The Tourism Industry Association of New Brunswick (TIANB) has been working over
the last two years to restructure and rejuvenate the organization.
director Ron Drisdelle has been tackling the task since he joined the non-profit
organization in April 2013.
TIANB represents more than 500 members in the
accommodations, food and beverage, recreation and entertainment, transportation
and travel service industries.
Drisdelle has slowly been building the five-person team,
which consists of accounting officer Mehmet Yunli, industry
training co-ordinatorVeronique Arsenault and the most recent
additions Emma Thompson, front desk and
team liaison, and communications and marketing manager Shelley Munn.
“When I arrived,
the association was poised to look at itself and determine future directions
and that’s what we’ve been working on: bringing stronger structure within the
organization and concentrating on our members,” said Drisdelle. “The board has
acknowledged the importance of good governance.”
He said good
governance is an important mechanism to ensure the next three decades of the
“We’re going through that governance process now,
which is an exciting time,” said Drisdelle, adding that the association is
working with training company LearnSphere Canada on this matter.
Drisdelle said the process applies to internal
employees as well as the TIANB board, who are responsible for creating vision
and direction for the industry, while the staff deal with day-to-day
“The board is the ‘what’ and the staff have become
the ‘how,’” said Drisdelle.
He added the plan will reduce the number of people on
the board — currently sitting at 23 members — in the name of greater
efficiency, noting the sweet spot is between nine and 12 members.
“Right now, it is sector-based and the board is going
to be moving towards a skills-based board,” said Drisdelle.
In September, TIANB is
launching a new logo, tagline(“Your Prosperity is Our Business”), news bulletin, member benefits, partners and
The association also
restructured its training program in consultation with the Canadian Tourism
Human Resource Council to create Skills World, which Drisdelle said has been
Drisdelle said the new
website, which goes live Aug. 31, is more user-friendly and more
Members will be able to
manage their own business listing as well as pay membership fees and register
for events online, added Munn.
“This website also gives us
more opportunity to communicate, which we have had challenges with in the past,
getting information out to our members,” she said.
“We’ll also be hitting the road and going around to our
members and showing them the benefits of our preferred members’ [services],
teaching them about our new training model and the other benefits that our
website can do for them,” said Munn.
Drisdelle said future plans include working more closing with
Restaurants Canada and other relevant associations. “We were so inward-looking
for the past two years.