The City of Mississauga has selected Victoria Clarke as its new Director of Tourism effective May 31, 2021. The Director of Tourism has also been appointed as the CEO of Tourism Mississauga, a position previously held by Shari Lichterman, the City’s Commissioner of Community Services. The position of Director of Tourism was developed to provide dedicated executive leadership for the tourism portfolio in Mississauga and to lead Tourism Mississauga in supporting a strong recovery from the pandemic for the tourism and hospitality sectors.
“I’m thrilled to welcome Victoria as she joins us at a critical time for our hard-hit tourism industry,” said Mayor Bonnie Crombie. “As we begin to reopen our City, it will be crucial for us to focus our energy on helping our tourism industry recover from the effects of the pandemic. Victoria brings the skills and experience to work with Tourism Mississauga’s Board of Directors and support our tourism industry as we build back better.”
Clarke brings extensive leadership experience in the tourism sector, most recently spending six years as Executive Director, Discover Saint John. In this role, Clarke worked with her team and Board of Directors on a highly successful #SaintAwesome campaign which transformed the City’s reputation and led to an all-time high for visitation and visitor spend in Greater Saint John.
“I would like to extend my warmest congratulations to Victoria Clarke on being selected to represent Mississauga as our new CEO of Tourism Mississauga,” said Toni Frankfurter, Chair, Tourism Mississauga. “Victoria’s previous experience has shown us that she leads with strength, innovation, determination and confidence. Victoria is going to be a fantastic tourism leader and a brilliant addition to the team!”
Prior to her work with Discover Saint John, Clarke was Associate Director at the Canadian Cancer Society New Brunswick and held leadership positions at Saint John Regional Hospital Foundation where she led the organization’s major gifts program. Clarke has a Bachelor of Arts from Dalhousie University and is set to complete the Certified Destination Marketing Executive (CDME) designation from Destinations International later this year.
Clarke has extensive volunteer experience with many charitable and professional organizations including the Ronald McDonald House Atlantic Capital Campaign. She served as Campaign Chair with the United Way of Greater Saint John and has chaired the Destination Marketing Association of Canada and served as Advisor with the Wallace McCain Institute, as well as Director on the Atlantic Canada Cruise Association. She received the InSpirit 2020 Outstanding Business Award from the Saint John Region Chamber of Commerce, the Trailblazers and Innovators award from BMO Celebrating Women, and earned industry recognition from SeaTrade Global, the Tourism Industry Association of New Brunswick and the Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance.
“I’m very excited to welcome Victoria to the City of Mississauga,” said Shari Lichterman, Commissioner of Community Services. “We created this position because we recognized the need for a dedicated focus on moving our tourism industry forward and realizing the goals of our Tourism Master Plan. With the addition of Victoria to our talented tourism team, we have the pieces in place to move our tourism industry forward as we recover from the devastating impacts of the past year. I look forward to working with Victoria and the Tourism Mississauga Board of Directors to enhance Mississauga’s position as a tourism destination of choice. ”
In her position, Clarke will work closely with Tourism Mississauga’s Board of Directors, who provide strategic direction to tourism activities and initiatives in Mississauga. Tourism Mississauga, the City’s destination marketing organization, was formed in 2020 with a mandate to implement the City’s Tourism Master Plan. The Plan provides a vision for tourism in Mississauga and articulates guiding principles to align the strength of the city with the opportunity for tourism development. Tourism Mississauga is funded by a dedicated Municipal Accommodation Tax reserve.
“I’m excited to be coming home to Ontario,” said Clarke. “And like everyone in this industry, we can’t wait to be open for business for our neighbours as we get ready to welcome back the world. Mississauga has unique communities that together make an incredible and formidable whole. I can’t wait to get started.”