Suzanne Reeves appointed Director of Marketing, and Tara Saunders as the Director of Business Development

Xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh), Vancouver, BC – The Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC) spent this week rolling out exciting changes to ITAC’s leadership team. The final two appointments include Suzanne Reeves who is stepping into the role of Director of Marketing and Tara Saunders as the Director of Business Development. The changes will help ITAC, and the Indigenous tourism industry continue to grow and build back better in the recovery from COVID-19.

Suzanne Reeves will be taking on the role of Director of Marketing, where she will be responsible for overseeing the marketing initiatives of ITAC, which bring attention and resources to the country’s Indigenous-led tourism sector.

Reeves has more than 25 years of experience developing and implementing strategic global sales and marketing programs in tourism, including with organizations like Destination Canada and the Olympic Games. Reeves spent the past two years acting as a senior strategist in ITAC’s marketing department where she was heavily active in the development of Destination Indigenous and the Original Original campaign. Prior to that, she spent more than four years as the Principal of Sure Media, supporting destinations and enterprises in restorative solutions for community, culture and environment through the power of collaboration and storytelling.

“Suzanne is a highly respected marketer in the tourism industry. We’re so grateful to have her on our team,” said Keith Henry, President and CEO of the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada. “Suzanne is an incredible leader who has navigated our organization towards award-winning campaigns that build the profile of the Indigenous tourism industry worldwide.”

Former ITAC board member, Tara Saunders, will be stepping into the position of Director of Business Development, a role formerly held by Teresa Ryder. In this role, Saunders will be responsible for overseeing the development and stability of Indigenous tourism across Canada as well as product development and grant initiatives to support Indigenous tourism entrepreneurs and Indigenous communities investing in tourism.

Saunders brings her experience as Tourism Development Officer for the Qalipu First Nation, one of the largest First Nations in the country. Saunders worked with the Nation on its five-year tourism development strategy, Experience Qalipu, focusing on developing market-ready cultural experiences and other tourism products throughout Mi’kmaq communities in Newfoundland. As a former member of the ITAC Board as the Newfoundland and Labrador representative, Saunders will also utilize her familiarity with ITAC in her new role as Director of Business Development.

“Teresa left big shoes to fill with the Director of Business Development position, but we know Tara is the perfect person who will bring something extra special to the role,” said Keith Henry, President and CEO of the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada.

ITAC’s mandate is to leverage tourism to help support the revitalization and broader understanding of Indigenous culture in a way that contributes positively to Indigenous communities. With this new leadership structure, ITAC is set up very well to recover and continue to build back better following the pandemic.