RTO12/Explorers’ Edge is one of 13 regional tourism organizations (RTOs) funded by the Ontario Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism & Culture Industries.
The RTO12 catchment includes six subregions: Algonquin Park, the Almaguin Highlands, Loring-Restoule, Muskoka, west Parry Sound, and South Algonquin.
The region is located on the traditional lands and waterways of the Algonquin, Anishinabek, Mohawk and Metis peoples, and is part of the Robinson-Huron and Williams Treaties territory.
Applications are now open for tourism business owners or general managers to join the RTO12 Board of Directors.
As a Governance board, the priorities of the Directors are to monitor a policy-based governance system and to develop, implement, and monitor policies that allow the organization to carry out its work under the leadership of the Executive Director.
Directors are the fiduciaries who will steer the organization towards a sustainable future by adopting sound, ethical, and legal governance in addition to financial management policies, as well as by making sure the non-profit has adequate resources to advance its mission.
This information package has been designed to give you a greater understanding of the role and responsibilities that fall to the Board, the commitment required of Board members, and to help you to determine if Board service with RTO12 is right for you.
In Fiscal 2021-2022, RTO12 embarked on an ambitious plan to reposition itself as a Destination Development Organization, and to entrench into all facets of the organization regenerative principles that will allow the industry and our communities to recover, rebuild and thrive coming out of the global pandemic. The new “community-centric approach” features significant strategies to ensure the sustainability of tourism stakeholders, communities and the RTO12 organization itself, including: region-wide workforce development (particularly training and housing to attract and retain workers); a Regional Data Hub for timely intelligence (pertinent to the overall health of the industry and communities affected by tourism as an economic driver); revenue generation to support programs and community projects (TICO inbound travel agency/commerce, impact investment and community bonds); and the development of sustainability initiatives (social, economic, environmental and cultural programs).
The new Vision and Mission for RTO12 and the new Regenerative Strategy can be found in the Fiscal 2021-2022 Business & Operational Plan.
The continuation of this strategy can be found in the Fiscal 2022-2023 Business & Operational Plan (BOP).
To fulfil the goals of the long-term Regenerative Tourism Strategy, the RTO12 Governance Committee welcomes applications to the Board of Directors from individuals (business owners or general managers) with backgrounds in the following areas:
- Tourism Management and Business Development
- Financing & Revenue Generation (including investing or community/SIB bonds)
- Housing/Infrastructure Development
- Sustainable Development
- Workforce Development
The RTO12 Board takes its role and responsibilities seriously. Its job is to ensure RTO 12 continues to serve the needs of our members, not just today, but well into the future. To help achieve that end, each current RTO 12 Board member has undertaken a comprehensive competency assessment against those skills and abilities required of the Directors collectively to fulfill their many responsibilities. Additionally, Directors are required to take a police background in compliance with our Travel Industry Council of Ontario (TICO) requirements.
Applicants for the Board are also required to undertake that same competency assessment exercise; this allows us to nominate new Board members, as vacancies arise, who will add to our overall competency by bringing skills and abilities to the Board that we require at any given time. You will find the competency assessment in this package.
Related to Governance you will also find on our website copies of Board policies that apply to individual Board members, as well as the Board as a whole. Applicants are urged to read them along with the organizational bylaws before submitting, to ensure a clear understanding of how RTO12 is governed, and the expectations of each and every Board member regarding such things as conflicts of interest, maintaining confidentiality when required, how Board performance and that of individual Board members are assessed, etc.
What follows below is some information that might answer some of the questions you may have at this time.
- To govern RTO 12: be objective, unselfish, responsible, honest, trustworthy, and efficient; serve as stewards of public trust and act for the good of all members of the organization, rather than for any personal interest; determine policy (rules); establish strategic goals (“ends”); and monitor organizational performance.
- Seven (7) to eleven (11), in addition to the Executive Director who serves in an ex-officio role.
- The Board meets on average five times of year. The duration of board meetings is approximately 3.5 hours.
Typical Agenda Items
- The agenda of the Board of Directors will focus on its accountabilities. The major accountabilities are:
- Direction setting, strategic planning and decision making.
- Evaluation, measurement and mitigation of risks.
- Monitoring of financial accounting and internal controls.
- Monitoring of compliance with the Board’s policies (rules it establishes for both the Board itself and the Executive Director).
- Receiving reports of any Board Committees and/or Task Forces.
- Evaluation of the Executive Director of RTO 12, and replacement, when necessary.
- Chair of the Board of Directors (elected by Board members at the first meeting following the Annual General Meeting where the Board is elected). The Annual General Meeting is held in June of each year.
- Board members receive no remuneration for their services
As indicated at the beginning of this letter, the RTO12 Board of Directors takes its job seriously – it is an important one. And while Board members may serve with no remuneration, the rewards are many, including the development of a leading Destination Development Organization in Canada, which has to sole purpose of improving local communities through “the business of tourism.”
We appreciate your interest in serving RTO 12. A representative will be in touch with you should you opt to complete the enclosed application. Should you do so, please return your application and completed competency assessment to the address below.
The 2022 Nomination process will close May 19, 2022
Sincerely, Board Development Committee
Governance Chair, Angela Pollak, Owner Four Corners Algonquin Camping and Glamping (519) 571-4584
Executive Director, James Murphy (705) 706-1649
Save the date – 2022 Regional Tourism Summit – We are very excited to be returning to an in-person Regional Tourism Summit which coincides with our Annual General Meeting. This year we will be celebrating our live entertainment sector by holding our AGM at the iconic Kee to Bala in Muskoka Lakes, Bala, Ontario.