HAC lineup includes tech titan, CBC anchor

This year's HAC lineup includes tech titan Michele Romanow, CBC news anchor Suhana Meharchand and thought leader Eric Termuende. Marriott will also host a sip and social session on women in the hotel industry following the conference.


TORONTO – If you’re looking for answers on the information and trends in Canadian lodging the HAC Conference at the Delta Hotels by Marriott Toronto Airport & Conference Centre is the place to be on Feb. 27-28 This year's lineup includes tech titan Michele Romanow, CBC news anchor Suhana Meharchand and thought leader Eric Termuende, who will speak on optimizing workplace culture.

New this year, Marriott Canada will host Sip + Social: Inspired by Women in the Hotel Industry after the conference. Canada’s hotel industry will move the needle forward on equity, inclusion, and diversity together. This will be an evening of meaningful conversation and celebration. All delegates are welcome.

HAC’s Awards of Excellence Presentation

Alison Evans, Interim president, HAC.

Alison Evans, Interim president, HAC.

For 15 years the Hotel Association of Canada’s Awards of Excellence has been celebrating members of the industry who have demonstrated phenomenal accomplishments, exemplary leadership and tireless commitment to Canada’s hotel and lodging industry. Once again, their Awards of Excellence Winners will be celebrated at the top of the evening with a special presentation in Plaza Ballroom C hosted by Alison Evans, Interim President at HAC

National News Anchor to host the Conference

The host for the conference is Suhana Meharchand, a national news anchor with CBC News Network, the former host of Saturday Report and former anchor of the CBC Evening News. Bringing a wealth of professional experience to all of her talks and hosting engagements, Meharchand never fails to impress.

Meharchand has been twice nominated for a Gemini award, and has won two bronze medals at the Columbus International Film and Video Festival, and a bronze medal at the International Film and TV Festival of New York. She has been honoured with the Media Arts Award from the Association of Women of India in Canada, and was named Journalist of the Year by the South African Women for Women association. She has also received the Paul Harris Fellowship Award from the Rotary Club International.

Tech Titan — Morning Keynote Speaker

Tech titan Michele Romanow's topic for the morning keynote is “Getting to Success: Embracing Change, Encouraging Disruption and Incentivizing Innovation.” Romanow is an engineer and a serial entrepreneur who started three companies before her 28th birthday. A Dragon on CBC’s hit show Dragons’ Den, Michele is the co-founder of e-commerce platforms Buytopia.ca, Snap By Groupon, and — most recently — Clearbanc, an online financial service for freelancers, independent contractors, and entrepreneurs.

Thought leader

Eric Termuende, a thought-leader on optimizing workplace culture, the future of work, and engagement in the workplace, will speak at the end of the conference on The Future of Our Workforce. He believes that if he can help make people’s lives better at work; he can make people’s lives better.

Prior to NoW Innovations, Eric co-founded DRYVER Group, a consultancy focused on the attraction and retention of top talent. Here he co-developed a tool that quantifies workplace culture. Eric and his team helped pinpoint strengths and opportunities in an organization to optimize culture, improve attraction, and mitigate poor retention numbers. Believing that collaboration is a key to success, Eric has helped develop a partnership network in Canada to emphasize the importance of teamwork and the delivery of great work.

Other sessions include the following:

The Big Data Session with Emile Gourieux of STR and Carrie Russell of HVS. This session reviews Canadian hotel operating statistics, which include measuring profitability, breaking down RevPAR data by full-service vs. limited-service, by class and location types, and taking a deeper market look at profitability change and labour analysis.

— Sheila Wright of MyDigitalOffice moderates a panel that includes Shahzad Cokar of Manga Hotels deadline with Strategies for growing profits, going green and guest satisfaction. 

Sound Advice: a New Approach to Guestroom Noise with Matthew Carter of MODIO Guestroom Acoustic Control.

Defining the Future of Tourism Skills. Join Tourism HR Canada and the Hotel Association of Canada for an engaging, interactive session to discuss critical labour issues with speaker Calum MacDonald, vice-president of Labour Market Intelligence. 

— HAC's Travel Intentions Survey and Destination Canada update: Nik Nanos highlights the results of the 2018 HAC Travel Intentions Survey. He will be joined by David Goldstein of Destination Canada, who will provide an update on the future opportunities for business growth.

— Labour Relations — Interactive Workshop. Back by popular demand —  a frank and open conversation about labour. This session is all about perspective, managing expectations, employee relations and driving hotel performance in a unionized or non-unionized environment.

— The Big Smoke — How the Legalization of Cannabis in Canada will impact the hospitality industry.

— Learn the Seven Secrets of Hospitality Financial Leadership from David Lund, Hotel Financial Coach.

— Destination Employment: A Labour Solution. Alana Baker of The Hotel Association of Canada will talk about how HAC is leading efforts to demonstrate our industry’s commitment to hiring Canadians first. Destination Employment is a brand-new program that will mobilize at least 1,300 refugees and new Canadians into available hotel jobs in five key regions across the country. In partnership with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and Tourism HR Canada, HAC will work with provincial and local labour market partners to employ newcomers in sustainable, long-term hotel jobs.