrew Weir, Executive Vice President, Destination Development, Tourism Toronto & Vice-Chair, TIAO Board of Directors

 

Sponsored by the RTOs

 

12:00 PM – 12:55 PM

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Concurrent Sessions

1. Power & Pride - LGBTQ2S+ Tourism

Panelists:

  • Jason Veltri, Chair - Thunder Pride Association, Central Region Director - Fireté Canada Pride Board of Directors
  • Darrell Schuurman, Co-Founder & CEO, Canadian Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce 
  • Lisa LaVecchia President & CEO, Destination Ontario

Moderator:

  • Debra Mansillo, Director of Marketing and Creative Services, Destination Ontario 

Location: Petun I

 

2. Bringing Your Visitors Into Focus 

Larry Filler, Senior Vice President & Practice Leader, Environics Analytics

Location: Petun II

 

3. Maximizing Ontario's Tourism Potential - Winter & Shoulder Season Tourism

Panelists:

  • Ryan Eickmeier, CEO, Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (OFSC)
  • Leah Fetterley, Owner, North Ridge Ranch 
  • Jackie Leung, Owner, Fern Glen Inn B&B
  • Wendy Hogarth, Owner, Muskoka Lakes Farm & Winery 

Moderator:

  • James Murphy, Executive Director, Explorers’ Edge (RTO 12)

Location: Petun III

 

4. Reach Millions on Google Easily, Quickly, and Inexpensively

Matthew Focht, Founder and CEO, Truly360 - Google Trusted Agency

Location: Petun IV

 

1:00 PM – 2:00 PM

The Courts

Networking Lunch 

Sponsored by: Destination Northern Ontario 

2:00 PM – 2:10 PM

The Courts

Take 5! – The Only Response to Climate Anxiety is Climate Action

Andrea Curley, Manager, Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation

 

2:10 PM – 2:40 PM

The Courts

Explore the Bruce – Understanding Your Visitor: Economic Impact of Tourism in Bruce County

Jill Roote, Manager of Economic Development, Corporation of the County of Bruce

 

2:40 PM – 3:00 PM

Grand Huron Ballroom

Break

3:00 PM – 3:30 PM

The Courts

Making Regulations a Competitive Advantage 

Aisha Ansari, Manager – Economic Advisory, Deloitte

Anita Shinde, Senior Manager – Economic Advisory, Deloitte 

3:30 PM – 4:15 PM

The Courts

Tourism Investment - Getting Beyond the Wish List

Fran Hohol, Senior Director, Tourism and Leisure Group, CBRE Canada

Rebecca Godfrey, Director, Tourism and Leisure Group, CBRE Canada

 

5:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Silver Creek

Ontario Tourism Awards of Excellence Finalist Reception

By invitation only

Sponsored by  Wine Marketing Association of Ontario (WMAO) & VQA Ontario

 

6:00 PM – 7:00 PM

Georgian Bay Ballroom

Ontario Tourism Awards of Excellence Gala Reception

Sponsored by the Wine Marketing Association of Ontario (WMAO),VQA Ontario, and VIA Rail Canada 

 

7:15 PM – 9:30 PM

The Courts

Ontario Tourism Awards of Excellence Gala Dinner & Ceremony

Dinner presented by Smart Serve Ontario 

10:00 PM – 1:00 AM

The Village

Club Ontario

Sponsored by Blue Mountain Village Association, Grey County, and Simcoe County 

 

DAY ONE

Tuesday, October 29


Transformational Tourism - How Tourism Helped Rebuild Greece’s Economy

Victor Maligoudis, Consul General, Consulate General of Greece

The power of tourism is undeniably one of the most effective ways to drive growth in the economy. Learn how Greece used tourism as an economic driver to rebuild their country and rejuvenate their community. Join the Consulate General of Greece as they discuss sustainable tourism and the challenges, complexities, and risk management of dealing with wild fires. This session will provide delegates with insights on how these lessons from Greece can be applied to the Ontario tourism industry.


Take 5! – Your Labour Shortage Has a Housing Problem

Leigh Bursey, Brockville City Councillor & Vice-President, Ontario Non Profit Housing Association 

What is the solution? Is housing a right? Or a commodity? Find out how YOU can influence the growth of affordable housing at the municipal level.


IMPACT 2020 - Defining Tourism's Legacy Across Canada

Deirdre Campbell, Managing Director - Canada, Beattie Tartan

In 2017 four organizations in BC decided they wanted to host a gathering of thought leaders on what the sustainable future of tourism looks like for Canada.  Inspired by positive and negative developments in the global tourism industry, they felt Canada should be facing these challenges and opportunities sooner than later, and begin implementing best practices.   Little did they realize how important this dialogue would become. Heading into its third year this January, discussions around what the legacy of the tourism industry will be for Canada have only grown more heated and urgent. Once again IMPACT will be bringing delegates together from across the country, as well as international experts, who are concerned with the state of the industry nationally and globally and who want to be a part of a necessary and critical change. Join IMPACT co-founder Deirdre Campbell as she shares the story of how IMPACT came to be,  the insights garnered on ways Canada can become a global leader in tourism development, and actionable steps that have been shared over the past two years of provocative discussions.  


Sustaining the Tourism Industry? Global Risks and Mitigation 

Rachel Dodds, Professor, Ted Rodgers School of Hospitality

Joanne Gellatly, Professor, George Brown College - School of Hospitality and Tourism Management 

What are the wicked problems that our industry faces and what risks do they pose? This will be a collaborative session where sharing and comparing is the key. Recent issues and news about the Canadian and global marketplace will be shared.


Sustainable Tourism – An Ontario Case Study

Panelists:

  • Meredith Maywood, Tourism Specialist, Oxford County
  • Jacob Murray, Director of Sales & Marketing, Topsy Farms
  • Mark Fisher, CEO, Council of the Great Lakes Region

Moderator:

  • Angela Nagy, CEO, GreenStep Solutions and Sustainable Tourism 2030

With the awareness that mass tourism can have negative impacts on the environment and our communities, the concept around sustainable tourism is growing more popular in Ontario. Learn examples, lessons, and ideas from leading experts on how you can start gradually with small changes, to product development, office practices, education and marketing, and more. 


Working Within Your Community to Grow Indigenous Tourism 

Kevin Eshkawkogan, CEO, Indigenous Tourism Ontario (ITO)

Luke WassegijigTourism Manager, Wikwemikong Tourism 

Kevin Eshkawkogan - CEO, Indigenous Tourism Ontario and Luke Wassegijig - Tourism Manager, Wikwemikong Tourism share a case study on the steps taken, successes and challenges of developing a partnership with the Province between a First-Nations owned Recreational Nature park - Point Grondine Park, and an Ontario Park -  Killarney Provincial Park.  Learn about initial steps and tips that your organization can take to be market ready and start your collaboration with this growing tourism sector.


Social Media Content Marketing: How to Be Competitive in a Crowded and Expensive Marketplace

Kate Monk, Senior Director, Strategy & Communications, Explorers’ Edge (RTO 12)

Social media has fundamentally altered the way that organizations market to their target audiences. Discover how Explorers’ Edge uses content marketing to compete in a crowded marketplace cost effectively, allowing it to become one of the leading travel marketers in Ontario. And how you can too.


Bon Voyage - The Importance of Francophone Tourism

Isabelle de Bruyn, Project Manager, Tourism, La Société Économique de l'Ontario (SÉO) 

Cultural tourism is experiencing impressive growth and has evolved towards the intangible elements of culture as authentic experiences where interaction with the locals becomes the main reason to travel. Showcasing French heritage, history and culture is a productive way to create new experiences around these intangible elements in a dynamic way and allows the host communities to thrive. This session will present how innovative and inspiring practices showcasing French culture and heritage can support value-added development and partnership strategies for both the industry and the communities.

Le tourisme culturel connaît une croissance impressionnante et a évolué vers les éléments immatériels de la culture. Les expériences authentiques mettant en valeur l'interaction avec les habitants deviennent la principale raison de voyager. La mise en valeur du patrimoine, de l'histoire et de la culture françaises constitue un moyen productif de créer de nouvelles expériences autour de ces éléments intangibles de manière dynamique, et permet aux communautés hôtes de s'épanouir. Cette session présentera comment des pratiques innovantes inspirées de la culture et du patrimoine francophones peuvent soutenir des stratégies de développement et de partenariat à haute valeur ajoutée pour l’industrie et les communautés.


Looking Beyond The Transaction: The Real Value of OTA Partnerships

Brian Winters, Account Manager, Booking.com

Let’s look beyond the actual transaction and find out more about the real value of partnerships with OTA’s nowadays. What are the investment we take to be well prepared for the next generation of travelers? Are we well prepared to capitalize on emerging markets with market place insights and future proof investments?


Take 5! – MAT: Good Governance Makes Best Practices

Karen Poste, Manager of Economic Development & Strategic Initiatives, City of Belleville 

Find out what you don’t know and need to know about getting the most out of the Municipal Accommodation Tax (MAT).


Climbing the Staircase in a Global Landscape 

Lisa LaVecchia, President & CEO, Destination Ontario

Tourism has become increasingly globally competitive year over year. Destinations around the world have easier access to consumers through marketing channels via the touch of a screen; and these potential visitors are influenced daily by an array of travel options. Destination Ontario recognizes these evolving trends and is continuously working with its partners to place Ontario as a top choice for travel. Join Destination Ontario as they share what they are doing to drive tourism visitation and expenditures and keep building Ontario’s tourism industry upward.


Partner Marketing: How to Collaborate and Create a Winning Strategy 

Panelists:

  • Ryan Moran, Senior Manager of Marketing, Niagara Parks
  • Alison Vandervelde, Community Development Officer, Frontenac County
  • Chuck Thibeault, Executive Director, Central Counties Tourism (RTO 6)
  • Megan Knott, Executive Director, Kingston Accommodation Partners & Tourism Kingston

Moderator:

  • Katherine Scarrow, General Manager, Globe Content Studio, The Globe and Mail

Marketing partnerships can be an effective way to jointly promote tourism in Ontario, attract new visitors and keep them coming back. But for partnerships to truly succeed, they have to work for all parties. Learn how your organization can target the right partners, broker a deal, avoid pitfalls and forge long-lasting relationships.


DAY TWO

Wednesday, October 30


Tourism SkillsNet Ontario: Addressing Ontario’s Labour and Skills Crisis

Adam Morrison, Vice President, Projects and Partnerships, OTEC

Sean Billing, Executive Director, Brace Hospitality Consulting 

In response to labour and skills shortages, OTEC, and a network of organizations including the Ontario Restaurant Hotel and Motel Association (ORHMA), TIAO, Magnet, First Work, ONESTEP, Regional Tourism Organizations 4, 9 and 13 have collaborated to launch a provincial sector-based workforce development strategy. The model aligns industry and community priorities through collaborative strategic planning and partnership development between businesses and employment services organizations. After launching in 4 regions in 2017, the network has now grown to 12 cities and over 122 partnering organizations.

This session will review the factors that informed the model’s design. It will review success stories from participating destinations. Finally, it will explain how community, regional and industry partners can get involved and bring Tourism SkillsNet Ontario to their destination.


Keeping Great Staff in a Seasonal Business 

Panelists:

  • Brody Purser, Director of Human Resources & Administration, Deerhurst Resort
  • Benjamin Guth, Founder & CEO, Mobilize Jobs 
  • Peter Watson, Consultant 

Moderator:

  • Jesse Hamilton, General Manager, Deerhurst Resort

The challenge is real.  The emphasis on the importance of team member retention, the need for collaboration, and the efficiency in hiring is a continual struggle when facing seasonal, rural, sometimes remote, and labour challenges. The creativity required to minimize these challenges is ongoing while maintaining brand integrity, service levels, and balanced human resources.  Learn some innovative ways from this panel on how they have engaged to attract and retain potential team members and some things to avoid.


Take 5! - Vote Tourism: Post Election Industry Briefing 

Meagan Zettler, Manager, Public Affairs, Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC)

The recent federal election means a new advocacy landscape in Ottawa. This take 5 presentation will look at the 2019 federal campaign, the new political landscape, and what this means for tourism in Ontario and across Canada.  


Trending in Spending – Where and How Is the International Market Looking

Chris Baron, Senior Vice President – Sales Central & Western Canada, Global Payments

Understanding the change in behaviours on how consumers spend their money for your destination - is it before they even arrive?, in person? online? Why does one region look and behave different than another.  What has impacted these changes?  Consumer behaviours vary country by country, province by province and region by region.  Ensure you are optimizing your payment readiness.  How are you getting ready for this next year of consumer behaviour to unfold?  Global Payments is launching their 2nd report of current data customized with current data for Ontario broken down by regions. Identify areas of change in spending year over year in your region and identify potential.


There's a Crisis With Your Name On It 

Panelists:

  • James Henry, Vice-President of Hospitality, Blue Mountain Resort
  • Rod Raycroft, Executive Director, Northeastern Ontario Tourism
  • Alexandra Rodgers, Director Research & Policy, Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO) 
  • Warren Weeks, Media Trainer, Weeks Media 

Moderator:

  • Andrew Weir, Executive Vice President, Destination Development, Tourism Toronto & Vice-Chair, TIAO Board of Directors

Hear from leading experts on preparing for the unknown crisis; strategies for before, during, and after. This panel will cover everything from innovative ways to deal with a crisis, high-level media training, government relations, and regulatory reform. Come prepared with your questions as there will be a live, 20 minute Q&A as part of the session.


Power & Pride - LGBTQ2S+ Tourism

Panelists:

  • Jason Veltri, Chair - Thunder Pride Association, Central Region Director - Fireté Canada Pride Board of Directors
  • Darrell Schuurman, Co-Founder & CEO, Canadian Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce 
  • Lisa LaVecchia President & CEO, Destination Ontario

Moderator:

  • Debra Mansillo, Director of Marketing and Creative Services, Destination Ontario 

This session not only features tourism and business leaders who are paving the way with diversity and inclusion training, but looks at the dynamic and powerful ways that LGBTQ2S+ tourism grows the economy in Ontario. Learn how your organization can be poised to benefit from this innovative and changing landscape of equality.


Bringing Your Visitors Into Focus 

Larry Filler, Senior Vice President & Practice Leader, Environics Analytics

You may know where your guests come from, but do you know their demographics, preferences, and behaviours? And what do you know about the visitors who are not using your services? In this session, you will learn how new data sources will fuel your knowledge about visitors and guests and generate insights to help improve your bottom line. We will review how a new partnership with Destination Canada has provided the industry with information that is helping RTO’s and DMO’s build more effective marketing strategies. We will also introduce an innovative new product called VisitorView, and share U.S travel patterns to Canada and Ontario. Come and learn how this will help you target American audiences more effectively.


Maximizing Ontario's Tourism Potential - Winter & Shoulder Season Tourism

Panelists:

  • Ryan Eickmeier, CEO, Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (OFSC)
  • Leah Fetterley, Owner, North Ridge Ranch 
  • Jackie Leung, Owner, Fern Glen Inn B&B
  • Wendy Hogarth, Owner, Muskoka Lakes Farm & Winery 

Moderator:

  • James Murphy, Executive Director, Explorers’ Edge (RTO 12)

This session includes business case examples from regions across Ontario to highlight both the power and the complexities of delivering top-notch winter and shoulder season tourism. 


Reach Millions on Google Easily, Quickly, and Inexpensively

Matthew Focht, Founder and CEO, Truly360 - Google Trusted Agency

Whether from desktop or mobile device, your potential visitors are already using Google’s robust tools to check out hotels, restaurants, attractions, and points of interest all over your destination. You no longer have to fight with Google or scratch your head in bewilderment wondering how to make sense of it all. Learn how to utilize ALL of Google’s tools, exactly as they were intended, to educate and attract potentially millions of visitors. Be pleasantly shocked by how easily, quickly, and inexpensively you can make a HUGE impact on your destination. 


Take 5! – The Only Response to Climate Anxiety is Climate Action

Andrea Curley, Manager, Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation

Find out how to strategically prepare for the inevitable impacts of climate change, extreme weather, flooding, and how to mitigate impacts on Ontario tourism businesses. 


Explore the Bruce – Understanding Your Visitor: Economic Impact of Tourism in Bruce County

Jill RooteManager of Economic Development, Corporation of the County of Bruce

Tourism has a long history as a key economic driver in Bruce County. The problem was, there wasn’t a standardized way to measure the impact or how to support its’ growth. After launching the Economic Development Strategic Plan, “Find Yourself in Bruce”, a standardized methodology to accurately measure, analyze and evaluate the effects of tourism in the County was developed. This structured methodology creates an economic baseline using direct, indirect, and induced impacts of tourism in order to track the sector year over year. The session walks participants through the process sharing the 2018 results and lessons learned for future implementation.  


Making Regulations a Competitive Advantage 

Aisha Ansari, Manager – Economic Advisory, Deloitte 

Anita Shinde,  Senior Manager – Economic Advisory, Deloitte 

Earlier this year, Deloitte published the report– Making Regulations a Competitive Advantage that clarifies the link between regulations and economic competitiveness, an often complex relationship to explain. Aisha Ansari and Anita Shinde will discuss the key findings and recommendations to enhance economic competitiveness and government relations. Key areas of the report that impact the Ontario tourism industry will be highlighted, including policies on Airbnb, Interprovincial trade barriers, and cannabis legislation. Aisha will share how your organization can be involved in the next phase of this research. Deloitte is interested in identifying ways to work  with the tourism industry in Ontario to further develop these findings.


Tourism Investment - Getting Beyond the Wish List

Fran Hohol, Senior Director, Tourism and Leisure Group, CBRE Canada

Rebecca Godfrey, Director, Tourism and Leisure Group, CBRE Canada

What are developers looking for and what products/experiences might make the most sense for your community. Learn about current and developing trends both with consumers and development wise, so that more informed decisions can be made.  Utilize this information to guide you to understand what needs to be done in your area to attract tourism development that makes sense.

Keynote Speaker 


Victor Maligoudis

Consul General

Consulate General of Greece

Victor Maligoudis is a career diplomat working for the Hellenic Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Prior to his current position, Mr. Maligoudis served, since November 2016, in the Diplomatic Cabinet of the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, responsible for Greeks Abroad.

Mr. Maligoudis entered the Diplomatic Academy in 2004 and has since held the following positions in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs:

  • 2005 – 2006: Attaché at the Protocol Department
  • 2006 – 2009: Second Secretary at the Embassy of Greece in Sofia, Bulgaria
  • 2009 – 2011: Deputy Head at the Information and Public Diplomacy Department
  • 2011 – 2016: Consul and Deputy Head at the Consulate General of Greece in Istanbul

Consul General Maligoudis holds a Master’s degree in Law (LL.M.) from the Ruprecht-Karls University of Heidelberg, Germany, and a BA degree from the School of Law of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. He is a graduate of the German School of Thessaloniki.


Speakers


Leigh Bursey

Brockville City Councillor & Vice-President 

Ontario Non Profit Housing Association 

Leigh Bursey is a 32 year old three-term Brockville City Councillor. Leigh is the past chair of Brockville's Youth Advisory Council, serving the committee since it was established in 2011. Leigh is educated as a child and youth worker and is currently completing the Chartered Housing Professionals program through the Chartered Institute of Housing.  He is the current vice president of the Ontario Non Profit Housing Association, and is a former homeless youth.

Outside of his municipal role, Leigh is an author, musician, talk show host, activist, and even a pro wrestler.  He wears many hats, but his favourite is dog owner to Rufus. He is currently recognized as not only an activist and pundit, but also one of Brockville's Top 40 Under 40.  

Authoring the book, More Than A Number: A Beginner's Guide to Housing and Homelessness, Leigh also serves on many committees including a rural and remote homelessness working group for people with lived experience, the Brockville Non Profit Housing Corporation, the Leeds and Grenville Housing Table, and the college of reviewers for CMHC.


Deirdre Campbell

Managing Director - Canada 

Beattie Tartan

As managing director of Canadian-based Beattie Tartan, Deirdre has been entrenched in the global tourism market for more than 18 years. What began as a west-coast based boutique PR agency called Tartan in 2001, with a handful of Canadian signature experiences quickly expanded internationally with a range of eco-experiences across Central and South America.  This was also the beginning of Deirdre’s passion for sustainable tourism, and she is a founding member of the Global Ecotourism Network, past board chair of Destination Greater Victoria  and  co-founder of the IMPACT Sustainable Travel and Tourism conference held annually in Victoria, BC.  In 2017, Tartan merged with the Beattie Group, a UK based PR agency with over 34 years of experience and 12 offices.  This allowed Deirdre to expand her team’s digital expertise and build a substantial client base across Canada.  With offices in Toronto, Vancouver, Victoria and Calgary, and associates in Ottawa, Winnipeg, Montreal and New York, today Beattie Tartan counts the Jordan Tourism Board, Destination Canada and Indigenous Tourism Canada along with many outstanding signature experiences among its tourism clients. Her career in sustainable tourism  has taken her to Chile, Jordan, Korea, China, Australia, Costa Rica, US and across Canada to speak about the importance of a sustainable visitor economy. In 2019, Destination Greater Victoria presented Deirdre with their Miracle Award in recognition of her work within the  tourism industry. 


Rachel Dodds 

Professor

Ted Rogers School of Hospitality and Tourism Management

Dr. Rachel Dodds has worked in the tourism industry for over 20 years. Known globally as an expert on sustainable tourism, she has worked to address tourism issues in multiple countries and focuses on marketing, tourism planning and development. In December, 2018,  she was appointed to Canada's Federal Tourism Council: Jobs and the Visitor Economy. Rachel is a Professor at the Ted Rogers School of Hospitality and Tourism Management at Ryerson University in Toronto as well as the Director of a tourism consultancy: Sustaining Tourism. She recently published a book: Overtourism: issues, realities and solutions.


Joanne Gellatly

Professor

George Brown College – School of Hospitality and Tourism Management 

Joanne has travelled the world and brings industry talent and vision to George Brown and the city of Toronto as part of the professor team in the Applied Degree program. Her classroom experience is enhanced by more than 25 years of front line and management experience with airlines, car rental companies, cruise lines, hotels, and convention centers. She also has a tour-operator and travel-agency business background. Her diversified history in former executive positions includes President of Contiki Holidays Canada, Executive Director of Sales and Marketing with Sheraton and Best Western Parkway Hotels, and National Cruise Purchaser and Director for Marlin Travel-Thomas Cook Canada. Joanne began her tourism career in 1980 as a provincial travel counsellor for the “Ontario Yours to Discover” program, and has received many awards, including Contiki’s Worldwide Executive of the Year and a Provincial Volunteer Service award recognizing five years of service from the Ontario Colleges Professional Advisory.


In 2008 and 2013, she co-authored team tourism articles for the International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management and the Worldwide Hospitality and Tourism Themes Journal, U.K. Joanne has an MBA in Hotel and Food Administration from the University of Guelph, an honorary masters from IMI University of Lucerne, Switzerland, a Tourist Industry Administration Management Diploma from Seneca College. Joanne is a DBA graduate in 2017 of the University of Phoenix’s Doctor of Business Administration program.


Brian Winters 

Account Manager 

Booking.com  

Brian has been with Booking.com since 2011 as an account manager where he builds relationships with current and new partners, consults on how to build revenue, and builds online profiles. His previous roles include: Director of Sales and Marketing – Radisson Hotel Toronto East, Senior Sales Manager - Radisson Admiral Hotel Toronto Harbourfront, Corporate Sales Manager - Cambridge Suites, and Public Relations Coordinator - Tourism Toronto. Brian is an avid curler, soccer player, and news junkie. 


Karen Poste 

Manager, Economic Development & Strategic Initiatives

City of Belleville 

Having graduated top of her class in Business Administration from St. Lawrence College, Kingston, Karen has enjoyed working in municipal government for the last 30 years.  

Starting her career as a land use planner, but having experience in by-law enforcement, emergency planning, budgeting and project management,  Karen has been able to use this experience to help her in her daily tasks as the Manager of Economic and Strategic Initiatives for the City of Belleville.  Business retention and business attraction are her main objectives, but she is involved in many different community building initiatives for the City, including tourism and destination development.  

Karen was previously awarded the Ontario East Economic Developer of the Year Award by her peers and was also named “Business Woman of the Year” for the Bay of Quinte Region.


Lisa LaVecchia 

President & CEO 

Destination Ontario 

Lisa LaVecchia is the President and CEO of Destination Ontario. In May 2013, Lisa joined Destination Ontario in the role of Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer where she led the organization’s Brand Management, and Consumer and Digital Marketing. 

Since 2017, as President and CEO, Lisa is inspired to elevate Ontario as a preferred four-season, tourist destination in a globally competitive tourism market. Her dynamic leadership style motivates excellence in those around her and is a testament to the ‘power of team’ to achieve success. Her passion and forward-thinking approach to integrated marketing strategies have led to innovative brand campaigns that are progressive and powerful and showcase the best of Ontario, including the Pan Am/Parapan Am Games “Epic Is ON” campaign and the “Where Am I?” campaign, both award-winning campaigns. 

Before joining Destination Ontario, Lisa led the development of mass marketing plans and implemented cross-channel integrated marketing for Indigo Books and Music. As Senior Director, Marketing Strategy and Advertising, Lisa played a key role in establishing Indigo as a leading retail destination.

Previously, Lisa was Director of Advertising and New Media for the Province of Ontario, where her portfolio included a variety of health, post-secondary and tourism projects.  In her earlier career Lisa held positions with JWT as Senior Account Director, PEOPLE Magazine (New York) as Sales Development Manager, and Ogilvy and Mather (New York) as Account Supervisor.


Adam Morrison

Vice President, Projects and Partnerships

OTEC

As OTEC’s Vice President, Projects and Partnerships, Adam leads OTEC’s workforce development consulting services, working with industry, government, educators and communities to ensure businesses and destinations are prepared for the changing market. Adam’s portfolio includes projects such as the Ontario Tourism Workforce Development Strategy 2012-17, commissioned by TIAO, and Tourism SkillsNet Ontario, an alliance of sector-based workforce development consortia launched in 2017. Adam also led the design and launch of ALiGN, an online talent assessment model for the community sector that is now being deployed across Ontario. Adam holds a Masters of Science degree in Capacity Development Studies.


Sean Billing

Executive Director

Brace Hospitality Consulting

Sean is the Managing Partner of the Frontenac Club and Executive Director at 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 Central Ontario. 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 RTO9 & on RTO4 and is a member of the Destination Kingston Marketing Committee. Sean is a graduate of the University of Western Ontario and attended hospitality school at St. Lawrence College. 

 


Meagan Zettler 

Manager, Public Affairs

Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC)

Meagan Zettler is the Manager, Public Affairs for the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC). Meagan joined TIAC in 2015 and is responsible for organizing TIAC’s public affairs, policy and government outreach efforts and also organized TIAC’s successful China trade mission in 2016. She has a breadth of experience in campaign delivery, community organizing, and industry research. Meagan earned her Masters of Political Management at Carleton University in 2015, and holds a Bachelors degree from Western University.


Chris Baron

Senior Vice President – Sales Central & Western Canada

Global Payments Canada 

Chris joined Global Payments Canada in business development in February 2004—a time when emerging technologies like EMV, IP and e-commerce were in their infancy. Currently, Chris leads the Canadian bank and referral partner channel, national telesales, business development, third-party independent sales and the worldwide cloud platform enablement of salesforce and sales effectiveness. Prior to joining Global Payments, Chris worked for Accor Hotels in national association and corporate sales and other capacities. A proud husband, father and athlete, Chris has competed at the Canadian national level for cross country running, completed 55 marathons, three ultra-marathons and was a Guinness World Record holder for the fastest marathon.


Larry Filler 

Senior Vice President & Practice Leader for the Travel & Tourism, Insurance and Loyalty industries

Environics Analytics 

As a Senior Vice President & Practice Leader for the Travel & Tourism, Insurance and Loyalty industries, Larry Filler helps organizations realize value from data. He has more than 30 years of experience in developing and applying analytics solutions for clients across many industry sectors, including technology, financial services, retail, automotive, packaged goods, loyalty, travel and not-for-profit. Larry co-founded the Boire Filler Group, an analytics consulting practice that was acquired by Environics Analytics in 2016. He began his career at American Express and later worked at the Loyalty Management Group and MacLaren McCann Relationship Marketing. A frequent speaker at industry conferences, Larry holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from the University of Wisconsin and an MBA in Marketing from Schulich School of Business at York University.  


Matthew Focht

Founder and CEO

Truly360 - Google Trusted Agency 


Today, Truly360 is the only company of its kind in the world, seamlessly acting as a liaison between Google and destinations, agencies, and businesses, assisting with every established Google product and service available. By utilizing all of Google’s tools, exactly as they were intended, destinations are able to really stand out by educating and attracting visitors on a truly massive scale.

Matthew Focht resides in Rancho Santa Fe, California with his beautiful wife and four children. Having travelled to all 7 continents, all 50 US States, and almost every Canadian district, Matthew has a very unique perspective on the travel industry you are sure to enjoy.


Andrea Curley

Manager 

Intact Centre on Climate Adaption 

Andrea Curley is the Manager at the Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation. Andrea supports the day-to-day operations of the Intact Centre, as well as oversees research on best practices to address extreme heat in urban communities across Canada. Prior to joining the Intact Centre, Andrea worked at Forests Ontario as the Business Development Manager and within the financial sector at Meridian Credit Union. Andrea completed her B.Sc in Biological Science with emphasis of her studies on marine biology and holds a M.Env.Sc. from the University of Guelph.


Jill Roote

Manager of Economic Development

County of Bruce 

Jill is the Manager of Economic Development for the County of Bruce where she passionately leads a team of high achieving professionals with a goal to positively impact the quality of life in Bruce County now and into the future. Jill began her tenure with Bruce County as Lead Researcher in the Corporate Policy division in 2015. In January of 2018, she was promoted to her new role. 

Prior to her employment with Bruce County, Jill was the Manager of the Business Enterprise Centre serving Bruce County located in Port Elgin.  She worked with the Town of Saugeen Shores since the inception of the office in March of 2000.  On a daily basis, Jill worked with entrepreneurs helping them with various aspects of starting or growing a business in Bruce County. 

Jill held many positions as a Conventions and Meeting Planning Executive.  She worked for the Direct Marketing Association in New York, NY, the American College of Physician Executives in Tampa, FL., The University of South Florida also in Tampa, Fl. and the Associated Food Dealers in Southfield Michigan. With a team of meeting professionals, she planned and executed many meetings and conventions for a wide range of trades.  These positions warranted extensive travel throughout the US, Canada and Europe.

Jill holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the College of Wooster in Wooster Ohio and a Master’s in Business Administration from the New York Institute of Technology. When she is not promoting Bruce County as a place to live, visit or grow a business, Jill is very busy with her family exploring the great outdoors and fitting in time for her love of running.


Kevin Eshkawkogan

Executive Director 

Indigenous Tourism Ontario (ITO)

Kevin is Anishnabek and is a member of the M’Chigeeng First Nation on Manitoulin Island. 

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 Sprit Circle Trail (GSCT) on Manitoulin Island, one of the country’s most renowned Indigenous tourism organizations that provides culturally authentic Indigenous experiences to visitors along with marketing support to Indigenous operators. 

He has provided leadership to GSCT for over 15 years and has imparted his guidance to countless individuals throughout Manitoulin Island, Ontario, Canada, and beyond. Kevin works tirelessly to unite Indigenous tourism providers, grow market reach and bring meaningful employment opportunities to the region. He is a mentor and visionary who works closely with his community to ensure sustainable and organic growth within the Indigenous tourism industry. In 2015, Kevin was named the Tourism Champion of the Year by the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario. He has also been recognized by numerous media outlets for his accomplishments within the industry. 

Kevin sits on a variety of boards including the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC) and Indigenous Tourism Association of Ontario (TIAO). He has also helped establish ITO, 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.


Luke Wassegijig

Tourism Manager 

Wikwemikong Tourism 

Luke Wassegijig is the Tourism Manager for Wikwemikong Tourism and Planner for the Point Grondine Park. Mr. Wassegijig has studied Tourism Management where he has applied his academics as the Tourism Manager for the past 8 years developing and implementing the communities Tourism Strategy. Luke served as the Lands and Resource Portfolio for his council from 2012 to 2014 and was a part of the negotiating team for Wiikwemkoong’s 41 Islands Land Claim. Here he was able to build and form relationships with federal, provincial and municipal governments that have set the foundation for future economic development. The Point Grondine Park has been an integral part of Wiikwemkoong’s footprint in the Killarney region and through this phase development will position the park as a premier outdoor and cultural destination.


Kate Monk

Senior Director, Strategy & Communications

Explorers' Edge (RTO 12)

Kate is the Senior Director of Strategy & Communications at Explorers’ Edge/RTO12. She is a main driver of innovative RTO12 programs, including the Regional Tourism Strategy, the Product Development Framework, the Fuel & Fun Package, and social enterprise catalyst housing (in development). Kate oversees RTO12's extremely successful content programs for domestic and international markets, both of which were integral to securing RTO12’s partnership with Porter Airlines.  Her ‘Share Your Canada 150’ strategy resulted in 1300 user-generated content stories being posted to the campaign’s site and over 7,000 international leads being added to the RTO’s database in just 5 weeks. She is also the in-house writer for RTO12.


Isabelle de Bruyn

Project Manager, Tourism

La Société économique de l’Ontario (SÉO) 

Isabelle de Bruyn is a Project Manager for the tourism sector at La Société économique de l’Ontario (SÉO). She received her B.A.h. from North London University and has a Masters of Engineering in Tourism from Université de Savoie, France. She emigrated to Canada in 2000 where she started a career in local economic development. After sixteen years, she returned to the tourism sector and joined SÉO to develop and promote Francophone & bilingual tourism in Ontario. Among other projects, Isabelle drives the Ontario Champlain Scenic Route initiative, a provincial wide tourism development venture that started in 2015 as part of the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport’s Strategic Framework for Tourism in Ontario. She is also actively involved with the Francophone Tourism Corridor Project in Canada.


Fran Hohol

Senior Director, Tourism and Leisure Group

CBRE Canada

Fran has been providing advisory services to the hospitality and tourism industry in Canada for more than 30 years, including market and financial feasibility studies, needs assessments, economic impact studies and strategic business plans for investment opportunities and tourism-based associations. She has extensive experience working within both the public and private sector environments, as well as public-private partnership arrangements. She’s also responsible for CBRE Hotels’ extensive national database on the accommodation sector. Fran is a past board director for the Canadian Chapter of the Tourism and Travel Research Association, and has also participated in the Economic Developers Council of Ontario and Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport’s Meet the Investor Dragons event for the past four years.


Rebecca Godfrey

Director, Tourism and Leisure Group

CBRE Canada

Rebecca has 14 years of consulting experience in the tourism and hospitality industries, specializing in market and financial feasibility studies, strategic business plans for tourism-based associations, needs assessments, economic impact studies and organizational assessments. A notable example of her work and expertise include determining the market and economic viability of a proposed Outdoor Walk attraction at the CN Tower, now known as the EdgeWalk. Rebecca holds a master’s degree in business administration in hospitality and tourism management, and received her Certified Management Consultant (CMC) designation in 2012.


Aisha Ansari

Manager, Economic Advisory

Deloitte 

Aisha Ansari is a Manager within Deloitte’s Economic Advisory practice. Aisha has advised governments across the country on matters related to economic development and economic policy. Prior to joining Deloitte, Aisha worked for the Government of Ontario focused on economic development policy and infrastructure investments. Aisha holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Toronto and a Masters degree from the London School of Economics.'


Anita Shinde

Senior Manager, Economic Advisory

Deloitte 

Anita is a Senior Manager and founding member of Deloitte’s Economic Advisory practice in Canada. She has spent the last 12 years at Deloitte leading strategic financial and economic advisory projects for clients across numerous sectors including government, technology, tourism, sports, real estate, and infrastructure.

She has extensive experience in leading critical research, economic and financial analysis, and external consultations to inform and shape complex policy and commercial decisions. Her work has been leveraged to develop robust business cases, strategic economic development plans and policies, and to inform diverse groups of stakeholders regarding economic and investment opportunities. In particular, she has contributed to numerous tourism based studies across Ontario and Canada regarding market analysis, economic impact, business planning, risk assessment, and regulatory challenges facing the industry, tourism organizations and destinations.

Anita holds a M.A. in Economics from the University of Ottawa, B.A. in Honors Economics from Western University, Real Estate Assessment Certification from the University of British Columbia, and Management Certification from Harvard Business School.


Lisa MacLeod

Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries

Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries

Lisa MacLeod is Ontario’s Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries
 
A native of New Glasgow, Nova Scotia, Lisa attended St. Francis Xavier University where she obtained a BA Honours degree and completed Masters level course work in Strategic Intelligence at American Military University in Virginia.
 
Lisa was first elected in 2006 and was re-elected in 2007, 2011, 2014 and 2018.  In her terms in Opposition Lisa served as Vice Chair of the Legislative Assembly Committee, the Government Agencies Committee and the Public Accounts Committees.  She held senior critic portfolios in Finance, Treasury Board, Energy and Education, among others.  She also served as Vice-Chair of the Quebec- Ontario Parliamentary Committee and the Steering Committee for the Commonwealth Women’s Parliamentary Association.  As an opposition member, Lisa was able to receive all party support on numerous occasions for important initiatives such as making Queen’s Park Family Friendly, protecting Ontario’s horse racing industry, including the Rideau Carleton Raceway, Rowan’s Law (Canada’s first concussion legislation), Lebanese Heritage Month and Trans Day of Remembrance.
 
A supporter of Equal Voice for many years, Lisa was instrumental in the ground-breaking Daughters of the Vote initiative which brought 338 young women to Parliament Hill during Canada’s 150th.  For that work she was awarded the 2018 EVE Award for the advancement of women in politics.  Lisa was also the recipient of the Royal Canadian Legion Friendship Medal and the St. John’s Ambulance Commendation.  For her work in Ottawa she was named Top 25 in the Capital, Top 50 in the Capital and Faces Magazine’s Favourite MPP.
 
In Nepean, Lisa was a co-founder of the South Nepean Autism Centre (SNAP), is a member of the Barrhaven Legion, an avid supporter of the Barrhaven Food Cupboard and a former parent volunteer at Manordale Public School and the Nepean Hotspurs.  A hockey Mom, Lisa was a trainer with the Nepean Wildcats hockey team.  Lisa is also the author of a cookbook “I’d Rather Be Baking Cookies, A Collection of Recipes from Lisa MacLeod and Friends.
 
Lisa and her husband Professor Joe Varner live in Nepean with their daughter Victoria and their dog Bonnie Brae. 
 
Prior to being elected Lisa worked for Sobeys Inc, the City of Ottawa and for Nepean politicians.  She was also a commentator for Ottawa area political and current event programs


Brian Saunderson 

Mayor 

Town of Collingwood

Mayor Saunderson is a husband, father, lawyer, teacher, coach, volunteer and municipal politician. He practiced law for over 22 years starting his career in Ottawa with a national firm, before moving to Collingwood with his family in 2001 and joining Christie/Cummings, a local law firm. He has appeared before all levels of Courts in Ontario, as well as numerous administrative tribunals and taught business law and ethics at Georgian College. He is a great believer in the power of the individual in our communities and has served on boards of numerous not-for-profit organizations locally, provincially and nationally. He was Collingwood’s Deputy Mayor from 2014 to 2018 and was elected Mayor in 2018. Brian was a member of Canada’s rowing team from 1987 to 1992 and is a two time Olympian and World silver medallist.


Beth Potter 

President & CEO

Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO)

Beth Potter has led the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO)—the umbrella trade association for Ontario’s tourism industry—as President and CEO since January 2011. A distinguished member of the tourism community with more than 25 years of experience in the not-for-profit and tourism sectors, Beth has worked with a variety of boards, committees and volunteers across the tourism industry and from all walks of life. She currently serves on the boards for the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, and the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, and is a member of the Advisory Council for the Ted Rogers School of Hospitality & Tourism Management at Ryerson University.


Minto Schneider

CEO 

Waterloo Regional Tourism Marketing Corporation

Before joining the Waterloo Region Tourism Marketing Corporation, Minto began her career with Hilton International in Vancouver after graduating from the Hotel program at BCIT. After a few moves with Hilton in Sales and Marketing positions – from Vancouver to Saint John,Toronto and Halifax, she left the hotel business to join Tourism Nova Scotia. She spent over a decade with the PMO before trying her hand as a tour operator and moving south of the border to Westport, Connecticut where she joined Tauck World Discovery as a Product Manager initially and eventually moving to sales.


Panelists


Brody Purser

Director of Human Resources & Administration 

Deerhurst Resort

As the Director of Human Resources at Deerhurst Resort, Brody is responsible for managing all recruitment, hiring, benefits, and training and employee relations. He partners with the leadership team to create and support the resorts strategy, ensure the resort is hiring the best talent to assist our guests and owners. His role at Deerhurst has shown him a new paradigm of the industry. Colleagues, employees, and people resources are where his new found passions focus on today. In 2014 Brody accepted a position at Humber College teaching the Hotel Resort, Spa Operations program to 2nd year students. He is also an active member of Resorts of Ontario and sits on the Executive team. In 2010, Brody was selected for the “Ontario Hostelry Institute Top 30 Under 30” award.


Benjamin Guth

Founder & CEO

Mobilize Jobs 

Benjamin is the founder, CEO and president of Mobilize Jobs (www.mobilizejobs.ca), and he is responsible for driving all aspects of the program’s strategy, operations, sales and marketing. Mobilize is an innovative staffing program backed by over 30 years of experience as a trusted international recruitment agency. The program has been a great success in Canada – having deployed more than 1,600 Mobilizers in positions within 65+ properties across the country since 2015 – and is growing every season. His past experience in international recruitment, internet marketing and retail operations gives him a strong skill set to lead the Mobilize program. Working closely with a wide breadth of Canadian businesses and within key industry sectors such as tourism and hospitality, Benjamin spends his days helping organisations develop their labour strategies and sourcing top tier talent throughout Canada.


Peter Watson 

Consultant 

Peter Watson has worked in the customer service industry for his entire career and has over 30 years’ experience working in the discipline of organizational effectiveness.

For nearly 20 years Peter was responsible for the organizational effectiveness function at Fairmont Hotels & Resorts. As the company expanded, Peter played a pivotal role assessing culture of newly acquired properties and then implementing necessary organizational change to ensure business objectives were achieved.

Currently the principle of his own Toronto based consulting company, Peter’s focus in on helping organizations achieve business results through the alignment of human capital. Peter’s approach is to assess organizational culture and understand key business metrics prior to providing solutions to assist organizations achieve their business targets.

Peter is a graduate of the University of Guelph and has taught part-time at both the George Brown and Humber College’s Schools of Hospitality Management.


James Henry 

Vice President of Hospitality 

Blue Mountain Resorts 

As Vice President of Hospitality for Blue Mountain Resorts, James oversees the Lodging, Food & Beverage, Maintenance, Security and Sales operations for the resort. With nearly 1,000 lodging units and 90,000 square feet of meeting and function space, Blue Mountain is Ontario’s largest four season resort destination that sees upwards of 2.5 million visitors annually. James began his career at Blue Mountain as part of the opening team for the Westin Trillium House in 2005, after spending five years as Director of Operations with Clublink and Delta Hotels & Resorts in Muskoka. His life in hospitality spans 30 years, working in hotels across Ontario with properties including the Westin, Delta, Radisson, Holiday Inn and Choice Hotel flags. Additionally James holds the position of Chairman of the Blue Mountain Village Association 2008 - present, Vice-Chair of the Simcoe County arm of ORHMA from 2008 – 2010, and has been a part-time hospitality educator with Georgian College in Barrie. A graduate of the University of Windsor, James holds a Bachelors of Commerce and an Environmental Resource Management Degree.


Alexandra Rodgers

Director, Policy & Research 

Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO)

Alex is the Director of Policy and Research at the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO), where she works on key provincial policy issues on behalf of the tourism industry. Alex coordinates the development of government strategies, and policy recommendations on issues ranging from the Municipal Accommodation Tax, the tourism labour gap, and the affordable housing shortage in Ontario. Prior to joining TIAO, Alex worked as a Lead Researcher and Policy Analyst. In these roles Alex authored reports for the Law Foundation of BC, and the Social Science and Humanities Research Council, on labour migration, access to justice, and the evolution of transnational employment relations within late capitalism. Alex holds a Masters of Sociology and Labour Studies from Simon Fraser University. 

 


Rod Raycroft 

Executive Director  

Northeastern Ontario Tourism  

After obtaining a degree in fine arts, Rod dreamed of one day painting in Paris. To make this a reality, this led him down of path of a series of adventures in communication and marketing. During the course of almost 40 years of experiences in northern Canada, Rod has achieved several milestones in five senior positions at Tourism Yukon, which included a stint as the Director of Tourism. He furthered the economic objectives of the tourism industry in three destinations, leveraged a partnership with a tire company for a sled-dog race, and created a gallery tour program for the entire territory which still draws tourists to the arts 19 years later.

As the Regional Director of Communications for the federal government in the Yukon, Rod managed crisis communications strategies when loggers and miners protested, as well as when 155 fires burned through the vast woodlands of the territory. He developed tactical strategic plans and innovative partnerships by thinking outside the box within government departments and non-profit organizations. Currently Rod is the Executive Director for Northeastern Ontario Tourism and is working with a creative team under limited funding.


Warren Weeks

Media Trainer

Weeks Media 

For the past 16 years, Warren Weeks has run his own media relations company, working with organizations like Shopify, Gymshark, Manulife and hundreds of others. Over the past two decades, Warren has become one of Canada’s most popular and trusted media trainers. Thousands of spokespeople from a wide range of industries have called upon Warren to learn how to take greater control over their media interviews and to improve their media relations outcomes. Throughout his 25-year career, he’s also worked on numerous crisis situations, including the infamous Walkerton E. coli crisis.


Meredith Maywood 

Tourism Specialist 

Oxford County 

Growing up on a 50 acre hobby farm on Prince Edward Island gave Meredith a passion for the environment and tourism.  This passion became a career with Meredith working for the County of Oxford as a Tourism Specialist since 2013.  In this role Meredith has launched the Oxford County Cheese Trail, the Oxford Fresh buy local program, tourism cycling routes and supported the County of Oxford’s efforts in sustainability. This includes Tourism Oxford being the first DMO in Canada to receive Gold level certification from Green Tourism Canada (Sustainable Tourism 2030).


Jacob Murray

Director of Sales & Marketing 

Topsy Farms 

Jacob has a passion for the land. After finishing a Bachelor of Arts degree at University of Waterloo he moved back to Amherst Island with his two sons. As the Director Sales and Marketing at Topsy Farms, Jacob is the vision behind Topsy Farms new direction towards eco-tourism and is the face and voice of Topsy Farms doing the majority of media interviews. When he's not working on the farm, you can find Jacob playing the guitar by the campfire or volunteering at various things around the island, including being a volunteer firefighter for 15 years. Jacob also loves building dry stone walls - he was the driving force behind the Topsy wall beside the Wool Shed.


Mark Fisher

President and CEO 

Council of the Great Lakes Region

Mark Fisher became the President and CEO of the Council of the Great Lakes Region in 2014.

Prior to joining the Council, he served as a foreign policy advisor in the Privy Council Office where he focused on advancing Canada’s interests in North America and the Asia-Pacific region.  

Mark has extensive experience advising senior decision-makers on a range of socioeconomic and environmental issues facing government, business, and the non-profit sector.

In addition to the Council, he is a school board trustee with the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board and a member of the International Joint Commission’s Great Lakes Water Quality Board.


Alison Vandervelde

Community Development Officer 

County of Frontenac 

As Frontenac County’s Community Development Officer, Alison is a passionate community builder and keen connector of people, resources, and information. Beginning in the fall of 2016, Alison began building the Frontenac Ambassador Network. Within the first year, 100 local businesses were involved, and now three years later it has grown to include over 170 Ambassadors. With just two Frontenac County staff dedicated to economic development and tourism, these relationships have become the foundation for the success of high-impact programs in Frontenac. Alison has led a number of notable examples of such projects, including Open Farms, the first-ever Frontenac Visitor Guide, and an innovative merchandise program. Alison has a background in Marketing and Communications and lives in Almonte, Ontario with her husband and two children.


Chuck Thibeault

Executive Director

Central Counties Tourism (RTO 6)

Chuck Thibeault has been active in the tourism industry for the past twenty years and attributes much of his success to the partnerships and relationships he has developed along the way. He began his career out of university at an indoor playground for children and then became a partner in Putting Edge growing it to a chain of more than 20 Glow-in-the-Dark mini golf locations. After selling his shares in this venture, he joined Ontario Place as Director of Sales and then when the ROM was looking to make some changes, moved there as the Director of Sales and Membership. He joined Central Counties Tourism as Executive Director in 2012 and has forged strong partnerships with and between stakeholders to grow the sector.  While working at Central Counties, he and three partners opened their first GlowZone Active Entertainment Centre in Brampton in 2015.  In late 2018 they opened their second location in Mississauga.  Chuck sat on the Board of Directors of Attractions Ontario for 11 years and is currently a board member of TIAO. Chuck lives in Georgetown with his wife Trish and three sons, aged 16, 15 and 12.


Megan Knott

Executive Director 

Kingston Accommodation Partners & Tourism Kingston

Megan has always called Kingston home, and graduated from Queen's University with a B.A in Sociology and an MBA from Cape Breton University in Community Economic Development. Megan has an extensive background in business development and marketing and currently markets Kingston as an all season destination. She is a proud mom to two beautiful girls and a community champion for many local charities.


Ryan Moran 

Senior Manager of Marketing

Niagara Parks 

Ryan is the Senior Manager of Marketing at Niagara Parks, coming to this role with a breadth of professional experiences, both private and public, and ranging from heavy manufacturing to creative strategy development with design and tech firms. A graduate of McMaster University with a BA of Theatre & Film and Political Science, Ryan also completed an MBA at the DeGroote School of Business, specializing in Strategic Marketing. While there, he and a colleague placed first in the national academic and professional competition, Canada’s Next Top Ad Exec.

As Senior Manager of Marketing for Niagara Parks, a self-sustaining agency of the province stewarding and operating natural and cultural wonders, heritage sites, restaurants, gardens and trails, and special events, Ryan works with a highly effective team that functions like an internal agency. This team oversees all advertising/promotion, travel media relations, social/digital media and collateral production, and brand management, including a three-year brand redevelopment of Niagara Parks.

Ryan is a cofounder of Hamilton-based coworking space business CoMotion Spaces, a Hamilton Top 40 Under 40, avid runner, traveller, amateur photographer, occasional writer, and recent graduate of Queen’s University’s Arts Management diploma program.


Ken Chan 

Assistant Deputy Minister

Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries

Ken Chan is an Assistant Deputy Minister at the Ontario Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries where he is responsible for provincial agencies oversight, project management and capital planning. He is also the Ministry’s executive lead for inclusion and diversity. 

Prior to joining the Ontario Government in 2017, Ken held leadership roles in the life sciences sector. His international experience included positions with the UK Department for Business and at London City Hall. Earlier in his career, Ken served as a police officer and an immigration officer. 

A seasoned director, Ken is on the boards of Alterna Savings and Alterna Bank. Ken's previous board experience spanned the health and education sectors in Canada and the UK.


Jason Veltri  

Chair, Thunder Pride Association

Central Region Director, Fireté Canada Pride Board of Directors

Jason is currently serving in his first term as Chair of Thunder Pride Association, located in Thunder Bay Ontario.  As Chair, Jason has brought a new vision and direction to the organization by undertaking a complete renewal & expansion of the Pride Festival.  Under Jason’s leadership, Thunder Pride Association secured the 2021 Fierté Canada Pride National Conference and AGM.  Thunder Pride Association also announced an historic partnership with all three local school boards to raise the Pride Flag.  LGBTIQ2S Advocacy and Politics have been life passion’s for Jason’s.  Jason also sits are Chair of the Anti-Racism & Respect Advisory Committee to City Council and Chair’s both 2020 and 2021 Fierté Canada Pride National Conference & AGM committees.  


Darrell Schuurman

Co-Founder & CEO

Canadian Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce 

Darrell is an advocate of effecting social change through the economic empowerment of LGBT+ entrepreneurs. He is the co-founder and CEO of the CGLCC, Canada’s LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce, a national not-for-profit organization with a mission to expand the opportunities and advancement of the LGBT+ business community in Canada.
 
Darrell is also passionate about strengthening Canada’s tourism industry.  He was the co-founder of Travel Gay Canada, an organization focused on increasing tourism receipts to Canada, and Managing Partner at DNA Marketing Group, a specialized marketing company for the tourism industry. Prior, he spent 6 years with VIA Rail Canada and 5 years with the Canadian Tourism Human Resource Council. 

Darrell completed his Bachelor of Commerce Degree at the University of Calgary, and completed his Executive MBA from Richard Ivey School of Business, Western University.


Ryan Eickmeier

CEO 

Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (OFSC)

Ryan is the Chief Executive Officer of the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (OFSC), a volunteer led not-for profit association that provides the voice for organized snowmobiling in the Province of Ontario. The mission of the OFSC is to provide leadership to member organizations in our commitment to enable exceptional snowmobile trails and rider experiences throughout the province. 

Before the OFSC, Ryan held the following positions:

  • Vice President, Government Relations & Public Policy with the Canadian Franchise Association (CFA), the recognized authority on franchising in Canada
  • Senior Director, Public Affairs at GS1 Canada, the world’s leading supply chain standards organization
  • Director, Government Relations & Policy at the Real Property Association of Canada (REALpac)
  • Associate at the political consulting firm Greener and Hook
  • Research Assistant at The Center for Terrorism and Intelligence Studies (CETIS)

Academically, Ryan has earned a Bachelor of Arts (B.A) in political science from New England College, a Master of Public Policy (M.P.P.) from The American University School of Public Affairs, a Master of Law (LL.M) at York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School, and an Executive Master of Business Administration (E.M.B.A) at the University of Fredericton’s Sandermoen School of Business.


Jackie Leung

Owner

Fern Glen Inn B&B

In 2005, Jackie left a career in advertising and print production and, along with her husband, sold their house in Toronto and uprooted their lives to buy a bed & breakfast inn “in the middle of nowhere” (aka in the forest north of Huntsville, Ontario). Since then they've built a thriving four-season business, welcoming guests from every continent and sharing their enthusiasm for the region. 

Jackie has been involved with RTO 12, serving on the board of directors for six years and as chair for two of those year. She believes that a collaborative approach to tourism has a positive impact for tourism businesses and the communities in which they operate, and for the visitors who come to experience them.


Leah Fetterley

Owner

North Ridge Ranch

Leah Fetterley along side her husband Brad Fetterley co-own and operate North Ridge Ranch dogsledding in Huntsville. Leah had her first taste of dogsledding while attending Lakehead University on a 10 day dogsledding expedition.  She instantly fell in love with the sport and decided she needed more of it in her life.  After graduating Leah started to work as a guide with Winterdance Dogsled Tours in Haliburton where she developed her confidence and knowledge of dogsled touring.  After 6 years of guiding Leah moved away to Huntsville to explore new territory and ultimately discovered and is now living her “best life” with Brad, their daughter Brea and 77 beautiful and loving Alaskan huskies.


Wendy Hogarth

CEO

Muskoka Lakes Farm & Winery

Muskoka Lakes Farm & Winery started as a cranberry farm in 1950. Since marrying a second generation cranberry grower in 1981, Wendy has led company diversification into the establishment of a winery and into the development and expansion as a tourism destination. Wendy's credentials include sommelier and an MBA from University of Guelph in agri-business, hospitality & tourism.


Moderators


Angela Nagy

CEO 

GreenStep Solutions and Sustainable Tourism 2030

Angela is a sustainability expert with a twenty+ year background 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, utilities, as well as various levels of government. 

She is the CEO of GreenStep Solutions and Sustainable Tourism 2030, providing a range of services and software for the tourism industry including Sustainable Tourism certification, energy, water and waste audits, carbon footprint measurement and corporate sustainability consulting and training.

Angela’s experience also includes politics, and she has served as a Kelowna City Councillor and Central Okanagan Regional District Director. She is certified in Organizational GHG Accounting and as a Sustainability Practitioner through The Natural Step. Her extensive volunteer work has included being trained by former Vice President and Nobel Laureate, Al Gore, David Suzuki and IPCC scientists, to deliver the Climate Reality Project.


James Murphy

Executive Director 

Explorers’ Edge (RTO 12)

James Murphy is the Executive Director of RTO12/Explorers’ Edge. Reporting to a volunteer Board of Directors comprised of tourism business owners, he is responsible for multiple programs to build tourism receipts in Algonquin Park, Almaguin Highlands, Loring-Restoule, Muskoka, Parry Sound and South Algonquin. He and his team have produced some of the most innovative tourism programs in the Canadian travel industry, including the launch of a commercial air service into a rural airport as a result of RTO12’s partnership with Porter Airlines. Prior to joining RTO12, James’s background was in culinary tourism, and he is the former General Manager of Savour Muskoka. He holds a Masters of Arts Degree in Recreation and Leisure Studies, Tourism Planning and Policy from the University of Waterloo.


Andrew Weir

Executive Vice President, Destination Development

Tourism Toronto 

Andrew has been with Tourism Toronto since 2005 and currently serves as the Executive Vice President of Destination Development. In this newly created role he leads the planning and advocacy for tourism, identifying and developing ways to improve the destination experience in Toronto. By forging stronger connections between tourism and other business sectors and government officials, Andrew's mandate is to help shape the policy and business environment to support continued growth of the visitor economy and its contribution to the region. He continues to provide leadership to Tourism Toronto's  Partnership and Membership team, as well as directing the organization’s Research and Analytics and Corporate Communications.


Katherine Scarrow

General Manager, Globe Content Studio

The Globe and Mail 

As general manager of the Globe Content Studio, Katherine Scarrow leads the production and execution of content marketing programs at The Globe and Mail. In her role, she uses the power of storytelling to help travel and tourism clients connect with audiences and drive results. She holds an MBA from Ivey Business School, a masters of journalism from UBC and a BA from Huron University College.


Debra Mansillo

Director of Marketing and Creative Services 

Destination Ontario

As Director of Marketing and Creative Services at Destination Ontario, Debra Mansillo is responsible for executing a variety of marketing initiatives, promoting the excitement and diversity of Ontario’s travel sector. Debra has worked on some of Destination Ontario’s most memorable tourism campaigns and coordinated the tourism component for such events such as the G8/G20 Summit and the Pan American Games.
 
Debra strives to expand the inclusiveness and diversity of Ontario’s tourism marketing and in 2013 spearheaded the launch of Ontario’s first LGBTQ2+ Tourism Marketing Strategy. Under her leadership, Destination Ontario published its first ever LGBTQ2+ tourism marketing magazine and collaborated on campaigns with strategic partners Travel Gay Canada, The Canadian Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce and the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association. All of these efforts helped bring some of the largest LGBTQ2+ events to Ontario including IGLTA’s 30th Anniversary Annual Convention and World Pride 2015.


Jesse Hamilton

General Manager

Deerhurst Resort 

Jesse got his start at the age of 16 with his first job cleaning rooms and folding laundry and he’s never looked back.  His career started in Muskoka, and has taken him to Collingwood, Saint Lucia, and back again. In addition to numerous GM positions, Jesse spent 5 years teaching Hospitality and Tourism students and Georgian College. Jesse passion continues as the GM at Deerhurst Resort, and also as the Vice Chair of the Ontario Restaurant, Hotel, Motel Association and the President of both the Huntsville Hotel Association and the newly formed Huntsville Municipal Accommodation Tax Association. Jesse spends the most important part of his day with his wife and daughter and is happiest on the water in Muskoka. 


Awards Dinner Emcee


Kevin Forget 

Media Relations Coordinator

Destination Ontario

Kevin Forget is the Ontario Media Relations Coordinator for Destination Ontario. In his role he works with broadcast media across Ontario to promote events, attractions and resorts year-round. Kevin also regularly appears on CTV, Citytv, The Weather Network and other stations to promote tourism in Ontario. His weekly radio promotional segments include interviews with CBC Fresh Air, Corus Radio and Bell Media. Before working at Destination Ontario Kevin was the Executive Producer of Citytv’s Breakfast Television in Toronto.

Media

Interesting in covering the 2019 Ontario Tourism Summit? For any questions, please contact Haddas Lederman, Communications Coordinator, at hlederman@tiaontario.ca or 647-691-4170. 

 

Register for a Media Pass

Schedule an Interview 

Accommodation

OTS19 delegates can receive a discounted rate at Blue Mountain Resort. This special conference rate is available three days pre- and post-event.

Book Reservation by Telephone

  • Call the Reservations Department at  1-877-445-0231
  • Quote group name - TIAO Summit Oct 2019
  • Use the code: GRP127980

 

Book Reservation Online

 

Additional Details

  • All reservations must be guaranteed by a credit card number with a first night deposit processed on 30 days of arrival and final payment due on departure by cash, credit card, certified cheque or money order
  • Complimentary outdoor parking is available on resort. Secured underground parking is available for guests staying in the Village or Mosaic Suites at a rate of $15.00 plus HST per day, per vehicle
  • Check in is at 4 p.m., check out is at 11 a.m.

Marketplace

OTS' Marketplace is a B2B traditional trade show format. It is networking-focused and includes a more intimate setting for the businesses and operators serving Ontario’s tourism industry. 

Learn More

For any questions about sponsorship opportunities or marketplace bookings, contact Carol Greenwood, Director, Membership & Business Development, at cgreenwood@tiaontario.ca or 416-483-1691.

 Partner 

Host Sponsors

Blue Mountain Village Association

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Visionary

Platinum Member

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Gold Members

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Silver Members

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Bronze Members

Register

Ticket Name Sale Ends Price Quantity
EARLY BIRD – Non-Member (Includes Lifetime Achievement Award Lunch & Ontario Tourism Awards of Excellence Gala)
05 Aug 2019
$709.00
Sale Ended
ADVANCED – Non-Member (Includes Lifetime Achievement Award Lunch & Ontario Tourism Awards of Excellence Gala)
13 Sep 2019
$759.00
Sale Ended
REGULAR – Non-Member (Includes Lifetime Achievement Award Lunch & Ontario Tourism Awards of Excellence Gala)
30 Oct 2019
$915.00
Sale Ended
Student (TUESDAY) – Non-Member (Includes Lifetime Achiement Award Lunch & Networking Welcome Reception)
30 Oct 2019
$229.00
Sale Ended
Student (WEDNESDAY) – Non-Member
30 Oct 2019
$179.00
Sale Ended
Lifetime Achievement Award Lunch – Non-Member
28 Oct 2019
$129.00
Sale Ended
Tourism Awards of Excellence Gala ONLY – Non-Member
30 Oct 2019
$179.00
Sale Ended
Tourism Awards of Excellence Gala - AWARD FINALIST
28 Oct 2019
$129.00
Sale Ended
Ticket Name Sale Ends Price Quantity
Advanced Member
13 Sep 2019
$249.00
Sale Ended
Advanced Non-Member
13 Sep 2019
$299.00
Sale Ended
Regular Member
27 Oct 2019
$299.00
Sale Ended
Regular Non-Member
27 Oct 2019
$349.99
Sale Ended
Student (19+)
27 Oct 2019
$189.99
Sale Ended

29 Oct 2019 @ 7:00am EDT
30 Oct 2019 @ 10:00pm EDT

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