Industry Insiders Make Important Connections
An annual visit to Nelson by tourism industry leaders helped Selkirk College faculty and students connect with the current trends and future opportunities.
Based out of Nelson’s Tenth Street Campus, the Resort & Hotel Management Program (RHOT) is a vital training ground for those eyeing a career in a dynamic industry. The nine-member committee spent two days on campus in late-October as part of an annual event that helps solidify the program’s role as a leading producer of top-notch recruits.
Ryan Martin, manager and part owner of Nelson's Hume Hotel and Best Western Baker Street Inn, was one of the RHOT advisory committee members who sat with students during an annual session that connects industry leaders with Selkirk College.
“The advisory board is important to keep the college informed and connected to what is happening in the industry,” says RHOT Instructor Harry Pringle. “They are also able to look at curriculum and advise us on trends and changes in focus. They provide a view of what career paths are available and what has to be done for success.”
Members of the committee include Ken Cretney who has been on the Advisory Committee for more than a decade and is currently the general manager of the Vancouver Convention Centre. Prior to his current position, Cretney was the general manager of the Vancouver Marriott Pinnacle, the Delta Whistler Conference Centre and the Banff Rimrock Hotel. Cretney holds a Honourary Diploma from Selkirk College.
Also making the trip to Nelson was Tanya Stronig (vice president of Operations Prestige Hotels & Resorts), Michelle Shivak, (director of human resources at the Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel in Vancouver), Ryan Martin (manager and part owner of Nelson’s Hume Hotel and Best Western Hotel in Nelson), Amanda Robinson (general manager of the Copper Mountain Resort in Canmore) and Daniel Bibby (general manger of the Delta Grand Hotel Kelowna).
Three RHOT graduates sit on the committee, including Jennifer Horsnell (visitor services manager for Tourism Kelowna), Mike Truscott (director of operations at the Vancouver Marriott Pinnacle) and David Stevenson-Moore (front office manager at the Sheraton Wall Centre).
Students Provide Important Insights into Selkirk Education
The committee spent the first half day meeting with faculty and administration to get an update on what Selkirk College is doing and have done. The guests took a look at curriculum to ensure the college is staying relevant.
The next day, student representatives presented a brief description of their classes and their impressions of the program. The students then answered questions from the committee about what they like and what they would like improved. Second year students also had the opportunity to talk about their recently completed work term placements. The half-day session included a discussion about what the new employee is and the committee talked about how they have changed to meet the needs of the modern worker.
The industry insiders then spent an afternoon engaged in round table discussions with the students who were put into small groups and spent 15 minutes talking and answering questions.