Who We Are
Eleanor has worked in the tourism sector her entire career. She has a keen interest in how destinations are managed from a sustainable tourism perspective and how communities and organizations build capacity. Eleanor has a Bachelor of Business Administration and a Certificate in Heritage Studies from Cape Breton University and a Masters of Tourism Administration with a concentration in Sustainable Destination Management (2010) from The George Washington University. Currently she is a PhD Tourism candidate at Leeds Beckett University, UK.
Eleanor’s tourism roles have included festival and event management, marketing and research, product development, strategic planning, and stakeholder communications.
Eleanor is excited about her role with the Cape Breton Tourism Training Network as the team works with the industry and partners across the Island to implement research and training activities to support destination post-pandemic recovery.
Alison joined the CBITTN from Halifax where she has worked in the tourism industry for the past several years across multiple sectors. Most recently in accommodations as the Group Rooms Coordinator at the Delta Hotel in Dartmouth. Alison is a graduate of the Hospitality Management program at NSCC Akerley Campus. During this time is when her love of the tourism industry flourished.
Growing up in Pictou County and exploring all over Nova Scotia from a young age instilled in her a passion for our beautiful province and the wonderful people who make our hospitality renowned. She is a recent transplant to Cape Breton and is thrilled to be living on the #1 island in North America.
Darren Downing is currently the Research Lead for the Cape Breton Island Tourism Training Network through Cape Breton University. Previously, he wrote a white paper on Microcredentials for Dalhousie University and became the Project Manager for their Microcredential Pilot Project. Prior to his time at Dalhousie, he spent ten years as a Program Coordinator at the United Arab Emirates University.
Darren holds a Master of Arts in Linguistics from California State University of Fresno and a Doctor of Education in Educational Research from the University of Calgary.
Darren was born and raised in California. He lived and worked for two years as a Peace Corps volunteer in Uzbekistan before returning to California for his MA. He enjoys travelling and experiencing new cultures. Darren has recently moved with his wife and their twin 6-year-old boys to Cape Breton and is now experiencing that culture.
MARY T JESSOME
Raised in a small community outside North Sydney, Mary Theresa has been fortunate to immerse herself in island life through exploration, outdoor recreation, volunteer opportunities, and obtain her education close to home.
As a graduate of Cape Breton University’s Bachelor of Arts Community Studies and Bachelor of Business Administration programs, she has held positions focused on sales, marketing, and social media.
Before transitioning to her current role with the CBITTN team, Mary Theresa worked in Domestic Recruitment at the University, where she connected with prospective students across Canada, learn about their experiences, share her love for the island in hopes to encourage students to study in Cape Breton.
As part of the team, she looks forward to connecting with operators and community members at large.
Bryan is currently the Training Lead with Cape Breton University's World Tourism Institute. Bryan was born and raised in Glace Bay and has a Bachelor of Arts degree from CBU and Bachelor of Education from University of Maine. After completing his formal education, Bryan travelled abroad teaching English in Korea. When he returned to Canada, Bryan moved from a traditional classroom to a much wider variety of learning environments and opportunities. He gained experience as a training and learning specialist and combined his educational expertise with practical real-world learning to work in the design, develop and implement training programs for private industry. He has spent time working in the construction, oil and gas industries focusing on Occupational Health and Safety.
5 years ago, Bryan returned to the educational system working as a secondary school teacher in Alberta and Cape Breton. Bryan returned to Cape Breton 2 years ago after living in Alberta for 15 years with his wife and 2 daughters.
Ankit has over 8 years of vast experience spread across in the field of technology and customer experience. Ankit holds an undergrad degree in Mechanical Engineering from University of California Irvine and is currently studying MBA is Community Economic Development full time at Cape Breton University.
Ankit enjoys meeting new people and is very passionate when it comes to community building. Within the short span of 7 months in Canada, Ankit has established a strong network of peers across the island and is constantly working towards betterment of our community. Ankit loves engaging with students and youth to guide them with any questions they might have. He is a big promoter of fitness, dance, and technology as well as enjoys building social engagement platforms to keep people connected through his organizations Cape Breton Influencers and Island Bhangra.