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Ontario’s Highlands Tourism Organization Appoints New Board

Pembroke, ON (February 24, 2011) – The recently formed Ontario’s Highlands Tourism Organization (OHTO), formerly Regional Tourism Organizaiton (RTO) 11, is pleased to announce the appointment of its inaugural Board of Directors, which will now replace the Transitional Board as the governing body of the organization.

The OHTO’s new Board of Directors was officially appointed at the organization’s first Annual General Meeting (AGM), held at Calabogie Peaks Resort in Calabogie, Ontario on February 22, 2011. The Board, which provides complete regional geographic representation for the established industry-led and membership-based Destination Marketing Organizations (DMOs), destinations, and public-sector-led tourism marketing organizations, includes:

  • President: George Offshack, Limerick Lake Lodge & Marina, Bancroft, ON
  • Vice President: Marie White, Lanark County Tourism Association, Perth, ON
  • Treasurer: Melissa Marquardt, Ottawa Valley Tourist Association, Pembroke, ON
  • Secretary: Chris Hinsperger, Bonnechere Caves, Eganville, ON
  • Jim Bakker, Madoc & District Chamber of Commerce, Madoc, ON
  • Dave Bishop, Haliburton Forest & Wildlife Reserve, Haliburton, ON
  • Amy Brohm, County of Haliburton, Minden, ON
  • Bob Cheetham, Rideau Heritage Route Tourism Association, Smiths Falls, ON
  • Rachelle Clayton, Omàmiwininì Pimàdjwowin, Golden Lake, ON
  • Kevin Cruickshank, The Loon’s Call Campground & Cottage Resort, Cloyne, ON
  • Michele Gervais, The Algonquin Way Cultural Centre, Golden Lake, ON
  • Joanne Larkman, Bancroft & District Chamber of Commerce, Bancroft, ON
  • Gary Leonard, The Old Carriage House, Stirling, ON
  • Rob Plumley, Lennox & Addington County, Flinton, ON
  • Laurel Smith, Classic Theatre Festival, Perth, ON

The President and Vice President were elected at the OHTO’s Board of Directors meeting held immediately following the AGM. “I am honored to have been chosen to serve as President for the first full term of the organization,” said George Offshack. “It’s an important responsibility to represent the tourism industry in the region. It’s great that 3 of the 4 members of the new Executive are former Transitional Board members like myself, as they are familiar with progress to date and can provide continuity in current and upcoming initiatives.” The Transitional Board, and OHTO staff, helped established the OHTO as a leader amongst its peers, as it has been the first of the 13 provincial RTOs to hold an AGM.

The AGM additionally marked the first meetings of the OHTO’s Marketing and Product Development committees, which are comprised of board members, OHTO staff, and various regional tourism community representatives.

The OHTO is a not-for-profit organization mandated by the Province of Ontario to increase tourism within the counties of Haliburton, Lanark, and Renfrew and portions of Frontenac, Hastings, and Lennox and Addington. The OHTO works in collaboration with eight DMOs, tourism agencies and authorities including: Algonquin Nation, Bancroft & District Chamber of Commerce,
ComfortCountry.ca, Haliburton Highlands, Lanark County Tourism, Land O’ Lakes Tourist Association, Ottawa Valley Tourist Association, and the Rideau Heritage Route Tourism Association. Find out more about the OHTO at http://www.ohto.ca
For more information, please contact Leah Piltz, Marketing and Communications Coordinator, at 613-629-6486 or leah.piltz@ohto.ca


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The Ontario's Highlands Tourism Organization (OHTO) is one of 13 Regional Tourism Organizations created by the Ontario government to increase tourism to the province. The OHTO covers a large region in eastern Ontario which includes the counties of Frontenac, Haliburton, Hastings, Lanark, Lennox and Addington, and Renfrew.

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Ontario's Highlands Tourism Organization
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Phone: 613-629-6486

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