Tell me about your current job. What are your main
areas of responsibility?
AC: I look after five hotels. I direct and provide strategic guid-ance
for the talent and culture function within what we call
central Canada, which includes our city centre hotels in Calgary,
Edmonton, Winnipeg and Toronto. I help develop and support
processes from a talent and culture perspective to achieve our
What do you love about your job?
AC: I love that I come into work and I think I know what I’m go-ing
to do during that day, and it can turn out to be completely
different! I can be planning to do the most wonderful talent and
culture activities and something can go awry and I’ll find myself in
the lobby dealing with guests because there is an issue or a need
from a service angle. The needs of the business are such that there
are days we all pitch in.
What are the challenges you experience in your job?
AC: We are completely a people organization. Speaking
specifically about my home base, the Royal York, not only do we
have 1,250 colleagues here to be concerned about, but we could
also have up to 3,000 guests in the building. There are always
people issues and concerns, and thinking about how to meet ev-eryone’s
needs and prioritize every day is a challenge.
What’s key to leading HR during a difficult time for a
AC: I think you have to balance your head and heart. You are the
heartbeat of the organization and the advocate for employees, but
you also have to make business decisions. Those two intersect in
awkward situations from time to time. How will you best meet the
needs of the organization and also look after the person? In times
of stress and challenge, that becomes the most difficult thing.
First job: This is actually very
funny. I absolutely hate golf and my
first job was at a mini golf course.
Childhood ambition: I wanted to
be a librarian. I used to organize
all my books and not let my sister
Best boss and why: I’m really lucky
that I’ve had wonderful bosses
in my career. It would be unfair
to single out one over the others,
but the best boss is the one who
gives me the freedom to do what
I do best but inspires me and
challenges me to do more.
Current source of inspiration: It
would be my team. Surrounding
myself with people who are
different from me, who are younger
and don’t have the same opinions
is important. I am totally spoiled
that my team inspires me and they
come in with wild and crazy ideas,
and keep reinventing where we
need to go as a business.
Best piece of advice ever
received: This was from the senior
VP of talent and culture in our
organization when she promoted
me. She said, “Remember, you are
the voice of the colleague – that’s
Favourite music: I would have to
say I’m a child of the ’80s, so I like
the music from then on.
Last book read: Right now, I’m
reading High Performance Habits:
How Extraordinary People Become
That Way by Brendon Burchard.
Dakota Corbin / Unsplash
40 ❚ FEBRUARY 2018 ❚ HR PROFESSIONAL