Tourism HR Canada's Board of Directors reflects a focus on the core competencies individual directors can contribute to the collective expertise of an engaged and proactive Board.

Tourism HR Canada Board Structure

The Board of Directors is comprised of a cross-sectional representation of all stakeholders of the pan-Canadian tourism sector, vetted against a Board Competency Framework and meeting the following criteria.

Members include:

  • four Directors representing a national or pan-Canadian, cross-sectoral tourism association or national specialty interest association, including the Tourism Industry Association of Canada, Hotel Association of Canada, Destination Canada, Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada, or similar;
  • four Directors representing a provincial/territorial or regional tourism sector (or related) association;
  • one Director representing a tourism educator, researcher, or educational institution; and
  • four Directors representing a provincial, regional, pan-Canadian, or international business (or related) organization with an emphasis on tourism or tourism-related services (i.e., at Large).

Current Directors

Joe Baker

President and CEO, Joe Baker & Co.

Joe Baker & Co. is a leadership consultancy focused on strengthening organizations and people at the core of a future-forward hospitality and tourism industry.

Previously Dean at Centennial College’s School of Hospitality, Tourism and Culinary Arts, Joe led the most significant transformation in the School’s 50+ year history. He designed programs and operations in an immersive experiential learning environment to align graduates with the skills required to serve the future workforce needs of the Canadian tourism sector.

Prior to this, Joe held senior management roles at George Brown College’s Centre for Hospitality and Culinary Arts. Before joining higher education, Joe worked in the restaurant industry both as an entrepreneur as well as in a management capacity at high-profile organizations including the Oliver & Bonacini group and Keg Restaurants.

With a Master of Education in Higher Education Leadership, a Bachelor of Commerce in Hospitality and Tourism Management, and extensive Executive Education, Joe is uniquely positioned to serve as a modern, strategic tourism industry leader with a distinct focus on bringing education, training, and workforce innovation together to build a resilient and inclusive workforce.

Joe also serves on the Board of the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario. You can find Joe everywhere @thejoebaker.

Krista Bax

CEO, go2HR

Krista Bax is a strategic leader with extensive experience and a passion for the tourism industry. In April 2020, Krista was appointed the new CEO for go2HR in British Columbia. go2HR is BC’s tourism human resource association and is responsible for playing a lead role in executing BC’s Tourism Human Resources Strategy. go2HR is also BC’s tourism health and safety association.

Prior to joining go2HR, Krista was Senior Vice-President, Western Canada, at Context, a strategic engagement and communications firm, and Executive Director at the Asia Pacific Gateway Skills Table. Krista has worked with various sector councils and is experienced in labour market economics, skills training, health and safety, Indigenous relations, strategic planning, and marketing.

Krista holds an MBA and Bachelor of Science from the University of Alberta and completed the Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD) Not-for-Profit Program at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management.

Jim Bence


Jim Bence is president & CEO of Hospitality Saskatchewan, whose mandate is to provide the quality programs, services, and education its member organizations need to ensure their financial stability and growth.

As the tourism industry association for the province, Hospitality Saskatchewan represents a diverse membership, including hotels, restaurants, conference/convention centres, and tourism and cultural attractions, lobbying on behalf of members’ best interests and firmly advocating for the positive change of government legislation, policy, and regulations.

With hospitality industry experience and a human resource background, Jim hopes, as a Tourism HR Canada Board member, to contribute to the continued success of the organization.

France Dionne

Executive Director, Institut de tourisme et d’hôtellerie du Québec

As the Executive Director of the Institut de tourisme et d’hôtellerie du Québec (ITHQ), France Dionne is responsible for government relations and international development. She has a master’s degree in public administration from the École nationale d’administration publique du Québec (ENAP) and completed training at the College of Corporate Governance at Laval University. France is also the president of the Quebec Association for Training in Catering, Tourism and Hospitality, as well as a member of the Board of Directors of the Quebec Restaurants, Hospitality, and Tourism Workforce Committee. Ms. Dionne has had a very diversified career: – In politics, as Member of Parliament for  Kamouraska-Témiscouata in the National Assembly of Quebec, and as Parliamentary Assistant to the Ministers of Industry, Trade and Finance of Quebec – In public administration, as Assistant Deputy Minister at the Ministry of Culture and Communications of Quebec, as well as at the Secretariat for Senior Employment of the Ministry of the Executive Council of Quebec – As a consultant in strategy and regional development for various departments of the Government of Canada and the Réseau des SADC du Québec – International experience as Quebec Delegate in New England, in addition to early career mandates at Global Affairs Canada (Ottawa, Washington, and Geneva), the Royal Bank International Centre of Canada, and the International Relations Office of the City of Quebec

Juanita Ford

Chief Operating Officer, Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador

Juanita Ford is a leader in the tourism industry, with a focus on human resources and industry development. Hospitality NL was established in 1983 and is a non-profit membership association that leads, supports, represents, and enhances the province’s tourism industry. Its work on behalf of members and the industry itself has played a crucial role in developing the tourism industry into the flourishing economic driver that it is today.

At Hospitality NL, Juanita leads the organization in strategic planning, marketing, revenue generation, and project management, working closely with the Hospitality NL Board of Directors and other industry stakeholders throughout the country.  

Juanita has led Hospitality NL in numerous labour market projects in partnership with government, education, and industry stakeholders. She has extensive expertise and knowledge of the provincial, national, and global tourism sector.

Juanita has worked closely with the board and staff of Tourism HR Canada for over 25 years to grow a professional and dynamic tourism workforce and is excited to return to the board to address the current challenges and changes facing the industry and those who work in it.

Previously, she held roles as the Standards, Certification & Event Coordinator and Project & Event Coordinator at Hospitality NL, a Marketing Instructor at the College of the North Atlantic, and Constituency Assistant, for MP John Crosbie, in St. John’s West. Juanita has served on several national Boards and holds a degree in Economics and Business and has enhanced her education in the areas of advanced leadership and project management.

Darlene Grant Fiander

Chair of the Board
President, Tourism Industry Association of Nova Scotia/
Executive Director, Nova Scotia Tourism Human Resource Council

TIANS is a non-profit organization representing over 1000 private sector businesses in tourism throughout Nova Scotia. The NSTHRC works with employers and employees to build a sustainable and healthy tourism workforce.

A graduate of Mount Saint Vincent University, Darlene has held various management positions within the tourism industry. Darlene is past President of Canada CHRIE—a group representing educators and industry associations in Canada—and a past Chair of the Nova Scotia Association of Industry Sector Councils. Darlene was the inaugural recipient of the Hotel Association of Canada (HAC) Hall of Fame Award for leadership in human resources, in 2005.

Darlene has been Chair of the Board since June 2018.

Xavier Gret

CEO, Conseil québécois des ressources humaines en tourisme

After fifteen years in the field as a professional in the hospitality industry, Xavier Gret’s professional career led him to work at the Association Hôtellerie Québec for a dozen years, during which time he had the opportunity to lead two strategic planning exercises as CEO. Today, he serves as CEO of the Conseil québécois des ressources humaines en tourisme (CQRHT), a non-profit organization mandated by the provincial government. With his experience as a director on half a dozen Boards in organizations of various sizes in the fields of tourism, diversity and education, Xavier has developed strong skills in stakeholder engagement and mobilization, business development, and project management, as well as in fostering relations with various levels of government. Xavier brings expertise and strong leadership in human resources, labour market intelligence, and skills development to fuel the innovative strategies initiated by Tourism HR Canada in recent years and promote the necessary transformation of the tourism sector from a labour market and human resources perspective.

Susie Grynol

President, Hotel Association of Canada (HAC)

Susie Grynol is an accomplished association executive with experience managing complex industry issues and delivering successful political outcomes. In 2005, Susie launched her career in the association sector, where she rose to Vice-President at two national trade associations, managing federal advocacy issues for engineering firms and retail companies. Susie joined the Hotel Association of Canada as President in the fall of 2016 with a mandate to bolster the Association’s profile, streamline its advocacy objectives, and build winning strategies. She also holds a professional designation in Association Management.

Susie has received multiple awards of recognition for both academic and professional performance. An avid volunteer, Susie served as the 2014 elected President of the Canadian Society of Association Executives National Chapter and she currently also sits on the Board of the Government Relations Institute of Canada, the Bachelor of Hospitality and Tourism Management Program Advisory Committee at Algonquin College, and the University of Guelph Hospitality, Food & Tourism Management Policy Advisory Board.

Keith Henry

President and CEO, Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC)

Keith is an international Indigenous cultural tourism leader, receiving Aboriginal/Indigenous recognition as the former CEO for Aboriginal Tourism Association of British Columbia (AtBC). In 2014, the inaugural World Indigenous Tourism Alliance award recognized the work of AtBC and his leadership.

Keith has been spearheading the growth of authentic Indigenous tourism in Canada. He worked to redevelop the national Aboriginal Tourism Association of Canada as elected chair when this organization incorporated in April 2015. That October, he took the full-time role as its CEO.

Keith continues to be recognized across the country as one of the leaders in Indigenous tourism and has led many new initiatives, including contributions to the development of national standards on market readiness and authenticity, cruise industry opportunities, and the national Aboriginal tourism research project on the economic value of Indigenous cultural tourism. He was instrumental in the development of the national Indigenous tourism strategy, The Path Forward 2016-2021, which will focus on increasing Aboriginal market readiness, jobs, and revenues.

Darlene Heynen

CEO, Yukon Tourism Education Council

As Chief Executive Officer of the Yukon Tourism Education Council, Darlene Heynen brings extensive knowledge of the tourism sector, and represents Canada’s North, ensuring the Board serves a pan-Canadian perspective.

Having previously served on the Board from 1995 to 2016, including as Chair of the Finance Committee, Darlene’s financial expertise and experience managing federally funded projects will help guide Tourism HR Canada over the course of several multi-year federal initiatives.

Kelly Higginson

President and CEO, Restaurants Canada

Restaurants Canada (RC) is the not-for-profit member-based association representing Canada’s foodservice sector.

Kelly Higginson became President and CEO in 2023 after serving the organization as Chief Operating Officer since 2022. She has over 25 years of experience in hospitality operations, having previously served as the Executive Vice President of Operations at The CFW Group, leading operational strategy for North American hospitality brands like ki modern japanese + bar, The Shore Club, and Joe Fortes Seafood & Chop House.

Kelly brings a wealth of knowledge from her years in Canadian foodservice, as well as an incredible passion for developing strong and inclusive teams to maximize impact. During her time with The CFW Group, Higginson had first-hand experience navigating copious challenges as she worked to further the development and retention of employees through the global pandemic.

Kelly embraces the opportunity to represent and advocate for the industry to restore stability and predictability.

Tracey Kalimeris

Vice President, Talent & Culture, Accor, North & Central America

Tracey Kalimeris is a Senior Human Resources leader translating business needs into human resource initiatives to improve performance and profitability. Tracey ensures the successful operation of the Talent & Culture function within hotel operations across North & Central America for Accor, a global hospitality business that operates more than 30 brands and close to 5000 hotels globally.

In addition to her human resource experience, Tracey has also held operational roles within the hotel sector, which included Director, Operations, and within the education sector, as a professor.

Tracey holds an MBA in Human Resource Management from Royal Roads University and is an HRPA Certified Human Resource Leader. She is also a member of the Policy Advisory Board at the University of Guelph.

Philip Mondor

President and CEO, Tourism HR Canada

For more than 25 years, Philip has worked with labour market stakeholders across Canada and abroad including foreign governments, pan-global organizations, Canadian and non-Canadian businesses, and various education and training bodies.

In 2017, Philip was appointed to the Deputy Minister’s Advisory Council, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, and he has also been appointed to the newly established Labour Market Information Council set up by the Forum of Labour Market Ministers. Currently, Philip is also an advisory member of the Ted Rogers School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, Ryerson University, and he is a technical advisor to INSSO (International Network of Skills Sector Organizations).

Beth Potter

President and CEO, Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC)

Beth Potter is a strategic leader and planner, advocating on myriad issues affecting the tourism industry. She joined TIAC in March 2021; her tremendous knowledge and sector-specific advocacy experience will lead the visitor economy’s path to recovery.

Beth has a long and distinguished career in Canada’s tourism sector, including most recently serving as the President and CEO of the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO).

She is a recognized leader with more than 30 years of experience in the not-for-profit and tourism industries and has worked with a variety of boards and committees, including her recent contributions to the World Travel & Tourism Council’s tourism recovery efforts.

Previously, she held positions as Executive Director for Camping In Ontario/Ontario Private Campground Association, Director of Conferences for the Canadian Association of Importers & Exporters, and Vice-President for the Retail Council of Canada.

She holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English from Lakehead University, and proudly mentors young professionals.

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