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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

STEVE ENSELEIN
Senior Vice President, Events, Hyatt Hotel 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.
Presenter :  Food for thought … Why hotel F&B?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

STEVE HEWINS
President and CEO, HospitalityMaine
Steve Hewins is the President and CEO of HospitalityMaine, an organization of about 1000 members created through the recent merger of the Maine Restaurant Association and the Maine Innkeepers Association. HospitalityMaine represents hotels, restaurants and suppliers on a wide variety of issues ranging from advocacy to workforce development, education, research and operations. Prior to joining HospitalityMaine, Steve was Vice President of Branch Operations for AAA Northern New England where he was responsible for all areas outside of road service, including the travel agency, tour books and maps, and member services. Prior to that Steve founded and operated Maine’s largest travel agency, Hewins Travel, for 24 years. Hewins has served in numerous non-profit and industry volunteer roles, and currently in on the boards of Visit Portland, the Maine Tourism Association and the University of Southern Maine Hospitality and Tourism Program. He resides in Falmouth ME with his wife and daughter.
Panelist :  Higher performance? Hotels & the marijuana phenomenon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

LORI KIEL
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 :  Two decades of love and hate: OTAs

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

CHRIS KLAUDA
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.
Moderator :  Divergent perspectives on group meeting pricing

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FATIMA THOMPSON
Associate Director of Business Development, Hotels, STR
Fatima Thompson is the Associate Director of Business Development, Hotels Caribbean & Mexico for STR (STR, Inc.) the leading authority on hotel industry performance trends. In her role, she is responsible for STR’s expansion within the Caribbean and Mexico. Fatima also works closely with Hotel & Tourism Associations to achieve STR’s goals of expansion in these regions. She is often featured as a guest speaker at international Industry conferences and client meetings. 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 as well as a certification in Hotel Industry Analytics from the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI). She currently resides in Nashville, TN.
Presenter :  Rethinking the Caribbean

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

JAMES ZITO
Senior Vice President of Sales & Marketing, Real Hospitality Group
James (Jim) Zito is Senior Vice President of Sales & Marketing for Real Hospitality Group where he oversees the Sales, Marketing & Technology disciplines for 80 hotels open and in development that include most major brands (Marriott/SPG, Hilton, IHG, Hyatt, Choice, Wyndham and RL) as well as growing independent portfolio. Previously serving as Chief Marketing & Revenue Officer for Chelsea Hotels / King & Grove and Vice President Digital for Morgans Hotel Group & Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, starting his career with Denihan Hospitality / Affinia Hotels where he served in several marketing roles. Creating numerous award winning digital, CRM & technology programs, Jim has held numerous industry designations and has served on several industry boards. He presently is the co-Chair of the Hospitality Sales and Marketing International (HSMAI) Marketing Advisor Board, a founding member of the Digital Marketing Council and is a regular speaker at industry events.
Panelist :  Two decades of love and hate: OTAs