THE WINNERS' CIRCLE update Oct. 9, 2018

Chef Joseph Tran wins in Taiwan. Chelsea: $100K for Sick Kids. Days Inn Adopts a School. JJ Hilsinger's Lifetime Achievement Award. JW Parq Vancouver has best ballroom. Plant for the Planet. OHI Top 30 under 30. Serge Simard endowment fund.


Chef Joseph Tran, Inn at Laurel Point, wins in Taiwan

VICTORIA, BC – Joseph Tran took first place
and the Gold Medal as the Canadian National Representative at the prestigious 42nd
Concours International des Jeunes Chefs (Young Chefs) Rôtisseurs Competition
held in Keelung, Taiwan on Sept. 7, 2018. The competition, open to young cooks under the age
of 27, was hosted and sponsored by La Chaine des Rôtisseurs. Additional
sponsors include Cordon Bleu (France), Chef's Hat (Canada) and CKU Culinary
University (Taipei).

of the world’s finest young chefs were chosen for 2018 through selection
competitions held in their respective countries.

At 25 years of age, Joseph has already been cooking
for a decade, he started in his father’s restaurant in London, Ontario as a
dishwasher and his hard work brought him to the line. Realizing his passion for cooking, Tran took
culinary skills and culinary management at Fanshawe College in London, Ont., in 2013. After graduating, Joseph began working in a local hotel restaurant.

Tran’s talent was quickly recognized by his chef in London, who suggested that
Tran be mentored by Chef Takashi Ito of Inn at Laurel Point in Victoria, B.C.
Chef Ito travelled from Victoria to interview Tran and recognizing the
potential in this young cook, hired Joseph to work at AURA waterfront
restaurant + patio, Inn at Laurel Point. In his two years at AURA, Tran’s dedication and zeal
has resulted in his rapid rise up the culinary ladder to his current position
as first cook.

Although Joseph is quiet and humble, his personality and talent
are anything but as he constantly experiments with new dishes and combinations.
Always looking to improve, Tran observes his surroundings and regularly asks
questions, leaving no stone unturned. He has even taken his work home with him,
creating a professional kitchen of his own, complete with a deep fryer.

Chelsea presents another $100K for Sick Kids.

From left: Adam Starkman, vice president, corporate partnerships, SickKids Foundation; Todd Baril, Chelsea Hotel; Lauren Riddell, Chelsea Hotel; Bud Harvey, Chelsea Hotel; Chris Siedel, Freeman Audio Visual Canada; Martin Raus, Tarpon Contracting; Josef Ebner, regional vice president – Canada and managing director, Chelsea Hotel; Tracy Ford, Chelsea Hotel; Wendy Dempsey, SickKids Foundation; Warren Parkes, Active Mechanical Services and Anthony Vella, Andorra Building Maintenance.

From left: Adam Starkman, vice president, corporate partnerships, SickKids Foundation; Todd Baril, Chelsea Hotel; Lauren Riddell, Chelsea Hotel; Bud Harvey, Chelsea Hotel; Chris Siedel, Freeman Audio Visual Canada; Martin Raus, Tarpon Contracting; Josef Ebner, regional vice president – Canada and managing director, Chelsea Hotel; Tracy Ford, Chelsea Hotel; Wendy Dempsey, SickKids Foundation; Warren Parkes, Active Mechanical Services and Anthony Vella, Andorra Building Maintenance.

TORONTO – Since 2013, Chelsea Hotel Toronto has donated $500,000 in support of AboutKidsHealth, a health education resource for children, youth and caregivers that empowers families to become a partner in their own health care by equipping them with reliable, evidence-based health information that is easy to understand and immediately available, regardless of where they are in Canada or the world.

As part of SickKids Foundation’s Donor of the Week celebration, Chelsea Hotel presented a cheque for $100,000 on Sept. 25 in the Atrium at SickKids.

“The ability to “give back” to the community is not only an important philosophy of the Chelsea Hotel, Toronto but it is something the hotel practices every day. We are not only willing to go above and beyond to bring comfort to our guests, but also to bring comfort to families in need in the local community in which we operate. It is our hope to not only increase awareness for SickKids, but to continue to raise much needed funds to help those children in their care,” said Josef Ebner, regional vice-president – Canada and managing director, Chelsea Hotel, Toronto.

For the past seventeen years, the annual Chelsea Charity Golf Classic has raised funds and awareness for charity and this year’s event will once again, support AboutKidsHealth. Looking ahead, SickKids continues to take on the greatest challenges in child health through the SickKids VS Limits campaign, the largest fundraising campaign in Canadian healthcare history and a once-in-a-generation opportunity to transform child and youth health.

Days Inn supports Adopt a School program

TORONTO, Ont. — Days Inns – Canada recently announced a $5,000 donation in support of The Indigo
Love of Reading Foundation’s Adopt a School program.

The hotel brand ran
a fundraising blitz on social media to coincide with the Indigo Love of Reading
Foundation’s Adopt a School campaign. From September 17 – 23, Days Inns –
Canada committed to donating $1 for each social engagement on their Facebook,
Twitter and Instagram platforms in order to raise funds for the Foundation.

“Through our social
channels we wanted to connect with people on a national level to garner
awareness for this important cause,” said Irwin Prince, president & COO,
Days Inns – Canada. “With the help of our franchise community, guests and
social media fans, the funds raised will go directly to The Indigo Love of
Reading Foundation’s Adopt a School program.”

The Adopt a School
program is an annual fundraising campaign that takes place over the course of
three weeks each fall. This program is a terrific resource for high-needs
Canadian elementary schools to raise funds in support of their library. More
information is available online at

J.J. Hilsinger earns TIAO Lifetime Achievement Award

J.J. Hilsinger has been an outspoken figure in Tourism Sault
Ste. Marie's business and tourism community for decades. An active supporter of
the city's growth since the 1950s, J.J.'s name
has come to represent entrepreneurship and community spirit.

After opening
Sault Ste. Marie's first KFC franchise — which eventually expanded to additional
businesses — J.J. built the Water Tower Inn in 1974. Still a family-run
business,the Inn is known as a welcoming community meeting place in addition to
a haven for visitors.

Over the course
of his expansive career, J.J. has promoted Sault Ste. Marie as a destination
for both visitors and business development. He spearheaded investment at
Searchmont Resort, in addition to groups such as Hospitality and
Travel Sault Ste. Marie (HATS) and the city's economic advisory council in the
'80s. J.J.'s resumé also boasts a long list of philanthropic work and other
community contributions.

The Tourism
Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO) is proud to announce J.J. as the
2018 recipient of the Tourism Industry Awards of Excellence's Lifetime
Achievement Award. His commitment to hospitality and community engagement
embodies the spirit of Ontario's tourism industry, and this accolade is undoubtedly

The TIAO will be celebrating J.J.'s accomplishments at
Caesars Windsor on Tues. Oct. 23 at a special Lifetime Achievement Award
Lunch on day one of the 2018 Ontario Tourism Summit.

JW Marriott Parq Vancouver lauded for best ballroom

Parq Vancouver
has just won Best Ballroom / Conference
Space in the HOSPY Design Awards. This is particularly exciting
as they were the only Canadian recipient of a HOSPY Award this year and the win
comes just in time to commemorate its one year anniversary this month.

Tohis was the 14th annual
HOSPY awards, which recognize individuals and firms for extraordinary
achievements in architecture, design, and development in the hospitality
industry. JW Marriott Parq Vancouver impressed the judges with more than 60,000
square feet of flexible meeting and event space, including the
city’s largest hotel ballroom and a sixth floor rooftop park. All ballrooms and
meeting rooms are conveniently located on the fourth floor and accessible via
both The Douglas and JW Marriott Parq Vancouver in order to
intuitively allow guests to connect to the energy of Parq Vancouver while
seamlessly moving between rooms, restaurants, the casino, and meeting spaces.

The JW Marriott Parq Vancouver and The Douglas are members of Marriott's Convention and Resort Network.

Accor launches Plant for the Planet in Canada

TORONTO — AccorHotels is excited to announce they have launched Plant for the Planet in Canada. They are committed to sustainable development and solidarity through PLANET 21, a comprehensive program that brings together employees, guests, communities and partners to drive sustainable growth.

The AccorHotels’ Planet 21 commitment is to provide a positive hospitality experience; one that creates links and positive outcomes for all guests, while striving relentlessly to reduce the impacts associated with hotel operations.

The Plant For the Planet program is a tangible expression of positive hospitality and engagement to reduce AccorHotels’ environmental footprint. While staying with AccorHotels, guests are invited to reuse their towels and linen and 50 per cent of the savings is reinvested in planting trees.

AccorHotels partnered with PUR Projet, a climate-protection non-profit that supports reforestation, agroforestry and forest conservation initiatives, to develop its program.

So far, Plant for the Planet has planted over 6 million trees on farmland, supporting a greener agriculture.

Nominations open for OHI Top 30 under 30

are now open for the OHI's Top 30 under 30.

Nomination forms can be filled out online or downloaded as a PDF file and emailed to the OHI office and nominations close at the end of December.

The candidate being nominated should be currently working in the industry for a minimum of three (3) years, is planning to continue to work in the industry and is under the age of 30 as of December of the year prior to winning.

The nominee must be informed of their nomination. They will be required to provide a portfolio in order to be considered. It is extremely important that the candidate’s contact information is correct, particularly their email address.

The selection
of the Top 30 Under 30 winners is made in mid-March. The selection committee is
made up of 20-22 members representing a large spectrum of the industry,
including past 30 Under 30 winners. The selection is based on a grid system of
10 criteria categories of which the best 5 marks are selected.

Invitation to Serge Simard celebration

Serge Simard.

Serge Simard.

TORONTO — The friends and family of the late Serge Simard, along with Fairmont Hotels and the George Brown College Centre for Hospitality and Culinary Arts are holding a celebration honouring one of Canada’s icons of hospitality as they launch a new endowment fund: The Fairmont Serge Simard Endowment Fund for Global Hospitality Learning.

The celebration will be held at The Fairmont Royal York Hotel Imperial Room on Thurs. Oct. 18t, 2018 from 5-7 p.m.

“The Fairmont Serge Simard Endowment Fund for Global Hospitality Learning will provide students from the George Brown College, Centre for Hospitality & Culinary Arts with opportunities to participate in global learning opportunities while they develop the skills in service and the insights into the international hospitality sector that Serge so valued,” said Lorraine Trotter, Dean, Centre for Hospitality and Culinary Arts, George Brown College. “The resulting bursaries are an important and meaningful investment being made in the future of the Canadian hospitality industry.”

“We are honoured to pay tribute to Serge’s memory by partnering with George Brown College. Serge was an amazing individual with a larger than life personality and an enviable career,” said Kevin Frid, COOfficer, North & Central America, AccorHotels.

“As an advocate for Canadian food and wine at home and abroad, and a strong supporter of local producers, Serge worked tirelessly to share this message. I can’t think of a more fitting way to celebrate his life and contributions than through this new endowment fund which will inspire and meaningfully assist others to follow in his footsteps.”

Simard’s career in hospitality is legendary: starting out as a dishwasher, he ultimately rose to the position of global vice-president, Food and Beverage at Fairmont Hotels and Resorts. Recognized by the Confrérie de la ChaÎne, the Canadian Restaurant & Food Service Association, the International Food & Beverage Forum, Cuisine Canada and the Ontario Hostelry Institute, Serge worked tirelessly to promote Canadian wines and played a key role in advancing the Vintners Quality Alliance (VQA) – the body that regulates Canada’s major wine appellations.

His joie de vivre and curiosity inspired all who met him. Serge was happiest when sharing a fine meal and a good vintage with great company. Serge’s passion for life was summed up in one of his favourite expressions: “Don’t just go there – be there!”

Those attending will be able to contribute to support the fund via live and silent auctions, and will enjoy food, wine and music, selected to honour Serge and his renowned standards of excellence.

Please RSVP to by October 9th if you'd like to attend.

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