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TOURISMtimes Newsletter of the Tourism Industry Association of Newfoundland and Labrador

Spring 2012

The New Face of

Darlene Thomas, HNL Chair

Leadership Kick Off!

Spring 2012

What is a kick off? To me, a kick off symbolizes a shift into a different gear – a visible and impactful punch that awakens people, opens their minds to what is about to follow and quickly gets them on board for the journey. For the past two years, HNL has put extra effort into the official kick off of our annual Conference because we understand that it will set a tone of positivity and open mindedness for delegates for the event to come. Carol-Ann Gilliard Back in 2011, when HNL’s CEO, Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador new brand was launched, the kick off to the Conference was meant to symbolize the visible shift in leadership in the Newfoundland and Labrador tourism industry. After all, it was HNL’s brand promise to be the leaders of and for the tourism industry. Held in St. John’s, the Conference backdrop was a flavourful stage of sophistication, professionalism and collaboration. Filled with leaders from across Canada and the province, the Conference validated that our industry was on the right track and that the right leaders were in place. The kick off started with a vibrant and energizing musical intro by Wayne Parsons and Reg Williams that had delegates dancing in their seats followed by a leadership change message by Marine Atlantic’s CEO at the time, Wayne Follett. This kick off led into a powerful and personal leadership story from General Rick Hillier (Ret), sending a message to the delegates that would set the tone for the rest of the event. We were focused on leadership and, through to the end, we recognized excellence in each other and ourselves. Daunting as it was after the smashing success in St. John’s, the HNL team immediately set to work with our strong partners on generating a path to Conference 2012 in Gander. Inspired by the groundswell of optimism and positivity from Conference 2011, many members connected with the HNL office, wondering about ways that they could be further involved with the organization. Our partners in the Host region of Gander for 2012 stepped up and promised they would do their part and, while they could not promise the same exact environment that we had in St. John’s, they could promise an environment equally special in its own way. We promised the same thing. While the big kick off into a new phase of leadership was already presented in St. John’s, we wondered how we would be able to deliver the same kind of leadership kick off in Gander? One thing we did know was that we wanted it to be visibly different than the St. John’s version. Experiences in Gander, like most other parts of Newfoundland and Labrador, is quite different than the experiences offered in St. John’s and we felt it fitting to ensure the kick off demonstrated the uniqueness and quality of the region. With a few type-A’s at the office (you should know that you have quite a little analytical team at HNL) and after way too much (but just the right amount) of consideration, the team finally came to the realization that the path to Gander was already laid out for us in the priorities of Uncommon Potential: A Vision for Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism. Four priorities have been elevated to the top of the list in the work being done by HNL and its provincial and regional partners on the Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism Board. It has been widely accepted that before we can truly reach our potential we first have to focus on building leadership, transportation,


customer experiences and research knowledge. The underlying value for all of these priorities is the importance of a customer-focused approach to thinking, quality assurance and innovation. So, we filled the stage at HNL Conference 2012 in Gander with leaders of transportation, experience development, technology, and research. The sessions once again kept delegates together at all times to encourage the building of an even stronger tourism network in our province by ensuring we were all hearing the same messages and getting to know each other a little better. We also looked for innovative ways to share ideas, encourage partnerships and make new relationships and in 2012 HNL and the Gander partners stepped up and provided a stage of sophistication, professionalism and collaboration. Again, we hosted leaders from all over the province’s tourism industry and again, it validated that our industry is on the right track and we have the right leaders in place. One regrettable component of the 2012 Conference was that there were too many leaders missing from our tourism network this year. While we managed to have some of them present electronically, many could not make it because they were either away selling our province to buyers at travel shows, tending to important family and personal priorities or simply too busy running their businesses to be with us. All justifiable reasons and I wanted to extend a shout out that you were missed and send my sincere hope that you will be there next year. But as a leader of the tourism industry association, it is my role to ask: if you weren’t otherwise justifiably engaged, why weren’t you there? Although some leaders could not be there in person, 350 strong tourism leaders were in place at the 2012 Official kick off all asking the burning question, “What does the kick off symbolize?” Well, there was no raucous music or toe-tapping energy that symbolized the vibrancy and cultural richness of the urban experience like last year. Instead, the kick off was reflective of the rural balance in our beautiful province. Simple. Rich in many different ways. A story about life in rural; equally special as the urban areas but also quite different in its very own rare way. I told my own story about growing up in St. Jacques and how growing up in a rural part of the province shaped me into the leader I am. Before the age of ten, I can safely say rural life taught me lessons that have stayed with me and guided me through life. My story was an example of the types of stories we need to tell as part of the travel experiences we share and it demonstrated the different side of the spectrum of experiences that can be had here in Newfoundland and Labrador. The open mindedness and confidence that moved me so much during our 2010 Conference in St. John’s were present in spades in Gander and it will go down for me as the lasting impact from Conference 2012. I felt it all through the Conference from the start when we heard from industry leaders during the HNL AGM and NL Tourism Board Conversation Panel on through to the passionate speeches of Award recipients at the Gala. In case you missed it, our industry is on the right track and it has the right leaders in place. Speaking of the right leaders, HNL’s Incoming Chair, Darlene Thomas deserves one of the biggest shout outs! Darlene comes into the Chair role with the big and passionate shoes of John Dicks to fill but I have already seen the character that Darlene will bring to the role. She is committed, intelligent, eager, and enthusiastic, all the right characteristics of a tourism champion! I look forward to this new phase in HNL’s leadership. So, what does the HNL Team have in store for HNL Conference 2013 Official Kick Off? Stay tuned for details. But you can be sure that it will contain: Leadership. Open mindedness. Togetherness. Strategy. All the best in 2012!

The Building of a Family Something else happened during the Gala that is definitely worth noting as John Dicks did that night. While industry was celebrating their accomplishments, so too were Keith Collins, CEO of the St. John’s International Airport Authority and a team from Marine Atlantic, including Paul Griffin, President and CEO. John noted eloquently that we reached a milestone that night. While we were celebrating our industry, so too were they, celebrating their industry. For the first time, major transportation players were a part of our success and as we reached out to them to step up, they became part of us. We have a vast range of operators in our membership network, from small independent operators to large corporations and we are all working towards a common goal in Uncommon Potential. We all want to share in the economic and social success that will come to all of us for our efforts to lead this industry and while there will be celebrations and challenges along the way, we must stick together because we are family. Since the conference, HNL has received many messages of congratulations from delegates and speakers commenting on how we all seem to be moving together in our initiatives and intentions. This is no small feat, folks. I think it is safe to say that we are light years ahead of many destinations and it is because of the commitment of industry and government to recognize our uncommon potential. But while the seven strategic directions outline our priorities, the magic of our uncommon potential is us. The tourism industry in Newfoundland and Labrador has a long way to go. Make no mistake, we are not perfect, we have areas we need to improve and we will have to work hard to fix them. BUT, look what we do have. We have people that are supportive of each other, people that recognize each other and people that WANT to work together to get better. We have family. The tourism industry in Newfoundland and Labrador has a tremendous amount of passion. In the five years that I have been involved in the industry I have learned a great deal from my peers and from HNL. I am honoured to have the opportunity to represent all of you in working with HNL on initiatives that will make us all better. There will be a learning curve, for me and for us all but one thing I can assure you is that I take my role as part of this family very seriously. There will be challenges. But we have a great foundation from which to work and I look forward to working with all of you to move us forward. Newfoundland and Labrador is the envy of many international destinations for many reasons - our beauty, our culture, our people, our marketing. Let’s continue to be the envy for a million more reasons, because in the end, there’s nothing more important than family. And we should always be trying to be better. Because that is what leaders do. We lead.

Spring 2012

The moment of truth is finally here - the moment where HNL moves forward in its own leadership and the moment when I move forward with mine. In this case, that moment happens to be one and the same! And for me, it is also the moment that I found my new family. The baton of Chair of Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador was officially tossed to me during HNL’s Conference and Trade Show that happened in Gander in Darlene Thomas February. I caught it firmly in Chair, Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador my hand. It landed firmly for three reasons. One, I am a golf professional, so I’m pretty agile, two, I have the support of a tremendous Board and staff, and three, I am up to the challenge! I have spoken with many operators since becoming Chair that have been very kind and encouraging of my taking on this new role. The warmth and support I have felt from all of you have contributed to my knowing that I was indeed part of a new family. I intentionally use the word “family” because I’m not sure that we have ever used such a word to describe the tourism industry before. We have used words like, network and partner, but make no mistake about it, we are family. HNL’s Conference this year focused on leadership and how we can become better leaders in what we do in our own businesses and in how we interact with others. While I’m sure everyone was able to take something away from the leadership messages, the concept of the tourism industry being a family became very evident to me during the Tourism Excellence Awards Gala. The Gala has traditionally honoured the contributions of the industry where government representatives, “new” operators, “old” operators, and a cross section of sectors sit for a ceremony of recognition. As the Norman Parsons Memorial Award was presented to Beulah Oake, a 26 year veteran of the industry, by Dion Finlay, a new addition to the industry, I looked around the room and pride beamed from the faces of ALL attendees as they rose to their feet to honour Beulah’s contribution. And alongside, Carmela Murphy was filling up with tears of joy. In what other industry would support be so evident as to raise industry to its feet in celebration and bring a seasoned government employee to tears with pride? We are family.

Our Family attending a session at the Arts and Culture Centre during HNL’s 2012 Conference 3


DARLENE THOMAS, HNL CHAIR As a part of HNL’s 2012 Conference and Trade Show, Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador (HNL) announced that Darlene Thomas, owner and operator of Seaside Suites in Woody Point would take over as HNL Chair. Darlene and her husband Ken have owned Seaside Suites for five years and have been constantly working to expand their operation. As a “come from away” Darlene can appreciate the strong sense of place residents of Newfoundland and Labrador have Darlene Thomas, HNL Chair as she sees it first hand through Ken, whose mother’s side of the family is from Woody Point. It is the major reason Darlene and Ken decided to return and build their business in the small community. Upon joining the HNL Board in 2009, Darlene was fairly new to the industry but has been committed to immersing herself in all elements of HNL’s work. As she takes on the role of HNL Chair, Darlene shares with us some thoughts on the future of the industry.

Interview with Darlene Thomas, HNL Chair

Spring 2012

What experiences have prepared you to Chair an organization like HNL? By trade, I am a golf professional and I have learned a great number of lessons from that experience. Golf is an individual sport but it takes a team effort to make any one individual golfer great. That is not unlike operators in the tourism industry. We are all individual operators that have to be accountable for our own businesses but to achieve greatness, we have to rely on our partners and their expertise to help us get to the next level. Also, my experience operating a business in rural NL has really created a platform of understanding as to what we can provide as a destination. As someone who is not originally from here, I am quick to see the value and beauty in the things that sometimes those from here may take for granted. The people of this province are very fortunate to live in such a rich, naturally beautiful province so it is incumbent upon us all to showcase what we have in the best light possible.


What do you hope to accomplish during your tenure as HNL Chair? The reputation of HNL’s good work preceded the organization long before I ever became involved. HNL has been fortunate to have good leadership both at the board and staff levels, so, I feel grateful that I am able to be a part of the organization as it moves into the future. While I am relatively new to the industry, I have many thoughts on what the industry needs and how it can best be accomplished. I hope to share these ideas with HNL’s Board, as well as the NL Tourism Board of which I will now be a part of as HNL Chair. We have great, intelligent people in this industry and

I hope I can contribute in a meaningful way as we all work together to advance tourism in this province. What do you think the biggest priority for the tourism industry should be in the upcoming year? The tourism industry in NL is well positioned in that we do have a strategic plan in Uncommon Potential which outlines the industry’s priorities. However, I believe that product development, or destination development as it has recently been referred to, will be most important this year. There are a variety of reasons why people visit this province, but we have to ensure that we are prepared to offer complete vacation experiences. Focusing on developing destinations that offer unique products and services that combine together for unforgettable vacation experiences will allow us to move forward in what we can offer as a destination of choice. This is incredibly important and I look forward to working with the NL Tourism Board and all partners to help make this a reality. What do you think will be the biggest barrier to successfully accomplishing your priorities and goals? I try not to think of things in terms of barriers, however, there will be challenges, some that can be controlled and some that cannot be controlled. If all partners remain focused on finding solutions, I am confident that we can overcome anything thrown at us. Partnership will be the key ingredient in this recipe and after what I saw at HNL’s Conference last month, I feel all partners are more than willing to get going together! What is the one thing you would like the tourism industry to know about you? I am proud to call Newfoundland home now and forever. I want our members to know that I will give 110 percent to growing this industry so that we can all share in the financial rewards that will come to us through our hard work and committment to always improve. I have a very dedicated work ethic and a high standard on quality when it comes to our own business. I would like to be able to bring this message to everyone in the hope that we all strive to keep our standards high and by doing so give our visitors a ‘WOW’ experience, and at the same time give us a sense of pride as owners, knowing that we have done everything we could to create something special. Contact:


CAROL-ANN GILLIARD, HNL CEO What was your hometown growing up? St. Jacques, Fortune Bay, NL (The Oakey family hometown) What is your hometown now? Portugal Cove-St. Philips, NL (The Gilliard family hometown)

Carol-Ann Gilliard, HNL CEO

What book are you reading right now?
 Bossypants by Tina Fey. (Thanks, Lynn...wait, is there a subliminal message in that?) *please see Editor’s Note at the end.

Have you ever lived away from NL? No. Why not? I have been blessed with never wanting or having to live anywhere else. Some say that living somewhere else for a while gives you a greater appreciation of the uniqueness of this place. You don’t agree? I somewhat agree but I think the same appreciation can be gained from short-term travels as well. I already had a deep appreciation for just how blessed we are to live in this part of the world before I even left home. At that time, there were plenty of options to attend University in other parts of the country and still be easily connected to home but I only ever wanted to go to Memorial. Then, when I finished university, I had the opportunity to work in communities throughout Newfoundland and Labrador. At the same time, I also managed to travel and experience other parts of the world, which together has only cemented my appreciation for how blessed we are to live here. Why did you choose to work in the tourism industry? It will come off as a cliché (so, my apologies), but in some ways, I think tourism chose me. I have always been a person who needs to find meaning in work. Simply because I’m built that way, I have gravitated to work that is reflective of my values, interests and the things I deem important in life. I find great meaning in building a sustainable tourism industry for Newfoundland and Labrador…sustainable tourism development addresses some of my most ardent hopes for the future of this place. In tourism, we have an opportunity to build a strong economic foundation (as a part of a diversified economy) in an industry that is only competitive

if it protects and preserves the very things that make the people and the place so special – our nature, culture and heritage. In other words, we will only enjoy the tremendous economic benefits of tourism if we work hard to sustain the very core of life in Newfoundland and Labrador. Working in a non-profit organization with these goals provides the ultimate balance of my economic and social values … and for me, that is a noble and meaningful purpose. What do you see happening in the tourism industry in Newfoundland and Labrador over the next few years? First things first. Sustainability in our industry is only possible with a strong tourism network of quality ‘experience providers’ throughout the province. I hope over the next few years, we continue to build on the existing cohesive network of tourism services and attractions that share our values of quality, innovation and partnership in HNL’s membership. Leadership is the foundation and embodying our values in every step we take is crucial. I hope we continue our collaborative approach to working with our partners who play an important enabling role for our industry, such as those partners in transportation, government, communities and economic development. To do this, we need to continue to focus on our common goals and work together to achieve them. If we don’t yet know what our common goals are with certain partners, we need to start a dialogue and determine what they are. And finally, I hope after a few more years we will have worked hard to address the priorities outlined in Uncommon Potential. Everyone I know in tourism from outside of our province works daily on the same challenges that we work on here in Newfoundland and Labrador. Most would agree that the approach that we are taking with Uncommon Potential is very smart and strategic and some are envious of our position. I hope we only build upon our collaborative approach so that we are perfectly aligned to tap into tourism’s tremendous potential. Contact: *Editor’s (i.e. Lynn’s) Note: “You betcha!”

BIG ERICS INC. 99 Blackmarsh Road P.O. Box 6090 St. John’s, NL A1C 5X8 TEL: 709-579-2151 FAX: 709-576-6866


Spring 2012

Interview with Carol-Ann Gilliard, HNL CEO



A stompin’ good time in the Twillingate Booth!

Delegates at the Arts and Culture Center during HNL’s 2012 Conference

Survey results:

Spring 2012

• 97.8% of Conference participants said the 2012 Conference and Trade Show met or exceeded their expectations • 93% of Conference participants said that they attend the Conference and Trade Show for the networking opportunities • 71.1% of participants said the most important role of HNL’s Conference and Trade Show is to provide an opportunity for delegates to learn from sessions and speakers


The Honourable Derrick Dalley addresses delegates during the Provincial Tourism Luncheon

HNL CEO, Carol-Ann Gilliard addresses HNL members at the AGM

Discover Parks Canada

“I wanted to congratulate you and all the HNL staff on this event. We know how much effort it takes to put such a thing together and you did a phenomenal job.” ~ Julien Bourdry, RDÉE TNL

HNL’s 2012 Trade Show

Keynote, Dave Carroll, United Breaks Guitars

Beyond the Overpass Theatre Company entertains at Friday Fun Night!

A Conversation with Tourism Leaders, (l-r) – John Dicks, Stan Cook Jr., Judy Sparkes-Giannou, Barry Rogers, representatives on the NL Tourism Board

The Silent Auction HOT LOT during Friday Fun Night

Snook tells us a story during Friday Fun Night!

The Future of HNL - Darlene Thomas, Chair & Greg Fleming, Vice-Chair

“We all should take a moment right now to pat ourselves on the back for promoting our province so eloquently at each and every opportunity - in the case where the opportunity does not present itself we still find a way to squeeze it in. Going forward, there will be challenges in our industry (labour, etc.) but amongst like minded professionals, we will embrace these challenges rather than postpone the inevitable in our common goal to meet and possibly exceed our objective for 2020.” ~ Barry Rogers, Iceberg Quest Ocean Tours

“Congratulations on another amazing conference! The program was strong and the theme of leadership resonated throughout the entire weekend. I heard so many positive comments from both newcomers and seasoned veterans.” ~ Mary Taylor-Ash, Tourism, Culture and Recreation

Spring 2012

Keith Collins, CEO of St. John’s International Airport Authority discusses air transportation at the “There’s Something in the Air”

“I wanted to send this note to thank HNL again for honoring us with the Corporate Partner of the Year Award on Saturday night. Being recognized by a province-wide organization like yourselves means a great deal to us - my team is pretty pumped this morning with the news. We want to continue to be an ‘enabler’ for the province’s hospitality industry, and look forward to working with the industry for many years to come.” ~ Keith Collins, St. John’s International Airport Authority


H. Clayton Sparkes Accommodator of the Year Award Hotel North St. Anthony & Happy Valley-Goose Bay, NL Sponsored by

The Restaurateur of the Year Award Raymonds St. John’s, NL Presented by


John Atkins & Co. Tourism Champion of the Year Award Wayne Follett Sponsored by

Cal LeGrow Innovator of the Year Award Roots, Rants and Roars Elliston, NL Sponsored by

The Tourism Excellence Awards recognize the contribution and individuals in advancing the tourism industry in Newfoundland and Labrador. The Awards were presented at the Tourism Excellence Awards Gala during HNL’s Conference and Trade Show. HNL congratulates the following recipients:

The Norman Parsons Memorial Award Beulah Oake, Seven Oakes Island Inn Change Island, NL PRIDE Award Barbara Genge, Tuckamore Lodge Main Brook, NL Presented by

Cultural Tourism Award The Craft Council of Newfoundland and Labrador Presented by

Maxxim Vacations Tourism Business of the Year Award Iceberg Quest Ocean Tours St. John’s & Twillingate, NL Sponsored by

Sustainable Tourism Award Riverfront Chalets and Rafting Aspen Brook, NL

Corporate Partner of the Year Award St. John’s International Airport Authority

Presented by

Presented by

The Cruise Vision Award Jean Pierre Andrieux Presented by

The Tourism Atlantic Technology Award Ocean Quest Adventure Resort Conception Bay South, NL Spring 2012

Presented by


The Doug Wheeler Award The Beaches Heritage Centre Eastport, NL Presented by

Jeff LeGrow presents the Cal LeGrow Innovator of the Year Award to Marilyn Coles-Hayley & Todd Perrin of Roots, Rants and Roars

The Honourable Derrick Dalley presents the Cultural Tourism Award to Pete Barrett on behalf of the Craft Council of NL

Jill Curran presents the Maxxim Vacations Tourism Business of the Year Award to Barry Rogers & Carol Anne Hayes, Iceberg Quest Ocean Tours

Dion Finlay, Vice-President of the B&B Association presents Beulah Oake with the Norman Parsons Award

Dion Finlay presents the PRIDE Award to Barbara Genge (accepted by David Adams)

Andrea Maunder of the Restaurant Association of NL presents the Restaurateur of the Year Award to Jeremy Charles and Jeremy Bonia of Raymonds

Randy Letto, President of the Cruise Association of NL presents the Cruise Vision Award to Jean Pierre Andrieux

Robert Hiscock, volunteer with the Beaches Heritage Center accepts the Doug Wheeler Award

John Atkins presents the John Atkins & Co. Tourism Champion Award to Wayne Follett

Rick, Debbie and Holly Stanley accept the Tourism Atlantic Technology Award on behalf of Ocean Quest Adventure Resort

Paul & Joy Rose of Riverfront Chalets & Rafting with the Sustainable Tourism Award (photo credit-Krysta Colbourne)

Bruce Sparkes & Judy Sparkes-Giannou present the H. Clayton Sparkes Accommodator of the Year Award to Lloyd & Judy Hillier, Hotel North

Spring 2012

Darlene Thomas, HNL Chair presents the Corporate Partner of the Year Award to Keith Collins of the St. John’s International Airport Authority


Get to know the HNL Board of Directors

Spring 2012

Name: Darlene Thomas Where do you work & what is your position: Owner and operator of Seaside Suites, Woody Point, NL, located in Gros Morne National Park. Where did you grow up: Prince Albert, Sk., then Honolulu, Hawaii, then Saskatoon, Sk., then Vancouver, BC, then Corner Brook, NL and finally Woody Point, NL . Now I feel completely like a local. I have embraced the lifestyle and the culture...and people from the Prairies and people from NL have a very common bond. We are hard workers, will help anyone, and are truly genuine people….that’s why I feel so much passion for this place and feel so much at home. Favorite Movie & Why: Under the Tuscan Sun because Diane Lane took a historic house in rural Tuscany Italy and made it feel like home. That is what we are doing with the historic buildings in Woody Point, buildings that were originally built by my husband’s Grandfather and Great Grandfather. We have been able to preserve the family and community heritage. And its home forever. What was your first job: Cleaned golf clubs and golf carts and did golf club repairs at Cooke Municipal Golf Course in Prince Albert at age 12. Been working ever since! What is the biggest issue you feel the tourism industry needs to focus on: Quality Assurance in all sectors. We need to be leaders and always strive to improve. What is your favorite thing about NL: The people, the cultural heritage and the natural beauty. What is the best thing about being involved with HNL: Having been given the opportunity to advocate and represent our members to improve and grow the tourism industry.


Name: Annette Parsons Where do you work & what is your position: Manager, Neddies Harbour Inn, Norris Point, NL Where did you grow up: Corner Brook, NL Favorite Movie & Why: Shawshank Redemption What was your first job: A cashier/ clerk at a pharmacy in Corner Brook What is the biggest issue you feel the tourism industry needs to focus on: There are many important issues and it’s difficult to say which is really the most important. Of course affordable and reliable access to our province is very important. However, getting the tourist here is only one part of the equation, we must be able to provide what we promise and promote, which is a huge portion of reviewing and restructuring the Tourism Establishment Act so that it does represent who we are and what we offer. What is your favorite thing about NL: My favorite thing about NL is the beauty and diversity of the land and the people. Our sense of pride, ownership and belonging. What is the best thing about being involved with HNL: The opportunity to grow, learn and meet so many people in the industry who are working toward the same goals. The best thing about HNL for the Province is its constant drive to improve our industry in a professional and knowledgeable way, assisting and benefiting everyone who works in tourism.

Name: John Dicks Where do you work & what is your position: Managing Director, John Dicks Tourism Consulting Where did you grow up: St. John’s with a year in Wabush, Labrador Favorite Movie & Why: Shawshank Redemption: Anything is possible with planning and committed execution of the plan What was your first job: Chartered Accounting Student with a CA firm. What is the biggest issue you feel the tourism industry needs to focus on: Quality Assurance and Destination Development. If we are going to double tourism, we have to have the experiences capable of getting the travellers here and meeting their expectations. What is your favorite thing about NL: We know how to survive and grow.  And, we do it without taking anything away from anyone else.  We build on our own successes. What is the best thing about being involved with HNL: Working with staff, board and members who are making a difference by being part of a professional industry organization that is making a real contribution to the growth and development of tourism.

**Please note that Rick was away and unable to complete these questions, so, we took it upon ourselves to have some fun and fill in the questions based on what we know about him. Tune in to the Summer edition of Tourism Times to see how close we came! Name: Rick Stanley Where do you work & what is your position: President/Owner of Ocean Quest Adventure Resort Where did you grow up: Heart’s Delight, NL Favorite Movie & Why: The Hunt for Red October – Anything that`s under water has to be good in Rick`s book! What was your first job: Carpenter in the family business simply because he is in home and business renovations now so he must have learned somewhere! What is the biggest issue you feel the tourism industry needs to focus on: Recognition of Quality Assurance What is your favorite thing about NL: The sea, oh the sea... What is the best thing about being involved with HNL: Sharing a passion for people and place and constantly striving to improve travel experiences.

Visit board-of-directors/ for Board contact information.

Name: Todd Wight Where do you work & what is your position: Owner and operator of the Ocean View Hotel in Rocky Harbour, Gros Morne National Park Where did you grow up: Rocky Harbour

Favorite Movie & Why: The Shipping News…doesn’t get much better than having Kevin Spacey, Judi Dench, Juilanne Moore and Cate Blanchett and a great NL storyline. What was your first job: My family owned and operated a service station so I was working there from about 12 years old until high school graduation. What is the biggest issue you feel the tourism industry needs to focus on: I think we are doing great work behind the scenes, but we really need to continue to find creative ways to rally the industry behind Uncommon Potential if we are going to achieve our goals. What is your favorite thing about NL: Four full seasons of outdoor adventure! What is the best thing about being involved with HNL: Two things - 1. Working with a professional and results driven team, and 2. Being able to contribute and help shape the future of the tourism industry.

Get to know the HNL Board of Directors

Name: Dion Finlay Where do you work & what is your position: Owner, Leaside Manor and Compton House and Investors Group, Financial Planner          Where did you grow up: St. Shott’s, NL Favorite Movie & Why: Shawshank Redemption, I am big on goal setting and this movie shows that if you set a goal, focus on it and continue to work towards it, no matter how big, or how long it takes it can be achieved. What was your first job: Bill Board Installer with E.C. Boone What is the biggest issue you feel the tourism industry needs to focus on: Expanding the knowledge across the globe of this fantastic province that we call home What is your favorite thing about NL: The People What is the best thing about being involved with HNL: Networking

Name: Rex Avery Where do you work & what is your position: Vice President, Steele Hotels, Gander, NL Where did you grow up: Deer Harbour and Hickman’s Harbour, Trinity Bay, NL Favorite Movie & Why: The Little Mermaid, because I got to watch it a lot with my children and now with my grand children What was your first job: Logger for a sawmill camp What is the biggest issue you feel the tourism industry needs to focus on: Labour What is your favorite thing about NL:   Outport NL and the people in these places What is the best thing about being involved with HNL:   Working with people that want to make the tourism industry better for all NL.

Name: Greg Fleming Where do you work & what is your position: General Manager, Ramada St. John’s. Where did you grow up: Grew up in Calgary, AB Favorite Movie & Why: The Departed, great movie and big fan of the superstar cast What was your first job: First job valet parking cars at what is now the Fairmont Palliser in Calgary What is the biggest issue you feel the tourism industry needs to focus on: Quality Assurance & Market Readiness What is your favorite thing about NL: Favourite thing is the passion and character of everyone who lives here What is the best thing about being involved with HNL:The opportunity to make change in our industry.

Name: Cathy Lomond Where do you work & what is your position: Proprietor, Hotel Port aux Basques Where did you grow up: Port aux Basques Favorite Movie & Why: Pretty Woman – Perfect fairy tale love story of rags to riches What was your first job: Hired as a summer student as dish washer at Hotel Port aux Basques in 1976 (Do not do the math - I was 5 years old). What is the biggest issue you feel the tourism industry needs to focus on: Expanding the shoulder seasons. What is the best thing about being involved with HNL: Keeps me informed on issues impacting the tourism industry. This is very important to me because I own a tourism operation.

Name: Peter Antle Where do you work & what is your position: General Manager, Greenwood Inn & Suites Corner Brook Where did you grow up: Corner Brook Favorite Movie & Why: A Few Good Men – “You can’t handle the truth!” What was your first job: Coleman’s grocery boy What is the biggest issue you feel the tourism industry needs to focus on: Product development What is your favorite thing about NL: Quiet wide open spaces What is the best thing about being involved with HNL: Working with driven people.

Spring 2012

Name: Todd Warren Where do you work & what is your position:   Everlast Professional Properties Where did you grow up: Dildo, NL Favourite Movie & Why:  “Delores Claiborne” based on a book by Steven King with a lot of good sarcastic lines! What was your first job:   A summer job of cutting grass and painting fences What is the biggest issue you feel the tourism industry needs to focus on:   Unlicensed accommodations, signage for communities/highways and accessibility to the province. What is your favorite thing about NL:  Our close connection to the water. What is the best thing about being involved with HNL:    The opportunity to take part in growing the membership, communicating with members and training and supporting all sectors.


A Conversation with NL Tourism Board Leaders

Judy Sparkes-Giannou & Barry Rogers discuss industry leadership in the Conversation with Tourism Leaders session during HNL’s 2012 Conference

During HNL’s 2012 Conference and Trade Show, the session entitled, A Conversation with Tourism Leaders provided an opportunity for industry representatives on the NL Tourism Board to discuss industry’s role in achieving the strategic priorities outlined in Vision 2020. The panel discussion featured, Judy Sparkes-Giannou, Barry Rogers, and Stan Cook Jr. and was hosted by HNL’s Chair, John Dicks. Throughout the conversation, panelists discussed how the NL Tourism Board has been working towards the ultimate goal of doubling tourism revenues and the challenges that will need to be overcome if the ultimate goal is to be achieved. Several themes were evident throughout the conversation but the concept of destination development brought forth several important points for all tourism partners to keep in mind.

It is incumbent upon leaders in the tourism industry to deliver quality tourism experiences for travellers, therefore, it is no longer acceptable, or profitable, to work in silos if we are to meet and exceed traveller expectations. This key message resonated with those in attendance and provides “food for thought” for all of us. HNL would like to thank these industry leaders for participating in the panel, and sends a special thanks to Judy Sparkes-Giannou, Peter Antle and John Dicks for their contribution and dedication as they finish their terms as industry representatives on the NL Tourism Board.   For more information on Uncommon Potential: A Vision for Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism (Vision 2020) or on the activities of the NL Tourism Board, please visit

There’s big changes happening at Marine Atlantic. Increased reliability. Increased capacity. Increased on-time service.

Spring 2012

All to provide a better journey for the passengers we both serve.


book your journey today: MARINEATLANTIC.CA | 1-800-341-7981

Newly Certified HNL congratulates the following individuals on receiving their professional certification:

For more information on how emerit® professional certification can boost confidence among your employees

Mount Peyton Hotel staff - (l-r) Marilyn Lane (Front Desk Agent), Maureen Hollett (Front Desk Agent), Betty Coombs (Front Desk Agent)

Mount Peyton Hotel, Grand Falls-Windsor: • Marilyn Lane, Front Desk Agent • Betty Coombs, Front Desk Agent • Maureen Hollett, Front Desk Agent Dept. of Tourism, Culture & Recreation Visitor Information Centres: • Linda Holloway, Tourism Visitor Information Counsellor • Denise Anderson, Tourism Visitor Information Counsellor • Anna Aylward-Murphy, Heritage Interpreter • Kelli-Ann Blackwood, Heritage Interpreter • Ann Duggan-Turner, Heritage Interpreter

St. Jude Hotel staff - (l-r)Lucy Critch (Housekeeping Room Attendant),Claudette Bishop (Front Desk Agent), Shelia Kelly-Blackmore (General Manager), Natasha Hillier (Front Desk Agent)

• Judith Gillis, Tourism Visitor Information Counsellor • Chris Martin, Heritage Interpreter • Sara Simms, Tourism Visitor Information Counsellor St. Jude Hotel, Clarenville: • Darrin Reid, Line Cook • John Summers, Line Cook • Kim Marsh, Housekeeping Room Attendant • Mary Penney, Housekeeping Room Attendant The Fluvarium • Denise Hennebury, Heritage Interpreter

and enhance service delivery at your organization, please contact Krista Sweetland at ksweetland@

St. Jude Hotel and NLC honoured as Employers of Distinction

The Newfoundland and Labrador Employers Council recently recognized the Newfoundland Labrador Liquor Corporation (NLC) as an Employer of Distinction in the large employer category, and St. Jude Hotel as an Employer of Distinction in the small employer category. Both organizations were recognized by the judges for the importance of human resources best practices in the overall strategic plan for their business. This commitment to engaging and developing their workforce is evident in the overall business success of both of these employers. Long-time HNL member, St. Jude Hotel, located in Clarenville, NL was recognized for their commitment to training and professional development for their staff; their focus on flexibility in scheduling, job sharing,  the value of diversity in  their workforce to deal with labour market challenges; as well as their comprehensive Occupational Health & Safety program that has reduced accidents in the workplace and will be showcased in an upcoming edition of the WHSCC Safework News. HNL has been working with St. Jude Hotel for many years to offer emerit certification training to staff to ensure everyone from front desk agents to housekeeping room attendants have the opportunity to be professionally recognized for their contribution to the tourism industry. The NLC was recognized for their strong focus on performance planning and coaching, their proactive and progressive relationship with their union, and their Attendance Management & Support Program. By focusing on creating excellence in their people, the NLC has achieved record breaking performances in each of the past three years, with

a percentage revenue growth of more than 17%. The NLC has been a tremendous partner of HNL’s in the support of the Responsible Alcohol Service (RAS) program and has been committed to training all NLC staff under the RAS program to ensure the enforcement of social responsibility around liquor service.

General Manager Sheila Kelly Blackmore accepts the Employer of Distinction Award on behalf of St. Jude Hotel

Spring 2012

Congratulations to St. Jude Hotel and the Newfoundland and Labrador Liquor Corporation on being named Employers of Distinction!


Dr. Jon Lien’s Great Whale Tour (GWT) David Hayashida, one of the founders of the GWT

Spring 2012

The Emerald Zone Regional Economic Development Board (along with numerous other government agencies) have been working with eight communities since 2001 to develop a regional anchor tourism attraction called the Great Whale Tour (GWT). Together with the late Dr. Jon Lien and his colleagues Wayne Ledwell & Julie Huntington they collected whales that died of natural causes and extracted the bones. The bones were then cleaned and reassembled into interpretive displays, which were housed in strategic outport locations. In 2006 funding from Innovation, Business and Rural Development, Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and Human, Resources and Skills Development Canada was approved and the first two of eight pavilions were built. The Triton location opened in 2008 and features a 43 foot Sperm Whale while the King’s Point location opened in 2010 and features a 50 foot Humpback Whale. “Israel to Brighton is where our visitors come from” notes interpreter Terry Whalen from Triton. He and Triton Chair Person Rick Fudge have seen local businesses in food, gas, accommodation, gifts, boat touring all benefiting from new whale oriented visitors to the region. Statistics collected from the Department of Tourism, Culture and Recreation show that 80% of the provinces visitors are interested in whales and 50% actually partake in whale watching excursions while visiting, both stats that were key factors in getting the project approved for funding. Being the new ‘Home of the Humpback of Notre Dame’ has been a real turning point for the community. Now there is a much bigger piece of a much bigger pie for existing businesses. Lorne Clarke, King’s Point Heritage Society volunteer often notes that the project has encouraged


new business starts in both the food and theatre industries in town while other entrepreneurs have developed new whale oriented products in wood, fibre, clay, metal and photography. Both towns believe regional co-operation is the way of the future and they are eagerly awaiting their Baie Verte partners to receive funding to complete Phase I of this whale of a project, Dr. Jon Lien’s Great Whale Tour. Additional info available at: &

Trition Whale Pavilion

New Members

Tourism Times is a quarterly publication of Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador (HNL). Opinions expressed by contributers and advertisers do not necessarily represent those of HNL.

HNL Board of Directors Darlene Thomas Chair Greg Fleming Vice-Chair & Hotel/Motel Association Rex Avery Secretary/Treasurer John Dicks Director Peter Antle Director Annette Parsons Director Rick Stanley Director Todd Warren Director Todd Wight Director Cathy Lomond Restaurant Association Dion Finlay Bed & Breakfast Association (Full board contact information available at

Staff Listing Carol-Ann Gilliard Juanita Ford Lynn Taylor Karen So

Chief Executive Officer Manager, Workforce and Industry Development Manager, Policy and Communications Accountant

Craig Foley

Manager, Technology

Lexie Mckenzie

Membership Services Coordinator

Susan Greene Membership Administrative Coordinator Michelle Burke Events and Marketing Coordinator Krista Sweetland

Workforce Development Coordinator

Melissa Ennis

Workforce Development Coordinator

A Schooner Inn B&B 5-9 Northside Rd Holyrood, NL A0A 2R0 Contact: Colette Kavanagh 709-231-3033 709-725-7606 (off season)

Colony of Avalon Foundation The Poole Road P.O. Box 119 Ferryland, NL A0A 2H0 Contact: Patti Broughton 709-432-3200

BM Luxury Chalets P.O. Box 463 Humber Valley Resort Corner Brook, NL A2H 6E6 Contact: Beth MacNeil 709-785-2177

Diamond Global Recruitment NL Suite 112, 510 Topsail Road St. John’s, NL A1E 2C2 Contact: Lorelei Roberts-Loder 1-888-934-0029 ext. 234

Ven-Rez Products Ltd. 380 Sandy Point Rd Bridgewater, NS B0T 1W0 Contact: Bree Philippe 902-488-4579

Coopers’ Minipi Lodges 499 Hamilton River Road P.O. Box 340, Stn. B Goose Bay, NL A0P 1E0 Contact: Jack Cooper 709-896-2891

St. John Ambulance NL Council 8 Thomas Byrne Drive Mount Pearl, NL A1N 0E1 Contact: Glenda Janes 709-726-4200

Restaurant Association NL P.O. Box 5451 Station ‘C’ St. John’s, NL A1C 5W4 Contact: Nancy Brace 709-765-8483

Ocean Delight Properties Whiteway and Heart’s Delight, NL P.O. Box 457. Station C St. John’s, NL A1C 5K4 Contact: Laurelyn Berry 1-877-588-2026

Eastern Destination Management Organization 81 Forest Road Carbonear, NL A1Y 1A6 Contact: Kathi Stacey 709-699-1602

Scott Penney Training Coordinator Sara-Lynn Murphy Learning Resource Coordinator Lisa McDonald

Tourism Board Manager

Head Office 71 Goldstone Street (Suite 102) St. John’s, NL A1B 5C3 Tel: (709) 722-2000 Toll Free: 1-800-563-0700 Follow us on facebook and twitter at

Tourism Times is printed four times per year

For all the latest up-to-date information and news, please visit Updated daily!

Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador (HNL), the provincial Tourism Industry Association, is focused on advocacy, education, the adaptation of innovative technology and the promotion of a strong member network. Through forward thinking and fostering the growth of its members, HNL continues to be the leader of the tourism industry in the province. For information on membership, please contact

Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador is supported by the tourism industry and

Spring 2012

Desktop Layout Image 4 Digital Printing & Design Inc. 1170 Topsail Road, Mount Pearl, NL A1N 5E8 T: 709-747-3850 E: W:



Tourism Times Spring 2012  

Newsletter of the tourism industry association of NL

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