Isadore Sharp As founder and chairman of Four Seasons Hotels, Isadore Sharp has long been regarded as one of the industry’s pilgrims and icons. A humanitarian, award-winning hotelier and author, Sharp has undoubtedly made his mark on the industry in the 50 years since founding the company. “There was no vision, there was no grand dream, but there has always been a consistent thread and it propels us forward today, as we continue to grow globally, and that’s service,” says Sharp.
Michael Beckley As former president of Commonwealth Hospitality Ltd., founding chairman of “Experience Canada” and a past chairman of the Ontario Tourism Council, the SVP of Marriott Hotels Canada has long been one of the country’s leading hoteliers. “He’s persistent and innovative,” says Robert DeMone, former president of CP Hotels.
Yabu Pushelberg George Yabu and Glenn Pushelberg have earned great praise over the years. Among the design duo’s most successful projects are The Hazelton Hotel in Toronto, the W Hotel in Times Square, New York as well as the new Four Seasons Hotel Toronto. They were recently awarded the Order of Canada for their significant contributions to the field of design.
David McMillan Currently the president of Oakville, Ont.’s Axis Hospitality International, David McMillan has held many industry-influencing positions during his career, including 12 years as Commonwealth Hospitality’s VP of Operations, three terms as chairman of the Hotel Association of Canada and several years as CEO of the International Hotel and Restaurant Association. Simon Cooper Before assuming his current position as managing director and president of Asia Pacific, Marriott International, Inc.,
Simon Cooper made a significant contribution to the shaping of the hotel industry through his positions as president and CEO of Ritz-Carlton and president of Delta Hotels & Resorts. Known for his aggressive entrepreneurial style, Cooper is credited as being instrumental in making Delta one of Canada’s most successful hotel brands and playing a significant role in establishing the Canadian Tourism Commission.
Michele McKenzie Michele McKenzie, formerly president and CEO of the CTC, was pivotal in the transformation of Canada’s international tourism brand. Through her work and leadership, the Canada brand was recognized as one of the top two country brands in the world (2009). McKenzie was also recently named one of Canada’s 100 Most Powerful Women by the Women’s Executive Network.
Tony Pollard As president of the Hotel Association of Canada (HAC), Tony Pollard has vigorously promoted Canada as a desirable destination since 1991. A tireless advocate and spokesperson for the Canadian hotel industry throughout his time with HAC, Pollard is also heralded as a gracious mentor, popular guest speaker and travel industry expert. “From an operational point of view, the biggest change I’ve seen is with technology,” he says. “Nowadays, people research and book online, and the influence of online travel agents like Expedia and Travelocity is growing.” Michele McKenzie, former president of the Canadian Tourism Commission, respects the icon. “Tony knows more about the hotel industry than I ever will,” she says “He’s a teacher and a leader. If he says something is going to happen, you know you can trust him to take care of it.”
Bill Pattison As founder and former president of Delta Hotels, Bill Pattison has long been recognized as a great hotelier, businessman and entrepreneur. He took what began as a single hotel in Richmond, B.C. and built it into a company that has become a true Canadian success story.
Christiane Germain Co-founder and co-president of Groupe Germain, Christiane Germain has made a successful career out of following her instincts. Opening her first hotel without ever having worked in one, Germain has been instrumental in the expansion and success of her family’s company. “The human side of the business is very important when you’re a leader, and a good leader has to have a good relationship with [their] colleagues, [their] people,” she says. “One thing that’s important if you want to be successful is to give the people what they want, but much more than that, is to give them what they don’t know they want. To do that, you have to know these people and talk to them.”
Bill Fatt The former CFO of Canadian Pacific Ltd., Bill Fatt, currently CEO of Fairmont Raffles Hotels International, played a significant role in transforming the Canadian Pacific brand in the late 1990s. He continues to play a pivotal role as the company furthers its international expansion.