FEATURED SESSIONS & SPEAKERS

Nikolas Badminton, Keynote Speaker

Nikolas Badminton is a world-respected researcher, futurist, author, and teacher with over 20 years of research, writing, speaking, and technology implementation experience.

He travels the world wowing audiences with sharing research on: The Future of Work; The Sharing Economy; The Future of Cars; The Future of Cities; The Future of AI integrated with Life and Business; The Future of Education; Predictions for 2016 to 2020, 2021 to 2030, and beyond.

Nikolas splits his time between Canada (Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal), USA, UK, and regularly appears on the BBC, CBC, CTV, Global News, CHCH, CHED640, CKNW, Roundhouse Radio and writes for the Huffington Post, Forbes, Venturebeat, Betakit, TechVibes, Business.com, Vancouver is Awesome, and Vancity Buzz.


Wade Davis, Keynote Speaker

wade.png

Wade Davis is Professor of Anthropology and the BC Leadership Chair in Cultures and Ecosystems at Risk at the University of British Columbia. Between 1999 and 2013 he served as Explorer-in-Residence at the National Geographic Society. Author of 20 books, including One River, The Wayfinders and Into the Silence, winner of the 2012 Samuel Johnson prize, he holds degrees in anthropology and biology and received his Ph.D. in ethnobotany, all from Harvard University.

His many film credits include Light at the Edge of the World, an eight-hour documentary series written and produced for the NGS. Davis is the recipient of 11 honorary degrees, as well as the 2009 Gold Medal from the Royal Canadian Geographical Society, the 2011 Explorers Medal, the 2012 David Fairchild Medal for botanical exploration, and the 2015 Centennial Medal of Harvard University. In 2016 he was made a Member of the Order of Canada.


Clint Fraser, Northern BC Tourism 

As the Chief Executive Officer, Clint works with the board and team at Northern BC Tourism to achieve the overall vision and mission for the organization. For over a decade Clint has been working to promote tourism experiences in the north and has excelled as an innovator in digital marketing practices.

Clint holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Marketing) from the University of Northern British Columbia and has also held positions in the brewing industry and economic development.


Grant Mackay, Destination BC

grant.png

Grant Mackay is currently the Vice President of Destination & Industry Development for Destination British Columbia. Grant joined the BC Public Service in 1995 as a Business Unit Manager with Tourism British Columbia after a long career in marketing and sales in the packaged goods industry with Scott Paper Limited. In 1997 Grant became Vice President of Marketing for Tourism British Columbia, responsible for world-wide consumer marketing and travel trade programs.  In April 2010, Grant was named Assistant Deputy Minister, Tourism Marketing with the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and the Arts. In his current capacity, Grant is responsible for tourism industry development designed to increase BC’s worldwide competitive position. Grant has a Bachelor of Commerce Degree from the University of British Columbia.


Gary Ross, The Power of Story Workshop

Gary Ross is the former Director of Global Content at Destination BC. He now does storytelling workshops and brand-journalism training. 

Gary's workshop explains why stories engage people more deeply than facts or advertising, and shows operators how to tell a tourism story rather than sell a tourism product. “Storytelling” has long been a marketing buzzword. But what, exactly, is a story? It isn’t empty boosterism. It’s not a video of someone telling you how beautiful BC is and how much they love living here. That’s just a testimonial. That’s marketing.

Aristotle identified the key story elements in his “Golden Rules of Storytelling” more than 300 years before Christ. In the marketing world these days, his wisdom has been largely overlooked. Why are stories so powerful? Because they activate a part of the brain that information alone does not. They create an emotional connection, not just an intellectual one. Listening to a story, you empathize. Stories inspire people in ways that conventional marketing and advertising do not. So next time you engage with someone who’s planning a trip to BC, don’t give them a sales pitch. Tell them your story.

This workshop will teach you how to do that.


Andrea Hinck, go2HR

go2hr-team-andrea-hinck-2017.jpg

Andrea joined the go2HR team in November 2015 and brings more than 25 years’ experience in the tourism and hospitality industry, 10 of which are in human resource management at the operation and corporate levels. She manages and implements go2HR’s industry training programs and projects including SuperHost, the Winning Pitch and Student Industry Rendezvous. She also liaises with industry associations, employers, training providers, and other stakeholders. Andrea is a Chartered Professional in Human Resources (CPHR) and holds a certificate in leadership coaching and a diploma as a provincial instructor in adult education.


Joelle Rabu, Haida House at Tllaal

_141111 Joelle _HAP8907 B&W.jpg

As a youth growing up on Vancouver Island, Joelle’s intense curiosity of languages, civilizations and cultural diversity led her to travel to more than 50 countries, gaining management experience in restaurants, hotels, vineyards and remote floating lodges along the way. Her family-owned resort also offered Joelle an opportunity to appreciate every facet of the business. Her hands-on training in resorts from New Zealand to Nootka Sound, and observing numerous remote tourist destinations during her travels, confirmed her belief that industry practices should: respond to the needs of the community first, maintain the integrity of the citizens, and be considerate of sustainability prior to responding to the needs of the demographic the destination is attracting.

In 2011, Joelle accepted the task of transforming a then privately owned (and controversial) bear-hunting lodge on Haida Gwaii into a Cultural Tourism lodge for its new owners: the Council of Haida Nation. Now in its 6th season of operation, the award-winning Haida House at Tllaal is leading the way in sustainable Aboriginal tourism providing socio-economic results within the communities through onsite training, full time seasonal employment, opportunities for advancement and creating local partnerships within Haida Gwaii’s burgeoning cultural eco-tourism industry. 


Erica Hummel, Tourism Prince George 

Erica Hummel photo low res.jpg

Erica Hummel has worked in the tourism and hospitality sector for over 15 years in BC, Ontario and the UK. She is currently the CEO of Tourism Prince George, a position that has provided her with some great opportunities to develop community partnerships, including several initiatives to support Prince George’s role as Host City for the 2015 Canada Winter Games. Her past employers include tourism operators and municipal and regional destination management organizations. She has worked with a number of boards, and currently sits on the City of Prince George Economic Development Advisory Committee.

Education has been a significant cornerstone in Erica’s career growth. After completing a diploma in Events and Convention Management and a bachelor’s degree in Tourism Management at Thompson Rivers University, she later went on to complete her master’s degree in Tourism Policy and Planning from the University of Waterloo.


KimHood_Linked In Profile Pic.jpg

Kim Hood, Destination BC

Kim joined Destination BC in 2013 as part of the Global Marketing team managing the Europe/S. Pacific offices.  In August 2015, Kim moved to the Destination and Industry Development team to manage the new Co-operative Marketing Partnership Program.  This program currently provides $4.0 million in co-op marketing dollars to community consortiums and sectors in BC.  Prior to joining Destination BC, Kim was in Market Development with Tourism Whistler, working primarily in the Asia/Pacific markets and very involved in Whistler’s initial efforts in China.  While at Tourism Whistler, Kim was a member of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Inbound Tourism Association Asia Pacific (CITAP).  Before working in the DMO world, Kim worked at the Squamish Chamber of Commerce and also held sales positions with Delta Hotels and Fairmont Hotels and Resorts. 


Annie Doran, Tourism Prince George

4 (1).jpg

Raised in Armstrong, BC, Annie grew up on a farm in the interior, until moving to Prince George in 2004 to attend UNBC. Doran is well versed in the tourism field completing her Bachelor of Science in Outdoor Recreation and Tourism Management in 2008.

She started as a visitor counsellor at Tourism Prince George in 2007, then became Marketing Coordinator in 2008 and took on the role of Manager, Marketing & Communication in 2014.

Annie has a passion for running and has completed three half marathons and 2 Labour Day classic races to date. Prince George lends itself to many foot race opportunities within the city especially through the expansive green spaces and multitude of parks.


Mun Bagri, Sport Tourism Consultant 

Profile pic.jpg

Mun is a tourism professional who specializes in Sport Hosting, Destination Development and Tourism Advocacy. His roles in the tourism industry began in the accommodation sector and included unique opportunities like the playing a role in the leadership team at the host hotel for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver. Working with stakeholders is key and Mun recommends implementing a win-win strategy which identifies and ranks each partners needs in relation to their capacities for compromise. While completing his Master’s Degree in Tourism Management, Mun focused on Tourism Advocacy for his Thesis and its role in solidifying strategies for long term implementation.

In this session, we will explore how getting started in Sport Hosting requires knowing where your destination looks to end in Sport Hosting. This interactive session is designed to share past successes of various sized sport hosting destinations in BC and how we have all worked together, put our short term competition aside, for long term “betterment of the pack” gains.


Tracy Calogheros, Exploration Place

TracyHeadshots-2.jpg

With over two decades involvement in the tourism industry in northern BC, Tracy is the CEO for the Exploration Place, Museum + Science Centre in Prince George. Presently serving as the Vice Chair of the Canadian Association of Science Centres her past roles have included work as a Member of the Host Society for the 2015 Canada Winter Games as well as Vice Chair of the Emily Carr University of Art + Design’s Board of Governors. She has served as the President for both the British Columbia Museums Association and Northern British Columbia Tourism Association.

Ms. Calogheros’ work with the Lheidli T’enneh Nation has resulted in an expanded collection, a new permanent gallery, Hodul’eh-a (A Place of Learning), and MOU between the Museum and the Nation to act as their repository while working together towards program development and repatriation of artifacts from around the globe. The trust and the friendship represented by this partnership forms the foundation for collaborative future work.

Married with three adult-ish children, she is passionate about her community and the role her facility plays in its richness of life.


Collen Tracey, Key-oh Lodge

CLP-11(1).jpg

Colleen Tracey is the general manager for Key-oh Lodge, the newest hospitality front in Burns Lake, which opened in February 2017. Although this is Colleen’s first year with the hospitality industry as hotel general manager, she has more than two decades of customer service experience. Her exposure and experience with world class accommodations around the globe inspires Colleen to make guests feel at home and ensure their stay comfortable and seamless. Colleen worked as a first class flight attendant for 20 years and worked as recreation supervisor for three years.

Key-oh Lodge is conveniently located just off of Highway 16 making it an ideal layover point from Prince George to neighbouring northern communities. The parking lot allows for larger vehicles and allows guests to take a break from their RV. Key-Oh-Lodge has 42 well-appointed guest rooms with 24/7 front desk services, daily housekeeping, and a breakfast bar.

The owners of Key-oh Lodge are the Ts'il Kaz Koh First Nation, or the Burns Lake Indian Band, a Wetsuweten band government whose main community is located on Burns Lake, near the divide between the Bulkley and Nechako River basins, approximately 220 km west of Prince George.  Ts'il Kaz Koh is a member of the Carrier Sekani Tribal Council.


Richard Bergen, Destination BC

Richard Bergen bio shot.jpg

Richard Bergen is one of the newest members of the Destination BC Global Marketing division, and is part of the team working to onboard new marketing technology and develop a tagging strategy for the province. Prior to joining the DBC team, Richard worked in the advertising agency world in both Vancouver and New York, working with advertisers on marketing strategy and improvements to digital capabilities. 

Originally from Nanaimo BC, Richard holds a degree in Economics from the University of Calgary, and a diploma in Marketing Management from BCIT. After many years spent in Calgary, South Korea, and New York City, Richard has promised himself never to move away from British Columbia again.