Downtown Oakville
Downtown Oakville Oakville

Staff Operational Profiles

Maria Fortunato; ExEcutive Director

Maria is responsible to advance tourism growth through the development and implementation of strategic, business, marketing and operational plans, goals and policies to progress organizational and tourism industry priorities. Maria builds strategic relationships with key stakeholders to identify emerging trends in the industry as well as the changing needs and conditions of the local, regional, national and international tourism sectors.  She works in partnership with the Board of Directors to establish the expectations and goals for the Association with consideration of the regional tourism industry needs and the Ministry of Heritage, Sports, Tourism and Culture Industries funding expectations and measurement criteria. 

Adrienne Carter; Manager, Destination development & Finance

Adrienne works with regional partners to help evolve businesses, attractions and events to promote to the tourist audience.  The portfolio includes both cultural partners; such as museums, galleries, live music, festivals, culinary experiences and Indigenous offerings; and outdoor product including paddling experiences, hiking and cycling trails, where you will find waterfalls, the Niagara Escarpment and the Grand River.

Regional operators are encouraged to contact Adrienne to: 

  • Enhance your organization/business to collaborate in strategic marketing initiatives, to build a critical mass of similar offerings and create a sense of place

  • Develop new experience offerings and programming to increase business opportunities

Adrienne also manages the Ministry of Tourism Culture & Sport’s Regional Partnership Funding Allocation.  Known as the Partnership Fund, this program helps regional partners leverage their own marketing or product development budgets that align with the RTO Strategic Priorities.  It can extend the marketing reach for an event or help fast track the development of a new visitor experience initiative.Speak with Adrienne to learn how you can get involved in marketing campaigns that occur throughout the year or if you have an idea to develop a new experience.

Bev Scott; Business and Visitor Experience Development 

Bev manages the organization’s business development portfolio. She continues to evolve the region’s demand product, building HHB’s overall visitor experience brand to meet market expectations, creating quality and compelling experiences for all visitor segments. Also managing visitor experiences development and partnerships, Bev conducts research and implements programs, campaigns and initiatives promoting the tourism development for the region, and that aligns with HHBRTA’s Strategic Priorities.

The Outdoor/Nature-Based sector remains Bev’s key product portfolio. She manages and oversees the development of all visitor experiences, pan-regional product development initiatives, enhancing experiential product, marketing, campaigns and business opportunities for key outdoor demand generators and overall development of the Canadian landscape destination brand.

Cultivate and leverage business opportunities in partnership with key market channels including Destination Ontario and Destination Canada, and our industry stakeholders in Travel Trade market development. Bev continues to evolve opportunities that reach consumer segments in overseas outbound markets, building business relationships with International Tour and Receptive Operators, Wholesalers and Trade Media that strategically increases visitation to HHB.

Overall, Bev continues to manage tourism partners to prioritize market-ready products and experiences, identifying needs, trends, and implementing action plans based on business opportunities. Continuing to identify overnight opportunities and grow the roofed and non-roofed accommodation sector.

Contact Bev to discover how to participate in ongoing Business to Business (B2B) initiatives, visitor experience development and enhancements, outdoor development campaigns and initiatives, and to help build your tourism business for specific market segments.

angelica smith; industry relations & Communications officer 

Angelica works collaboratively with regional industry partners to identify and develop new opportunities for business operators and other tourism industry stakeholders to help grow their business, foster strategic alliances and attract new market audiences. These opportunities involve: 

  • The Annual Workforce Development & Training Series

  • Labour Force/Job Creation

  • Corporate Communications (i.e. HHBRTA Corporate Website and HHBRTA Corporate E-Newsletter)

  • Tourism Business Development

  • Industry Exchange Forums

  • Regional Consultations 

  • RTO 3 Industry Tourism Symposium

In addition to Angelica’s role as the industry relations and communications officer, she works with the Executive Director as the HHBRTA Board of Directors Administration Coordinator. It is her responsibility for coordinating all meetings, documents, system and processes, and communicating with all Board of Directors regarding all committee meetings. These Committees include: 

  • Governance and Nominating 

  • Strategic Task Force

Brittany hunter; Destination marketing officer 

As Destination Marketing Officer, Brittany acts as the lead for digital marketing initiatives and related content while facilitating an array of media and marketing functions. Brittany develops the content for all HHBRTA social channels which promotes industry operator offerings that are aligned with mini-campaigns and in-marketing tactics. Brittany is responsible for gathering organic (social) and HHBRTA quarterly campaign results.  HHBRTA Social Channels include:

  • HHBRTA Twitter @HeartofONtario

  • HHBRTA Facebook @heartofontario

  • HHBRTA Instagram @theheartofontario  

Brittany is the content coordinator for the leisure website, www.theheartofontario.com. Her priority is to enhance the visitors experience and make sure all information is accurate and up to date (listings/events/offers/ buyable experiences). In addition, Brittany works collaboratively with industry partners to continuously develop the RTO Asset collection (new asset photos/videos/collateral) and manages partners assets via Crowdriff.

Brent kinnaird; tourism product dvelopment specialist, (Cycling) - (Part-time) 

Brent Kinnaird’s primary product/experience development portfolio is focussed on cycling tourism. He is in Phase 1 development to evolve a signature tourism cycling loop encompassing the Brant region. Brent works with industry stakeholders to evolve opportunities to create cycle tourist visitations to their business.  There are free marketing opportunities with Ontario By Bike and with the RTO that Brent can assist with dependent upon industry operator readiness to attract the cyclist tourist. 

ANN BEhnke; financial and office administrator

Ann maintains the organization’s financial administration needs related to bookkeeping and records management.  She also coordinates office administration and human resources support.  If partners have questions or concerns with any accounts payable and receivables, they can connect with Ann.

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