Kevin is an Anishnabek and is a member of the M’Chigeeng First Nation on Manitoulin Island.
Kevin has been a key player in the development of Indigenous cultural tourism in Ontario since 2003. Kevin was an integral part of the development and growth of the Great Sprit Circle Trail (GSCT) on Manitoulin Island, one of the country’s most renowned Indigenous tourism organizations that provides culturally authentic Indigenous experiences to visitors along with marketing support to Indigenous operators.
He has provided leadership to GSCT for over 15 years and has imparted his guidance to countless individuals throughout Manitoulin Island, Ontario, Canada, and beyond.
Kevin works tirelessly to unite Indigenous tourism providers, grow market reach and bring meaningful employment opportunities to the region.
Kevin is a mentor and visionary who works closely with his community to ensure sustainable and organic growth within the Indigenous tourism industry.
In 2015, Kevin was named the Tourism Champion of the Year by the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario. He has also been recognized by numerous media outlets for his accomplishments within the industry.
Kevin sits on a variety of boards including the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC) and Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO).
He has also helped establish ITO, ITAC, Northeastern Ontario Tourism, Destination Northern Ontario, the Manitoulin Hotel and Conference Centre, and many other tourism organizations and businesses. He also sits on the Destination Ontario Sector Advisory Committee, Tourism Skillsnet Ontario Council, and the Trans Canada Trail Indigenous Advisory Committee
Leni has been working in hospitality, food, agri-food, and events across Ontario for more than 15 years. With multi-industry experience working for major corporations, non-profits and entrepreneurs alike, Leni has collected a vast awareness of best practices in these areas. Leni was able to develop strong marketing and communications skills while working in Ontario’s agri-food sector. She leverages her strong relationship-building skills to achieve collaboration and effective resource sharing among stakeholders.
In 2003 Leni graduated from the University of Guelph with a bachelor’s degree in political science.
Jasmine is a recent graduate who is passionate about community-based tourism and environmental sustainability. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce Honours degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management from Ryerson University and she has a research background in destination management and best practices of sustainable Indigenous tourism in Canada. Jasmine is analytical, innovative and inquisitive; bringing a fresh perspective to current issues and solutions in the Indigenous tourism industry. In addition to research, Jasmine has various experience with event planning and marketing communications.
Brian Still was born and raised in Whitefish River First Nations, just footsteps from the waters of McGregor Bay on the beautiful Georgian Bay. Brian spends all of his spare time on the water fishing; simply being in nature is what he lives for. Growing up, Brian was heavily involved in his family’s business where he learned the ways of being an entrepreneur in the tourism industry. It was no surprise when Brian launched his own career as a tourism business owner within the fishing/guide industry. He attended The College of the Rockies for Adventure Business Tourism, where he has advanced his knowledge and skills in guiding, entrepreneurship, running a tourism business and earning various outdoor certifications. While Brian has a wealth of knowledge on fishing, guiding, and the great outdoors he also has a passion for videography and photography. He enjoys capturing special moments for his clients, family and friends, along with showcasing his beautiful community and surrounding lands. Ultimately, it was the combination of Brian’s two greatest passions that has led to his success building a successful tourism business. Brian has always loved where he was born and raised and is excited for this new endeavour, while exploring and learning about fellow tourism businesses and helping to continue showcasing Indigenous Tourism Businesses through digital marketing.
Kimberly Gorgichuk – Indigenous Business Advisor Coordinator
Kim Gorgichuk has worked as a consultant for her own company Best Way Project
Support Services Inc., a 100 percent Indigenous owned consulting company formed in
2019. With her company, Kim provides project support to First Nations, their communities, and First Nations Governments by using refined, carefully developed project management skills.
Kim helps to provide First Nations teams with the tools to effectively manage projects
from within their organization without compromising their culture and traditions.
Kim is a proud member of Kijicho Manito Madaouskarini Algonquin First Nation located
in Algonquin territory in Bancroft, Ontario, Canada. She participates in her Algonquin
Community activities, cultural events, and traditions to keep connected to her grass
roots. She is very passionate about her Algonquin ancestry, being driven to connect
with distant relatives and close family alike. The importance of family to her is stronger
than any other as any down time outside of work is spent creating everlasting memories
with her husband, and two beautiful daughters.
She brings over 20+ years of project management experience having performed on
multiple projects including Forestry, IT, Oil and Gas, Construction, Transportation,
Government research, specializing in Projects, Administration, Coordination and Land
Administration. Having returned fulltime to the workforce after raising twins, Kim
graduated from University of Waterloo Supply Chain and Logistics, and has obtained
certificates in Project Management throughout her lifelong learning. This includes Grant
McEwen University, and a graduate in Certification in Land Administration from SAIT, in
Barbara was born and raised on Manitoulin Island. Stepping out and experiencing life adventures for thirty-six years, Manitoulin eventually called her back home to her roots. Barb worked for thirteen years as the Administrator for Movati Athletics in Thunder Bay and had the pleasure of working at the various locations throughout Ontario.
Her greatest passion is travelling and learning about cultures everywhere she goes. Her favourite pastime is working in her flowerbeds, the game of curling, and horseback riding.
As a Creative Industries student at Ryerson University currently in her 3rd year, Carianne specializes in communications and storytelling in media. In addition to working toward the completion of her Bachelor’s degree, Carianne previously acted as a research assistant for Dr. Cheryl Thompson on her project, Newspapers, and Black Performance at the Theatre: Mapping the Spaces of Nation-Building in Toronto, 1870s to 1930s. During 2019, she worked in the Ryerson University Faculty of Community Services Dean’s Office, as the Lead Communications and Design Assistant. Prior to this, she acted as a Senior Marketing Representative at Quartermaster Inc. Carianne’s extensive experience with digital tools, marketing and communications will support ITO’s ongoing initiatives. During her time at ITO, she hopes to learn more about Indigenous tourism, using her skills, knowledge and experience to support Indigenous communities.
A proud Ojibway Anishinaabe with a close and strong connection to his home community of Manitoulin Island’s, M’Chigeeng First Nation; Steven brings to Indigenous Tourism Ontario as its Membership Coordinator, over 30 years of senior hospitality, business management and development experience.
Steven is an experienced operator with some of Canada’s leading hospitality corporations, from the small and independent to some of the industry’s leading major national and global brands from many points across this nation. A business development focused leader with a passion for excellence in customer service, attention to detail and overall guest satisfaction. Steven most recently and independently completed the design, outfit and opening of M’Chigeeng Freshmart, a fully owned and operated, full-service grocery store in the heart of M’Chigeeng First Nation.
Steven continuously brings the Seven Grandfather teachings into his personal life and business operations.
A committed lifelong learner that loves the outdoors and continues to explore his history, culture, the world around us and being one with nature. From hiking to hockey, canoeing and snowshoeing, to exploring the land; Steven loves to travel, his family, his daughters, his grandson, and everything that interests them.
Emilie Wlodek - Indigenous Business Advisory Program Administrator
Emilie’s background started in the hospitality industry where she evolved her customer service experience. Her passion and experiences with small businesses evolved her career towards tourism development.
As a graduate of Ryerson University’s Hospitality and Tourism Management Commerce program, Emilie specialized in tourism research, Indigenous tourism development, and destination marketing. Throughout her education, Emilie has worked with various small businesses which allowed her to apply her knowledge of best practices in the industry to the real world.
She is very hardworking, analytical, and creative. As the Indigenous Business Advisory Program Administrator, she is very excited to showcase her passions with ITO.
Cassidy has been a coordinator in a variety of industries including print, advertising, and events.
She is a non-Indigenous settler of mixed ancestry who is a committed ally to Indigenous Peoples. She is also an avid reader, a film & television aficionado, and an Oxford comma user. Cassidy’s pronouns are she and her.