Rodd Hotels & Resorts Sales Manager is 15,000th emerit Certified Professional

In November 2011, the Canadian Tourism Human Resource Council (CTHRC) and the Tourism Industry Association of Prince Edward Island (TIAPEI) celebrated an important milestone at the 10th Annual Tourism HR Forum held at the Rodd Charlottetown Hotel. Rodd Hotels and Resorts’ Lori MacKinnon is the 15,000th emerit Tourism certified Professional, having successfully completed the requirements of the certification program for Sales Manager. We spoke with Lori just before a special luncheon at the HR Forum where her accomplishment was formally recognized.

What was your tourism industry experience before you joined Rodd Hotels and Resorts?

In 1993, I enrolled in a 20 week Tourism & Hospitality Management program offered through TIAPEI. I went to The Prince Edward Hotel (now Delta Prince Edward) for my 6 weeks on-job-training and was hired following my placement.

Prior to joining Rodd Hotels & Resorts I also worked with Canadian Pacific Hotels in Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick for 6 years. During that time I held a number of different front office positions including Guest Service Agent, Tour Coordinator, Front Office Supervisor, Reservations Manager and Night Auditor.

How long have you been with Rodd Hotels and Resorts, and what positions have you held there?

I began my career with Rodd Hotels & Resorts as Conference Coordinator at Rodd Royalty in Charlottetown in 1999. In 2000, I was asked to move to Head Office to replace a colleague on maternity leave in the sales department and never went back. After covering a second maternity leave in the sales department, I became the Sales Manager for Travel Trade in 2001 and hold that same position today.

 Tell us about Rodd Hotels and Resorts, and how you were introduced to emerit.

Rodd Hotels & Resorts is Atlantic Canada's largest privately-owned hotel chain with properties throughout New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. They are a long time user of emerit training and certification programs, and as strong supporters of the program they encourage all of their employees to pursue certification. My certification is as a Sales Manager, and many Rodd employees are certified in multiple occupations.

What did you think of the certification process?

I was very impressed with the level of detail involved in the certification process. I found that it covered all aspects of the occupation and was challenging while remaining realistic and fair. I would, without hesitation, recommend emerit certification to others.

How has your emerit certification helped you in your role as Sales Manager at Rodd?

The certification process gave me assurance that I was providing professional service and meeting national standards. I strive to be the best in what I do but after being in the same position for so long there is a possibility of developing bad habits. I was very pleased after completing my certification to confirm that the habits I have developed over the years are in fact good practices. During the process, I also learned some alternative ways of doing things that I can now incorporate in my day to day interactions with clients and colleagues.

How does Rodd benefit from having emerit certified employees?

Rodd Hotels & Resorts prides itself on their exceptional HR practices and professional, knowledgeable team. The emerit certification program is the perfect way to showcase the talented people we have on staff, and also helps attract business and build our reputation.

The benefits of emerit aren’t exclusive to tourism employees and employers, they extend to customers. How do you think Rodd’s guests benefit from being served by certified professionals?

Prince Edward Island is a small province however, the visitors coming to us as clients and guests have access to tourist destinations and venues around the world. I believe it is a great comfort to them to know that they are working with true professionals in their field. They can entrust their meetings, vacations, and events to us without worrying that we may fail to meet their expectations. The emerit certification program provides that peace of mind by giving me the credibility that they seek.

The program also benefits our partners in the tourism industry, such as those in the travel trade. Tour Operators take great comfort in working with partners who understand their business, their expectations and their special needs. My job is to know how to work with them without them having to teach me how to work with them. I know from speaking with my clients that this is not always the case in some of the destinations where they offer itineraries.

How do you feel about being recognized as the 15,000th emerit certified professional?

Having 15,000 Canadians certified is a remarkable milestone for the emerit program and I am honoured to be a part of this group. I believe each and every one of my fellow emerit certified tourism professionals should be proud of their certification—they’ve strengthened Canada’s position as a world class tourism destination.