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June 29, 2017


On Thursday, June 22, The School of Hospitality, Recreation & Tourism held its 2017 Plenary at Woodbine Racetrack. The gathering was an occasion for HRT faculty and staff to celebrate their accomplishments and hard work over the past academic year. The theme of this year’s Plenary was “Saying Yes,” which was an idea that pervaded the discussions, presentations and speeches throughout the day.

The day began with a staff breakfast and a welcome speech and year-end slideshow from HRT Dean, Susan Somerville. Next, HRT faculty members delivered a series of informative TED Talks on their experiences and insights from the past year. The topics and speakers included:

  • “Peru Adventure 2017” presented by Kevin Smith
  • “Service Learning in Nunavut” presented by Sherri Branscombe & Leila Kelleher
  • “Sustainability” presented by Susan Ratkai
  • “Bug - Eat Them Because…” presented by Mark Jachecki
  • “Trends in Hospitality and F&B” presented by Kristy Adams

After the talks, the Associate Deans and Directors, Rudi Fischbacher, Denise Gardner, Savio Colaco and Ryan Visser all spoke to the audience of HRT faculty and staff. Delaney Cummings then introduced the HRT Photo Contest, and Paul McCabe, an HRT Professor who is retiring after 25 years at Humber, gave his farewell speech to his friends and colleagues.

The audience then stretched their legs and visited HRT faculty members stationed at tables throughout the room. For the Table Talks, the presenters spoke on various HRT, educational, and institutional topics and invited discussions and questions from the table audiences.

Neil Crone

The day concluded with an inspirational keynote speech from Canadian actor and writer, Neil Crone. Neil is a 27-year veteran of the Canadian screen, best known for playing Fred Tupper in CBC’s hit comedy, Little Mosque on the Prairie. Neil spoke about his battle fighting cancer and told an inspirational story about how you can turn your life around by saying yes.

Everyone had an amazing time at this year’s Plenary. A lot of laughs were had throughout the day and the speeches and roundtable discussions were well received by all who attended.

Thank you very much to everyone who presented and spoke at the Plenary. And of course, thank you to our outstanding faculty and staff for their hard work and dedication this year. Have an amazing summer and see you all in September!

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