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Attractions Ontario 2018 Tourism Awards

On May 8th, 2018 Attractions Ontario hosted it’s 35th Annual General Meeting at Centennial College in Scarborough. The event provided an opportunity to recognize industry leaders during a presentation of Tourism Awards.

We would like to extend our congratulations and present the winners:

Co-op Student of the Year was awarded to Duy Khang (Justin) Doan, Courtyard by Marriott Downtown Toronto. 

Duy Khang (Justin) Doan age 23, was born in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. He grew up there, at the age of 16 his parents decided to send him to Toronto for a better education. He finished four years at Northview Heights Secondary School with an expectation of getting into the medical school. During his first year of nursing at Centennial College, he worked part time at Pai, a northern Thai restaurant in downtown Toronto, as a kitchen helper. After two semesters of nursing were done, he switched to Hotel Operation Management Program and is expected to graduate at the end of April, 2018. He is currently working as a part time server at the Courtyard by Marriott Downtown Toronto after completing his internship in the food and beverage department. He hopes to climb the corporate ladder and one day become a director of Food & Beverage.

Tourism Champion of the Year was awarded to our co-champions: Aurore Lemarinier, Ottawa Tourism and Rick Stokes, Ontario Power Generation Winter Festival of Lights.

Aurore Lemarinier is currently the Visitor Information Coordinator at Ottawa Tourism. Originally from Normandy in Northern France along the banks of Juno Beach, Aurore has always felt a close connection to Canada – actively participating in the annual June 6th ceremonies which pay tribute to the Canadians who liberated her village in 1944. Studying English at the University of Warwick in England, her close historical ties and a chance encounter with her (now) partner at the Juno Beach Centre have led Aurore to now call Ottawa home. Throughout Aurore’s career, tourism and customer service has remained at the forefront, including jobs at the Office de Tourisme Terres de Nacre and Blueyes (events). Volunteering has also become an important part of her life in Ottawa, with her most memorable volunteer experience taking place this past Canada Day was when she helped manage the VIP area which included Prime Minister   Trudeau.

Rick Stokes started as a volunteer at the Winter Festival of Lights in 1992 and was a member of the Festival’s Board of Directors for over twenty years, including a stint as Chair in 1996. He has been an active and hardworking volunteer for the last 26 years without exception.  He is always the “go-to” man when on-site assistance is required.   He works with Winter Festival of Lights’ staff on many of its sanctioned events, including overseeing onsite set-up and clean-up and is known as the WFOL’s “Festival Ambassador”.   Rick constantly promotes the Festival on his many travels and within the various organizations outside Niagara Falls with which he is affiliated. No matter how busy Rick is, he regularly checks in and visits the WFOL office to stay up to date on happenings and to offer his help! Rick Stokes is not only a volunteer at the Winter Festival of Lights but is also active in helping the City of Niagara Falls, Niagara Falls Firefighters, Niagara Falls Chamber of Commerce, Niagara Falls Boy Scouts, Niagara Falls Shriners & various other organizations within the City.

The Colonel Don Dailley Lifetime Achievement Award was given to Anna Pierce.

Anna Pierce began her career with Niagara Helicopters at its inception in 1983 as a ticket sales associate.
In 1987 she graduated with Distinction from Brock University with a BA in Psychology (Business). She immediately accepted a full time position with Niagara Helicopters as Marketing and Operations Assistant. In 1997, Ms Pierce was promoted to the position of Marketing Director. She joined the Board of Directors for Niagara Falls Tourism in 2002. After serving as Chair of the organization in 2005, she accepted the position of Executive Director in 2006. Having accomplished what she had originally set out to do for the organization, Ms. Pierce returned to her roots at Niagara Helicopters in 2009 accepting a position as Vice President. In 2011 the company was purchased by Helicopter Transport Services of Canada – one of the largest helicopter operators in Canada. Ms. Pierce was then promoted to Vice President and General Manager of the operation. Ms. Pierce has extensive knowledge in International Tourism Sales and Marketing having attended numerous Travel Trade Shows and Trade Missions in the UK (including Scotland and Ireland), France, Germany, Spain, Japan, China, Korea, Mexico, and the United States since 1988. In the over 30 years of working in the Tourism Industry, Ms. Pierce has had the honour and the pleasure to work with wonderful people at all levels of Government as well as Tour Operators from around the world.
Some Career Highlights:


  • Chair – Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Sectoral Advisory Committee
  • Immediate Past Chair – Niagara Falls Canada Chamber of Commerce
  •  Niagara Falls Tourism Travel Trade Advisory Committee

Served on the:

  • Canadian Tourism Commission Europe Committee
  • Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Overseas Committee (8 years)
  • Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership North America Committee (2 years)
  • Ontario Tourism Regional Strategic Planning Advisory Committee
  • Ontario Tourism Quebec Task Force
  • Niagara Destination Development Strategy Implementation team
  • Niagara Falls Downtown Development Committee
  • Niagara Falls Tourism Board of Directors (Past Chairperson)
  • Winter Lights Communities in Bloom Committee Chairperson
  • The Tourism Industry Association of Ontario Advisory Committee
  • The Tourism Industry Association of Canada “Circle of Influence” Advisory Committee
  • Tourism Industry Association of Ontario Board of Directors
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