Ontario hospitality associations now integrated

Tony Elenis.
Tony Elenis.

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. — The Ontario Restaurant and Hotel Motel Association will be integrating two well-known and important industry groups with the association to preserve and enhance the value they provide fo education, leadership and student support.

“Both OHI and CAFP have a proud legacy through the work that has been accomplished over the years, especially in workforce development,” ORHMA’s president and CEO, Tony Elenis, told CLN.

The Ontario Hostelry Institute (OHI) has provided the hospitality industry with immeasurable support over its 40-plus years, including working with the education sector on curriculum development and driving recognition of key contributors to the success and evolution of the industry. Charles Grieco, who oversaw the organization for many years, passed away early this year.

The Canadian Association of Foodservice Professionals (CAFP), operated through a number of local branches for more than 100 years, linking foodservice students, educational institutions and industry employers. When CAFP disbanded nationally, ORHMA was approached to take on leadership and support of the organization’s Ontario functions.

It took time, consultation and reflection with stakeholders past and present, to decide on the future of these organizations. The OHI will be renamed the Ontario Hospitality Institute, reflecting its alignment with both the lodging and foodservice segments. CAFP will be transferring a portion of its remaining funds to kickstart student support initiatives and financial awards.

“OHI’s role is to build a strong bridge between students attending hospitality institutions and the hospitality industry. This is about engagement and work opportunities,” said Elenis. “We aim to also drive activities at the high school level that stimulate interest and career thinking on the many aspects of the hospitality industry.”

ORHMA is working to finalize the date of their first OHI event this fall, celebrating and highlighting the path for the Ontario Hospitality Institute. Two new student financial grants will be launched in the names of prominent OHI leaders, partially made possible through the CAFP legacy funds.

New Chapter in North Bay

Wesam Metwalli, chair, North Bay Accommodation Association.
Wesam Metwalli, chair, North Bay Accommodation Association.

ORHMA is also adding a new chapter called the North Bay Accommodation Association, formed to represent the hospitality sector at the regional level, involve hotel members and strengthen the voice of the hospitality sector.

“Expanding our regions is an approach that will bring the industry closer, benefitting not only the local climate, but building a stronger voice in Ontario,” said Elenis. “The development of the North Bay Accommodation Association provides the local hotel community with a unified voice and an opportunity to tackle industry issues at the municipal level.” 

“With the recent implementation of the Municipal Accommodation Tax (MAT) and restructuring of Tourism North Bay, it is essential that all North Bay hoteliers come together with the support of ORHMA, who will influence provincial and municipal government on issues that affect our industry,” said Wesam Metwalli, CMP director of sales, Homewood Suites by Hilton North Bay and chair of the association.