TMAC CONFERENCE Keynote & Professional Development Sessions 

The TMAC Conference Committee in conjunction with our National Professional Development Committee have prepared a thoughtful, insightful and dynamic collection of sessions for our 2022 Conference. As you review these session descriptions, please note that while some indicate Media or Industry, as a delegate you are welcome to select the session of your preference (subject to capacity maximums). 

When you register for the Conference, you will be asked to indicate which sessions you plan to attend, be sure to provide your preference. 

*NOTE: We will be recording each of the sessions and making them available for view by all members within two weeks of the conference.* 

June 24, 2:00pm - 3:00pm

  • Keynote Speaker: Forging Untold Treasures
    SPONSORED BY Newfoundland & Labrador Tourism 

    Tony Sampson is the owner/operator of Salty Dog Sea Tours in Mahone Bay, NS.  He is also a team member of the popular History Channel show "The Curse of Oak Island".  Tony will share some of his treasure hunting stories with TMAC members, as well as and tips on how unique industry and media partnerships can lead to a multitude of valuable rewards, and treasures.

    About our Speaker: 
    Tony Sampson is a venerable salty dog having been to sea for decades and thanks the winds of fate for having washed him up on the beautiful South Shore of Nova Scotia where he lives with his wife, daughter and other furrier family members. Originally from England and New Zealand, Tony has taught diving all around the world, from the top of Scotland's Orkney Islands, to the bottom of New Zealand's South Island, and many places in between. Tony is a team member of the popular TV show, The Curse of Oak Island - having a passion for the ocean and treasure hunting that has led him on many adventures.

June 24, 3:30pm - 4:30pm

  • Media: Video Skills Every Creator Needs to Know
    Presenters: Bri Mitchell 
    SPONSORED BY Taste of Nova Scotia

    Don’t be left behind. Stay competitive and grow your audience. Video content creation is more important than ever and has drastically evolved. It is the fastest growing storytelling feature all freelancers need to grasp to stay current. Reimagine how you work with editors and destinations by propelling yourself to the next level by offering a complete story package with photos and video. In this session, members will be guided through the steps to create engaging videos for TikTok, stories and reels on Instagram or Facebook (now known as Meta), YouTube Shorts, Web Stories and Pinterest. This session will focus on the latest trends and tips for creating videos that are more valuable and entertaining to optimize success. Following the presentation, moderators will help members put their new skills into action by creating social posts using footage gathered during pre-conference tours. One-on-one will be available as time allows.

    *Note: TMAC Virtual sessions Video Skills 101 on June 2 was recommended as a foundation builder.
    If you missed it, please watch the recording now, before you arrive in Yarmouth.

    About our Speaker:
    Bri Mitchell is a travel content creator and freelance writer from Toronto. She is a regular contributor and social media manager for the websites travelingmitch, Ultimate Ontario and We Explore Canada. She routinely works with Canadian tourism boards to increase exposure and access to local tourism, and focuses on using Instagram and TikTok to reach new audiences.

  • Industry/Media: The Future of Travel Media Relations: The Positive Impact of Regenerative Tourism
    Presenters: Norie Quintos, Julia Cosgrove and Lily Girma 
    PRESENTED BY Destination Canada

    The future of tourism requires an industry that is adaptable and sustainable with a more holistic approach to travel, one that benefits both travelers and the communities they visit. This session will bring together a panel of experts to discuss the future of travel, regenerative tourism and highlight destinations leading by example. Industry will walk away with a better understanding of regenerative tourism and the role storytelling and travel media relations can play in helping develop a more sustainable and resilient renewed future.

    About our Speaker(s)
    The panel is composed of top writers and editors including

    Norie Quintos, editorial consultant and Contributing Editor, National Geographic Travel
    Norie Quintos is an award-winning independent journalist and editor. She is a contributing editor to National Geographic Travel Media and the former executive editor of National Geographic Traveler. She is also a consultant for the travel industry on communications strategy and custom content. She helps clients find and tell their stories through seminars, coaching, and print and pixel projects. She has spoken and presented at conferences including the Adventure Travel World Summit, the New York Times Travel Show, International Media Marketplace, the International Indigenous Tourism Conference, the Travel Unity Summit, and the World Bank World Tourism Day Forum. Her work is focused on the areas of sustainable, indigenous, regenerative, transformational, and responsible travel. 

    She is a member of the Board of Directors of the Adventure Travel Conservation Fund and an advisor to Adventure Media, the Transformational Travel Council, Impact Travel Alliance, and the social enterprise startup Giving Way. She is the former executive editor of National Geographic Traveler and was an editor at U.S. News and World Report and Caribbean Travel and Life. She has lived abroad and is working on her Spanish fluency. She bikes, hikes, and tweets @noriecicerone.

    Julia Cosgrove, Vice President and Editor in Chief of AFAR Media

    As the Vice President and Editor in Chief of AFAR Media, Julia Cosgrove has defined the brand voice of AFAR Media’s award-winning and profitable products, including AFAR magazine,, events, email newsletters, podcasts, social channels, video, and new, emerging platforms.  She oversees a team of editors, writers, art and photo/video directors, and designers and works closely with AFAR Media’s sales and marketing teams on revenue-generating franchises, cross-platform proposals, custom content programs, and strategic partnerships. Julia is also an expert and thought leader on travel and media, and has shared her vision and expertise on stages around the globe. She has led panels, interviewed industry leaders, and delivered keynote addresses at the Travel Classics conference, the Society of American Travel Writers Editors’ Council, the Skift Global Forum, the IMAG Conference, the Women’s Travel Fest, the Tourism Australia Summit, the American Society of Journalists and Authors Writers Conference, the Symposium for Professional Wine Writers, the Public Relations Society of America Travel and Tourism Section Conference, and more.

    Lebawit Lily Girma, Global Tourism Report at SKIFT
    Lebawit Lily Girma is Skift’s Global Tourism Reporter. Prior to joining Skift, she built a distinguished career as an award-winning Ethiopian-American travel journalist and photographer focused primarily on sustainable travel in the Caribbean region. Born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, raised in Cote d’Ivoire and educated in the UK and U.S., plus nearly decade of exploring and living in the Caribbean region, including Belize, Girma’s “third culture” life journey has shaped Lily’s work and her philosophy on tourism as a vehicle for cross cultural exchange and social impact.  A former corporate attorney who ditched her Washington DC office for the road in 2008 to follow her passion for storytelling, Lily’s writing and photography have been published in major publications including BBC, CNN, Travel & Leisure, Conde Nast Traveler, AFAR, Sierra Magazine, Lonely Planet, The Guardian, and multiple in-flight magazines.  You will also find her quoted on her expertise as a solo traveler and sustainable Caribbean advocate in a range of outlets ranging from Oprah to Readers’ Digest Canada and National Geographic Traveler.  Lily has authored guidebooks for Moon Travel Guides and produced content for travel brands and tourism boards, including Marriott Bonvoy, AA Vacations, TripAdvisor, the Belize Tourism Board, and the Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism.  Forbes magazine featured her as one of “15 Black Travel Writers to Read Now” in 2020.  She is also the recipient of the Caribbean Tourism Organization’s Marcia Vickery Wallace award for excellence in travel journalism. Follow her adventures on social media @sunandstilettos and on her award-winning travel and photography blog, Sunshine and Stilettos.

June 25, 10:00am - 11:00am

  • Industry/Media (joint session): Winning SEO Strategies for 2022
    Presenters: Matt Rouse
    SPONSORED BY Trippzy / TMAC Ontario Chapter

    Sorting through the continuously changing world of search engine optimization (SEO) is complicated. Arm yourself with the latest tactics to gain market share in the game of SEO in 2022. Content is still king, but there are other important key elements that you need to know to decipher this labyrinth. In a world where more than 50% of searches end without a click away from Google, understanding how modern search engines work is essential to your success. We can no longer rely on the tactics of the past and much embrace the E-A-T methodology. Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. Get ready to walk away with an action plan you can use to achieve success. 

    About our Speaker:
    Matt Rouse is the host of the Digital Marketing Masters Podcast and co-host of the Business Builder Throwdown LIVE. He is also the co-founder of two marketing agencies Hook SEO LLC in the USA and Hook Digital Marketing Canada, based out of Nova Scotia.

    Matt started out his business book career by crowdfunding his first book, Crush SEO: Learn To Market Your Local Business Online in 2015 and followed that up with two Amazon Category Bestsellers, Start Saying Yes, and Flattening the Hamster Wheel. He is also the author of Inbox Mastery, an email marketing course, Podcast Mastery, and several other business courses for entrepreneurs and SMBs. His latest book, How We've Always Done It, was released on April 1st, 2022. 

    He lives the hobby farmer life in his spare time, with his lovely wife, Kari Rouse who runs a Dahlia flower farm, and their young daughter Faith Magnolia Rouse, along with a dozen hens in the hills of the Annapolis Valley.

  • Media: Calling All Content Creators! Discover Paid Opportunities to Spin your Tale Post Pandemic
    Panel: Wing Sze Tang, Toronto Star, Adrian Brijassi Vacay, and Gillian Marx of Tourism Newfoundland & Labrador
    SPONSORED BY Tourism Kingston

    This informative session will help you discover new opportunities and inspiration to showcase the travel content you produce.  

    Meet a panel of editors from traditional, digital and curators of travel content to discuss the kinds of storytelling materials they are looking for. Learn tips on how to establish a successful working relationship with these editors and how to promote your unique skills as a creator.

    About our Presenters: 
    Wing Sze Tang
    Wing is an award-winning writer and editor who has worked at some of Canada’s most well-known lifestyle magazines, including FASHION and FLARE. She has been editing the Toronto Star’s travel section since February 2021.

    Adrian Brijbassi
    Adrian is the editor of, a publication dedicated to Canadian destinations and culture. It annually publishes the "20 Best Places to Travel in Canada", an indicator of tourism trends in the country. Adrian has won multiple awards for his fiction, travel writing, photography, and journalism. He has worked as an editor for major media outlets in Canada and the United States, including New York Newsday, the Toronto Star, and the Vancouver Sun, and directed the social media program for Destination Canada. Adrian is the editor of the cancer-fighting cookbook “Inspired Cooking”. It has been called “the best cookbook of its kind”. In 2020, he launched the travel-trivia app, Trippzy, described as “America’s next great time-killer app” by Matador Network. Adrian has an MFA degree from Southampton College in New York and a journalism degree from Ryerson University. 

    Gillian Marx, Media Relations, Newfoundland & Labrador Tourism

    Gillian is the Media Relations contact for Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism for over 25 years.  She is so passionate about selling stories about her beloved province that she says it’s like getting paid to do her hobby.  Gillian started with the Cabot 500 Celebrations and worked on numerous special celebrations over the course of her tenure. Gillian came from the media side of things and feels it has brought a special insight into how to best deliver the experiences that tell the story. The media landscape has changed quite a bit over her years in Media Relations and she says if she has learned anything it is to roll with the punches, get to know your journalists so you can match the story with the storyteller, and most importantly, keep human relations a priority in Media relations and you will never go wrong.


June 25, 1:30pm - 3:00pm

  • Industry/Media (joint session): Moving Forward
    Panel: Gloria Loree, Destination Canada,  Beth Potter, Tourism Industry Association of Canada, Tracy Ford, TMAC

    Together, we're moving forward with new collaborations and opportunities that will bring Canada's tourism industry out of the pandemic, and into the future stronger. 

    About our Speakers:
    Gloria Loree, SVP, Marketing Strategy & Chief Marketing Officer, Destination Canada
    Following a 20+ year career in the arts, journalism and tourism, Gloria joined Destination Canada in 2006 to share the stories of Canada with the rest of the world. Gloria quickly gained a reputation as a skilled strategist and passionate champion of the tourism industry. In 2019, Gloria was promoted to SVP Marketing Strategy & Chief Marketing Officer of Destination Canada where she drives Destination Canada’s global and domestic marketing strategy.

    Gloria’s leadership purpose is to have people experience the joy of effective teams. She is proud to lead a team of passionate marketers who share a common vision of inspiring those with glowing hearts to fall in love with Canada. Some defining moments in Gloria’s career include: learning from tourism business owners from across Canada, speaking at Content Marketing World, interviewing Elizabeth Becker (author of Overbooked) at TIAC Congress. Also, being a part of the partnership team for the 2010 Winter Games, behind the scenes of TV shows like America’s Next Top Model, and working for Tourism BC in London and as a journalist and editor at magazines and newspapers around the world.

    Gloria’s glowing hearts moments include being at a lobster boil with over one hundred foreign journalists, under the stars on a beach in PEI. “I remember swelling up with pride as the warmth and ease of our Maritime hosts helped our guests feel that Canadians always have room for one more at our table.”

    Beth Potter 
    Beth is an accomplished leader with over 35 years of diversified provincial, national association experience, and close to 20 years in the tourism sector.

    In March of 2021, Beth joined the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC), with a vision to heighten the awareness of the industry across Canada, and to strengthen the organization’s advocacy objectives and results as the sector works through and post the COVID-19 pandemic.

    At the international level, Beth is an active member of the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) COVID-19 Taskforce and Government Affairs working group.

    As a testament to her leadership in the industry, Beth was recently named one of the Top 50 Women in Travel by the Global Business Travel Association.

    Tracy Ford
    Tracy is TMAC's President and member for nearly 20 years. Since assuming this volunteer role as acting President in 2021, she continues to lead TMAC, alongside her board of directors and committee members, through the evolving status of our industry, consistently seeking opportunities to acknowledge the value of our professional travel media members (current and future), their role in moving through and beyond COVID-19, and curating collaborations with partners to strengthen TMAC as the only nation-wide Travel Media Association in Canada.

    Tracy has more than 35 years of experience as an accomplished public relations professional in the corporate, non-profit, and hospitality/tourism fields. From 2001 to 2005, she was the Regional Marketing and Public Relations Manager for Delta Hotels Muskoka Resorts (part of the Delta Hotels chain).  In 2005, Tracy joined the Chelsea Hotel as Director of Public Relations and in 2022, she celebrates 21 years with the company. 

    Tracy has been an ambassador for the City of Toronto through regular media trips and hosting media from around the world. She was a part-time professor at Centennial College from 2011 to 2014, in the Corporate Communications and Public Relations post-graduate program

    Tracy has been a member of the Travel Media Association of Canada since 2002 and she’s been a member of the national board since 2016.  She is also a member of the Society of American Travel Writers (since 2016) and the Canadian Public Relations Society (since 1986).