OTEC’s team of certified trainers and consultants develop training solutions that exceed client expectations and give them the tools they need to develop a stronger workforce and more competitive business. We are committed to effecting positive change in organizations by providing client service excellence and quality products and services.
Here are our current team members, their roles and how to reach them:
Victoria joined OTEC in 2006 as President & CEO to create and lead a new vision for OTEC, and to develop strategies for supporting and growing the workforce development and professional standards for Ontario’s Tourism, Hospitality and Service sectors. Her leadership has been instrumental in the growth and strategic development of OTEC, as an organization, and has been integral to the workforce development partnerships and training initiatives in Ontario. Throughout her 30 years working within the sector both domestically and internationally, Victoria has guided some of Canada’s major destination, attraction, and service industry brands by leading successful sales, marketing, and operations teams and training initiatives. Victoria has owned several business ventures and also has extensive experience working with public, private and not-for-profit organizations.
Victoria’s passion for the tourism and hospitality industry, including her volunteer leadership work on the Boards, or as Chair, of numerous tourism associations and academic institutions, has contributed to the growth and development of the tourism industry in Ontario and Canada. She currently sits on the Boards of the Canadian Tourism Human Resource Council and the Oakville Arts Council.
Victoria is a graduate from University of Waterloo with an Honours BA in Recreation and Leisure Studies specializing in tourism planning and development, and is also an OTEC Designated Trainer. Drawing on the breadth of her experience and knowledge about Ontario’s destination development and labour market trends and issues, branding through human resources as well as OTEC programs and services, Victoria is a sought-after speaker at industry conferences and events.
Wendy is OTEC’s Vice President, Client Services and leads a team dedicated to assisting organizations in achieving Employer of Choice status and outstanding customer service results.
Wendy’s drive to build customer-centred organizations has led her to a number of senior management positions at some of Canada’s top travel and tour operator brands and to the Niagara Wine Region. With over 25 year’s experience leading sales and operations teams, and training for a number of tourism and hospitality organizations, Wendy’s extensive knowledge and expertise are invaluable to the Ontario tourism and hospitality industry and OTEC’s clients.
As the guiding force behind OTEC’s client services team, Wendy works to bring customer service excellence to OTEC’s clients through strategic pursuit of human resource and training initiatives. Over the past three years, Wendy has managed tourism destination projects that include customer service training development and facilitation in several tourism regions throughout Ontario.
Wendy is a graduate of the University of Western Ontario with a degree in Business Administration. She earned a diploma in Travel and Tourism from Centennial College and is an OTEC Designated Trainer. A believer in life-long learning, Wendy has participated in Executive Leadership Programs at McMaster University and Harvard Business School.
Adam Morrison, M.Sc.
Director, Project Development
As OTEC’s Director, Project Development, Adam works to enhance OTEC’s provincial labour market development initiatives by working with educators, industry, government, and the not-for-profit sector. Adam works closely with OTEC’s regional partners to integrate tools, resources and systems into the sector to ensure that the tourism industry attracts, retains and advances a diverse and competitive workforce.
Adam’s commitment to developing partnerships that improve collaboration within the tourism sector has led to his leadership of HR capacity-building initiatives at OTEC. Adam also guides the integration of occupational standards into the workplace and facilitates workforce development projects such as the national Ready-to-Work network of tourism employment preparation and training programs.
Adam joined OTEC with a solid background of Canadian and international experience in HR training and consulting, employment services and organizational research. He is an OTEC Designated Trainer and also holds a Masters of Science degree in Capacity Development Studies with a specialization in soft systems methodologies and the management of international marketing networks.
Jo-Anne Hecht, MBA, CHT
Director, Learning & Development
In the role of Director, Learning & Development, Jo-Anne lends her 20 years of experience in training and tourism to the design and implementation of learning programs to assist OTEC clients as they seek to create customer-centric experiences. Jo-Anne’s work includes the development of several blended training solutions on customer service skills for industry and government, which include customer service cycles, standards, instructor-led workshops and e-learning.
Jo-Anne honed her understanding of hospitality operations through senior management roles in the food & beverage and guest services departments of some of the world’s leading hotel brands. By transferring her own hospitality operations knowledge to the training and development mission of OTEC, Jo-Anne offers OTEC clients first-hand experience and practical knowledge in the development of training programs to enhance their operations.
Jo-Anne holds a Bachelor of Commerce with a major in human resource management from Concordia University and an MBA with a specialty in hospitality and tourism from the University of Guelph. She is an OTEC Designated Trainer, a Certified Hospitality Trainer and is in the process of completing her CTDP through the Canadian Society of Training and Development (CSTD).
Shurland George, MSc, PMP
Manager, Education & Skills Development
In the capacity of Manager, Education and Skills Development, Shurland brings to OTEC over 15 years of Canadian and international experience in the tourism and hospitality industry. As a former post-secondary tourism instructor, he works to bridge the tourism and hospitality skills gap through partnerships with education, training partners and industry stakeholders.
At OTEC, Shurland works closely with Ontario’s educational institutions to ensure that academic stakeholders have the standards, curriculum, and, resources they need to deliver the most cutting-edge and industry relevant programming available. He also works directly with industry to facilitate the development and validation of occupational standards and professional development models in the work place.
Shurland’s professional background includes teaching tourism and hospitality at universities and colleges in Trinidad and Tobago, The Cayman Islands, and Canada. He holds a Masters Degree in Tourism Education from the University of Surrey, England; a Post graduate Diploma in Hotel Management from The University of the West Indies, Bahamas; a Graduate Certificate in e-Business from the University of Ottawa, Canada; and, he has the PMP (Project Management Professional) certification from PMI (Project Management Institute) USA.
As Training Program Facilitator, Ava-Dawn brings to OTEC over 10 years international experience in the hospitality and tourism industry within the resort, hotel, airline and cruiseline sectors and in areas of sales, customer service, events and training. As training and development manager for a major cruise line company, she facilitated and delivered onboard training programs in the areas of management, customer service, professional sales and train the trainer programs.
Ava-Dawn is OTEC trainer liaison and coordinates public and contract training program logistics provincially. She is also project coordinator for OTEC’s literacy project within the Ontario hotel sector.
Ava-Dawn has a Masters of Science in International Hospitality Management from Sheffield Hallam University in England and the U.K. and a Bachelor of Science in Tourism Management from The University of the West Indies in Jamaica and the Bahamas. She also holds a certificate in Adult Education/Staff Training from Seneca College and a diploma in Teaching English as a Foreign/Second Language (TEFL/TESL). Ava-Dawn is a designated CSTD Certified Training Practitioner ™ (CTP) and a member of the Canadian Society for Training and Development.
Ava-Dawn is on maternity leave as of May 2013. Please contact Kelly Lang, ext. 210 in her absence.
Kim Bocking, MES
Project Manager, Workforce Development
As Project Manager, Workforce Development, Kim manages the administration and coordination of the Ready-to-Work Program, emerit certifications and employment services projects. Kim ensures that OTEC’s project partners have the resources they need to successfully run Ready-to-Work projects throughout Ontario. She also handles the administration for candidates undertaking their emerit certification designation.
Kim joined OTEC with a strong research background across diverse sectors and also brings her customer-centric focus and experience from a range of positions within the tourism and hospitality sector. As Tourism Marketing Coordinator, Kim played an integral role in destination marketing and in delivering community tourism planning for a tourism destination in Eastern Ontario.
Kim holds an Honours Bachelor of Science degree from Queen’s University as well as a Master of Environmental Studies degree in Tourism Policy and Planning from the University of Waterloo, specializing in community-based tourism planning in the Caribbean.
Claire Sullivan, MES Project Manager, Client Services
Claire is responsible for coordinating client development and relationship initiatives at OTEC including marketing, client service activities and sales/partnership coordination. Claire facilitates marketing activities with partners such as the Canadian Tourism Human Resource Council; Ontario Restaurant, Hotel, Motel Association; Tourism Industry Association of Ontario; the Ontario Public Transit Association; as well as Regional Tourism Organizations. She also supports the Vice President of Client Services in the pursuit of bringing customer service excellence to tourism businesses and destinations across Ontario.
Claire brings excellent experience working in customer centric tourism based positions within destinations and at the municipal government level. Her career began in Newfoundland and Labrador and she is eager to translate her industry knowledge to assist the tourism industry in Ontario.
Claire holds a Masters in Environmental Studies with a focus on Tourism Policy and Planning from the University of Waterloo, as well as a bachelor’s degree in Tourism and Hospitality Management with a certificate in Business Administration from Mount Saint Vincent University.
Geni Humphrey is a part of the instructional design team and contributes to the design and development of learning programs for OTEC. As part of training development project teams, Geni coordinates training and development initiatives to ensure project deliverables and timelines are successfully met. As a client relationship specialist and liaison on these projects, she focuses on meeting and exceeding client needs. Additionally, Geni is an OTEC facilitator, delivering workshops both at OTEC and at client locations.
With over 12 years of international experience in the hospitality industry, Geni has worked in resorts and restaurants in roles including food & beverage server, bartender and front of the house supervisor. In addition to this hospitality experience, Geni worked as a facilitator both in Canada and in the Caribbean for over 5 years. As Coordinator of the English Language Department at an Enrichment Centre, Geni developed and delivered programs within a wide range of industries including the hospitality sector and financial industry. Focusing mainly on language and literacy skill assessment and development, Geni developed clients’ business communication and customer service skills.
Geni graduated with an Honours, Bachelor of Science, from the University of Guelph, Ontario, and in 2003 completed her Trinity CerTESOL certificate to teach English as a Second Language. In 2009 she completed the Adult Training and Development Certificate Program at Ryerson University.
Geni is on maternity leave until January 2014. Please contact Jo-Anne Hecht at ext. 206 in her absence.
OTEC Senior Associates & Facilitators:
Deborah Fletcher Senior Associate, Training and Human Resources
Deborah has been a valuable OTEC training and human resource team member since 2006. As an OTEC Senior Associate and facilitator, Deborah contributes to the training and instructional design team and is also an experienced facilitator and one of OTEC’s key note speakers. Deborah’s expertise includes food services and golf and ski resorts. Her areas of specialization in corporate customer service, leadership, multi-generation workforces and accessibility.
With extensive experience in tourism and hospitality training and human resources, Deborah has owned and operated a training and human resource company. She has also held positions with a major association and a leading food service company prior to joining OTEC.
Deborah earned a certificate in Adult Training and Development from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE).
Anthony Hopkins, CHRP Senior Associate, Training and Human Resources
As one of OTEC’s Senior Associates and facilitators, Anthony is focused on training and human resource management. He contributes to the development of OTEC’s clients with more than 20 years of leadership experience. Anthony is an experienced facilitator and speaker and has delivered sessions to audiences in both Canada and the United States. He has also been a featured speaker for several industry events.
Anthony is a human resources, training and development and operations management expert. He has worked for major hotel and restaurant brands in these areas and brings this expertise to OTEC projects. Anthony’s ongoing interest and commitment to enhancing the professionalism and career image of the hospitality sector has been demonstrated through his active membership and support of several service sector industry-related organizations.
Anthony is a member of the George Brown College Program Advisory Committee for Hotel Management, a Board member of the Ontario Tourism Education Corporation and is the Past President of the Hospitality Human Resource Professionals Association of Greater Metropolitan Toronto. Currently a faculty member at The Ted Rogers School of Hospitality Tourism Management at Ryerson University, Anthony is also an OTEC Designated Trainer.
Marie Murphy-Foran Senior Associate & Facilitator (Northern Ontario)
Marie Murphy-Foran is OTEC’s northern Ontario region Senior Associate and Facilitator based out of Elliott Lake. Marie began training with OTEC in 1994 and has trained the OTEC Service Excellence Series of programs for a range of clients and sectors provincially, nationally and internationally.
Marie has worked with the tourism sector on community-based tourism product and business development projects and has been involved in the development of several standards and certifications including: emerit Outdoor Guide, Heritage Interpreter, Hunting Guide, Freshwater Angler, and Snow Mobile Guide.
With an extensive background in the healthcare and social services sector, Marie supported OTEC in the pilot of a client service project for VON Canada. More recently, Marie facilitates the Ready to Work Pilot Project with the Metis Nation of Ontario in Sault Ste. Marie. Marie’s background also includes a diploma in Recreation Leadership and a range of designations from various organizations including the Provincial Institute in Community Development; Banff School of Management; Centre of Excellence CODA, and Ryerson University. She has facilitated train the trainer programs in Labor Adjustment, Peer Support and Business Development as well as the OTEC Designated Trainer program.
Jan Edissi Master Trainer
Jan is an OTEC Designated Trainer who joined the organization in 2003. She became an OTEC Master Trainer after earning her emerit certification in tourism training from the Canadian Tourism Human Resource Council. Jan’s contribution to OTEC includes her dedication to the Service Excellence Series of programs, in addition to her facilitation of management and leadership programs, the OTEC Designated Trainer program and the Safe Food Handling and Smart Serve certifications.
In addition to delivering industry-leading OTEC programs, Jan has been involved in the development of numerous unique projects including: Accessible Service Excellence, the Ready-to-Work program and the pilot program for Corrections Canada. She works with a broad range of OTEC clients in a variety of sectors, both provincially and nationally, to aid in the development of a thriving industry work force.
Jan’s background includes a diploma in Business Administration (Marketing) and over 15 years of experience in customer service, sales and management. She is also the recipient of several sales achievement awards.
Susan Hamer, M.Sc.
As an OTEC Master Trainer, Susan facilitates OTEC’s Management, Frontline, Accessibility and Designated Trainer Programs. During her 18 years of OTEC service, Susan has successfully delivered many of OTEC’s training programs throughout Canada, the United States and internationally.
Susan is committed to adult learning principles and has passionately worked with an extensive number of organizations in many sectors on behalf of OTEC. Providing a fun and safe environment for her learners, Susan has worked with OTEC clients who want to benefit from a new level of service quality in education, healthcare, tourism, police services, transportation and government.
Prior to working with OTEC, Susan taught at Georgian College for 24 years where she developed and facilitated training in Leadership and Customer Service. Internationally, Susan has delivered training programs in both Costa Rica and Latvia.
Susan is an OTEC designated trainer, emerit certified tourism trainer from the Canadian Tourism Human Resource Council, has a diploma in Resort and Hotel Operations, an Honours degree in Physical and Health Education and a Master of Science degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management from the Rochester Institute of Technology. Susan is also a member of the Accessibility Advisory Committee for the County of Simcoe.
Tanya Lynn Sadler Trainer
An experienced facilitator, teacher, department head, and curriculum developer, Tanya has extensive international experience delivering English as a Second Language, Literacy and special education programs and has worked in Hong Kong, Thailand, Japan and Canada.
Most recently a project manager for the Canadian Tourism Human Resource Council, Tanya managed all aspects of the national occupational standards and certification development processes for on-line and paper-based training products.
Tanya has a Bachelor of Education, OISE/University of Toronto as well as a Bachelor of Arts, University of Waterloo in Recreation and Leisure Studies. She also has certifications in e-Learning, Human Resources Management, Graphic Design Applications and French from various Canadian Universities.
Dianne Vanstone Master Trainer
Dianne has been affiliated with OTEC since 1994 and has been a valuable and long-standing member of the team. After joining OTEC, Dianne managed youth training initiatives, as part of the national Ready to Work program throughout Ontario for over 8 years. Dianne helped develop OTEC’s network of employment and social service agencies and integrated Service Excellence throughout this network to serve a variety of client groups.
Dianne continues to work with OTEC delivering training programs, including Service Excellence, emerit occupational standards, and Accessible Service Excellence to a diverse range of OTEC clients in the tourism, hospitality, transportation and employment services sectors.
Dianne is an OTEC Designated Trainer and in 2003, became an emerit nationally certified tourism trainer with the Canadian Tourism Resource Council. She is a graduate of Ryerson University, Hospitality & Tourism Management program and her previous experience in human resources and training within major Canadian Hotel brands enables her to provide excellent industry perspective.
Since 2001, as a bilingual OTEC trainer, Julie has successfully contributed to the employability of Internationally Trained Individuals, Canada’s Youth, Aboriginal community members and Ontario’s existing workforce by delivering Service Excellence, Ready-to-Work, WHMIS and Smart Serve certification to a variety of sectors including tourism, education, transportation, accommodations, sports and recreation, and real estate.
In 2003, she proudly received the emerit Tourism Trainer Professional Certification from the Canadian Tourism Human Resources Council (CTHRC) and is a recognized OTEC Designated and Master Trainer.
Julie has 20 years experience in the facilitation of training programs to company ambassadors of all levels in both private and public organizations. Her motivation is simple, seeing the ‘glitter’ of understanding in participants’ eyes. She feels privileged to have been part of OTEC pilot projects that continue to evolve.
Having held the positions of manager, training manager and human resources manager, Julie understands and promotes what it takes to exceed internal and external client expectations that ensure customer loyalty, reflect our country’s diversity, and contribute to harmony. With a contagious passion for Service Excellence and Etiquette, Julie is an asset to OTEC’s efforts to promote service standards in Ontario.
Labour Shortages to Reemerge as Ontario's Economy Improves
By 2025, the labour shortage in Ontario's tourism sector will grow to over 80,000 unfilled jobs. The latest update of the Ontario Tourism Labour Supply and Demand Study, Ontario 2010: Economic Recession Only a Temporary Reprieve from Labour Shortages , indicates that, as demand for labour grows, the pool of available workers will have an increasingly difficult time keeping up. The resulting downtime and missed opportunities could cost Ontario's tourism destinations millions of dollars.
For more information about how your region or business can prosper in a tightening labour market, contact Adam Morrison, OTEC's Director, Project Development at firstname.lastname@example.org or 416-622-1975 ext. 236.