Director, Digital Data Solutions, STR
Veronica Andrews is responsible for leading interdisciplinary teams in the development of new STR data products. She assists in developing database architecture and interpretation of incoming data from an analytics perspective. Veronica serves on the Revenue Management Advisory Board for HSMAI and is a Certified Revenue Management Executive (CRME).
Presenter :  Creating a successful recipe for F&B revenue management
Presenter :  STR Academy: 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.

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

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

EVP & President of Global Development, Red Lion Hotels Corporation
Roger Bloss joined Red Lion Hotels Corporation in September 2016 in conjunction with the acquisition of Vantage Hospitality Group. Roger brings more than 40 years of hospitality experience. Prior to joining the company, he served in executive positions with several major hotel franchise companies and founded Vantage in 1996. Under his leadership, Vantage became a top 10 global hotel company. Roger was named Lodging Magazine’s “Innovator of the Year” in 2006 and 2010, as well as HSMAI’s “Top 25 Extraordinary Minds in Sales and Marketing” in 2009.
Panelist :  How consolidation leads to a growing industry

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

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

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

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

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 millenial mindset

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: 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

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

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.

VP 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

SVP, Strategic Development, STR
Mr. Jan Freitag is the Vice President, Global Development at STR. 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.

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.

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

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!

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

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

Vice President, Consulting & Analytics, STR
Steve Hennis oversees the day-to-day operations of STR Analytics. He is responsible for new product development, including DataCast and Custom Forecasts, and the administration of custom consulting projects. Prior to joining STR, Steve was a consultant at HVS and at Hospitium, and worked in hospitality investments with Destination Hotels & Resorts. Steve sits on the Executive Advisory Board of the University of Denver’s Knoebel School of Hospitality Management. He is also an MAI candidate in the Appraisal Institute and a member of the International Society of Hospitality Consultants and the Urban Land Institute.
Presenter :  Not all markets are created equal
Presenter :  Data that makes you say “hmmmmm...”

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

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

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

Senior Director, CX Insights – The Americas, Marriott International
Christine A. Kettmer is a Senior Director with the CX Insights team at Marriott International. She supports the development of consumer needs and synthesizing research insights into usable and actionable steps for The Americas, the largest Continent within Marriott International’s portfolio of over 6,100 hotels and 30 brands. In this role Christine partners with the CX Analytics, CRM, Strategy and Innovation teams to determine the client need and right CX capability area. Prior to Marriott International, Christine worked in brand management at Johnson & Johnson in their Consumer division on the JOHNSON’S® Baby and AVEENO® Body Care teams, responsible for marketing and forecasting brands valued at $285MM. She also held public relations and marketing positions at Hager Sharp, Inc. in Washington, DC, and served as the Communications Coordinator for Franciscans International in Geneva, Switzerland. Christine holds an MBA from The Fuqua School of Business at Duke University with concentrations in Marketing and Social Entrepreneurship and a certificate in Health Sector Management. She received a BA from The College of the Holy Cross, where she majored in English and Spanish.
Panelist :  Tech talks: Emerging innovations

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.

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

Manager, Market Information, 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

Co Founder, Datavision Technologies
Sherry Marek is a passionate advocate of helping the hospitality industry make informed and data-enabled decisions to streamline operations. Co-founded Datavision Technologies in 1996, with the goal of bringing broad spectrum business intelligence to all key areas of hospitality operations. Today, she leads an amazing team of software engineers, business analysts and customer happiness focused professionals who have earned trusted relationships with customers and other vendors. Actively participate in industry events at trade shows, online media and proud to participate in the HFTP Global Board, a global non profit association which benefits finance and technology segment of hospitality industry.
Panelist :  Analytical talent and the millenial mindset

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.
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

Vice President, Advanced Analytics, Wyndham Destination Network
Dr. Kelly McGuire is Vice President, Advanced Analytics at Wyndham Destination Networks where she leads 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 millenial mindset

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

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

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 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.

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 millenial 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

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

Chief Strategy Officer, STR
Chief Strategy Officer, 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

President, M3 Accounting + Analytics
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

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

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.

Senior Vice President Real Estate & Development, Hyatt Hotels Corporation
Mrs. Smith is Senior Vice President Real Estate & Development for Hyatt Hotels Corporation where she is responsible for the franchised and managed development of Hyatt Place and Hyatt House hotels in the United States and Canada. Previously, Smith served as Vice President of Real Estate and Development where she oversaw the growth of Hyatt’s select service brands throughout the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. Prior to joining Hyatt in 2005, Smith held several positions within Marriott International’s Lodging Development group in Bethesda, MD and Newport Beach, CA. Mrs. Smith is a graduate of Boston University’s College of Arts & Sciences. She is an active member in several hospitality industry organizations including AH&LA’s Women in Lodging Group and AAHOA. She currently resides in Chicago with her husband and two children.
Panelist :  The current pipeline: Building momentum or a developing problem

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

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

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

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?

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.

Associate Director of Business Development, Hotels, STR
Valerie Woods leads the team responsible for business development and the growth of independent hotel participants in North America. Valerie joined STR from the hotel industry, where she served in revenue management and operations roles.
Presenter :  Occupancy & oil

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

Chief Revenue Officer, Loews Hotels
In her role as Chief Revenue Officer at Loews Hotels, Monica Xuereb is responsible for guiding and supporting all sales and revenue processes; including leading the strategy for generating more efficient, predictable and profitable revenue to support company growth and value. Ms. Xuereb joined Loews Hotels in 2013 as Vice President of Revenue Management following successfully running her own consultancy for more than three years. Her company provided assistance with revenue management, pricing and distribution strategies to independent hoteliers and small hotel groups such as Dorchester Collection, Small Luxury Hotels of the World, Rosewood Hotels & Resorts, Morgans Hotel Group and Viceroy Hotels and Resorts. She spent 17 years in total with The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company and Marriott International, holding several senior Revenue Management positions at the Regional, Area and Property levels, including Vice President of Revenue Management, International, where she oversaw the yield strategies of 34 Ritz-Carlton and Bvlgari Hotels in Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
Panelist :  RFPs ASAP!