Earlier this month, the Tourism Industry Association of Nova Scotia and our partners at NSCC facilitated five engaging sessions with tourism industry leaders.

Each guest was chosen by TIANS for the significant impact and insight they each bring to the development of the tourism industry in Nova Scotia. Each session consisted of a 15-to-20-minute presentation, followed by open q & a with the audience.  The guest speakers brought a unique perspective, contributing to the learning and development of a successful tourism, hospitality or culinary professional.

This was an innovative approach to help students gain perspective on jobs in the Tourism Industry.

All sessions were recorded and are available for playback.

Mary Dempster, Owner, Mary Dempster Business Performance

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Mary Dempster is the owner of Mary Dempster Business Performance. She has many years of experience in hospitality and tourism including roles as Vice President of Coach Atlantic, General Manager of the Delta Barrington and Delta Halifax.  She has significant experience on a variety of industry related boards including past President of the Hotel Association of Nova Scotia, and past Chair of the Nova Scotia Tourism Human Resource Council.

Marie Manning, VP and CCO, Halifax International Airport
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Marie Manning is the Vice President of Business Development and Chief Commercial Officer with Halifax International Airport Authority (HIAA). Prior to joining HIAA in July 2020, Marie was a senior leader with St. John’s International Airport Authority for 16 years, leading air service and business development, marketing, corporate communications and the passenger experience activities at Newfoundland and Labrador’s premier transportation gateway. Her accomplishments have been recognized locally and within North America, having led teams that received awards for marketing, public relations, crisis communications, business development and customer experience.

Glenn Squires, Owner, Pacrim Hospitality Services
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Glenn Squires has over 40 years of experience in hospitality with more than 20 years in senior hospitality management and development positions. During his career he is credited with 100+ hotel real estate developments and acquisitions. Glenn is the past Chair of IHG Owner’s Association and the Tourism Industry Association of Nova Scotia.

Robert Bernard, Executive Director, Nova Scotia Indigenous Tourism Enterprise Network
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Robert Bernard is an Indigenous leader who focuses on specific and key areas of Indigenous engagement and path making services. His experience has been diverse in the past and it has involved work in culture, tourism, sport development, environmental protection and planning, facilitation services, event planning and business support services. Most recently in the past few years he has delivered on a strong need for Indigenous Cross Cultural Awareness Training. His many activities have expanded into several connected fields focusing on growth, support and socio-economic opportunities for individuals, businesses, and communities.

Wes Surrett, Resort Manager, Pictou Lodge
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Wes Surrett grew up in New Brunswick where his family owned and operated the Homestead Motel. He managed several properties before he joined the Pictou Lodge in 2012 as the General Manager. Wes currently serves as Chairman of the Tourism Industry Association of Nova Scotia, Chairman of the Ship Hector Society, and Past Chair of Destination Eastern and Northumberland Shores.