I attended the Hospitality and Tourism Leadership Conference hosted at Royal Roads University and organized by Hospitality Management students from Camosun College. This inaugural event brought together future sector leaders from these two fine institutions and also included visiting students from Vancouver Island University. I was honoured to have the opportunity to make a presentation on Community Champions, Collaboration, and Leveraging Partnerships. In this time of growing global austerity, local stakeholders and community leaders are finding that funding sources from upper levels of government are drying up and are challenged to build local capacity and effectively market their destinations. Building trust with salient stakeholders through strong facilitation and careful planning are the keys to local and regional sustainable tourism management.