OTTAWA — As Tony Pollard, president and CEO of the Hotel Association of Canada prepares to retire from that position Sept. 2, he finds himself busier than ever.
“There are so many things going on right now with work. We’re adding meat to the bones of the new seasonal lodging worker program. We’ve had a front page story in the Globe and Mail and met with just about everyone on Parliament Hill.”
Plans are already in motion for next year’s HAC Conference, which will take place Feb. 16 and 17 at the Sheraton Toronto Airport — a departure from the event’s usual downtown Toronto location.
“Many people live in Mississauga, Oakville and Burlington, and many of the large hotel brands have headquarters there. If your offices are at the airport, you don’t want to drive downtown for the reception and conference,” Pollard said.
Re:Sound and SOCAN talks were also on his agenda at press time.
“I’m looking forward to retirement,” he said. “For the first month, [my wife] Sylvie and I will do what we want to do. After that there are a lot of good things I like to do, including writing and speaking.
“We’ve been pulled in so many different directions. The last five months were crazy with travel. I took 13 flights in 11 days and Sylvie was on nine of them.” In addition, Sylvie has an antique shop in Pembroke, Ont., and the couple has rental cottages as well.
As Pollard moves forward, he is also interested in staying involved in environmental issues. “There’s a lot of work still in the environmental area. When we started Green Key in 1997, we never dreamed it would become what it is today.”
He has also enjoyed being a guest lecturer at colleges and universities.
As the magazine went to press, HAC continued its search for Pollard’s successor, reviewing a long list of candidates and then interviewing them.
With 25 years at the helm of the national association, Pollard’s will be a tough act to follow.