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VANCOUVER—It's been a decade of challenges and achievements for Canadian tourism, and the woman who has navigated the CTC through this tumultuous time says she's leaving her post on a high note and with optimism. “This is a terrific industry, with significant growth potential. I thank the CTC team, and industry players from coast to coast to coast for their support and their partnership,” says Michele McKenzie, who will step down as president and CEO of the Canadian Tourism Commission at the end of this year.
“I have loved every minute of my time at CTC. It has been an absolute privilege to work with such a talented and dedicated team of professionals. After 10 years in the top job I have accomplished what I set out to do. I have decided it is time for me to move on,” said McKenzie.
In her time with the CTC, McKenzie led the evolution and transformation of Canada's international tourism brand. Over the past years, the Canada brand has been recognized by FutureBrand Country Brand Index as one of the top two country brands in the world.
With the support of the Government of Canada, she led an ambitious marketing program to promote tourism by leveraging the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games‚ a model that has since been followed by other nations.
Ms McKenzie has also led the CTC in winning numerous awards and recognition including the 2009 Marketer of the Year award (Marketing magazine) and the Leading Management Change Award in 2013 for exceptional leadership in management practices in strategic planning (Canadian Government Executive).
The years were not without challenges, however, with CTC budget reductions and the emergence of the aggressive Brand USA program. McKenzie strategically shifted CTC marketing dollars to the markets that would potentially provide the greatest returns.
“Over the last 10 years, Michele's greatest leadership quality was her ability to lead by example, inspiring the talented team behind her to help shape and define the Canadian Tourism Commission as we know it today: a creative, analytical, and first class marketing organization,” said Maxime Bernier, Minister of State for Small Business and Tourism, and Agriculture yesterday. “I have greatly appreciated her professionalism, insight and candor in helping me personally in my role as Minister of State. On behalf of the Government of Canada, I thank her for her dedication and wish her well in the next chapter of her career.”
Steve Allan, CTC‚ chair of the Board of Directors, drew particular attention today to McKenzie's record on delivering economic results for Canada's tourism industry, and her commitment to accountability and widespread collaboration.
“Under Michele's leadership, the CTC has evolved into a strategy-focused crown corporation that has garnered national and international recognition as a top notch national tourism marketer. Her leadership success is reflected every day in the public and private sector tourism partnerships that support the work of CTC by matching federal government's investments,” said Allan. “The Board is extremely grateful to Michele for her outstanding contribution to the CTC and to the Canadian tourism industry and we wish her every success in the future.”
The process to determine CTC's next permanent president and CEO will be carried out by the Government of Canada in collaboration with the CTC Board of Directors. The president and CEO position at CTC is appointed by Governor in Council.