Welcome to the inaugural edition of RTO7’s staff "picks of the month" as we share our experiences and recommendations of the courses offered on Typsy, the on-line training platform that is available free-of-charge to those that work in tourism in BruceGreySimcoe. The training is open to all levels of employers and employees – business owners, managers, full-time and part-time staff, and seasonal employees. After you’ve read about our choices below, we encourage you to try Typsy out for yourself and to share this awesome training tool with your staff and co-workers.
The link to more information on Typsy and how to sign up can be found at the bottom of the page.
Bill Sullivan, CEO, RTO7 / BruceGreySimcoe
Typsy Pick of the Month: Guest Experience Fundamentals
After two plus years of challenges, this is a great reminder of what the Hospitality and Tourism Industry is all about. This course provides Owners, Managers and Front-Line Staff with tips and suggestions on how to elevate and maintain the level of service that is expected by your guests ensuring the guest loyalty that leads to a successful business. The course will be beneficial to anyone that watches it. I especially recommend those eager new managers that are trying to differentiate themselves from their peers to embrace and practice the lessons taught in this course.
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: Optimizing Your Hospitality Business
This course (about 45 minutes in 10 lessons) is highly recommended for those looking to spend some time working on (as opposed to in) their business. It promotes a conceptual review of your business practices, with a view to identifying existing practices that are no longer serving you, and to maximizing value and minimizing waste in all respects. The course is Food & Beverage focussed, but the principles really apply to any tourism business. Anthony Logiusto is very down to earth and has some great and realistic recommendations regarding efficiencies around things like staffing, contracts, technology, etc. I think it’s very relevant for any outfit looking to increase their organizational sustainability.
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.
Ginny Henry, Communication Coordinator, RTO7 / BruceGreySimcoe
Typsy Pick of the Month: Social Media for Hospitality Businesses
Due to the ever-changing nature of social media, it’s only natural that some of the info in this nine-lesson course is a bit outdated. That being said, there are several excellent take-aways from this just-over-16-minute course including creating a social media strategy, setting realistic goals, why to use hashtags (and how many) and my favourite…dealing with complaints in posts on your social media and, most especially, how to tell the difference between customer feedback and trolls. The course is well worth the watch for all types of tourism businesses and the short timeframe makes it easy to fit into the busiest schedule.
More About Ginny
Ginny Henry is the Communication Coordinator at Regional Tourism Organization 7 / BruceGreySimcoe. Her career in the tourism industry started from the “bottom up”, with a summer job cleaning toilets and rooms at a family-run motel in Port Elgin, Ontario just over 40 years ago. Many of her job choices were inspired by the words, “it’s something I’ve always wanted to do”, with a strong focus on customer service, tourism, event organization and small business support. Her role at RTO7 includes social media, overseeing the seasonal partnership/image campaigns, newsletters, website content and pretty much anything communication-related that crops up. Ginny has a Bachelor of Journalism degree from Carleton University in Ottawa.
Kim Clarke, Manager, Stakeholder Relations RTO7 / BruceGreySimcoe
Typsy Pick of the Month: Sustainable Food Practices
This course is a must for anyone who’s in the food sector! Chef Carlos Henrique from Restaurant Nolla shares some of their best practices around sustainability in the food service industry. He discusses how they have included sustainable practices into every aspect of their business and how this has helped their bottom line. The 4 Ps strategy – People, Product, Profit, Planet - shapes everything they do. He provides some examples in both the front and back of house. Most importantly, he discusses how sustainable practices are a continuous journey that is never complete.
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: Dealing with Difficult Guests (Playlist)
We’ve all seen the signs hanging in business asking customers to treat employees with kindness and respect. Clearly, difficult guests can be a challenge to deal with, especially in our current environment of workforce shortages. This very short three-class series will leave you armed with great ideas of how to handle those difficult guests when the situation arises. Probably the best takeaway for me was the suggestion to take the situation seriously, but not personally. If you can remove the emotion from the complaint and try to get to the root of the problem, then you can find a solution much more quickly. I liked that the series had three very different speakers, although at first, I had to double check that I was still viewing the same series. These different speakers all brought different perspectives to approaching difficult guests. If you can spare 15 minutes, this is a great use of your time for front line staff and managers alike. Playlist included: Dealing With a Hostile Guest, Learning to Reframe Problem Solving and Turning a Negative Experience into a Positive.
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: Emotional Intelligence Fundamentals
In this day and age, our brains have been programmed and conditioned to multitask in our personal and daily lives. We are completing tasks while there are various distractions or stressors around us (the ding of a text/noisy office spaces). Especially in the tourism and hospitality industry, I know we have all felt that ‘fight or flight’ sensation during stressful periods in our lives. This course provides tips and techniques on how to destress and to help you become more self-aware, mindful, and controlled while working with others. Learning about emotional intelligence improves the work environment and assists in workplace relations. The course can be completed in 49 minutes, through a series of five-minute bite-sized lessons. It is suitable for employees or managers alike. The instructor’s calm demeanor and passion for her topic makes the learning time move quickly. The Australian accent is fun to listen to as well.
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, Program Coordinator, RTO7 / BruceGreySimcoe
Typsy Pick of the Month: Recruitment and Onboarding
This course provides relevant information for businesses to find, and more importantly, retain staff during a time when there is a shrinking pool of people in the workforce. They use the mantra “train to retain” and provide tools to assist with all stages of recruitment from attracting the right people to creating a great onboarding experience. Recruitment and onboarding should be a deliberate process that leads you to the right person for the job. Using the Typsy recruitment and onboarding activity manual provided, you will be given the tools to set up your own systems for success. This course is perfect for owners, operators, managers, and anyone involved with the recruiting and onboarding process.
More About Robyn
Robyn joined RTO7 as the Program Coordinator in August 2021 and 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. She has experience in creating integrated sales and marketing strategies and has managed the digital marketing for a large urban hotel. 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.