It’s sometimes said that it takes living somewhere else to really appreciate where you came from. For Don Schreifels, returning to his hometown and the place where his Four Seasons career began after spending two decades abroad represents a very special homecoming.
As Director of Marketing, Schreifels now oversees an experienced team of sales professionals, and marketing, public relations and social media functions for both the current hotel on Avenue Road, and the new hotel opening next year just down the street on Yorkville Avenue.
A Career That Has Criss-Crossed a Continent
Born in Toronto and feeling the hospitality bug early in life, he completed Sheridan College’s hospitality program and then went straight to the Harbour Castle on the city’s waterfront. “It was a great chance for me to learn the industry, and try out different positions in different departments - sort of a post-graduate program that prepared me for what was to come.”
He joined Four Seasons in 1988, on the front desk at Four Seasons Hotel Toronto. “This is where I first got to know both our guests and this unique company,” says Schreifels, referring to the service culture that was born in this city and has since spread to 85 hotels and resorts around the world. “To come back to this great hotel now, with the opening of our new location coming soon, is a dream opportunity for me.”
After his first Four Seasons position, he worked at the Inn on the Park, now no longer a Four Seasons, but still a fondly remembered place in the hearts of Torontonians and the many Four Seasons employees whose careers began there. A forerunner to what is now known as an “urban resort,” it was a jumping off point for Schreifels’ next two assignments at Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach and as Director of Sales at the company’s former property in Newport Beach, California.
Criss-crossing the US again, Schreifels was Director of Sales for Four Seasons Resort Nevis, a position based in New York, before accepting the plum opportunity to be part of the opening team of Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora as Director of Marketing, a job based in Los Angeles.
“Don’s impressive career brings a wealth of experience to our team at Four Seasons Hotel Toronto,” says Dimitrios Zarikos, regional vice president and general manager of the hotel, as well as the new location to open next year. “His skill at marketing hotels that have long held a place in the fabric of their cities, along with helping bring a new property to life, is the perfect combination. And being a Toronto boy at heart, he loves this great city as much as we do.”
As a big fan of the movies, coming back to the city on the eve of the Toronto International Film Festival couldn’t have been better timing for Schreifels. He also loves the theatre, and looks forward to cycling the city’s green spaces and strolling his favourite haunts including the Danforth’s restaurant scene, events at Harbourfront and Yorkville’s shopping and art galleries.
“I really think we don’t give ourselves enough credit – having travelled the world and lived in great cities like New York and Los Angeles, I can say with conviction that Toronto is a world class city with a great deal to offer those of us fortunate enough to live here, and visitors from around the world.”
Also in Canada today, City.Mobi is celebrating the success of its new guide to Toronto.
City.Mobi offers the most comprehensive mobile travel guides available, with over 800 cities in 200 countries listed. Each is developed by the City.Mobi team to combine into a single global travel directory.
Toronto.mobi is the latest in this illustrious line up, offering click to call functionality – which means no scribbling down telephone numbers.
Most entries are also linked to websites where users can quickly access more detailed information if needed.
Other key features include information on accommodation, restaurants, attractions, entertainment, nightlife, shopping, and transport.
City.Mobi guides include user reviews and traveller utilities such as a translation guide, currency converter, news and local weather guide.