Meet the Team
FOUNDER & CEO
With close to two decades of entrepreneurial experience, Brenda Howes brings her clients a portfolio of results that are based on dedication and trust. Since focusing on site selection for clients exclusively six years ago, she continues to work with the same clients that she started with. This level of retention is the only measurement of client satisfaction that matters.
The scope of her industry experience includes clients from all sectors, including associations, government, corporate and the extensive not-for-profit realm. Brenda has worked with clients from coast-to-coast and around the world doing global searches for that right place and time.
The three initial factors of a successful meeting continue to be location, location, location. With local, national and international experience, Brenda understands regional content and the importance of including the unique features of a destination into the overall planning.
Brenda considers the strong relationships she has made with hoteliers critically important to the success of the process. Understanding how a hotel assesses value is key to delivering value.
DESMOND LOMAS, CMP
DIRECTOR, GLOBAL ACCOUNTS
Desmond has a passion for food, travel and contributing to the success of others. This is the reason he has dedicated more than 20 years to the hospitality industry, 16 of which have been in hotel management positions. Most recently Desmond was the Director of Sales and Marketing at one of Ottawa’s leading downtown meeting and business travel hotels.
Desmond holds a degree in Political Science from the University of Ottawa and a Diploma in Hotel and Restaurant Management from Algonquin College. Hard-working, engaged, personable, caring and resourceful is how he is described by his clients. Desmond has a wealth of industry contacts and ideas to help find the ideal venue for each type of event.
Desmond serves on the Hotel and Restaurant Management Educational Advisory Board at Algonquin College in addition to teaching occasionally. Desmond resides in Gatineau, Quebec with his wife and two children, where he enjoys being involved in his kids’ activities or playing on a local recreational soccer team.
Desmond a une passion pour la bonne bouffe, les voyages et contribuer au succès des autres. C’est la raison pour laquelle il a dédié plus de vingt années dans l’industrie de l’accueil, dont seize années dans des positions en gestion hôtelière. Tout récemment Desmond était le directeur des ventes et marketing à un des hôtels d’Ottawa chef de fil en matière de réunion et voyage d’affaires.
Desmond a un baccalauréat en sciences politiques de l’université d’Ottawa et un diplôme en gestion hôtelière et restauration du collège Algonquin. Travaillant, engagé, sympathique, attentif et débrouillard ne sont que quelques adjectifs qui ont été utilisés pour le décrire à travers les années. Desmond a une abondance de contacts dans le milieu et d’idées afin de trouver l’endroit idéal pour chaque type d’évènement.
Desmond siège sur le conseil consultatif sur l’éducation en gestion hôtelière et restauration au collège Algonquin en plus d’y enseigner occasionnellement. Desmond réside à Gatineau avec sa femme et ses deux enfants. Il se plaît à s’impliquer dans les activités de ses enfants et à jouer dans une équipe récréative de soccer locale.
DIRECTOR, GLOBAL ACCOUNTS
Striking a work-life balance and having the ability to transfer twenty years of hotel and hospitality experience into a meaningful and rewarding career were key components to Jeanna’s decision to join The Howes Group.
Jeanna has worked with clients in association, corporate and SMERF markets in both large hotel brands and independent properties. This breadth of knowledge allows her to exercise her passion to help clients with a bonus of forging friendships along the way. For delegates to hear the key message and participate to their fullest ability, hoteliers must provide value, comfort and a space that is conducive to creating and learning. Jeanna can identify these key success factors for your meeting.
Growing up in Kingston, Ontario, the coffee and tea were always on, family and friends would gather for a meal, to play a song or just enjoy a chat. Hosting and entertaining are deeply rooted in the André-Murdie home.
As an active member and volunteer in both CSAE and MPI, Jeanna continues to find tremendous value in building industry relationships.
When she isn’t having dance parties in the kitchen with her husband and three children, she can be found cooking, planning the vegetable garden and exploring the world of fashion and design.
As a partner in the Howes Group and its Chief Financial Officer, Rod Howes has a thorough understanding of managing meetings and delegations — nationally and internationally. Assessing market trends for business and financial expectations is Rod’s expertise as he as managed portfolios valued in the millions.
His technical savvy is a critical component to the Howes Group’s success as he has managed the systems for the company since 1995. His ability to develop time-saving and cost-effective processes is something that simply comes with ease and experience for Rod.
After having attained a degree in Geography, Leslie’s early career required her to integrate with a variety of professionals. This experience taught her the many roles required for a team to perform at peak capacity. Leslie and her husband have travelled extensively during their 35 years of military life.
With her gregarious and open personality, representing Canada is easy for Leslie and has allowed for many wonderful memories. Working with and helping the Howes Group’s clients is a natural passion. Her talent for detail is ever evident in the numerous projects that she is involved with at The Howes Group. Leslie has an exciting role that she continues to grow and evolve.
RFP ADMINISTRATOR AND SUPPORT
Kimberley’s has held leadership roles in the non-profit sector in an employed and volunteer capacity. After she graduated from Carleton University with a degree in Sociology/Anthropology, Kimberley went on to complete a certificate program in Non-profit and Volunteer Management from Ryerson. She has also several Human Resources courses in her toolkit. She currently holds the volunteer position of Past Chair for the International Council of Multiple Births (ICOMBO).
In many of her roles, including Board Member/Chair and Executive Director for a national registered charity, she has worked closely with hotels to plan meetings, workshops and national conferences. This experience adds to her role as RFP Administrator at the Howes Group and ensures a smooth transition of information between clients and hotels. In addition to her role as RFP Administrator, Kimberley delivers virtual administrative support to The Howes Group through her business Beyond Your Office.
Kimberley and her husband Steve live in Ottawa and have two adult daughters. She loves to volunteer, read when she has the opportunity, bike, swim, watch movies and travel with her family. Most recently she enjoyed trips to Vancouver, Italy, Australia, Seoul and Belgium.
As the communications coordinator for The Howes Group, Mikaela understands the importance of working with the team to help ensure the corporate message is consistent across all the communication platforms.
Mikaela researches and curates industry trends related to travel, meetings, conferences and the hospitality industry.
Having obtained a Music Industry Arts diploma earlier in her studies, Mikaela developed a keen interest for the business component of the program. She brings to The Howes Group a Gen Y perspective and in the coming months will add relevant content to our blog.
Mikaela returned to her studies this fall with a focus on Business Management and works concurrently with The Howes Group while continuing her education.