TEN Specialists are skilled consultants retained by TEN and are the faces of our group workshops, Best Practice Missions and our Fast Track to Success programs.
TEN Specialists have a minimum six years full-time experience in tourism planning, destination development, and/or tourism product development. They have a thorough knowledge of and appreciation for Northern Ontario’s tourism industry, with its diverse geographic landscapes, urban centres/communities and visitor appeal. In addition, TEN Specialists have an in-depth knowledge about a range of public, not-for-profit, and private sector tourism operations.
Lesley is a tourism and destination marketing professional with extensive experience in planning, developing, executing, and evaluating community, national and international initiatives. Professionally trained as a marketer, destination developer and educator, Lesley’s diverse career in multiple tourism sectors spans economic development, stakeholder relations, research, sales, event planning, and tour guiding.
Lesley’s talent for leading industry outreach training and development was solidified during her tenure with Destination Canada where she created and managed the successful Canadian Signature Experiences collection and Explorer Quotient research programs, including growing Canada’s coast to coast training capacity for the Explorer Quotient Authorized Training team.
Her international experience combined with conversational skills in French, Italian, German and Spanish are a real asset to the Tourism Cafe as she begins to lead and support our different training and development projects. An avid sports enthusiast, in her spare time Lesley loves cycling, running, skiing, and relaxing in crazy yoga poses.
Clinton is the Founder, President & CEO of CB Powers Enterprises and Canadian Ecotourism Services (CES) with offices in Toronto and Winnipeg. Though Canadian Ecotourism Services (CES) has been his flagship company for 20 years, Clinton’s focus is working one-on-one with entrepreneurs and business leaders in many different sectors to build their capacity and better their businesses. His extensive background in hospitality provides him with a strong background in a wide range of customer service platforms. He believes profit and not for profit all require the same operating principles and leadership to thrive and makes it his life’s work to enable people with purpose and passion to have a sustainable organization that’s scaled for success, ultimately enabling people, process and profit.
Clinton does this by working directly with businesses owners and their teams to improve their operation and profitability! He brings an innovative approach to sustainable economic empowerment gained through his entrepreneurial abilities with individual/community driven ventures, business start-ups, and capacity building programs. Clinton’s experience comes from having the privilege of working across Canada and abroad in a wide range of industries and cultures. Clinton’s natural ability to coach, manage, and empower the people he works with has enabled him to develop unique product and service solutions to assist organizational and individual growth. Clinton specializes in small business and community development solutions in a diverse variety of industries and disciplines, such as community development plans, tourism plans, marketing and branding campaigns, strategic planning, business planning, speaking engagements and most notably business advisory services.
Clinton has managed and trained individuals in hospitality, coached over 100 leaders, delivered over 200 workshops to small, medium and large corporate groups, and has developed and delivered over 50 interactive workshops on various development models. He is respected in many indigenous circles for his work with tourism and entrepreneurial development to preserve cultures and develop products. Clinton believes success always starts with one conversation and the right motivation.
Alanna Davidson partners her experience in destination development with her passion for arts and culture. Her careers in the tourism sector, regional economic development and as an executive in a not for profit destination business, has lead her to appreciate how tourism (and keeping the dollar bills tourists bring) is an integral component to business success.
Alanna understands that to stand out in a crowed marketplace, businesses require constant innovation, reflection and big doses of creativity. Her approach to destination tourism with a splash of resourcefulness gives tourism organizations and independent operations the tools needed to not only survive, but thrive.
Understanding the specific tools and tweaks needed to put a destination business on the map (from both a visitor and operational standpoint) allows Alanna to highlight the visitor touch points, physical design, retail analysis, customer experiences, signage, and creative brand positioning that operators and organizations can use to create a combination of quick wins and long-term strategic plans. This expertise is essential to making quality recommendations which aren’t intimidating to implement, into real time actions and ultimately business results.
Alanna has been fortunate to have her involvement in tourism and downtown revitalization initiatives recognized and awarded by the Economic Developers Association of Ontario and the International Downtown Association.
As a business consultant with a specialization in economic development, Karen Gibbons is a seasoned professional with a track record of success when it comes to helping businesses, non-profits, and municipalities with growth. Strategy and creative insight are hallmarks of Karen’s innovative approach, gaining her both national and provincial recognition as a rising business leader.
Karen’s background reflects a diversity of experience, supporting clients in a wide range of different industries with anything from marketing communication solutions, economic development strategies, business planning and growth, investment attraction, to funding and proposal development, social and digital processes, and market research. She is also regularly invited to share her insight and expertise through workshops and training sessions.
Karen has received recognition for her contributions, having been awarded the Northern Ontario Business Top 40 Under 40 for North Bay, a Product Development Redevelopment Initiative Award with the Economic Council of Ontario and the Special Purposes Project Award with the Economic Developers Association of Canada.
Karen holds her designation in economic development (Ec.D) with the Economic Developers Association of Canada, as well as an Economic Development Certificate from the University of Waterloo. Karen received her Bachelor of Business Administration-Marketing from the University of New Brunswick. She is a Business Retention and Expansion Consultant with Business Retention & Expansion International and is a trained facilitator with Ontario Tourism Education Corporation (OTEC).
Eva Gutsche, founder of STEM, brings a wide range of experience and expertise to the organization. A solid background in Management and Sales allows for a practical hands-on approach to be applied to the various programs.
Eva has been faclitating for over ten years working to improve effectiveness with Leadership Teams, Sales departments and the front line customer experience.
Eva has a MBA from Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, a diploma in Hospitality Administration and Services from Centennial College, Toronto and a program completion from Cornell University in Leadership and Revenue Managment.
Eva is fully accredited as a Licensed Practitioner with Insights (Discovery, Team Effectiveness and Sales Effectiveness) and with Lumina (Lumina Spark, Lumina Leader and Lumina Sales). Eva is also a Licensed EQAT trainer for the Canadian Tourism Commission.
Chris is meticulous about the little things that make your business and experiences memorable. The bed, the phone charger, the cutlery, the bathroom, right down to the type of music playing in your lounge are all things that can determine your tourism fate. Looking at your business through a micro lens can be scary, but it’s the key to making people happy, and spending money…lots of it.
Chris is President at BC Hughes Destination Development & Marketing located in Shallow Lake, Ontario (located right beside the really big one – Lake Huron). As a University of Waterloo alumnus, Chris was trained on the integration of business and the environment- something extremely relevant in today’s tourism economies. His skilled team at BC Hughes specializes in developing innovative tourism experiences and creative marketing strategies for regional tourism organizations, cities, towns and businesses.
Their company mandate is simple: Develop a kick-ass visitor experience by focusing on the little details, and your customers will sell it for you.
Laurel Reid is President of Tourism Synergy Ltd. Tourism Synergy was formed in 2001 and offers expertise in sustainable tourism planning and development for destinations, tourism marketing strategy, feasibility studies, market research and tourism education. Laurel works with tourism businesses, associations, municipalities, provinces and regions wishing to strengthen tourism practices. She has a reputation for effectively facilitating community tourism development and capacity-building and has conducted many workshops. Laurel is also an Adjunct Professor at the University of New Brunswick.
Laurel has worked with tourism destinations and operators across Northern Ontario and Atlantic Canada. She has assisted with the development of Tourism Excellence North (TEN) and has continued to deliver workshops and Fast Track to Success (FTS) programs for TEN. She also helped with development and delivery of several Atlantic Canada tourism programs, including the Strategic Tourism Expansion Program (STEP) for communities, Strategic Tourism for Areas and Regions (STAR) for regions, the Accelerated Market Readiness Program (AMR) for operators and others.
Laurel holds a PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) in Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management (Clemson University, South Carolina, USA) a Master of Communications Studies (MCS) from the University of Calgary and a Bachelor of Science (Communications and Marketing) from Syracuse University. Her work appears in several travel, tourism and marketing related books, journals and conference proceedings.
Marla Tremblay, a certified Economic developer, brings extensive knowledge of the region’s tourism industry. Recognized for her expertise in the sector, Marla was a member of the OTMP Northern Committee for 8 years, is past Chair of the Northeastern Ontario Tourism (NEONT /RTO 13A) Board, and was both a member and the Chair of the Ontario’s North Cities and Attractions committee. She was the recipient of the 2006 EDAC award for Best Tourism Marketing Campaign – Print and the OTMP Best Tourism Marketing Partnership award in 2011.
Additionally, Marla has spearheaded the development and implementation of award winning tourism related programs such as the HWY 11 Corridor project. Her experience in tourism and economic development not only includes her work on a municipal level, but also working for a tourism outfitter, coordinating community festivals and events, teaching at the College level and assisting rural communities with community development projects such as trail and park development.
Fluently bilingual, Marla holds a Diploma in Tourism Management and has her Association of Municipal Clerks and Treasurers’ Designation through AMCT.