Disruption focus of Humber Conference

TORONTO — Humber College will host an event on May 6 titled Viewpoint. Technology & Hospitality Management: Distraction to Disruption. Speakers include David Goldstein of Destination Canada, and Reetu Gupta of Easton's Group.

TORONTO — Humber College is hosting an event on May 6 titled Viewpoint —Technology & Hospitality Management: Distraction to Disruption. Speakers include keynote David Goldstein of Destination Canada, and Reetu Gupta of Easton's Group of Companies moderating a panel that includes hotel, airline and retirement home experts.

The event will be held at Humber College North Campus, Lecture Theatre E135. As of next semester, Humber's School of Hospitality, Recreation and Tourism will be joining the Faculty of Business, and the combined group will become known as the Faculties of Business. 

As part of Humber's Barrett Centre for Technology Innovation, the college has interdisciplinary programs involving three hotel rooms on the fourth floor. Humber wanted to develop legacy event for Humber School of HRT that would get industry into the college and showcase the rooms, Humber's Kristy Adams told CLN. The result was a C-Suite panel that will talk about what they are dealing with in terms of technology, and what guests are looking for. The panel will also give Humber ideas on what they need to teach students to better prepare them for the jobs ahead.

It will include the following:

— Keynote Address by David Goldstein, president & CEO, Destination Canada on “Global Trends in Tourism & Canada’s Place in the World” 

— A chance to network with panelists and 300 hospitality industry leaders from sectors such as accommodations, travel and senior living 

— Interactive exhibits and food tasting stations showcasing the latest in culinary trends, technology and innovation 

Alvina Cassiani, senior dean, Faculty of Business, will welcome conference delegates.

Reetu Gupta, president and CEO of Easton's Group of Hotels will moderate a panel consisting of Duncan Bureau, president Air Canada Rouge; Robert Chartrand, CEO, Atlific Hotels & Resorts; Don Cleary, president Marriott Hotels of Canada; Steve Gupta, founder & chairman, Easton’s Group of Hotels; Bonnie Strome, general manager, Park Hyatt Toronto and Thomas Wellner, president & CEO, Revera Inc.

The event will feature tours of the hotel rooms, where guests will be greeted by an artificial intelligence reception robot named Pepper, who is three feet tall. Guests use their phones to enter the rooms.

There will also be an opportunity for networking and fellowship, and a culinary component where students showcase sustainable food prepared using advanced technology. “It will be root to shoot, hoof to snout sustainable,” Adams told CLN, adding that there might even be a food robot there.

The venue holds 300 people, “and that's how many we are expecting,” said Adams. The Viewpoint event is the first of a semi-annual series of events that will feature various schools within the college.


Kudos to Humber's Kristy Adams

In other Humber news, Kristy Adams, program coordinator for Humber's School of Hospitality, Recreation and Tourism, has received the NISOD Excellence Award. The NISOD Excellence Awards were established in 1991 to provide NISOD-member colleges with an opportunity to recognize individuals doing extraordinary work on their campuses. Currently, Adams is the program coordinator for the Hospitality – Hotel & Restaurant Operations Management program. In addition, she coordinates the Greater Toronto Hotel Association (GTHA)/Humber Hotel Management Leadership Program.

“I'm lucky to do what I do every day. I never knew where my career would go, and then I became president of HoJo, and then came to Humber. If you love the industry, it's pretty easy to share with future leaders. I see myself as a conduit of information — my passion, honour and inspiration comes form watching the students,” Adams said.

New Barrett Centre for Technology Innovation

Humber's new Barrett Centre for Technology innovation will be a place for faculty, students and industry to tackle real business challenges and find innovative solutions. Students from three Humber programs — Project Management Post Grad (PMPG); Hotel & Restaurant Operations Management program (HROM) and Interior Design — are working together on user experience of a hotel suite within the Barrett CTI.

The six students chosen for this opportunity are Manolya Chalkiotis, final semester interior decorating student; and teammates Jenna Basnett, Larissa Peceniski, Sha Lalapet, Dan Pham and Pardeep Dhoat.

“This was real-life experience — though it was challenging at first, we managed to work all together on tight timelines and under great pressure,” said Chalkiotis. “We used the skills we learned in school on the entire project from start to finish.”

She adds this opportunity has helped her produce a portfolio she is proud of, and she is thankful for the knowledgeable faculty in the program who helped her along the way. 

The team of interior decorating instructors at Humber were a valuable resource to the students.

“Omar Rivera, partial load faculty with our design cluster, has over 20 years of interior design hospitality experience, which has been an incredible resource for our interdisciplinary team on many sectors,” said Vanessa Vilic-Evangelista, program co-ordinator for interior decorating at Humber College.

“The real client scenario/venture model is a true example of experiential learning,” she added. “What we teach them in the classroom brings them to the reality of how experience relates to the project dynamics and how we operate with other disciplines.

With no traditional classrooms, the centre will redefine what high education can look like. The work taking place within the building relates to many industries, including advanced manufacturing, user experience design, media and more.