Road to the Show: HITEC returns to Toronto

Sponsored by

Returning to Canada for only the second time in its history, HITEC Toronto will take place from Monday, June 26 through Thursday, June 29 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

The conference portion of HITEC will include a number of sessions throughout the three days. Here’s a look at some of the highlights:


The conference kicks off with the “The Workforce Focus Has Shifted: Recruitment, Retention and Work-Life Balance” session from 9:00 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. Panelists Anna Chartres, regional director, talent and culture, Fairmont Hotels and Resorts; Donna Hale, managing partner, CIO/head of delivery, 5P Consulting; Joshua Morgan, director of technology, Horizon Properties; and Neal Patel, immediate past chairman, AAHOA, discuss strategies that promote work-life balance and offer insights on how to create a culture that aligns with the expectations of the current workforce. Room: 716, Level 7

From 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., panelists Darrin Homer, Sr. account executive, Arctic Wolf Networks; Lynn Goodendorf, board advisor & consultant, Metro Atlanta ISSA Chapter; and Melina Scotto VP, CISO, Hilton, will be the panelists on the session, “Cybersecurity 201: Protection from the Unknown Unknowns.” They will explore the latest technologies and strategies being used by cybersecurity experts to protect hotels and other hospitality businesses against these emerging threats. Room: 716, Level 7

The HITEC Opening Headliner Session takes place from 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Titled “Strategy in a World of Disruption,” Shawn Kanungo, disruption strategist, bestselling author and former innovation expert for Deloitte, provides an optimistic roadmap for the future. He explores how we can take unexpected approaches to innovation to remain competitive and relevant. Room: 718, Level 7


Leading off the day, from 8:30 a.m. to 10:10 a.m, HITEC Headliner Session called “International Perspectives – Tech Future Proofing: Planning for the Global Traveler,” features panelists Amandeep Sarna, chief information officer, ITC Limited Hotels Division; Frank Wolfe, CEO, Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP); Michael Levie, founding partner, citizenM and advisor to NEOM Hospitality Development and Tourism; Sanovnik Destang, executive director, Bay Gardens Resorts; Sherry Marek, CEO, Aiken Street; Tariq Valani, SVP, global support services, Accor and global SVP of technology, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts; and Todd Wood, VP, global applications and transformation, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group. It will include a discussion tackling the questions and challenges of today’s technology landscape and how to prepare for the global traveler coming to your property. Room: 718, Level 7

Attendees will then get a chance to stop by the booths on the exhibition floor when it opens at 10:00 a.m. and will remain open until 4:00 a.m.

From 4:15 p.m. to 5:15 p.m., the panel “Unboxing Technology’s Role in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion” will discuss how hospitality technology enables the DEI vision. Panelists include Caroline van Beesten, head of EMEA technology & global deployment, Hilton; Hannah DeMaio, VP, brand strategy, Women Leading Travel & Hospitality; Keryn McNamara, SVP, hotel technology, Aimbridge Hospitality; and Laura Pallotta, RVP sales & distribution, Marriott Hotels of Canada. Room: 716, Level 7


The day begins with the “E20X” session from 8:15 a.m. to 10 a.m., where entrepreneurs present business concepts to a room full of HITEC attendees, as well as a panel of judges including hospitality CIOs, angel investors, serial entrepreneurs and industry insiders. Room: 718, Level 7

The exhibition hall is open from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Not long after the doors close, the session “Bridging the Gap Between Legacy and Cutting-Edge Technology” from 3:15 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. will focus on today’s cutting-edge, hospitality technologies and the costs associated with staying up-to-date. Panelists include Gina Johnston, VP, Horizon Hospitality; Justin Robertson, director of information technology, The Boca Raton; Leonel Domingues, cofounder/CTO, Nonius; and Matt Schwartz, CTO, Sage Hospitality Group. Room: 716, Level 7


The final day of the conference begins with a session titled “State of Blockchain in Hospitality, Now and Beyond” from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. Panelists will include Adam Mogelonsky, partner, Hotel Mogel Consulting Ltd.; Alexander Lamb, cofounder/CTO, Arise Travel; Lyon Hardgrave, CEO, Pinktada; and Michael Cohen, managing partner, Growth Advisors International Network (GAIN). They will discuss the blockchain solutions that are currently in the market for hospitality and the predicted future industrial uses of the technology. Room: 714, Level 7

Attendees will have one last opportunity to walk the exhibition floor from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. as the conference comes to a close.