SPEAKERS
NOOSHI AKHAVAN
Director, Revenue Performance & Distribution, Coast Hotels
Nooshi Akhavan is the Director, Revenue Performance & Distribution for Coast Hotels based in Vancouver, BC. Nooshi is a proven hospitality leader with passion for revenue management and hotel operations with the primary focus of delivering high guest satisfaction, as this is the fundamental principal to any property’s long-term success. Nooshi’s professional experience encompasses a number of positions in hotel operations, revenue management and call center operations. Her career in revenue management covers a wide variety of property types, including multi-property, multi-market experience, as well as centralized revenue management services for both branded and non-branded hotels. Prior to joining Coast, Nooshi held the role of Director of Revenue Management for Pan Pacific Hotel Group based in Whistler, BC.
Panelist :  Distribution: A hotelier’s guide to channel surfing

CALVIN ANDERSON
Senior Vice President, Chief of Revenue Optimization, RLH Corporation
Calvin currently serves as the Senior Vice President and Chief of Revenue Optimization for RLH Corp. overseeing customer acquisition through revenue strategy, performance media, data management platforms, field marketing and strategic leadership over global sales. Prior to RLH Corp., Anderson served as Vice President and founder of the Managed Services division at Duetto. Calvin also held senior revenue leadership roles at Hilton and Highgate Hotels, among others. Calvin served on HSMAI's national Revenue Management Advisory Board from 2012-16, was the Chairman and Co-chair of the HSMAI Revenue Optimization Conference in 2015 and 2016. He was awarded HSMAI's prestigious NYC Revenue Management Executive of the Year in 2015 during his time as Director of the New York Hilton Midtown. Anderson was recently an adjunct professor at the NYU Tisch Center for Hospitality and Tourism, most recently taught “New Media & Distribution” at the graduate level and is also co-authoring Pearson’s newest RM textbook in partnership with Boston University, “Hospitality Revenue Management” set to be released this Fall.
Presenter :  Data visualization: Telling your engaging story

VERONICA ANDREWS
Director, Digital Data Solutions, STR
Veronica Andrews, Director, Digital Data Solutions for STR, provides analytical and end-user perspectives in the development of new STR data products. She is also responsible for designing and delivering product training to meet internal and external customer needs. Veronica has over 20 years of revenue management experience in the hospitality industry. Prior to joining STR, Veronica’s experience included property and above property leadership in both major brand and independent environments, and across a wide breadth of property types and locations. Veronica serves on the HSMAI Revenue Management Advisory Board, is a Certified Revenue Management Executive (CRME), and an active member of the AH&LA Food and Beverage Committee.
Presenter :  STR Academy: Pre-Registration Required
Presenter :  Food for thought … Why hotel F&B?

JASON ARENG
Vice President of Sales and Revenue, Expotel Hospitality
Jason joined the Expotel Hospitality family in 2017. He is a career Hotelier with experience in Sales, Marketing, Revenue Management and Operations. Jason developed his experience working with Full Service Hotels such as Hilton, Marriott, Sheraton and multiple IHG brands during his 15 years at Interstate Hotels and Resorts. Jason's experience also extends to the select service segment. Having worked with most major brands and service levels, Areng brings strong partnerships, unique insights and a passion for hospitality and service to the Expotel family. Jason also brings an entrepreneurial spirt to Expotel as he previously operated his own consulting firm, HMA Hospitality, to help hotel owners and developers launch new hotels and evaluate current portfolio performance. Jason is active in the local tourism community and volunteers his time to Gulf South Golden Retriever Rescue to help find homes for abandoned and abused dogs. He resides on the Mississippi Gulf Coast and enjoys spending time outdoors with his wife, son and two dogs.
Panelist :  Keeping pace with group business

ROBERT ARNOLD
President, Vizergy
Vizergy’s President, Robert Arnold brings more than ten years of experience in the hotel industry and almost 20 years of experience in e-commerce and Internet marketing. He leads Vizergy’s sales teams and oversees the strategic growth of Vizergy’s client base, maximizing e-commerce performance for prominent property management groups and hotels and resorts. Prior to joining Vizergy, Robert held senior leadership positions with TravelCLICK where he was in charge of several regional sales teams and managed corporate client portfolios, for major North American hotel brands. Robert worked as Vice President, Worldwide Sales for TIG Global, where he was able to focus on business development with property management companies and significant asset management groups, all while restructuring the sales organization. Having been named one of the hospitality industry’s “Top 25 Minds in Sales and Marketing” by HSMAI, Robert has also held several senior Sales, Marketing, and Operations positions with notable hotel groups, including Wyndham Hotels and Resorts, Patriot American, and Homestead Village/Security Capital Group. He has been a frequent featured speaker at industry and educational organizations, including HSMAI, Meeting Planners International, and Boston University School of Hotel Administration.
Panelist :  Life stage, not age: Demystifying guest psychographics

STEPHANIE ATIASE
Senior Director, Corporate Strategy and Corporate Development, Hilton Worldwide
Stephanie Atiase is the Senior Director of Corporate Strategy at Hilton Worldwide where she focuses on growth strategy, cross-functional strategic initiatives and industry trends. Prior to her role at Hilton, Stephanie spent her career working in strategy consulting at BCG and Deloitte where she focused on Customer Strategy and Business Model Innovation. Stephanie earned her BS in Accounting and Business Law from the University of Southern California and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Panelist :  An inside look at strategists’ insights

SCOTT BACON
Vice President, Miles Partnership
Scott began his travel career in the airline industry as the Director of Planning for 2 National Airlines, including Revenue Management, Pricing, Scheduling and Economic Planning teams. From there (after 3 acquisitions and a whole lot of turmoil) he decided it was time to switch to hospitality, joining Preferred Hotels & Resorts ultimately serving as the Regional Director for Preferred's Southeast US and Caribbean region, overseeing 50+ luxury independent hotels and resorts. Scott then joined Miles Partnership in 2014 to head up Business Development for the Hospitality division.
Panelist :  Digital marketing drill-down

TERENCE BAKER
Senior Reporter, Europe, Hotel News Now
Terence Baker has written about hotels, tourism, hospitality, events and business travel for more than 15 years. The former managing editor and travel editor of the American Automobile Association’s Car & Travel magazine, he has also written for Meetings & Conventions, Meetings & Incentive Travel and Travel Weekly. Baker, now back in his native London after nearly 20 years living and writing in New York City, focuses on the European hotel industry and on any news of interest that overlaps that continent.
Moderator :  Independents: No flag, no problem

KIM BARDOUL
Partner, The Highland Group
Kim has worked with The Highland Group since 2004. Her experience includes feasibility studies and market analysis for all types of proposed and existing hotels, due diligence for acquisitions, impact studies for several major franchise companies, financial analysis and litigation support. Kim specializes in boutique hotels and annually authors The Boutique Hotel Report. Kim has extensive experience in under-served markets. Recent experience includes unique conversion properties such as a historic hospital, power plant and a well-known musician’s home. She speaks often at conferences in cities that have included Nashville, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami and London. Kim is a graduate of Georgia State University with a Bachelor in Business Administration and major in Marketing. She is a member of the International Society of Hospitality Consultants where she is on the Awards Committee, serves as a Board Member and Vice-President of Events for the Atlanta Hospitality Alliance and holds a position on planning committees for the Hunter Hotel Investment Conference and Southern Lodging Summit.
Moderator :  Alternative accommodations: Are they really alternative?

MICHAEL BENNETT
Senior Vice President Global Marketing and Business Development, Cendyn
Michael oversees global marketing, sales development and events at Cendyn. He has over 23 years of international management experience, working with companies such as White Lodging, KSL, Knight-Ridder, The Nature Conservancy and Kodak. His specialties lie in marketing, ecommerce/digital and mobile implementations, all with a proven track record of success. Michael focuses on managing with an emphasis on profitable growth through an increase in CLV, while constantly reiterating that creative marketing is only successful when held accountable to the results it produces. He currently sits on the national HSMAI marketing board, where he has been proactively involved for the past eight years. Michael leads the Cendyn San Diego office, where he currently resides with his wife and two beautiful daughters.
Panelist :  Loyalty ROI—fact or fiction?

DAN BERGER
Founder & CEO, Social Tables
Dan Berger is the Founder and CEO of the Washington, D.C.-based Social Tables. The award-winning software platform has been used to source, plan and execute nearly 2 million events since 2011. The company has 4,500 customers. It has been recognized as one of the best places to work in the D.C. area by the Washington Post and SmartCEO. Social Tables has won numerous recognitions, including Best Industry Innovation from the International Live Events Association and one of the most innovative companies in live events by Fast Company. Dan has been recognized as an industry and tech leader by BizBash, Event Solutions, Washingtonian, MeetingsNet, Successful Meetings, and others. He most recently received the honorable Pacesetter Award from the Convention Industry Council and was named one of the most influential leaders in the meetings industry in 2016 by Successful Meetings for the second year in a row. He volunteers with several industry organizations, including the Convention Industry Council and the Philadelphia Convention and Visitor Bureau. Prior to Social Tables, Dan worked in management consulting, ran a large association, worked for a Member of Congress, and built websites for several startups. Dan has a BA from Hunter College and an MBA from Georgetown. He was born in Israel, grew up in NYC, and lives in DC with his dog, Leroy.
Panelist :  Divergent perspectives on group meeting pricing

BRIAN BERRY
Senior Vice President of Sales and Data Analytics, Cvent
Brian Berry is Senior Vice President of Sales and Data Analytics for Cvent where he engages with executives throughout the hospitality industry to strengthen marketing returns and develop deeper performance insights. He provides strategic leadership and direction for the Cvent Supplier Network, continuously developing better connections between hotels and meeting planners. Prior to joining Cvent, Brian was Senior Vice President of Sales and Revenue Management for Host Hotels & Resorts, the largest lodging real estate investment trust and one of the largest worldwide owners of luxury and upper upscale hotels. Brian has over 20 years of Revenue Management experience and was responsible for providing strategic leadership to over 120 hotels on four continents. Prior to joining Host, Brian held regional and corporate management positions with ITT Sheraton and Starwood Hotels in both North America and Europe. Brian is a graduate of the Cornell University Hotel School and Johns Hopkins University Carey Business School. He serves on numerous industry and education advisory boards including Marriott’s Distribution Advisory Council, HSMAI Americas Board and Chief Revenue Officer Council, AH&LA Customer Innovation Council, and DePaul University School of Hospitality Leadership.
Panelist :  Keeping pace with group business

NIKHIL BHALLA
Vice President of Finance, RLJ Lodging Trust
Nikhil Bhalla is a Vice President of Finance at RLJ Lodging Trust, one of the largest publicly traded Lodging Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) with over 150 hotels and 20,000 rooms under ownership. In his role, Mr. Bhalla is responsible for multiple aspects of corporate finance including Financial Planning & Analysis, Strategy as well as Investor Relations and Communications. Prior to joining RLJ in 2015, Mr. Bhalla was a Vice President of Equity Research at FBR Capital Markets & Co and has held positions at Host Hotels & Resorts and CB Richard Ellis, the largest real estate brokerage firm in the world. He graduated from Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration with a master’s degree in management in 2003 and has been featured on CNBC, Bloomberg TV, The Washington Post and CNN.
Panelist :  Analyzing the analytics profession

COLLEEN BIRCH
Senior Vice President of Revenue Optimization, The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas
Colleen Birch is the Senior Vice President of Revenue Optimization for The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, where she oversees strategic planning for the resort’s pricing and optimization efforts. She joined the resort in 2009, playing an instrumental role in its 2010 opening. Under her leadership and guidance, The Cosmopolitan has continued to outpace the market and its competitive set in all major metrics, including occupancy, average daily rate and revenue per available room. An active force among multiple departments, Birch partners with teams throughout the resort to promote the concept of flexible pricing as well as price testing. Additionally, Birch leads Customer Relationship Management team, creating strategic offers for Identity Membership & Rewards members. Due to her diligent work ethic, loyalty to her teams and commitment to industry excellence, Birch has been recognized as one of Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International’s 2015 Revenue Management Professionals of the Year as well as one of HSMAI’s 2016 Top 25 Extraordinary Minds in Hospitality Sales, Marketing and Revenue Optimization. Most recently Birch was named a 2018 Woman to Watch by Vegas Inc. Outside of her daily professional regimen, Birch is actively involved in the community. She supports a number of nonprofit organizations and holds the role of Chairwoman for Junior Achievement of Southern Nevada, a program that provides a series of business, economic and life skills programs to enhance the education of young people. Birch holds a degree in hotel administration from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She gives back to the alma mater that means so much to her by participating in the UNLV Mentor Program, returning to campus regularly to speak to junior and senior level classes about her experience. She also serves as a mentor within the resort, offering insight into the industry she’s built her life around. Above all, she is a proud mother to two blossoming children, Gavin and Lily.
Panelist :  Analyzing the analytics profession

MICHAEL BLANK
Principal, Woodmont Lodging
Michael L. Blank is a Principal at Woodmont Lodging. Mr. Blank has over 20 years of lodging industry experience including real estate investments, capital markets, hospitality and tourism consulting and hotel operations. Prior to co-founding Woodmont Lodging in 2015, Mr. Blank was an executive at RLJ Lodging Trust (NYSE: RLJ) where he had portfolio analysis, transaction, and corporate finance responsibilities. Most recently, Mr. Blank managed the company's Business Intelligence function, which was responsible for portfolio data analysis. During his tenure at RLJ, Mr. Blank formalized and expanded RLJ’s business analytic function, enhancing the data collection and reporting processes of over 125 hotels and 16 different management companies. Mr. Blank also held positions in Asset Management with oversight of a portfolio of focused-service Marriott and Hilton branded hotels and in Investment and Portfolio Analysis underwriting over $2.4 billion in potential lodging transactions. Additionally, he managed the successful closing of multiple acquisitions and dispositions. Prior to joining RLJ in 2010, Mr. Blank worked in acquisitions and dispositions at Host Hotels & Resorts (NYSE: HST) and in equity research at FBR Capital Markets covering publicly-traded lodging REITs. Mr. Blank also had roles at PKF Consulting and at the Willard Inter-Continental Hotel. Mr. Blank earned his undergraduate degree from the School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University and earned his MBA from the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University. Mr. Blank has served as a guest lecturer at both Georgetown University and American University.
Panelist :  Higher performance? Hotels & the marijuana phenomenon

BOBBY BOWERS
Senior Vice President, Operations, STR
Mr. Bowers has over 25 years of global lodging industry experience. He has a broad background which includes strategic marketing, industry analysis and product management. Prior to joining STR, he was Director of Competitive & Industry Analysis for Holiday Inn Worldwide.
Presenter :  Data discovery: Complementing your story by going beyond the basics

PAUL BRESLIN
Managing Director, Horwath HTL
Paul Breslin is the Managing Director of the Atlanta office of Horwath HTL. His 35-year background in the industry includes extensive experience in hotel operations, planning and development, and asset management with major branded hotels as well as independent and smaller luxury hotels. Mr. Breslin is a member of the prestigious International Society of Hospitality Consultants and the Hotel Asset Managers Association. He is a Certified Hotel Administrator (CHA) and a Certified Hospitality Educator (CHE) by the Educational Institute of AH&LA. He serves as the Executive-­‐in-­‐Residence in Lodging in the J. Mack Robinson College of Business, Cecil B. Day School of Hospitality at Georgia State University.
Moderator :  10 years after the meltdown: What are the lasting lessons?

AMY BRODRICK
Vice President Sales & Marketing, Chartwell Hospitality
Amy started her hospitality career in Atlanta, GA with Marriott International selling for Residence Inn. A passion for proactive sales and relationship building skills drove her success with Marriott where she received national recognition as Residence Inn’s Sales Manager of the Year, Marriott International’s Multi-Property/Multi-Brand Leader of the Year, as well as a team award for Multi-Property/Multi-Brand Sales Team of the Year. She expanded her areas of expertise with two years in Operations, as an Operations Manager and General Manager handling day to day operations as well as revenue management. Amy discovered a love for teaching as a facilitator for Marriott’s Extended Stay Selling Course, along with various regional training classes such as Sales Negotiating and Mission Possible. Her strengths are in account saturation, relationship building, strategic selling, business/revenue analysis and mentoring new sales managers. In her current role, Amy oversees the sales, revenue, marketing and ecommerce efforts for Chartwell Hospitality’s portfolio of full service and select service hotels. Amy received her Business Administration degree in Marketing from Tennessee Technological University in Cookeville, TN.
Panelist :  Two decades of love and hate: OTAs

STACIE BUSHAW
Director of Strategic Sales, NAVIS
Stacie brings to the panel more than 20 years of hospitality experience, and an expert eye at improving business performance. Over the past 8 years she has also worked with some of the finest hospitality and lodging companies including Vail Resorts, Auberge Resorts and Hotels, The Broadmoor, and Two Roads Hospitality. She believes that a property’s ability to maximize profit is centered around a unified approach to guest data.
Panelist :  Independents: No flag, no problem

ELYSE CARFREY
Business Development Executive, STR
Elyse Carfrey is a Business Development Executive for the Industry Partners team at STR. Her primary role is to assist vendors, developers, investors, consultants, and others in finding the STR data and Hotel News Now advertising solutions to better their business and make informed decisions. She has been with the company since 2010 and enjoys working and living in her native city of Nashville.
Presenter :  Weighing in on chain scales

STEVE CARON
Vice President, Head of Vacation Rentals, Choice Hotels International
Steve Caron, Vice President, Head of Vacation Rentals, joined Choice in 2016 bringing 25 years of expertise in vacation rentals strategy, development, marketing and technology to the new business division. Currently Choice (www.choicevacationrentals.com) has over 30,000 vacation rental properties across the US with plans to grow internationally in the near future. An entrepreneur by nature, Steve not only founded several companies, but has also held executive-level positions at leading companies in the vacation rentals industry, including both ResortQuest and Vacation Roost.com. Prior to joining Choice, he was Vice President of Vacation Rentals for Tourico Holidays, Inc. There he created and launched a vacation rentals division, integrating new systems and technology within the company’s existing infrastructure. At ResortQuest, he served as Chief Information Officer and was responsible for strategic technology planning, ecommerce systems and IT operations. He has experience managing both vacation rental booking platforms and vacation rental properties across the globe, which make him very well suited to grow the Choice vacation rentals division leveraging the trust of the brand and the Choice Privileges loyalty program. Before entering the hospitality industry, Caron served as an Instructor Navigator in the United States Air Force for 10 years and is a decorated combat veteran with over 2,000 hours of flight experience and holds a BS in Computer Science from Florida State University.
Panelist :  Alternative accommodations: Are they really alternative?

VALERIE CASTILLO
Vice President of Marketing, TrustYou
Valerie Castillo is the head of marketing at TrustYou, the world’s largest guest feedback platform. She has over 9 years of experience in the hospitality industry, previously having worked as a Product Marketing Manager on the Hospitality Cloud at Cvent, a Vista Equity Partner. Currently, she is leading TrustYou’s strategy to better inform and educate hoteliers on the importance and value of guest feedback.
Presenter :  Increase revenues with review data

GERRY CHASE
CEO and President, Chase Hospitality Advisors
Gerry Chase is career hotelier who started as a bellman in his home state of Minnesota and went on to lead New Castle Hotels and Resorts for 30 years as President and COO. Over the years, Gerry has worked in every aspect of hotel operations and development, managing, building or acquiring more than 80 hotels and resorts while at New Castle. Prior to joining NCHR, Gerry held management and corporate positions at 40 others while with Marriott and Interstate Hotels. A strong advocate of collaboration and good corporate citizenship, Gerry regularly shares his knowledge and insights on key issues facing the industry by participating on conference panels and roundtables. Over the years he has served on numerous brand advisory committees and boards of directors including the American Hotel and Register Company, and the American Hotel & Lodging Association. Gerry resides in Nashville, TN, one of hospitality’s hottest markets, where he eagerly anticipates each new challenge.
Presenter :  Is there a canary in the coalmine?

JIM CHU
Global Head of Development & Owner Relations, Hyatt Hotels Corporation
Jim Chu serves as the Global Head of Development and Owner Relations for Hyatt Hotels Corporation. In this role, Chu oversees the global development support, owner relations, and select brand leadership including select service strategy. The franchise and owner relations group serves as the main liaison between franchisees and third-party owners. His primary responsibilities are the oversight of brand relations and support to third-party owners and franchisees, as well as negotiating franchise and management agreements. Chu also oversees the development administration for North America and FTC and regulatory aspects for Hyatt Development. Prior to joining Hyatt, Chu served various roles with Wyndham International, including general manager, regional vice president of sales and senior vice president of business development. In his most recent role, he was responsible for new business development activity for Wyndham International, including Wyndham Timeshare/ Vacation Ownership operations and development. Chu received his Bachelor of Science from Corpus Christi State University with a degree in Finance. He is an active member of several American Hotel and Lodging Association (AH&LA) committees.
Panelist :  Beers with the bosses: Celebration, consultation and conversation

CHAD CHURCH
Vice President, Operations, STR
Chad Church is Vice President, Operations for STR. In his role as Vice President, Chad manages the client service, contracting, special projects and analysis operations at STR. In addition, he is responsible for planning and implementing internal process initiatives and special projects for consulting, investment, government and corporate hotel clients. He is a regular speaker at industry meetings and conventions and is a frequent contributor to various media outlets. Mr. Church earned his Master of Science degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management and Economics from North Carolina State University in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Presenter :  Calendar shifts and unplanned events: How to plan for and explain unexpected happenings in performan

ROBERT COLE
CEO, RockCheetah
Robert Cole is founder of RockCheetah, his hotel marketing strategy and travel technology consulting practice that diligently attempts to prove that marketing, travel technology, quality service & profitability can peacefully coexist. Robert also serves as Phocuswright’s Senior Research Analyst for Lodging and Leisure Travel. RockCheetah’s clients have included organizations such as Marriott International, National Geographic and Amadeus IT Group. Highlights of Robert's hospitality experience include heading marketing planning for Four Seasons Hotels, leading Sabre’s hotel line of business, launching dynamic packaging pioneer Neat Group, and overseeing destination product contracting for Mark Travel’s fourteen vacation brands. Robert has been involved in multiple travel industry initiatives, serving as a founding OpenTravel Alliance interoperability committee member, on the HEDNA Board of Directors, the HSMAI Digital Marketing Council and Adrian Awards Platinum/Best of Show judge. Aside from his consulting and analysis work, Robert also publishes the Views from a Corner Suite blog and the RockCheetah Twitter travel news firehose.
Presenter :  Science of social marketing – Influencer targeting and ROI metrics

ISAAC COLLAZO
Vice President, Competitive Intelligence, InterContinental Hotels & Resorts
Isaac J. Collazo is vice president, competitive intelligence for IHG (InterContinental Hotels & Resorts), one of the world’s leading hotel companies (LON: IHG; NYSE: IHG [ADRs]). As vice president, competitive intelligence, Mr. Collazo is responsible for ensuring effective cross-utilization of intelligence in a manner that optimizes IHG’s revenues and industry share. He oversees a broad range of functional responsibilities, including: competitive performance analysis, predictive analytics/modeling and interpreting the macro-economic environment. Previously, Mr. Collazo served as vice president, performance strategy & planning where he led global and regional IHG brand performance analysis as well as evaluating current economic trends and forecasts and utilizing both to develop industry forecasts that drove IHG annual budgeting process. Mr. Collazo also served as vice president, operations strategy & planning in the Americas where he was instrumental in establishing divisional and company objectives, developing long-range and strategic plans, and creating industry-based performance benchmarks for the company. Before joining InterContinental Hotels Group in April 2002, Mr. Collazo was vice president, strategic brand knowledge with Marriott International where he led their guest satisfaction program and competitive analysis group. Prior to his tenure at Marriott International, Mr. Collazo also served with Promus Hotel Corporation. His responsibilities there included the administration and management of market and customer tracking systems and the development and communication of strategic briefs. Mr. Collazo began his career in the hospitality industry in 1987 with La Quinta Inns. Mr. Collazo holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and radio, television & film from Trinity University and a master’s of business administration from the University of Texas at Austin. IHG (InterContinental® Hotels Group) [LON:IHG, NYSE:IHG (ADRs)] is a global organization with a broad portfolio of hotel brands, including InterContinental® Hotels & Resorts, Kimpton® Hotels & Restaurants, HUALUXE® Hotels and Resorts, Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts, Hotel Indigo®, EVEN™ Hotels, Holiday Inn® Hotels & Resorts, Holiday Inn Express®, avidTM Hotels, Staybridge Suites® and Candlewood Suites®. IHG franchises, leases, manages or owns more than 5,400 hotels and 800,000 guest rooms in almost 100 countries, with more than 1,700 hotels in its development pipelin
Presenter :  10 x 2 x now: Ten years of data + two industry analysts = Insights to current industry trends

RAJ CONTRACTOR
Senior Vice President of Investments, Host Hotels & Resorts
Raj Contractor is Senior Vice President of Investments for Host Hotels and Resorts and is responsible for acquisitions, dispositions, value enhancement projects and developments. Raj joined Host in 2008 and has been responsible for over $2 billion in global real estate investments including acquisitions, dispositions, joint ventures, developments, and redevelopments in the US, Asia and Latin America. Prior to Host Raj completed ground up and value-add hotel developments in the San Francisco Bay Area. Raj is originally from New Orleans and holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Tulane University and an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Panelist :  Independents: No flag, no problem

JB COOKE
Director of Analysis and Underwriting, Ashford
J.B. grew up in Baltimore, MD and graduated from Princeton University with a degree in Economics. While working at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas as an Economic Programmer/Analyst, he also earned his Master’s in Applied Economics from Southern Methodist University and became a certified Financial Risk Manager. Since 2015, J.B. has worked at Ashford and completed the Hotel Real Estate Investments and Asset Management certificate program at Cornell University. In his current role as Director of Analysis and Underwriting, he develops Asset Management’s team of analysts and interns. In addition to weekly, monthly, and quarterly reporting; parking, retail space, ancillary revenue, and land deals fall under his purview. Finally, he leads the hotel acquisition underwriting process for the Asset Management team during diligence periods. He lives in Dallas, TX with his wife and toddler twin daughters.
Panelist :  Fee for all: How hotels are maximizing ancillary charges

JACK CORGEL
Professor/Advisor, Cornell University/CBRE Hotels' Americas Research
Dr. Jack Corgel holds a professorship in real estate at the Cornell University Johnson College of Business, School of Hotel Administration (currently 1/2 time phase retirement). He was the first director of the Center for Hospitality Research. Corgel also serves as Advisor/Managing Director at CBRE Hotels’ Americas Research where he helps the firm develop products for the hotel industry based on property-level financial and real estate performance information, including Hotel Horizons econometric forecast of U.S. hotel markets. Corgel published over 80 articles in academic and professional journals, mostly on real estate finance, investment, valuation, and hospitality real estate. Corgel’s current research interests include the relationship between the macro-economy and hotel markets and real estate price and capitalization rate formation.
Presenter :  The rate paradox: A historical analysis of ADR behavior

JENNIFER CORWIN
Associate Practice Lead Travel & Hospitality, J.D. Power
As the Associate Practice Lead for the Global Travel and Hospitality Practice at J.D. Power Jennifer Corwin is responsible for thought leadership and providing insights and analyses in the company's Voice of the Customer research across the travel and hospitality sector. Her work spans multiple industry verticals within the practice, including hotels, airlines, rental car companies, cruise lines, incentive travel, destinations and airports. With a strong foundation in research and a passion for analysis Jenni seeks to translate data into actionable insights that enhance the guest experience and boost revenue.
Presenter :  Generational loyalty, will they stay or will they go

CHRIS CRENSHAW
Vice President, Digital Data Solutions, STR
Chris Crenshaw is Vice President of Digital Data Solutions for STR. In his role, Mr. Crenshaw is responsible for new product development and strategic integration for STR family of companies. He brings a wealth of knowledge to the table with over fifteen years of revenue related hospitality experience. Mr. Crenshaw’s extensive wisdom of the industry is put to good use as he is often used as a sounding board for new ideas and provides training and education to the staff. Prior to joining STR, Mr. Crenshaw served as Vice President of Market Intelligence for Loews Hotels and held several senior revenue related positions with Marriott International. He received his bachelor’s degree in Hospitality Management from Florida International University and an associate degree from the Culinary Institute of America. Mr. Crenshaw has received numerous awards and accolades from Loews and Marriott and most recently was named 2010 Revenue Management Professional of the Year for South Florida by HSMAI. He currently serves on the America’s Board for HSMAI and is a Certified Revenue Management Executive (CRME). He currently resides in Nashville with his wife and two children.
Presenter :  STR Academy: Pre-Registration Required

KATHLEEN CULLEN
Senior Vice President, Revenue & Distribution, Two Roads Hospitality
Kathleen’s passion for hotel revenue management shows in the Two Roads Hospitality portfolio’s consistently positive year-over-year market share growth. She has a unique ability in understanding people’s strengths and lining them up with hotel needs, ensuring that the overall revenue team is set up to drive optimal market share. Always nimble, she has a strong sense of when and how to quickly apply changes needed to guarantee continued success. Change management has become a big part of her job over the years and ensuring that the company continues to remain on the cutting edge of revenue management and distribution. As Senior Vice President of Revenue & Distribution for Two Roads Hospitality, she is charged with the overall revenue strategies and increasing hotel market share for the portfolio, as well as optimizing the company’s revenue management foundation for all brands, including the organizational set up, expert human resources and deployment, technology platform, tools and connectivity. In addition to her day job, Kathleen has been an active member of HSMAI since 2005, serving as the Chair for the Revenue Management Advisory Board in 2014 and 2015. She is also the author of best-selling industry revenue management publications including “Evolving Dynamics of Revenue Management,” published by HSMAI in 2010 and 2015.
Panelist :  Analyzing the analytics profession

LAURIE CZYZ
Senior Director Sales Americas – Meetings & Events, Radisson Hotel Group
Laurie Czyz is a 27-year veteran in the hospitality industry. She is currently the Senior Director Sales Americas – Meetings & Events, for Radisson Hotel Group and oversees the MICE teams in the Americas. Prior to joining RHG, Laurie was the Senior Director of Sales, Group & Intermediary, at Starwood where she developed the global strategy and fostered the relationships for the industry’s largest 3rd party accounts. She started her career at Marriott International where she oversaw the Small Meetings Management Account Team in the National Group Sales Division. Laurie is a native of Nebraska and earned her B.A. degree at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. She has 2 daughters – one in high school & the other in college – and is looking forward to becoming an empty nester!
Panelist :  Divergent perspectives on group meeting pricing

HEATHER DAMERON
Manager of Event Strategy & Recruiting, The Journeys Group
Heather Dameron is the Manager of Event Strategy and Recruiting for the Journeys Group which includes 1,300+ retail stores. She has been with Journeys since 2011 and has enjoyed managing events around the job for some of the coolest and most fun employee groups. Some memorable experiences have been: taking groups to the GRAMMYs, US Open of Surfing, incentive trips to places in Central America, the Caribbean and Europe, and planning meetings and training sessions across the US and Canada. Heather was the 2014 Meeting Planner of the Year for the MPI TN Chapter and has served on the Board of Directors two different times.
Panelist :  Divergent perspectives on group meeting pricing

JOHN DAVIS
Vice President of Asset Management, Woodbine Development Corporation
John Davis is responsible for managing Woodbine’s portfolio of hotel and mixed-use properties, along with providing asset management services to third-party ownership groups. John represents Woodbine and ownership in dealing with hotel operators, maximizing operational performance and recommending capital investments. He also ensures compliance with management agreements, approves property budgets and works directly with individual hotel and corporate operating teams. Prior to joining Woodbine, John was an asset manager with Broadreach Capital Partners / Maritz, Wolff & Company. During his seven years there, he was responsible for direct asset management of seven full-service hotels valued at $700 million. Before that, John spent eight years with Marriott International as director of finance and accounting. John is a member of the Hotel Asset Manager Association. Davis has a B.S. in accounting from Purdue University and an MBA from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University.
Panelist :  Independents: No flag, no problem

VIPUL DAYAL
Past Board Member, AAHOA
Vipul Dayal is the Director at Large for the Asian American Hotel Owners Association, North County Director for the Asian American Cultural Society, Executive Director of nonprofit Charity for Hope and President of VNR Management, an industry leading limited service hotel management company. Vipul has been recognized by The Young Professionals Committee of San Diego County as a Young Professional of the Month for his charitable work in the region.
Panelist :  Higher performance? Hotels & the marijuana phenomenon

SLOAN DEAN
Chief Operating Officer, Remington Hotels
Chosen to lead Remington in 2018 and was with Ashford for the 5 years prior. Prior to Ashford, Sloan held Vice President of Business Development & Acquisitions, Vice President of Sales & Marketing, Senior Vice President of Revenue & Market Strategy, Corporate Director of Revenue Management, Regional Revenue Manager and Analyst positions with Interstate Hotels, Alliance Hospitality, Noble Investment Group, IHG & Oliver Wyman. Sloan holds a B.S. in Industrial & Systems Engineering and a Certificate in Finance from Georgia Tech. He is currently a member of the Member of Sheraton Owner Advisory Council, Embassy Suites Owners Advisory Council, Hilton’s Distribution Owner Advisory Council, HSMAI Board of Directors & AH&LA’s Consumer Innovation Forum. Sloan was awarded “Top 25 Most Extraordinary Minds in Sales and Marketing” in 2012
Panelist :  Loyalty ROI—fact or fiction?

ADAM DEPIRO
Director of Convention Sales, Visit Tampa Bay
Adam joined Tampa’s convention and visitor’s bureau in 2013 following sales leadership positions that included four years with Hostmark Hospitality Group where he was recognized as Director of Sales & Marketing of the Year on two occasions, and ten years with Hyatt Hotels & Resorts where he last held the position of regional vice president of sales. Having called Tampa Bay home for over 20 years, Adam is thrilled to be working with an amazing team at Visit Tampa Bay where their hard work and dedication have a positive impact on the economy of the entire region. He and his wife have two boys in high school, a labradoodle named Scooby and a new family member, Max the tortoise.
Panelist :  Divergent perspectives on group meeting pricing

TIM DICK
Director of National Hospitality Services, Duff and Phelps
Timothy Dick is the Director of National Hospitality Services for Duff and Phelps. Duff and Phelps is a global firm with offices worldwide which specializes in financial advisory services. Mr. Dick leads the Hospitality Practice which includes asset management, strategic planning market analyses, valuation and general consulting for owners, investors, managers and hotel brands. Prior to Duff and Phelps, Mr. Dick was a Managing Director and Principal at Three Wall Capital, LLC, responsible for asset management, underwriting and acquisition for hospitality investments. Prior to joining Three Wall Capital, Mr. Dick served as Senior Vice President and Head of the Hotel Asset Management Team at TriMont, where he oversaw a portfolio totaling 170 hotels. These responsibilities included providing strategic asset management services for numerous clients whose portfolios of commercial real estate properties were located throughout the Caribbean, U.S and Canada. The portfolio was comprised of equity investments, performing loans and real estate owned assets. Before joining TriMont in 2003, he was Director of Asset Management at Hardin Capital, LLC, a private hotel development and investment company, where he managed a $200 million portfolio of 12 hotels located in urban centers throughout the U.S. In this capacity, he developed strategic business plans and oversaw the operations of management companies relating to new developments, redevelopments and stabilized properties. Prior to Hardin Capital, Mr. Dick spent seven years at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, where he managed the Atlanta office of its Global Hospitality and Leisure Consulting Group. There he provided a broad range of consulting and valuation services to major financial institutions, public pension plans and hotel franchisors. Mr. Dick graduated with a B.A. in Political Science from West Virginia University and a Master of Professional Studies from Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration. He is a member of the Appraisal Institute, the Counselors of Real Estate, the International Society of Hospitality Consultants, the Hotel Asset Managers Association (Board Member), Cornell University Council and the Atlanta Hospitality Alliance.
Panelist :  Technology: A hotel’s best—and most feared—ally

KAREN DININO
Senior Counsel, Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck LLP
Karen advises businesses nationwide on virtually every aspect of employment law, representing employers in federal and state court litigation, administrative hearings, arbitrations, wage and hour proceedings, audits and class actions. Karen takes a risk management approach, working closely with clients to prevent lawsuits. Looked to as a leading resource in employment law for over 20 years, Karen frequently authors articles, speaks and provides training for employers on new laws impacting the workplace, best practices for addressing marijuana legalization, drug testing, paid and unpaid leaves, social media and privacy issues, criminal background checks, #metoo and the #metoo backlash, demonstrating fair pay, paid sick time and successfully crossing the employment law minefield. As a testament to her fair minded, practical approach, Karen received her undergraduate degree from UCLA, and her law degree from the University of Southern California.
Panelist :  Higher performance? Hotels & the marijuana phenomenon

ANGIE DOBNEY
Vice President, Casino & Gaming Sales, The Rainmaker Group
Angie Dobney serves as vice president of casino & gaming sales for The Rainmaker Group. An industry veteran with more than two decades of experience in revenue management and hospitality operations, she provides hands-on optimization of total resort profit to Rainmaker’s industry-leading gaming and hospitality clients. As a former Rainmaker customer who turned the tables and joined the market leader in 2014, Dobney brings to her role a user’s perspective on the product. Having worked in both manual and automated environments, she knows firsthand the challenges customers face and draws from her personal experience to guide her clients in best practices. A recognized expert in total asset and portfolio optimization, and as enthusiastic as she is knowledgeable, Dobney is frequently tapped to speak at conferences around the globe. She is a guest lecturer on hotel and hospitality asset and revenue management at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, her alma mater, where she was named Mentor of the Year in 2007. She continues to seek out opportunities to get involved in other university programs in her quest to inspire and motivate the next generation of revenue managers.
Panelist :  The art of a hotel’s most important science

GRANT DUPART
Director of Hospitality Investments, McWhinney
As Director of Hospitality Investments, Grant primarily focuses on growing the McWhinney hotel portfolio by sourcing and winning hospitality development and acquisition deals that meet McWhinney’s investment criteria and align with the company’s defined business plan. Grant’s experience in acquisitions, dispositions, asset management, equity and debt procurement, and development services have been instrumental helping to grow the McWhinney hospitality portfolio. He played an instrumental part in the company’s most recent hospitality development projects, including the AC Hotel in Portland, The Elizabeth in Fort Collins, The Maven in Denver, Hyatt House DIA acquisition, Hyatt Place development at Denver International Airport, and Hyatt Place Seaport District in Boston. Grant began his career in hotel operations and moved into the hotel real estate investment sector with HVS Capital Corporation and most recently HREC Investment Advisors where he valued over $2.5 billion of hotel assets in 35 states and assisted with the marketing of 49 properties in most segments of the hospitality industry. Grant is a graduate of the University of Denver with a BSBA in Hospitality Management.
Panelist :  Higher performance? Hotels & the marijuana phenomenon

GINO ENGELS
Co-founder & CCO, OTA Insight
Gino Engels co-founded OTA Insight in 2012. The business has since grown from a small disrupter challenging an established marketplace, to a business supporting over 30,000 clients in 140 countries. As co-founder and Chief Commercial Officer of OTA Insight, Gino is driven by working with the industry’s most progressive innovators alongside established global and local players to deliver first-class solutions. He leads the delivery and continued development of OTA Insight’s dashboard and reporting capabilities to enable hoteliers to support a profitable revenue and distribution strategy. Gino’s customer-focused objective is to deliver affordable revenue tools to hotels and continuously develop new solutions to help those in the hospitality sector overcome technological barriers. Gino regularly contributes his expert knowledge on the hospitality sector to articles on current trending topics for publications including The Washington Post and also frequently speaks at industry events across the globe such as the SmartGuest Analytics and Best Western International Revenue Conferences in the US, HSMAI and Revenue Forums across Europe and US, and Fastbooking Digital Labs across Asia. Gino was recently recognised as one of the Top 20 Extraordinary Minds by HSMAI Europe.
Panelist :  Distribution: A hotelier’s guide to channel surfing

JOHN FAREED
Managing Director, Horwath HTL
John Fareed, MSc CHME ISHC, is Managing Director of Horwath HTL in the US with offices in New York, NY; Norfolk, VA and Orlando, FL. Over the past twenty years, Fareed’s consulting clients have included Fortune 500 companies, national brands, lenders, developers, REIT’s, management companies,investors, owners, attorneys, and insurers. He is an internationally recognized authority in the field of strategic market planning, positioning and repositioning, and has spoken on the topic at industry events in Australia, Brazil, Croatia, Egypt, France, Germany,Ireland, Italy, Mexico, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, and across the US, Canada and Caribbean. Fareed has appeared as an industry expert on national television programs including ABC News, CNN and Fox News Network, in publications such as the New York Times, USA Today, and the Wall Street Journal, and has had articles published in numerous trade journals. Additionally, he has provided hospitality industry focused, expert witness and litigation support services specifically as they relate to branding and marketing issues. Fareed holds two postgraduates including a Master of Science degree in Hospitality Management from the Dublin Institute of Technology's School of Hospitality Management and Tourism in Dublin, Ireland—where he is currently pursuing a PhD—as well as professional designations from the prestigious International Society of Hospitality Consultants (ISHC) and the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI). HSMAI recognized Fareed as one of the “Top 25 Extraordinary Minds in Sales and Marketing”, and he currently serves as Chairman of ISHC and as Chairman of the Board of Trustees for HSMAI’s International Foundation. He is also an Adjunct Professor at the Institut de Management Hôtelier International at the École Supérieure des Sciences Economíques et Commerciales. Located in Paris, this institute is one of Europe's preeminent business schools, recognized worldwide for offering Europe’s leading hospitality management MBA program.
Moderator :  Analyzing the analytics profession

WARREN FELDMAN
Chief Executive Officer, Jonathan Nehmer + Associates, Inc.
Warren Feldman, AIA, ISHC is Chief Executive Officer of Jonathan Nehmer + Associates, Inc., a leading Architecture, Interior Design, and Project Management firm specializing in the Hospitality industry. He is also a principal with HVS Design. With more than 30 years of experience, his expertise includes work as Architect and Owner’s Representative in the direction and management of multi-million dollar commercial, institutional, educational, residential, and hospitality projects. Prior to joining Jonathan Nehmer + Associates, Inc., Mr. Feldman worked on the feasibility, design, and construction of diverse projects including hotels, high rise commercial corporate headquarters, educational facilities, civic projects, and housing development projects. He received his Bachelor and Master of Architecture degree from the Washington University in St. Louis and is a member of the American Institute of Architects. Complementing his education in Architecture, Mr. Feldman completed his Juris Doctorate from Georgetown University in December, 1999, and is a member of the Maryland Bar.
Moderator :  The CapEx and renovation landscape—and what it means to data crunchers

BRENDA FIELDS
Sales, Marketing, Revenue Specialits, Fields & Company
Representing a “who’s who” roster of clients, Brenda Fields has worked with a number of industry leaders and innovators, from hotelier Ian Schrager and NYC real estate developer, Harry Macklowe, to global brands including Starwood Lodging Corporation and Choice Hotels International. In addition to major hospitality brands, Brenda’s consulting practice includes a wide range of independent properties around the globe. Brenda brings a hands-on approach to problem solving along with her three-decade long record of results to each challenge. She has honed a reputation for helping owners and operators achieve target revenues through the thoughtful development and execution of workable initiatives. Brenda is a member of the prestigious International Society of Hospitality Consultants; served on the Americas Board of Director for HSMAI; is Past President of HSMAI’s chapter in NYC; and was named one of “The Top 25 Most Extraordinary Minds in Sales and Marketing” by HSMAI”. Brenda is on the Editorial Board of Hotel Executive.com for Boutique Hotels, is a contributing editor to: HotelNewsNow, Hotels Online, Hotel Resource Weekly Network News, eHoteliers, and Hsyndicate. Brenda can be contacted at brenda@fieldsandcompany.net; +917 825 2100 or by visiting www.fieldsandcompany.net.
Moderator :  Keeping pace with group business

COLIN FINDLEY
VP of Business Development, ProfitSword, LLC
Colin spent nearly 30 years in the hospitality industry working for companies such as Hyatt Hotels & Resorts, Adam’s Mark Hotels, Davidson Hotel Company, Wyndham Hotels, and Sage Hospitality. He came up through operations and spent the last 14 years of his hotel career as a general manager. Colin left the industry to work with ProfitSword in 2008 and leads the business development team.
Panelist :  Technology: A hotel’s best—and most feared—ally

TIM FRANZEN
President, Graduate Hotels, AJ Capital Partners
Mr. Franzen is a commercial real estate and hospitality professional with over 20 years of experience spanning acquisitions, development, operations, asset management, and branding. Mr. Franzen is currently the President of Graduate Hotels for AJ Capital Partners in Chicago, Illinois. In that role, Mr. Franzen leads a team of over 40 people, including professionals in such disciplines as branding and marketing, graphic design, food and beverage, sales and revenue management, interior design, project management, real estate transactions, asset management, and accounting, in the execution of AJ Capital Partners’ strategic plan to grow the Graduate Hotels brand across the U.S. Mr. Franzen is a graduate of DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana and holds a Juris Doctorate degree from DePaul University College of Law in Chicago, Illinois.
Panelist :  Independents: No flag, no problem

JAN FREITAG
Senior Vice President, Lodging Insights, STR
Mr. Jan D. Freitag is a Senior Vice President for STR (STR, Inc.). STR provides clients from multiple market sectors with premium, global data benchmarking, analytics and marketplace insights. Founded in 1985, STR maintains a presence in 10 countries around the world with a corporate North American headquarters in Hendersonville, Tennessee, and an international headquarters in London, England. In his role, Mr. Freitag oversees a variety of projects, all charged with the accumulation and interpretation of global lodging data. He is a sought-after public speaker and is frequently quoted in trade publications and the general news media such as The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Associated Press, Reuters, Forbes, etc. Prior to joining STR, Mr. Freitag was the Director of Content Integrity at hotelreports.com in upstate New York and a hospitality consultant with Ernst & Young in Phoenix. He holds a bachelor’s degree, with distinction, from the School of Hotel Administration, Cornell University, and received his Executive MBA, with honors, from Vanderbilt University. Mr. Freitag resides in Nashville, TN.
Presenter :  10 x 2 x now: Ten years of data + two industry analysts = Insights to current industry trends

BRAD GARNER
Senior Vice President, Client Services & Relationships, STR
Brad Garner is Senior Vice President of Client Services & Relationships for STR (STR, Inc.). In this role, Mr. Garner is responsible for servicing, managing and building multi-level, proactive relationships with STR’s client base and acts as a primary contact for investment banks and institutional investors. He is a frequent speaker at industry meetings and conventions and is a regular contributor to various news and media outlets. Mr. Garner serves on the AH&LA’s Financial Management Committee (FMC) and sits on the sub-committee for Financial Reporting, Analytics & Metrics (FRAM) charged with writing and maintaining the Uniform System of Accounts for the Lodging Industry currently in its 11th revised edition. Mr. Garner joined STR in 1995 shortly after earning his B.S. in Marketing with a minor in Management Writing from Old Dominion University. He currently resides in Nashville, TN with his wife and daughter. He enjoys baseball, basketball, water sports and is a loyal supporter of Georgia Tech basketball and the Nashville Predators hockey club.
Presenter :  A decade of hits: The Top 25 markets

ESTHER GAYFIELD
Vice President of Hotels Asset Management, Colony NorthStar, Inc.
Esther Gayfield is Vice President of Hotels Asset Management with Colony Northstar. Colony Northstar is a publicly traded Real Estate Investment Trust with 167 hotels. Esther is responsible for a portfolio of 57 hotel assets located across the USA in 40 different markets. Previous positions include Director of Asset Management with RLJ Lodging Trust and Chief Operating Officer at Georgia based Veritas Hospitality Group where she was responsible for managing all operational, marketing, and brand initiatives for the organization. Esther has extensive hotel industry experience having managed a range of hotels from select service to four-star resorts. She began her career working at the front desk of a hotel in Williamsburg, Virginia. When she is not working with hotels, Esther has enjoyed getting involved with humanitarian pursuits, including recently spending a year working with Syrian refugees in Beirut, Lebanon.
Panelist :  What happened to ADR growth?

LISA GIAIMO
Vice President, Sales & Marketing, OTO Development, LLC
Lisa Giaimo is Vice President Sales and Marketing at OTO Development. Lisa joined OTO in December 2012, bringing over 20 years of hospitality industry experience, with a career spanning a variety of positions of increasing responsibility, including general manager, regional manager, franchise service director, director of field sales and marketing, and senior director, franchise services and vice president, sales and marketing. Immediately prior to joining OTO Development, Lisa served as vice president of sales and marketing for a midsized hospitality company in Minnesota. Lisa is a graduate of Illinois Wesleyan University with a bachelor’s degree in Communications and Fontbonne University with a master’s degree in Management.
Panelist :  Digital marketing drill-down

JEFFREY GOOD
President, Good Hospitality Services, Inc.
Jeffrey J. Good graduated from Purdue University in 1986 with a B.S. in Restaurant Hotel Management. After graduating Purdue he worked for almost 2 years with Taco Bell restaurants in the Real Estate Division and was the Real Estate Coordinator for the Northeast Region of the United States which covered 18 states. In 1988 he took a job as General Manager of the second Carlton Lodge hotel located in Ft. Wayne, Indiana. He worked with Carlton Lodge for 6 years and worked his way up to Vice President of Operations and Development. In 1994, the small independent chain was sold to a large hotel group and phased in as branded hotels. This prompted the formation and start of Good Hospitality Services Inc. GHS was formed in 1994 to assist first time owners of limited service hotels in designing, building and managing hotels. Based in Valparaiso, Indiana, his company focused on opportunities in the Midwest and as of today has built over 80 limited service hotels of all different chain affiliations. In 1999, GHS was awarded the NewComer of the Year award for Holiday Inn Express for their project in New Haven, Indiana. In 2001, they were awarded the Developer of the Year award from Hampton Inn by Hilton and in 2005 they won the same award for the Homewood Suites by Hilton Today, GHS manages 26 limited service hotels in 5 states for brands such as Hampton Inns, Homewood Suites by Hilton, Home2 Suites by Hilton, Springhill Suites by Marriott, Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott, TownePlace Suites by Marriott The main focus for management clearly is maintaining the asset all the while trying to meet or exceed each individual brand ratings and exceeding industry net operating margins. Along with owning and operating Good Hospitality Services, Good is a key executive for HRC Hotels LLC and assists in the development and management of the Private REIT. Along with this, he also participates in other boards and councils. They are as follows: Graduated Purdue University 1986 – Restaurant Hotel Management Hampton Inn Owners Advisory Council – 2004-2016 Homewood Suites by Hilton Owners Advisory Council – Since 2006-2017 Home2 Suites by Hilton – Owners Advisory Council – Since 2016 Board Member of the Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority. (RDA)
Panelist :  The CapEx and renovation landscape—and what it means to data crunchers

EMILE GOURIEUX
Business Development Executive, Hotels, STR
Emile Gourieux is Hotel Sector Business Development Executive for STR (STR, Inc.). STR provides clients from multiple market sectors with premium, global data benchmarking, analytics and marketplace insights. Founded in 1985, STR maintains a presence in 15 countries around the world with a corporate North American headquarters in Hendersonville, Tennessee, and an international headquarters in London, England. Mr. Gourieux is responsible for growing STR’s network of hotel partners and strengthening their overall data set. Along with increasing the volume of hotel room-related data, Mr. Gourieux also champions efforts to expand benchmark reporting in categories such as Food & Beverage, Guest Segmentation, and Operating Statistics. Prior to joining STR, Mr. Gourieux managed luxury hotels on California’s Central Coast for nearly 15 years. Most recently he was Director of Business Development at JPMorgan Chase where he designed marketing campaigns for hotels and resorts around the world. Mr. Gourieux holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from California State University in Liberal Studies and Spanish. He resides in Nashville, TN with his wife and daughter.
Presenter :  Shifting group trends: Causes and consequences

SHAWN GRENLEY
Client Account Manager, STR
Mr. Shawn Grenley is a Client Account Manager for STR (STR, Inc.). Mr. Grenley is responsible for servicing and maintaining positive relationships between STR and a number of key corporate clients. He is often featured as a guest speaker for hotel industry presentations. Prior to joining STR, Shawn served as the Director of Services for Marriott International and held several hotel operation positions with Gaylord Hotels and Hilton Worldwide. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Hospitality Management from the University of Central Florida. He currently resides in Hendersonville, TN, with his wife Kristin, son Brayden, and two dogs.
Presenter :  Convention connection

GREGORY GRIFFIE
Senior Vice President Food & Beverage, Davidson Hotels & Resorts
Greg Griffie, Senior Vice President Food & Beverage, Davidson Hotels & Resorts; Prior to joining Davidson & Pivot Hotels and Resorts, Greg served as SVP of F&B for Crescent Hotels & Resorts. Greg also worked as the Vice President of Operations/Partner at Slapfish Restaurant Group, Huntington Beach, Ca, as well as the Director of Global Culinary Development at Marriott International. His 24+ years of food & beverage experience includes numerous Hotel and Independent Restaurant positons around the United States. Greg worked his way up through the kitchen brigade to Executive Chef and Director of Restaurant Operations. He has opened restaurants and hotels domestically and internationally including the Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel, Slapfish Restaurant Dubai, UAE. In addition to his experience in culinary operations, Greg’s background includes hotel conversions, restaurant concepting, branding & strategic positioning, and creation of hotel brand food & beverage platforms. When he isn’t in the kitchen he can be found gardening with his two daughters, running marathons and Ultra marathons, or volunteering at local farms.

MATTHEW GUGLIELMETTI
Senior Director, Topline Revenue and Competitive Analysis, Marriott International
Matthew Guglielmetti is the Senior Director, Topline Revenue and Competitive Analysis for Marriott International. In this role, Matt leads the team that provides ongoing quantitative and qualitative analysis and reporting of hotel revenue and competitive trends across Marriott’s global system-wide portfolio. Prior to this role, Matt held various global revenue management positions with Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide. While with Starwood, he led the team that monitored and drove global adoption of various Revenue Management Systems and Tools. Matt was also instrumental in the development and deployment of Starwood’s next generation Revenue Management System. In addition to his above property roles, Matt has held various field-based positions in the Revenue Management area and the Rooms Division. Matt is a graduate of Purdue University and resides in Boston, Massachusetts.
Presenter :  Calendar shifts and unplanned events: How to plan for and explain unexpected happenings in performan

SUSAN GUIMBELLOT
Vice President Revenue & Channel Strategy, HVMG
Susan brings over 20 years of Revenue Optimization and Distribution experience in both the Hospitality and Airline industries. As Vice President of Revenue & Channel Analytics, Susan is responsible for optimizing revenues and profits by driving innovation across customer segments and products, industry systems and data, RM processes, partner relationships and training. Prior to HVMG, Susan was VP – Revenue Management & Distribution for Denihan Hospitality, a nationally recognized, independent owner and operator of boutique hotels in top US urban markets. Susan also spent 8 years with Starwood in various roles including Vice President, Channel Intelligence, responsible for various revenue analyses, channel strategies, reporting and billing functions across all distribution channels. Susan began her career in the airline business, spending more than a decade with American and Delta Air Lines specializing in pricing, revenue management, route planning and aircraft scheduling. Susan’s new role is a critical part of the evolution of HVMG’s Revenue Excellence vision, helping to develop and lead revenue, distribution and channel strategies. Susan is passionate about travel and has visited more than 75 countries.
Panelist :  Two decades of love and hate: OTAs

SARAH GULLA
Vice President of Asset Management, LaSalle Hotel Properties
Sarah Gulla has been the Vice President of Asset Management at LaSalle Hotel Properties since 2013. She has asset managed various classes of full service hotels including independent, branded, resort, urban, upscale, luxury, boutique and large box. Additionally, Sarah has responsibility for the majority of the retail assets within LaSalle’s portfolio. Prior to joining LaSalle Hotel Properties, Sarah was a Vice President with Thayer Lodging Group in Asset Management as well as Acquisitions and Development. During her tenure in acquisitions, she was responsible for over $200mm in transactions. She has managed assets in markets across the country including New York City, Chicago, Portland, Seattle, San Francisco, San Diego, metro Boston, and metro Washington D.C. Prior to working in hotel real estate, Sarah worked in hotel operations and sales with the Walt Disney World Company as well as Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. Sarah is a graduate of the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia and the School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University. She serves on the membership committee of HAMA (Hotel Asset Managers Association). Additionally Sarah is on the AHLA F&B committee and a member of the Cornell Hotel Society.
Panelist :  The CapEx and renovation landscape—and what it means to data crunchers

LINDA GULRAJANI
Vice President, Revenue Strategy and Distribution, Marcus Hotels & Resorts
Linda Gulrajani is Vice President of Revenue Strategy and Distribution for Marcus Hotels & Resorts. She is responsible for leading the development and implementation of revenue management and distribution activities and strategies for all hotels in the company’s portfolio. In addition, she also oversees the Marcus Reservations and Customer Care Center which takes reservations call for both the Marcus portfolio as well as external hotel customers. Gulrajani joined Marcus Hotels & Resorts in 2009 as Regional Director of Revenue Strategy. Prior to joining Marcus Hotels & Resorts, she served in a variety of revenue management and sales roles at hospitality companies including TravelCLICK, Walt Disney World, Marriott, Starwood Hotels & Resorts and Loews Hotels. She was elected to serve as the Chair of the HSMAI Revenue Management Advisory Board for 2016, 2017 and 2018. She graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
Panelist :  Fee for all: How hotels are maximizing ancillary charges

BRENNA HALLIDAY
Vice President of Strategic Insight, Host Hotels & Resorts
Brenna Halliday is Vice President of Strategic Insight for Host Hotels & Resorts, the largest lodging real estate investment trust (NYSE: HST). Ms. Halliday translates data into actionable insights that guide Host’s long-term investment strategy. Her areas of expertise range from forecasting market performance to assessing ideal property types, the impact of the sharing economy and the strategic implications of the evolving global economic environment. During her 15-year career in the industry, Ms. Halliday has conducted due diligence in 12 countries and 40 cities across the Americas and Europe, averaging over $2 billion per year in transactions evaluated. In 2007, she launched Host’s platform for European feasibility in their newly-established London office. She has developed several proprietary analytical tools, including the company’s hotel valuation model and market outlook platform. Prior to joining Host, she worked in feasibility and investment analysis for Hilton. Ms. Halliday holds an Executive MBA from Georgetown, and a B.S. from Cornell’s School of Hotel Administration. In her spare time, she enjoys skiing in her native California and wine-tasting with her husband Erik.
Panelist :  An inside look at strategists’ insights
Panelist :  The CapEx and renovation landscape—and what it means to data crunchers

NADEEM HASSAM
Area Director of Information Technology, InterContinental Hotels & Resorts
Nadeem S. Hassam, Area Director of Information Technology based out of the luxurious 200 year old Willard InterContinental in Washington DC, heralds from London, England and comes with over 10 years of International Hospitality and Hotel IT experience, managing properties from 5 star Luxury environments right the way through to Boutique hotels. An Honors graduate of the prestigious Brunel University in London and experience in Hotel IT, ranging from single property management to multi-property management, have afforded him the opportunity to become familiar with various practical aspects of Guest and Back Office Technology, Hotel Infrastructure as well as customer service at the highest levels. He is a firm believer in the philosophy of – “Technology should not be applied for technology’s sake (TFTS), Technology should enhance operations, provide a service to our guests, cut costs, increase revenue and secure our data. But ultimately, without employees and customers being sold on its use, technology is then rendered inert with inefficient data leading to bad decisions.”
Panelist :  Technology: A hotel’s best—and most feared—ally

JESSICA HAYWOOD
Director of Research and Development, STR
Jessica Haywood is the Manager of the Research and Development department at STR, the recognized leader for hotel industry benchmarking and analytics. In this role, Jessica oversees the analyst team, which is tasked with uncovering new opportunities for the business, managing the market forecasts, reviewing methodology, and ad hoc projects. Jessica earned her Master of Science degree in Travel Industry Management from the University of Hawaii.
Presenter :  Understanding the full accommodations landscape

MICHAEL HEATON
President, Waterford Hotel Group
Since joining Waterford Hotel Group in 1997, Michael Heaton has held numerous management positions at Waterford-managed properties before assuming the role of Vice President, Operations in 2009. In January 2018, Michael was promoted to the position of President for Waterford Hotel Group and is responsible for all aspects of on-going operations for the company. Michael holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from the State University of New York.
Panelist :  What happened to ADR growth?

STEPHEN HENNIS
"MAI, ISHC, CHA", Hotelogy
Stephen Hennis has over 20 years of experience in the analysis of lodging real estate investments. Over his career, he has appraised and evaluated over 500 lodging facilities, and has been involved in the underwriting, negotiation, acquisition, and disposition of over $600 million in luxury hotels and resorts. Prior to establishing Hotelogy, Steve oversaw the successful launch and expansion of STR’s consulting arm. Previously, he was Managing Director of Hospitium, a lodging advisory firm specializing in acquisitions and developments of luxury properties. Steve also served as Vice President of Hospitality Investments for Lowe Enterprises and Destination Hotels & Resorts where he worked on acquisitions, dispositions, and development projects. Steve managed transactions through the underwriting, negotiation, due diligence, and transition process. Steve began his career at HVS where he was Vice President and Director of Research. Steve is a graduate of the University of Denver’s Fritz Knoebel School of Hospitality Management, and also sits on the Executive Advisory Board for the school. He is a member of the International Society of Hospitality Consultants (ISHC), an MAI designated member of the Appraisal Institute and a Certified Hotel Administrator via the American Hotel & Lodging Association.
Presenter :  Digging into demand

KIM HESLIN
Client Account Manager, STR
Kim Heslin is a Client Account Manager for STR, (STR, Inc.). She joined STR in 2006 and is responsible for servicing and maintaining positive relationships between STR and a number of key corporate clients. She has also been a featured as a guest speaker for presentations. She is a graduate of the State University of New York Utica/Rome with a bachelor’s degree in Business Management.
Presenter :  Hotel Data 101: An Overview of the Basics

DANIELLE HESS
Reporter, Hotel News Now
Danielle Hess is responsible for reporting on a variety of topics relating to the hotel industry. Prior to joining HNN, Danielle worked as a lifestyles reporter for a local paper in Mansfield, Ohio. Danielle is a graduate of the Kent State University School of Journalism and Mass Communication.
Moderator :  The perfect recipe for F&B success

JEFF HIGLEY
Vice President, Digital Media & Communications/Editorial Director, Hotel News Now
Jeff Higley is the former editorial director for Hotel & Motel Management magazine and has specialized in hotel industry journalism for a dozen years. He oversees all aspects of the Hotel News Now digital platform, including the Hotel News Now website and daily newsletters. Jeff also leads STR’s corporate public relations efforts and is a speaker at a number of industry events.
Moderator :  Beers with the bosses: Celebration, consultation and conversation

AMANDA HITE
President and CEO, STR
As President and CEO, she sets company policy and direction while overseeing daily operations. She also serves as Chairman of the Board for STR Global, Limited. Mrs. Hite is a member of the Board of Directors of the US Travel Association, the Executive Council of the Women in Lodging, and the Board of Directors of Forward Sumner Economic Partnership. She also serves as a member of the Industry Advisory Board of the Hotel and Restaurant Management Program at Auburn University and School of Hospitality Management at Penn State University. Prior to joining STR, Mrs. Hite was the Director of Research for the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce. She is a graduate of Birmingham-Southern College with a B.S. in Business Administration. She resides in Hendersonville, TN with her husband and two children.
Panelist :  Looking ahead: The industry forecast

KATHLEEN HODGE
Manager, Guest Experience Analytics & Strategy, Hilton Worldwide
Kathleen Hodge is a manager on the Guest Experience team at Hilton, where she is responsible for strategically advising Hilton’s brands and major business functions on how to provide a better customer experience through analyzing aggregated customer feedback and providing cross functional insights. Previously, Kathleen has worked in Hilton’s Corporate Strategy and Business Analytics functions. Prior to Hilton, Kathleen worked at Cvent, leveraging analytics to help inform ownership groups of trends in group sales and distribution, and also co-founded a lifestyle wellness nutrition bar company called Mission Bars. Kathleen graduated from the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration.
Panelist :  Life stage, not age: Demystifying guest psychographics

KATHY HOOD
Senior Vice President-Sales and Revenue Management, Davidson Hotels & Resorts
Kathy Hood is Senior Vice President – Sales and Revenue Management of one of the most respected hotel management companies in the industry. Her strategic vision for Davidson Hotels & Resorts is creating a strong portfolio by fostering leadership teams that are the strongest and most dynamic in the industry. By motivating her teams to consistently raise the bar, plan for changes, and reliably forecast business expectations through unpredictable markets, success has been achieved time and again with the generation of strong revenues, market share growth, and the addition of new properties to the portfolio. Prior to her current role, she held positions of General Manager and Director of Sales and Marketing at several Davidson Hotels. In addition, she also held task roles in areas of sales, revenue management, and operations. Ms. Hood is a graduate of the University of Georgia.
Panelist :  The art of a hotel’s most important science

ALISON HOYT
Senior Director, Consulting & Analytics, STR
Alison designs custom data dashboards for clients, using Excel modeling techniques and VBA macros. She assists with new subscription-based report and product development. Alison serves as a liaison between STR Analytics and the STR Global office in London, overseeing the collection and input of annual profitability data for approximately 2,000 hotels. Alison earned her bachelor’s degree from Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration and graduated with distinction.
Moderator :  Looking ahead: The industry forecast
Presenter :  Data visualization: Telling your engaging story

CANDACE JOHNSON
Vice President, Performance Optimization, Two Roads Hospitality
Candace Johnson is a Vice President of Performance Optimization for Two Roads Hospitality, a third-party management company with over 90 hotel assets and annualized portfolio revenue of roughly $2 billion. Ms. Johnson leads business intelligence, benchmarking, and portfolio analytics for Two Roads. In addition, Ms. Johnson is responsible for analyzing the financial feasibility of strategic capital projects, participating in underwriting for new assets, and providing guidance throughout the organization on industry and portfolio outlook. Prior to joining Two Roads Hospitality, Ms. Johnson was a consultant to the hospitality and real estate sectors with HVS International, Ernst & Young LLP, Landauer Real Estate Counselors, and Hirsch Bedner Associates. Ms. Johnson received a Master of Management in Hospitality from Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration and is an active member of the Cornell Hotel Society’s Rocky Mountain Chapter.
Presenter :  Understanding the full accommodations landscape

CARTARWA JONES
Vice President, Investment & Portfolio Analysis, RLJ Lodging Trust
Ms. Jones is a Vice President in the Investment & Portfolio Analysis and Asset Management groups with RLJ Lodging Trust. RLJ Lodging Trust is one of the largest publicly traded hotel REITs in the country with 155 properties located in 26 states and the District of Columbia. The Investment and Portfolio Analysis group oversees both acquisitions and dispositions for the company, which focuses on premium-branded, focused-service, and compact full-service hotels in major urban and dense suburban markets. Ms. Jones has over 18 years of experience in the hospitality industry. Prior to joining RLJ, Ms. Jones held various positions at the InterContinental Hotels Group as well as PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, providing market & feasibility, strategic planning, financial, and project planning analysis on hundreds of projects. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Florida State University, as well as a Master’s degree in Business Economics from the University of South Florida.
Panelist :  The CapEx and renovation landscape—and what it means to data crunchers

ASH KAPUR
Senior Vice President Hotel Asset Management & Chief Revenue Officer, Starwood Capital Group
Ash Kapur is the Senior Vice President Hotel Asset Management & Chief Revenue Officer at Starwood Capital Group. In this role, Mr. Kapur manages a portfolio of Starwood Capital Group owned hotels with the objective of maximizing asset value including execution of capital projects, renovations and hotel repositioning. Mr. Kapur is also responsible for increasing revenues for Starwood Capital’s hotel assets in the United States and Europe, with a focus on hotel revenue management, sales, marketing, technology and e-commerce. He was also the Chief Operating Officer for SH Group, an affiliate of Starwood Capital Group. Prior to joining Starwood Capital Group in 2011, Mr. Kapur served as Senior Director of Global Strategic Accounts & Gaming at Expedia. Mr. Kapur holds a Master’s Degree in Marketing from Bristol Business School in UK.
Panelist :  What happened to ADR growth?

LAUREL KELLER
Senior Vice President, Newmark Knight Frank
Laurel A. Keller, MAI, joined Newmark Knight Frank Valuation & Advisory in 2018 and serves as a senior vice president in the Cleveland, Ohio, office, where she is a member of the V&A team’s Hospitality, Gaming & Leisure specialty practice. Ms. Keller has substantial expertise in the valuation and advisory of hotels and resorts, amusement and theme parks, waterparks, family entertainment centers, golf courses, casinos, campgrounds and other leisure-related assets. She has completed appraisal and consulting studies for existing and proposed properties in 34 states and the Middle East. Ms. Keller has appraised individual assets ranging in value from less than $1 million to well over $150 million. She has worked with various major hospitality brands and management companies as part of numerous assignments and has extensive knowledge of brand criteria, best practices and current market trends. She has also provided litigation support related to tax appeals. Ms. Keller joined NKF after more than 12 years at Hotel & Leisure Advisors, a Cleveland-based hospitality and leisure appraisal and consulting firm, where she was vice president. At H&LA, Ms. Keller was responsible for completing appraisals, feasibility studies, economic impact studies, brand-on-brand impact studies and operational reviews for various hospitality-related assets throughout the United States. Unique property types included high ropes courses and zip lines, indoor waterpark resorts, simulated golf entertainment centers, brew pubs and artificial ski slopes. Prior to Hotel & Leisure Advisors, Ms. Keller served in a similar capacity with Columbus, Ohio-based US Realty Consultants, where she was a senior associate. During her four-year tenure at USRC, Ms. Keller completed a variety of hospitality and leisure-related valuation and consulting assignments throughout the United States. Ms. Keller began her hospitality career as dining operations manager at the 100-year-old Onwentsia Club in Chicago and as revenue manager and front office manager for Sheraton hotels in Cleveland
Moderator :  Fee for all: How hotels are maximizing ancillary charges

KATHRYN KILBURG
Senior Manager, Competitive Analysis, Marriott International
Kathryn Kilburg is the Senior Manager of Competitive Analysis for Marriott International. In her current role, Kathryn leads the reporting and analysis of hotel revenue benchmarking as well as industry performance. She works closely with all brands and continent teams to analyze impacts of economic and industry trends on hotel performance both for the budgeting process and year-round. Kathryn joined Marriott International in 2011 as a Revenue Manager and has held various roles in Revenue Management as well as Finance. Prior to Marriott, she worked in Sales, Reservations, and Revenue Management for independent hotels. Kathryn earned her bachelors from Pepperdine University and masters from The George Washington University.
Panelist :  Analyzing the analytics profession

ANDREW KITCHELL
CEO, Lyric
Andrew is the CEO of Lyric. Lyric is a professional short-term rental operator, that designs premium spaces for guests who stay with them for 2 to 200+ nights. Lyric operates in multiple buildings in 12+ US markets, and is a proud partner of 15 of the 50 largest real estate teams in the US. Before Lyric, Andrew worked in the real estate & hospitality tech space for 10 years, first with Movity (YC 2009, acq. by Trulia). In particular, he has deep experience in the short-term rental space, having led both a property management & data science company in the category prior to starting Lyric in 2014. Prior to Lyric, he was CEO of Beyond Pricing, and developed the first data-driven dynamic pricing platform for the category in 2013.
Panelist :  Alternative accommodations: Are they really alternative?

CHRIS KLAUDA
Senior Director, Market Insights, STR
Chris joined STR as the company’s first director of destination research. She leads the research and analytic efforts for STR’s destination clients in addition to supporting the sales efforts of the company’s business development team. Chris was previously a VP with D.K. Shifflet & Associates where she provided research and managed projects for all DKSA hotel clients including Best Western, Choice Hotels and Marriott. She played a major role in creating DKSA's syndicated travel tracking product which provides research to all segments of the travel industry with an emphasis on hotels and destinations. Chris is often called upon to present at travel industry conferences and as a guest lecturer at various universities. Chris graduated from the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Business.
Moderator :  Divergent perspectives on group meeting pricing

KLAUS KOHLMAYR
Chief Evangelist, IDeaS- a SAS Company
As IDeaS Chief Evangelist, Klaus Kohlmayr challenges strategic processes, stimulates thought-provoking conversations and reinvigorates the future of revenue management and pricing within the hospitality and travel industries. A natural contrarian, Klaus has challenged the status quo for over 20 years. He re-joined IDeaS from TSA, where he led the company’s global commercial, operations and strategic partnership initiatives. During his previous stint with IDeaS, he started the company’s global consulting division -- leading a team that partnered with top hotel companies. Together they pioneered the industry’s first group price optimization and function space revenue management proof-of-concepts in a real-world environment. Klaus developed his passion for the hotel industry at the Hotel Management and Catering School in Villach, Austria, where he received a Bachelor of Science in Hotel Management. An advocate of lifelong learning, he has since studied business at Henley Management College, real estate investment and asset management at Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration; and finance and strategy at the Singapore Management University. Klaus has been an active participant in various advisory boards, including HSMAI in Asia Pacific and the Americas, and the Cornell-Nanyang Institute of Hospitality Management, Singapore. He not only loves to challenge the status quo, but wholly welcomes being challenged in new ways of thinking.
Panelist :  Two decades of love and hate: OTAs

DOMINIK KOZISSNIK
Director, Global Census, STR
Dominik Kozissnik is Director, Global Census for STR. He joined STR in 2010 and is currently responsible for strategically growing and updating STR’s census database. He has previously served as Research Analyst in the Hendersonville office and as Account Manager in the STR’s London office. Prior to joining STR, Dominik worked as Consultant for Hospitality Advisors in Honolulu, Hawaii. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Travel Industry Management from Hawaii Pacific University and a Hotel Management Diploma from Tourismusschulen MODUL in Vienna, Austria.
Presenter :  Hotel supply pipeline: Visualizing the growth

BALAJI KRISHNAMURTHY
Vice President, Global Strategy, Corporate Development and SynXis Analytics Cloud, Sabre Hospitality Solutions
Balaji Krishnamurthy is vice president of global strategy, corporate development and SynXis Analytics Cloud at Sabre Hospitality Solutions. When he joined Sabre, Balaji was responsible for Sabre-wide new market development efforts in Africa and China across its three business units. Prior to joining Sabre, Balaji led the global corporate strategy function at Orbitz Worldwide, a global online travel leader with a diverse travel portfolio of B2C brands and B2B businesses. Before Orbitz, he led North America sales strategy and operations for the Sales Solutions business at LinkedIn Corp in Silicon Valley. He also spent several years as a management consultant with McKinsey & Company and nearly a decade with General Electric in various leadership positions. Balaji is a noted industry speaker on analytics at events like HITEC, Cornell, and AAHOA. He graduated with an MBA degree from University of Chicago, Booth School of Business, majoring in finance and strategy, and obtained his bachelor's degree in electronics and communications engineering from Bangalore University.
Panelist :  Analyzing the analytics profession

LARA LATTURE
President, Northwest x Southern Hospitality LLC
Lara R. Latture, is President of Northwest x Southern Hospitality LLC. Based in Tennessee, it’s a company she started with two Pacific Northwest developers; hence the name, Northwest X Southern Hospitality. The Northwest x Southern portfolio consists of 22 hotels within Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Alaska, and Mrs. Latture oversees the continued growth of the hotels and the company’s expanding footprint. The growth in the last few years has centered around brand partners Hilton, Marriott International, and Hyatt Hotels Corporation. With over 20 years in the hospitality industry, most recently with The Hotel Group, Mrs. Latture has maintained her focus of being fair, consistent and no-nonsense. These priorities have served her well over the years, as she spends most of her time on-property with her team members, or involved in brand meetings and conferences, promoting those initiatives that are beneficial for both guests and employees. As an active member of the Hilton Worldwide Hilton Garden Inn Owners Advisory Council, and previously having served 2 terms on the IHG Crowne Plaza Owners Association, as well as the Hilton Worldwide DoubleTree Owners Advisory Council for 4 terms, Mrs. Latture is actively engaged with every facet of the hotel business. As President, Mrs. Latture has cultivated an environment of ‘walking the talk’ and her team lives this every day, most of whom have worked with her for a minimum of 10 years. Mrs. Latture has guest lectured at the Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel & Restaurant Management, and in 2012 she was named one of Nashville, Tennessee's "Most Influential Women" by the Nashville Business Journal. She has been profiled in Hotel & Motel Management “People You Need to Know in The Industry”, Lodging magazine’s “60-Second Profile,” and in recent months, honored with the September 2017 cover of Lodging “Winning Women: 20+ Female Leaders Making Their Mark in Hospitality.” She is a Certified Hotel Administrator (CHA) from the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute, and attended The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, where she studied Business Administration.
Panelist :  Looking ahead: The industry forecast

RICO LOUW
Client Account Manager, STR
Rico Louw is a Client Account Manager for STR (STR, Inc.). He joined STR in 2015 and is responsible for servicing and maintaining positive relationships between STR and a number of key corporate clients. He has also been featured as a guest speaker for presentations. He earned his Associate’s Degree in Hotel & Restaurant Management from the University of Hospitality, Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain, and currently resides in Hendersonville, TN.
Presenter :  Rethinking the Caribbean
Presenter :  A hard look at soft brands

FLO LUGLI
Principal, Navesink Advisory Group, LLC
Flo Lugli is principal of Navesink Advisory Group, LLC, and is a well-known expert on travel industry distribution, travel technology, and digital presence. She was recently recognized as one of the most influential women in hospitality technology by Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP). Lugli is a member of the International Society of Hospitality Consultants (ISHC), the leading source for global hospitality expertise, represented by over two hundred of the industry’s most respected professionals from across six continents. In addition, Lugli is Non-Executive Chairman of Global Hotel Alliance, the world’s largest alliance of independent hotel brands, encompassing over 550 upscale and luxury hotels with 110,000 rooms across 76 different countries. She also serves as an advisor to several travel industry start-ups, including Travo.com, Simplenight, and Skipper (formerly Jetaport), and is on the board of iVvy.com. Most recently, Lugli served as the executive vice president of marketing for Wyndham Hotel Group, where she led a $100M digital transformation for the company. She joined the Wyndham Hotel Group after serving in senior executive positions with privately held Travelport Limited (and its predecessor Galileo International), one of the world’s largest global distribution system providers. Lugli has also held executive level positions with Wizcom International and its parent company Cendant Corporation. As part of her consulting practice, Lugli has served as interim President for cheapcaribbean.com, a leading online travel site dedicated to providing the best vacation deals to the Caribbean and Mexico. Lugli also served as a board member for buuteeq, Inc., until its acquisition by The Priceline Group. She has served two terms as president of HEDNA, on the advisory board of TheBeatLive and as a member of the advisory board of the BTN Group. Lugli has also served as a member of HSMAI’s America’s board of directors and, while at Wyndham Hotel Group, served as a board member and Chairwoman for Room Key. Additionally, she is a board member for Joe’s House, a nonprofit organization providing a nationwide online service that helps cancer patients and their families find lodging near treatment centers.
Moderator :  Distribution: A hotelier’s guide to channel surfing

NICOLE LUNDIN
Head of Loyalty and Social Engagement, Viceroy Hotel Group
Nicole Lundin is Head of Loyalty and Social Engagement at Viceroy Hotel Group, where she focuses on the DISCOVERY Loyalty Program and social media strategy. She has spent her career working in marketing and guest engagement. Nicole earned her BA in International Relations at Malmo University in Sweden.
Panelist :  Loyalty ROI—fact or fiction?

SAM MAKANI
Vice President, Portfolio Strategy & Reporting, Solid Rock Group
Sam Makani is Vice President of Portfolio Strategy & Reporting at Solid Rock Group, where he oversees a team of analysts whose responsibilities include asset and portfolio performance reporting and compliance, strategic and business intelligence initiatives, acquisition and development underwriting, and industry research. Previously, Sam held roles as Senior Financial Analyst of Capital Management at Ashford and Strategy & Development Analyst at G6 Hospitality, a Blackstone Group company, where he developed the company’s target market strategy, a proprietary, predictive, geocoded analysis with over 4.5 million data points. Since 2014, Sam has served on the Board of Advisors for the North Texas Business Alliance, where he works alongside the Board of Directors on various strategic initiatives with major vendors, including Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Frito-Lay, Keurig Dr. Pepper, and other industry leaders. Sam received his B.A., with high honors, from Baylor University. He later earned an M.S. in Hospitality Management from the Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management at Florida International University. He holds a Certificate in Hotel Real Estate Investments and Asset Management from Cornell University and is a Certified Hotel Industry Analyst (CHIA).
Panelist :  An inside look at strategists’ insights

JOSH MAYO
Vice President, Restaurants & Bars, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants
When two of your first words are ‘bagel’ and ‘butter,’ it’s almost a given you’ll find your way to a job in restaurants, and that is exactly how it happened for Josh Mayo, Vice-President, Restaurants & Bars, at Kimpton. By age 5 he was making breakfast for his family every weekend and ultimately knew that’s what he wanted to do when he grew up. After graduating with a degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management from Michigan State University, Josh started his career with the Lettuce Entertain You in Chicago. A move to Denver in 2000 led to managing several restaurants and an eventual GM position at Panzano at the Hotel Monaco Denver; one of Kimpton’s and Denver’s most treasured eateries. He rose quickly through the ranks to become the Regional Director of Restaurant Operations for the Mountain region, overseeing Colorado, Utah, Texas, Arizona and Northern California. In addition to leading these food and beverage outlets, Josh’s responsibilities included concept and menu development, recruitment and training. He was instrumental in opening the highly anticipated Citizen Rail at the Hotel Born in Denver’s Union Station in the summer of 2017. Beyond the day-to-day operations, Josh has a passion for mentorship and has been one of Kimpton’s premiere trainers in their cultural cornerstone and development program. When Josh isn’t in a Kimpton restaurant or bar, or dining and drinking at the competition, he likes to spend time with his wife and two children, skiing, hiking, biking; taking advantage of all the great outdoor activities Colorado has to offer. You might also catch him listening to live music at Red Rocks where he sees as many shows as possible. Or a Rockies game. Baseball and beer are part of his DNA.
Panelist :  The perfect recipe for F&B success

PATRICK MAYOCK
Senior Director, Research & Development, STR
As Senior Director of Research & Development, Patrick Mayock is tasked with exploring new opportunities, methodologies and solutions. Additionally, he support the company’s strategic planning and implementation efforts. Prior to joining the R&D team in January 2016, Patrick was instrumental in building STR’s media arm, Hotel News Now, to the award-winning leader in news for the global hotel industry. Patrick earned his bachelor’s degree from Ohio University and his master’s degree from Kent State University. He is pursuing an MBA from the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University. He lives in Rocky River, Ohio, with his wife, Emily, and sons, William and Henry.
Moderator :  What happened to ADR growth?
Presenter :  The total travel spend: How travelers spend in and out of your hotel

SEAN MCCRACKEN
News Editor, Hotel News Now
Before he started writing about the hotel industry, Sean McCracken was a reporter for daily newspapers in New York and Pennsylvania, mostly writing about crime and education. A native of northwestern Pennsylvania, Sean graduated from Edinboro University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism.
Moderator :  Technology: A hotel’s best—and most feared—ally

ROBERT MCCUNE
Managing Editor, Hotel News Now
Before coming to Hotel News Now as Managing Editor, Robert McCune worked for 20 years at daily newspapers. He’s also edited New York Times-bestselling e-books, dabbles as a movie critic, and actively molds two children with his wife, Christina.
Moderator :  Loyalty ROI—fact or fiction?

KAREN MCWILLIAMS
Vice President of Revenue Strategy, Concord Hospitality Enterprises
Ms. McWilliams joined Concord in May of 2009, launching a revenue management department that now leads every Concord asset spanning 100 hotels, 17 flags and over a half billion in total revenue. She has over 30 years’ experience in the hospitality industry, specializing in strategy creation and execution, as well as developing team members on the key components of Revenue Management processes and fundamentals. In 2012, the Concord Revenue Management Team won Revenue Management Team of the year both regionally and for the America’s for the Marriott brand. Prior to joining Concord, Ms. McWilliams was the Vice President of Revenue Management for Alliance Hospitality, with responsibility for 45 multi-branded hotels in 14 states with total revenues topping $175 million. Ms. McWilliams has pioneered strategic performance models that focus on driving market share in all business climates, while infusing tested revenue principles which emphasize critical thinking and analysis. Prior to her position at Alliance Hospitality, Ms. McWilliams was employed with Meyer Jabara Hotels where she oversaw the revenue management discipline that also included a customized reservations call center. Each hotel excelled in a customized destination themed experience which enhanced the strategic revenue management. Ms. McWilliams is an active member of the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI) and holds a seat on the Revenue Management Advisory Board. She enjoys guest lecture opportunities for students in hospitality programs of all levels.
Panelist :  10 years after the meltdown: What are the lasting lessons?

PAUL MENGACCI
Vice President, Finance & Analytics, Prism Hotels & Resorts
Paul is the Vice President of Finance and Analytics for Prism Hotels & Resorts. He brings more than 15 years of hospitality industry experience to the Prism team, including valuable perspective gained working in both operations and accounting roles. In his current position, Paul oversees the hotel accounting department, while leading the operations team and assisting the new business development team in the business analytics functions. Before joining Prism at the beginning of 2012, Paul worked as an assistant controller for Waterford Hotel Group in Connecticut. He earned his bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Colorado in Boulder, Colorado, and his MBA from Post University in Waterbury, Connecticut. Additionally, Paul has obtained the Certification in Hotel Industry Analytics (CHIA) designation. He currently resides in Plano, TX with his wife and two daughters. Paul enjoys playing golf, following sports, and spending time with his family.
Panelist :  Fee for all: How hotels are maximizing ancillary charges

MELISSA MILIONE
Corporate Director of Events, Hyatt Hotels & Resorts
Melissa Milione, CMP, CPCE, is Corporate Director of Events for Hyatt Hotels & Resorts. She supports all of the professionals who sell and coordinate catering and conference services for all of Hyatt’s full service hotels in the Americas. In addition, she is responsible for developing and executing all training, delivering innovative technology to support events and developing talent for the hotels. She leads Hyatt’s National Event Planning team. A graduate of Virginia Tech’s Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management program, Melissa has 30 years’ experience in the hospitality industry in all areas of F&B management, hotel sales and convention services. As a Director of Catering her teams have twice been named Catering/CS team of the Year for Hyatt Hotels and she was named Director of Catering/CS of the Year for large hotels in 2008. Melissa is an active member of NACE and MPI. She is a trainer for NACE’s On-line CPCE Study Course and MPI North Florida’s CMP Study Group. She is a Past President of MPI North Florida and remains active in the chapter on committees. Melissa has been recognized by MPI North Florida as Supplier of the Year (2012) and received the distinguished Presidents Award (2011). Active in her community, Melissa volunteers in local schools and is Chairperson of the Professional Advisory Board for Virginia Tech’s College of Hospitality & Tourism Management.
Presenter :  Food for thought … Why hotel F&B?

LARRY MOGELONSKY
Managing Partner, Hotel Mogel Consulting Limited
Among the world's most published hospitality writers, Larry Mogelonsky is recognized for his commitment to guest service as the fundamental principal to a hotel's long term success. As a public speaker, he brings his wealth of knowledge accumulated over his thirty-five year business career, distilling this to a series of 'what counts' factors. His writing spans 11 trade journals and four books (over 10,000 in print). While not writing or speaking, his bespoke consulting firm works with owners and operators, assisting them with projects of a complex or confidential nature.
Moderator :  Two decades of love and hate: OTAs

CAROLEE MOORE
Vice President of Revenue Management & e-Commerce, Crestline Hotels & Resorts
Mrs. Moore joined Crestline Hotels & Resorts in March 2000 where she is currently Vice President of Revenue Management & e-Commerce. In her role, she leads a team that manages revenue and eCommerce for 119 hotels with over 17,000 rooms in 27 states and the District of Columbia. She was previously the Vice President of Sales & Marketing based in Crestline's Virginia Beach office where she oversaw the sales efforts for Crestline's portfolio of managed hotels. Carolee has over 25 years of hotel and travel industry experience. Before joining the corporate Crestline team, Carolee led the group sales team at the Emory Conference Center Hotel, an independent conference center hotel in Atlanta. She currently participates in industry Advisory Boards and focus groups for brands and industry organizations. Prior to Crestline, she held sales and operations positions with Promus Hotels (now Hilton) on the West Coast and in the Carolinas. She opened extended stay hotels as a Director of Sales and led select service hotels as a General Manager. Carolee began her hospitality career at Walt Disney World where she completed an internship and earned a "Ducktorate" in Disney Resort Management. She earned a B.S. in Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Administration from the University of South Carolina and completed her Executive MBA at the J. Mack Robinson College of Business at Georgia State University. She was the recipient of the 2015 Distinguished Alumni Award for the University of South Carolina Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management program.
Panelist :  Digital marketing drill-down

RAUL MORONTA
Senior Vice President of Revenue Strategy, Crescent Hotels & Resorts
Raul is a proven hospitality leader with passion for revenue management and hotel operations. Raul’s professional experience reflects a number of positions in hotel operations and revenue management. His career in revenue management shows a wide variety of property types, multi-property, multi-brand and multi-market experience, including the development of the first Centralized Revenue Management Program for Starwood Hotels & Resorts. Prior to joining Crescent, Raul held a Senior leadership role as the Director of Franchise Revenue Management for Starwood Hotels & Resorts where he was responsible for managing the support of over 260 Full Service Franchise hotels and the Revenue Management Team including both the Centralized Revenue Management Team as well as Franchise Regional Support Revenue Managers. Raul holds a Bachelors from the Pontificia Universidad Catolica Madre & Maestra in the Dominican Republic, an Masters of Business Administration from the University of New Haven and a Certificate of Hotel Investment & Asset Management from Cornell University.
Panelist :  The art of a hotel’s most important science

ELIZABETH MULLINS
Vice President, Hotels and Resorts, The Walt Disney Company
Elizabeth Mullins is the Vice President, Hotels and Resorts ‐ for The Walt Disney Company. She joined the company in July 2016 and in this role she provides strategic leadership for hotel development and the evolution of products and services to elevate Disney Hotel experiencesthroughout the world. Prior to joining Disney, Elizabeth spent 28 years with The Ritz‐Carlton in worldwide leadership positions in Asia, California, Hawaii, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., and New York City. She was a General Manager at 6 different locations for 15 years and an Area Vice president for 10 years. Under Elizabeth’s leadership, her hotels earned the highest accolades including Forbes Travel Guide Five‐Star Award, American Automobile Association (AAA) Five Diamond award, and top honors in leading travel publications, Travel + Leisure and Condé Nast Traveler. Elizabeth has been honored with several awards including Hotelier of the Year in 2008 and 2002. She has held9 leadership positions on the boards of various nonprofits and industry associations. Elizabeth is a sought after speaker to audiences on the art of service. She resides in Windermere, Florida with her husband and daughter.
Presenter :  An inside look: Disney’s approach to hotel magic

RAQUEL ORTIZ
Assistant Director of Financial Performance, STR
Raquel works for the consulting and analytics division of STR in Broomfield, CO. She manages custom client consulting and analysis, focusing on comp set selection, HOST P&L reports, and other custom-built client reports. Raquel has several years of experience working in hospitality & tourism, both domestically and internationally.
Presenter :  HOST P&L: Highlights from the 2018 HOST Almanac

ROB PALLESCHI
Chief Executive Officer, G6 Hospitality
Rob Palleschi is the Chief Executive Officer of G6 Hospitality, the parent company of the iconic brands Motel 6 and Studio 6.  Rob joined G6 Hospitality in February 2017 as the new Chief Development Officer. In this role, Rob was responsible for leading the strategic growth of the enterprise’s franchise development group, driving forward business partnerships, and identifying ways to best leverage the company’s successful domestic platform with international growth. He successfully led G6 through year-over-year growth within franchising and also expansion into India. A seasoned leader with more than 30 years of experience in the hospitality and food & beverage industries, Rob has a proven track record of successfully developing and executing global strategies that focused on revenue growth, product quality and guest experience.  Prior to G6 Hospitality, Rob served as the Chief Executive Officer of TGI Fridays and spent 12 years at Hilton Worldwide as global head of full-service brands where he was responsible for global growth and brand performance for Hilton, DoubleTree, and Curio by Hilton brands. A graduate of Johnson & Wales University, Rob is actively involved in key industry organizations, including AAHOA and AHLA.
Panelist :  Beers with the bosses: Celebration, consultation and conversation

MJ PASCHALL
Senior Vice President, AKA Hotel Residences
MJ Paschall, serves as Senior Vice President of AKA Hotel Residences. This emerging, owner operated brand of luxury long stay hotel residences is the vanity brand of their parent company’s three brands. Her role is fitting, as Paschall has been an integral part of the innovative brand’s development since its inception in 2006, and the parent company, Korman Communities Inc, for 31 years. Targeting business and leisure guests looking to stay for one week or longer, AKA has grown to 11 locations in 11 years; through a curated gradual process. Locations include: New York City, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles and London. Architecturally inspired studios, one-bedroom, two-bedroom and penthouse residences, with full living rooms and high-end, condo quality finishes and hotel services, make AKA perfect for business & leisure travelers, entertainment executives, those seeking a respite during medical treatment, and anyone seeking a residential respite . www.stayaka.com
Panelist :  Alternative accommodations: Are they really alternative?

RICHARD PASTORINO
CEO/Principal, REVPAR International, Inc.
Rick has 30+ years of hospitality industry experience related to new development and acquisition, CapEx analyses and ROI, economic valuation, workouts, branding, asset management, deal structuring, financial and operational analyses, and market and financial due diligence. He has worked on behalf of many different equity and ownership groups as both advisor and owner’s representative on new and existing hotel and hospitality-related projects. Rick began his hospitality career as a teenager, working in all aspects of hotel operations with several national hotel chains. Rick holds an MBA in Finance from Virginia Tech University and a BSBA from the University of Denver. He is also a member of ISHC, HAMA, and ULI and has authored or co-authored industry-related research on a variety of topics, including the chapter, Planning and Managing Capital Expenditures in “Hotel Asset Management, Principles & Practices” published by the AHLEI in conjunction with HAMA, as well as several of the “ISHC CapEx Studies.” He is also a frequent speaker and guest lecturer on a variety of topics at industry conferences and universities.
Moderator :  The art of a hotel’s most important science

MITCH PATEL
President and CEO, Vision Hospitality Group Inc.
Mitch Patel founded Vision Hospitality Group, Inc. in 1997 with the goal of creating a company dedicated to excellence with a focus on community and family. Today, Vision holds a growing portfolio of 33 hotels and a pipeline of 16 properties affiliated with premier brands such as Hilton Worldwide and Marriott International, including the company’s first boutique hotel, The Edwin. Mitch has led Vision to be the recipient of many awards, as well as industry media recognition in the fields of development, community service, design and achievement. Most recently, Vision received the Marriott International Developer of the Year Award, the Marriott International Spirit to Serve Award, the Developer of the Year Award for the Hampton Brand by Hilton Worldwide, and the Multi-Brand Developer of the Year Award by Hilton Worldwide. Mitch serves on the Marriott International Franchise Advisory Council and the Hilton Worldwide Owner’s Advisory Council. Mitch maintains his presence on boards of local organizations that support education, the arts and economic development in Vision’s hometown of Chattanooga, TN, and is an advocate for ending human trafficking in the hospitality industry. Mitch holds a Bachelor’s degree and a Master’s degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Tennessee.
Panelist :  Beers with the bosses: Celebration, consultation and conversation

VINAY PATEL
Secretary, AAHOA
Vinay Patel was born of Indian decent in Malawi, Africa. At the age of 8, he and his family migrated to the United States, where he assisted at the family motel doing everything from housekeeping to working the front desk. Upon graduating from Virginia Commonwealth University with a B.S. in Marketing and B.A. in Business, Vinay continued the family business at a small 15-room motel in Richmond, Virginia. Vinay and his father bought a piece of property in Stafford, Virginia, where no one would give them a franchise because of their lack of experience in a larger and franchised hotel. After being turned down by countless franchise companies, Carlson gave them a chance to build the first Country Inn and Suites in Virginia. Since then, Vinay has built 3 additional Country Inn and Suites and has several in the pipeline. Presently, Vinay is the President of Fairbrook Hotels, which owns and operates 11 hotels, including IHG, Hilton, Carlson, Choice, and Wyndham brands. Vinay has been a passionate champion for hoteliers in the nation’s capital. His leadership in advocacy includes testifying before the U.S. House of Representatives on regulatory issues affecting franchisees, hosting round table meetings with public officials to illustrate the importance of the lodging industry on the American economy, and working with lawmakers on banking rules that affect small business owners. Vinay believes in giving back to the hotel industry through his service. In 1993, Vinay joined AAHOA, the voice of America’s hotel owners, and has served on its Board since 2014, being elected Secretary of the Association in 2018. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the Virginia Hospitality and Tourism Association and is the President of the Herndon Hospitality Association. Vinay previously served on the Board of Directors of AHLA and the Loudoun (VA) Convention Visitors Bureau. During his career, Vinay has often been recognized for his accomplishments. He has been awarded The Rising Pineapple Award by the Virginia Hospitality and Tourism Association, AAHOA’s Future Hotelier of the Year Award, and the Presidential Award by Carlson for achieving the highest level of operational excellence.
Panelist :  Technology: A hotel’s best—and most feared—ally

TAMMY PETER
Senior Vice President, Global Distribution, Wyndham Hotel & Resorts
Tammy Peter is senior vice president of global distribution at Wyndham Hotel & Resorts, one of the world’s leading hotel companies with more than 9,000 hotels across 82 countries under 20 brands. A hospitality veteran, she oversees management of the company’s central reservation systems as well strategy, operations, and connectivity for all external distribution channels. Prior to leading Wyndham’s distribution efforts, Peter formed the hotel marketing services group, managed worldwide distribution operations, and created the company’s first OTA program. Prior to Wyndham, Peter ran distribution marketing for what is now Pegasus Solutions. She held a variety of other roles within hospitality starting her career with Embassy Suites. Peter is a University of Michigan graduate and frequent speaker at hospitality industry events. She received the 2009 HEDNA Award of Excellence and the 2017 HSMAI Top 25 Extraordinary Minds in Hospitality Sales, Marketing, and Revenue Optimization.
Panelist :  Distribution: A hotelier’s guide to channel surfing

JESS PETITT
Vice President, Analytics, Hilton
Jess Petitt is the vice president of analytics at Hilton, where he leads a department responsible for transforming the way data is used to drive decisions and measure performance cutting across marketing, customer and revenue disciplines. Prior to his current role Jess led the business analytics discipline supporting Hilton’s executive team with macroeconomic, industry, competitive, and cross-functional analysis. Prior to joining Hilton, Petitt served as corporate director of marketing & sales at HEI Hotels & Resorts, holding myriad responsibilities including sales selection, training and development, and revenue analysis, and started the company’s digital marketing function. A second-generation hotelier, Petitt is a graduate of the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration and received his MBA from the Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland. He has been featured as a speaker at the NYU International Hospitality Conference and the Hotel Data Conference and has served as a guest columnist for various industry publications.
Presenter :  Data discovery: Complementing your story by going beyond the basics

LETICIA PROCTOR
Senior Vice President - Sales, Revenue Management and Digital Strategies, PM Hotel Group
As senior vice president - sales, revenue management and digital strategies, Leticia is responsible for the development and implementation all sales, revenue management, and digital strategy efforts at the national, regional, and property levels. She also focuses on maximizing total hotel revenue while building a sales culture that promotes staff development and retention, new hotel openings, hotel repositioning and re-branding. Prior to joining the company, Leticia was regional director of sales and marketing for Hersha Hospitality Management Corporation where she was responsible for hotels in Washington, D.C., Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina and Michigan. Leticia also worked for such prestigious hotel companies as Kimpton Hotels and Resorts, Crestline Hotels and Resorts, Remington Hotels and Resorts, Interstate Hotels and Resorts, Loews Corporation, and Hospitality Partners. Leticia has more than twenty years of experience in the hospitality industry. In addition to working with numerous independent hotels, she also has worked with such brands as Hilton, Marriott, Starwood, Hyatt, Intercontinental Hotel Group, Kimpton, Loews and Choice. Her specialties include: sales, marketing, catering, revenue management, digital strategies and hotel operations. Leticia obtained her Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies with a minor in Business Law and Public Policy from the University of Maryland. She currently is pursuing a Master's of Professional Studies in Hospitality Management at Georgetown University.
Panelist :  Distribution: A hotelier’s guide to channel surfing
Panelist :  What happened to ADR growth?

BOB PUCCINI
CEO & Founder, Puccini Group
Bob Puccini knows what makes social spaces and restaurants successful. Companies such as Fairmont, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, Ritz Carlton, and Strategic Hotels and Resorts come to Bob because they know he understands the business from every perspective. Responsible for designing and remodeling over 1,000 restaurants worldwide, Bob translates client goals into winning concepts, earning him a stellar reputation and many longtime clients. Before founding Puccini Group in 1996, he served as Partner and Senior Vice President for Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants for ten years during their expansion from 4 to 35 restaurants throughout the United States. Today, Kimpton remains one of Puccini Group’s closest clients. Recognized as an industry expert, Bob is an internationally sought after speaker and has graced hotel investment conferences in as far as Berlin, Macau, Mumbai, Dubai, Istanbul, and Beijing. With current projects around the globe and in his home city of San Francisco, Bob currently belongs to both the International Society of Hospitality Consultants and the Food Service Consultant’s Society International. He was named the Anti-Defamation League’s Food and Wine Industry Person of the year and won the prestigious Platinum Circle award from Hospitality Design in 2006. Bob relishes his role as a leader in the restaurant industry and its community, and has served on the Board of Directors of the California Restaurant Association and the Board of Advisors at University of San Francisco’s Hospitality Management program. He holds a BA in Political Science and Economics from San Diego State University and spent 1969 in Brazil with the Peace Corps. With over forty years in the hospitality industry, Bob’s love for restaurants has helped Puccini Group become the niche market leader for hotel F&B outlets, across concepts, design, branding, marketing and operations. AWARDS/HONORS • Hospitality Design Magazine’s Platinum Circle Award • Inducted into The World Travel and Tourism Council • International Society of Hospitality Consultants Member • Member of the Foodservice Society Consultants International • Board of Directors for the University of San Francisco Hospitality Management Program • Anti-Defamation Leagues’ Food and Wine Industry Person of the Year • Peace Corps Member, Brazil
Panelist :  The perfect recipe for F&B success

RANDALL PULLEN
President, WageWatch, Inc.
Mr. Pullen is the President and CEO of WageWatch Inc., a Scottsdale, Arizona based software technology and Internet ASP with a national and Fortune 500 customer base. WageWatch is recognized nationally as a leading provider of Internet-based wage, salary and benefits surveys for the hospitality, gaming, and healthcare industries. Mr. Pullen founder WageWatch in 2000. Prior to founding WageWatch, Mr. Pullen served as an audit and consulting partner with Deloitte and Touche, where he was recognized nationally as a firm expert on financial institutions, real estate and hotel financial issues. He also served as the President and a Director of ILX Resorts, a publicly traded Phoenix based resort developer and operator, and President and CEO of eStreet Capital, Inc., a successful Phoenix based venture capital fund. He served as the Chairman of the Arizona Republican Party from 2007 to 2011 and was Treasurer of the Republican National Committee from 2009 to 2011. He serves or has served on the board of several non-profit organizations including Phoenix Art Museum Men’s Arts Council and Rosies’ House, a nationally recognized music school for disadvantaged children and Phoenix Rotary 100. Mr. Pullen currently serves on the Board of Phoenix Peach LLC, with air conditioning and plumbing operations in Arizona, Nevada and California. He served on the Board and as Treasurer of the Arizona Housing Finance Authority from 2010 to 2016. Mr. Pullen earned a Bachelor’s degree with a major in mathematics and an MBA from Arizona State University. Mr. Pullen is a CPA in Arizona and California. He is also a real estate broker in Arizona. Mr. Pullen is an Audit Committee Financial Expert under the provisions of Sarbanes Oxley Section 401 H of Regulation S-K.
Presenter :  Data clustering for hotel wages

JOSEPH RAEL
Director, Financial Performance, STR
Joseph has nearly ten years of hospitality consulting experience, and works on a variety of custom analytical tools and solutions for a variety of clients. He also leads the HOST P&L program, which collects and analyzes nearly 6,000 hotel income statements each year. Prior to joining STR Analytics, Joseph performed appraisal and consulting assignments for hotels, resorts, golf courses, golf clubs, residential subdivisions, and mixed-use developments, throughout North America and the Caribbean. He served as Vice President with HVS Consulting & Valuation and also worked for HVS Golf Services, performing complex appraisals, feasibility studies, market studies, strategic planning analyses, and highest and best use analyses.
Presenter :  HOST P&L: A focus on labor, benefits and profits

BLAKE REITER
Director of Custom Forecasts, STR
Blake Reiter is the Director of Custom Forecasts for STR. He has over 13 years of experience in the lodging sector, including hotel consulting as well as development on both the principal and operator side. Mr. Reiter spent the first 6+ years of his career working for Ernst & Young in their Hospitality Advisory Services group. There, he focused on projects spanning all facets of the lodging industry, including feasibility, due diligence, single asset and portfolio transactions, management company selection, design and amenities, valuations, as well as extensive work with management agreements. Following E&Y, Mr. Reiter worked for 3+ years for an independent real estate developer on several New York City-based ground-up hotel developments. The three hotels totaled nearly 1,000 keys with total capitalizations of nearly $500 million. Mr. Reiter was involved in all aspects of the projects, including brand selection, underwriting, amenity and facility offerings, management and franchise agreement negotiations, as well as financing. Most recently before joining STR, Mr. Reiter was Vice President of Development for TPG Hotels & Resorts, a hotel owner/third-party operator with a portfolio of approximately 60 hotels and nearly 17,000 guestrooms across the country. Mr. Reiter’s role included sourcing hotel prospects for TPG to either manage on a third-party basis or acquire for its own balance sheet or on a joint venture basis. Mr. Reiter holds a BS from Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration in Ithaca, NY.
Presenter :  #26 and beyond

STEPHANIE RICCA
Editor-in-Chief, Hotel News Now
Stephanie heads special projects and various content initiatives at Hotel News Now, including HNN’s Independent Insights newsletter. She boasts nearly a decade’s worth of experience in hotel trade journalism, most recently serving as Editor-in-Chief at Hotel Management magazine before joining HNN in January 2015. She is a graduate of Wittenberg University and holds a master’s degree in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.
Moderator :  Life stage, not age: Demystifying guest psychographics
Moderator :  An inside look at strategists’ insights

AOIFE ROCHE
Director of Account Management, STR
Aoife oversees STR’s international Account Management team, delivering exceptional customer service to the wide range of hotels using STR’s benchmarking platform. With 18 years of experience in the hotel industry, working previously in both Paris and New York, she has consulted in revenue and distribution strategies for a variety of independent and boutique properties, helping deliver multiple successful campaigns. Hailing from County Clare on the west coast of Ireland, Aoife is fluent in three languages.
Presenter :  Global hotel performance & pipeline trends

VAIL ROSS
Senior Vice President, Global Business Development & Marketing, STR
Vail Ross is Senior Vice President of Global Business Development & Marketing for STR (STR, Inc.). Vail Ross is responsible for the overall coordination, functional management and leadership of the business development and marketing strategies for STR. Along with hotel specific sales and marketing, Vail’s efforts are directed towards expanding relationships with third party vendors by promoting new products and services. She is often featured as a guest speaker at international, national, regional and state conferences. Vail currently is the chair for the AH&LA Women In Lodging (WIL) Council and the chair for the HSMAI Foundation board of directors.
Presenter :  Is there a canary in the coalmine?

ROBIN ROSSMANN
Managing Director, STR
Robin Rossmann is Managing Director of STR, leading its operations across EMEA, APAC and LATAM. Robin is focused on continuing to improve the way STR provides the hotel industry with robust and insightful performance benchmarking that enables stakeholders to make better decisions. Robin has over 15 years' focussed hotel sector experience, including 13 at Deloitte where he advised on hotel strategy, business planning, investment appraisal, market reviews, financial and commercial due diligence, IPOs, debt advisory, valuation, financial assurance, controls improvement and risk management.
Presenter :  10 for 10: Top global hotel stories of the past decade

DAVE RUBIN
Vice President, Marketing, Greystone Hotels
Dave is Vice President of Marketing for Greystone Hotels, an independently owned hotel management company based in San Francisco, CA. Greystone Hotels owns and manages 11 properties in California and Oregon, with a twelfth under construction in downtown Santa Rosa (Sonoma County). His official hospitality career began with Greystone in May 2015. Dave manages a centrally based marketing team that oversees all aspects of integrated marketing communications for the over-arching Greystone brand, as well as for each individual property - three brands, eight independent boutiques (with the ninth currently under construction). His past career endeavors span various industries and verticals including professional and collegiate sports, music, television, non-profits, films, several creative agencies, gaming, horse racing, public relations and probably a few others forgotten at this time!
Panelist :  Life stage, not age: Demystifying guest psychographics

JAMIE RUSSO
Vice President of Loyalty Programs and Customer Engagement, Choice Hotels International
Jamie Russo, Vice President of Loyalty Programs and Customer Engagement, joined Choice Hotels International in October 2014 to lead Choice’s award-winning loyalty program, Choice Privileges. In his role, he is responsible for growing and enhancing the loyalty program as well as managing relationship marketing. Under his direction, Choice Privileges underwent its biggest redesign in the program’s history, skyrocketing membership to more than 36 million members and earning recognition as a Top Hotel Loyalty Program from U.S. News and World Report and USA Today. He also oversees the company’s customer and franchisee servicing as well as customer reservations across Choice’s network of call centers. Russo came to Choice from American Express, where he had various positions spanning card acquisition, product management, and business development. In the consumer division of American Express, he managed marketing of co-brand products (including the Delta SkyMiles Card), negotiated and launched the Mercedes-Benz credit cards, and began acquisition programs with Amazon Prime and Universal Studios. He also held positions in the Merchant Services organization, where he was responsible for managing global hotel and industry relationships. He holds a B.A. in Economics and Spanish from Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine.
Panelist :  Loyalty ROI—fact or fiction?

FERNANDO SALAZAR
Senior Vice President of Food and Beverage, Interstate Hotels and Resorts
Fernando Salazar is SVP, Food & Beverage for Interstate Hotels & Resorts. His passion for cuisine, creativity and experience adds inspiration to Interstate’s culinary teams and properties. In his role, Salazar brings new ideas and excitement to partnering with market leading chefs and mixologists for menu development and concepts, leading culinary team training and ensuring engaging guest experiences across our portfolio, currently with 500 hotels under management in 10 countries around the world. Salazar began his hotel career in New York City with Helmsley Hotels and in 1983 joined Westin Hotels and Resorts, where he remained for 13 years. In 1996, Salazar joined Omni Hotels & Resorts where he was named Vice President of Food and Beverage. Salazar joined Wyndham Hotels and Resorts in 2007 as Vice President of Food and Beverage for the brand. In 2015, Salazar accepted a two-year commitment to join the prestigious Culinary Institute of America at the San Antonio campus as Managing Director, where he excelled by achieving the largest student enrollment in the 12-year history of the campus, and for two years in a row obtained the highest student satisfaction ratings among all four CIA campuses. Salazar, who is co-founder and International Advisor of E-Spain - a company that specializes in the organization of international culinary competitions - created the International Tapas Competition for Culinary Students in 2009. In 2017, the competition evolved into the first-ever World Tapas Competition, which takes place every November in Valladolid, Spain. The group also created the International Black Truffles Competition which took place in Soria, Spain in December 2017. A frequent speaker at national conferences on food and beverage trends and topics, Salazar was presented in 2010 with the prestigious Silver Plate Award as Hotel Operator of the Year for his contributions to the industry. Also in 2010, The Culinary Institute of America proclaimed him Ambassador of the CIA and awarded him the Gold Medal of Honor for creativity, leadership and mentoring efforts. In recognition of his extensive expertise in food and beverage, Salazar was named International Advisor and Trustee of the International School of Culinary Arts in Valladolid Spain in November 2010 and in 2014, he became the first non-Spaniard ever inducted into the prestigious Royal Academy of Spanish Gastronomy and named Universal Ambassador of the Gastronomy of Spain.
Panelist :  The perfect recipe for F&B success

SUSAN SANDERS
Senior Vice President of Strategic Planning, Hospitality Ventures Management Group
As the SVP of Strategic Planning, Sue leads the strategic business planning and enterprise performance management processes for HVMG. As the CHRO, Sue oversees all Human Resources functions, including talent acquisition, talent development, associate retention and engagement strategies, human resources services, associate relations and benefits. Sue's career includes eight years in management consultanting and previous hospitality leadership positions at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company and Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, Inc. Sue's hospitality industry experience also includes a five-year adjunct faculty appointment at New York University’s Robert Preston Tisch Center for Hospitality Travel and Tourism. Sue serves on the hospitality board for Georgia State University and the steering committee for Castell's Women in Lodging Leadership. She holds MBAs from Columbia Business School and London Business School. Sue has a BS in Marketing from The Florida State University.
Panelist :  An inside look at strategists’ insights

JEFF SENIOR
Vice President of Marketing, KSL Resorts
A marketing innovator with more than 25 years of global experience, Jeff is a passionate leader with a consistent record of accomplishment. He is currently VP Marketing at KSL Resorts; an owner, operator, asset manager and strategic advisor to world class destination resorts. Past roles include global CMO, industry boards, and strategic advisor for some of the worlds most recognized and important travel brands, including Marriott Hotels & Resorts, InterContinental Hotels, Kimpton Hotels and FRHI; parent of Fairmont, Raffles and Swissôtel. Industry roles include executive leadership positions with Visit California as Marketing Chair, the U.S. Travel Association and, with HSMAI, is the current Global Chair and immediate past Chair, America’s.
Panelist :  Life stage, not age: Demystifying guest psychographics

DAVID SHENMAN
Director of Sales & Marketing, Lotte New York Palace
With over 25 years of experience, David Shenman has held various roles in the hotel industry with a focus in sales and catering. He has had the opportunity to work for leading companies including Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Millennium & Copthorne Hotels, InterContinental Hotels Group and Jumeirah Hotels and Resorts. David joined Lotte New York Palace in 2011. In his current role as Director of Sales & Marketing, David oversees the hotel’s sales strategy along with partnership development, digital marketing and PR efforts. David is known to be an innovator and leader among his colleagues and peers. He considers it an honor to hold his position at Lotte New York Palace, the largest luxury hotel in New York City. David is a graduate of Ithaca College and resides in Northern New Jersey with his wife and two children.
Panelist :  Keeping pace with group business

MARGARET SHINE
Senior Vice President in Advisors’ Retail & Commerce Vertical, Mastercard Advisors
Margaret Shine is Senior Vice President in Advisors’ Retail & Commerce Vertical. Ms. Shine is responsible for the developing and executing strategy and value proposition for Advisors within the Travel Sector. By defining highly competitive and differentiated solutions using Advisors’ full range of professional services capabilities from around the world, Margaret ensures Mastercard meets the diverse business needs of the travel sector stakeholders in an innovative and impactful manner. Prior to this role, Ms. Shine served as Group Head for Advisors Segment Solutions business which she launched in early 2011. She was responsible for developing and executing Advisors’ global strategy for local / community institutions and small merchants around the world focusing on defining Advisors solutions, sales channels and the unique customer experience for this segment. Earlier at MasterCard, Margaret was Senior Vice President for Mastercard on the Citibank Account Team responsible for the North America business sales strategy. During her tenure, she secured significant business expansion for Mastercard across the broad range of Citi’s products & programs, including launching debit products, implementing new value-based programs, expanding through new acquisition and conversion more affluent, and launching new strategies partnership across Citi. Prior to this time, she consistently held positions of increasing responsibility in the Sales / Account Management organization. Margaret’s contributions included introducing key brokerage account programs, launching new co-branded products, expanding consumer and small business acquisitions programs, and introducing debit and on-line banking programs. Margaret earned a liberal arts B.A. from Fordham University and resides in Fairfield County, Connecticut with her husband and two children.
Presenter :  The total travel spend: How travelers spend in and out of your hotel

LORRAINE SILEO
Senior Vice President, Research and Business Operations, Phocuswright Inc.
Lorraine Sileo, Senior Vice President, Research and Business Operations Lorraine Sileo Ms. Sileo launched the research division of Phocuswright Inc. in 1998. She pioneered online travel metrics adopted as the industry standard for segmentation, sizing, forecasting, analysis and consumer planning behavior. Lorraine is quoted frequently in consumer and trade media including The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal and has authored numerous publications including Phocuswright's U.S. Online Travel Overview. Lorraine was previously an adjunct professor at New York University's Graduate Center for Hospitality, Tourism and Sports Management. She has analyzed the business and consumer digital marketplace for various publications and media companies for over 20 years.
Presenter :  Hotel path to purchase: The complexity behind consumer choice

DAN SKODOL
Vice President, Revenue Analytics, Rainmaker
Dan Skodol is Vice President of Revenue Analytics at Rainmaker. Dan came to Rainmaker with over ten years of Revenue Management experience in gaming, hotels, multifamily real estate, and airlines. He is responsible for researching and designing enhancements and innovations within Rainmaker’s hospitality product suite, as well as supporting thought leadership topics and studies via analytics. Dan previously held Director of Revenue Management roles for two casino organizations in Atlantic City, and Archstone Communities. He holds a BA from Yale University and a Master of Management in Hospitality degree from Cornell. Dan and his wife reside in Denver, CO with their three-year-old son and enjoy skiing, hiking, and travel.
Presenter :  Non-traditional revenue management

RANDY SMITH
Chairman and Co-Founder, STR
Randy Smith is the Chairman and co-founder of STR (STR, Inc.). In 2011, Mr. Smith was inducted into the Hospitality Industry Hall of Honor, along with his wife Carolyn, named one of the “Twenty Five Most Influential Executives of the Business Travel Industry of 2011” by Business Travel News and was the recipient of the 2011 Lodging Hospitality Magazine’s Stephen W. Brener Silver Plate Award. In 2010, he was awarded the ALIS Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution to the lodging industry. Mr. Smith was a 2007 inductee to the Florida State University College of Business Hall of Fame. He is a member and past co-chairman of the Industry Real Estate Financing Advisory Council (IREFAC) and the 2002 recipient of the prestigious IREFAC C. Everett Johnson Award. He is also vice-chair of the American Hotel & Lodging Foundation Funding Committee. Mr. Smith is a charter member of the International Society of Hospitality Consultants (ISHC) and a former member of the board of directors. He was the recipient of the 1996 Industry Pioneer Award of the ISHC for outstanding contribution to the lodging industry. Mr. Smith is a regular keynote speaker at the major industry conferences. Prior to starting STR, Mr. Smith was Director of Research for Laventhol & Horwath and has over twenty-five years of experience in lodging industry research. He resides in Nashville, TN, with his son Alex. He is also an avid fisherman.
Panelist :  Beers with the bosses: Celebration, consultation and conversation

ANDREW TAYMANS
Vice President Asset and Revenue Management, GF Management
In a nearly 25 year tenure with GF Management, Andrew Taymans has held leadership roles in Operations, instituted the corporate Revenue Management department, and is currently the Vice President of Asset and Revenue Management. In this role, Andrew is responsible for the Asset Management division of GF, including all Consulting and Feasibility work for industry partners, as well as providing oversight for the GF team of regional revenue managers. He serves as the Vice-Chair of the IHG Owners Association Digital Marketing and Channels Committee, and is a member of HAMA, the Hospitality Asset Managers Association.
Panelist :  Two decades of love and hate: OTAs

BRIAN TKAC
Senior Vice President of Marketing & Sales, Hostmark Hospitality Group
Brian Tkac, Senior Vice President of Marketing & Sales, oversees marketing, sales, and revenue management for Hostmark Hospitality Group’s portfolio of hotels, resorts and restaurants. Brian has over thirty years of sales & marketing experience in hotels and resorts. He has held numerous executive sales and marketing positions, including corporate director of marketing and regional director of sales and marketing. In addition to these roles, Mr. Tkac has held positions with Interstate Hotels and Resorts, IBM Corporation and Starline Corporation. He has extensive experience with Marriott, Hilton, Starwood, Carlson, InterContinental Hotels Group, and the successful development of independent brands. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Illinois State University and attends the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago. He serves on numerous advisory boards including HSMAI –America’s board and was selected as one of Top 25 extraordinary minds in sales & Marketing by HSMAI in 2013.
Panelist :  10 years after the meltdown: What are the lasting lessons?

LIZ UBER
Vice President of Asset Management, BRE Hotels & Resorts
Liz Uber currently serves as Vice President of Asset Management for BRE Hotels & Resorts. She is responsible for focused- and select-service assets throughout Texas, Alaska, and the West Coast. Prior to joining BRE in September of 2016, Liz was EVP of Sales and Revenue Management for Pillar Hotels and Resorts, where she lead the corporate revenue management, sales and e-commerce teams. Ms. Uber joined Pillar Hotels & Resorts in 2005 and was promoted to area roles within the company, including the Area Director of Sales, and Area Director of Operations positions. In 2010, she joined the revenue management team to further develop the department for greater performance and growth opportunities. Prior to joining Pillar Hotels & Resorts, Ms. Uber held positions with Meyer Jabara Hotels, McGrath Hotels, and Bristol Hotels & Resorts. She has had a wide variety of operational and above-property experiences involving a diverse portfolio of hotels, ranging from independent boutique properties to large full-service nationally-branded hotels. Ms. Uber is involved in a variety of charitable organizations. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Texas A&M University.
Panelist :  Digital marketing drill-down

DON URBAHN
Vice President, Sales & Revenue Management, New Castle Hotels & Resorts
As VP Sales and Revenue Management for New Castle Hotels & Resorts, Don Urbahn leads a team of 50 revenue management, sales and digital marketing professionals who together drive company-wide revenues in excess of $200 million. Don has always been active in the Sales and Revenue Management areas of his properties and led these efforts during his career. As a young GM, Don was an early convert to the art and science of revenue management and continually pushed the brands for more intuitive systems that delivered better data. To that end, he serves on Marriott’s revenue management advisory board. Don joined New Castle as a hotel general manager in 1999, moving into the position of VP, Revenue Management and then adding the Sales and Digital Marketing responsibilities two years ago. He holds certificates from Cornell University in hotel real estate investments, asset management and advanced digital marketing and is an HSMAI Certified Hotel Marketing Executive.
Panelist :  Keeping pace with group business

KELSEY WAITE
Business Development Executive, Destinations, STR
Kelsey Waite works to build relationships with new and existing destinations clients located in the Midwest and along the West Coast. Prior to joining STR, Kelsey gained experience in both the hotel and destination industries.
Presenter :  Large events: Boom or bust?

BARB WARD
Vice President of Sales and Marketing,, CSM Corporation
As Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Barb understands what it means to be a team player. Barb guides, coaches, and drives our company’s top-line revenue and the team accountable for it. In addition, she oversees all corporate and property marketing, sales, and revenue management, as well as public relations activities. Barb is a hospitality veteran with close to 15 years of experience in sales and marketing strategy, and a particular interest in market share expansion, pre-opening planning and building high performance teams. From full service and extended stay to resort property management and multi-unit restaurants, Barb’s experience covers the spectrum of property management. Highly driven and a confident hospitality leader, she continues to build high performance teams. Previously with CSM, she served as Regional Director of Field Sales and Marketing after serving as Director of Sales and Marketing for The Depot Renaissance Minneapolis Hotel and The Residence Inn Minneapolis. In addition to her experience as a CSM alumni, she held the position of Vice President of Sales and Marketing with TMI Hospitality, where she oversaw the strategy of sales and marketing for 188 hotels, with mixed brands. She has also worked with Crestline Hotels & Resorts, Wischermann Partners, and Buca, Inc. Barb graduated from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities and Concordia College.
Panelist :  10 years after the meltdown: What are the lasting lessons?

CARTER WILSON
Vice President, Consulting & Analytics, STR
Carter Wilson oversees the daily operations for the consulting and analytics division of STR. His team in the Broomfield, Colorado office is tasked with new product development and performing bespoke consulting assignments including comp set selection and optimization, custom forecasts, customized data-infused dashboards in Excel or Tableau software, and industry income and expense research. Carter has over two decades of experience in the hospitality industry and has extensive public-speaking experience, lecturing frequently at conferences and company events.
Presenter :  The rate paradox: A historical analysis of ADR behavior

LINDA WILSON
President, Key Advisors, Inc.
Ms. Wilson has 30+ years of hospitality industry experience related to new development and acquisition analysis, valuation, branding and management selection assistance, and financial and operational analysis. She began her hospitality career with Marriott International and prior to founding Key Advisors, Linda was a Principal and Director of the Southeast Hospitality Consulting group at Arthur Andersen. Linda holds an MBA in Finance from University of Missouri – Kansas City and a B.S. degree from the School of Hospitality Business at Michigan State University. Linda is a member of ISHC and AHA, has authored numerous articles on hospitality real estate issues, and has been a guest speaker at various industry programs. Linda serves on the Board of Directors at Hotel Equities, an Atlanta based hotel management company.
Moderator :  Digital marketing drill-down

MATTHEW WILSON
Senior Director Sales & Revenue Analytics, Hilton
Matthew is an experienced, passionate hospitality professional living at the crossroads of analytics and innovation. He has over 13 years industry experience, over 10 years with Hilton, focus in revenue management across varying brands, regions and hotels. In recent years, as Corporate Director Revenue, his primary role was to design, develop, and deploy tools and business processes that drive performance at corporate and hotel level. Most recently he began a new journey with Hilton’s Data + Analytics group, leading Sales & Revenue Management Analytics globally. Matthew has Bachelors in Marketing and HR from Portland State University, while having done extended education with Cornell and John Hopkins University. In his free time, Matthew enjoys climbing, hiking and getting outdoors!
Presenter :  Global hotel performance & pipeline trends

JON WOHLFERT
Co-CEO and Founding Partner, RESIDE Worldwide
Jon Wohlfert is the Co-CEO and Founding Partner for RESIDE Worldwide. Jon is a 30-year veteran of the long-term lodging industry with experience in both large corporate environments as well as small entrepreneurial groups. He is a true pioneer within the flexible accommodations industry, having developed and played key leadership roles in renowned brands such as Residence Inn, Summerfield Suites, Candlewood Suites, BridgeStreet Global Hospitality and Extended Stay America. During his tenure at BridgeStreet, Jon held roles of SVP Sales and Marketing, Managing Director of the Americas, Chief Marketing Officer, Chief Technology Officer and Chief Revenue Officer. Jon joined Extended Stay America as the organization was emerging from bankruptcy. He restructured the sales organization to deliver over $500 million and a 42% system contribution. Prior to launching RESIDE, Jon served as President of WaterWalk International, a newly launched brand in the extended stay/corporate housing segment where he oversaw the Brand, Technology, Franchise and Operating teams. Jon graduated from RIT with a Bachelor of Science degree in finance and then earned his MBA from Michigan State University
Panelist :  Alternative accommodations: Are they really alternative?

MARK WOODWORTH
Senior Managing Director, CBRE Hotels' Americas Research
Mr. Woodworth is Senior Managing Director of CBRE Hotels | Americas Research based in Atlanta. Mark has over 35 years of hospitality industry advisory experience. Before joining CBRE, Mr. Woodworth was a Partner and Industry Chairman of the Hospitality Industry Consulting practice for Coopers & Lybrand L. L. P. Mr. Woodworth has been quoted on hospitality issues in such noted publications as The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, Barron’s, USA Today, The Financial Times and numerous industry publications. Furthermore, Mr. Woodworth is a frequent speaker at industry conferences, is a Dean’s Distinguished Lecturer at Cornell University and is a member of the Travel and Tourism Advisory Council for the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, the Conference of Business Economists as well as the Hotel Development Council of the Urban Land Institute. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau, the Finance Committee of the United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta, the School Council at Henderson Mill Elementary and advises the Georgia Hospitality & Lodging Association. He also completed a three-year term on the Board of Advisors for the Center for Hospitality Research at Cornell University. Mark and his wife Mary Kay are the parents of Harry, Will, Sam and Savannah, and reside in Atlanta EDUCATION  B.S. Cornell Univerisity School of Hotel Administration  MPS Cornell University School of Hotel Administration
Panelist :  Looking ahead: The industry forecast

NOLAN WRENTMORE
Vice President Revenue Management, Aimbridge Hospitality
Nolan Wrentmore joined Aimbridge in 2005 and has 20 years of hospitality experience. Mr. Wrentmore oversees all aspects of revenue management and e-commerce for Aimbridge’s hotels. Mr. Wrentmore has extensive knowledge and experience in segmentation, pricing, revenue management systems, third party Internet booking channels, pay per click marketing, and guides Aimbridge’s entire portfolio in all market strategies. Prior to joining Aimbridge, Wrentmore was Corporate Director of Revenue Management for Wyndham International and was responsible for various full service hotels in the Western United States. While in this role, he also oversaw the revenue management transition of the Summerfield Suites brand to a Hyatt brand. Prior to that, he served as Area Revenue Manager for Performance Hospitality (a division of Wyndham) overseeing several brands across the Midwest, including several Hilton and Holiday Inn products.

BRYAN WROTEN
Reporter, Hotel News Now
Bryan Wroten covers breaking news, trends and other happenings in the global hotel industry as Reporter for Hotel News Now. He joined HNN after seven years of reporting on city government, economic development and local issues for The Press, a community weekly in Northeast Ohio. He earned his bachelor’s degree in journalism from Kent State University in Ohio.
Moderator :  Higher performance? Hotels & the marijuana phenomenon

NICOLE YOUNG
Corporate Director of Revenue Management, Rosewood Hotel Group
Nicole leads revenue management and sales analytics for Rosewood Hotel Group, based in Los Angeles California. Prior to her appointment with Rosewood Nicole lead various commercial disciplines for sbe entertainment and started her career with Loews Hotels. Nicole displays expertise in the revenue strategies of luxury and lifestyle genres for hotel, gaming, and food and beverage brands. She has served on HSMAI’s Revenue Management Advisory board and HEDNA’s analytics subcommittee. Nicole holds degrees from Northern Arizona University; a BS in Hotel Administration and a Masters of Education in Leadership with an emphasis on Adult Learning Theory in addition to experience with independent academic research and technical writing. A self-proclaimed data enthusiast, she also considers herself to be food and fashion obsessed. Rosewood Hotel Group, one of the world’s fastest growing hotel companies, encompasses 55 hotels in 18 countries across multiple brands. With established locations in North America, Europe, Asia, the Middle East and the Caribbean/Atlantic, Rosewood Hotel Group is pursuing an aggressive expansion strategy with nearly 40 new hotels currently under development.
Panelist :  The art of a hotel’s most important science