Living Water Resorts “Humbled” to Receive Tourism HR Canada’s
2019 Distinguished HR Service Award
COLLINGWOOD, ONTARIO – Tourism HR Canada has honoured Living Water Resorts, a leader in positive human resource practices, with the 2019 Distinguished HR Service Award. The award is presented annually as part of Canada’s Tourism Week and recognizes individuals or groups that demonstrate leadership in advancing human resource management practices contributing to economic and social benefits for workers and the Canadian tourism sector.
“On behalf of our servant leadership team and staff at Living Water Resorts and the local caring community, we are humbled to receive Tourism Canada HR’s Distinguished HR Service Award”, said Larry Law, CEO and Founder of Living Water Resorts. “I am once again reminded of the good grace to work with distinguished people who serve our guests and our team members. We are very proud to join the past award recipients who have demonstrated leadership that contributes to economic and social benefits for workers and the Canadian tourism sector.”
Living Water Resorts is an organization that is committed to Business as a Mission and strives to be a platform for promoting compassion, inspiring each other to live out meaningful lives, and striving for excellence in serving guests, staff, the community, and beyond.
Living Water Resorts leaders are dedicated to being “servant leaders” to ensure staff members find fulfilment and inspiration at work. It believes the care and support its staff receives enriches their attitudes and creates a positive influence on the company and its community. As Larry Law confirms: “Our wish is that staff members see themselves ‘not only cutting stones, or simply earning wages, but helping to build a cathedral’.”
“In the absence of action and response, words and vision are meaningless”
In early February, Living Waters Resorts was given the opportunity to validate that its long-time commitment to “Business as a Mission” was more than just words.
An OPP investigation had revealed that Mexican cleaners Living Water Resorts hired via a temporary employment agency were victims of human trafficking, living in substandard housing, 30 or more to a house, and sleeping on mattresses. The end of each month saw them with only $50 in pay.
With the leadership of Living Water Resorts’ Larry Law, Warren Smith, Executive Vice President, and Donald Buckle, VP of Resort Operations and General Manager, the resort launched what would become a coordinated community effort to assist the victims.
Larry Law shares his thoughts: “As a Christian businessman, I felt for them. For many years, we have been saying our work is business as a mission, work with a purpose. Today we now understand the larger vision of our purpose and what God has been creating for us.”
When informed of the workers’ plight, the resort’s response was, “We will take them all.”
“We wanted to jump in and help, knowing we would be giving them a hotel room in our busy season. Then we figured out how much work we had to offer, knowing we could provide jobs, but not necessarily for all 43 workers permanently”, said Law.
Living Water Resorts’ immediate commitment inspired widespread support from the resort staff and the local community: the Collingwood Salvation Army provided free clothing; the town of Collingwood provided free bus passes for two months; Pastor Daniel Chatham of the Collingwood Journey Community Church stepped in to help assess their needs; a member of the church, who had worked with a charity in Spanish-speaking Paraguay, offered translation services, as did the local Spanish Club; Ace Transportation donated shuttled the workers from Barrie to Collingwood; and Living Water Resorts provided 30 days free accommodations for every worker.
A conversation confirms Living Water Resorts commitment as a caring resort creating moments that matter. As Larry Law recalls: “At the welcome dinner we hosted, one man said, ‘I went to sleep as a slave and woke up as a free man’.”
Looking back on the opportunity to serve, Larry Law is immensely proud of his resort staff: “When the opportunity prevailed, our established company culture prepared us to offer help. We did not hesitate to take the priority of kindness and compassion over the business of rental income.”
Larry Law is unwavering in his certitude that “by God’s grace, we, together with our servant culture, turned the negative to a positive page. People are inspired to do good deeds. Our focus was simply to do what our company culture prepared us to do. We never imagined receiving an award for helping these victims.”
Living Water Resorts response to the human trafficking challenge confirmed that it indeed practised its stated beliefs.
About Living Water Resorts
Located at the southern tip of Georgian Bay, Living Water Resorts is the only resort in the area situated right on the shores of Georgian Bay in the heart of Collingwood. With 370 luxurious one-bedroom and two-bedroom suites equipped with living/dining room and kitchen areas perfect for extended stays. Onsite amenities include Ontario’s only Aquapath spa, an 18-hole championship golf course, a marina with a wide array of water sports, and award-winning dining including Collingwood’s only waterfront restaurant. For further information, please call (705) 446-3282. www.livingwaterresorts.com