Staff and Consultants

Rick Traer

Rick Traer

Chief Executive Officer

613-688-5843
email

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A respected sports executive, with an extensive background in Canadian and international sport, Rick has led STC since its inception.

As CEO, he is responsible for the overall management of the association, and works with the Board of Directors to develop and implement STC’s strategic plan.

He leads the government relations and international relations portfolios, ensuring Canada remains at the forefront as a bidding and hosting nation.

He is also is intricately involved in planning the program for the Sport Events Congress, providing professional development and networking opportunities for  destinations, suppliers and sport organizations.

Christine Innocente

Christine Innocente

Chief Financial Officer

613-793-1265
email

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Christine brings her financial acumen and years of not-for-profit experience to her role as STC’s Chief Financial Officer.

Her responsibilities encompass all areas of finance including the creation of financial statements for the Board of Directors, liaising with partners, members, government and event delegates as well as financial governance.

Grant MacDonald

Grant MacDonald

Head of Consulting

902-476-6411
email

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Grant is a leader in sport and event hosting in Canada with over 28 years’ experience in leadership positions.

He has established a reputation as a trusted and knowledgeable leader of organizations and major projects.

A member of STC’s Board of Directors from 2007 to 2019 he served as Chair from 2011-14.

Grant now works as the Head of Consulting, leading STC’s Consulting Services Program. A strategist specializing in major events, sport tourism, destination marketing, facility operation and economic development, Grant has worked with clients across Canada on both national and international profile projects while maintaining a focus on the development of communities of all sizes.

Grant led both Events Nova Scotia and Events Halifax and played a lead role in the development of the provincial tourism strategy for Nova Scotia in 2013. More recently he has led the effort to establish the Atlantic Canada Event Summit and its governing association, Event Atlantic.

Earlier in his career Grant worked with Hockey Canada and other organizations in Halifax staging the World Junior, World Women’s and World Men’s Hockey championships. He began his career in amateur sport while also working as a Scout for the Toronto Blue Jays for eight years, including the World Series year of 1993.

Krista Benoit

Krista Benoit

Executive Director, Marketing & Events

819-682-5298
email

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Krista has almost 30 years’ experience in the sports industry, specifically related to events, marketing, communications and sponsorship.

After several stints working in both amateur and professional sport, in 2000, she launched her own events & marketing agency, iSPARK Consulting.

Since 2003, Krista has led the marketing & events activities of STC in her part-time role as STC’s Executive Director, Marketing & Events.

Her responsibilities include overall event management and design of STC’s events, [un] GOLF / Sport Tourism FORE-um and Sport Events Congress, management of STC’s sponsorship programs, administration of the economic impact program, and coordination of all marketing programs and activities of the organization.

Krista is also a member of STC’s group of expert consultants and is available for sport tourism consulting projects related to event bidding and hosting, marketing, RFPs, sponsorship and venue selections.

Eric Savard

Eric Savard

Director, Transfer of Knowledge

647-932-6781
email

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For over 30 years Eric has been involved in international event organization from initial concepts to final reporting of a successful event.

His resume includes more than 50 international single sport events / bids and 15 multi-sports organizing / bidding committees.

As Director, Transfer of Knowledge for STC, he develops management tools for event organizers and host committees to seek out, bid, host and execute outstanding sport events.

He is also available to consult on event planning and management as one of STC’s group of expert consultants.

Barb MacDonald

Barb MacDonald

Consultant, Communications

613-521-7314
email

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Barb brings her experience in international sport and business to her role as STC’s Communications Consultant.

She has handled media relations and/or media operations for 14 different sports at the international level.

Her responsibilities with STC include internal and external communications strategies, overseeing social media, and media relations.

Barb assists with Sport Events Congress and PRESTIGE Awards and is the contact person for coordination of Member Profiles on the STC website, as well as media inquiries.

Riley Denver

Riley Denver

Communications Assistant

905-517-4179
email

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For nearly 20 years, Riley has brought his communications skills to government, healthcare and sports.

Having worked for Team Canada at six Olympic, Paralympic and Pan American Games, he brings a wealth of experience on the athletic and logistical side of major sporting events.

In 2019, he launched Riley Denver Writing and Communications and continues to support clients in both sport and event management fields.

His role with STC is to support the work of the Communications Consultant in association communications, media relations, website content and social media.

Karen Speers

Karen Speers

Project Coordinator, Events

613-868-7214 
email

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With over 20 years of event management and operations experience, Karen has worked in sport at the collegiate, amateur and professional level. And her event management background includes many of the Ottawa 2017 activities during the Canada 150 celebrations.

Her STC responsibilities include overseeing the execution of the Sport Events Congress’ vendor alley and social components. She is the contact person for all exhibitors and in charge of ensuring every delegate has a fabulous time at the conference.

Heather Harcott

Heather Harcott

Event Assistant

780-238-4764
email

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Heather brings her special brand of limitless energy and genuine caring to every event she touches.

Having more than ten years of event experience, she thrives in the world of ‘many moving parts’ – aka the world of events.

Heather is passionate about positivity and spreading kindness on a daily basis.

Her company, Harmony Organization, focuses on all things organizing – whether that be someone’s home, office, life or corporate event.

She provides event support for Sport Events Congress.

Zanth Jarvis

Zanth Jarvis

Project Coordinator, Economic Impact

226-984-8640
email

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A graduate of the Sport Management program at Western University, Zanth Jarvis works in Sport Tourism everyday with his role at Tourism London.

His experience with STC and economic impact studies dates back to the 2013 ISU World Figure Skating Championships hosted in London. Since then, he’s managed all aspects of surveying for a number of events including the 2015 Toronto Pan Am and Parapan Am Games.