2019 Co-Chairs

Keith Henry, Co-Chair, IMPACT 2019


We are thrilled to welcome Keith Henry back as Co-Chair for the second annual IMPACT Conference. In his years leading the Indigenous Tourism Association of BC and now Canada, Keith Henry has become an international Indigenous cultural tourism leader. In April 2014, the inaugural World Indigenous Tourism Alliance recognized Keith’s work and thought leadership. Keith also works closely with Destination Canada and the Tourism Industry Association of Canada, and has led many new initiatives, including contributions to the development of national standards on market readiness and authenticity; cruise industry opportunities; and a national Indigenous tourism research project on the economic value of Indigenous cultural tourism. He was instrumental in the development of the national Indigenous tourism strategy, The Path Forward 2016-2021, which focuses on increasing Indigenous market readiness, increasing jobs, and increasing revenue.

Marion Joppe IMPACT



In partnership with TTRA-Canada, we are proud to announce Marion Joppe as co-chair for IMPACT 2019. Marion is a Professor at the School of Hospitality, Food and Tourism Management, University of Guelph, and President, Tourism environment. She specializes in destination policy, planning, development, and marketing, and teaches responsible tourism on three continents. 

Prior to joining academia, she gained broad tourism industry experience in both the public and private sectors. Throughout, she has engaged with the tourism industry by leading diverse organizations such as Heritage Toronto, the Ontario Tourism Education Corporation, the Tourism, Recreation and Economic Opportunities Workgroup of the Waterfront Regeneration Trust, the Tourism Committee of the Toronto Board of Trade, Destination Ontario’s Metrics Committee, and both the Canadian Chapter and the International boards of the Travel and Tourism Research Association. She has also been a member of local, provincial and federal task groups, committees, and boards, ranging from the Green Tourism Association to the Tourism Industry of Canada working on a national responsible tourism approach. 

Examples of some of the major initiatives she has led include the community-driven tourism and waterfront revitalization strategies, nodal developments, and projects captured in the Waterfront Regeneration Trust’s “Tourism, Recreation and Economic Strategy for the Lake Ontario Greenway”; developing Halton Region’s tourism strategy, focusing on supporting the region's sustainability goals and objectives; and the “Study of Innovative Best Practices to Foster Place-based Tourism Development in Ontario’s Rural Communities", which provides Ontario’s rural communities with the direction required to foster sustainable economic growth.


Greg Oates - Skift - IMPACT Conference


Greg Oates is Executive Editor of Skift’s brand strategy team who helps travel and tourism companies position themselves as industry thought leaders. Greg’s primary focus is connecting the visitor economy and global innovation economy to drive inclusive, long-term growth for local communities. His breadth of knowledge across travel sectors has continually helped Skift envision new disruptive trends before the rest of the industry fully acknowledges and embraces them. As such, Greg is often asked to speak and advise on brand strategy and travel trends, pulling insight from the full scope of leading industry intelligence developed by Skift’s Research and Editorial teams.

Oates is expanding his research on sustainable tourism globally. He will provide an international perspective on best practices to help destinations of any size re-position themselves in the knowledge economy, also speaking to sustainable initiatives worldwide.

Tammy Blount-Canavan



Tammy Blount-Canavan is a tourism professional with a career of 30 years, starting in the hotel industry in her home city of Vancouver, BC to her current role as the President and CEO of the Monterey County Convention and Visitors Bureau. It is in Monterey that Tammy has launched an initiative called “Sustainable Moments” – a multi-faceted program aimed at striking balance between growth of the tourism economy and increased quality of life for residents.

Tammy’s career has included participation in a variety of state, regional, national and international tourism initiatives leading to her current place as Immediate Past Chair of Destinations International, the international trade association for destination marketing organizations. Tammy was only the fifth woman to Chair this association in more than 100 years.  She serves on Visit California’s CEO Destinations Council, Marketing Committee and International Committee.  Tammy has been recognized as CEO of the Year, one of the 25 Most Influential People in the Meetings Industry, twice as one of the top 25 Most Influential Women in the industry, Leadership Supplier of the Year in the Meetings Industry, Top 100 Most Inspirational Women in the Meetings Industry, and CSUMB’s School of Business 2018 Community Leader of the Year.

Her background includes the executive leadership position as CEO of the Tacoma Regional Convention & Visitors Bureau where she was also the architect and inaugural Chair of the Washington Tourism Alliance.  Tammy was also on the leadership team of Tourism Vancouver for more than a decade.

She holds Fellow Certified Destination Marketing Executive (FCDME) certification and in addition to spending every day growing the tourism economy for Monterey County, she seeks ways to support the overall development and enhancement of the community she serves.

Todd Hirsch


Todd Hirsch is the Vice President and Chief Economist for ATB Financial, an Alberta-based financial institution that provides banking services and investment management expertise to over 600,000 clients.

He holds a BA Honours in Economics from UAlberta and an MA in Economics from UCalgary. For over 20 years, he has worked as an economist at numerous organizations including the Canadian Pacific Railway, the Canada West Foundation and the Bank of Canada. He also taught economics at the University of Calgary for nearly a decade, both in the Department of Economics as well as the Faculty of Continuing Education. He is currently a sessional instructor in the Executive Education program at the Alberta School of Business, University of Alberta.

Todd is also the author of three books. His latest, “Spiders in Space: Successfully Adapting to Unwanted Change,” was released in 2017.

As part of his role at ATB Financial, Todd speaks to hundreds of audiences across the country each year, delivering dynamic, clear-eyed talks on the economy, creativity, and the future of work. He provides commentary to many Canadian and global media outlets including CTV, CBC, the Globe and Mail, and the BBC. He has served on the University of Calgary Board of Governors and is the chair of the Calgary Arts Academy.

An engaging, thought-provoking and dynamic presenter, Todd has experience advising the Canadian tourism industry, including providing advice to the Canadian Tourism Commission leadership team and board after the 2008 financial crisis. That strategic advice led to the award-winning, domestic-focused campaign, Locals Know. As the Canadian tourism industry gets serious about sustainability, Todd has been invited to present, through an economist’s lens, what approaches, models and contributions from both the public and private sector it will really take for Canada’s growing tourism sector to do its part in achieving Canada’s sustainability goals.

Todd has been recognized as one of Alberta’s most influential people. He’s recently received the University of Alberta's Alumni Honour Award, and an honorary degree from Mount Royal University.

Elizabeth Becker


Elizabeth Becker, an award-winning author and journalist, has covered national and international affairs as a Washington correspondent at The New York Times, the Senior Foreign Editor at National Public Radio and a Washington Post correspondent. She began her career as a war reporter in Cambodia in 1972 and is an expert on the Khmer Rouge and modern Cambodia. She was the 2008 Edelman fellow at Harvard’s Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy at the Kennedy School of Government. 

Overbooked, her ground-breaking work on the trillion-dollar travel and tourism industry woke up the tourism industry.  Not here to preach, Elizabeth will speak about her insightful technique in defining how a destination should determine what is worth sustaining for both residents and visitors.  As Elizabeth Becker observes in “Overbooked: The Exploding Business of Travel and Tourism,” her meticulously reported and often disturbing exposé of the travel industry, the world has gotten smaller — but not often for the better.

David Goldstein, President & CEO, Destination Canada


We are honoured to welcome back David Goldstein, President & CEO of Destination Canada, to IMPACT 2019. David has had a long and distinguished career in Canada’s tourism and media sectors. He has extensive experience in national leadership and strategic business planning as well as deep knowledge of communications and stakeholder (government, media and investors) relations.

Before joining the Destination Canada in December 2014 as President and CEO, David led the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC) from April 2010. At TIAC, David worked to increase industry alignment and has positioned the organization to forge a more forceful and credible voice for tourism issues at the national level. His long history in media and advocacy helped TIAC raise political awareness around tourism as one of the country’s leading export sectors, leading to key initiatives such as the Federal Tourism Strategy.

Before his work at TIAC, David spent over 14 years in the broadcast and media industry. From 2007 to 2010, David was CTV globemedia’s Senior Vice-President, Regulatory Affairs, directing key elements of the strategic shift from analogue to digital media, driving the change from conventional TV advertising revenue to a subscription-based model and directing all of CTV globemedia’s major regulatory and public-policy submissions.

Greg Klassen, Twenty31


Greg is Principal of Twenty31 and is a travel and tourism industry strategist with 20+ years of leadership experience with blue chip organisations, including Canada’s national destination marketing agency, the Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC), AT&T and TELUS.

While serving as the President & CEO and Senior Vice President, Marketing Strategy and Communications, Greg led the enhancement of Canada’s Future Brand ranking from 12th to 1st position, positioning Canada as the most recommended destination in the world to visit according to Reputation Institute.

Greg also created a comprehensive strategy to promote the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics, developed a unique segmentation model to understand the underlying needs of global travellers through the Explorer Quotient and spearheaded the Canadian Signature Experiences product development program, helping position Canada as a truly experiential destination. For his efforts, Greg was recognised as one of Canada’s top marketers by Strategy Magazine.

Greg has actively participated and presented at major industry forums including ATTA, DMAI, PATA, TIAC, UNWTO and WTTC. Greg is an Associate Faculty Member at the School of Tourism and Hospitality Management, Royal Roads University. Greg holds a MBA from the prestigious Thunderbird School of Global Management in Arizona and an undergraduate degree in Economics from the University of Victoria.



Dr. Rachel Dodds


Dr. Rachel Dodds has over 20 years’ experience in the tourism industry and is a specialist in the field of sustainable tourism. She is arguably one of the most cited authors in Canada around this topic, having written, co-authored, and edited hundreds of articles about sustainable tourism, corporate social responsibility and urban sustainability. She runs her own boutique consultancy firm, Sustaining Tourism and is also a Professor at the Ted Rogers School of Hospitality and Tourism Management at Ryerson University.

Rachel’s work focuses on marketing, planning and management of tourism as well as understanding consumer behaviour. She is the current Director of Ryerson's Hospitality and Tourism Research Institute. Rachel recognizes that competitiveness is directly linked to economic, social and environmental responsibility and leadership. She has lived and worked in four continents and travelled to over 80 countries, experiencing first-hand the successes and failures of businesses, destinations and governments, and identified many missed opportunities.

Previous Co-Chairs and Speakers

  • Co-Chair: Keith Henry, President & CEO, Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada
  • Co-Chair: Dr. Rachel Dodds, Professor, Ted Roger's School of Hospitality & Tourism, Ryerson University
  • The Honourable Bardish Chagger, Leader of the Government in House of Commons and Minister of Small Business and Tourism
  • Elizabeth Becker, Author
  • Greg Klassen, Principal, Twenty31
  • David Goldstein, President & CEO, Destination Canada
  • Glenn Jampol, Chair, Global Ecotourism Network
  • Robert Sandford, EPCOR Chair for Water and Climate Security at the United Nations University Institute for Water, Environment and Health
  • Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party of Canada


JANUARY 20-23, 2019