TICO Updates Director Election Process To Reflect Minister’s Orders, But Nomination Deadline Is Tight

As part of the Minister’s Orders delivered to TICO on Aug. 11, there are governance changes that impact TICO’s Director nomination and recruitment process.

To respond to those orders, TICO is now launching an updated Director election process and to that end, TICO’s Board of Directors is accepting applications from experienced leaders within and beyond the travel industry for five positions on the board:

  • Two (2) Industry Directors (who are involved in the travel industry)
  • Three (3) Public Directors (who have no direct personal or business interest in the travel industry).

Of note, though, is that the submission deadline for all applications is Mon., Aug. 21, 2023.

Directors will be elected for up to three-year terms at TICO’s Annual Meeting on Sept. 26, 2023.

For more information, click here.

To view and complete the application form, click here

Questions & Answers

Following the announcement of changes to TICO’s board composition on Aug. 11 — you can view the minister’s orders by clicking here — Press Today reached out to Richard Smart, CEO of TICO with some questions.

PRESS TODAY: The size of the board is being reduced from 11 to 9 (effective Aug 11) and I’m wondering if that means the number of industry representatives (association or independent) will lose a seat on the board?

SMART: TICO’s Board of Directors has been reviewing its governance model and Board composition for more than a year and recently approved a motion consistent with the Minister’s Orders.

The number of Board seats has now been reduced from 11 to 9 consisting of:

  • 3 Ministerial appointments
  • 3 elected travel industry Directors
  • 3 elected Directors who are not from the travel industry (broader public)

Prior to this change, there were 11 Directors:

  • 4 Directors appointed by the Minister
  • 7 Directors from industry (2 ACTA, 2 CATO, 1 OMCA and 2 elected by registrants)

PRESS TODAY: On TICO’s website, I only see 3 industry reps (independent by the looks of it) and ACTA and CATO reps are no longer shown — is that the result of the associations’ earlier announcement that they were withholding their board nominations or is there more to it?

SMART: ACTA and CATO removed a total of four Directors effective July 25, 2023. This left the three industry Directors currently reflected on TICO’s website, two of whom are elected and one appointed by OMCA.

PRESS TODAY: Point #2 — “Ensure all Board members possess a positive orientation for proactive consumer protection initiatives” … I’m not clear what this means? It seems to me — and correct me if I’m wrong — that the Minister is saying that if you have views that are contrary to this, then you can’t sit on the board. Can you clarify?

SMART: The Minister is making it clear that all Directors must have consumer protection at the forefront of their responsibilities.

PRESS TODAY: Can you do the math for me on the 34% … what is the industry’s current percentage of TICO board members and if it’s over the 34% does it have to be reduced?

SMART: Prior to the Minister’s Orders, there were 7/11 or 63% of Directors that were from the travel sector.

PRESS TODAY: I didn’t realize there wasn’t a nomination committee. How will this process operate? Will the industry still be able to nominate people? Or will that be up to the nominations committee? Can you outline its role? How will it work?

SMART: A Nominations Committee is required under Minister’s Order #4. It consists of a Chair and three other Directors, one of whom must be a Ministerial appointee. TICO’s Board has approved a standing committee, called the Governance and Nominations Committee, which will reflect the requirements under the Order. This committee will receive applications from industry and the general public and make recommendations to the Board of Directors for new Directors to be voted on at the Annual General Meeting on Sept. 26.

PRESS TODAY: The establishment of an industry advisory council … I’m wondering how this will work? Will that council’s advice be acted upon or is it simply providing input to the board with no requirement for the board to act upon its recommendations? How do you envision its role?

SMART: The industry advisory council will be formed by Jan. 1, 2024, and will consist of individuals who represent business models from across the travel sector. The council will include a TICO Board member from the travel sector, and will provide input to the Board of Directors. While there are no decision-making powers, nor are recommendations binding, this is an opportunity for the Board to hear from representatives across the industry on significant matters. Industry councils have proven to be effective across many delegated authorities to hear directly from industry.

PRESS TODAY: Anything else you’d like to add?

SMART: As an added point, we are working under a tight timeline to recruit new Directors to TICO’s Board to reflect the Minister’s Orders. We have posted the recruitment information on our website and the deadline for applications is next Mon., Aug. 21, 2023. The information can be found here: https://tico.ca/about-tico/governance/board-of-directors.html .