Conference Master of Ceremonies Former VP of Marketing for Virgin America
Porter Gale is an internationally known marketing executive, author and the former VP of Marketing at Virgin America. She has over 20 years of experience building brands, making films and pushing boundaries. Her first book, Your Network Is Your Net Worth will be published by Atria Books, a division of Simon & Schuster in June 2013.
Ms. Gale advises several companies, including: WePay, The Michael Mina Group, Rocket Fuel, Dollar Shave Club, Zozi and Zuberance. She is also a member of the National Speakers Association and frequently presents talks on social media, branding and customer loyalty.
From 2007 to 2011, Ms. Gale was Vice President of Marketing at Virgin America. At the airline, she built the launch team and managed the Brand, Online, Loyalty and Inflight Content teams. Prior to Virgin America, she was a consultant with a diverse array of clients. She also held the post of General Manager at Kirshenbaum Bond + Partners San Francisco. She was awarded the Changing The Game Award, by The Advertising Women of New York (AWNY), was on AdAge’s Digital Hotlist, iMedia Top 25-Digital Marketers and named a Digital Passionista by The Huffington Post.
In the independent film world, Ms. Gale produced or directed documentaries that aired on Lifetime,PBS, Channel 4/England and in film festivals around the globe. Porter's film work has been honored by the Directors Guild of America, The Academy of Motion Pictures & Sciences and Filmmaker Magazine. Porter has a BSBA from Boston University and a Masters in Documentary Film and Video from Stanford University.
Ms. Gale has been quoted or interviewed in over 500 online, print and broadcast press outlets, including; The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and more.
Avinash Kaushik |
Digital Marketing Evangelist Google
Avinash Kaushik is the Digital Marketing Evangelist for Google and the co-Founder of Market Motive. Through his blog, Occam's Razor, and his best selling books, Web Analytics 2.0 and Web Analytics: An Hour A Day, Avinash has become recognized as an authoritative voice on how marketers, executive teams and industry leaders can leverage data to fundamentally reinvent their digital existence.
Avinash puts a common sense framework around the often frenetic world of web analytics and combines that with the philosophy that investing in talented analysts is the key to long-term success. He passionately advocates customer centricity and leveraging bleeding edge competitive intelligence techniques.
Rick Smolan |
"Day in the Life" Photographer
Rick Smolan is a former Time, Life, and National Geographic photographer best known as the creator of the "Day in the Life" book series, the best-selling photo books that captured life in America, Japan, Australia, the Soviet Union, and other countries in the '80s. He is also CEO of Against All Odds Productions, which was named “one of the 25 coolest companies in America” by Fortune magazine.
Smolan's global photography projects combine creative storytelling with state-of-the-art technology. Many of his books have appeared on The New York Times Bestseller List and have been featured on the covers of Fortune, Time, Newsweek, and US News & World Report. His books include The Obama Time Capsule, America at Home, UK at Home, Blue Planet Run, America 24/7, One Digital Day, 24 Hours in Cyberspace, Passage to Vietnam, The Power to Heal, Medicine's Great Journey, and From Alice to Ocean.
His latest project is The Human Face of Big Data, for which he and his team collected data from people around the world sharing snapshots of their lives and responding to thought-provoking questions about their dreams, interests, and views. On December 4, 2012, the book was delivered to 10,000 world leaders, Fortune 500 CEOs, heads of media companies, Oscar winners, Pulitzer Prize winners, Olympic winners, and other notable figures in 50 countries around the world.
Jeff Rohrs |
VP, Marketing Research & Education ExactTarget
A recovering attorney, bacon-lover & Cleveland sports victim, Jeff leads the Marketing Research & Education Group at ExactTarget. In this role, Jeff oversees a team responsible for ExactTarget’s thought-leadership, content marketing, and social media efforts. Jeff is the co-author of the award-winning SUBSCRIBERS, FANS & FOLLOWERS Research Series—an ongoing examination of how today’s online consumers interact with brands through email, mobile, and social channels. He also pens monthly Travel Marketing column for MediaPost and can be found blogging frequently on the ExactTarget Blog.
Jeff spearheads programing for ExactTarget’s annual Connections Conference and was the driving force behind the company’s SUBSCRIBERS RULE! philosophy. Known for his ability to both educate and entertain, Jeff has presented at a wide variety of industry events including ad:tech, Argyle’s CMO Leadership Forum, The CMO Club Summit, the eec’s Email Evolution Conference, Econsultancy’s JUMP, LeWeb, MarketingSherpa’s Email Summit, MediaPost’s Email Insider Summit, SES, SMX, Wired’s Social Media Summit, and WOM Supergenius.
Bob Adams |
Senior Industry Consultant, Lodging Teradata Corporation
A highly accomplished, data-driven, strategic, analytical, and innovative Interactive Marketing & Sales Executive with international experience (e.g.; Canada, Mexico, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Netherlands). Demonstrated success of driving growth by combining knowledge of web, direct/digital marketing, media/PR, mobile/social, customer/consumer transactional data, analytics/modeling, segmentation, data monetization, collaboration, technology and strategic planning for the creation of customer centric interactive strategies in a multi-channel environment.
Experience and wisdom building brands through interactive multi-channel marketing, thought leadership, customer focus, solid value proposition, differentiation, leveraging technology, online/offline customer/business data insights & analytics for strategic advantage. Creating and deploying integrated, multi-channel marketing strategies & solutions that drive measurable MROI business results for global businesses.
Industry marketing leadership experience includes: Lodging/Hospitality/Resorts, Luxury Vacation Rentals, Attractions, Casino Gaming, Real Estate, eCommerce, Restaurants, and Retail.
Bob received national gold awards from the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International for his marketing work for ResortQuest. He has presented at several trade conferences, including the Association of Travel Marketing Executives (ATME), TravelCom, Marketing Outlook Forum, and Travel Think Tank. Bob currently serves on the board of Ataway Exchange, is a past board member of ATME, and has served on the membership committee for the U.S. Travel Association.
Bob received a bachelor’s degree in communications/marketing from Indiana University, and earned executive certification from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University in E-Commerce Business Strategies. He has earned accreditations as a Certified Travel Counselor (CTC) and Pragmatic Product Marketer (PPM). Bob resides in Germantown, Tennessee.
Charles Armstrong |
Founder and CEO TourWrist
TourWrist licenses its 360-degree virtual tour viewer and spherical continuous capture pano technology (SDK) to integrate into travel companies’ apps and websites. If a photo is worth a thousand words, a pano is worth a thousand photos when it comes to researching, planning and booking trips.
A dynamic public speaker and travel enthusiast, TourWrist Founder and CEO Charles Armstrong is a sought-after presenter about disruptive travel tech innovation meets mobile in the travel/hospitality/tourism space.
Charles transmits key concepts in travel innovation supported by smart adoption of technology. His is an emphasis on revenue opportunities, technology efficiencies, and enhanced travel discovery experiences.
Ben Arnon |
Vice President, Global Brand Partnerships Wildfire
Ben Arnon currently leads Wildfire's efforts on the east coast. Based in New York City, Ben spent the first decade of his career in the media content business. Based at the time in Los Angeles, Ben initially worked in feature film development at Jersey Films and then held brand and retail marketing roles at Universal Pictures. Ben later joined Yahoo! Music as Director of Business Development, where he led an initiative to syndicate Yahoo’s licensed music video content to major social networks including Facebook, MySpace, Bebo, and Piczo. Additionally, Ben managed several content acquisition deals for both Yahoo! Music and Yahoo! Movies. In 2008, Ben moved to Washington, DC to become Director of Business Development & Sales at Blue State Digital, a CRM technology and new media strategy firm best known for leading all new media strategy and technology for President Obama’s presidential campaign. At Blue State Digital, Ben led efforts to sell community engagement and brand marketing programs, that replicated the strategies and tactics utilized by the Obama campaign’s new media program, to major media and consumer brands. Ben possesses an MBA from the UCLA Anderson School of Management and a BA from Emory University. Additionally, Ben actively blogs for the Huffington Post. Check out his blog posts at: www.huffingtonpost.com/ben-arnon
Jose Barreiro |
Director of Digital Media Sales Travel Channel
José Barreiro is Director of Digital Media Sales for Travel Channel, one of the world's leading travel lifestyle media brands. The television network is available in nearly 96M US homes and TravelChannel.com receives 2M unique visitors monthly. Barreiro has been involved in travel media sales (print, digital, social, mobile) and the tourism industry for over 20 years. Most recently he has managed ad sales organizations for B2B media companies focused on the travel industry including Questex Media Group and NorthstarTravel Media. Prior to his involvement in media sales, he held senior product development roles with various tour operators including Spanish Heritage Tours and American Express Vacations where he was responsible for destinations in Europe, Middle East and Africa.
An avid traveler and tourism industry advocate, Barreiro sits on several tourism conference and travel industry association advisory boards. You can follow him on Twitter @josembarreiro.
Debbie Bingham |
Vice President, Business Development VEGAS.com
Debbie Bingham is the Vice President of Business Development for Cyllenius & VEGAS.com. She is responsible for developing and strengthening relationships with the company’s many hospitality and entertainment clients, including hotels, shows, airlines, nightclubs and tour operators. Cyllenius is the B2B technology and solutions division of VEGAS.com, the provider of some of the world’s largest travel and entertainment destination websites such as VEGAS.com, LasVegas.com and most recently, Mexico.com. Seeing others in the hospitality industry with similar technology challenges, VEGAS.com has created Cyllenius to make solutions available to other companies seeking to grow and improve their business and guest experience. Prior to joining the company in 2002, Bingham was in sales leadership at two of the largest national newspaper and online publishing companies and has also held positions at a national advertising agency and a local NPR affiliate. She graduated with honors from Eastern Kentucky University.
Katie Boes |
Executive Director of Integrated Marketing and Strategy Travel + Leisure
KatieBoes is an integrated marketer with a passion for digital innovation and social strategy that enable brands to engage with consumers in new ways. She is the Executive Director of Integrated Marketing and Strategy at Travel + Leisure, the world's most influential travel brand. In this role, Katie leads the department responsible for the creation of "big idea" programs for advertisers that utilize both traditional and emerging media. She spearheads the creation of strategic partnerships to deliver innovative solutions for advertisers and has successfully developed innovative social media opportunities that extend beyond traditional advertising models. Prior to joining Travel + Leisure, she worked in the Creative Services group at Brides.com and in public relations at experiential marketing company Jack Morton Worldwide. Katie is currently getting her MBA at NYU Stern with an emphasis in Digital Marketing and Entrepreneurship and Innovation. She received her undergrad degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from Iowa State University.
Steve Brown |
Sr Managing Director- Travel & Entertainment Acxiom Corporation
Steve Brown joined Acxiom in February 1999. As Sr. Managing Director, Steve leads Acxiom’s Travel & Entertainment vertical developing insight, product offerings and strategies that help Travel clients market directly to their customers and prospects much more efficiently and effectively utilizing Acxiom’s core product offerings. Before joining Acxiom, Steve had a long history in the financial services industry serving as Vice President of Lending and Credit Card services at several institutions. Steve has a long history of volunteer work including Associate Board Member US Travel Association, Board Chairman for Alcoa Federal Credit Union, Chairman Benton (Arkansas) Parks and Recreation Commission, and various other local charities.
Karen Clarkson |
Vice President North America Visit Britain
A tourism marketing professional, Karen has over 15 years’ experience in the travel industry.
Karen is currently Vice President, North America at VisitBritain, mandated to promote Britain overseas and thereby grow the contribution visitors make to the UK economy. Karen, based in New York, manages their operations in North America (Los Angeles, New York and Toronto) and is responsible for leading the team to deliver in key business areas: market intelligence, media relations, business development, marketing and partnerships.
VisitBritain’s priority is to deliver a four-year match funded global marketing programme ( Great Britain – You’re Invited) which takes advantage of the unique opportunities created by the recent Royal Wedding, the upcoming Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the 2012 Games to showcase Britain and attract new and repeat visitors. This campaign aims to attract four million extra visitors( from growth and core markets) to Britain, who will spend an additional £2 billion, and stimulate the creation of 50,000 new jobs.
Prior to relocating to New York, Karen was based in Paris for 3 years as the Manager, France & Benelux for VisitBritain. Additionally she has held different marketing roles for both VisitScotland and VisitBritain being based in variously Edinburgh, New York and Singapore. During 2003/2004 Karen took a career break to work, travel and live throughout Asia Pacific. During this period she worked for the Australian Red Cross, Small Luxury Hotels of the World, See Sydney plus volunteered with local communities.
Karen graduated from Strathclyde University, Glasgow, in 1993 with a degree in French & Marketing, and has a Chartered Institute of Marketing Post Graduate Diploma (Merit) from Napier University, Edinburgh. In her spare time, Karen enjoys watersports (SCUBA diving, swimming), the arts; specifically film and music. An avid traveler, Belize, Santa Fe, US National Parks and Uruguay all feature on her current bucket list.
Advisory Board Chair
Danielle Courtenay |
Chief Marketing Officer Visit Orlando
Danielle Courtenay joined Visit Orlando in February 1995. As Chief Marketing Officer, she develops the brand strategy and leads a global marketing team that creates domestic and international integrated leisure marketing to increase overnight visitation. She also is responsible for destination marketing to position Orlando as a key meetings and conventions destination, oversees corporate communications, public affairs and digital strategy. Previously she was the vice president of an advertising and public relations agency that specialized in travel and tourism. She has served in multiple volunteer positions with the Public Relations Society of America, Society of American Travel Writers and Destination Management Association International and serves as the chair of the United States Travel Association Communications Council, on the Alliance for Arts and Culture board of directors, Junior Achievement board of directors, the advisory board for TravelCom and on the Executive Leadership Council for Go Red for Women. She was just awarded the Gene T. Hassett award by Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI), named one of HSMAI’s Top 25 Minds in Hospitality & Travel Sales Marketing and Innovator of the Year by TravelCom. She has earned the Accredited Public Relations designation and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Relations from Auburn University and Masters of Science degree in Marketing Communication from Florida State University.
Cecilia Dahl |
Founder & President Smart Destinations
Cecilia Dahl President, Founder Smart Destinations Inc. Boston. A Travel industry Veteran, Cecilia is responsible for the development of all Smart Destinations consumer products and direct partnerships with attractions around the country. She also oversees all day to day field operations, strategic distribution partnerships both domestic and International and the full service on site customer contact center . Prior to founding Smart Destinations, Cecilia developed innovative travel packages throughout the world and was responsible for a $30 million line of business for Collette Vacations, one of the largest and most successful travel wholesalers in the United States. Prior to that, she spent six years at Saga Holidays, a travel company specializing in programs for travelers aged 50 and over. Cecilia was named one of Boston Business Journal's Top 40 Executives under 40 in 2005. Cecilia is an active volunteer and New England e-Council member for the National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship as well as an active fundraiser for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society including participation in several Team in Training events. Cecilia holds a degree in Leisure Management and Tourism from University of New Hampshire.
Lane Douglas |
Principal, Social Media Solutions MarketBridge
Lane is the Principal for MarketBridge’s Social Media Solutions where he leads the development of innovative social marketing strategies and platform creation. With over 15 years of online marketing experience, he and his team apply a strategic and systematic approach to building measureable social marketing campaigns, customized analytics dashboards, competitive benchmarking analysis, and professional reputation management for profitable growth.
Lane’s leadership and expertise in social media as a business solution saw him lead the Mexico Tourism Board to drive destination visitation for 2011 against a global PR crisis, grow occupancy for the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, NV in spite of a poor economic environment, and help the tourism board of Cozumel, MX regain competitive share of voice in the Caribbean market after seeing tourism decrease as a result of a direct hit by a hurricane in 2005.
Previous to MarketBridge, Lane was the Chief Marketing Officer for Vantage Strategy. Additional clients have included Visit Orlando, PriceWaterHouseCoopers, The World Bank, University of Cambridge and Detica.
Lane holds dual Bachelor of Arts degrees from Salisbury University and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, as well as his Master of Divinity from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.
Kodi Foster |
Senior Director, Brand Initiatives Outbrain
Ryan Gibson |
Vice President of Marketing RKG
As the Vice President of Marketing, Ryan is responsible for expanding RKG’s brand awareness and communicating thought leadership throughout the industries where they work. He is responsible for the production of popular online marketing content through presentations and publications like RKG blog, the RKG Dossier and the quarterly RKG Digital Marketing Reports.
Ryan joined RKG in 2006 as an Analyst, managing multi-million dollar search programs for both internet-only and multichannel advertisers. Transitioning to a sales role and eventually to his current position as a member of the RKG Executive Team, Ryan helped RKG to grow and become one of the largest privately held online marketing agencies over the past 7 years.
Prior to joining RKG, Ryan held management positions at Capital One Financial where he was responsible for the management and analysis of work flow processes that ensured Capital One’s credit bureau team remained in compliance with Federal regulations. Ryan’s passion for Marketing was rekindled at Capital One when he was involved in the company’s first testing of secured email messaging in 2000.
Ryan has spoken at many industry events and local universities. He also writes for RKGblog and RKG Dossier and has been interviewed by publications such as eMarketer, Shop.org, Forrester and others for his thoughts on the changing landscape of online marketing.
Vicki Isley |
SVP & COO DMAI
As Executive Vice President/Chief Operating Officer, Victoria Isley brings nearly 18 years of destination marketing experience to the association. Responsible for supporting and implementing the organization's overall strategic initiatives, Isley also oversees DMAI’s marketing and communications, membership and business development, professional development and meetings departments as well as empowerMINT.
As Destination DC’s Senior Vice President of Marketing & Communications, Isley led a new brand strategy for the nation's capital, built research and strategy for organizational advocacy, and spearheaded crisis communications. Prior to her tenure at Destination DC, Isley served as Vice President of Marketing for the Tampa Bay & Company and as the Director of Communications for the Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau.
Isley holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and has earned her Professional in Destination Management certificate. She is currently a past research chairman for U.S. Travel Association, a past board member of the Public Relations Society of America Travel & Tourism Section, and an associate member of the Society of American Travel Writers. She is also a member of the board of directors for Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company in Washington, DC.
Peeter Kivestu |
Global Program Director Travel & Lodging Teradata
Peeter Kivestu joined Teradata in 2004 to focus on customer and operations management in travel. Previously he held VP positions at Northwest Airlines in distribution and technical operations.
With over 30 years of experience in finance, marketing, operations, and IT at American, Canadian Airlines International and Northwest, he frequently championed development of information assets, including electronic ticketing, self-service check-in and e-commerce.
Jiri Marousek |
Global Digital Marketing/Communications Director Brand USA
Experienced leader in growing and launching brands by leveraging integrated marketing, digital media, e-commerce marketing, social media and traditional marketing tools. Built and managed campaigns and marketing plans with direct P&L and ROI management responsibility with proven effective results. Managed and developed teams that executed marketing for brands in the US and globally.
Ultimately, I am a true believer in the power of brand and truly integrated business strategy and marketing communications.
The Discover America / Brand USA team oversees, fosters and grows the global brand of The United States of America. As a public / private partnership between the industry (Marriott Hotels, Disney and many others) and the government of the United States, the team is responsible to drive direct and measurable business results for businesses and destinations in the US. From intent to visit, brand perception of the USA as a travel destination, social media sentiment to airfare bookings and travel bookings in countries around the world, the team is on the front lines of growing the business of tourism in the United States of America.
Leveraging targeted social media campaigns in countries in Asia, Europe and Americas, global social media initiatives, digital and mobile tools, consumer influencers and communications, my team leads the connection with international consumers of USA as a destination and its consumer brands. The team leverages country-relevant content development and digital tools (web, mobile etc.) that engage and build relationships with travelers around the world before they come to the USA, book travel and when they arrive in the country.
We market globally, but not just to improve perceptions and increase intent to visit the US. More importantly, we drive true ROI by driving key success metrics from plane ticket sales of travel partners and hotel bookings to sentiment and social media activity around destinations, attractions and brands of the USA.
The key indicator of our work is to build travel to the Unites States. But the impact is broader than that. Brand USA helps directly create jobs in America. (Each incremental 30-40 visitors to the USA create one job in the USA)
Courtney May |
General Manager Five Star Alliance
Courtney joined what eventually became Five Star Alliance in 2004 and throughout the last nine years she has fulfilled every possible role within Five Star Alliance including client service, audience development, content building, collections, social media management, product development, partner relations, and marketing. After becoming General Manager in early 2012, Five Star Alliance grew revenues 175% year over year. Courtney is a graduate of St. John’s College in Annapolis, MD and a Washington, DC native.
Ted Murphy |
Founder and CEO IZEA
Edward ‘Ted’ Murphy is a serial entrepreneur who has founded six companies since 1994. Today he is Founder and CEO of IZEA. Murphy has been called the father of paid blogging and is largely credited for creating the social media sponsorship industry. Ted’s vision for democratizing content and influencer compensation is now a reality in most marketing strategies, from top brands and agencies to small businesses.
Murphy has bootstrapped companies off credit cards, been VC backed and most recently brought IZEA public. His disruptive approach and leadership have enabled him to raise over $21 million in equity for his entrepreneurial endeavors in both public and private markets. Murphy’s backers have included top tier VCs Draper Fischer Jurvetson and Village Ventures as well as billionaire Dr. Phillip Frost.
Murphy has consulted for some of the world’s largest marketing organizations including FOX, Bombardier, General Motors, SeaWorld and Disney. He has also negotiated deals with celebrities such as Kim Kardashion, Diddy and Bob Villa. Murphy is a prominent visionary, speaking and presenting to marketing and Internet professionals around the world.
Featured in/on : CNBC, Wired, USA Today, Forbes, New York Post, Business Week, PC World, CNN Money, Fortune, Fortune Small Business, Business 2.0, Create, HOW, Adweek, Advertising Age, Orlando Business Journal, Los Angeles Times, iMedia, Search Engine Journal, TechCrunch
Ted has grown the IZEA network to over 750k registered influencers and 50k registered advertisers in 147 countries. The company has successfully completed more than 3.5 million social media sponsorships across the companies platforms including Staree, IZEA Media, SponsoredTweets and SocialSpark.
Murphy served as Chairman of the Board the IZEA Board from May 2011 to January 2013. Immediately prior to IZEA Ted founded interactive agency MindComet. In 2005 he introduced PayPerPost to the social media marketplace, which spun out of MindComet in 2006 and later became IZEA.
An avid athlete, Ted has completed 14 marathons and lives in Orlando with his family, wife Tara, son Zane and dog Bonzo. He is active in the Orlando community and supports a variety of charities, including Habitat for Humanity and Rock for Hunger.
Bryan Owen |
Marketing Director Hershey Entertainment and Resorts
Bryan has spent the past 12 years fascinated by the marriage of technology and marketing. His career has been marked by significant diversity-- both in terms of areas of expertise (from database design to creative strategy) and organizational structure. He helped launch a successful Web startup in Washington DC, led a Marketing division at a niche agency, and now holds a leadership position within an established enterprise.
Bryan currently serves as a Marketing Director at Hershey Entertainment and Resorts, where he runs the teams responsible for the creative strategy and execution for their 14+ brands in the Travel & Tourism sector. This internal agency works across nearly every medium, from TV ads to print, Out of Home, Web, Email, and social media. He also serves on various Industry and Organizational Advisory Boards.
Bryan lives outside Harrisburg, PA with his wife and two young and very active children.
Mike Perrone |
CEO, Co-Founder SocialFlow
Mike is a seasoned business executive and experienced entrepreneur who co-founded SocialFlow, the innovative company that pioneered social media optimization by applying predictive analytics to real-time big data. Mike is passionate about using technology to marry data insights and social connections to a physical space. He understands that brick-and-mortar locations are the biggest trigger for social engagement and he has found a way to promote greater interaction for on-site visitors by tapping into the power of social data and communities. Mike founded SocialSign.in to develop a mobile centric Wi-Fi platform that utilizes a visitor’s social identity to connect offline and online brand strategies in order to enhance a customer’s on-site experience and encourage increased engagement and ROI for a business. Throughout his career, Mike has looked for ways to understand and leverage social behaviors in order to create more meaningful connections between businesses and customers. He has worked for a both major media and industry-leading companies and has experience in the fields of advertising (JWT), management consulting (KPMG), entertainment technology and direct marketing (Bertelsmann). He holds an MBA from Penn State and a BSBA from Boston University.
Gene Quinn |
CEO and Co-Founder Tnooz
Gene Quinn is a pioneer in digital media and Tnooz is the leading source of news and information about the global digital travel economy. Tnooz covers travel search, marketing, distribution, social commerce, social media, mobile devices and all aspects of technology that drive the engine room of travel, tourism and hospitality.
In the 1990s, Gene was a member of the Tribune Company team that made early-stage investments in pre-internet and Web 1.0 leaders America Online, Checkfree, Open Market, Excite, iVillage and Peapod.
An editor, columnist and reporter in his first career at The Chicago Tribune and previously Philadelphia Daily News and Wilmington (DE) News-Journal, he transitioned to lead the digital media and e-commerce strategy as General Manager of Tribune Interactive Network Services.
In 1997, he was named the first Senior Vice President, Online and Interactive at MTV Networks, home of Viacom’s global entertainment brands MTV, VH1, Nickelodeon and TVLand. His MTVN team developed web platforms for the cable brands, an online development and technical support group and business development and content partnerships with Yahoo, AOL, Intel, Microsoft and other technology and distribution companies.
Since 1999, Gene has been a private investor and adviser to public and private companies in travel, media, marketing, financial services and web technology. He is former chairman of PhoCusWright, and previously an advisory board chairman of BzzAgent, an established word-of-mouth marketing network. He also was an adviser to Newtrade Technologies, an innovative hotel marketing platform acquired by Expedia.
Gene is a former director of public companies Checkfree and Open Market, two early providers of web-based bill payment and online shopping technology.
He is a former member of the advisory boards of the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (the birthplace of the Mosaic web browser) at the University of Illinois and the MIT Media Lab. He is former chairman of the Interactive Services Association. He holds a BA from the University of Delaware and a Masters of Management from the Kellogg School at Northwestern University.
Francia Santana |
Director of eCommerce Mexico Tourism Board
Francia has always shined in the travel industry. That’s why she went from American Airlines (where she started her career at the late 90’s) to Sabre in early 2000, where she became Mexico’s Marketing Manager after being the Caribbean Supervisor and Product Specialist for the Caribbean, Venezuela, Andina Region, Chile, Argentina and Uruguay. As a good continuous movement traveler, in 2008 Francia decided to move herself to Travelocity as Senior Account Manager for Latin America. And her dedication for travelling brought her in 2010 into a more personal managing as marketing Director at Travel Fan. Now, she is bringing all her expertise to the Mexico Tourism Board as Digital Marketing Director. But Francia is also a passionate woman. That’s why her lust for jewelry took her to found Folk meets Chic, her more recent, personal and shining project.
Craig Schickler |
VP of Partner Marketing Priceline.com
Craig Schickler is the newly appointed Vice President of Partner Marketing for Priceline.com, where he oversees the media business to drive mutually beneficial relationships with Priceline’s travel suppliers and advertisers. In his role, Craig conceives of strategic merchandising opportunities for hoteliers, airlines and tourism boards as well as integrated marketing programs for advertisers across Priceline’s suite of travel sites. Craig is responsible for managing ad operations and yield optimization, as well as data strategy.
Prior to joining Priceline, Craig was Director of E-Business Development for Frommer’s Travel, where he was responsible for digital strategy development and monetization for the leading North American travel guide publisher across consumer web, mobile & B2B (Frommer's Unlimited). His deep travel and media experience also stems back to strategic business development leadership roles at Zagat Survey and 24/7 Media. Craig holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and a MBA from the Stern School of Business at New York University.
Trip Schneck |
Managing Partner Hotel Me
Trip Schneck is the Co-Founder and Managing Partner at the recently formed hotel investment and management company, District Hospitality Partners. Prior to District, Trip was the president and co-founder of TIG Global. As president, he was responsible for the overall strategic direction, development, and operations of TIG Global, which offered strategic interactive hotel sales and marketing programs with the proven ability to raise online visibility, drive direct incremental revenue, and deliver unrivaled ROI to hotels. Trip sold the company to MICROS in December 2009, which resulted in investors earning a 99% compounded IRR on their investment over an eight year period.
Chris Seek |
President/CEO Solimar International
Chris Seek is the President and CEO of Solimar International a tourism development firm dedicated to promoting the goals of sustainable tourism by providing marketing, sales, and consulting services to tourism enterprises, regional tourism associations, and national tourism authorities. Working with USAID, the World Bank, National Geographic Society and international governments he has helped more than 20 tourism destinations and 800 small tourism enterprises design and implement tourism programs that support biodiversity conservation, cultural preservation and improves the lives of local residents.
Prior to Mr. Seek’s work in tourism, he worked as a marketing professional for fortune 500 clients including Colgate, Perrier, Heineken, and Sony. Mr. Seek holds a bachelor’s degree in Communications form Wake Forest University and a Masters of Business Administration from American University with concentrations in Sustainable Tourism and Marketing. Mr. Seek speaks Spanish and Portuguese efficiently.
Julian Sparkes |
GBS Vice President IBM
Julian Sparkes has been with IBM for two years as a GBS Vice President responsible for multiple programs at several hospitality clients including Marriott International, Hilton Worldwide and Starwood.
Julian Sparkes was a partner with Diamond Management & Technology Consultants for 3 years, a firm that operates at the intersection of business operations and IT to extract and create value from technology. For his airline, hospitality and transportation clients, Julian developed business and technical blueprints that enabled strategic business initiatives. Julian’s specialties included identifying leading-edge technologies and guiding innovation projects, as well as defining strategies for applying technology.
Julian Sparkes was with Accenture for 22 years, most recently as the managing partner for the Transportation & Travel Services industry group in North America. Julian has worked with many key Fortune 500 clients primarily developing technological solutions to their business problems. Julian’s key clients in the travel services industry included Marriott International, Hilton Hotels Corporation, Starwood, Cendant, Carlson, Carnival Cruise Lines, Delta Air Lines and American Airlines.
In his capacity as leader of the global Travel Services industry group, Julian was responsible for representing Accenture on the World Travel & Tourism Council and responding to all media requests. He has appeared on CNBC, spoken on several radio stations, and has been quoted in many newspapers and magazines, including The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times and USA Today. He also directed the business travel survey analyses that were conducted, analyzed and reported across all media outlets worldwide that enabled Accenture to achieve the #1 spot for market share of Travel Services’ consulting firm recognition.
Born in Birmingham, England, Julian holds a Batchelor of Arts and Master of Arts degree in Engineering from Cambridge University. Before joining Accenture, he worked as an engineer for 3 years for Schlumberger, an oilfield services company, in the Latin American and Asia/Pacific regions. He has served on several not-for-profit boards and continues to be on the board of Trees Atlanta. He resides in Atlanta, Georgia with his wife Barbara and three children.
Daniel Taras |
Vice President of Sales iPerceptions Inc.
Daniel Taras is VP of Sales at iPerceptions. He has the overall responsibility for managing the company’s extensive and most valuable portfolio of automotive, travel and consumer electronics clients. Taras is a founding member of iPerceptions and brings many years of direct sales and business development experience to the company. His vertical market focus includes over ten years of hands-on experience working with brand leaders in the travel, automotive and consumer electronics sectors. He also has direct experience working with a number of technology companies where he directed the corporate sales department of two national Internet service providers. Taras also managed the North American office of an international Cisco Gold Certified network integration provider.
Sylvia Weiler |
General Manager for Tourism Sojern
With over 15 years of travel industry experience and a digital industry veteran, Sylvia Weiler serves as General Manager for the Tourism Vertical at Sojern. In her role, Sylvia oversees strategy and advertising sales for tourism boards and theme parks. Sojern’s unique and differentiated travel data enables travel marketers to reach in-market audiences at scale through contextual and intent-based advertising channels, and provides valuable insights into campaign performance and audience response.
Prior to joining Sojern, Sylvia spent 12 years at Travelocity in sales and sales leadership roles where she developed innovative and integrated digital marketing campaigns for leading destinations, hotels and airline partners. She played an integral role in the launch of Travelocity sites in Latin America and led the media strategy and sales efforts in the region.
Michael Weiss |
Director, Online Retail Marriott International
As the Director for MGM Resorts International’s Online Marketing Group, Michael Weiss oversees the company’s domestic online marketing efforts for a portfolio of world-class hotels including Bellagio, Mirage, ARIA, MGM Grand and others. In his role, he develops the department’s online strategies and initiatives to drive an aggressive focus on return on investment (ROI) and branding through mobile and ‘wired’ online media, emerging technologies and social media.
During his 15 years of experience in marketing and product management, Michael has worked within several industries including health & wellness, software and retail. He has a B.S. in computer engineering from the University of Florida and a M.B.A. in international business from the University of Miami.
Henry Woodman |
President ICE Portal
As founder and president of ICE Portal, Henry Woodman is committed to delivering the highest standard for rich media content creation, management and distribution online. A commitment that found its roots in television and film production and earned Mr. Woodman four Emmy nominations for his work in network television. With a passion for travel, Mr. Woodman produced and directed films and video for leading travel destinations worldwide on behalf of major travel companies including American Airlines, American Express, Eastern Airlines, several government tourism boards, and leading international cruise lines.
In 1997 he founded World Travelvision (WTV), a leading content provider for Internet Travel and Tourism. Since its inception, WTV has pioneered the production and distribution of Digital Brochures and Virtual Reality 360°Panormaic Photography. In 2003, World Travelvision was completely rebuilt and renamed ICE Portal.
In his now nearly three decades of experience in international travel promotion, Mr. Woodman is considered one of today’s leading travel industry experts on rich media content. He shares his expertise in the recently published book How to Sell Travel on the Internet. This enlightening, entertaining read presents an insider’s view of today’s burgeoning online travel world while guiding the reader through the travel industry’s major distribution channel and sales platform.
Henry Woodman is a Florida native and a graduate of the University of Arizona. He is trilingual, speaking English, Spanish, and French fluently, and is a natural entrepreneur. He is currently studying his MBA in Entrepreneurship at NOVA Southeastern University.
Peter Yesawich |
Vice Chairman MMGY Global
Peter C. Yesawich is vice chairman of MMGY Global, the largest and most integrated travel marketing firm in the world. MMGY Global offers thought leadership, a global perspective and a philosophy that is rooted in measurement.
Yesawich is a frequent commentator on travel trends in such publications as The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Time, Newsweek and Business Week. He is also featured on the CNN, CNBC, MSNBC and BBC World television networks and National Public Radio. He serves as a featured columnist in several industry trade publications and has authored numerous articles on marketing and advertising strategy in professional journals. He is also a coauthor of Marketing Leadership in Hospitality and Tourism published by Prentice Hall. Listed in Who’s Who in America, Yesawich is the recipient of the World Travel Award from the American Association of Travel Editors, The Albert E. Koehl Award from the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) and the Silver Medal from the American Advertising Federation. He was also named one of the 25 Most Extraordinary Marketing Minds by HSMAI and is a former member of the board of directors of the U.S. Travel Association.
Yesawich received three degrees from Cornell, including a doctorate in applied psychology, and is a graduate of the Advanced Management Program at Yale.
Rosanne Zusman |
Senior Vice President, Brand Marketing Wyndham Hotel Group
Rosanne Zusman is Senior Vice President of Brand Marketing for Wyndham Hotel Group, the world’s largest lodging company based on number of hotels. In this role Ms. Zusman is responsible for overseeing all marketing activities both for Wyndham Hotel Group corporately as well as for the division’s 15 hotel brands globally, including Wyndham Hotels & Resorts®, Ramada®, Days Inn®, Super 8®, Howard Johnson® and Microtel Inns & Suites. Accountabilities include development and execution of marketing strategy, global brand positioning, online and offline advertising as well as creative development.
Ms. Zusman has 25 years’ experience in brand management and marketing with a specialized area of focus with franchised organizations. Since 1996 she has held a wide variety of positions at Wyndham Worldwide, formerly Cendant/HFS. Previous positions in the hospitality division include a broad range of marketing and operational roles including Brand Senior Vice President of Operations for Microtel Inns & Suites® and Hawthorn Suites®, Vice President of Change Management for Wyndham Hotel Group, Group Vice President of Marketing for a portfolio of brands including Super 8, Howard Johnson and Travelodge. Notable accomplishments during her tenure include a brand refresh for Super 8 that included a new global logo and new guest room prototype. For the company’s former real estate division she served in the capacities of Director of Regional Marketing and Director of International Franchise Services for Century 21 Real Estate Corporation.
Before joining Wyndham Worldwide/Cendant, Ms. Zusman held account management roles at several regional advertising agencies, working with clients in both the retail and service sectors.
Ms. Zusman is a graduate of the University of Virginia and attended Wharton Executive Education’s Global Leaders Program. In 2009 she was named one of the Top 25 Most Extraordinary Minds in Sales & Marketing by HSMAI (Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International.)