By Rosanna Caira
TORONTO — After 15 years with the Greater Toronto Hotel Association as its president and CEO, Terry Mundell has retired, leaving a legacy of important accomplishments.
Mundell has been an instrumental force in leading the Toronto association since 2007, advocating on behalf of the hotel industry. His leadership, support and dedication to the hotel community of the Greater Toronto Area and towards fulfillment of the corporation’s goals and objectives has had a significant impact on Toronto’s hotel community.
At Destination Canada’s Annual General Meeting, held on June 9 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, Scott Beck, president of Destination Toronto, presented Mundell with a Harley Davidson jacket (Mundell is a passionate motorcycle aficionado who spends a great deal of his free time on his bike).
“We’re going to miss you,” said Beck. “From the first time I met you, I knew there was going to be something special about our relationship,” pointing to the determination Mundell had to help make the city stronger in its marketing efforts. “Terry spent many nights trying to find money when there wasn’t money, and did a lot of wonderful things.”
Tim Reardon, current chair of the GTHA, lauded Mundell for his dedication and his support, while Andy Loges, GM of the Hilton Toronto, and current chair of Destination Toronto praised Mundell for his impact on the industry.
“As a leader and advocate, Terry elevated the hotel community to all three levels of government,” said Loges. “I was on the search committee to find Terry and I recall Joe Ebner, (managing director of the Chelsea Hotel Toronto), saying at the time, ‘Terry’s applying? Why are you looking for anyone else?’ He was right. You’ve been a friend to us, and you managed all of the GM’s personalities — which is a task in itself,” he quipped.
Having spent a good part of his career in politics, (Mundell served as Reeve (Mayor) and councillor of a small urban municipality in the GTA), Mundell’s understanding of the system, the players and the issues helped him navigate the system and made him a valuable asset to the association.
Prior to his appointment at the GTHA, Mundell served as first president and CEO of Ontario’s provincial hospitality association after successfully merging two distinct associations representing the foodservice industry and the accommodation sector. This revitalized province-wide association promoted the interests of approximately 4,000 members representing more than 11,000 hospitality establishments throughout the province. He created proactive government-relations and public-affairs campaigns and strategies to promote the interests of association members on controversial files, such as the introduction of a province-wide smoking ban, restrictions on drive-thrus and other land-use planning matters and the introduction of new municipal taxes.
Over the course of his time at the GTHA, Mundell was noteworthy in promoting the interests and contribution of hotels to the visitor economy. He customized and implemented a dedicated fund for destination sales and marketing to promote Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area as an international destination of choice. He also established the sector’s inaugural employee-recognition program, the Spirit Awards, celebrating the contribution of frontline staff and he championed the creation of an education partnership with Humber College to create an accredited program for managers and directors seeking leadership opportunities within the hotel sector.
A search is currently being conducted to find a replacement for Mundell, who officially retired May 27.