HNL's Silver Anniversary Show

From left: Cindy Nicolle-Wight and Todd Wight of Ocean View Hotel, and Bruce Sparkes, Clayton Hospitality

From left: Cindy Nicolle-Wight and Todd Wight of Ocean View Hotel, and Bruce Sparkes, Clayton Hospitality

GANDER, N.L. — Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador kicked off its Silver Anniversary conference and trade show in late February with its annual general meeting and the announcement of two new directors at large.

New to the board are Colleen Kennedy, executive director of Gros Morne Cooperating Association and Darlene Thomas, Seaside Suites owner and operator.

HNL’s 2015 board of directors:

Chair Rex Avery – Steele Hotels

Vice-chair Dion Finlay – The Leaside Group

Secretary/treasurer Kelly Finlay – Murray Premises Hotel

Director Kathie Hicks – Spirit of Newfoundland Productions

Director Helena Lawlor – Tweet’s Travel  –  TPI

• Director Colleen Kennedy – Gros Morne Cooperating Association

•   Director Darlene Thomas – Seaside Suites


•  Hotel/ Motel Association of N.L. representative Annette Parsons, – Neddies Harbour Inn


•  Restaurant Association of N.L. representative Scott Hillyer – Coffee Matters

The keynote address was given by consumer behaviour expert John Young. Other speakers included David Goldstein, Canadian Tourism Commission chief executive officer and interim CEO of the Tourism Industry Association of Canada Rob Taylor. N.L. Premier Paul Davis addressed delegates at the provincial tourism luncheon.  And Tourism Café Canada managing partner Nancy Arsenault gave delegates a glimpse into experience development. 

On day two, a social media panel featured Lyle Wetsch, associate professor of marketing at Memorial University of Newfoundland and Terri Coles, freelance journalist and travel writer.

During the conference Hospitality N.L. will also introduced the province’s first Certified Hotel General Manager (CHGM), Todd Wight of the Ocean View Hotel. 

The conference closed with the annual Tourism Excellence Gala, which recognized the outstanding tourism leaders and businesses that make great contributions to the provincial tourism industry.

Tourism Excellence Awards:

H. Clayton Sparkes Accommodator of the Year – Ocean View Hotel, Rocky Harbour, N.L.

 JAC Tourism Champion of the Year – Gros Morne Cooperating Association, Rocky Harbour, N.L.

Maxxim Vacations Tourism Business of the Year – Fogo Island Inn, Fogo Island, N.L.

Cal LeGrow Tourism Innovator of the Year – Shorefast Foundation/Fogo Island Shop, Fogo Island, N.L.

Corporate Partner of the Year – Eastlink TV, Newfoundland and Labrador

Cultural Tourism Award – Wooden Boat Museum of Newfoundland and Labrador, Winterton, N.L.

Sustainable Tourism Award – Bonne Bay Marine Station and Aquarium, Norris Point, N.L.

Doug Wheeler Award – Joe & Loyola O’Brien, O’Brien’s Whale and Bird Tours, Bay Bulls, N.L.

Cruise Vision Award – Corner Brook Port Corporation, Corner Brook, N.L.

Restaurateur of the Year Award – chef Shaun Hussey & chef Michelle LeBlanc, Chinched Bistro, St. John’s, N.L.