Meet The Speakers

Eliot Hamlisch
Senior Vice President, Worldwide Loyalty & Partnerships
Wyndham Hotels & Resorts

Eliot serves as senior vice president, worldwide loyalty and partnerships at Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, one of the world’s leading hotel franchisors and hotel management services providers with more than 9,000 hotels across 80 countries under 20 brands. In his role, he oversees Wyndham Rewards, the company’s award-winning guest loyalty program, as well its co-brand credit card, marketing partnerships, multi-brand advertising, and customer acquisition and retention efforts.

Leah Chandler CDME
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.

David Kepron
Vice President, Global Design Strategies, Distinctive Premium Brands
Marriott International

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

Yassine Hachem
Vice President New Businesses & Acquisitions Synergies

As an Intrapreneur, Digital Marketer, Business Driven and Customer-Centric leader my aim is to constanly sustain the core business while developing new sources of revenues through both enterprise level transformations as well as through growth hacking, customer focused omnichannel, lifecycle and digital strategies.

Prior to joining Accorhotels I was employed by Bouygues Telecom, in a variety of marketing positions. During this time, I developed my marketing, digital, CRM, CXM and project management skills both in B2C and B2B.

From 2013 to 2014, I defined and managed the worldwide online relationship marketing roadmap of Accorhotels.

From 2015 to 2016, as an E-commerce & Digital Services Project Director / Chief of Staff I managed the Mobile First Program (one of the eight programs of the Accorhotels 360° Digital Plan) and transversal and strategic projects on behalf of the SVP E-commerce & Digital Services.

From 2016 to 2017, I defined the integration strategies and develop online sales for the new AccorHotels Business Lines or in niche and lifestyle brands on the AccorHotels Digital Ecosystem.

Since 2018, I fully participate in the AccorHotels group's growth strategy by identifying, concretizing and developing the synergies between the New Businesses/Acquistions and the Business, Customers & Digital teams.

I also taught at the Institute of Corporate Administration (IAE) of the University of Jean Moulin, Lyon 3 and at the University of Pantheon-Assas (Paris 2).

Francisco Trejo
Managing Director, Digital Products
United Airlines

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.

Justin Bachman
Associate Editor

I write about things that fly: Airlines, general aviation, NASA, commercial space industry, defense and commercial drones. (And people.)

Jennifer Wesley
Director, Travel

Jennifer Wesley, Industry Director, Travel East: Jennifer Wesley joined Google in 2011 and is currently the Director of Travel East, leading strategic relationships with hotel, air, car, vacation suppliers and online travel businesses. Prior to Google, from 1998-2010, Jennifer was a leader and consultant within several Publicis companies where she developed marketing, communications and e-commerce programs and platforms for Fortune 500 companies in the media and entertainment, consumer products, travel and financial services industries. Jennifer has over 20 years of experience in digital technology and marketing working across a range of industries and companies. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Duke University and a Master’s in Journalism from Northwestern University, and lives in Lincoln Park in Chicago with her husband and two children.

Asmita Singh
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) .

Brian Sumers
Senior Aviation Business Editor

Brian Sumers is a Los Angeles-based editor covering the global airline industry for Skift, the largest business intelligence and marketing platform in travel. Previously, Brian was a regular contributor to Conde Nast Traveler and Aviation Week. He has also written for the Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times and L.A. Weekly.

As an expert on aviation, Brian has appeared on NPR’s All Things Considered and PRI’s Marketplace, as well as on CBS News, CNN and BBC World television. He has also been quoted about airline news in the New York Times and Conde Nast Traveler, among other publications.

Brian is a magna cum laude graduate of Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism and has a master's degree in journalism from the University of Southern California's Annenberg School. Earlier in his career, he reported for the Tampa Bay Times, St. Louis Post-Dispatch and Southern California News Group, parent company of the Los Angeles Daily News.

Joyce Bliss
Former Global Marketing Director
Enterprise Holdings (National Car Rental and Enterprise Rent-A-Car)

Joyce Bliss has over 20 years of International Sales and Marketing experience in the travel industry, the past 13 years she developed the International Digital strategy for Alamo and National Car rental, Europcar and most recently Enterprise Rent A car.  Her focus has been on creating customer centric promotions customized for global consumers.   Her experience includes performance marketing, social marketing, content marketing in the EMEA, LAC and APAC regions.

Previous global brands that she has worked with are American Airlines, Avis Rent a car, Auto Europe and Globus and Cosmos.  Joyce is currently enrolled in Northwestern Kellogg School Digital Strategies. 

Alex Otrezov
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.

Richard Alan Reid
VP, Global Content

Richard Alan Reid is BuzzFeed's International Head of Franchises, Shows and Branded Content. He is responsible for both universal and regional creative direction and curation, and leads and scales creative teams, branded operations and video production for BuzzFeed's editions in the UK, Europe, Australia, Japan, Canada, Brazil, Latin America and new markets. Additionally, Richard leads the global expansion of BuzzFeed's travel and experiential media brand, Bring Me!

In the advertising space, Reid has written, directed and supervised countless campaigns for major brands including GEICO, Citibank, Amazon, BMW, Coca-Cola, Sky, 20th Century Fox, Nestle and Google. Editorially, he was most recently Executive Producer of BuzzFeed's first international series, Worth It UK. Beyond BuzzFeed, Reid is also a writer, actor, producer and director of award-winning feature films, scripted series and reality shows. Reid is based in New York City.

Sanjay Bhatia
Industry Manager, Travel

As Industry Manger for Travel at Facebook, Sanjay  partners with some of the world's largest travel brands, helping them connect to consumers in a mobile-first world. He helps drive business results throughout the travel journey using Facebook's family of apps, including Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp. Sanjay has been at Facebook since 2011. During that time, he has helped shape media strategy on Facebook, from helping advertisers leverage the first newsfeed product to currently working alongside the product team to build dynamic ads for travel. He has led partnerships across a myriad of travel sub-verticals including OTA, suppliers, and ridesharing.

Prior to Facebook, Sanjay led large scale paid search initiatives in the insurance industry, working with both established players and startups. Sanjay earned a Bachelor’s degree in Entrepreneurship from Loyola Marymount University. He is based in Redwood City, CA with his wife and infant son, and is an avid guitar player, wine enthusiast, and sports fan.

Jessi Lewis
eCommerce, Technical Product Owner
Alaska Airlines
Jason Dahlin
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.

Robecta Ma
VP of Marketing & Digital, Americas
Cathay Pacific Airways
Nicole Brown
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. 

Rob Sands
Head of Partnerships
CNN Travel

Rob Sands is Vice President, Business Development and Partnerships responsible for the creation of new global revenue streams and content products for CNN Digital Worldwide and Great Big Story.

As one of the first employees, Sands guided the expansion of Great Big Story through partnerships, syndication, licensing and other product and business development activities both domestic and international. 

Under his leadership as Vice President, Content Products, Great Big Story expanded product availability to multiple third-party platforms, including launching a regional partnership in the Nordics, distribution through social, mobile & streaming media platforms, online portals, airport networks, hotels, airline inflight entertainment systems, international social networks (including China), and more. Combined, these deals extended Great Big Story’s reach to more than 10 million consumers worldwide (60% of which are internationally-based).

Before joining Great Big Story, Sands was Principle Business Development for Amazon and helped launch hardware projects such as the Amazon Alexa voice assistant, Echo, Amazon Fire TV and Kindle Fire Tablet.

Prior to Amazon, Sands spent five years in mobile content where he served as North American sales lead for companies such as Gameloft and Airborne Entertainment. He’s also worked as a creative director for international advertising agencies such as Leo Burnett, BBDO, and Ogilvy & Mather and even founded his own company in Seattle, WA.

Sands received his undergraduate degree in Communications from the University of Colorado, Boulder and resides in Seattle, WA.

Michael Goldrich
VP – Marketing, E-Commerce & Distribution
Denihan Hospitality Group

At Denihan, Michael is responsible for the development of brand strategy, positioning and digital marketing for all of the Company’s flagships, including The James, The Surrey, Affinia Hotels and Suites and The Benjamin. He also oversees brand and field marketing, public relations, advertising, and social media campaigns, and reservations and distribution.

 Prior to joining Denihan, Michael served in a Senior Marketing position for Wyndham Hotel Group and Dolce Hotels & Resorts, which Wyndham acquired in 2015. Earlier in his career, he was a Digital Program Management Director at Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide. He has also held positions with Monster, Natwell Technology Partners, LLC and Accenture. He holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Literature from University of Michigan, and a Master of Arts in Business Communications, Science, Management and Policy from Northwestern University.

Tristan Krause
Director of Global Product Management
Simon Lejeune
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.

Stevie Stevenson
Director of Offer Strategy

Stevie is a customer-focused marketing and revenue management leader with experience in all aspects of branding, advertising, strategic planning and campaign management on both the agency and client side. She has spent the last four years in the hospitality industry, working at Hilton in both the marketing and commercial services organizations. She has recently taken on the role of leading Hilton’s Global Offer Strategy team, which is responsible for designing and overseeing the global offer landscape at Hilton to ensure it is meeting the strategic and commercial objectives of the enterprise.

Jonathan Stephen
Sr. Manager, Mobile Strategy & Digital Engagement
Norwegian Cruise Line

Bringing more than 15 years of experience in the mobile/digital industry, Jonathan Stephen is currently the Senior Manager of Mobile Strategy & Digital Engagement at Norwegian Cruise Line overseeing the cruise line’s mobile strategy. Prior to transitioning to the Marketing department, he consulted for Norwegian Cruise Line, overseeing their IT Web Production Support Initiatives in the Business Process Management Team, before joining full-time as the Manager of Web Programs. 

Jonathan also spent time in the airline industry heading up mobile/digital strategy for airlines including Silver Airways and JetBlue. At JetBlue, he led the Mobile & Emerging Technologies team for over three years with the responsibility of driving their overall mobile strategy. His love for travel, digital, and mobile shinned in the JetBlue organization where he was able to launch the airline’s first mobile app, tablet app, and mobile optimized website. He also supported many airport and onboard innovation initiatives to enhance the overall customer experience.

Connie Marianacci
Director of eCommerce Strategy & Performance, Digital Marketing, North & Central America
Accor Hotels
Connie is the Director of eCommerce Strategy & Performance at AccorHotels, one of the world’s leading hospitality companies.   She is tasked with aiding the development of multi-channel strategies to push online sales for North and Central American hotels, across eight brands within the luxury, midscale and economy space.  Her key responsibilities include supporting maximize the digital activity for the Group’s portfolio by constantly tracking, measuring and optimizing traffic and revenue generated to proprietary brand sites through eCRM, SEO, SEM, social media, affiliate marketing, display advertising and other tactics.  Connie is a seasoned professional in the travel and hospitality industry, helping hotels increase brand awareness and revenue in fast-paced competitive markets.

Alex Sutton III
Director, Digital Acquisition
Avis Budget Group

As Director, Digital Acquisition at Avis Budget Group (ABG), Alex Sutton oversees paid digital media strategy across display, video, search, and affiliate marketing for Avis, Budget, Budget Truck, and Payless.  He is responsible for maximizing the ROI of campaigns that drive incremental in-market renters to ABG’s owned properties where they can book direct.  Prior to Avis Budget Group Alex managed traditional and digital acquisition for the MY M&M’S division of Mars, Inc. and has over 9 years of client-side direct and brand marketing experience.  Alex applies a structured test and learn approach to digital marketing leveraging consumer insights from over 150 digital a/b and multivariate media tests in the optimization of campaigns. 

Alex holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland and an MBA from the University of Michigan, Ross School of Business – Go Terps and Go Blue!    

Krag Klages
Senior Manager, Advanced Analytics and Optimization
Disney Parks & Resorts

Krag Klages has been in the digital advertising and analytics space for over 10 years, helping companies like eBay and Under Armour and most recently, Disney Parks and Resorts, architect, implement, and make use of digital ad-tracking and analytics technologies to better report on marketing performance.  He currently leads the multi-touch attribution work for Disney Parks and Resorts and is always looking for new ways to use technology to better measure media effectiveness, consumer behavior, and business outcomes.

Emma Jagunich
Senior Manager, Global Product Operations – Human
Emma is the Senior Manager of Product Operations for the Human team at Airbnb. In the last 8 years, she has served in many operational capacities at Airbnb, including managing social media and online/offline dispute resolutions for the community support function. She also incubated product, operational and community development for Airbnb Experiences.

Currently, she’s leads work at the intersection of product and operations for Human. The
Human team’s largest investment is OpenHomes, a program that offers temporary
accommodation to those in need. The program started with those displaced by natural and man-made disasters, and has since expanded to housing relief workers, those who need to travel for medical purposes, and those displaced by conflict.

Learn more at

Krista Pappas

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 where she oversees the company’s business development and distribution strategy.

Prior to 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.

Becca Doten
Managing Director, Media Relations
Los Angeles World Airports

Becca Doten serves as the Managing Director of Media Relations for Los Angeles World Airports, overseeing internal and external communications for LAX. In this role, she leads strategic communications planning, media/press relations, digital and social media efforts and marketing. Ms. Doten joined LAWA in July of 2017 and brings with her more than a decade of experience in communications and public policy at the city, county and state level.

Previous to LAWA, Becca supervised the Los Angeles office of the State Controller, serving as the Assistant Deputy Controller and statewide Director of External Affairs. Becca also managed the winning campaign for Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell in 2014. Previous to that, she spent seven years working for the City of Los Angeles, serving as the Chief of Staff and Director of Communications for a Los Angeles City Councilmember and as the Director of the Mayor's Crisis Response Team. 

Originally from Cottage Grove, Minnesota, Becca earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Film Production from the University of Southern California. She is a sworn Reserve Officer with the Los Angeles Police Department.

Maclin Williams
Director of Marketing
Porter Airlines

Maclin is a digital innovation professional and marketing strategist whose dedication to optimizing customer experience has driven measurable results for major brands across multiple industries. Equal parts technoholic and humanist, Ms. Williams is an explorer of digital frontiers who loves inspiring like-minded adventurers in designing new possibilities.

As Dorector of Marketing, Maclin has pushed the boundaries of nascent technology and big data to transform Porter Airlines into a leader in the Canadian digital advertising space while saving millions in ad spend. This innovation paired with dedication to a unique, and cheeky, brand voice landed Porter the CMA Marketer of the Year award for Excellence in Brand & Advertising. 

Agency side Maclin developed strategies for digital properties and integrated campaigns and produced global multi-media events for clients such as Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, Honda Canada, and Kraft Canada. The work she and her team produced earned industry recognition including IABC Gold Quill and Silver Leaf Awards and a prestigious Leo Award.  

Maclin co-founded IN_Situ Augmented Reality, an interactive technology company that presented potential capital investor leads with an immersive visualization of planned buildings in the context of the living cityscape. She worked with world-class architects and institutions including OCAD (UK architect Wil Alsop) and the ROM (NYC architect Daniel Libeskind). Her company earned Gold for Innovation in Digital Business at the National Post & Design Exchange Awards. 

An alumna of University of Toronto. Ryerson University, the CFC's Digital Media Lab and the Bell Interactive Project Lab, Maclin has served as a keynote speaker at numerous digital innovation events, including representing Canadian business innovation at the World Expo in Japan. She has served on St. Joseph's Hospital Rebranding Task Force, the Board of Directors for Future Generations Canada and the Board of the AMA Mentor Exchange. She also fundraises for Childhood Cancer Canada.  

Andrew Wilson
Executive Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer
Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau

Andrew Wilson, executive vice president and chief marketing officer,, 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.

Andre Miller
Director, Global Communications
Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation

Andre is responsible for Digital Media within the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism’s Global Communications Department, which is the marketing arm for The Islands Of The Bahamas.

He leads internal teams and agency partners responsible for Search Engine Marketing, Digital Marketing Strategy Development, Email Marketing, Mobile Application Development, Emerging Media, and Social Media Marketing. His role comes with over 14 years of working experience within the Digital Media and Travel industry. This is why he’s charged with the ongoing strategic development and expansion of The Bahamas’ global digital footprint. He also assists with the conceptual development and distribution of national advertising campaigns for The Bahamas.

He prides himself as an agent of change and champions his ability to motivate early adoption of technological advancements towards achieving assigned goals.

Rick Seaney

Rick Seaney is an internationally known air travel expert and airfare analyst making him the media’s go-to source for breaking aviation industry news. The CEO and co-founder of FareCompare sees his mission as helping consumers save money every time they fly. Rick pens columns for ABC News and USA Today. Recently he is overseeing a new travel BigData AI spinoff that seeks to democratize access to the most advanced travel analytics and intelligence at a fraction of the cost of taking on this daunting task internally.

Michael Childers
Chief Consultant, Content and Media Strategy
Lufthansa Systems Americas, Inc.

Michael Childers is Chief Consultant, Content & Media Strategy, for Lufthansa Systems, the IT company in the Lufthansa Group. He is in his sixth year, third term, on the Board of Directors of the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) and chairs its Technology Committee. He is in his eighth year with Lufthansa Systems, and was previously Managing Director, Content & Media Strategy for The IMS Company, and was President & CEO of LightStream Communications Group. He has more than 30 years’ experience in the entertainment and media industry, and has been associated with the inflight industry since 1979. Six years ago he was the sixth recipient of the APEX Outstanding Contribution Award (Sir Richard Branson was the first), and was appointed by former Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx to the Department of Transportation’s ACCESS Advisory Committee, and to the FAA’s Aviation Rulemaking Committee. He is also an industry journalist and chairs two APEX Technology Conferences each year.

Steve Mayers
Airport Director, Customer Experience
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport
Gene Sutch
Director of Revenue Strategy and Analysis

Gene Sutch is the Director, Revenue Strategy and Analysis at the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) where he is responsible for developing and implementing Reagan National and Dulles International revenue enhancement strategies, tracking, analyzing and forecasting non-airline revenue, in addition to Business Intelligence analytics and reporting of Customer Feedback, Concessions, Ground Transportation and Aviation Statistics.

Prior to working at MWAA, Gene was the Manager, Capital Investments and Business Analysis for the US Postal Service where he was responsible for marketing analytics and for managing capital investments averaging $2 billion annually.

Marie Wickham
Marketing Officer
Qatar Airways
Victor Hernandez
Director, Digital Marketing and CRM
Windstar Cruises

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. 

Shannon Jennewein
Digital Marketing Manager
Diamond Resorts

Shannon is the Digital Marketing Manager for Diamond Resorts. She has more than 15 years of experience in digital marketing within the hospitality industry driving cost effective lead and revenue generation programs.

Shannon is currently responsible for the strategic development and implementation of all digital marketing endeavors including website enhancements, SEO,  SEM, affiliate marketing, email marketing, social media marketing and strategic partnerships.

Marissa Willman
Director of Digital Marketing
Greater Palm Springs CVB

Experienced Digital Marketer and Content Specialist with a demonstrated history of working in the tourism, travel & hospitality industry. Skilled in SEO/SEM, Content Marketing, Journalism, PPC and digital media. Strong marketing professional with a BA focused in Communications from California State University, Fullerton.

Fernando Montoro
Director, International Strategy
Christine Loose
Vice President – Lodging & Wellness
Kohler Co.

Christine Loose is the Vice President of Lodging & Wellness for Kohler Co. In this role, she manages hospitality operations and growth for The American Club and the Inn on Woodlake hotels in Kohler, Wis., Riverbend private membership in Kohler, Wis., Lodge Kohler in Green Bay, Wis., and the Old Course Hotel in St Andrews, Scotland, as well as overseeing the growing wellness portfolio.

Christine holds a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from St. Norbert College and a MBA from Keller Graduate School of Management. 

Debbie Johnsen
Digital Marketing Director
The Watergate Hotel

Debbie Johnsen is currently Digital Marketing Director for The Watergate Hotel in Washington, DC. She has worked on both the client and agency side in digital marketing for travel, arts and entertainment brands since 2000.

She is also Adjunct Faculty at N.Y.U., and teaches E-Commerce Marketing in the School of Professional Studies Integrated Marketing Master’s degree program.

Debbie is a native New Yorker and an N.Y.U graduate. She has appeared as a speaker on the topics of Multi-Channel Marketing and Luxury Marketing at Luxury Interactive, Internet Retailer, e-Tail and other industry conferences.

Jennifer Pintaluba
Director of Digital Marketing
Regent Seven Seas Cruises

Jennifer joined Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings in 2010 and has championed a number of Marketing roles within the Domestic and International organizations of Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises. Her background spans email, SEM, SEO, print, mass media, display and social media. She now sits as the Director of Digital Marketing for Regent Seven Seas Cruises and is the strategic lead for Display, OLV, Paid & Organic Social Media, Partner Email and the Luxury Goes Exploring® Blog. 

Prior to joining NCLH, she lived out her dream of working in advertising in NYC and supported clients such as Johnson & Johnson and IBM. She’s passionate about all things data and digital and her goal is to inspire junior leaders in the organization to chase their career goals; “Fortune favors the bold!”

Kate Pontiff
Intensification Manager, North America
Celebrity Cruises

As an Intensification Manager, North America for Celebrity Cruises Kate Pontiff is charged with driving results, casting a strong and powerful spotlight onto the region’s marketing initiatives, and laying the groundwork for strategic consistency for the brand. Kate has been with Celebrity Cruises for 6 years, and in that short time frame she has spent time in various departments, including Loyalty Marketing, Product Marketing in Galapagos and Alaska, and Regional Marketing Manager for the east coast. 

Amanda Johnson
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 summer fun for millions of families in the U.S. by driving personalized, behavior-based marketing programs and media buys for Herschend Family Entertainment’s 26 theme park and attractions including Dollywood Parks and Resorts. When she is not analyzing or strategizing, she is making memories with her own family in Atlanta.

Brian Angello
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! 

Mikhail Krymov

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.

Tedd Evers
Founder & CEO

Tedd Evers (@teddevers) is Founder & CEO of TripTuner® ( an engaging way to discover personalized travel experiences by fine tuning addictive sliders, as you would a stereo equalizer. Conceived during a round-the-world trip 20 years ago, it’s a mix of his experience as a DJ, traveler to over 68 countries and 18 years in online marketing at Site59, Travelocity and eDreams.

TripTuner launched in 2011 as a bootstrapped startup, leveraging the Lean Startup methodology to reach profitability in 14 months. Since then it has grown each year, fine-tuned millions of preferences for travelers in over 192 countries and been featured in CNN, NBC News and The New York Times. Its patented technology powers the inspiration functionality for leading travel brands worldwide like ebookers, LATAM Airlines, Kempinski Hotels and VISIT FLORIDA.

Kyle Killon

Kyle Killion founded Suiteness after working in product management at Apartment List, Yelp, and Coupa. He began his career as a very early member of the Geek Squad before the acquisition and then moving to Apple. An avid family traveller, he loves to take trips with his wife and two little ones. Of course he stays in connecting hotel rooms when he does.

Brendan Witcher
Vice President, Principal Analyst, Digital Business Strategy

Brendan serves Digital Strategy Professionals and is a leading expert on commerce and experience technologies, consumer behavior, and innovative trends in the digital engagement space. He is also a noted authority on organizations leading the way in disruption vendors that facilitate delivery of digital excellence. In his research, Brendan covers strategies for winning, serving, and retaining today’s digitally-savvy consumers. In addition to advising Fortune 500 executive teams around the globe, he can be found keynoting at industry events, and is routinely cited by industry media such as CNBC, Bloomberg, The Economist, Fortune, USA Today, and The Wall Street Journal.


Humphrey Ho
Managing Partner
Hylink Travel

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.

Michael Taylor
Practice Lead, Travel
J.D. Power

Michael Taylor is the Travel Practice Lead at J.D. Power. He is responsible for providing industry thought leadership and business improvement recommendations to the company’s clients in the airline, airport, and car rental segments. He works with airports around the world including JFK, Newark Liberty, La Guardia, Portland (OR), San Diego, Tokyo Narita and the Aeroports de Paris (Charles de Gaulle and Orly). Additionally, he develops insights on other airport topics such as concessions, services and security. Mr. Taylor has also worked with nearly all major North American air carriers and major rental car companies to measure and manage customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Mr. Taylor founded and led the Travel Practice at J.D. Power from 1998 to 2004, and rejoined J.D. Power in 2017. Previously he worked as a consultant to academic medical centers (M.D. Anderson and The Mayo Clinic) and oilfield service providers (Halliburton, Baker Hughes, and Schlumberger). Prior to that, he worked in television advertising research, where he analyzed and consulted on major advertising efforts for companies such as SmithKline Beecham, S.C. Johnson, Frito Lay and General Motors, focusing on “persuasion shift” and market share. He began his career in the consumer packaged goods industry at companies such as Alberto-Culver, Ralston Purina, and Abbot Laboratories.

Mr. Taylor earned a bachelor’s degree with honors from Indiana University and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Chicago.

Dean Locke
Head of Business Development
Jamey Bainer
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 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. 

Sara Wyman
Vice President, Travel
Affirm Inc.

Sara Wyman oversees Affirm’s travel business, where she enjoys building solutions for the always-innovating travel merchants. Prior to Affirm, Sara ran the e-commerce team at Reformation and the payments initiative at Etsy. Before the move to technology, she spent five years in finance in New York. Sara holds a B.S. from Syracuse University and an M.B.A. from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Jean-Marc Bellaiche
Chief Strategy and Partnership Officer

Advisor at Contentsquare, formerly SVP, Tiffany & Co, formerly Senior Partner at BCG. Jean-Marc spent 22 years at the Boston Consulting Group where he was Senior Partner, Global Leader for the Luxury, Fashion, Beauty sector. He then spent 4 years as Senior Vice President - Strategy & Business Development at Tiffany & Co., member of the Executive Committee, with responsibility for Global strategy and P&L for categories outside of jewelry such as watches, leather goods, eyewear and fragrance. He has recently joined Contentsquare as an investor and special advisor to the CEO.

Kristen Vasan
Director, Strategic Platform Partnerships

Kristen’s decade-long run in the geolocation technology space has helped her bring value to some of the largest players in the travel industry, including Hilton, Condé Nast Traveler, HotelTonight, Marriott, Expedia, AirBnB, and TripAdvisor. Her specialties include consulting global brands on digital innovation, systems architecture, UI/UX design, SEO, analytics, and more with a purview across a wide range of location and mobile marketing automation platforms including Foursquare, Google Maps, MapBox, Carto, Salesforce Marketing Cloud, Braze, and many others. She currently oversees strategic platform partnerships at Foursquare across brands in travel, real estate, and emerging markets. 

Kristen is a traveler at heart, having lived in 5 countries and explored dozens of others. She holds a BA in International Studies and Spanish Lit from Ohio Wesleyan University and is currently based in Manhattan, NY. 

Niklas Schlappkohl
Senior Director, Travel Solutions
Niklas Schlappkohl is the Senior Director, Travel Solutions in the Global Client Solutions team and in-house consultant for the Travel industry. His responsibilities include onboarding new Travel clients as well as strategic localization consulting for existing clients. Niklas joined after 20 years in the global digital travel industry, having lead ecommerce and localization efforts at some of the leading hospitality brands including Starwood, Accor, NH Hotels and most recently Carlson Rezidor, where he was Senior Director, eCommerce. Since 2015, he has also been Chairman of the HSMAI Digital Marketing Advisory Board. A native from Germany, Niklas has a BA in Languages, and MA in International Relations and speaks 8 languages.
Lucas Luxton
Director of Tourism Partnerships

Lucas Luxton is the Director of Tourism Partnerships at CrowdRiff where he leads a specialized sales team focused on experimentation in new travel markets. He enjoys collaborating with digital marketing leaders at destinations of all sizes, around the world. Prior to CrowdRiff, Lucas worked with 500px, an online community of over 15 million professional photographers. Lucas’ passions include photography, travelling and all-things Apple. He recently returned from vacation in Australia & New Zealand where his photographs were the envy of the office. You can connect with Lucas on Twitter @luc9488 or Instagram @luc.luxton.

Mario Ciabarra
Founder & CEO
Quantum Metric

Mario is the Founder and CEO of Quantum Metric, the Digital Customer Experience Intelligence Platform, where he helps enterprises rapidly act on insights to deliver exceptional customer experiences. Under Mario’s leadership and passion for digital optimization, Quantum Metric has seen rapid adoption from Fortune 500 eCommerce, financial services, entertainment, and travel companies. Previously, Mario founded and exited an APM startup which solved where enterprise application performance could be improved.

Kenneth Purcell
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.

Mike Lund
Vice President, Business Development

Mike Lund is Vice President of Business Development at Conversant, the digital media arm of Epsilon and an Alliance Data company. In this role, Mike is responsible for leading new business development for the Travel & Hospitality vertical. He works with travel and hospitality marketers to realize their potential for delivering personalized digital media to their customers at scale, with the ultimate goal of driving measurable brand growth.

Previously, Mike was Vice President of Sales for Online Solutions at Epsilon. In this role, Mike helped build the company’s new Online Solutions division from the ground up and oversaw the development of sales and account management. Prior to Epsilon and Conversant, Mike was the Director of Database Marketing at Roxy/Quiksilver, where he helped launch its first direct/e-commerce team and played an instrumental role in developing the team’s focus on measuring the online and offline impact of marketing.

Mike’s work has earned him industry recognition including DMN “40 Under 40” 2013.

He is based in Colorado and enjoys spending time with his family, skiing, live music, and experiencing all that Colorado has to offer.

Chris Stacey
Vice President, Commercial

Chris Stacey has a diverse background throughout the travel industry.  Having worked with various travel brands including: Allegiant Travel, Mark Travel, and Las Vegas Sands.  His current responsibilities as VP Commercial at Uplift have allowed him to help enable online lending in the travel and hospitality space.  Mr. Stacey has developed an industry-wide reputation for being an online marketing leader.  During his 25+ year professional career, Mr. Stacey has created numerous internet sales and marketing campaigns that have shaped the industry and increased year-on-year financial results.  His development of innovative marketing approaches have been tracked and emulated by numerous internet marketers. 

Mr. Stacey began his marketing career after receiving his bachelor’s degree from the University of Utah.  To broaden his marketing acumen, he began working for an advertising company based in Salt Lake City, Utah.  Never one to rest, he began to apply his natural sales talents to online marketing and immediately excelled in this emerging area in the early 1990’s. 

In his spare time Mr. Stacey enjoys playing many activities including:  hockey, waterskiing, golf, and spending time with his family that includes his wife Celena and 2 Labrador Retrievers. 

Michael Osborne
CEO & President
As CEO, Michael Osborne provides grounded leadership and unwavering focus on building SmarterHQ’s innovation, growth and success. Osborne most recently served as Chief Revenue Officer for Bazaarvoice (NASDAQ: BV) where he helped lead the company to their Initial Public Offering in 2012 after growing the business for nearly seven years, from less than $1 million to more than $130 million in annual sales. In his role, Osborne will report directly to Howard Bates, CEO and Chairman of the company and he will oversee and assist in company development, strategy and growth.

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.

Ata Gokyildirim
General Manager of Asia-Pacific

Ata started his career in banking and finance before joining his families apparel business which he helped grow and sold to Macquarie Banks Private Equity arm. Given his background in financial markets, Gokyildirim took over a small Australian BioTech company, Prima Biomed, and embarked on a 50 million dollar funding requirement within the space of 18 months. Ata graduated with honours from the University of New South Wales.

Efrat Ravid
Quantum Metric

Efrat Ravid  is the Chief Marketing Officer of Quantum Metric, she began her career as an engineer in Dassault Systemes, where she was sent to inland China to work directly with manufacturers and factories. Although young and new to her profession  at the time, Efrat knew instantly that she wanted to interact directly with customers to make better product versions and take her product to the next level. It was in this role that she found her passion for improving the customer experience.  This triggered her decision to take a marketing leadership position in technology-based companies.

Over the last decade Ravid has served as a CMO, and has led marketing teams in creative marketing that is based on unique messaging, valuable content, memorable digital experiences, brand and demand generation. She has worked closely with CMOs and heads of ecommerce across different industries such as travel, hospitality, retail and high tech.

Today, as a Chief Marketing Officer of an exciting SaaS company, Quantum Metric, Ravid uses her position to mentor and sponsor digital professionals to provide better products and experience to customers.

Jon Tejeda
Director of Sales

Scott Gorny
Vice President – Executive Client Partner
Publicis Sapient
Scott is an Executive Client Partner in Publicis Sapient’s Travel and Hospitality industry with over 25 years of consulting and agency experience.

Scott’s mission is to help organizations change to be more successful through the use of digital channels, technology, and data. Scott has delivered digital transformations and organizational changes to some of the world’s largest companies and brands and has led large-scale transformational programs across several industries including: financial, automotive, travel, agriculture, QSR/restaurant, and education.
Chris Lehman
Senior Vice President
Christian Selchau-Hansen
CEO / Co-Founder

Christian Selchau-Hansen is the CEO and co-founder of, an enterprise software company that optimizes the customer journey through personalized marketing experiences. A 20-year tech veteran, Christian has helped develop new products and drive growth at companies like Square and Zynga. Prior to launching, he was a partner at BCG Digital Ventures, using his experience to advise large companies and incubate innovative startups. Christian earned his M.B.A. with honors from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and has bachelor’s degrees in mechanical engineering and economics from Rice University.

Mike Skladony
General Manager – Consumer Services
Kris Hay
VP of Sales

Kris has spent the past 2 decades working with leading software innovators, leading sales teams and driving customer transformation products. With past experiences at SAP and Infor and now with LoginRadius, Kris has worked alongside some of the most recognizable brands in the world. Kris's experience spans multiple industries, including travel & hospitality, media & publications, public sector, and retail & e-commerce; he has a wealth of customer success stories. He is also a passionate business enthusiast, undertaking several personal entrepreneurial start ups that further fuel his passions.

Doug Ralston

Douglas Ralston is the President and CEO of Omni Experiences.  Throughout his 20 years of tenure with the technical and digital industry, Doug continuously reinforces seamless solution for marketing and industrial development.  Ralston focused his career creating impactful products in order to redefine brand experience, which eventually steered technology businesses to Fortune 500 companies such as Symantec, Panasonic, Microsoft, Cisco and Citrix. Doug’s industry-wide background in commerce solution, sales, social and digital strategy also equipped him to work with some of the biggest brands in Travel, Hospitality, and Retail commerce.  

A serial entrepreneur that has started 4 technology companies focused on software platform and mobile services delivery models in the Travel, Retail and Hospitality space.   Most recently the launch of his new company OmniExperience focused on Omnichannel marketing and visitor experience.  As well as a new boutique hotel owner in Guadalajara Mexico.   Doug has worked with over 350 destinations and Hotels around the world and several technology and retail organizations from Macys, Sandals Resorts, Microsoft, Citrix and Symantec.  

Mark Murray
Head of Travel

7 years of digital experience (including SEO, PPC, Digital Advertising and 4 years Optimisation) in developing and executing marketing strategies with the ability to understand the on-going marketing scenario and customer trends. I am known for developing good business relationships, leading a team in a variety of business settings and a proven ability to create and deliver a strategy. I am a team player with a collaborative style who is attentive to detail and able to work in a fast-paced environment.

Garrett Ruhland
Senior Director, Brands
Krishna Patel
Program Director
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 and ask – that, and any other questions you may have!

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