2024 Board of Directors Elections

Meet the Candidates

The Hotel Association of Canada (HAC) Board of Directors is responsible for overseeing the strategic direction of HAC, serving the best long-term interests of the organization.  To fulfill this role, the Board is expected to bring forward-looking and strategic perspectives to HAC’s operations and policy.

 

The HAC Board is comprised of 23 Directors; 21 Directors elected by the Voting Membership, and 2 Appointed Directors, representing external expertise, selected by the incoming Board.

 

There are five (5) elected positions to be filled on the Hotel Association of Canada (HAC) Board of Directors in 2024.

 

Unless otherwise indicated, each position is for a period of three (3) years.

 

The available positions are as follows:

2024 Candidate Profiles

• Candidates are listed alphabetically by last name  within their respective member categories.

• As a Voting Member you are encouraged to familiarize yourself with all candidates and reach out should you have questions for them via the Contact button within each of their profiles.

 

Note: Voting Members are reminded that you will vote to select Directors in each of the member categories, not just for your own member category.

PROVINCIAL CANDIDATES
2 Open Seats: 2 Candidates

Tracy Douglas-Blowers
President & CEO
ALBERTA HOTEL & LODGING ASSOCIATION
Candidate Statement

As an industry, it is critical that hotels have strong and effective national representation. The Alberta Hotel & Lodging Association has long been a strong supporter of HAC, recognizing the importance of good advocacy for hotels at the federal level. This is critical if we are going to move the needle on challenges like labour and short-term rentals, as it sets the tone for policy with other levels of government. HAC also serves an important function by connecting hotels across the country. We are always stronger when we work together.

 

During my 20+ years in the industry, I have cultivated a deep understanding the challenges facing hotels in the complex and dynamic environment in which they operate. I was honoured to be appointed to the Board of the Hotel Association of Canada in June 2023, after I moved into the role of President & CEO of the AHLA. At the HAC board table, I am able to consider the impact of issues across the full breadth of the industry, from small owner operated properties to full-service brand-managed hotels, and help find solutions that deliver maximum impact.

 

The Board of Directors has to be the highest performing team in the organization. Each director has a responsibility to bring their knowledge, skills and experience to the table in service of the entire membership. In addition to my hotel experience, I bring a deep understanding of governance, strategic planning, association management, advocacy, and communications to the HAC Board. As a director, I have a responsibility to represent the interests of all hotels., and it is my privilege to do so.

Bio

I started in the hospitality industry working in a full-service hotel in Lloydminster, Alberta. My first job in Banquets taught me about hard work, service, and respect. During and after university, I worked in other areas of the hotel, including Front Desk, Lounge, Liquor Store, Housekeeping, and Sales, and built the hotel’s first health & safety program.

 

After earning a degree in political science from the University of Alberta, I became the youngest woman ever elected to Lloydminster City Council. While on council I opened a 63-room limited service hotel right across the street from the one where I started my career. Since 2001, I have used my hotel experience every day in service of the AHLA’s members. Over the course of 20 years, I have worked with the AHLA’s Board and staff to build a mission driven, values-based organization that is aligned with and supportive of HAC. The AHLA’s entrepreneurial and member centric approach has made it a leader in Canada’s accommodation sector, and I am proud to have been a part of that success. I was a volunteer instructor for the Government of Alberta’s Board Development Program and took the ICD’s Governance Essentials Program. I am a past member of the Board of the Alberta SPCA. In 2022, I achieved the Canadian Society of Association Executives’ Certified Association Executive designation. I like to bring a collaborative, participative leadership style to my work, using this approach to integrate people, processes, and strategy to achieve organizational goals.

Contact
Carey Power
Board Representative, GM Hotel Halifax and Barrington Hotel
HOTEL ASSOCIATION OF NOVA SCOTIA
Candidate Statement

I am thrilled to express my interest in serving on the Board of The Hotel Association of Canada (HAC). Having been introduced to the board just one year ago and appointed to complete a predecessor’s term, I approach this opportunity with unwavering enthusiasm and dedication. Formally articulating my qualifications and eagerness to contribute to HAC’s governance and mission fills me with pride.

 

As a female and current multi-property General Manager of Hotel Halifax and The Barrington Hotel, I bring a unique and contemporary perspective to the rapidly evolving hotel industry landscape.

 

My leadership role as the Provincial Leader of the Nova Scotia Hotel Association has enabled successful advocacy efforts, including the increase of our provincial levy, while my involvement on the Discover Halifax Board of Directors ensures alignment between hotel needs and broader strategic initiatives. With over two decades of hospitality management experience, I possess a robust foundation in budget development, capital project management, and navigating unionized environments. I have demonstrated resilience and leadership in navigating challenges such as brand transitions, ownership changes, and collective agreement negotiations. As an on-site leader, I effectively guided our teams through the complexities of a global pandemic, showcasing my ability to adapt and lead in times of crisis.

 

I believe my diverse experiences uniquely qualify me as a valuable candidate for a Board Seat.

Bio

My journey in the hospitality industry began humbly as a Valet attendant, where I was among the first female associates in the role. This experience ignited my passion for the industry and set the foundation for my career trajectory. Building upon this initial role, I pursued opportunities for growth and development, eventually ascending to the position of multi-property General Manager overseeing Hotel Halifax and The Barrington Hotel.

 

In addition to my hands-on experience, I hold a Science Degree from Dalhousie University, majoring in Health and Human Performance with a minor in Psychology. While seemingly unrelated to hospitality, this academic background has equipped me with a deeper understanding of human behavior, resilience, and performance, enriching my approach to leadership and guest service.

 

Beyond my professional endeavors, I remain dedicated to personal growth and pushing the boundaries of my capabilities. I am an avid enthusiast of strength training and have mastered various sports such as snowboarding, downhill and cross-country mountain biking, and marathon-distance running.

 

With a diverse skill set, a passion for innovation, and a drive to make a meaningful impact, I am eager to contribute to The Hotel Association of Canada (HAC) board, leveraging my unique blend of experiences and perspectives to drive positive change and advancement within the hospitality sector.

Contact

BRAND CANDIDATES
1 Open Seat: 2 Candidates

Barbara Kilner 
Senior Vice President, General Counsel, Fairmont and Luxury North America
ACCOR
Candidate Statement

As a current director on the board of the American Hotel & Lodging Association, I see first-hand the powerful impact these associations can have on our industry. The Hotel Association of Canada, like AHLA, is instrumental in advocating for changes to legislation impacting our industry, supporting standardization of certain hotel practices and the sharing of knowledge amongst members to continue to better serve guests and take care of employees. The tremendous work done during COVID-19 significantly highlights these impacts, and the manner in which HAC continued to provide updates, support and shared information with hotels, employers and operators was  impressive and appreciated by Fairmont/Accor (and by General Counsel, like me, who needed extra guidance, tools and support during such a unique period of time). The implementation of valuable sustainability certification programs, such as Green Key Global which was created by HAC, is a positive step forward for our industry; I would like to have an impact in its continued adoption throughout the industry. I enjoy being involved in AHLA and have appreciated its support and that of HAC in my day-to-day work activities and would like to give back to the Canadian hospitality industry in a similar manner.

 

As a general counsel with over 23 years of in-house hospitality legal experience and hotel operations, including being a director of over 20 entities and responsible for the administration and management of over 100 entities, I appreciate the importance of corporate governance. That diligence and legal/hospitality experience, together with my participation as a director of the AHLA and the Fidani Family Foundation charitable organization, have provided me with the skills, knowledge and capabilities that would make me a valuable candidate to participate as a director of HAC.

Bio

Barbara Kilner is currently responsible for managing the Fairmont Hotels & Resorts brand’s legal affairs globally (and Accor’s luxury portfolio in North & Central America), playing a pivotal role in overseeing complex negotiations and transactions in relation to development activities, real estate, employment, hotel operations and litigation. Acting as a strategic business partner, she also supports the brand in its day-today activities and provides legal oversight to Accor’s Premium, Midscale & Economy brands in North & Central America.

 

Barbara, who was named one of Canada’s ‘Top 40 under 40 corporate lawyers by Lexpert magazine in 2006, brings more than 25 years of legal and hospitality experience to her role. After launching her career with Fairmont Hotels & Resorts in 2001 as Legal Counsel, she was promoted to various legal positions and more recently, to Senior Vice President, General Counsel Fairmont and Luxury North America. Prior to joining Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, Barbara was a commercial real estate associate at the leading Toronto law firm Fraser Milner Casgrain (now known as Dentons Canada LLP).

 

Barbara holds a Bachelor of Laws Degree (Honours) from the University of Toronto and a Bachelor of Science (High Distinction) from University of Toronto. She is a member of the Law Society of Ontario and the Canadian Bar Association. She is also a Director of the American Hotel & Lodging Association and a Director of the charitable Fidani Family Foundation.

Contact
Laura Pallotta
Regional Vice President, Sales & Distribution – Canada Region
MARRIOTT INTERNATIONAL
Candidate Statement

With over 30 years dedicated to the hotel industry, I have amassed a wealth of experience working with independent owners and hotel brand companies across Canada. My tenure has provided me with a nuanced understanding of the intricacies within the hotel and hospitality sector, from operational intricacies to market dynamics. Through these roles, I have fostered strong relationships with Destination Marketing Organizations (DMOs), convention centres, customers and industry partners, enhancing my ability to collaborate effectively on a national scale.

 

As a senior member of the Meetings Mean Business Coalition for the past five years, I have been deeply involved in advocating for the importance of meetings and events in driving economic growth. My current position on the Tourism Industry Association of Canada Board and involvement in various College and University Advisories further demonstrates my commitment to fostering the next generation of talent within our industry. By promoting the advancement of young professionals, I aim to ensure a robust pipeline for growth within the hotel sector, empowering individuals to contribute to Canada’s economy while pursuing fulfilling careers in hospitality.

 

My passion for the hotel sector extends beyond its operational aspects; I am deeply invested in its role as a driver of economic impact for Canada. I believe that by serving on the Board of the Hotel Association of Canada, I can leverage my expertise, networks, and passion to advocate for policies and initiatives that bolster the growth and sustainability of our industry. Together, we can maximize the sector’s potential to contribute significantly to Canada’s economy while also ensuring its continued resilience and adaptability in an ever-evolving landscape.

Bio

As Vice President, Sales and Distribution, Laura leads Marriott Canada’s Revenue Generation and Sales Strategy focus for 275+ Canadian hotels.

 

With over 30 years of hospitality experience, Laura spent 12 years in rapidly progressive leadership positions at Delta Hotels until Marriott’s acquisition of Delta in 2015. In 2017 Laura led the transformation of the Marriott sales organization in Canada, integrating Delta and Starwood with Marriott’s portfolio of hotels.

 

In addition to serving on a number of Industry Advisory Councils and Association Boards Laura is the Past Chair of the Meetings Mean Business Canada coalition which advocates for the Canadian Business Events Industry. Business Events represents about 40% of the Tourism Economy in Canada and is a significant contributor to the economies of urban, secondary and resort communities all over Canada.

(416) 717-6268

Contact

OWNER CANDIDATES
2 Open Seats: 4 Candidates

Mandy Farmer
CEO
ACCENT INNS / HOTEL ZED
Candidate Statement

I’m thrilled to apply for a second term on HAC’s board. I’ve served on many boards over my 25-year career, and this has been by far the best board I have sat on. As an owner of 8 independent hotels, I am able to bring the unique perspective of those hotels who do not have a brand or franchise.

Bio

Mandy is the CEO and co-owner of five awesome Accent Inns and three ridiculously fun Hotel Zed’s.

In 2020, she was named RBC Women of Influence Entrepreneur of the Year in the Excellence category. Other recent awards include Business of the Year in 2018 from the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC) for the company’s outstanding growth and Hotelier of the Year in 2017 by Hotelier Magazine for her innovative approach to motels. Mandy sits on two national boards: TIAC and the Hotel Association of Canada.

Mandy is passionate about making her company one of the best places to work in the world.

Contact
Alnoor Gulamani
CEO
BAYVIEW GROUP OF COMPANIES
Candidate Statement

As a strong advocate for the Canadian hotel and lodging industry, I am honored to express my interest in serving on the Board of Directors for the Hotel Association of Canada. With a proven track record of leadership, strategic vision, and commitment to Excellence, I believe I can contribute significantly to advancing the HAC’s mission.

 

Professional Background:

  • Founder and CEO: Over the past 35 years, I have spearheaded the growth of Bayview from a modest motel to a diverse portfolio of hotels, residential properties, and mixed-use developments across Ontario.
  • Industry Pioneer: As a trailblazer in the hospitality sector, I Introduced Canada’s first Homewood Suites by Hilton and championed dual-branded hotel concepts, leaving an indelible Mark on our industry landscape.
  • Collaborator: My 16-year tenure on Hilton Worldwide’s Owners Advisory Council underscores my commitment to collaborative decision-making and industry best practices.

 

Key Strengths:

  • Strategic Vision: I possess a forward-thinking mindset, always seeking innovative solutions to industry challenges.
  • Advocacy: I am passionate about attracting investment into our industry , growing the tourism industry , fair regulations for the sharing economy and addressing labor shortages within our sector.
  • Community Engagement: My dedication to community service aligns with the HAC’s values, ensuring a positive impact beyond business.

 

Why I Want to Serve:

  • Industry Stewardship: I believe in giving back to an industry that has given me so much. Serving on the HAC Board allows me to contribute actively to its growth and success. HAC was crucial to the survival of the industry during Covid-19 and I experienced first hand the value of coming together as an industry under HAC.
  • Collaboration: I am eager to collaborate with fellow board members, leveraging our collective expertise to shape policies, drive advocacy, and foster industry resilience.
  • Inspiration: I am inspired by the HAC’s commitment to elevating Canada’s hospitality sector. Together, we can create meaningful change.

 

Vision for the Future:

  • Innovation: I envision the HAC as a hub for innovation, fostering partnerships, and embracing emerging trends.
  • Workforce Development: Addressing labor shortages and nurturing talent will be pivotal for our industry’s sustained growth.
  • Sustainability: Let’s champion sustainable practices, ensuring a vibrant and responsible future for Canadian hotels.

 

I am excited about the opportunity to contribute my skills, insights, and passion to the HAC. Thank you for considering my candidacy. Together, we can shape a thriving future for Canadian hospitality.

Bio

Founder and CEO of Bayview Group of Companies , started from a humble beginning…a small motel to a portfolio of over 25 hotels, residential, industrial and mixed-use properties across Ontario over 35 years. Bayview is at the forefront and is actively engaged in hotel development , ownership and management and a pioneer in extended stay and dual branded hotels. Bayview developed the first Homewood Suites by Hilton in Canada, introducing the brand to Canada as well as the first dual branded Hampton/ Homewood Suites in Canada. I have served on Hilton Worldwide’s Owners Advisory Council for over 16 years and received numerous recognitions from Hilton including the Dual Brand Developer Award, Top Developer-Homewood Suites, Top Developer-Doubletree, Top Performing Hotel and Awards of Merit in Community Service.

(416) 786-9690

Contact
Thomas Jacob
Managing Director
K2 GROUP
Candidate Statement

Our group have been LP investors with other groups for over 15 years. In the last 5 years K2 Group has been acquiring and operating hotel assets in Canada and US. We currently own 5 hotels and have equity in 8 other hotel assets with other groups. We care very much for the industry, are hands-on operators. Our focus over the next 5-10 years is to grow our hotel portfolio.

 

I am aware that I am not as seasoned as some of the other hoteliers that might apply however as diversified investors, I believe I can bring a unique perspective to the board. I would love the opportunity to be a valuable member and contribute to HAC and our industry.

Bio

As Managing Director of K2 Group, Thomas Jacob leads a team of 600+ dedicated professionals with a shared vision of creating value in the communities they operate. A top-line growth strategist and award-winning entrepreneur with two successful exits, Thomas is committed to developing K2’s investment portfolio, and pursing quality asset growth opportunities globally.

 

Over the years, Thomas has been involved in a wide variety of industries including marketing, finance, real estate, renewable energy and has also had a series of outstanding successes guiding a few start-ups from its infancy to billions in revenue. Thomas holds a bachelor’s degree in International Economics & Business Management and is an active member of YPO, his community and supports a number of charitable organizations in Canada.

(416) 371-4440

Contact
R Gordon Johnson
Senior Vice President
SILVERBIRCH HOTELS
Candidate Statement

I have been fortunate to enjoy a lengthy career in the hotel business across most provinces in Canada, settling in the Greater Vancouver region in the past 20 years.

 

In each city we lived, I made a point of getting involved by holding leadership roles with local and provincial hotel associations and have spent time in service with Tourism Vancouver (past Chair) and Tourism Calgary (past Chair and current Chair of Governance and HR Committee).

 

Beyond that, I served as a committee member on the Expansion of  Vancouver Convention Centre and on behalf of the BC Provincial Government on their Task Force to vision/create what is now Destination BC.

 

Unquestionably, The Hotel Association of Canada is the most influential body for advocacy and influencing the key Government policy that impacts the Hotel industry and it is for these reasons that I am drawn to be closer and challenge myself to contribute positively to the sustainable growth of our industry over the long term.

Bio

As a husband and father of 2 grown sons, I was raised in the hotel business and have 40+ years experience managing hotels – in most every part of Canada. My wife Sharon is active in the fundraising and sponsorship arm for several boards in our community and my sons live in the Greater Vancouver region.

 

For the past twenty years, I have held senior positions in three (3) major hotel companies in Canada, responsible for regions of anywhere from 10-25 hotels. Additionally, I served several years as VP for Western Canada for Revera Living, where I learned to truly appreciate the important work of this sector.

 

Additionally, I have spent the majority of my career in volunteer efforts with hotel associations and various Tourism organizations across Canada and remain actively engaged with Tourism Calgary and 4VI on Vancouver Island.

 

Recently joined SilverBirch Hotels as SVP for a portfolio of 17 hotels, with a mixture of Delta, Marriott and Hilton brands and spread geographically from Victoria BC to St Johns NFLD.

 

Sharon and I have been making time to travel more in recent years and I keep busy playing Squash and Hockey, along with boating and bicycling around the White Rock area.

 

(604) 763-3582

Contact

Questions?

Please contact Andrea Myers, Senior Director of Membership & Corporate Governance at amyers@hotelassociation.ca.

2024 Key Election Dates*

Candidate Promotion & Campaigning Monday, April 8th – Friday, April 19th, 2024
Electronic Voting Opens to Members Monday, April 22nd, 2024 @ 9:00 a.m. EDT
Voting Closes Tuesday, April 30th, 2024 @ 4:00 p.m. EDT
Election Results Announced Hotel Association of Canada AGM May 22nd, 2024
*Dates are subject to change