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Northeastern Ontario Tourism appoints new leader

Donna Maitland will help northeastern Ontario’s tourism sector in moving forward past COVID-19
Donna Maitland
Donna Maitland. Supplied.

Northeastern Ontario Tourism (NeOnt) has hired Donna Maitland as its new executive director.

A lifelong resident of the region, Maitland has served in a number of roles related to economic development and tourism.

That includes a period as director of economic development for the Mattawa  Bonfield Economic Development Corp., where tourism was a focus.

She also served as the inaugural executive director of the Muskoka, Nipissing, Parry Sound, Timiskaming Local Training and Adjustment Board and as a northeastern Ontario regional program manager at the Ontario Trillium Foundation.

In a news release, Northeastern Ontario Tourism said that Maitland’s experiences give her useful insight into the communities served by the organization along with any available funding opportunities.

“Donna, having worked with many of our partners including municipalities, tourism businesses and associations, Destination Ontario, Destination Northern Ontario and in fact NeOnt, is no stranger to the region or to the work that we do,” NeOnt chair Margaret Palmer said in the release.

“We know that Donna is well-respected and recognized for being a strategic and results-oriented leader.

“During this unparalleled time, the board was unanimous in agreeing that she has the experience and skills necessary to guide our organization back to prosperity.”

With travel restrictions in place due to COVID-19, Northern Ontario’s tourism sector has been greatly impacted.

Maitland noted her past experience assisting municipalities with their governance, social media, funding and partnership development.

“I look forward to bringing this experience to Northeastern Ontario Tourism, and to working with our volunteer board members and tourism sector partners to develop and implement an organizational recovery plan, which will ultimately benefit the sector and communities across our region.”

Northeastern Ontario Tourism represents North East Ontario Tourism Region (RTO) 13a, one of 15 tourism regions across the province as mapped out by the Ontario government.

Its mandate is to promote the region as a premier travel destination with the goal of increasing tourism revenue for its partners and the region as a whole.

The organization covers an area that stretches from Mattawa in the east to Chapleau in the west to Manitoulin Island in the south and as far north as the James Bay Coast.