Feb. 1, 2021

Feb. 1, 2021 was the first virtual School of Hospitality & Tourism (SoHT) Career Expo for students and industry partners to connect regarding industry trends and employment opportunities.

The SoHT Career Expo Team led by Heather Laver, Co-ordinator of the Hospitality – Hotel & Restaurant Services Management diploma program, and 10 students from the Event & Media Production diploma program along with their Professors Tim Abbott and Lisa Livingston organized the day.

Students had the opportunity to review the list of participating employers online prior to the event to look at the bios of industry speakers and to register to attend the event.

An overwhelming 659 participants registered, including 598 students, 40 faculty and 21 industry partners.

The Career Expo began at 9 a.m. with the Land Acknowledgement.

Seneca President David Agnew welcomed all participants and added a surprise tour of the new SoHT Hospitality Lab and Flights Hub at Newnham Campus.

Motivational Speakers from the industry spoke about the impacts of COVID-19 and the expected strong recovery of the hospitality and tourism industry. 

Extending words of encouragement, opportunity and hope for a robust future were leaders from our industry:

  • Susan Grynol – President of Hotel Association of Canada
  • Brain Leon – President of Choice Hotel’s Canada
  • Terry Mundell – President and CEO, Greater Toronto Hotel Association
  • Tony Elenis – President and CEO, Ontario Restaurant Hotel and Motel Association
  • Burak Aydemir – Airport Operations Manager, Cathay Pacific Airways

Attendees listened to a fireside chat with key industry partners focusing on applying for employment and trends within the industry. The speakers included:

  • Todd Finlayson – Finlayson Partners
  • Brody Purser – Deerhurst Resort
  • Megan Thurston – Mariposa Cruises by Hornblower

Following the speakers, 11 HR recruiters from across Canada met students in Zoom Booths to discuss current employment opportunities within their organizations.

Participating employers included:

  • Agema Inc
  • Algonquin Resort – part of the Autograph collection and is owned and operated by New Castel Hotels and Resorts
  • Banff Lodging Company – represents 11 hotels, eight restaurants, two spas, one retail operation, and Lux Cinema
  • Deerhurst Resort
  • Donalda Club
  • Fairmont – Western Mountain Region (Jasper, Banff and Lake Louise properties) 
  • Finlayson Hospitality Partners – represents seven McDonald’s Restaurants
  • Mariposa Cruise by Hornblower 
  • Sunwing Travel Group 
  • Thakkar Group – Network of Tim Hortons restaurants from Toronto to British Columbia
  • Temple and Temple Tours 
  • WestJet 

The SoHT student response to the event was overwhelmingly positive, and reassuring, giving them confidence that being in programs at Seneca and broadening their skills is the right place to be in preparation for a rebound of the tourism, hospitality and airline industry.


Co-investigators Barkev Keoshkerian, Dr. Frank Merante and Dr. Hla Wynn are working to develop next-generation vial coating with the help of research assistants Carmen Mei, Ishani Maharaj, Meng-Chen Lee and Jasmin Khan.