RTO7 Staff Typsy Picks of the Month: November 2023

RTO7 Staff Typsy Picks of the Month: November 2023
Welcome to the 15th edition of RTO7’s staff picks of the month! It’s a great way to learn about this training platform firsthand as we share our experiences and recommendations from over 1,200 lessons available in the Typsy training library. This on-line training platform is available free-of charge to tourism stakeholders in BruceGreySimcoe, and to all levels of employers and employees – business owners, managers, full-time and part-time staff, and seasonal employees.
After reading our choices below, try Typsy out for yourself and be sure to share this awesome training tool with your staff and co-workers. 

Bill Sullivan, CEO, RTO7 / BruceGreySimcoe
Typsy Pick of the Month: Four Pillars – Finding your craft and making it work
Total Lesson Length: 3 minutes
In this mentor session, I reviewed a lesson led by an experienced Gin distiller. Despite not being a Gin enthusiast myself, the session proved to be exceptionally enlightening for anyone, transcending personal preferences. It stands as a potential blueprint for success, emphasizing the paramount importance of self-awareness, recognizing strengths and weaknesses, and identifying one’s true passion.
Key Takeaways: Throughout this mentorship encounter, I not only acquired valuable insights but also received affirmation for strategic decisions made over my 40-plus-year journey in the hospitality sector. The adage “surround yourself with the right people” resonates profoundly, and my current team exemplifies a successful manifestation of this principle. Equally crucial is the ability to admit when assistance is needed, acknowledging areas of weakness, and seeking guidance to rectify them. The avenues for obtaining such assistance are diverse, ranging from extensive reading, expert guidance, peer communication to delegating tasks to capable staff. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution; rather, the emphasis lies in recognizing both strengths and weaknesses.
Taking this session one step further, one of my key conclusions is the significance of confidently acknowledging and celebrating personal competencies. The session reinforced and encouraged me to be an advocate for a proactive approach in maximizing and sharing one’s knowledge and skills with the team, neighbors, and even, on occasion, competitors. This celebration of expertise not only boosts individual morale but also fosters a collaborative and competitive spirit within the professional community.
For me this was a “feel good” session. It did give me a boost. Give it a chance, it’s only 3 minutes.

More About Bill
Bill Sullivan is the CEO of Regional Tourism Organization 7, BruceGreySimcoe.  Bill has over 40 years in senior management roles within the hospitality and tourism industry in rural Ontario.  Bill’s operational experience during previous booms, recessions, emergencies, pandemics is assisting the industry on its road to recovery.  Bill is responsible for strategic planning and operations of the organization.  Prior to joining RTO7, Bill held progressive management positions over a 30-year career in resort operations.  Bill received his education in the Hospitality and Tourism program at Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson University).

Alex Hogan, Project & Administration Manager, RTO7 / BruceGreySimcoe
Typsy Pick of the Month: Food Waste Reimagined
Total Course Length: 3 minutes
This quick mentor session celebrates “Toast Ale” which is a UK company that brews their beer using bread waste (some of the 44% of the bread in the UK that ends up in garbage).  For thousands of years, beer was brewed with bread, and this company is promoting a circular economy, reducing GHGs and climate change associated with food waste, all while producing a great beer.  So, it’s a profitable business, that’s also investing into a charity to combat food waste.
“Toast” reminded me of a business I encountered at IMPACT Sustainability Travel & Tourism in Kingston this year, Vodkow in Almonte, Ontario.  They’re using a dairy byproduct in their vodka cream liquors, which in combination with other production efficiencies and lighter bottles makes it a great sustainability choice.
Vodkow’s one of a few distilleries in Canada to publish a carbon assessment…

It’s so encouraging to see companies that are doing good while doing well!

More About Alex
Alex Hogan is the Program & Administration Manager at RTO7 and has over 20 years’ experience managing a wide variety of projects. Alex brings strong communication and organizational skills to projects to meet the needs and objectives of partners and projects. She manages the Partnership Program, as well as contributing to sustainable tourism and workforce development projects.  Prior to RTO7, Alex managed training projects for a Toronto based environmental consulting company specializing in waste management and climate change issues.  She graduated from Environment and Resource Studies at the University of Waterloo.


Kim Clarke, Manager, Stakeholder Relations RTO7 / BruceGreySimcoe
Typsy Pick of the Month: Driving your own Growth
Total Course Length: 6 minutes
How do people achieve success? Are they lucky? Or are they able to create great opportunities for themselves? I think it’s a bit of both. Chef Kay-Lene Tan is an award-winning Australian pastry chef who didn’t start her career in the culinary world. She takes you through her journey to becoming a successful person and she has some great tips;

  1. It’s never too late to start on a new career path. Sometimes it takes a while to find our true passion.
  2. Look for a mentor to help guide your journey.
  3. Take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way. The experiences, and the people you meet can help to open doors for you, but you first have to allow yourself the opportunity to succeed.

This was the first mentor session I completed and I really enjoyed it! They’re quick with one topic and Chef Kay-Lene Tan was really engaging. If you don’t have the time to complete a full course, but you still want to continue to learn, check out the mentor sessions!

More About Kim
Kim Clarke is the Manger, Stakeholder Relations at Regional Tourism Organization 7, BruceGreySimcoe.  Kim has spent over 15 years in the tourism industry working in destination development and management.  She works closely with a variety of stakeholders to help them create amazing new experiences, managing visitation and works to find solutions to the workforce crisis.  Kim is the lead for the experience and workforce development files at RTO7.  She received her formal education, Bachelor of Business Administration from Wilfrid Laurier University.


Allison Davies, Communication Assistant, RTO7 / BruceGreySimcoe
Typsy Pick of the Month: Creating Positive Social Change
Total Course Length: 7 minutes
This 7-minute mentor session with Hannah Brennan, CEO and co-founder of Scarf Community Organizations is inspiring to say the least. As Brennan puts it, Scarf started as a humble project just to make things more fair. The idea came after Brennan had been working in hospitality for 10 years and had met a lot of young people who wanted to be working but couldn’t get their first job.
“We started looking at what was standing in their way,” says Brennan. “Can we create something that bridges that gap? Scarf is a not-for-profit social enterprise, we partner with restaurants and hospitality businesses for hands on training.”
The goal of Scarf is to create fair hiring practices and the Scarf training program gives the trainees the chance to serve real diners in a real restaurant environment and ultimately give them the experience they need to get hired. “Seeing a trainee graduate and get a job in the industry is the best part,” says Brennan.
Brennan points out that you don’t have to start a charity to encourage social change, just shifting your mindset is a start. “Approach the job applications you receive with curiosity and open mind. They might not have a lot of experience but they have willingness to learn, talent and commitment.”
This was an inspiring and uplifting mentor session and I’d encourage stakeholders to explore the mentor sessions to help kick-start ideas and motivate their teams.

More About Allison

Allison Davies is a writer, photographer and content creator who has worked for Regional Tourism Organization 7 in the Communication Assistant role for 5 years. As a trained photojournalist, she worked for many local DMOs on both writing and photography projects before joining the RTO7 team full time. Today she uses those skills to help support tourism operators by marketing the region through social media and web content.  She has an English Literature degree from McGill University and a Photojournalism Diploma from Loyalist College. In her free time, Allison loves to shoot sports and continues to write for several magazines on a freelance basis.

Amanda Pausner, Experience & Administration Coordinator, RTO7 / BruceGreySimcoe
Typsy Pick of the Month: Championing Woman in Hospitality
Total Course Length: 6 minutes
Amaka is the Founder and President of the Women in Hospitality Nigeria (WIHN). She has a proven history of tenacity and drive for leadership in the industry, and a passion for establishing a paradigm shift in gender equality within hospitality and tourism.
She is supporting Nigerian women in the industry ensuring they have adequate training, mentorship, support with gender equality and giving women a voice. Through her work and leadership, she is seeing more women owned hospitality businesses in the accommodation sector.
Globally, every female in the industry needs a support network of other women, to share challenges and successes with, business experiences, all so they can learn from one another and help each other to succeed.
Amaka says ‘Empower a woman and you empower a nation’.
To learn more about her contributions and accomplishments.

More About Amanda
Amanda has worked in the tourism industry for over 23 years.  She joined the RTO7 team in 2018 in her current position as Experience & Administration Coordinator.  She assists with administration duties, programs offered by RTO7 and, over the last two years, has led the T3 Accelerator Coaching Program, which supports small businesses in Bruce, Grey and Simcoe Counties.  Previously, she worked with Grey County Tourism for 16 years, managing operator relations and working as a media relations specialist, showcasing what the area had to offer.  While taking the Tourism Management course at Georgian College, Barrie she spent her summers with the Owen Sound Transportation Company (MS Chi-Cheemaun Ferry).  In her spare time, Amanda enjoys travelling with her family of four and working in her many veggie gardens.

Robyn Hewitt, Senior Communications Coordinator, RTO7 / BruceGreySimcoe
Typsy Pick of the Month: The Art Series Hotel’s creative marketer
Total Course Length:  4 minutes
I always found social media advertising for a hotel to be quite a challenge.  A room is a room, and the hotel industry can be very competitive, so you must be creative to set your hotel or brand apart from the rest.  This boutique hotel brand in Australia worked with an advertising agency to go way outside of the box and grab the attention of their audience with a controversial and creative campaign.  The “Steal Banksy” campaign had a huge impact on the hotel’s image, reaching 61 different countries and it was covered in over 300 media outlets!  The instructor shares tips on how to succeed in a hotel marketing manager position and I couldn’t agree more. Check it out!

More About Robyn
Robyn joined RTO7 in August 2021 and has recently been promoted to Senior Communications Coordinator.  She brings a diverse background with almost 20 years of experience in various capacities of sales, marketing, and partnership development in the hospitality and tourism industry.  Much of her experience is within the hotel sector where she specialized in the leisure travel trade, selling multiple properties within the Marriott family of brands.  In addition to the communications role, Robyn oversees the RTO7 Implementation Programs (OIP, SIP, RIP), as well as the administration of the Typsy training platform.  She received a Business Commerce Degree in Hospitality & Tourism Management at Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson University) and completed a Certificate of Digital Marketing Management through the School of Continuing Studies at the University of Toronto.    

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