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Julie Appleford, Director Benefits, HRIS & Compensation

Favourite Pillar/Value: Relationships

Julie Appleford’s first job as a hotel concierge was a case of instant connection—she’d fallen in love with hospitality the moment she sat behind the desk.

“I love bringing joy to people and feel at home in hospitality,” she says. “I have dabbled in other industries, but hospitality is where my heart is.”

As the director of benefits, HIRIS and compensation for CoralTree, Appleford directs the overall design, implementation, and administration of the health and welfare benefits programs for employees.

Her hospitality HR career began as the human resources manager for The Boulders and Golden Door Spa, going on to include positions as the benefits administrator for Two Roads Hospitality and client operations lead at Businessolver.

A career highlight was handling a merger between Destination Hotels and Commune Hotels, for which she was integral in migrating the Commune Hotel employees into the Destination Hotels benefits and system. It required a great deal of coordination, planning and manual entry. “The best part of it was that hardly anyone, especially the employees, noticed the change as they did not have an impact to their benefits and were able to continue using them as if nothing happened. In benefits, a job well done is often one that no one notices.”

For Appleford, travel is all about discovery and adventure—a recent trip to the Republic of Georgia found her navigating a taxi crash, climbing local ski mountains and visiting remote monasteries. And for her, it’s a passion that connects the personal with the professional. “I love to travel, and making feel people feel special so hospitality just makes sense. I am an HR person at heart and love helping people. I also enjoy having fun and that’s what hospitality is all about.”