THE WINNERS’ CIRCLE update June 25, 2019

Josef Ebner wins Baxter Lifetime Achievement award

Josef Ebner with Chelsea Hotel staff members, from left: Rob Housez, General Manager; Todd Baril, Director of Food & Beverage; Mahen Amarasingham, Director of Finance; Desha Sampson, Director of Marketing and E-Business; Josef Ebner, Regional Vice President – Canada & Managing Director; Jin Choi, Director of Revenue; Kate Sullivan, Director of Sales and Tracy Ford, Director of Public Relations.
Josef Ebner with Chelsea Hotel staff members, from left: Rob Housez, General Manager; Todd Baril, Director of Food & Beverage; Mahen Amarasingham, Director of Finance; Desha Sampson, Director of Marketing and E-Business; Josef Ebner, Regional Vice President – Canada & Managing Director; Jin Choi, Director of Revenue; Kate Sullivan, Director of Sales and Tracy Ford, Director of Public Relations.

TORONTO – Josef Ebner, regional vice-president – Canada and managing director, Chelsea Hotel, Toronto, has been awarded the W.H. Baxter Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2019 second annual Agents’ Choice Awards Gala last evening. He is only the fifth recipient of this award, since its inception in 2005.

The W.H. Baxter Lifetime Achievement Award was named after Baxter Publications’ founder, William Baxter (1919–2004) and honours a travel industry leader who has: made a significant contribution domestically and/or internationally to the travel and tourism industry; improved professional standards in the industry; demonstrated successful innovation and entrepreneurial initiative; and enhanced the industry’s standing with the general public.

Ebner’s global work experience began with an apprenticeship from 1963 to 1966 in Austria. He went on to work in Zurich, Paris, London (twice), Toronto (three times), Madeira, Montreal, Geneva, Washington (twice) and then returned to Toronto in 1992.

For the past 30 years, he has made countless trips to Asia, Europe, UK, Middle East and the US on sales missions such as ITB in Berlin, CTC ‘Showcase’ events in Japan, Korea, China and India as well as WTM in London. “These missions provide me with an opportunity to make a positive impact and ultimately contribute to the promotion and support of the tourism industry in Canada,” said Ebner. “The personal connections make all the difference.”

A tireless promoter of the Chelsea Hotel, Ebner has also been very involved in various voluntary organizations including board membership and/or executive committee membership with Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership, Greater Toronto Hotel Association, Tourism Toronto and SKAL Toronto, just to name a few.

From left: Terry Mundell, president and CEO, GTHA; Josef Ebner; and Baxter Media president David McClung.
From left: Terry Mundell, president and CEO, GTHA; Josef Ebner; and Baxter Media president David McClung.

SHHA honours longtime members

REGINA —One hundred and fifty people attended the Saskatchewan Hotel & Hospitality Delegate Dinner & Lounge at the prestigious AGT Lounge, Mosaic Stadium on May 28. 

After opening remarks from Ministers Don Morgan and Gene Makowsky, and a welcome from Restaurants Canada’s Roberto Sarjoo, the delegates enjoyed a mouth-watering meal prepared by the EVRAZ Place staff with entertainment supplied by the Jim Gallagher Duo. 

The evening wrapped up with the hilarious comedy magician Matt Gore, aka The Ginger Ninja. Matt’s sharp sense of humour and cheeky character kept the guests rolling in the aisles.

The Saskatchewan Hotel & Hospitality Association honoured some of its longtime members with life memberships in the association at the Delegate Dinner. Honourees included: Norm and Karen Jones, John McKenzie, who and Jasmine Deblois of the Limerick Hotel.

Here is what SHHA president and CEO Jim Bence had to say about the winners.

Minister Don Morgan, Karen Jones, Norm Jones and Minister Gene Makowsky.
Minister Don Morgan, Karen Jones, Norm Jones and Minister Gene Makowsky.

Norm and Karen Jones started in the hotel industry when they bought the Windthorst Hotel in November of 1993.  They are both lifelong residents of Windthorst and truly enjoyed the fellowship they experienced at the Windthorst Hotel. 

In addition to running a successful business, Norm and Karen have been very active in their community. Norm has served on council for 22 years, the last twelve as mayor. He is a 45 year Charter Member of the Windthorst Lions Club. An avid fan, Norm was a Rural Rep Chairman and Director of the Saskatchewan Rough Riders, and continues to hold season tickets. Norm has also displayed his acting talents in Windthorst Little Theatre participating in 25 productions.

In 2012, Norm was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for his contribution to Canada. Karen, in addition to running a successful business, served on the Windthorst School Board and the CWL. She is currently the Chairperson for St. Pius Parish Church in Windthorst and donates time to the rink cafeteria. 

During their time as owners and operators of Norm’s Place, they have always remained a member in good standing with the Hotel Association and have taken interest in the government battles that the industry faced such as off sale discount and the smoking ban.  The hospitality business has had its challenges especially the continual tightening of the liquor laws. Despite the challenges, there have been many rewards as well.  They have met many hard working, fun loving people and made lifelong friendships over the years of owning Norm’s Place.

Minister Morgan, John McKenzie and Minister Makowsky.
Minister Morgan, John McKenzie and Minister Makowsky.

John McKenzie was born in Regina, and soon after graduation in 1971, he bolted to Australia where he opened the first Pizza Restaurant in Brisbane in 1974.  From managing a Pizza Hut to becoming the executive chef at the Moo Loo La Ba Yacht Club, John has done it all.

Moving back to Canada in 91 he bought the Katepwa Beach Hotel in 92 and ran a very successful operation until this year. Selling to Ron and Tami Marten, John is still living in Katepwa Beach and developing a property in Mexico!

John was an active and valuable member of the SHHA board and his voice will be missed at the directors table.

Minister Morgan, Jasmine Deblois and Minister Makowsky.
Minister Morgan, Jasmine Deblois and Minister Makowsky.

Jasmine Deblois was a board director for 10 years. Jasmine grew up in the hotel industry her entire life. She was an incredibly dedicated board member who, like her mom, was passionate about her industry and outspoken with regards to the SHHA vision and direction for the association. 

Jasmine’s mother, Hilda, also served on the SHHA Board of Directors for several years, passionately  advocating for rural hotels. In 2011, Hilda celebrated 60 years of the family business and in 2012 the Limerick Hotel celebrated its 100th Birthday. After 68 years of family ownership, on November 8, 2018, Hilda sold the Limerick Hotel to Doug and Sandy McCrea.

Hotels participate in FoodRescue program

AquaTerra Restaurant at the Delta Kingston participates in the FoodRescue program.
AquaTerra Restaurant at the Delta Kingston participates in the FoodRescue program.

CANADA — FoodRescue.ca, the innovative online platform connecting food businesses with social services to reduce avoidable food waste, has expanded across the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island, in partnership with Loblaw Companies Ltd. Developed by Second Harvest, Canada’s largest food rescue charity, FoodRescue.ca connects any food business with surplus food to local charities and non-profit organizations who feed people in need.

The expansion to B.C. is supported by a number of local food businesses demonstrating the breadth of organizations that can benefit from the platform. One such partner is SilverChef, Canada’s leading hospitality financier working to mobilize its wide network of customers, restaurants, hotels, coffee shops, and caterers to responsibly donate their surplus food to non-profits organizations that feed people in need.

There are a number of hotels across Canada participating in the program. The Four Points by Sheraton in Kingston is great example of a hotel that have a recurring route set up on FoodRescue.ca.  They have established pick ups on Mondays and Fridays with a local family shelter to donate surplus form events over the weekend and during the week. 

Another participant is AquaTerra restaurant at the Delta in Kingston, which is also in charge of catering the events held there.  They are a great example of a hotel that uses FoodRescue.ca to make single donations when they have surplus from events, usually two to four times a month.

The Fairmont Empress Hotel in Victoria has recently signed up for the program as well.

The Josie nominated as Best New Ski Hotel

ROSSLAND, B.C. — The Josie Hotel, the Kootenay Rockies’ newest luxury ski-in, ski-out hotel,  has been nominated as one of three global finalists for “World’s Best New Ski Hotel”, at the World Ski Awards competition. The  Noble House Hotels & Resort property is also nominated alongside the country’s premiere ski hotels for “Canada’s Best Ski Boutique Hotel”.

Inspired by Rossland’s rugged peaks, lush forests and 3,850 acres of unfettered skiing, The Josie beckons locals and visitors with luxe amenities, personalized service and a coveted location mere steps from RED Mountain Resort: a fellow World Ski Award nominee for “Canada’s Best Ski Resort” and one of the top 10 largest ski resorts in North America. Since opening in November 2018, the hotel – situated along the world-renowned Powder Highway – has attracted global interest among ski aficionados seeking a home-away-from-home from which to explore Rossland’s alluring mountain experiences. 

The Josie is one of three hotels to be nominated in the World Ski Awards’ “World’s Best New Ski Hotel” category, and was also named among nine national nominees for “Canada’s Best Ski Boutique Hotel”. Votes are cast by professionals working within the ski industry, including senior executives, travel buyers, tour operators, agents and media; as well as by ski tourism consumers. 

The World Ski Awards aims to raise the bar within the ski industry by recognizing and rewarding organizations that demonstrate leadership in the field of ski tourism. Each year, hundreds of thousands of travel professionals and skiers from around the world participate by voting for their favourite products, venues and brands. The winners are revealed at the annual World Ski Awards gala, taking place this year in Kitzbühel, Austria, between November 22 and 24.