Summit Countdown:


Glenn Squires

Conference Chair

On behalf of the Board and staff of the Tourism Industry Association of Nova Scotia, I would like to welcome you to the 2017 Tourism Summit – Tourism Impact. This year’s Summit features impressive keynote presentations from national and regional leaders, industry-specific educational sessions, networking opportunities and important updates from our key stakeholders. TIANS is honoured to host this event on behalf of industry and we look forward to hosting you soon.

keynote speakers


internationally renowned explorer & award winning filmmaker

Called ‘Canada’s most diverse adventurer’ by Canoe & Kayak Magazine, Frank has done an impressive single-season canoe expedition across Canada, whitewater kayaked in Cambodia and Laos, cycled the frozen Yukon River in the dead of winter, sea kayaked around British Columbia’s Haida Gwaii, hiked, pack rafted and sea kayaked the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline and supertanker route from Alberta’s tar sands to the Pacific Ocean, and attempted to row the Northwest Passage.

The common thread between all of Wolf’s expeditions is a mind-boggling degree of difficulty, revealed through creative (some might say impossible) route selection and personal suffering. He has overcome adversity so many times he considers himself an expert on the topic but what is even more impressive is Wolf’s ability to film insightful and humorous award-winning documentaries along the way.

buhle dlamini


Raised in a rural village in South Africa, Buhle Dlamini beat the odds to become a top South African entrepreneur and international speaker. He has met iconic leaders like Nelson Mandela and received an award from Desmond Tutu. Now based in Canada with an office also in South Africa, Buhle regularly travels between the two countries as well as other nations. He weaves his background and personal story of triumph over struggle into all his presentations.

judy saunders

chairman, tourism industry association of nova scotia

From 1973 until 2012, Judy was affiliated with the management of the Old Orchard Inn and since 1989 she has served as President and majority shareholder of the Slumber Inn Ltd in New Minas.

Judy has been an active member of the tourism community, involved in numerous associations and efforts to improve the business environment for tourism. Judy has been active on a number of Boards over the years – Tourism Partnership Council, TIANS, and Board of Directors/Secretary Treasurer for the former Evangeline Trail Tourism Association and Destination Southwest Nova Tourism Association. Judy was an interim Board member of the Nova Scotia Tourism Agency, instrumental in establishing the operating guidelines. Judy has had a long-time commitment and involvement with Choice Hotels International, Eastern Kings Chamber of Commerce and the Nova Scotia Innkeepers Guild. In 2009 Judy was recipient of the Crystal Award of Excellence, Tourism Person of the Year.

michele saran

Ceo, tourism nova scotia

Michele joined Tourism Nova Scotia in May 2016 after 17 years with Destination Canada. During her 11 years as Director of Incentive Sales Development, Michele became the organization’s go-to expert for incentive travel and was instrumental in developing the Midwest U.S. corporate market for Canada.

In October 2009 Michele was promoted to Executive Director of Business Events Canada (BEC), a unit of Destination Canada. In this role she oversaw the development of a new brand and led her team in implementing a refreshed strategy that targeted priority markets for Canada’s private-sector trade and investment growth. She also oversaw the expansion of BEC’s target markets from a US-only focus to include the UK, Germany, France and Belgium. Michele holds a Bachelor of Applied Arts in Hospitality and Tourism Management from Ryerson University. Her background includes sales positions with Tourism Toronto, Schenker International and several major hotel chains.



Since joining the organization in 2009, Carrie has been a strategic lead in all areas of the business with a core responsibility for ensuing the efficient delivery of corporate and operational initiatives to support business growth and success. Prior to her appointment as President & CEO, she was Chief Financial Officer and led the Corporate Services group, including finance, human resources and technology. In this role, she was responsible for the strategy for the new Halifax Convention Centre and the lead executive who championed the development and activation of the organization’s approach to prepare its team and operations for a successful transition to the new corporate structure and opening of the new Centre.  Carrie brings a diverse business background, including over two decades of management experience with a concentration in financial and operational leadership. She has held executive leadership and finance roles in a variety of public and private sector organizations including the Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation, the CCL Group and Ernst and Young. A graduate of Acadia University, she received her CPA, CA designation in 1991, and in 2015, she completed the Director’s Education Program through the Institute of Corporate Directors. Carrie also serves as Treasurer on the Laing House Board of Trustees.

educational Session Speakers

andrew wiens

international dmo manager, tripadvisor

International DMO Manager for TripAdvisor since 2012, Andrew has spoken about digital media, travel marketing, and reputation management in destinations as far flung as Gander, Newfoundland and Sao Pablo, Brazil. Andrew’s media background comes from working with large country level DMOs as well as smaller local city level partners and companies like; Toyota, Patagonia, and United Airlines.

amanda Robinson, cpa, ca

manager, tax services, grant thornton

As a 2011 graduate from Saint Mary’s University Amanda immediately began working in Grant Thornton’s Tax Group.  From there, she went on to receive her chartered accountant designation and complete the CPA Canada In-depth Tax Program.  Amanda’s primary focus is on small to medium sized owner-managed companies,  tax compliance and succession and estate planning, at both the corporate and personal levels; as well as reorganizations and trusts.

cody lohne, cpa, ca

senior manager, tax services, grant thornton

Cody graduated from Acadia University and began his career with Grant Thornton in 2009. Cody went on to receive his CA designation and complete the CICA in-depth tax course as well as the advanced tax issues for owner managed businesses. Cody’s primary workstream is in advising small businesses on tax and estate planning matters.



Emile Gourieux is Hotel Sector Business Development Executive for STR (STR, Inc.). STR provides clients from multiple market sectors with premium, global data benchmarking, analytics and marketplace insights. Founded in 1985, STR maintains a presence in 15 countries around the world with a corporate North American headquarters in Hendersonville, Tennessee, and an international headquarters in London, England. Mr. Gourieux is responsible for growing STR’s network of hotel partners and strengthening their overall data set. Along with increasing the volume of hotel room-related data, Mr. Gourieux also champions efforts to expand benchmark reporting in categories such as Food & Beverage, Guest Segmentation, and Operating Statistics.

Prior to joining STR, Mr. Gourieux managed luxury hotels on California’s Central Coast for nearly 15 years. Most recently he was Director of Business Development at JPMorgan Chase where he designed marketing campaigns for hotels and resorts around the world. Mr. Gourieux holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from California State University in Liberal Studies and Spanish. He resides in Nashville, TN with his wife and daughter.

greg dickie

vice president, nova scotia, business development bank of canada

Greg Dickie began his career at BDC Halifax in 2002 and held positions of increasing responsibility at BDC before being appointed the Vice President, Nova Scotia, in 2013. Throughout his career, he has been a key contributor to BDC’s efforts to support the success of entrepreneurs. Greg holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Saint Mary’s University. With his role, Greg leads and develops BDC’s team in Nova Scotia in its efforts to help entrepreneurs build stronger, more growth-oriented businesses. Greg is passionate about small business and the competitiveness of Nova Scotia and Canadian companies.

keith henry

president & ceo, aboriginal tourism association of canada

Keith Henry has been spearheading the growth of authentic Aboriginal tourism in Canada for a number of years. He was instrumental in leading the redevelopment of the National Aboriginal Tourism Association of Canada, and now leads the organization as CEO.

A Métis person originally from Saskatchewan, Mr. Henry has led many initiatives including the new National Aboriginal Tourism strategy entitled “The Path Forward 2016-2021”which is focused on enhanced Aboriginal market readiness, increasing jobs, and revenue growth. He has contributed to the development of national standards on market readiness and authenticity, cruise industry opportunities and the national Aboriginal tourism research project on the economic value of Aboriginal cultural tourism.

Mr. Henry volunteers time in the Aboriginal community and currently holds several board positions including Chair for the Native Education College, member of the Minister’s Council on Tourism, member of the World Indigenous Tourism Alliance, member of the International Marketing Committee Destination Canada member, and current President of the BC Métis Federation.


president, tourism hr canada

Philip has worked on labour market projects for 25 years. His work spans over 15 industrial sectors and in 11 countries, having worked with foreign governments, pan-global organizations, industry associations, corporations, and various education and training bodies. His has done special projects in United States, United Kingdom, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Singapore, Australia, the Caribbean, and Mexico. Last year Philip completed foreign projects in Vietnam and Tanzania, both concerning the development of a modern education and training system.

Philip is consulted on subjects include the mobility of learners and workers, qualifications frameworks, setting occupational standards, assessment, and comprehensive labour market research models. Currently, Philip is an advisory member of the Ted Rogers School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, Ryerson University. He is a Board member of the Events Management Body of Knowledge (EMBOK), and international group tasked with facilitating global standards of practice. Philip is a technical advisor to INSSO (International Network of Skills Sector Organizations) concerning methodologies for setting competency (industry) standards.

Robert bernard

president & ceo, diversity management group (dmg)/cHAIR, ABORIGINAL TOURISM ASSOCIATION OF CANADA

Robert Bernard is a business owner of Diversity Management Group (DMG), an Aboriginal consulting firm which is based out of We’koqma’q First Nation in beautiful Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. Since starting his business in 2000 DMG has created numerous partnerships with both Aboriginal and Non-Aboriginal companies with one goal in mind – to help create capacity building opportunities for Aboriginal people, businesses and communities. One of his greatest accomplishments on a business level has been leading the development of the first Aboriginal Business Association created in Atlantic Canada. Robert sits on the TIANS Board of Directors and in 2017 was named Chair of the Aboriginal Tourism Association of Canada.

Ross simmonds

digital marketing strategist

Ross Simmonds is a digital marketing strategist who has worked in social media for the last decade. He’s worked with brands that range from Fortune 500 companies to start-ups and medium sized businesses. Over the last few years, Ross has been an active member in the Tourism community sharing insights on how they can better use social media to achieve meaningful and measurable goals.

stacey oxner

director of events, communities, culture and heritage

Stacey is passionate about Nova Scotia and after more than 15 years in the broadcast industry, she joined the provincial government and helped provide the province with significant exposure at the Vancouver Winter Olympics, the Halifax 2010 Canada Games, and the World Sprint Canoe Kayak Championships in 2009. In 2015, Stacey helped put Nova Scotia on the national stage, managing hundreds of volunteers and a Host Committee as Chair of Country Music Week and the Canadian Country Music Association Awards show. Stacey now leads the Event Division at Communities, Culture and Heritage, helping the province attract, host and develop events that will deliver economic and social benefits for all Nova Scotians.