April 08 - 10, 2019
Hyatt Regency Indian Wells, CA
Vice President, Global Design Strategies, Distinctive Premium Brands
David Kepron is the Vice President of Design within the Global Design Strategies department at Marriott International. His focus is on the creation of compelling customer experiences within a unique group of Marriott brands called the “Distinctive Premium Brands” including: Renaissance, Westin, Le Meridien, Autograph Collection, Tribute Portfolio and Design Hotels. Kepron brings 20 years of retail design expertise to the making of meaningful customer connections at hotel properties around the globe. His multidisciplinary approach to design focuses on understanding consumer behavior and the creation of relevant brand experiences at the intersection of architecture, sociology, neuroscience and emerging digital technologies. For Kepron, the primary function of all customer experience design is to weave the customer’s innate physical and emotional responses to the environment with the brand story making remarkable moments that foster lasting connections. As a frequently requested speaker to retailers, hoteliers and design professionals nationally and internationally, David shares his expertise on subjects ranging from consumer behaviors and trends, brain science and buying behavior, store design and visual merchandising as well as creativity and innovation. He has held teaching positions at New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology (F.I.T.), the Department of Architecture & Interior Design of Drexel University in Philadelphia, the Laboratory Institute of Merchandising (L.I.M.) in New York, the International Academy of Merchandising and Design in Montreal and he served as the Director of the Visual Merchandising Department at LaSalle International Fashion School (L.I.F.S.) in Singapore. David currently brings his creativity and insight on brand experiences to an international audience as a member of VMSD magazine’s Editorial Advisory Board and the Association for Retail Environments (A.R.E.) Dream Team. David also serves as an Emeritus Member of the Board of Directors of The Planning and Visual Education Partnership (P.A.V.E.). David earned his Bachelors of Science in Architecture and Bachelors of Architecture degrees from McGill University in Montreal, Quebec Canada. He is a member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), The Retail Design Institute (RDI) and a LEED Accredited Professional (LEED®BD+C). In the fall of 2014 STMedia Group International published Kepron’s first book titled: “Retail (r)Evolution: Why Creating Right-Brain Stores Will Shape the Future of Shopping in a Digitally Driven World.” David Also writes a popular blog called “Brain Food” which is published monthly on vmsd.com.
Managing Director, Digital Products
Passionate, innovative, experienced leader with a strong background in leading highly engaged teams and achieving outstanding results.
Skilled in driving change in complex business environments and working through people and systems effectively to transform concepts into reality and deliver superior customer experiences.
Director, Loyalty, Partnerships, and Payment Products
Leader with strong strategy, technical, marketing and financial acumen; proven track record of delivering results; advanced experience with lean six sigma, mergers & acquisitions, consulting and business performance improvement; 17 years of experience building high performing teams in Fortune 100 companies.
Head of Industry - Travel
Liz has built a reputation by delivering a consultative approach to partners. Liz Palomino joined Google in 2014 and currently leads strategic relationships with hotel, air and online travel businesses. Prior to Google, from 2005-2013, Liz was a leader and sales consultant for several digital companies, including Yahoo and Oracle, where she developed marketing, communications and ecommerce programs for Fortune 500 companies in the retail, consumer products, travel and auto industries. Liz has over 12 years of experience in digital technology and marketing working across a range of industries and companies. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Global Marketing Director
Enterprise Holdings (National Car Rental and Enterprise Rent-A-Car)
In 2013 Joyce joined Enterprise Holdings and created the Global Promotions team at the world’s largest car rental company. She manages cross border performance marketing for the group’s Enterprise, Alamo and National brands. During her 25 years of experience in the travel industry she had international sales and marketing roles at companies including Europcar, Avis, Auto Europe and American Airlines.
Joyce is now focused on building recognition for Enterprise Holdings’ three award winning brands in Asia. Enterprise’s brands are known in the United States for their trustworthiness, transparency and customer service. Joyce wants to make sure the same values are evident to consumers in Asia and so she’s focused on customer-centric promotions that bring real value to the traveler.
Head of Search & Experimentation
Alex Otrezov heads up several teams at Uber Technologies which are responsible for user acquisition and brand and marketing experimentation across all products including Uber, Uber Eats and Uber Freight. His SEM, SEO, YouTube (Content) teams covers the US/CA region, and the Marketing Experimentation and ASO teams operate globally across more than 80 countries. Alex came to US as an exchange student from Moldova. He started his career in college, founding a start-up which led him into the world of digital marketing and automation. He started with Yodle at its early stages and later got in on the ground floor at BrightWhistle. During those years, he improved Yodle's bidding automation and developed BrightWhistle's Facebook bidding algorithm. After three successful start-up acquisitions, he joined Expedia, Inc as Senior Director of Search Operations, where he handled their SEM, SEO, and Metasearch.
Senior Director, Digital Commerce
Choice Hotels International
Passionate and well-rounded leader with over 15 years of experience in Digital Product, Digital Marketing, User Experience (UX), Consumer Research, Strategy, and Technology.
Senior Director, Brand Partnerships
Nicole is the Head of Strategic Partnerships for TripAdvisor, leading all global initiatives to build and amplify a brand that travelers love. Previously, Nicole was the Chief Marketing Officer for Citymaps, a social mapping platform that was acquired by TripAdvisor in 2016. She began her career as the real-life 'Devil Wears Prada' at Marie Claire magazine, and she spent more than a decade in corporate marketing for global luxury brands at LVMH, Shiseido and Elizabeth Arden. Born and raised in the New York City area, Nicole graduated from Harvard with a degree in French Literature and a minor in Philosophy.
Senior Director of Marketing & UX/ UI Design
High energy marketing executive with over 15 years experience developing consumer value and leading teams to define and deliver differentiated experiences that contribute to business growth and consumer retention and engagement. Strategic leader with demonstrated success in recognizing and maximizing individual and cross functional team success. Collaborative thought leader, bringing an innovative, consumer focused approach to product development, marketing strategies and UX Design.
Specialties: Traffic Acquisition, Business Development, Product Strategy, UX Design, User Testing, Marketing Expertise: Social Media, Engagement, Mobile, SEO, Branding, B2B, Affiliate, Email, Blogs, & Video, International Market Expansion, Start-up Companies and Content Monetization Strategies.
Digital Experience and Product Design for Mobile, Loyalty and Payments
Choice Hotels International
My career revolves around bridging the worlds of suits, geeks, and customers — that is, helping folks from business, design and technology disciplines get closer to customers and then work together to deliver great products that people love using. My current gig involves working with a really driven group of folks in setting the vision, developing the strategy, and delivering on a roadmap for mobile apps and emerging digital experiences at Choice Hotels.
Director of eCommerce Strategy & Performance, Digital Marketing, North & Central America
Accomplished Digital Marketing Professional with over 10+ years of experience increasing brand awareness and revenues in fast-paced, competitive markets for industry leaders. Exceptional academic qualifications including my Masters in International Business. Known for strengthening international sales and marketing sectors to lead in competitive markets and to deliver innovative online concepts and strategies. Effectively utilize competitive analysis, market research and statistical surveys to assess business plans and provide solutions to foster growth and increased productivity.
Head of User Acquisition
Simon is Head of User Acquisition at Hopper, a flights booking app that predicts the future price of airfare. He is crafting the user acquisition strategy with a strong focus on automation and performance metrics. Before Hopper, Simon was the Director of Marketing at Busbud, selling bus tickets online from hundreds of companies worldwide.
Senior Manager, Global Product Operations – Human
Wes Albaugh is the Manager of Personalization for Hilton Worldwide, where he manages real-time offer arbitration and “next best action” across their web and email channels. Wes dove straight into the world of email marketing out of college, building the email marketing program for an online printing company before moving to Hilton. At Hilton, he started out managing Hilton Honors customer lifecycle emails and created the company’s first-ever browse/cart abandonment email trigger. He then moved to the Personalization Team, where he has shifted to an omni-channel lens, leveraging hundreds of data points to serve Hilton customers with the right message, at the right time, in the right channel.
Vice President, Revenue Management
Deputy Executive Director - Chief Innovation and Technology Officer
Los Angeles World Airports
Chief Marketing Officer
Discover Puerto Rico
Leah is the Chief Marketing Officer for the Puerto Rico Destination Marketing Organization, Discover Puerto Rico. As CMO, Leah is charged with providing strategic marketing leadership for the organization; responsible for the oversight of the DMO’s paid media, creative, public relations, brand development and management, and digital strategy.
Prior to her move to San Juan, Leah was the Chief Marketing Officer for Explore Branson, where she led the growth of the community’s tourism industry for five straight years, repositioning the destination’s brand and posting back-to-back years of record ROI for the organization’s marketing program. In previous years, Leah led the Missouri Tourism account at H&L Partners, the agency of record for the Missouri Division of Tourism. In this role, Leah developed and guided the strategic direction of the Division’s marketing, managing paid and earned media, creative and interactive development, and campaign implementation. Leah led Missouri Tourism’s brand repositioning effort in 2013, introducing a new brand identity and corresponding campaign featuring “Enjoy the Show.”
Leah is a veteran of the travel and tourism industry, having directed the Indiana Tourism account for five years prior to joining H&L Partners. Leah’s advertising and marketing experience in the tourism and travel sector also includes The Indianapolis Zoo, Caesar’s Casino, St. Elmo Steakhouse and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.
Travel and Hotels Reporter
Hi. I'm a travel writer here at USA TODAY. For almost seven years, I have been covering pretty much everything travel: hotels, planes, trains, and automobiles. I even get to travel to destinations to try hotels, restaurants and experiences you may want to have. I have always had an interest in exploring other parts of the country and world. I was born in New York City to immigrant parents. My father is from Colombia and my mother is from Ecuador. I decided to get into journalism when I was in high school during the Persian Gulf War. I watched journalists risk their lives to bring us the news back home. I wanted to do that. But first, I moved down to Washington, D.C. to attend Georgetown University. My part-time job during college was to follow President Bill Clinton around the D.C. area in his press pool on weekends for the Associated Press. Once I graduated, I interned at The Washington Post for the summer before driving cross-country to work at the Los Angeles Times for a year. I then returned to The Washington Post, where for 13 years I covered Maryland schools, local government, real estate and other beats. During my time there, I did finally get to be a foreign correspondent. In 2006, I journeyed to our bureau in Baghdad. I was there for a few months covering the aftermath of the war and fell in love with the region. I have traveled to countries such as Lebanon, Jordan, Istanbul, Egypt and Israel. Upon my return, I turned to writing about another crisis--the financial meltdown in 2008. I became a personal finance writer, which led me to write a book called "Hot Broke Messes: How to have your Latte and Drink it Too." I finally returned to my real passion: traveling. I became a travel writer first at the Post and then here at USA TODAY. I have written travel stories across the USA, up to Canada, down to the Caribbean, Central and South America, over to Europe, and as far away as China, Singapore and Hong Kong. I earned a Lowell Thomas travel writing prize for an investigative story on chronically delayed Amtrak trains. I have also contributed stories to Latina Magazine. And I'm always willing to travel anywhere to bring you all great stories.
Executive Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer
Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau
Andrew Wilson, executive vice president and chief marketing officer, atlanta.net, guides all online and offline marketing initiatives of Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau (ACVB). Wilson has been with the organization since January 2009.
In his position, Wilson works with bureau members and the city's key organizations to integrate content and grow Atlanta's official destination presence. In addition, he is charged with expanding ecommerce initiatives and increasing advertising revenue for ACVB.
Wilson began his career at consumer marketing giant, Procter & Gamble, where he spent more than a decade managing product development based on consumer insights. Following, he held leadership positions in business development, marketing, corporate branding and product positioning with companies such as Cap Gemini and Alliance Consulting. Wilson has also served as a consultant for CibaVision Corporation.
He later took the role of chief operating officer for Brand Atlanta, a not-for-profit city-led initiative to develop and promote a singular brand identity for Atlanta. Five years later, Wilson transitioned his destination marketing experience to his current role at ACVB. Wilson serves on the board of directors for 7 Stages Theatre and not-for-profit organization #weloveatl.
A resident of Atlanta since 2002, he has also lived and worked on four continents which has given him a broad perspective to critically evaluate the destination product. Wilson holds a Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering from the University of Cape Town in South Africa and has dual citizenship in the United States and the United Kingdom.
Vice President, Digital Marketing & Visitor Services
Nashville Conventions and Visitors Corporation
Debra Smith serves as the Vice President of Digital Marketing and Visitor Services for the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp. She is responsible for overseeing the strategy of the visitor experience and communicating directly to Nashville’s 14.5 million visitors through both traditional and digital channels. She has been with the Nashville CVC since 2002 and has led the charge for digital tools and personalized customer service which play key roles in Music City’s visitor development strategies.
Debra is responsible for the strategic leadership and implementation of all digital marketing efforts including website, SEM, email marketing, social media, mobile tools and digital partnerships. Her team was recognized by SKIFT in 2016 when visitmusiccity.com was named one of the Top 25 websites in the world.
She also oversees the Visitor Services team who is charged with managing city inquiries, developing vacation packages, booking leisure rooms, selling attraction tickets and managing storefront and digital retail sales.
Her broad experience that includes focusing on the traveler’s process of choosing a destination and how to fulfill visitor expectations has given her a valuable perspective on what creates memorable trip experiences. Her teams are deeply engaged with Nashville’s visitors throughout their journey.
Debra is a 29-year veteran of the hospitality industry and has held key management roles in sales and marketing for a variety of travel related businesses. She holds a BA in Advertising/Marketing from the University of Alabama.
CEO and Co-Founder
Oliver Dlouhy, is the CEO and co- founder of Kiwi.com (formerly known as Skypicker). Oliver had the bright idea of virtual interlining when he was searching for cheap flights as a student. He created a search engine to find what he couldn’t elsewhere. Kiwi.com´s Virtual Interlining combines flights from carriers that do not normally co-operate into a single itinerary. Just six years later Kiwi.com is considered one of the most innovative travel companies in the industry.
A recent new technological advance means that Kiwi.com is now able to provide an additional 750 million flight combinations. The company currently has over 2400 employees and a growing number of global offices. Dlouhy says the future is all about owning the end to end personalisation of travel via multi-modal transportation and better ways to serve the consumer.
Director, Media & Digital Marketing
Herschend Family Entertainment
A 20-year thrill ride in advertising, digital marketing and technology implementation has fueled Amanda’s passion to pair unique consumer insights and database analytics with unique brand offerings to drive business. She has delivered winning B2B and B2C strategies in Fortune 500 public, private and non-profit environments alike.
Amanda is currently enriching American summer fun by driving personalized, behavior-based marketing programs for Herschend Family Entertainment’s 26 theme park and attractions across the U.S. When she is not analyzing or strategizing, she is making memories with her own family in Atlanta.
Krista is a multi-disciplined, digital travel innovator and entrepreneur. She draws on more than twenty years of executive leadership experience in the travel industry, from startups to publicly traded companies, including her role as Global Director and Head of Travel of Bing, a Microsoft Company where she led all commercial aspects, evangelism and strategy for Bing Travel. She has led and scaled global teams in sales and development, marketing + customer acquisition. Most recently, Krista joined Lola.com where she oversees the company’s business development and distribution strategy.
Prior to Lola.com she was the COO of DuVine Cycling + Adventure responsible for the overall day-to-day management and growth of the company. Krista was an executive team member of the startup teams Farecast acquired by Microsoft and SmarterTravel which was acquired by TripAdvisor. She also led travel at the New York Times Digital (NYTd) after selling her company FareChase, the first travel metasearch company to Yahoo! Krista was coined the first “Internet Travel Analyst” in 1999 and from that point on has been deeply immersed in the travel industry. Her focus has been on the intersection of travel disruption, technology, search, and customer experience.
Krista currently invests and advises early stage Internet companies in commerce and travel and sits on several travel boards.
Director, Digital Marketing and CRM
My goal in life is to learn and travel as much as possible. I am always looking on how I can grow as a person and in my professional career. I enjoy staying on top of technology as this particular industry has always fascinated me. I have managed millions of dollars in advertising and sold over a million dollars in marketing programs. I have worked in both in-house marketing and client facing marketing agencies. I have done b2b and b2c sales. I am driven, passionate, hardworking individual with an entrepreneurial mentality. In my spare time I play soccer and volleyball with a local team and volunteer at several organizations around Seattle.
Vice President, Marketing and Demand Analytics
Travel Leaders Group
Dynamic, enthusiastic & experienced digital marketing technology & optimization executive with a successful track record of :
- driving revenue and profitability growth in an organization using data and insights
- leading digital strategy and managing digital properties revenue pipeline
- building strong development & analytics teams
- leading optimization / testing strategy and creating optimization culture in the organization
Strong experience in building marketing technology stack for launching buyer centric perpetual demand generation automation programs and developing advanced digital ecosystems to run marketing programs (2016 Marketo Revvie award)
Specialization in Marketing Technology ( digital development, integration with marketing automation platforms, CRM and CMS), Analytics & Reporting ( marketing performance metrics, campaign performance and business impact metrics), and Operations & Processes ( optimization by building right processes) .
Director of Marketing - Resorts & Cabins
The Dollywood Company
“Whatever you do, do it well. Do it so well that when people see you do it they will want to come back and see you do it again and they will want to bring others and show them how well you do what you do.” – Walt Disney
In all aspects of my personal and professional life, Walt's words are a constant echo in my mind. In all I do, I want to BE the standard!
I'm an intensely creative marketer with an eye for the best strategic plan to support your objective. With a drive for success in destination hospitality and the theme park industry, I have a passion for all things marketing, and of course, The Dollywood Company!
Co-founder and CEO of Sleepbox. I believe that travel is a key to new experiences and personal development. To make our journeys easier and more fun we are creating a new type of technology-driven micro-hotel for the new generation of travelers. Sleepbox is a flexible hotel solution with modular stand-alone hotel rooms, that can be launched anywhere. We unlock new, unique locations and opportunities for hospitality with higher profits and less time to launch. I hope to build a hotel that will empower us to explore the world and help to find our true selves.
Director of Strategy & Planning
Jamey Bainer is the Director of Strategy & Planning at PACIFIC. He received a Bachelor of Arts in English from San Diego State University and a Master of Arts in Journalism from New York University. Before joining PACIFIC, Jamey managed social media and content marketing campaigns for clients in the tech, entertainment, and hospitality sectors. Jamey’s previous clients include Symantec, Webroot, Luna Grill, and Verant Group.
After joining PACIFIC, Jamey launched and built out Expedia’s Instagram presence in the U.S., turning it into a monetized, award-winning channel with a huge community of followers in less than a year. He also worked on Stevie and American Advertising Award-winning campaigns like “Baja Menu” and “Worlds Beyond” for Expedia, as well as “The Unboxing Project” for Flights.com. He has been a featured speaker at the eTail West Summit, the Digital Travel Summit, and MarketingSherpa. Jamey is also a member of the distinguished Forbes Agency Council.
As current Managing Partner of Hylink USA, Humphrey Ho is focused on building the first global advertising agency that natively understands the Chinese digital landscape and the burgeoning group of Chinese companies seeking to go abroad. Having spent seven years in Shanghai as Wieden+Kennedy’s Business Director and as Leagas Delaney’s Business Operations Director, Humphrey has experience serving clients across the automotive, agriculture, FMCG, tech, and travel sectors. Humphrey is also a former "Xoogler," previously serving as Strategic Partnerships Leader at Google China before founding Hylink USA.
Since receiving the ‘Top 30 under 30’ award in 2009, Humphrey has lectured on an array of China-related topics for business schools across the globe. Humphrey earned his Masters of Business Administration from Ryerson University, and his H.BSc in Neuroscience from the University of Toronto.
CEO & Co-Founder
Ravi N. Raj is the CEO and Co-founder of Passage.AI. In this role, he leads a team of AI and deep learning engineers that have created the industry-leading AI platform that businesses can use to create a conversational interface for their websites without a single line of code.
Prior to co-founding Passage.AI, he led product for @WalmartLabs, Walmart’s hub for innovation around social, mobile and retail. Raj came to Walmart through the acquisition of Kosmix, where he served as the VP and GM of Kosmix’s sites, which included Kosmix.com, Tweetbeat.com and RightHealth.com, then the second largest health site on the Web.
Raj has also played leadership roles at Yahoo, AltaVista and Elance (now Upwork) and hold patents in search, social media, and retail.
He has an undergraduate degree from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Madras, and a graduate degree in Computer Engineering from the University of California, Irvine.
Founder & CEO
Brian drives business and product strategy, forges and manages relationships with key partners and investors and sets the company’s cultural tone.
Prior to co-founding UpLift, Brian was a co-founder, CEO and Director of SideStep, which invented travel meta-search in 1999. SideStep was acquired by Kayak in 2007, which was acquired by Priceline for $1.8B in 2013.
Brian has been a board member and advisor of numerous startups and holds an M.S. and B.S. in Electrical Engineering from MIT.
Director of Customer & Concessions Development
I’m an airport professional with leadership, communication and interpersonal skills. I have completed 18 years in the Aviation industry acquiring the knowledge and expertise to succeed in any environment.
CEO & President
Much of Osborne’s career has been spent in executive leadership roles at Bazaarvoice building the company’s sales team into more than 120 members and assisting in establishing multiple international offices. Prior to his time at Baazarvoice, Osborne spent nearly 5 years at Coremetrics, (Acquired: IBM) where he built and managed the client services team, achieving an impressive near 100% enterprise client renewal rate.
Osborne earned his Bachelor of Science degree in electrical and computer engineering from Carnegie Mellon University.
Digital Travel Summit
Krishna has held four of the following five jobs (one is something she decided at age 7 was the ultimate dream job): wildlife rescuer, Renaissance Fair wench, comic book store clerk, lawyer, and National Geographic photographer. Which one is the fake, and why did she choose working on Digital Travel Summit above all else? Feel free to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org and ask – that, and any other questions you may have!
Passionate about numbers and statistics, I founded ContentSquare in 2012 and have since served as the CEO, growing the company exponentially and promoting the importance of UX to optimize the customer journey. I believe knowledge is power, and am committed to change the way companies work by creating a data-driven culture for everyone.
At ContentSquare we help businesses understand how and why users are behaving on digital platforms, and then use this information to improve conversion rates and create ideal customer journeys.
We are proud to work with companies such as L’Oréal, Priceminister, LVMH, Unilever, L’Occitane, Henkel, Leroy Merlin, Sephora, Tag Heuer, AccorHotels and more.
Austin was the driving force behind the original design and development of FreshAddress’s patented Email Change of Address (ECOA) technology. Before FreshAddress he won national recognition for his innovative technical work with the UN and the Carnegie Foundation. Austin is a highly-regarded presenter at national industry events and conferences.
Co-Founder and CEO
I'm very interested in the intersection of big data, user-generated content (UGC) and marketing automation. As Co-Founder & CEO of CrowdRiff, I work closely with key customers and industry leaders to address the challenges of sourcing and scaling visual content (photos and videos) to engage an audience.
Co-Founder & CEO at CrowdRiff (crowdriff.com)
CrowdRiff's Visual Influence Platform is revolutionizing how businesses use photos by surfacing the most relevant social photos and videos and turning them into powerful marketing assets. Brands use CrowdRiff to discover, organize, acquire rights and publish the most engaging visual content across every channel, at scale.
Founder & CEO
Kenneth Purcell is the Founder & CEO of iSeatz, a custom design and development company revolutionizing ancillary services through custom booking solutions. The award winning OneView platform powers trip extra and loyalty booking systems for IHG and American Express Travel among others.
In his hometown of New Orleans, Kenneth saw many hotels had difficulty making restaurant reservations for their guests. In 1999, Kenneth set out to streamline the restaurant reservation system by creating a booking system that hotels and restaurants could use to automate the reservation process. Since then, Kenneth has leveraged his knowledge and technology to offer a full range of ancillary booking systems to major hotel, airline and financial services companies including air, hotel, trip insurance, car, transportation, off-site dining, in-destination activities and food delivery that integrate into company’s unique brand and loyalty programs.
Kenneth is a graduate of Spring Hill College, is an active member of Vestige Group. When away from work, he corrals three lively boys, and enjoys fishing.
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