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 :  Creating a successful recipe for F&B revenue management
Presenter :  STR Academy: Sponsored by Broadvine Pre-Registration Required

VP Business Development, 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 and ultimately serving as the Regional Director for Preferred's Southeast US and Caribbean region, overseeing 50+ luxury independent hotels and resorts.
Presenter :  Words that travel

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 :  Distribution channels: Surfing for success

Partner, The Highland Group
Kim Bardoul is a member of the ISHC and Partner at The Highland Group Investment Advisors. Her experience includes feasibility study and market analysis, due diligence for acquisition, impact studies and financial analysis. In addition, Kim specializes in boutique hotels with extensive experience in under-served markets. She has served the industry as a conference speaker on the subject and is author of the annual “Boutique Hotel Report.” She has worked on numerous boutique hotel projects across North America, which include franchised and independent ventures from small downtowns to tourist markets. Kim also serves her community and industry as a Vice President of Atlanta Hospitality Alliance and as a Board Member of the Southern Lodging Summit.
Moderator :  Cycle dynamics for independent hotels

SVP, Global Marketing + Business Development, Cendyn
Michael oversees global marketing, sales development and creative at Cendyn. He has over 22 years of international management experience, working with companies such as White Lodging, KSL, Knight-Ridder, The Nature Conservancy and Eastman 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 San Diego office, where he currently resides with his wife and two beautiful daughters.
Panelist :  Generating demand from different generations

Executive Vice President, HotelAVE
Romy Bhojwani, has more than 20 years of experience in the global hospitality and real estate industries. At HotelAVE, Romy is responsible for providing asset management leadership for a portfolio of luxury and full service assets owned by private equity, HNIs, and institutional owners. Prior to HotelAVE, Romy served as Managing Director of 360 Capital Advisors - a boutique hospitality asset management platform. In prior roles, Romy served as Senior Vice President of Real Estate and Asset Management at Delta Hotels and Resorts, and Vice President of Asset Management at Hilton Worldwide. Romy also has experience at Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels, Horwath Asia Pacific, and Oberoi Hotels and Resorts. Throughout his career, Romy has actively led or facilitated hotel real estate transactions valued in excess of $4.5B and has led the planning, programming, and execution of capital projects valued at $600M. Romy received his Master of Management in Hospitality from The Hotel School at Cornell University, his Diploma in Hotel Administration and Food Technology from Sophia Polytechnic, and his Bachelor of Commerce degree from Ness Wadia College of Commerce. Romy is a Certified Hotel Asset Manager (CHAM), a Certified Hotel Administrator (CHA), and a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (MRICS).
Panelist :  TMI? No way. AI + BI = Trackable ROI

Owner, Independent Planner, Biddix Meetings+Events
Erika Biddix, CMM, CMP is an Independent Meeting Planner with more than 15 years of experience in the meetings and events industry. After graduating from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism degree, she worked with an international women’s organization, and then in the advertising industry, before landing where she truly belonged. As a Senior Meeting Planner with a third-party company, she oversaw an average of fifty programs totaling over one million dollars in program costs per year, including trade shows, seminars, private events and conferences. In 2016 she opened Biddix Meetings+Events and services clients primarily in the technology and healthcare markets. In 2006 she earned her CMP and in 2013 obtained her CMM. She has served on the Board of Directors for the Tennessee Chapter of MPI for four years, and is the incoming President Elect. She lives in Knoxville with her husband and three young children.
Panelist :  Maximizing revenue opportunities in a changing environment

Senior Director, Business Intelligence, Host Hotels & Resorts, Inc.
Mark Biondi serves as the senior director, business intelligence at Host Hotels & Resorts, Inc. In this role, he is responsible for overseeing data integration and integrity and delivering analysis focused on maximizing cash flow and value, from detailed hotel benchmarking to portfolio and industry trends. He has a particular passion for food and beverage revenue and profitability strategies to address ever evolving customer expectations and business realities. With over 15 years of experience in the hospitality industry, Mark began his career with Marriott International in 2001, working at multiple convention and resort properties, and joined Host in 2006 as an analyst and worked his way up to his current position.
Presenter :  Creating a successful recipe for F&B revenue management

Head of Industry, Travel, Google
Dustin Bomar is Google Head of Industry, Travel based in Atlanta helping clients such as IHG & Carnival Cruise activate Google’s network and products to drive business and engage users. Prior to Google, Dustin was Hilton Worldwide’s Vice President & Global Head of Digital Marketing. He was the company’s leader for demand generation activities including search engine marketing (SEM), search engine optimization (SEO), display advertising, and online media relationships for the Hilton Worldwide portfolio of brands.
Panelist :  TMI? No way. AI + BI = Trackable ROI

Area Director - Central & South America, STR
Patricia Boo, Area Director for Central & South America, is based in Brazil and is responsible for the organization’s expansion throughout Latin America. Patricia spent her career in the hotel industry at property level, between Madrid and London, until she joined STR in 2008. Patricia often attends and presents at industry conferences and client meetings. Patricia has been a regular lector at the Rey Juan Carlos University in Madrid, Spain specialising in benchmarking for their Revenue Management courses. Patricia holds a degree in Tourism and a Strategic Leadership for the Hospitality Professional Certificate by Cornell University.
Presenter :  Winds of change in the Americas

SVP, 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 :  Hotel supply pipeline: How much is enough?

Managing Director, Horwath HTL
Paul Breslin, Managing Director of the Atlanta office of Horwath HTL, is a 35---year veteran of the hospitality industry. His background within the industry is all encompassing, with extensive experience in hotel operations, 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 by the Educational Institute of AHLA. He is a founding member and immediate past president of the Atlanta Hospitality Alliance, and currently serves on its Board. Paul also serves on the Governmental Affairs Committee of GHLA. Mr. Breslin is a Certified Hospitality Educator (CHE) and is the Executive---in---Residence in Lodging for the J. Mack Robinson College of Business, Cecil B. Day School of Hospitality at Georgia State University. Through Sabanci University in Turkey, he has trained senior level executives at the Rixos Hotel Leadership Training Program. In addition, Mr. Breslin provides hotel expert witness services to attorneys specializing in hospitality law. His caseload as an expert witness includes work with both plaintiffs and defendants.
Moderator :  The maturing role of revenue managers

Vice President of 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 :  RFPs ASAP!

Senior Vice President, Global Business Development & Marketing, STR
Vail R. Brown is Senior Vice President of Global Business Development & Marketing for STR (STR, Inc.). Mrs. Brown 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, Mrs. Brown’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. Mrs. Brown is the immediate Past Chair for the AH&LA Women In Lodging (WIL) Executive Council, immediate Past Chair for the HSMAI Foundation Board of Directors, and a member of the Women’s Political Collaborative of TN. She is the recipient of the 2013 American Hotel & Lodging Association John Whitaker Award. Prior to joining STR, Mrs. Brown was the Director of Membership Development for the Tennessee Hotel & Lodging Association (now Tennessee Hospitality Association) and the Greater Nashville Hotel & Lodging Association. Mrs. Brown holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Western Kentucky University in Political Science and Environment Studies. She resides in Nashville, TN with her husband.
Moderator :  Maximizing revenue opportunities in a changing environment

Director of Research, Virginia Tourism Corporation
Esra O. Calvert Director of Research, Virginia Tourism Corporation Esra is responsible for economics and consumer research at Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC). Prior to her work at VTC, she taught at Virginia Tech and Virginia Commonwealth University. She holds a M.S. degree in Organizational Development from Radford University and completed all her Ph.D. coursework in Hospitality and Tourism Management at Virginia Tech. Esra loves to travel and resides in Richmond, Virginia with her husband and seven-year old multipoo.
Panelist :  Maximizing revenue opportunities in a changing environment

President, StrategicRev
Elizabeth P. Cambra is the founder and president of StrategicRev, a revenue consulting firm focused on strategy and pricing to drive profitability. She is a successful leader with more than 20 years of achievement in strategy, pricing,forecasting, business intelligence, and distribution with an extensive focus on operations, sales, and marketing. Cambra has successfully optimized within multiple brands, both owned and franchised, in global locations with multiple systems. Prior to StrategicRev, she was vice president, pricing and revenue optimization for Outrigger Hotels & Resorts, a privately held ownership and management group, where she led the revenue for 40 properties worldwide. Previously, Cambra also worked at Interstate Hotels & Resorts. In addition to her work, Cambra has been actively involved in the industry and the community. She worked closely with Hospitality Sales and Marketing International Association as a prior Americas Board Member, Past Chair of the Revenue Management Advisory Board, and she has been recognized as one of HSMAI's Top 25 Extraordinary Minds in Hospitality Sales and Marketing. She also served for three years as an appointed member of Hawaii’s Council on Revenues, a group of seven economists and business executives who providelong- and short-term forecasts of the state’s economy. Cambra was selected as a member of the prestigious Pacific Century Fellows Leadership Program, Pacific Business News' Forty Under 40, and a Hotel & Motel Management MagazineLeader of Tomorrow. She was also a board member of Therapeutic Horsemanship of Hawaii, serving as secretary and a certified instructor.
Moderator :  Group hug! Let's talk meetings

Vice President of Revenue, Charlestowne Hotels
Johnathan Capps oversees the internal and external revenue management strategies, working to establish new profitability enhancement methods for Charlestowne Hotels and each of the brand’s managed properties. Offering extensive knowledge in corporate revenue development, Capps examines and researches new processes and software that optimize the company’s customized revenue management systems. On the property level, Capps assists in strategizing areas to increase revenue for each hotel and consistently assess the revenue efforts of targeted campaigns and initiatives. He works with each property team to coordinate packages, promotions and e-blasts with a goal of augmenting revenue production. With a tailored approach for meeting each property’s specific needs, the integration of revenue management within specific operations channels is a key component to client success and one of Charlestowne Hotels’ strongest differentiators. Most recently, Capps was director of revenue at Wild Dunes Resort. He joined Charlestowne Hotels in 2010 as corporate revenue manager, and later grew to director of marketing. Prior to joining the Charlestowne team, he received experience in hotel development with a Florida-based management company and through his work at Hampton Inn & Suites in Myrtle Beach, SC. Capps received a degree in hospitality and tourism management from the College of Charleston and currently serves as an adviser for the college’s hospitality revenue management MBA program.
Panelist :  A revenue manager's best friend: A profitable business mix

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 :  What, when and where? Location tells the story

President and Chief Operating Officer, New Castle Hotels and Resorts
Gerry Chase is President and Chief Operating Officer of New Castle Hotels and Resorts. He is responsible for the day-to-day management of the company, including all hotel and resort operations and company subsidiaries. Leveraging his more than 30 years of experience in the industry, Gerry is involved in feasibility evaluations for new projects and serves as New Castle’s point person in establishing critical brand relationships. Gerry launched his career with Marriott Hotels and served as vice president for Interstate Hotels from 1981-1988. He joined New Castle as a shareholder in 1988. With a background that encompasses management assignments in every aspect of hotel operations, Gerry participates in a number of committees, including marketing and owners’ advisory committees with Marriott and Hilton. Gerry currently serves on the advisory board of the Hunter Hotel Conference, holds board positions with the American Hotel and Register Company, and was appointed in 2014 to American Hotel & Lodging Association’s Board of Directors. He is a past board member of HILMAC (Hilton Managers Acceptance Corp.) and ASFONA (Association of Starwood Franchisees & Owners – North America). Gerry also is a regular participant in industry conference panels and roundtables, where he offers his knowledge and points of view on key issues facing the hospitality industry today and in the future. Gerry is the 2015 recipient of AH&LA’s prestigious Arthur Landstreet Award, presented annually to an individual who has made a lasting impact on the quality of education and training in the hospitality industry.
Panelist :  How consolidation leads to a growing industry

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 :  Cause and effect: How the broader economy influences hotel performance

Senior Analyst and Partner, Cleveland Research Company
Vince Ciepiel, CFA is a Senior Analyst and Partner at Cleveland Research Company, an independent equity research firm. Vince leads CRC’s travel and luxury research team, with a focus on hotel, cruise, online travel agencies, and luxury brands. His team provides in-depth financial analysis and conducts proprietary surveys of industry participants to identify inflections. Vince’s research is respected both within industry and on Wall Street, and he has been invited to speak at numerous conferences. Vince is the holder of the right to use the Chartered Financial Analyst designation. He graduated summa cum laude from Miami University with a concentration in Finance and Statistics. Prior to joining CRC, Vince worked in New York for an Investment Bank and a Hedge Fund.
Presenter :  RevPAR trends from a Wall Street perspective: Looking at the 2nd half outlook by Brand and REIT

Vice President, Integrated Planning, MMGY Global
With 17 years of advertising, direct marketing and interactive experience gained from work with clients in industries ranging from fast food and shipping logistics, financial services and retail to hospitality and tourism, Lucas gets what it takes to move consumers to action. Drawing from this and his nine years of experience with MMGY Global, Lucas’ role at the agency is to strategically guide the development of intelligent, efficient and effective multichannel programs. For clients such as South Dakota Department of Tourism, Wyndham Hotel Group, Pacific Hospitality Group and Kampgrounds of America, Lucas takes the lead translating primary and secondary research into actionable insights, designing audience and market targeting strategies, and defining hypertargeted, objective-driven campaign goals. This year, Lucas led the development of MMGY Global’s Terminal, a data fusion and audience activation platform formed from the marriage of DK Shifflet’s monthly traveler survey data with the extensive consumer data models of Experian. Terminal enables MMGY Global to cut through the inefficient clutter of the digital marketing landscape by surfacing precisely defined and directly addressable audiences that are ready to convert for their clients.
Panelist :  What the democratization of travel means for hotels

Head Economist, Airbnb
Peter Coles is the Head Economist at Airbnb, where he has worked since November 2015. Previously he was Head Economist and Director of Global Strategy at eBay, and before that a professor at Harvard Business School. Peter's expertise is in the fields of Marketplaces, Data, Strategy and Policy. His research focuses on reducing friction in marketplaces, and he helped design a "Signaling Mechanism" used by the American Economic Association to match students with jobs. Peter has written numerous Harvard case studies on marketplace strategy, including studies on prediction markets at Google, advertising platform strategy at Microsoft, monetization at Zillow, pricing at TheLadders, and others. Peter received his A.B. in mathematics from Princeton University, his PhD in economics from Stanford University and aspires to one day make his own goat cheese.
Panelist :  What the democratization of travel means for hotels

Vice President, Performance Strategy & Planning, InterContinental Hotels Group
As vice president, performance strategy & planning, Mr. Collazo is responsible for analyzing macro-level global and regional IHG brand performance and evaluating current economic trends and forecasts, and utilizing both to develop industry forecasts that drive IHG annual budgeting process. Previously, Mr. Collazo 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®, Staybridge Suites® and Candlewood Suites®. IHG franchises, leases, manages or owns more than 5,000 hotels and 744,000 guest rooms in nearly 100 countries, with more than 1,300 hotels in its development pipeline. IHG also manages IHG® Rewards Club, the world’s first and largest hotel loyalty program with more than 92 million members worldwide. InterContinental Hotels Group PLC is the Group’s holding company and is incorporated in Great Britain and registered in England and Wales. More than 350,000 people work across IHG’s hotels and corporate offices globally.
Panelist :  Analytical talent and the millennial mindset

Vice President of Hospitality Sales, The Rainmaker Group
As Vice President of Hospitality Sales, Ellis Connolly brings extensive hotel industry knowledge and expertise to The Rainmaker Group. With more than 15 years of experience in corporate hospitality, Connolly is responsible for leading Rainmaker’s growing sales organization and making the company’s industry leading suite of revenue management and profit optimization solutions accessible to the international hospitality market. Connolly’s broad range of experience includes executive and senior level sales, revenue and marketing positions at TrustYou, Cvent, Aramark and other leading suppliers to the global hotel and travel sector. In these roles, Connolly was responsible for developing go-to-market strategies for global sales initiatives and leading multiple sales and marketing teams. He also possesses extensive experience in building market penetration for hotel analytics products. Connolly is a frequent speaker on industry related topics and business intelligence products around the globe. Based in San Diego, CA, he holds a degree from Hyde Park, NY’s Culinary Institute of America.
Panelist :  Group hug! Let's talk meetings

Senior Manager of Revenue Management Analytics, Marriott International
John is a Senior Manager of Revenue Management Analytics for Marriott International. He provides deep analytical support as hotels set their pricing and mix strategies, and works closely with both individual hotels and the regional teams to provide data, reporting and insights that drive hotel performance. In his 7 years with Marriott, John spend time as a revenue manager, as well as providing analytical support for Marriott’s remote revenue management team and for Marriott’s pricing and inventory recommendation system. John is a proud Terp with both a bachelor’s degree in History and a master’s degree in Data Analytics from the University of Maryland
Panelist :  A revenue manager's best friend: A profitable business mix

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 :  Digging deeper into urban markets
Presenter :  STR Academy: Sponsored by Broadvine Pre-Registration Required

Senior Director, Business Development & Marketing, STR
Lindsay Culbreath is the Senior Director of Business Development & Marketing for STR (STR, Inc.). In her role, Mrs. Culbreath oversees the business development and marketing efforts for STR. She is responsible for the growth of the STAR program as well as building vendor relationships by promoting new products and services. She is often featured as a guest speaker for hotel industry presentations. She is a member of the American Hotel & Lodging Association’s Women In Lodging, a past council member of the Under 30 Gateway and is a Certified Master Hotel Supplier (CMHS). Prior to joining STR, Mrs. Culbreath was the Divested Accounts Supervisor for HCA (Hospital Corporation of America). Lindsay is a graduate of Lipscomb University with bachelor’s degrees in Marketing and Management. She resides in Hendersonville, TN with her husband and two children.
Presenter :  Out with the old, in with the new

Regional Director of Sales & Marketing, Wischermann Partners
Katie Davis joined the Wischermann Partners Executive Team as Regional Director of Sales and Marketing in February 2016, having previously served as Director of Sales and Marketing at Le Méridien Chicago – Oakbrook Center (managed by Wischermann Partners) overseeing the hotel through the $33 million transformation, unveiled in July 2014. Ms. Davis, a native of Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, graduated from the Eli Broad College of Business at Michigan State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Hospitality Business. Throughout her career, Ms. Davis has held multiple senior sales and marketing positions with a proven track record of revenue and business growth, goal achievement, sales operations and effective team leadership. Ms. Davis has extensive experience working for Hyatt Hotels, where she was most recently responsible for the financial success of Hyatt Regency O’Hare and Hyatt Rosemont, representing $70 Million annually between the two properties, as Director of Sales and Marketing. Please visit http://www.wischermannpartners.com/ for more information.
Panelist :  Group hug! Let's talk meetings

Director, FDS Travel Intelligence, IATA
Charles joined IATA in 2002. IATA is the trade association for the world's airlines. Its 275 members comprise 83% of total air traffic. As Director Travel Intelligence, he and his team are the trusted & leading provider of Aviation Data allowing airlines to maintain control of their data. Their mission is to deliver timely & accurate ticket data, mileage, tax, tariffs, standards and other industry data. Their flagship product, Direct Data Solution, offered in partnership with ARC (Airline Reporting Corporation) is the largest repository of airline ticket data with more than 5 billion transactions and unique access to airline direct sales data. Prior to joining IATA, Charles worked for various IT companies in Canada and the USA. He’s a McGill University engineering graduate with an MBA and a true passion for the travel industry.
Presenter :  Airline industry update

CEO, Intelligent Hospitality
Apo began his hotel management career as a student at a Hotel Management Vocational High School at age 15. His experience spans over 30 years of leadership roles in revenue management, sales and marketing, distribution strategy, and business intelligence. Prior to founding Intelligent Hospitality in the capacity of Chief Executive Officer, Apo was the Chief Sales & Marketing Officer of Jumeirah Group based in Dubai. Prior to his time with Jumeirah Group, Apo worked in senior sales, marketing and revenue management positions with high profile international hotel companies including InterContinental Hotels Group Americas and Hilton Hotels Corporation. His extensive global experience in the strategy, branding, operations, sales, marketing, distribution and revenue management fields of the hospitality industry covers multiple brands and industry segments, ranging from luxury hotels to select service properties. Apo holds a Bachelor’s degree in Hotel Management. He also earned his Master’s degree in Hotel Management from the Florida International University School in 1995. Subsequently, he did his doctoral work in Microeconomics at Ohio State University.
Panelist :  TMI? No way. AI + BI = Trackable ROI

Chief Sales Officer, MGM Resorts International
Michael Dominguez is the Chief Sales Officer for MGM Resorts International providing oversight of all sales strategies in the MICE, transient segments, including industry relations, diversity sales and MGM Resorts Events & Production Services. Michael is actively involved in leadership roles in the Meetings and Events Industry and currently serves as a past Chairman on the International Board of Directors for Meeting Professionals International. Michael’s other industry leadership involvement includes board positions with:  Executive Committee, US Travel Association  Board Member of the Meetings Means Business Coalition  GBTA Foundation Board  FICP Hospitality Advisory Council  Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce Board of Trustees Michael has been recognized for his contributions in the industry with numerous honors including:  Successful Meetings Top 25 Most Influential People in the Meetings Industry 2013,2014, 2015, 2016  Smart Meetings 2015 Smartest Industry Leaders  Meetings Focus 2014 Trendsetter  HispanicBusiness.com’s “50 Most Influential Hispanics in the US”.  LV Hotel Association’s 2016 Industry Leadership Award  Lanyon’s 2016 Industry Leadership Award  Timothy S.Y. Lam Foundation’s 2017 Leadership Award in Collaboration
Panelist :  RFPs ASAP!

Director Of Account Management, STR
Director of Account Management, STR Global Sarah departed Irish shores in May 2005 having spent seven years in Hotel operations. She joined the HotelBenchmark team at Deloitte in London as a Business Development Executive and as the team re-structured came to manage a number of key international clients in the Account Management team. STR Global was formed in March 2008 following the merger of the HotelBenchmark team with The Bench and Smith Travel Research. Sarah now heads up the Account Management team as Director of Account Management, she regularly attends and presents at Hotel Group and Industry events. She holds an Honours Degree in Translation (German & Spanish) from Dublin City University.
Presenter :  It's all in the numbers: How global trends are reflected in hotel data

Global Head, All Suites Brands, Hilton
Bill Duncan serves as the global head of All Suites brands – Hilton’s newly created brand category encompassing Embassy Suites by Hilton, Homewood Suites by Hilton and Home2 Suites by Hilton. In this role, Duncan leads the integration of core management functions, and development of long-term shared operational, performance and growth strategies for the All Suites brands, which collectively have a global footprint of more than 800 properties and growing, and represents one of the largest portfolios of all suites inventory in the world. Duncan is a hospitality industry veteran with more than 25 years devoted to all suites hotels. He began his career at Embassy Suites, were he spent more than a decade serving in various management, hotel performance support and sales roles. Prior to his current position, Duncan served as Global Head of Homewood Suites and Home2 Suites, the extended-stay hotel portfolio for Hilton. During this tenure Duncan established Homewood Suites as the leader in the upscale extended-stay segment, growing it into a global brand with a footprint of more than 400 hotels, and upholding the brand’s award winning customer satisfaction culture - including leading the brand to six consecutive “Top Extended Stay Hotel” honors from J.D. Power & Associates. He is also responsible for the introduction of Home2 Suites, which has been one of the fastest growing brands in Hilton’s history. Home2 Suites celebrated the 100th hotel opening in 2016, just five years after the brand’s debut. Deeply engaged in both professional and civic organizations, Duncan has been recognized for several industry and community awards throughout his distinguished 30 year career, including the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association’s “Top 25 Extraordinary Minds in Sales & Marketing,” and the Memphis Corporate Volunteer Council Executive Leadership Award. In addition to his involvement with a variety of Memphis charities, Duncan is also the Executive Sponsor of Hilton’s Memphis Community Outreach Program, for which he leads the strategic deployment of social responsibility programs.
Panelist :  Beers with the bosses

CIO, Hospitality Technology Next Generation
Patrick is the CIO of Hospitality Technology Next Generation. HTNG is a technology oriented non-profit trade association serving the hospitality industry, including: hotels, casinos, hospitals, long term care facilities, cruise lines and other guest oriented verticals. In addition to numerous worldwide conferences, HTNG workgroups create software and hardware standards, best practices and whitepapers that touch nearly all technology categories spanning these verticals. Patrick leads IT for HTNG, and drives members to produce technology solutions for the benefit of the hospitality industry & their customers.
Panelist :  Tech talks: Emerging innovations

Senior Vice President of Events, Global Operations Center, Hyatt Hotels Corporation
As Senior Vice President of Events for Hyatt Hotels Corporation, Steve Enselein is responsible for all aspects of Events, including staffing, events standards, off-premise catering, and training. Additionally, he is a frequent presenter to customer and industry groups, such as the Insurance & Financial Planners Association and Catersource/International Association of Caterers. Under Steve’s leadership, Hyatt has successfully developed and implemented both Group Bill, which has been incredibly well received for its intuitive and interactive features, as well as a new event management system, EMS, which has been implemented worldwide. This wide reaching project has revolutionized the way Hyatt manages group functions—streamlining the delivery of information and improving the communication between the Events and Operations departments. As a result of this new program, Hyatt service scores for Events are the best they have ever been in the company’s history. In addition, Steve has overseen the rollout of such Events technology as the Event Concierge App, Meetings on Demand and the automatic diagram integration to Social Tables. In 2013, Steve was honored as one of “The 25 Most Influential People in the Meetings Industry” by Successful Meetings, and in 2014 was recognized as one of the “Top 25 Extraordinary Minds in Sales & Marketing” by HSMAI.
Panelist :  Scoring big with non-rooms revenue

Managing Director, Horwath HTL
John Fareed, MSc CHME ISHC, is Managing Director for Horwath HTL in the US with offices in New York NY, Norfolk VA and Orlando FL. He is an internationally recognized authority in the field of hospitality, 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 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. Fareed holds two postgraduates including a Master of Science degree in Hospitality Management from the Dublin Institute of Technology’s School of HospitalityManagement and Tourism in Dublin, Ireland—where his 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 President of ISHC and as Chairman of the Board of Trustees for HSMAI’s International Foundation.
Moderator :  TMI? No way. AI + BI = Trackable ROI

Vice President of Revenue, Hawkeye Hotels
Jason Fawaz has been with Hawkeye Hotels since 2013 and has quickly excelled in his career. He started as a Director of Sales and then transitioned into a regional revenue role before being promoted to Corporate Director of Revenue Management, and most recently to Vice President of Revenue. As VP of Revenue, Jason works closely with all top line departments in the organization to deliver market share growth to each one of the company’s managed assets. In addition to overseeing the revenue generation and optimization for the portfolio, Jason also works with multiple ownership representatives, investors, and hotel developers to produce budget projections for new hotel developments in existing and prospective markets, ensuring that investors understand all the dynamics of any market they decide to pursue. Hawkeye Hotels is headquartered in Coralville, IA and operates limited and full service assets in multiple US markets including New Orleans, St. Louis, Des Moines, Dallas, and Chicago.
Presenter :  Drive direct through guest reviews

Vice President, Worldwide Sales, Best Western Hotels & Resorts
Wendy Ferrill was named the Vice President of Worldwide Sales for Best Western Hotels & Resorts in October 2012. Ferrill is responsible for the sales strategy and business development globally. Ferrill joined Best Western in 2008 as Managing Director of Worldwide Sales. During her tenure, she has been instrumental in change management for the worldwide sales organization, which has lead to significant revenue growth for the brand. Ferrill’s 25+ years of sales–leadership experience includes time at Wyndham International, Remington Hotels and Destination USA. In 2012, Ferrill was named one of the “Top 25 Extraordinary Minds in Sales and Marketing” by the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI). She is currently a member of the Board of Directors for BTN and has served on various board positions for HSMAI.
Panelist :  "Disrupting disruptors" is more than a catch phrase

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 :  A revenue manager's best friend: A profitable business mix

Senior Vice President, 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 :  Occupancy & oil

Managing Director, Revenue Management, Best Western International
Monte began his career in the post-9/11 airline industry, where he quickly rose through the ranks to lead the America West’s frequent flyer program, and later, as industry consolidation ensued, the US Airways Dividend Miles program. In 2011, he joined Best Western where he was responsible for Best Western Rewards and other marketing programs. In his current role as Managing Director of Revenue Management Services, Monte leads a team comprised of more than 120 revenue managers and support staff whose mission is to achieve industry-leading RevPAR. Monte’s passion is data and the use of data in developing business strategies, particularly in the areas of customer loyalty and revenue management. Monte holds an MBA from the University of Arizona.
Panelist :  The costs of loyalty and distribution in a discount world

SVP, 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 :  Assessing the performance and impact of the Top 25 U.S. markets

Vice President, Sales & Marketing, OTO Development, LLC
Lisa Giaimo is the Vice President Sales and Marketing for OTO Development, responsible for leading the sales, revenue management and eCommerce teams for OTO’s hotel portfolio. Lisa joined OTO in December 2012, bringing over 25 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 :  RFPs ASAP!

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 and two dogs.
Presenter :  Segmentation break out!

VP, Sales and Marketing, Delaware North
Andy Grinsfelder is vice president of sales and marketing for Delaware North’s parks and resorts business. In this role, Grinsfelder provides strategic leadership to sales and marketing and revenue management teams across Delaware North’s parks and resorts portfolio, which includes nearly 30 lodging locations and more than 3,000 lodging units in the United States and Australia. He has more than 25 years’ experience in National Parks hospitality operations, sales, marketing and analytics, including 18 years with Delaware North. Grinsfelder has overseen a significant revenue growth in for Delaware North’s parks and resorts portfolio using a data-first strategy. For example, at the handful of hotels that do not have internet and cellular connectivity due to their remote locations – where it was said no millennial would dare venture – the 36 percent growth of millennial bookings outpaced all other generations. Grinsfelder graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in mathematics.
Panelist :  Generating demand from different generations

Director, Lodging Revenue, The Biltmore Company
Jeanne Gualano joined The Biltmore Company in 2004 and for the past seven years, she has served as Biltmore’s Director of Lodging Revenue, first for The Inn on Biltmore Estate, a four-star property located on the grounds of America’s largest home, and since its opening in 2015, the new Village Hotel on Biltmore Estate. Jeanne leads a team of talented young professionals who are focused on creating engaging events to drive demand and increasing revenue growth for the estate, which is located in Asheville, North Carolina—one of the fastest-growing smaller markets in the country. Prior to her work with Biltmore, Jeanne was involved with operations management in Food & Beverage and Rooms for large companies like Brinker International and a number of smaller independent restaurants and golf clubs. She received her MBA from Western Carolina University in 2009, CRME and CHBE designations from HSMAI, and is currently pursuing a Masters Certificate in Revenue Management with a focus on Hospitality Marketing from Cornell. To learn more about this historic family-owned business, visit biltmore.com.
Panelist :  Analytical talent and the millennial mindset

VP, Revenue & Channel Analytics, Hospitality Ventures Management Group
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 for Hospitality Ventures Management Group (HVMG), 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. With a focus on excellence and innovation, HVMG manages and owns hotels across the country across most major brands as well as independent hotels. 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.
Panelist :  Distribution channels: Surfing for success

Vice President of Asset Management, LaSalle Hotel Properties
Sarah Gulla has been with LaSalle Hotel Properties since 2013 as the Vice President of Asset Management with expertise in driving superior performance in assets in her portfolio of hotels. She has asset managed various classes of full service hotels including independent, branded, resort, urban, upscale, luxury, boutique and large box. Prior to joining LaSalle Hotel Properties, Sarah was a Vice President with Thayer Lodging Group in Asset Management as well as Acquisitions and Development. 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. 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 is member of HAMA and its membership committee. Additionally Sarah is on the AHLA F&B committee and a member of the Cornell Hotel Society.
Panelist :  Cycle dynamics for independent hotels

Founder and VP of Global Business, Voyat
Benjamin Habbel is the Founding CEO of Voyat Inc, acquired by Intent Media Inc. in June 2016. Voyat is the leading guest retention software platform for travel companies. The platform is used by leading hospitality brands to increase their direct bookings and guest retention. Previously Benjamin served as the Chief of Staff to Marissa Mayer at Google, managing communications and special projects. He led strategic product marketing initiatives for Google Search and Android, bringing products to market on a global scale. Benjamin graduated from Copenhagen Business School with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and participated in the Wharton Executive Program at the University of Pennsylvania.
Panelist :  Tech talks: Emerging innovations

Vice President of Strategic Insight, Host Hotels & Resorts
Brenna Halliday is Vice President of Strategic Insight for Host Hotels & Resorts, the nation’s largest lodging real estate investment trust. Ms. Halliday translates data into actionable insights that guide Host’s long-term investment strategy. Her areas of expertise range from evaluating the macroeconomic outlook and forecasting market performance to assessing ideal property types and the impact of the sharing economy. During her 14-year career in the industry, Ms. Halliday has conducted detailed due diligence in 12 countries and 40 cities across the Americas and Europe, averaging over $2 billion per year in transactions evaluated. She has a passion for streamlining the analytical process, and has developed several proprietary tools, including the company’s global hotel valuation model. Prior to joining Host, she worked in feasibility and investment analysis for Hilton. Ms. Halliday holds an Executive MBA from Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business, and a B.S. from the Cornell School of Hotel Administration. In her spare time, she enjoys skiing in her native California and wine tasting with her husband Erik.
Presenter :  Not all markets are created equal

Client Account Manager, STR
Allie Hanson is a Client Account Manager for STR (STR, Inc.). She joined STR in 2014 and is responsible for servicing and maintaining positive relationships between STR and a number of key corporate clients. She has also been featured as a guest speaker for presentations. Prior to joining STR, Allie served as Director of Sales for Hyatt Hotels & Resorts. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Hospitality and Resort Management from the University of Memphis. She currently resides in Nashville, TN.
Presenter :  Data hungry? Feast on the latest F&B trends

Senior Research Analyst, STR
Jessica Haywood is the Senior Research Analyst in 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 :  Alternative accommodations: What they can teach you about your market

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 :  Data 101: Navigating through hotel analytics

VP, 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

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 :  Boom or gloom? Forecasting the future of hotel performance

Business Development Executive, STR
Melissa Holm (CHIA) is a 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 10 countries around the world with a corporate North American headquarters in Hendersonville, Tennessee, and an international headquarters in London, England. In her role, Ms. Holm works closely with our hotel partners and is focused on increasing the participation of independent properties located in the Midwest and Northeastern U.S. Prior to joining STR, Ms. Holm spent ten years working in the hotel industry managing group, business travel and leisure sales. She is a graduate of Grand Valley State University and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Hospitality & Tourism Management.
Presenter :  Data hungry? Feast on the latest F&B trends

Vice President – Sales, Marketing, and Revenue Management, Davidson Hotels & Resorts
Kathy Hood is Vice President – Sales, Marketing, 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, 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 and Resorts. In addition, she also held taskforce roles in areas of sales, revenue management, and operations. Ms. Hood is a graduate of the University of Georgia.
Panelist :  Group hug! Let's talk meetings

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.
Presenter :  Under pressure: A look at compression analytics for markets

Manager, Market Planning & Feasibility, InterContinental Hotels Group
Ingrid’s role in the Market Planning and Feasibility department within the Development organization manages market, impact and strategic analysis in the United States, Mexico, Canada and Latin America. She tracks the America’s Region on key metrics, presents to the franchise committee and supports IHG’s market strategy approach. Ingrid is multilingual and has worked in Latin America, as well as in the US and Europe. Ingrid has a Finance and International Business Degree from Ohio University (2000). In 2007 she completed her MBA from the J. Mack Robinson College of Business at Georgia State University.
Presenter :  Winds of change in the Americas
Presenter :  Castell Project update

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 :  HOST P & L: Striving for maximum profitability

VP Sales & Marketing, Fillmore Hospitality
Chris Johnson brings more than 30 years of hospitality experience to his position as Regional Managing Director. He began his career with Marriott International, later being recognized as Magic General Manager of the Year 2005, for his brand. He has worked across the country in both branded and brand of one hotels, consistently creating a culture of success. Starting his career as a foodie, he gained extensive operations experience working in several General Manager Positions and then assuming multi-unit/regional responsibilities, before assuming his present role which began as General Manager of the DoubleTree by Hilton – Chicago Oak Brook, IL in April 2013. He is a 1988 Graduate of Western Illinois University, with a BS degree in Hospitality. Chris is a Chicago native who has worked from Philadelphia to Palm Springs, joined by his wife of 18 years, his daughter Emily and their dogs. Chris is an avid antiquer and history buff who can often be found on the golf course with his wife, Christine. Chris is passionate about Hospitality and being able in big and small ways, to share the love and excitement in a contagious manner and takes his greatest pleasure in developing his teams.
Panelist :  Generating demand from different generations

Vice President, Hotel & Leisure Advisors
Laurel Keller has been with Hotel & Leisure Advisors since 2005, bringing expertise in the feasibility analysis and appraisal of hotels, resorts, and other leisure-oriented assets. She has completed more than 300 appraisal and consulting assignments for existing and proposed properties in 34 states. Laurel has appraised individual assets ranging in value from less than $1 million to well over $100 million. Combined with her background in hotel and country club operations, she offers more than 20 years of hospitality consulting and management expertise in completing feasibility studies, brand-on-brand impact studies, appraisals, operational reviews, and economic impact studies. Ms.Keller 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. Laurel is a designated member of the Appraisal Institute (MAI).
Moderator :  The current pipeline: Building momentum or a developing problem?

Director of Research & Business Analysis, Visit Phoenix
Eric Kerr is the Director of Research & Business Analysis at Visit Phoenix, where he tracks the visitor industry’s impact on the local economy, and the impact of Visit Phoenix programs on the area hotel market. He also contributes to business-development strategies across all functional areas of Visit Phoenix. Since joining Visit Phoenix as an intern in 2006, Kerr has acquired a broad range of work experience in communications, media relations, marketing, government affairs, research and tourism advocacy. He is an active member of the Travel and Tourism Research Association and serves on the board of the Western Chapter of the Travel and Tourism Research Association.
Presenter :  Sports rule: The impact of rotating sporting events on a market's hotel performance

Chief Revenue and Marketing Officer, Kessler Collection
Lori Kiel, Chief Revenue and Marketing Officer, is responsible for the top line revenue strategy to include rooms, catering, food, beverage and gallery for all Kessler Collection hotels. Responsibilities include implementation of rate positioning and inventory strategy for all top line revenue channels, identifying trends by market and market segmentation using industry resources, leading the group and catering sales teams across the collection and leading the public relations and marketing efforts across all hotels, outlets and overall Kessler brand. Lori has an extensive background in revenue management, sales and hotel operations in branded and independent hotels. Lori has 25 years of experience in the hospitality industry and has worked in various positions to include revenue, sales and operations. Lori’s revenue management experience has spanned her career, always holding a dual role to include revenue management in all of the titles she has held. In addition, her experience includes numerous brands and chain scales in the industry including IHG, Omni, Hilton, Wyndham, Marriott, Preferred and independent hotels. Lori has a passion for analyzing economic trends and leading a team of sales and revenue professionals to execution of the company’s goals. Lori has a proven track record of increasing RevPAR and market share index throughout her career; which has resulted in top line revenues that exceed budgeted expectations. Lori has an A.A., as well as an A.S. in Hospitality Management with a focus on Travel and Tourism and a B.A.S. in Leadership with focus on Supervision and Management. She has also earned certification through AHLA as a Certified Rooms Division Executive. She has earned numerous revenue management awards throughout her career.
Panelist :  Cycle dynamics for independent hotels

Senior Manager of 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.
Presenter :  It's all in the numbers: How global trends are reflected in hotel data

Director, Destination Research, 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.
Presenter :  Sports rule: The impact of rotating sporting events on a market's hotel performance

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 lifecycle-does age matter?

Vice President of Strategy, Planning and Corporate Development, Sabre Hospitality Solutions
Balaji Krishnamurthy is the vice president of strategy, planning and corporate development for Sabre Hospitality Solutions. He joined Sabre in 2015 as vice president of strategy and new market development, responsible for Sabre's market development efforts in Africa and China across the company's three business units. Prior to joining Sabre, Balaji was at Orbitz Worldwide, a global online travel leader, where he led the global corporate strategy function for a diverse travel portfolio of B2C brands and B2B businesses. Before Orbitz, he worked at LinkedIn Corporation in Silicon Valley where he led North America sales strategy and operations for its Sales Solutions business. Mr. Krishnamurthy was a management consultant with McKinsey & Company for over five years, serving C-level executives on a diverse set of business strategy, operations and technology-related topics in the financial services (asset management, retail banking and insurance), healthcare, technology, travel and transportation sectors. Previously, he held various leadership and management positions within the healthcare division of General Electric. Balaji is passionate about developing innovative new products, building new businesses, developing new markets and fostering high-performing teams globally. He graduated with an MBA from the 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.
Presenter :  Predict hotel demand from airline booking data

Vice President, Operations, MCR
Mr. Kucera is Vice President, Operations of MCR and oversees half of the company’s hotel portfolio. Just prior to joining MCR, Mr. Kucera served as President/COO of Presidian Hotels & Resorts, Hotel Development and Management Company for 3.5 years. He was directly accountable for the overall operations of the Hotel and Condo Management division. Prior to Presidian, Mr. Kucera served as Executive Vice President, Operations for Expotel Hospitality for 7.5 years. Here he was directly accountable for overall operations of the Management Company. And, prior to Expotel, Mr. Kucera held the position of Regional Director of Operations, Midwest for Flagstone Hospitality, the affiliated management company of RFS Hotel Investors, Inc., where he was directly accountable for 14 full and select service hotels. Over 14 years with RFS he held various General Manager Positions which led to multi-property management. Mr. Kucera earned a B.S. Degree in Hospitality Management from The Ohio State University.
Panelist :  A revenue manager's best friend: A profitable business mix

Senior Economist, CBRE Hotels' Americas Research
Jamie Lane is a senior economist for CBRE Hotels’ Americas Research. He is based in the firm’s Atlanta office where he is responsible for econometric forecasting, producing the firm's quarterly Hotel Horizons® reports, and new product development. Other activities include conducting studies for hotel investment firms and operating companies using advanced quantitative methods and preparing research reports on contemporary hotel industry issues. Recently, Jamie has published multiple reports on Airbnb, including a comprehensive study for the AH&LA on multi-unit hosts and Airbnb’s growth in the U.S. Since joining CBRE Hotels (formerly PKF Hospitality Research) in 2010, Mr. Lane has done extensive research on the determinants of hospitality demand and creating models for profit, average daily rate (ADR), supply, and demand forecasting. In addition, he has published in academic and professional journals including the Cornell Hospitality Quarterly and the International Journal of Hospitality Management, as well as speaking at many industry forums. He holds a bachelor in Economics from the University of Georgia and a Masters of Business Economics from Georgia State University. Jamie is an active member of the National Association of Business Economists and the Atlanta Economics Club.
Presenter :  Alternative accommodations: What they can teach you about your market

Senior Vice President-Finance, Pyramid Hotel Group
Jack Levy has had over 40 years of experience in the analysis and structuring of complex financial transactions in the hotel, real estate (both commercial and residential) and leisure industries. At Pyramid, he is responsible for leading the financial diligence on management company acquisitions and portfolio transactions and providing overall underwriting guidance for individual hotel deals. He is the former Executive Vice President and Treasurer of the Pebble Beach Company, and has held senior management positions with the Promus Hotel Company, DoubleTree Hotels Corporation and Beacon Properties. He has also provided consulting services to organizations including Del Webb Corporation, Best Western Hotels, Candlewood Hotels and the General Electric Pension Trust. He is a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Panelist :  How consolidation leads to a growing industry

Executive Managing Director, Cushman & Wakefield, Inc.
Eric B. Lewis is the Executive Managing Director and Practice Lead of the Hospitality & Gaming group within Cushman & Wakefield’s Valuation & Advisory division. Hospitality & Gaming consists of approximately 27 senior valuation professionals dedicated to the hospitality industry. In 2016, the group was responsible for appraising properties valued at more than $100 billion, involving virtually every hospitality & gaming property type, including full-, limited-, and select-service hotels, conference centers, timeshares, fractionals, resorts, condominium hotels, traditional land-based casinos, racetracks, riverboat casinos, Native American casinos, and racinos. Work scope includes appraisals, feasibility studies, market surveys, litigation support, and investment analysis. Mr. Lewis has been dedicated to the hospitality field for more than 20 years. He has personally completed appraisal, advisory, and consulting assignments on all hospitality property types across the Americas, APAC and EMEA, and is a sought-after expert witness in hospitality-related litigation support cases.
Panelist :  The current pipeline: Building momentum or a developing problem?

Director, Market & Hotel Insight, Choice Hotels International
Martha Lomanno Glose is Manager of Market Research at Choice Hotels International, Inc., one of the world’s largest hotel franchisors. In this position, Martha manages the operation and analytics of hotel performance data at a corporate level. She is responsible for market analysis and developing business intelligence reports to uncover trends and insights that help support the company’s strategic goals. In addition, she is responsible for planning and executing the annual corporate performance forecasts. Prior to joining Choice in 2011, Martha held research and account management roles with STR and STR Global, respectively. She holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree from Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration in Ithaca, NY. She resides in Washington, DC with her husband.

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 :  Finding the pulse on the independent hotels

President, Travel Tripper
Gautam Lulla is the President of Travel Tripper. He brings 19 years of solid industry experience spanning the breadth of the hotel reservations and distribution technology industry. He has invaluable international experience, having worked on three different continents: the Taj Group of Hotels in India, Pegasus Solutions in the U.S. and Amadeus IT in France. He has led Travel Tripper since early 2008, spearheading its evolution into the industry's most innovative provider of hotel distribution and marketing solutions.
Panelist :  Distribution channels: Surfing for success

Senior Vice President of Revenue Management, Island Hospitality Management
Ms. Mainelli, Senior Vice President of Revenue Management, Island Hospitality Management. Michele is instrumental administrating the portfolio annual and monthly forecasting, budgeting market share targets and revenue targets for optimal revenue growth and profitability, pricing trends, brand initiatives, and RFP processes. Most recently, hyper focus on booking trends and pace compared to prior year and overseeing strategy changes to always generate optimal revenue – focus forward. Marriott Franchise Revenue Management Advisory Board, 2017. Michele joined Island Hospitality Management in 2004 arriving from the Marriott International Reservation Center, Omaha NE where she held positions varying from Lead Information Support Desk agent, Manager of Reservation Sales and Hotel Liaison Systems Analyst, International Region. Ms. Mainelli has over 20 years of Travel Industry background. Ms. Mainelli graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree from The University of Nebraska.
Panelist :  The maturing role of revenue managers

Advisory Director, Transportation & Logistics, PwC

President & CEO, Pacifica Hotels
Mr. Marquis started his career on Wall Street working on the ownership side of large public limited partnerships. He worked heavily in asset management and portfolio valuation with firms such as Dean Witter Realty and Investcorp International. He returned back to his hometown of Santa Barbara 20 years ago to work with his father in developing their family business which has become focused mostly on hospitality assets. Currently, Pacifica Hotels owns and operates over 30 hotels and has developed soft brands such as The Wayfarer and The Kinney.
Panelist :  Cycle dynamics for independent hotels

President & CEO, Marshall Hotels & Resorts
Michael P. Marshall, President and CEO, literally grew up in the hotel business. During his 30-plus year career he has worked in virtually every position within a hotel, to overseeing the company's current portfolio of managed properties. He has worked at, managed, invested in and developed more than 175 properties in his career, which gives him the understanding to look at an issue from the worker's, operator's and owner's point of view to determine the best solution. His expertise includes virtually every major hotel brand family, ranging from luxury to limited-service, as well as boutique, non-branded hotels. Marshall regularly speaks at the industry's leading conferences, providing candid insights into hotel management and investment. He received a Bachelors of Arts degree from Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Va. and completed the Advanced Management Program at Cornell University. He is a member of the Cornell Society of Hoteliers.
Panelist :  Beers with the bosses

Executive Director, EY
Scott a leader in EY’s Data and Analytics Advisory Practice specializing Big Data, Analytics, and AI solutions across many corporate domains, including the tax function, with industry focus on Oil and Gas, as well as Life Sciences, Travel and Transportation and Aerospace & Defense. He has more than 25 years of management consulting and industry experience delivering large scale data management and analytics solutions and strategy. Scott brings cutting edge data management and analytics techniques and technologies to the market, which garnered several industry recognition awards as well as patents. His experience in analytics and data management includes senior management roles in corporate finance, strategic planning, and management consulting.
Panelist :  TMI? No way. AI + BI = Trackable ROI

Senior Director of Research & Development, STR
As Senior Director of Research & Development, Patrick Mayock is tasked with exploring new opportunities, methodologies and solutions to ensure the continued success of STR long into the future. Additionally, he helps lead the company’s thought leadership platform to advance the perception of STR within the hotel industry and beyond. Prior to joining the R&D team in January 2016, Patrick was instrumental in building STR’s media arm, Hotel News Now, from plucky upstart in 2008 to the award-winning leader in news for the global hotel industry. Patrick earned his bachelor’s degree from the E.W. Scripps of Journalism at Ohio University and his master’s degree from the School of Journalism & Mass Communication at Kent State University. He lives in Lakewood, Ohio, with his wife, Emily, and son, William.
Presenter :  Not all markets are created equal
Moderator :  Boom or gloom? Forecasting the future of hotel performance
Moderator :  "Disrupting disruptors" is more than a catch phrase

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 :  Tech talks: Emerging innovations

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 :  Generating demand from different generations

SVP Revenue Management, MGM Resorts International
Dr. Kelly McGuire is Senior Vice President, Revenue Management at MGM Resorts International, overseeing revenue management and marketing for MGMs casinos in Las Vegas. Prior to this position, she served as Vice President, Advanced Analytics at Wyndham Destination Networks where she lead a team of scientists and developers that build custom analytical solutions for Wyndham's vacation rental business, as well as the RCI exchange. She is an analytics evangelist, helping hospitality and gaming businesses infuse science into the art of hospitality with big data and analytics. She is the author of two books on analytics in hospitality, “Hotel Pricing in a Social World” and “The Analytic Hospitality Executive”.
Panelist :  Analytical talent and the millennial mindset

Director, Real Estate & Development, Hyatt Hotels Corporation
Ryan McNamara is a Director of Real Estate and Development at Hyatt Hotels Corporation. Based in Chicago, Ryan is responsible for the expansion of Hyatt’s select-service brands, including Hyatt Place and Hyatt House, throughout the Central United States. In his current role, Ryan oversees Hyatt’s development process and manages key owner and operator relationships on behalf of the organization. Before transitioning to Development, Ryan led Hyatt’s select-service feasibility and market analysis team for North America. Prior to joining Hyatt Hotels Corporation seven years ago, Ryan’s experience spanned hotel operations, finance, and real estate development, having worked with companies including Four Seasons, Marriott, and a boutique private equity firm. Ryan earned his bachelor’s degree in Hospitality and Real Estate Development from Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration. Ryan is an active member of the Cornell Hotel Society and a board member of the nonprofit EGBOK Mission, supporting hospitality education throughout Cambodia.
Panelist :  The current pipeline: Building momentum or a developing problem?

Senior Vice President of Revenue Management, 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 maturing role of revenue managers

Vice President, Owner Strategy and Services, Expedia, Inc.
Mark Morrison is the Vice President of Owner Strategy and Services at Expedia, where he focuses on growing relationships with and developing new services for hotel owners and management companies. Morrison enhances Expedia's abilities to work with and address hotel owners' needs as the Company continues to evolve and innovate. Passionate about hotel industry innovation, Morrison was most recently advising and investing in travel start-ups. Prior to that, Morrison spent eight years at Hilton Worldwide serving as the Vice President of Corporate Strategy where he led the corporate strategy function following its buyout by Blackstone and worked to develop and execute on long-term corporate priorities. During that time, he managed a variety of corporate strategic projects and planning efforts for Hilton, which included a successful IPO in 2013. He has also held roles in hotel asset management, development, and financial operations. Before joining Hilton, Morrison was a strategy consultant for Bain & Company, working on a variety of strategic projects across diverse industries including as manufacturing, travel, and aerospace. Prior to consulting, Mr. Morrison held various finance, corporate development, and strategy roles in such companies as Tishman Realty Group, Hilton Hotels Corporation, and Silicon Valley Bank. Morrison is a graduate of the Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration and holds an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. He served in the U.S. Peace Corps as a volunteer in Panama and is fluent in Spanish, versed in Kuna and Portuguese. Additionally, Morrison has consulted on various tourism and travel projects globally on a non-profit basis.
Panelist :  "Disrupting disruptors" is more than a catch phrase

EVP & Chief Operating Officer, RLH Corporation
Bernie joined RLH Corporation in October 2016 following the acquisition of Vantage Hospitality Group, Inc. and its hotel brands. Prior to joining RLH Corporation, Bernie was the CFO, COO and managing partner of Vantage Hospitality. His vision and contributions to the company made Vantage a top 10 global hotel company, growing to over 1,000 hotels in just 11 years. Before joining Vantage Hospitality Group, Moyle practiced commercial law for 18 years and was managing partner at Benson, Moyle, Mucci LLP in Fort Lauderdale. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Salisbury University in Maryland. He has been recognized as a Distinguished Alumni of the Year for NSU and is a former treasurer and president of the NSU Law Center Alumni Association and member of the Law Center Board of Governors.
Panelist :  How consolidation leads to a growing industry

Senior Vice President, Lodging Capital Partners, LLC
Richard Niedbala is Senior Vice President – Asset Management for Lodging Capital Partners, LLC. Mr. Niedbala’s career in the hospitality industry has encompassed feasibility, valuation, franchise administration, and asset management concentrations. In addition to his current position, Mr. Niedbala has held positions as Senior Vice President with The Plasencia Group, Vice President of Investment Management, Lodging and Leisure Group for Lend Lease Real Estate Investments, Inc, and Vice President – Asset Management for Boykin Lodging Company. Mr. Niedbala has also held positions with Lincoln Life Insurance, Holiday Corporation, and Laventhol & Horwath. During his tenure with these organizations, Mr. Niedbala has had asset management responsibility for over $1 billion in hotel assets, ranging from limited service hotels to larger convention-oriented urban and suburban hotels as well as luxury boutique resort properties. Additionally, he was responsible for approximately $1.5 billion worth of individual hotel property dispositions and bulk sales. Mr. Niedbala has served on the board of directors and as president of the Hospitality Asset Managers Association (HAMA) and is currently serving on the Hospitality Business Real Estate and Development Advisory Council for The School of Hospitality Business, Michigan State University, his alma mater. Mr. Niedbala has been cited in articles in several different industry magazines and authored a chapter on the asset management process in Hotel Asset Management, Principles & Practices, Third Edition.
Panelist :  Scoring big with non-rooms revenue

Senior Analytics Manager, 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: A deeper look into hotel operating statistics

CIO, Guest Management Solutions, TravelClick
Shayne Paddock is a technology and business leader with over 20 years of experience working in the areas of product management, software development, CRM, Marketing Automation, Guest Profiling, Loyalty Management, Search Engine Marketing, Email Marketing, and Hospitality Systems Integration. He is currently the CIO for Guest Management Solutions at TravelClick, a global provider of innovative cloud-based, revenue-generating solutions for the hospitality industry. His areas of responsibility include Product Development, Customer Engagement, Sales Engineering, and the thought leadership of TravelClick’s suite of Guest Management solutions. TravelClick’s new Guest Management Solutions provide unparalleled insights into guests, giving hoteliers the ability to effectively and continuously engage them at all stages of the guest journey. Prior to TravelClick Shayne was the CIO for ZDirect, a hospitality marketing automation company that was acquired by TravelClick in October of 2015. Before working in the hospitality industry he worked with the search engine Excite.com where he helped build one of the internet’s first commercial email platforms in DeliverE, keyword search term marketing, media placement, as well as several other dot com startups all revolving around database marketing. Shayne holds a diploma in Business Administration with a major in Information Systems from Algonquin College as well as two patents in the email marketing space with regards to dynamic content and personalization. In his downtime Shayne prefers to be lost on a mountain or exploring remote areas of Africa with no access to WiFi. He lives in Ottawa, Canada with his wife Kathie and his son Noah. In his free time he likes to ski, run, hike, coach little league, play hockey, read, and disconnect from WIFI.
Panelist :  The costs of loyalty and distribution in a discount world

CEO/Principal, REVPAR International, Inc.
Rick has 30+ years of hospitality industry experience related to new development and acquisition; economic valuation, workouts, branding, asset management, deal structure, financial and operational analysis, and market feasibility. He has worked on behalf of many different ownership groups and acted as owner’s representative on many new and existing hotel projects and acquisitions. 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 School of Hotel and Restaurant Management at the University of Denver. Rick holds various memberships, including the ISHC, HAMA, and ULI and has authored or co-authored various industry-related research, most recently a chapter in Hotel Investments published by the AHLA Education Institute in conjunction with HAMA.
Moderator :  A revenue manager's best friend: A profitable business mix

President, ADM Hotels, and Chairman, AAHOA
Bhavesh Patel is the 2017-18 Chairman of AAHOA, the largest hotel owner’s association in the world. He has been an active member of the association since 1994, previously serving as the Regional Director for the Mid-Atlantic region. A native of London, England, Bhavesh moved with his family to the United States in 1976. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management and Finance in 1990 from York College of Pennsylvania. Following graduation, Bhavesh joined the family business and launched a successful career in hospitality. Bhavesh is a principal of ADM Hotels, a family-owned, full-service real estate company, specializing in hospitality management, development, and investments. The ADM Hotels portfolio features several branded and independent hotel properties concentrated in the northeastern United States. ADM Hotels is currently developing additional properties expected to be completed during 2018. Bhavesh is an active member of his community. He is a past President of Charotaria Leuva Patidar Seva Samaj and currently serves on its Board of Trustees. Bhavesh also served as President of the Runnemede, Bellmawr, Glendora Rotary Club, where he earned the prestigious Paul Harris Fellow designation. Bhavesh is an active supporter of youth education. He serves as the “village representative” for Barasadi Primary School, which is a part of the Tiny Smiling Faces Foundation. Bhavesh and his wife Amita have two sons, Nikhil and Milan. The Patels reside in Cinnaminson, New Jersey.
Panelist :  The costs of loyalty and distribution in a discount world

President & CEO, Capital City Hospitality Group, and Vice Chairman, AAHOA
Hitesh (HP) Patel is an Austin, Texas-based hotelier and community leader with a strong entrepreneurial background. Born in England in 1972, HP and his family immigrated to the United States when he was eight years old and put down roots in Elgin, Texas. Two years later, 10-year-old HP was working the front desk, in housekeeping, and in maintenance at his parents’ 18-room hotel. HP is a 1996 graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, where he earned a BBA. In 1998, he launched his hospitality career with the construction of a Microtel Inn in Stafford, Texas. In the years that followed, HP added branded properties like Best Western, Choice, IHG, and Wyndham to his portfolio. Today, HP is the president of Capital City Hospitality Group and the creator of Global Green Consultants, which offers “green” consulting services primarily to hotels. He holds several leadership positions within the hotel industry, including a place on both the Austin Hotel & Lodging Association and the Leuva Patidar Samaj (LPS) Board of Directors; an appointment to the Austin Economic Growth and Redevelopment Task Force; and an IHG Owners Association Ambassadorship. A member of AAHOA since 2004, HP began his service on the AAHOA Board of Directors in 2010, when he was elected Director at Large. He subsequently won the AAHOA Award of Excellence for his work in supporting AAHOA’s educational initiatives. He is also the 2017-2018 AAHOA Vice Chairman, and will assume the AAHOA chairmanship in 2018. HP currently resides in Austin with his wife, Trusha, and their two children, Kylissa and Khaleal.
Panelist :  The maturing role of revenue managers

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 portfolio of 33 hotels and a pipeline of 16 properties affiliated with premier brands such as Marriott International and Hilton Worldwide. Vision’s properties extend from the Chicago metro area to coastal North Carolina and as far west as Denver, Colorado. Mitch has led Vision to be the recipient of many awards and 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. In 2015, Vision’s growth was spotlighted in an article in Entrepreneur Magazine. Mitch serves on the Marriott International Franchise Advisory Council and the Hilton Worldwide Owner’s Advisory Council. Maintaining his presence on boards of local organizations in Vision’s hometown of Chattanooga, Mitch currently serves on the boards of the Benwood Foundation, St. Nicholas School, ArtsBuild of Greater Chattanooga, Chattanooga Design Studio, River City Company and the University of Chattanooga Foundation. Mitch is also 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 :  "Disrupting disruptors" is more than a catch phrase

President and COO, Silverwest Hotel Partners, LLC
Charles Peck was named President and COO of Silverwest in 2014. In 2013, Charlie co-founded Silverwest Hotel Partners, LLC (“SWHP”), a privately owned hotel operating and development company. SWHP was formed to establish and sponsor investment partnerships aiming to develop, own and operate a successful portfolio of hotel investments for the benefit of SWHP’s investment partners. SWHP is one of the ownership entities of Silverwest. In 2012, Charlie formed CSP Resource, LLC (“CSP Resource”). CSP Resource is a private hospitality real estate investment and advisory firm based in Greenwood Village, CO. From 1997-2012, Charlie was President & COO of Destination Hotels & Resorts (“DH&R”), the Denver based hospitality management arm of Lowe Hospitality Group, the fourth largest U.S. independent hotel operator. As President & COO, Charlie was responsible for the acquisition and development of the 45-property national portfolio. Charlie first joined DH&R in 1993 as Managing Director of Sunriver Resort Limited Partnership in Sunriver, OR. Prior to DH&R, Charlie was Director, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Cushman Realty Corporation, a diversified national real estate company based in Los Angeles, CA. He was also President of Cushman Investment and Development Corporation. Previously, as Chief Financial Officer of Disney Imagineering, Peck assisted in the planning of large-scale development activities for The Walt Disney Company. Charlie is a graduate of Yale University and Harvard Graduate School of Business.
Panelist :  The costs of loyalty and distribution in a discount world

Vice President of Revenue Strategy and Global Distribution, Omni Hotels & Resorts
As Vice President of Revenue Strategy and Global Distribution for Omni Hotels & Resorts, Jamie is responsible for Revenue Management, Distribution and Voice Reservations for the brand. Jamie Pena joined Omni Hotels & Resort in 2009 as Corporate Director of Revenue Applications and transitioned to the role of Corporate Director of Group Strategy as well as serving as Area Director of Sales & Marketing for three major market hotels in November of 2011. Prior to joining Omni Hotels & Resorts, Jamie was with Marriott Hotels for 17 year in a variety of roles including Operations, Sales and Revenue Management. Jamie graduated from University of Texas, Austin with her BBA in Marketing. She currently sits on the Customer Advisory Board for Travelclick, STR and Rainmaker.
Presenter :  Under pressure: A look at compression analytics for markets

Senior Vice President, Corporate Strategy & Reporting, Apple Hospitality REIT, Inc.
Liz Perkins currently serves as Senior Vice President of Corporate Strategy & Reporting for Apple Hospitality REIT, Inc. and Apple REIT Ten, Inc. Collectively referred to as the Apple REIT Companies, these sister real estate investment trusts (REITs) together own 236 upscale extended-stay, select-service and full-service hotels, with a total of over 30,000 guestrooms, throughout 34 states. The companies are headquartered in Richmond, Virginia, and their hotels operate under the Hampton Inn, Hampton Inn & Suites, Homewood Suites by Hilton, Home2 Suites by Hilton, Hilton Garden Inn, Embassy Suites, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Courtyard by Marriott, Fairfield Inn by Marriott, Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott, Marriott, Residence Inn by Marriott, Renaissance Hotels & Resorts, SpringHill Suites by Marriott, and TownePlace Suites by Marriott brands. Ms. Perkins also served as VP Asset Management of Apple Hospitality Six, Inc., a lodging REIT which owned 66 Marriott- and Hilton-branded hotels that began in 2004 and was sold to an affiliate of Blackstone Real Estate Partners in May 2013. She served as Asset Manager for Apple Hospitality Five, Inc., a lodging REIT that owned a total of 28 Marriott- and Hilton-branded hotels until October of 2007 when the company was sold to Inland American Real Estate Trust, Inc. She served in the same capacity for Apple Hospitality Two, Inc., a lodging REIT which owned 66 hotels, including 49 Residence Inn properties and 17 Homewood Suites properties, that began in 1999 and was sold to an affiliate of ING Clarion in May 2007. Ms. Perkins joined the Apple REIT Companies in 2006, and since that time, has been a key player in the development of the asset management process employed by Apple. Before expanding her role to include operations, corporate strategy and reporting, she had direct responsibility for overseeing a portfolio of 65 hotels managed by seven management companies. These hotels represent over $1 billion in assets. In her asset management role, she managed relationships with brand and management company key contacts, monitored top and bottom line performance of properties under oversight, and collaborated in reinvestment decisions. Ms. Perkins’ responsibilities now include leadership in Apple’s Corporate Strategy & Reporting Department. In this role, her focus remains on operational results, the reporting coordination and needs of all business units within the organization, and global corporate strategy.
Panelist :  Analytical talent and the millennial mindset

Vice President, Global Business Analytics, Hilton Worldwide
Jess Petitt is the vice president of global business analytics at Hilton Worldwide, where he leads a department responsible for analyzing the macroeconomic, industry, competitive, and development environments, provides cross-functional analysis for the executive team, and partners with IT to implement Hilton’s enterprise business intelligence strategy. Prior to joining Hilton, Petitt served as corporate director of marketing and 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 earned his MBA from the Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland. He has been named one of Hotel & Motel Management’s “Thirty Under 30” and has served as a guest columnist for various industry publications.
Presenter :  Cause and effect: How the broader economy influences hotel performance

Founder, Pinkowski & Company
Pinkowski & Company is a consulting firm established in April of 1987 for the purpose of providing experienced, professional consulting services to companies, individuals and other entities involved in the hospitality industry. Mr. Charles G. Pinkowski, founder of the company, offers more than 35 years of consulting experience with a most diversified profile of clients. Pinkowski & Company has serviced clients on a nationwide basis for assignments located from coast to coast. Mr. Pinkowski is a resource for many hospitality industry engagements including management company selection, operational review, conceptual design and planning, internal control review, as well as market feasibility studies for development of all types of lodging facilities. In this time of challenging business decisions, Pinkowski & Company is the right firm to assist in the evaluation of your business and the determination of how to remain or become successful now and in the future
Moderator :  Scoring big with non-rooms revenue

Senior Vice President of Sales, Revenue Management and Digital Strategies, PM Hotel Group
As senior vice president of sales, revenue management and digital strategies, Leticia is responsible for the development and implementation of 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. She has more than twenty-two 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, e-commerce 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 :  Group hug! Let's talk meetings

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: Striving for maximum profitability

President, M3
President/Partner Allen Read brings nearly 30 years of hospitality industry experience to M3 Accounting + Analytics. He began his career as a front desk associate at the Best Western Hotel in Natchez, Mississippi in 1986. Upon relocating to Georgia in 1990, Allen joined McKibbon Brothers as a front desk associate at the Thomasville Holiday Inn. Over several years, he broadened his knowledge of the industry by working in a variety of roles, leading to his position as General Manager at several McKibbon-owned hotels throughout Georgia. In 1999, Allen transitioned to Director of Information Services. With the development of the new McKibbon Company, M3 Hotel Accounting, he became one of the company’s first employees, acting as Business Manager. In January 2002, Allen was made a Partner in the company, and promoted to Vice President of Operations. Five years later in January 2007, he was named President and Chief Operating Officer. Allen is a graduate of Mississippi State University’s College of Engineering, and a Certified Hotel Administrator
Panelist :  Scoring big with non-rooms revenue

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 :  The costs of loyalty and distribution in a discount world
Moderator :  What the democratization of travel means for hotels

Senior Vice President, Development & Capital Markets, Aimbridge Hospitality
Lynne Roberts joined Aimbridge in 2004 and has 25 years of hospitality experience. Roberts is responsible for overseeing acquisition, management and development activities. Her industry knowledge, experience and expertise have helped drive Aimbridge’s significant growth from eight to over 500 properties. Prior to joining Aimbridge, Roberts worked with Wyndham Hotels and Resorts for over 10 years as Vice President of Development Planning. While at Wyndham, she led acquisition, new construction, management contracts, and conversion analysis. In 1997, she created and directed start-up company development for HomeGate Hospitality, an extended-stay group. There she contributed to achieving private to public company status and a successful company sale within two years of conception. Prior to her tenure at Wyndham/Homegate, Roberts led real estate analysis for Sheraton Suites Development in the Central United States and Canada. She was also a Hospitality consultant with Pannell Kerr Forster (PKF) in Chicago. Ms. Roberts holds a B.S. degree and is a graduate and valedictorian of Michigan State University School of Hotel and Restaurant Management. She currently serves on the Board of Governors for the University of North Texas College of Merchandising, Hospitality and Tourism.
Panelist :  The current pipeline: Building momentum or a developing problem?

Vice President, Revenue Management, Evolution Hospitality
Scott oversees the revenue management department’s efforts in driving total revenue and increasing market share for Evolution Hospitality’s portfolio. Using a collaborative approach, the team leverages proprietary technology to provide world-class analysis, utilizes brand systems and resources to maximize franchise contribution, and capitalizes on in-depth market knowledge to generate proactive strategies. Prior to being a part of the launch of Evolution Hospitality in March 2011, Scott held revenue management positions with Tarsadia Hotels, La Costa Resort & Spa, and Hilton Hotels in San Diego. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Hotel Administration from Cornell University. Scott has guest lectured on revenue management at San Diego State University and Cal Poly Pomona. He also serves on and is past Chair of HSMAI's Revenue Management Advisory Board.
Presenter :  Digging deeper into urban markets

Director of Lodging Analytics, Tourism Economics
Aran Ryan is Director of Lodging Analytics at Tourism Economics, an Oxford Economics company. He is responsible for developing quantitative tools to help hotel investors, operators and brands develop targeted investment and growth strategies. He also manages lodging forecasts at the local, regional and national level. Mr. Ryan has over 20 years of consulting experience. Previously he was a Director in the Hospitality & Leisure consulting practice at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (“PwC”). A graduate of Colby College, Aran earned a MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
Presenter :  Cause and effect: How the broader economy influences hotel performance

President, Tourism Economics
Adam Sacks is the founder and President of Tourism Economics, an Oxford Economics company dedicated to quantitatively-based consulting to the travel sector. Over the past twenty years, Adam has worked with hundreds of destinations, industry associations, and companies around the world in the areas of opportunity and risk assessments, policy analysis, and economic impact. Adam’s work has provided the foundation for billions of dollars in capital investment decisions by hotel companies, developers, and investors. Destination marketing organizations around the world rely on Tourism Economics data and scenario models to inform global marketing investment allocations. Adam also supports trade associations in the aviation, hotel, and broader travel arena with forecasts widely considered to be an industry standard. And by examining the economic merits of travel facilitation, taxation, and tourism promotion initiatives, Adam has influenced local, regional, and national government policies. He is an authority on measuring the economic impact of visitor activity and has analyzed the impacts of cruising, gaming, timeshare, hotels, new attractions and destination marketing. Adam regularly presents to corporate strategic planning teams on the threats and opportunities facing their businesses and is a frequent conference speaker on the outlook for the economy and travel.
Presenter :  Economic Overview
Presenter :  Data that makes you say “hmmmmm...”

Founder and CEO, StayNTouch
Jos has a 20+ year track record in hotel software technology. He began StayNTouch with the vision of re-inventing the hotel PMS technology; making it simple, mobile and transitioning the software to the cloud. Prior to StayNTouch, Jos spent 17 years at MICROS Systems Inc (now Oracle Hospitality) as a Senior Vice President in charge of global product development and strategy for the Lodging and eCommerce divisions. During his tenure, MICROS' hospitality products became the global market leader, growing the company's revenues from less than $300 million to $1.1 billion. Jos was responsible for introducing a number of new products enabling MICROS to enter all hospitality segments from limited to full service hotels.
Panelist :  Maximizing revenue opportunities in a changing environment

SVP, Digital Commerce & Media, LaQuinta Holdings, Inc.
Ted Schweitzer currently serves as the senior vice president, digital commerce and media, at La Quinta Holdings Inc. At La Quinta, Prior to joining La Quinta in 2002, he served in multiple positions at Choice Hotels International in training, distribution and marketing beginning in 1996. Previously, Mr. Schweitzer spent several years in the hospitality industry in operational roles. Clearly travel is in his DNA but not just for work, as he and his husband spend their spare time traveling the world.
Panelist :  Distribution channels: Surfing for success

Regional Director of Sales & Marketing, Aimbridge Hospitality
Michelle Sedlak has been involved in hotels since 1996. She has worked at various hotels in a variety of positions in sales & marketing in Colorado and Wisconsin. In 2010, Sedlak moved to central Wisconsin to become the Director of Sales at the Holiday Inn Hotel & Convention Center in Stevens Point, Wis. This hotel has more than 38,000 square feet of flexible meeting space and is one of the premier convention centers in Wisconsin. She is know for making it a win win for the owners, clients and her community.
Panelist :  Maximizing revenue opportunities in a changing environment

CEO & Senior Managing Principal, Noble Investment Group
Mr. Shah founded the Noble organization in 1993 to specialize in making value-added and income investments in the lodging and hospitality sector. Through its private equity real estate funds, Noble has invested more than $3 billion in upscale select service and extended-stay hotels in communities throughout the United States. As a fiduciary to state pensions, university endowments and foundations, Noble’s endeavors are to help preserve and grow our limited partners’ capital which provides retirement benefits for our country’s teachers and firefighters as well as the financial resources for students to attend our best colleges and universities. Mr. Shah presently serves as Chairman of the Board of LaQuinta Holdings Inc. (NYSE:LQ), a leading owner, operator and franchisor of select-service hotels representing more than 85,000 rooms located in 47 states, as well as Canada and Mexico. In addition, Mr. Shah is President of Marriott International’s MINA board, an owners' board member for Hyatt Hotels Corporation and a member of the Industry Real Estate and Finance Advisory Council (IREFAC) of the American Hotel and Lodging Association. Mr. Shah is an active supporter of educational objectives and is currently serving his third term as a member of the Board of Trustees for his alma mater, Wake Forest University, and is also an executive committee member of the Woodward Academy governing board.
Panelist :  Beers with the bosses

Managing Director, Acquisitions and Asset Management, Starwood Capital Group
Suril Shah is a Managing Director and Head of U.S. Hotels at Starwood Capital Group. In this role, Mr. Shah oversees the Firm’s hospitality acquisition and asset management activities across the United States. Since June 2011, he has led Starwood Capital’s U.S. Hotel Acquisitions team. Since October 2014, he has also led the Firm’s Select-Service Hotel Asset Management team. Mr. Shah also serves as President of SH Group, Starwood Capital Group’s hotel brand management company that oversees the development and management of the Firm’s two luxury and lifestyle hotel and residence brands, 1 Hotels and Baccarat Hotels & Resorts. In this role, he oversees the operations of SH Group-managed hotels, including development, sales, finance & accounting and human resources. After joining Starwood Capital in 2005, Mr. Shah spent three years in Paris as a member of the management team of Groupe du Louvre, which owns, manages and franchises more than 1,000 hotels throughout Europe, in addition to over a dozen luxury hotels. Mr. Shah was previously with Gleacher Partners, where he focused on mergers and acquisitions across all industries. Mr. Shah received a B.S. degree in management science & engineering from Stanford University. He currently serves on the Boards of Directors of Hersha Hospitality Management and InTown Suites.
Panelist :  Beers with the bosses

Vice President of Revenue Analytics, The Rainmaker Group
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. 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 from Cornell. Dan and his wife reside in Denver, CO with their two-year-old son and enjoy skiing, hiking and travel.
Presenter :  The Psychology of pricing

Vice President of Revenue, First Hospitality Group
Jenna Smith has been with First Hospitality Group for over 13 years and has worked every position along the way. Starting as a guest services representative in 2004, Jenna has risen incredibly from Sales to GM and, ultimately, elevating to regional revenue management. Today, she is certified and oversees more than six major brands. Over the course of her tenure with us, she has worked tirelessly on behalf of First Hospitality Group and our investors. With the state of our industry constantly changing and evolving, Jenna assures that FHG has a voice in the growth and development of all the brands that we manage. She is an expert in managing high volume demand and well-versed in understanding both short and long term goals. First Hospitality Group, headquartered in Chicago, operates hotels of every type and size, from historic rehabs to urban markets. Their strength lies in market knowledge and creating a training culture where one can work smart to succeed and have fun.
Presenter :  Drive direct through guest reviews

Senior Director, Market Management, Expedia, Inc.
Susan Spinney Corlett is the Senior Director of Market Management for Canada, New York, and New England for Expedia, where she leads the lodging partner services team who work closely with nearly 6,800 properties. She is responsible for building and maintaining Expedia’s leadership position with partners in addition to helping lodging partners build their visibility, increase guest interest, and drive bookings through the many brands of Expedia, Inc. As part of her role, Susan also helps to develop and align strategic initiatives with the product and technology teams who enhance Expedia’s partner facing tools and support. Since joining Expedia in 2001, Susan has held several management roles including Director of Planning, Hotel Sales in Dallas and Director of Market Management for Northeast and Mid-Atlantic. Her current role brought her back to her hometown of Boston, where she now resides. Prior to Expedia, Inc., Susan held management, sales and product management positions at various travel companies including Air Jamaica Vacations, Globetrotters and Lowestfare.com.
Panelist :  What the democratization of travel means for hotels

Senior Regional eCommerce Manager, MCR Development, LLC
Andrèa Thibeault is the Senior Regional eCommerce Manager for MCR Development with more than 20 years of multi-brand sales and eCommerce experience in the hospitality industry. In her current role, Ms. Thibeault supports the eCommerce function of the hotels, is responsible for growing and managing the online business development strategies among the corporate, tour and travel, transient and group markets. Previously, Ms. Thibeault's career included Director of Sales and eCommerce roles for Buffalo Lodging Associates, as well as Regional eCommerce Manager for Remington Hotels Corporation. Ms. Thibeault received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management from Johnson & Wales University.
Panelist :  Distribution channels: Surfing for success

Associate Director of Business Development, Hotels, STR
Fatima Thompson is the Associate Director of Business Development, Hotels for STR (STR, Inc.), the leading authority on hotel industry performance trends. In her role, she is responsible for the growth of STR’s Independent Hotel participant programs in the US, Mexico and the Caribbean. Fatima also works closely with Hotel & Tourism Associations in the Caribbean and Mexico to achieve STR’s goals of expansion in these regions. Fatima has been working in the hospitality industry for over 22 years and has a vast amount of experience in this industry. Prior to joining STR, Fatima worked with the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corporation. She also served on the board of directors of the Nashville Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Fatima holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from University of Panama. She resides in Tennessee with her husband and daughter.
Presenter :  Winds of change in the Americas

Senior Vice President 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, Brian has held positions with Interstate Hotels and Resorts and IBM Corporation. He has extensive experience with Marriott, Hilton, 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 :  Scoring big with non-rooms revenue

Data Scientist, Neirbi Analytics
Taiwo is a successful teacher and mentor, due to his expansive knowledge, friendly approach and infectious smile. He has spent almost a decade developing and applying statistical machine learning methods to derive insight from high-dimensional data. Upon graduating from Yale University with both a Masters and Ph.D., Taiwo founded SeqHub, which connects experienced data-scientists to commercial applications. As Neirbi Analytic’s Chief Data Scientist, Taiwo has done extensive work on correlations between hotel business variables and external-condition impacts.
Presenter :  Harnessing the butterfly effect to increase occupancy and ADR

Managing Member, Alpha Lodging Partners
Simon Turner has held diverse leadership roles in numerous facets of the hotel business including senior executive oversight and board experience of public and private enterprises. He has extensive global strategic and transactional experience related to complex property assets, brands, and operating businesses. His experience has also included advisory assignments, asset management, capital-raising and M&A. Most recently he was President, Global Development for Starwood Hotels and Resorts. His previous experience includes: Principal, Hotel Capital Advisers, Inc., a hotel investment advisory firm, overseeing both hotel brand (Four Seasons and Fairmont) and property investments; investment banker at Salomon Brothers; Manager, Pannell Kerr Forster, an international hotel and tourism consulting firm; and Operations Analyst in Saudi Arabia for Gustar Hoteliers, a Swiss-based hotel management and marketing company.
Moderator :  Analytical talent and the millennial mindset

Keynote Speaker, 
Frits van Paasschen is a seasoned global executive and the author of The Disruptors’ Feast. His thirty years of experience inside global companies has afforded him a unique perspective on the current trends that are impacting business around the world. Frits shares his deep understanding of the forces that are disrupting the status quo to help businesses evolve and thrive in changing environments. Frits served as CEO of Starwood Hotels and Resorts from 2007-2015. Before that, he spent three years as CEO at Coors Brewing Company. Frits also held several management positions at Nike, ultimately becoming Nike’s President of Europe, Middle East, and Africa. Prior to working for Nike, he worked in finance in Disney’s Consumer Products Division. While Frits has a long history of executive roles, his career began in management consulting. At The Boston Consulting Group and McKinsey & Company, he primarily served retail and consumer clients. Advising on strategic direction is a passion of Frits’ and he has served on a variety of boards throughout his career. He has been a Non-Executive Director at Barclays (FTSE) and as a member of the board of Directors of two NYSE-listed companies, Jones Apparel and Oakley. While at Nike, Frits served as Chairman of the European-American Industrial Council, and he later served on the boards of the U.S.-India and U.S.-China business councils. For several years, he was a member of the board of the Center for Environmental Leadership in Business at Conservation International. Frits holds a BA in Economics and Biology from Amherst College and an MBA from Harvard Business School. At Harvard, he was also a Teaching Fellow in Economics. Originally from the Netherlands, Frits holds dual U.S. and Dutch citizenship. A passionate traveler, he speaks five languages and has visited more than 110 countries. In his free time, he enjoys endurance sports, including marathons and triathlons. He has been married 25 years and has three children.
Presenter :  Keynote

Chief Marketing Officer, Knowland
Jim is proud to have joined Knowland in 2012. He has supported various departments within the company including data and research and has been actively involved in supporting the development team in the redevelopment of Knowland’s Insight tool. He works closely with the sales department in the areas of training and developing customer relationship skills. Currently, Jim manages Knowland’s marketing department, including all aspects of social media, new product launches, and supporting all processes for creating, communicating, and delivering Knowland products to customers. Jim is an award-winning hotel industry veteran, having spent more than 20 years in various sales positions within Hilton Hotels and Resorts, Hyatt Hotels and Resorts, and Le Meridien Hotels and Resorts. Among the properties where he worked was New York’s Waldorf Astoria, where he began as a Senior Sales Manager. He later served as Director of National Accounts for Hilton, Hyatt, and Le Meridien. Before coming to Knowland, Jim held the position of Vice President of Training and Development for ConferenceDirect for 7 years, where he managed one of the company’s largest Strategic Meeting Management accounts and was the Team Leader for CD’s largest team of sales associates. At ConferenceDirect he worked closely with Siemens, Microsoft and H&R Block on their meetings and events.
Panelist :  Cycle dynamics for independent hotels

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 :  What is tipping the (chain) scales?

Senior Vice President, Corporate Strategy, Park Hotels & Resorts Inc.
Ian C. Weissman serves as Senior Vice President, Corporate Strategy of Park Hotels & Resorts Inc. From April 2014 until September 2016, Mr. Weissman served as Managing Director, Head of REIT research at Credit Suisse, and from March 2010 until April 2014 Mr. Weissman served as Managing Director, Head of Lodging and Gaming Research at Evercore ISI. Prior to that, Mr. Weissman worked as a Senior REIT analyst at Bank of America Merrill Lynch covering the Office and Industrial sectors, while leading Retail REIT coverage at UBS Securities from April 2000 until October 2005. Mr. Weissman received his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Boston University and his Master of Business Administration degree from the Simon Business School, University of Rochester.
Panelist :  How consolidation leads to a growing industry

Vice President, Consulting and Analytics, STR
Carter 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.

President, Key Advisors, Inc.
Linda 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. Linda 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 is a member of the MSU Hospitality School Advisory Board and also serves on the Board of Directors at Hotel Equities, an Atlanta based hotel management company.
Moderator :  RFPs ASAP!

Chief Strategy Officer, STR
As Chief Strategy Officer, Elizabeth Randall Winkle is responsible for the development and execution of the organization’s strategic initiatives. Randall Winkle has held several positions within the STR organization. Most recently serving as Managing Director for the organization’s expansion and operations outside of North America. Elizabeth also served as Director of Operations. Elizabeth is active in the industry, speaking at international conferences and participating on panels at various events. Elizabeth was invited to take part in the Dean's Distinguished Lecture Series (DDLS) at the Cornell School of Hotel Administration (SHA) in 2011 and at Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL) in 2012. Elizabeth joined STR from the financial services industry, having served as Interim President/CEO for Pasadena Federal Credit Union in California after previously serving as Vice President, Member Services for the $120 Million organization. Ms. Randall-Winkle serves on the Board of Directors of STR Global, Ltd. (trading as STR) and International Society of Hospitality Consultants (ISHC). Elizabeth holds a bachelor’s degree from Vanderbilt University.
Presenter :  Industry Overview
Presenter :  Data that makes you say “hmmmmm...”

Senior Vice President - Real Estate Investments & Portfolio Management, Park Hotels & Resorts
Dexter Wood serves as Senior Vice President - Real Estate Investments & Portfolio Management at Park Hotels & Resorts. In this role, he is part of the company's transactions team and responsible for investment analysis and financial underwriting of real estate opportunities for the company. Mr. Wood joined Park Hotels & Resorts on January 3, 2017 as part of Hilton Worldwide's spin-off of Park Hotels & Resorts and Hilton Grand Vacations resulting in three independent, publicly traded companies. Prior to the split and beginning in 2009, Mr. Wood was Senior Vice President and Global Head – Business & Investment Analysis for Hilton Worldwide. In that role, he was responsible for the company’s global development and real estate finance functions. He also oversaw the company’s corporate business analytics team. Before joining Hilton Worldwide, Mr. Wood spent more than eight years as Senior Vice President – Feasibility & Strategic Analysis with Host Hotels & Resorts. Prior to his career at Host, Mr. Wood also held various roles for prominent hospitality and real estate consulting firms including PricewaterhouseCoopers and HVS International. Mr. Wood is a member of the Advisory Board of the Center for Real Estate Finance at Cornell University. He is also a member of the Hotel Development Council of the Urban Land Institute. He serves as Executive Board Member and 2nd Vice President of the Cornell Hotel Society, as well as an Executive Board Member of the National Capital Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America. Mr. Wood is a graduate of the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration.
Panelist :  "Disrupting disruptors" is more than a catch phrase

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 :  Boom or gloom? Forecasting the future of hotel performance

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 :  How consolidation leads to a growing industry