Leadership Team

Traci Bednard smiles at the camera.

Traci Bednard grew up around Alberta, also spending time in PEI and Ontario, before making Edmonton home. She went to junior high and high school in Grande Prairie, and then attended the University of Alberta and hasn’t left Alberta’s capital city since then.

That was only the beginning. Traci is no stranger to the tourism sector after working 24 years at the Edmonton International Airport; for more than a decade, she has served as an executive-level leader at EIA. Her most recent position was as Vice President Strategy, Environmental Social and Governance and Corporate Communications. She was responsible for communications, government relations, advocacy and partnerships including tourism and Indigenous tourism partnerships.

Traci is currently on the Board of Directors for the Tourism Industry Association of Canada, giving her powerful insight on the direction of tourism in our country. During her years at the airport, she also travelled extensively selling air services to our city and that gave her the opportunity to view Edmonton and its tourism product through other’s eyes. It inspired her to be bolder and more optimistic about the diverse, authentic experiences Edmonton has to offer.

Traci lives in west Edmonton with her husband Deron and her two daughters Ella and Olive. She also has a French bulldog named Murphy, and a cat named Little Black.

Roger Chendria

Roger Chendria

Vice President, Shared Services

Roger leads the Finance, Technology & Systems and People & Culture portfolios for the organization. As part of the organization’s shared services, the teams provide governance, advice and scalable solutions for all Explore Edmonton business units and employees to ensure the best possible business performance and employee experience.

Roger is a strategic advisor to the CEO and senior leadership while constantly in pursuit of improving systems and processes. He thrives in the journey of leadership and is committed to coaching and development; he finds tremendous satisfaction in the helping others achieve their goals.

Roger began his career in the oil and gas industry earning a significant leadership role with Enbridge Pipelines during their massive capital expansion in 2008. The depth and breadth of Roger’s experience includes leadership roles in various public sector and not for profit organizations.

Roger is happiest exploring Edmonton with his loving wife and loyal golden retriever.

Arlindo Gomes

Vice President, Business Development & Venue Management

Arlindo oversees the strategic operations of the Edmonton Convention Centre and Edmonton EXPO Centre, two of Edmonton’s largest and busiest public venues. He leads a team of more than 1,200 staff to deliver exceptional experiences for venue guests and clients—resulting in the Edmonton Convention Centre and Edmonton EXPO Centre being recognized among the top performing venues in North America.

With more than 25 years of experience in venue management and the live events industry, Arlindo’s background also includes positions with the Northlands, Fantasyland Hotel and Alberta Health Services. Arlindo is a past board member of the Alberta Restaurant and Foodservices Association and has previously served as Vice President of the U.S. based National Association of Concessionaires. He currently sits on the Tourism Industry Association of Alberta (TIAA) and Nina Haggarty Centre for the Arts board of directors.

With a passion for developing a culture of service and in helping others succeed, Arlindo strives to make a difference and ensure Edmonton leads the way among major cities in North America.

Paul Hawes

Paul Hawes

Vice President, Destination Development & Marketing

Paul oversees the planning, development and execution of our marketing initiatives, ensuring brand-aligned messaging is distributed across channels effectively to strengthen awareness, appreciation, and visitation of Edmonton. He is responsible for driving Edmonton’s Tourism Master Plan implementation, and leading and aligning resources to ensure maximum reach and impact to drive major events, meetings & conventions, and venue sales.

With over 20 years of experience in the tourism industry, Paul kicked off his career in the Canadian Rockies. He spent a few years working for Fairmont Hotels’ Rocky Mountain Region, based at Chateau Lake Louise before joining the team at Travel Alberta. He then moved onto Destination Canada, quickly evolving through the ranks, before returning home to the United Kingdom for a few years, where he established the overseas offices of Destination New South Wales across the UK, Germany, and France. Upon his return to Canada, he was appointed Chief Marketing & Distribution Officer with Tourism Victoria where he led a complete brand overhaul. In his current role at Explore Edmonton, Paul’s aim is to create tourism legacies and award-winning marketing campaigns for our destination.

In his spare time, Paul enjoys volunteering. He served on the committee and fundraising team of Vancouver’s Loving Spoonful, a food delivery and support network to those in need. Most recently, he was approached to join the advisory board at Royal Roads University’s tourism program. On a personal level, Paul is a bit of a runner, swimmer, foodie and gardener. His first act as a new Edmontonian is to trade his hockey jersey for the orange-and-blue… when it is once again safe to do so, he looks forward to cheering on the Oilers at Rogers Place!