GMIST – Announces New Executive Director

October 30, 2009

The Board of Directors of the Gros Morne Institute for Sustainable Tourism is pleased to announce the appointment of Jonathan Foster as Executive Director effective October 12, 2009. Jonathan will be succeeding Colleen Kennedy who has served in the position since 2007. The Board wishes to thank Colleen for all the hard work and dedication she has committed to growing and developing GMIST.

Jonathan brings more than 10 years experience in the tourism development and experiential education field having most recently worked for the Nova Scotia Department of Tourism, Culture and Heritage as a product development officer. Jonathan is experienced in working with businesses and communities in Atlantic Canada to develop experiential tourism product with strong sustainable principles. He also has demonstrated abilities to effectively partner and develop strategic alliances across multiple sectors.

Jonathan has his Masters in Leadership and Training from Royal Roads University, a Bachelor of Arts from the University of New Brunswick, a National Certificate in Outdoor Leadership from the Bay of Plenty Polytechnic and a Certificate in Adult Education from St. Francis Xavier University.

Jonathan will be responsible for the day to day operations of GMIST and tasked with expanding programming within Atlantic Canada in the areas of experiential and sustainable based tourism. Asked about the challenges ahead Jonathan, said, “There is a shift taking place in how visitors want to experience their destinations. People want to be connected, to understand and experience the local culture and traditions in low impact and sustainable ways. The challenge we have as operators and service providers is to create those engaging visitor experiences in an increasingly global marketplace”.

Stan Cook Jr., Chair of GMIST, acknowledges that the hiring of Jonathan marks a shift in GMIST’s positioning. He said, “This is the first time that the Executive Director will be working remotely from outside Newfoundland and Labrador; and specifically tasked with engaging communities to develop training around Atlantic Canada. We listened closely to what our partners where telling us about GMIST programming and have moved quickly in the hiring of Jonathan to create more on the ground training opportunities around Atlantic Canada”.


GMIST- New Executive Director - Jonathan Foster