Staff & Management
Andrea Gardi joined RTO4 as a Project Manager, and is thrilled to be putting to good use her undergraduate degree in Honours Business Administration from the Richard Ivey School of Business and a Master’s degree in Tourism Policy and Planning from the University of Waterloo. Her professional background includes positions with economic development and destination marketing organizations across Ontario. Using strong organizational and analytical skills, she has a passion for growing the tourism industry in the region she was born and raised in.
Selected as one of Destination International’s 30 under 30 in 2017, she also received the AACB Scholarship to represent the group in Hobart, Tasmania.
Executive Assistant/Tourism Project Manager (On Maternity Leave until November 2020)
Karen began her career at RTO4 as a Package Development Co-ordinator and evolved into a dual role of Executive Assistant and Project Manager. Karen is responsible for record keeping, payroll, scheduling, liaising with bookkeepers and auditors, financials and assisting upper management and was instrumental in the launch, training and operations of the RTO4 wide Regional Reservation System.
In her role as Project Manager, Karen works closely with tourism stakeholders to enhance a tourism destination by implementing projects that foster collaboration, build relationships, improve the destination tourism product, expand the destination network and market the destination through social and digital media.
Karen has completed her Honours in Tourism Management Diploma from Georgian College, completed an Edge of the Wedge Experiential Travel Course, a Travel Counsellor and Supervisor Manager Certification, and a BA in English Literature from the University of Waterloo.
Digital Project Manager
Charlotte is eager to bring her background in the creative sector to her role as Digital Project Manager at the Regional Tourism Organization 4. Previous to joining the RTO4 team, Charlotte gained invaluable experience working in digital marketing at Guelph Tourism for 4 years. Her post-secondary background in Music as well as Non-Profit Management allows her to have a unique set of skills, combining creative thinking and project management expertise. Charlotte has a passion for digital development, with a strong focus on innovation and design while continually asking ‘why’. Charlotte is committed to building the Tourism sector in her home region through her work at RTO4.
Destination Project Manager
A Huron County native, Leigh brings a diverse skill set to the RTO4 team, having originally graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree specializing in biology and then pursuing post-graduate studies in Sport Business Management. Leigh’s work experience has taken her through multiple internships with different sport organizations before finding a home as manager of a rural based YMCA facility where she spent the last three and a half years serving the local community.
As a part of the RTO4 team Leigh is excited to support regional tourism initiatives with her problem solving abilities and operational management skills, with her ultimate goal being the delivery of quality experiences and solutions to the partners RTO4 serves.
Destination Project Manager
Ashley is excited to be putting her Master’s degree in Tourism Policy and Planning from the University of Waterloo to use in the region she grew up in as a Destination Project Manager for Waterloo, St.Jacobs, and the Grand River. Ashley’s professional background includes lecturing tourism courses at both Humber College and The University of Waterloo, as well as Events and Outreach Management for the Uptown Waterloo BIA. In her free time, Ashley enjoys hosting events related to community development, volunteers with the YWCA KW, and loves supporting small businesses and the Ontario craft beer industry.
Brenda joined Alliance Bookkeeping in March 2014 and quickly endeared herself to colleagues and clients alike. Her nonjudgmental and fun-loving personality makes her easily approachable by anyone. Her dedication and attention to detail supports both clients and colleagues.
Brenda has a strong background in bookkeeping with a diploma in accounting & small business management, experience from many years in agri-business having owned & operated dairy & poultry farms with her husband and bookkeeping experience from a variety of businesses.
A proud mother and grandmother, Brenda loves spending time with family and friends. And in the summer months touring with her husband on their motorbike.
Since 2011, David has led one of Ontario’s newly formed Regional Tourism Organizations, RTO4 Inc. This entity is a tourism business development incubator for Huron, Perth, Waterloo and Wellington, with a focus on growing and future-proofing the region’s tourism assets and economy by creating sustainable destination management networks, distributed marketing and storytelling, stakeholder competencies and legacy resources. David is a business development specialist with a well-documented career as a senior executive at both the President and CEO level in international television and electronic media. He’s worked extensively in the UK, France, Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela, Finland and the U.S.A.
Under David’s leadership, the office has been recognized internationally for its innovative approach to tourism as an economic engine and for a number of the tools it has developed: The RTO4 Destination Development Process, The Destination Animation Partnership Program, the Destination Digital Audit to name a few.
In 2019 David retired as CEO but will continue to serve RTO4 as Executive Advisor & Chief Strategist on a part time basis.