GradusTalks: on Tourism

375 Water Street, Vancouver, BC

Join this exclusive GradusTalks session on navigating Canada’s growing tourism and hospitality industry

From 6.00pm until 8.30pm

At The Profile

375 Water Street, Vancouver, BC

GradusTalks: on Tourism

GradusTalks are specially themed panel events, which provide valuable and guaranteed advice for individuals. These events feature an array of industry-specific experts, as panelists, to give an unparalleled and informative experience.

British Columbia’s success lies in more than just its stunning landscapes and natural beauty. BC’s Tourism and Hospitality sector is a $14 billion industry and has more than 130,000 people employed in various businesses. Unknown to many people, the Tourism and Hospitality industry is made up of many different types of businesses and represents a broad range of career opportunities. It goes well beyond guided tours and hotel services. For this reason, the diversity of the Tourism and Hospitality industry is so fascinating.

Whether you are just curious about the industry or working towards becoming part of it, this exclusive event will present a genuine glimpse of the opportunities available. Join us on Wednesday, September 23rd at The Profile Vancouver to hear the following panelists engage in a discussion about BC’s thriving Tourism and Hospitality industry.

  • Gloria Loree, Executive Director, Global Marketing, Destination Canada
  • Jim Storie, President, CEO of The Vancouver Trolley Company
  • Sarah Hickey, Corporate Manager, Human Resources, SilverBirch Hotels & Resorts
  • Minerva Ward, Program Manager, Career Awareness, Go2HR
  • Craig Norris Jones, General Manager, Pan Pacific Vancouver


6:00 – 6:30 | Arrival, Networking

6:30 – 8:00 | Panel Discussion, Q&A

8:3=00 – 8:30 | Networking


Gloria Loree, Executive Director, Global Marketing, Destination Canada

A proud storyteller for Canada, Gloria’s 20+ years of experience in marketing and communications includes working in the tourism sector for Canadian destinations and in the arts and journalism as an editor and writer. Working in marketing for Destination Canada has meant many varied opportunities including working with international personalities on the Canadian Olympic Torch relay, being behind the scenes of reality TV shows, leading website development, working with agencies on projects and campaigns in the US, UK, France, Germany, Australia and Mexico as well as having the opportunity to develop and execute marketing strategy.

Jim Storie, President, CEO of The Vancouver Trolley Company

Jim Storie acquired The Vancouver Trolley Company in 1996, which has grown from operating 6 trolleys and 17 employees to 21 trolleys and over 75 employees during peak season. Jim was born in the City of Vancouver and attended Simon Fraser University and B.C.I.T. In 2006, he received his Bachelor of Hospitality Management Degree through the Executive Cohort Program at Vancouver Community College. Jim was a member of the Vancouver Police Department before he changed careers and entered the service industry. He has been an active participant in industry and community organizations as the current Chairman of the Board of the Council of Tourism Associations of BC and board member of the Arts Club Theatre, Action Line Housing and the Seton Villa Society. He is a Past Chair of the Boards of Tourism Vancouver, Action Line Housing and the Seton Villa Society and formerly sat on the boards of Vancouver Coast and Mountain Tourism Association, The Van Dusen Botanical Gardens Association and more.

Sarah Hickey, Corporate Manager, Human Resources, SilverBirch Hotels & Resorts

Sarah Hickey is Corporate Manager, Human Resources with SilverBirch Hotels & Resorts. SilverBirch owns, operates and asset manages close to 30 hotels coast-to-coast and has been recognized as one of Achievers 50 Most Engaged Workplaces in Canada. Originally from the UK, Sarah joined SilverBirch in 2012 and is involved in a variety of Human Resources disciplines at both a Corporate and Property level including recruitment, recognition, engagement, total rewards and training and development. Sarah has a degree in Marketing and Management from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne and a Post Graduate diploma in Human Resources from the University of Portsmouth.

Minerva Ward, Program Manager, Career Awareness, Go2HR

Originally from St. Lucia, Minerva joined go2HR in 2013 with more than eight years of experience in marketing, project management and hospitality management. Minerva holds a B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Tourism and Hospitality Management from the University of the West Indies, and a Digital Communications certificate from SFU. Discovering her passion for the tourism industry at a young age, Minerva has worked as a front office manager for Sandals Resorts, and manager for a duty-free mall and cruise ship terminal. Minerva is currently go2HR’s Program Manager for Career Awareness. go2HR is BC’s tourism human resource association responsible for coordinating the BC Tourism Labour Market Strategy. The organization supports the growth and success of BC’s tourism industry through developing programs and resources to help the industry recruit, retain and train employees. Minerva is responsible for the development and execution of a multi-channeled marketing plan for promoting jobs and careers in BC’s tourism industry.

Craig Norris Jones, General Manager, Pan Pacific Vancouver

Craig is a familiar face in the Vancouver hotel scene, with almost four decades in the Western Canadian hotel industry. After graduating from high school in Victoria and travelling through Southern Africa, Craig worked in various positions in restaurants and joined CP Hotels in 1974. Craig graduated from BCIT in 1978, and continued working in managerial positions with Delta and Sheraton Hotels & Resorts. He joined Coast Hotels & Resorts in 1986 where he managed various Coast properties in Vancouver, Whistler, Kelowna, Victoria and Kamloops before being promoted to Regional General Manager in 2004 and then to the role of Vice-President, Operations. Craig was instrumental in the continued expansion of the company into Western Canada and the United States. He joined the Pan Pacific Vancouver in August 2013 and is using his experience to ensure the Pan Pacific continues to be at the forefront of Vancouver’s thriving Hotel industry. Throughout his career, Craig has been an active advocate of the BC Hospitality Industry, holding a variety of leadership positions with the BC Hotels Association, Tourism Vancouver, Hotel Association of Vancouver, and Vancouver Hotel Association.

Terms & Conditions

The Vinetta Project is a network based on quality over quantity. Our events are small and private with a limited number of tickets in order to maintain a productive networking atmosphere.



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