TORONTO — This year’s Women in Tourism & Hospitality Summit (WITH) will be held on October 30 at the Park Hyatt Toronto from 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. with the theme of Innovate, Integrate and Celebrate. Presented by WITHOrg.com in association with Kostuch Media Ltd. (Foodservice and Hospitality magazine and Hotelier magazine) and Sequel Hotels & Resorts, the seventh-annual WITH Summit will bring together individuals and companies committed to advancing diversity and inclusion in the tourism-and-hospitality industry.
The event will kick off with a Fireside Chat featuring Dorothy Dowling, managing director at Horwath HTL, and David Kong, founder and principal at DEI Advisors. During this chat, attendees will learn about Kong’s journey as an immigrant who rose through the ranks from a dishwasher and busboy to becoming CEO of one of the largest hotel companies in the world. He will offer learnings along the way on how he led transformative changes at BWH Hotels for almost 18 years and discuss the impetus to the founding of DEI Advisors, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping women and other under-represented groups advance their careers.
Throughout the day, panels will feature leaders from different segments of the tourism-and-hospitality industry who are prioritizing diversity and inclusion in their businesses and creating transformational experiences. Attendees will also take part in workshops on attracting and retaining employees; igniting personal growth; carving out success in a male-dominated industry; creating a more inclusive ownership landscape; elevating confidence to establish a personal brand; taking charge of your health; and learning tools and techniques to prevent misunderstanding.
Speakers include Amanda Hite, president of STR; Kelly Higginson, president of Restaurants Canada; Anne Marie Johns, general manager of Fairmont Tremblant; Felicia Snyder, co-founder & CEO, Arcana; Steve Renard, founder & president of Renard International Hospitality Search Consultants; Julie Farnsworth, senior VP of People & Culture at Crescent Hotels & Resorts; Angela Lawrence, COO of Gusto 54 Restaurant Group; Nicki Laborie, owner of Reyna Hospitality Group; Eric Solomon, founder and COO of The Human OS; Mark Kay, principal broker and president at CFO Capital; Sam Mercado, owner of Orpheus Management Services; Mandy Farmer, CEO of Accent Inns and many more.
The day will also include an awards presentation for the Gender Equality Award and the Katie Taylor Economic Empowerment Award, as well as a special draw featuring two airline tickets to anywhere in the world Air Canada flies. The event will conclude with a networking cocktail reception to facilitate meaningful connections with like-minded professionals.