President’s Message

Winter 2024
Dear members and friends,
As we reflect on 2023, I’m proud of our accomplishments as a chapter. SITE Canada is strong, healthy, and growing! To further expand our planner network, we held two inaugural events: SITE Exchange Banff and May Mixer Langdon Hall, providing sponsors with one-on-one meeting opportunities.
We are especially thankful to our loyal long-term members who are so welcoming to our guests across our many programs and events. They truly are our best cheerleaders for SITE recruitment! 

Huge gratitude goes out to our 2023 Board of Directors, portfolio and sustainability committees, strategic partners, and sponsors. Stepping off the board are Pearleen Mofford and Omar Josephs. Savvy, fast-thinking, and full of ideas, Pearleen has volunteered on our board for the last six years! Incredibly passionate about all things SITE, she held the role of Past President, and is outgoing Finance Director. Thank you, Pearleen for your counsel, keeping us on our toes, and launching SITE Exchange! Omar and his committee worked very hard on our social events. We will miss Omar’s sense of humour – he always made our board meetings lively!

A year ago, Carol Ford joined as our Chapter Liaison and has been an amazing addition to our team. Beloved by the board, Carol is a true treasure, Jill-of-all-trades, and a silent warrior. Our vital volunteers brought so much to our programming this year. As SITE Canada champions, they are an incredibly creative, resourceful, and hard-working group. We recognize the passion and commitment of all our committees.

Our strategic relationships with Air Canada, Ignite, The Incentivist, and D.E. Systems are very important to our chapter. Be sure to support them whenever possible. Our sponsors are critical to the engagement we offer our membership. Our gratitude is ginormous for the support of the many incredible companies from DMOs, DMCs, Hotels/Resorts, and Airlines, and the entire supply chain of companies who support SITE Canada.

Looking Forward
Join me in welcoming the 2024 Board of Directors.  New board members, Yolanda Gonzalez and Kathryn Mollenhauer, will be helming Exchange and Sponsorship, respectfully. We’ve launched two new portfolios, the Ambassador Program headed by Mark Zanetti and Special Projects headed by Debbie Miller. Ambassador Program aims to provide a SITE representation across Canada and Special Projects has been created to develop strategic partnerships such as we did at the May Mixer with Destination Toronto. 

We had an exciting day at our recent board retreat at Le Germain Hotel Toronto Maple Leaf Square. This property is downtown Toronto beside the Scotiabank Arena and the nearby Rogers Centre – a perfect venue for an incentive tie-in with sports or concerts. Our amazing hosts Dorothy Hatt, Regional Sales Director, and Paul de La Durantaye, Regional Director took the time to share the history of the family-run business founded in Quebec in 1988. With 19 properties under the Le Germain, Alt, and Escad banners, the company remains the only genuinely Canadian hotel group to date with a national presence making it an expert in the Canadian lifestyle. Germain Hotels

During the retreat, we developed our strategy for 2024 with the assistance of our facilitator Nicola Kastner, Founder, The Event Strategist. We talked about the changing demographics of the workforce in Canada, common traits that influence behaviour, as well as socioeconomics and how it relates to events. 

Choosing Collaboration as our theme for 2024, member-to-member, planner-to-sponsor, chapter-to-chapter, Canada-to-Global, seeking fresh opportunities for enhanced alliances!     

As well, we reviewed membership analysis, program and event priorities, communication goals, and sponsorship investment, among other key areas. SITE Canada always strives to be relevant and add value for membership and sponsors. We are a passionate board and proud of our 2024 line-up.

It’s my privilege as your current SITE Canada President, to accept a second term for the coming year. My main goal is to make our association the first choice for planners and in so doing, attract sponsors. With our signature programs, along with new initiatives, we hope to see more meet-ups and collaboration! 
Incentive travel is a thrilling business, filled with creativity and adventure. It requires ingenuity, bulls-eye tactics, diplomacy, diligence, staying ahead of the curve, and follow-through at every stage… the list goes on. The MICE industry is constantly changing, you must stay ahead of what’s coming for your client’s benefit and ultimate success in your incentive travel and event offerings. 

SITE Canada is a conduit to professional development and networking so crucial to expanding your skillset and industry circle. Personal wellness is equally vital to creating a happy medium between work and home life. We are keen to deliver a roster of programs and events that help to support your efforts to achieve career highs while staying balanced in your personal world. 

It’s not easy, and we should salute each other for our daily steps forward in a time of uncertainty and rapid change. Look to SITE Canada as a staunch ally of both you and your purpose. There’s so much to eagerly anticipate in days ahead – be a part of our future. Great things are on the horizon. Stay connected with industry colleagues through our terrific SITE chapter happenings in 2024. 

See you there!

Gisele Robert, 
President, SITE Canada