Keynote Speakers

Monday Opening Keynote

Nancy Greene Raine- Canada’s Female Athlete of the 20th Century, Entrepreneur and Senator

Excelling In the Tourism Sector and Learning from the 2010 Olympics

It’s rare to find someone who can confidently advise both an Olympic hopeful and a young entrepreneur, but if anyone is qualified, it is Nancy Greene Raine.

CTHRC's spokesperson once dominated the ski slopes, winning gold and silver Olympic medals at the 1968 Grenoble Olympics.  Among her long list of professional accomplishments are Olympic and World Cup Champion, Canadian Female Athlete of the 20th Century, entrepreneur, Chancellor of Thompson Rivers University, Office of the Order of Canada and Senator.  After retiring from her ski racing career, Nancy and her husband Al Raine were instrumental in the early development of Whistler Resort where they built their first hotel. In 1995 they moved to Sun Peaks Resort where they again were pioneers in opening up BC's second largest mountain resort.

Drawing on her experiences as a tourism business owner, Nancy will reflect on the impact the 2010 Olympics will have on the Canadian tourism industry and its workforce, highlighting the importance of setting goals, seizing extraordinary opportunities, and maintaining a positive attitude.

Nancy Greene Raine is one of the best-known names in Canadian skiing. In 1999, The Canadian Press and Broadcast News Association voted Nancy Greene Raine Female Athlete of the Century. Nancy has also been instrumental in the development of Whistler/Blackcomb as an award-winning international ski resort destination. Her success at the 1968 Winter Olympics in Grenoble, France, made a lasting impression on Canadians, skiers and non-skiers alike, and Nancy has stayed in the public eye ever since.

Tuesday Opening Keynote

Ferio Pugliese- Executive Vice-President, People and Culture, WestJet

Great Leadership: Soaring to New Heights

Great employees are the lifeblood of any business. It’s all about gaining new customers and sending them away happy – happy enough to pass positive feedback along to others, who will try your product or service and, in turn become repeat customers. The cornerstone of attracting and retaining great people starts with great leadership. Being able to communicate and demonstrate the desired attitude and behaviour to your front line employees. Ferio Puglise, Executive Vice-President, People and Culture for WestJet believes that if you have the right people on your team, the results will culminate in a company culture that consistently drives superior guest service each day, every day. Ferio will entertain you with stories and unique insights into the human resource strategies that made WestJet the iconic Canadian success story it is today. Buckle Up!

Ferio Pugliese,is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the airline’s people programs for its more than 7,600 WestJetters. Ferio and his team define and execute people plans that support WestJet’s culture and strategic direction. He is extremely proud that WestJet has been named to Canada’s Corporate Cultures Hall of Fame, was recognized as one of Canada’s Most Admired Corporate Cultures for four consecutive years, and was also cited by Hewitt Associates as one of Canada’s best Employers in 2009.

Wednesday Keynote

Jesse Hirsh- Broadcaster, Researcher and Internet Guru

Recruiting Exceptional People is just a Click Away

Social media isn’t only a great tool for networking and marketing online.  More and more, companies are using these tools to attract new hires, and to research prospective employees. With the proliferation of sites like LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, along with blogs and podcasts, the Internet is truly revolutionizing the recruitment landscape. Employers who learn how to use social media as a recruitment tool will not only broaden their outreach when searching for talent, but will also have immediate access to much more in-depth information about prospective employees than would be possible through more traditional recruitment methods. An expert internet strategist, Jesse will engage us in what employers, across organizations large and small, need to know when developing a social media recruitment strategy, what tools to use and how to effectively implement a plan of action in order to recruit exceptional people.

Jesse Hirsh is a talented internet strategist, researcher and broadcaster. Regularly appearing on the CBC Newsworld, Hirsh also has a weekly nationally syndicated column and show on CBC radio explaining and analyzing the latest trends and developments in technology using language and examples that are meaningful and relevant to everyday life.

Wednesday Closing Keynote

Jim Knight- Senior Director of Training, Hard Rock International

Performance That Rocks

This is an interactive session effectively designed to highlight best practices to create and maintain a strong employee and guest culture. The session focuses on managing people and developing the performance of others. One of the hardest things you may do is impact and influence the performance and behaviours of others. In most companies, this is where the rubber meets the road. You will gain valuable insight and tools by which you can attain great results…through your employees. This session will be dedicated to all areas of the Employee Life Cycle, showcasing a few easy things that you can do to create an “Army of Giants”. Moving at blazing speed, Jim Knight’s session will be full of visual PowerPoint slides, video, personal stories and an interactive handout for some real “take aways”…all told through the spirit of Rock ‘n Roll.

As head of the School of Hard Rocks, Jim has put his experience and creativity to work, which has consistently developed cutting-edge training concepts, winning coveted Telly Awards in 2000 for Hard Rock’s guest service video and again took top honors in 2007 for their menu rollout video. His team also garnered Training Directors Forum’s 1998 prize for “Reengineering Training.” Additionally, he was recognized by Training Magazine as one of the Top 125 training companies in the world out of all industries & businesses. Jim has a music degree in Vocal Performance & Education and taught in the Florida public school system for 6 years before catching the “hospitality bug.” He has been in the hospitality industry for 24 years – 19 of those with Hard Rock.