Tom Mullin retires from SHHA

Tom Mullin (right) presents longtime board member Richard Archer with an award of merit.

Tom Mullin (right) presents longtime board member Richard Archer with an award of merit.

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By Colleen Isherwood

SASKATOON—“It’s been a great run for me,” said an emotional
Tom Mullin as he announced at the association’s AGM that he would be stepping
down as president and CEO of the Saskatchewan Hotel & Hospitality
Association on Nov. 30.

“There have been a lot of changes in the Saskatchewan hotel
business over the last 14 years,” Mullin told conference delegates, citing the
changes in liquor retailing and the record number of accommodation properties
being built in the province. “I believe that new energy is required to lead the
association through the coming years.

“I’ve worked with seven chairs and numerous directors, and
have always cherished those relationships,” he added.

His speech was met by a standing ovation.

At the end of the meeting, several SHHA members paid tribute
to Mullin, with one member noting that he seemed to know everyone in government
and how to get inside the door, and that it’s not an easy task to bring urban
and rural association members together.

Lance Grosco of Duck Lake Hotel, who served as chair for
three years noted that “it was my greatest pleasure driving around the country
with Tom. He taught me how to act and what to say. I’d be giving a speech—a
greeting from the province. If he raised one eyebrow at me, it meant be quiet
and sit down. If he raised two eyebrows, it meant ‘Shut up, Lance’.”

Tony Pollard, president and CEO of the Hotel Association of
Canada, said that Mullin had made a difference across Canada. Five or six years
ago, an individual in Quebec wanted to eliminate VLCs [from hotels] and only have them in
casinos and racetracks. “Tom came to Ottawa and met with a variety of people
from right across the country. He did the work that saved a heck of a lot of
our business in Saskatchewan.

“Tom, you’ll always have a hotel room to stay in and a cold
beer.”