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Strategic appointments focus on destination management, and events and festivals in HRM

HALIFAX, NS - Discover Halifax is taking on new responsibilities and expanding its team to include a focus on the strategic planning of tourism-related developments in the Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM), as well as a team that works closely with regional event bidding activities and rights holders to improve the overall system for festivals and events.

Discover Halifax President and CEO, Ross Jefferson, says the new roles of Vice President, Destination Development and Vice President, Festivals and Events are critical to the continued and responsible growth of the tourism industry, and to further implementation of the Integrated Tourism Master Plan.

“Since 2002, we have been focused on generating interest in coming to HRM from leisure visitors and business travellers, and 2022 was our best year on record,” says Jefferson. “These two new positions add to our roster and will allow us to help manage and shape how we want this industry to grow across all of HRM.”

“As Discover Halifax continues to expand its impact and reach, these strategic appointments reflect our dedication to strengthening the economic and social benefits of the tourism industry for people who live, visit, and invest in our region,” says Jefferson.

Professional urban planner, Brian White, is joining Discover Halifax as the VP, Destination Development, from the Town of Rothesay where he was Director of Planning and Development Services.

“I’m thrilled to join Discover Halifax and I look forward to working with our partners to build on the strategic path laid out in the Integrated Tourism Master Plan,” says White. “I think we work best when community, society, and government all recognize the interconnected relationships between place and people. A community-first approach to destination management and development offers the potential for many great outcomes for our region.”

Experienced event and festival manager, Mark Teeple, will join the team as the VP, Festivals and Events, coming to Halifax from Toronto where he has produced small and large-scale events, both nationally and internationally.

“I'm ready to dig in on in the challenges that come with community building and consensus building, and I can’t wait to start working with the diverse and experienced group of event partners already in place that are making things happen,” says Teeple. “I think there's something truly special happening in the Halifax region right now, and I want to be part of it. I'm excited for this new opportunity.”

To ensure the non-profit stays on top of new technologies and best practices, Discover Halifax has also hired a Senior Director of Innovation and Emerging Technologies, Michael Regular, an experienced IT consultant and strategist. He will identify opportunities for the adoption of new tools and technologies, such as the use of AI and data science, to develop and pilot new approaches to help evolve Discover Halifax.

All three will start with Discover Halifax in the fall.