Staff and Consultants
Interim Chief Operating Officer
Mike LaLeune is a senior executive with more than 35 years’ experience with sport and cultural organizations and events. He has worked with more than 40 different sports, including eSport and six Olympic Games, in 19 countries. As an impresario he has produced more than two thousand unique cultural concerts and events, community concerts to major international concerts. He has also served as a Federal Tribunal Judge and on numerous national Boards. He speaks multiple languages and lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Rick Traer (he/him)
Chief Executive Officer Emeritus
A respected sports executive, with an extensive background in Canadian and international sport, Rick Traer served Sport Tourism Canada as CEO from its inception until the spring of 2021. As CEO Emeritus, he will continue to represent Sport Tourism Canada internationally. Rick currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the International Association of Event Hosts (IAEH) and will continue to lead Team Canada delegations to promote Canada as a preferred host for international sport events.
Christine Innocente (she/her)
Chief Financial Officer
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.
Krista Benoit (she/her)
Executive Director, Marketing & Events
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 (he/him)
Director, Transfer of Knowledge
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 (she/her)
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.
Riley Denver (he/him)
For nearly 20 years, Riley has brought his communications skills to government, healthcare and sports.
Having worked for Team Canada at nine 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.
Heather Harcott (she/her)
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.
Madison Malone (she/her)
A Public Relations Graduate from Mount Saint Vincent University, Madison supports STC’s Member Services and our Economic Impact projects. She has significant experience in hosting events, with Events East as well as Hockey Nova Scotia. She currently works on international and national events with Hockey Canada’s Events and Properties department. She has contributed to many successful events across Canada, notably the 2019 CHL Memorial Cup, the IIHF Women’s World Championship and the 2022 IIHF World Junior Championship in Edmonton/Red Deer.
Do you have a question, but you are not sure whom you need to speak with? Contact our departmental email addresses below and we will direct your inquiry to the appropriate member of our team.
Communications, Media Relations and PRESTIGE Awards: email@example.com
Economic Impact Studies & Research: firstname.lastname@example.org
Consulting Services: email@example.com
General Inquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org