Discover Strategy, Insight & Trends from Luxury Hospitality's Biggest Innovators
ARNOLD W. DONALD
Chief Executive Officer
Arnold Donald is President & Chief Executive Officer of Carnival Corporation & PLC, the largest travel and leisure company in the world. Their portfolio of ten cruise brands --Carnival Cruise Lines, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Seabourn, AIDA Cruises, Costa Cruises, Cunard, P&O Cruises UK, P&O Cruises Australia and Fathom are based throughout North America, Europe, Australia and Asia. Together these brands maintain a fleet of over 100 ships and serve more than 11 million guests annually. Carnival Corporation & PLC also operates Holland America Princess Alaska Tours, the leading tour company in Alaska and the Canadian Yukon with 10 hotels plus rail and bus services connecting guests with the northern interior. Traded on both the New York and London Stock Exchanges, Carnival Corporation & PLC is the only group in the world to be included in both the S&P500 and the FTSE 100 indices.
Chief Information Officer
Rajeev Rai is the Chief Information Officer, North America, for Wynn Resorts since August 2018. Rajeev has more than 20 years of experience in developing transformational IT strategies, building high-performing technology teams and highly stable and scalable technology platform operations for several of the world’s top brands, including Best Buy, Accenture and Neiman Marcus Group. At Wynn, he is responsible for further bridging the gap between the company’s online and offline guest experience with new and innovative digital platforms while driving agility and stability of the current technology platforms.
lebua Hotels & Resorts
Chief Executive Officer
Deepak Ohri and lebua Hotels and Resorts have become synonymous with luxury and sophistication. Joining the company as its first employee 15 years ago, Deepak Ohri has since earned recognition as the visionary CEO behind the lebua brand.
Central to Ohri’s success is his unique vision of hospitality. Ohri believes that the focus of hospitality should be on creating lasting emotional connections for guests, which was his vision for lebua, and has now become an industry-wide trend.
President & Chief Executive Officer
Ted Teng is the president and chief executive officer of The Leading Hotels of the World, Ltd. Since joining the company in 2008, Mr. Teng has been dedicated to reigniting the 90-year-old brand. Holding firm to his motto, "Preserve, Enhance, and Invent,” Mr. Teng has honored Leading Hotels’ commitment to the art of independent hotel-keeping and core values of excellence, while creating an innovative and modern Leading Hotels.
Baccarat Hotels & 1 Hotels
Chief Development Officer
Mark Keiser is Senior Vice President & Chief Development Officer for SH Group. In his position, he is primarily responsible for the growth of the Baccarat Hotels & Resorts and 1 Hotels brands.
Mr. Keiser most recently was a leader on Starwood Hotel’s development team for over ten years and was responsible for its managed and franchised development efforts for the nine brands in the western half of the US. Prior to that role, Mark held varying leadership roles including leading Starwood’s luxury development activities across the US, Canada and Caribbean, and Starwood’s real estate investment activities on the East Coast and in the Caribbean. Before joining Starwood’s development team, Mr. Keiser gained a diverse range of experiences in the hotel industry working for the financial
services firm, Bear, Stearns & Co. Inc. as well as at the hotel companies Wyndham International and Prime Hospitality.
Chief Executive Officer
With more than 25 years of experience in global design, Beth Campbell, CEO of global interior architecture firm Wilson Associates, is a formidable leader with an exceptional ability to navigate extremely complex scenarios. A LEED-certified, registered architect, Campbell has a robust portfolio of high-profile projects. Most recently, she was Executive Vice President and Head of Design for Westfield Corporation, where she successfully orchestrated an organizational transformation for the corporation’s internal design team. Prior to Westfield, she spent 16 years at Gensler, serving as Managing Partner in Las Vegas, and Global Account Director in San Francisco.
Global Brand Head
Dino Michael oversees the strategic growth and positioning for Hilton’s flagship luxury offering. Most recently, he oversaw global brand development for Hilton’s luxury portfolio to drive expansion of the brands’ international property footprint through ensuring the growth of strong relationships between owners, brand and operations. Dino is a British national with more than 20 years of experience in the hospitality industry, having held senior positions across a number of high profile venues in the UK including branded operations, hotel groups and fine dining venues.
Chief Executive Officer
Christophe is the director of a small Parisian family hotel group, including 5 hotels in full property, 5 hotel properties and real estate. He recently oversaw the purchase and complete renovation of a 1700 square meter building in Paris, the hotel will open in early 2019.
Senior Vice President
Albert M. Herrera has an innate understanding of the luxury travel market, which has elevated him to one of Virtuoso’s most prominent executive positions: senior vice president of the network’s extensive product portfolio. Since joining Virtuoso in July 2004 as the Vice President of Hotels & Resorts, Albert has added cruise lines, tour operators, on-site destination management companies, and tourism boards to the list of key relationships he develops and directs on behalf of the organization. His governance of these partnerships combined with his longstanding relationships with Virtuoso’s elite advisor membership, an unrivaled passion for travel and an enviable rolodex of industry contacts built through the years make him one of the most respected figures in travel.
Co-Founder & Asset Manager
Ellis O’Connor co-founded and currently co-heads MSD Hospitality, the hospitality operations and asset management wing of MSD Capital L.P. – Real Estate. Significant assets under ownership and management include the Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea; the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai, and the Hualalai Resort both on the Big Island of Hawaii; and the Fairmont Miramar Hotel and Bungalows in Santa Monica California. Additional third party consulting includes the Four Seasons Bora Bora a yet unnamed ground up development in Waikiki Beach, Oahu and most recently Four Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko Olina.
Chief Executive Officer
Colin Cowie has led an extraordinary life. He arrived in the U.S. from South Africa with $400 in his pocket, a good suit and a tan. But it was his smarts, personality and stylish sensibility that led him into the fast-track, glamorous world of planning over-the-top parties for the who's who of royalty, celebrity and business. Respected around the world as an arbiter of style, Colin Cowie has been at the forefront of event and wedding planning for the past 25 years, creating trends and raising the bar for the ultimate guest experience.
Chairman & Chief Executive Officer
Richard was born in London and at the age of 17 immigrated to the United States. Shortly after arriving in New York he began his career in hospitality, first as a mail and information clerk on the night shift at the Hilton Hotel in Mid-Town. Over the years, Richard worked his way through the ranks of the industry, beginning as a bellman and car park attendant in a Key Biscayne hotel and elevating himself to the lead position of General Manager of a 1000+ room Hyatt.
President & Chief Operations Officer
Thomas (Tom) Klein has more than 35 years of experience in the luxury hospitality industry and a strong commitment to healthy living, making him a dynamic force in the evolving Canyon Ranch brand. He joined the Ranch team in 2016 as Chief Operating Officer. He directs all operational aspects of the company businesses and corporate brand extensions – Canyon Ranch in Tucson, Arizona, Canyon Ranch in Lenox, Massachusetts, Canyon Ranch spa + fitness at The Venetian and The Palazzo in Las Vegas, and Canyon Ranch At Sea day spas on 22 cruise ships. Tom is responsible for overall fiscal operations and planning, managing owner relations, and provides strategic input on all new development opportunities. In October 2017, Tom was also named President of Canyon Ranch.
Gary Steffen has served as Global Head, Canopy by Hilton, since June 2014. Prior to his new role, Steffen was Vice President, Brand Performance Support, Hilton Hotels & Resorts from 2013 to 2014, during which he assisted with the launch of Curio – A Collection by Hilton. He also worked as Vice President, Brand Performance Support, DoubleTree by Hilton from 2009 to 2013. During his time with DoubleTree by Hilton, Steffen assisted with the successful launch of the brand outside of the Americas and the repositioning of the brand worldwide. Before joining Hilton Worldwide, Steffen held an assortment of progressive leadership roles in hotel operations, including general manager positions in Austin and Minneapolis. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin Stout and has a Bachelor of Science in Hotel and Restaurant Management.
Executive Vice President
Romy Bhojwani has more than 20 years of experience in the global hospitality and real estate industries. Mr. Bhojwani works with his team and leverages his expertise to develop and execute asset management plans that result in value creation opportunities. He proactively works with the property management teams to achieve and exceed operating and investment performance objectives.
Prior to hotelAVE, Mr. Bhojwani served as Managing Director of 360 Capital Advisors. He founded and led the advisory and asset management company to create value-enhancing solutions for global hospitality assets. He designed and implemented comprehensive solutions throughout the investment cycle to deliver optimal value in hospitality real estate investments. Mr. Bhojwani previously served as Senior Vice President of Real Estate and Asset Management at Delta Hotels and Resorts. He led the asset management and acquisitions for a portfolio of full service hotels throughout various primary markets in Canada. Mr. Bhojwani also has experience at Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels, Hilton Worldwide, Horwath Asia Pacific, and Oberoi Hotels.
Corporate Vice President, Guest Strategy & Insights
Greg Chase is the Corporate Vice President of Guest Strategy & Insights for MGM Resorts International where he is responsible for designing, measuring and implementing the transformative guest experience strategy for all MGM Resorts International properties globally. He recently led the company’s efforts to transform their guest service standards across the entire portfolio. He also oversees all consumer feedback strategies to further drive customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Vice President, Americas
Kenan Simmons is Vice President, Americas for Small Luxury Hotels of the World overseeing business development, sales, and owner relations for the Americas region. His career spans over two decades in the luxury hospitality sector with a strong focus on design-driven independent luxury hotels, which pay homage to their location and provide unique experiences for global travelers.
Kimpton Hotel & Restaurant Group
Senior Vice President, Development for the Americas
Tiffany Cooper is the Senior Vice President, Development for the Americas for The Kimpton Hotel & Restaurant Group. Tiffany is responsible for delivering growth to The Kimpton Hotel & Restaurant Group by expanding the development pipeline and footprint for the Americas via quality hotel projects to include conversions, adaptive reuse and new build opportunities. Tiffany is a hospitality professional with over 20 years of experience, having begun her career working in sales & marketing/hotel operations for The Kimpton Group in early 1995. Tiffany joined Starwood Hotels & Resorts in 1999 and continued working in operations, leading sales teams for various Starwood properties until 2005 when she transitioned to the Real Estate Development Group. During this time, Tiffany extensively grew Starwood’s portfolio, more than doubling the footprint throughout the Western Region. In September, 2016, following the Marriott acquisition, Tiffany joined the Marriott International development team, focused on full service and luxury hotel development until moving to Kimpton in April 2018.
Senior Vice President
As the youngest Senior Vice President in hotelAVE’s history, David Israel, CHA, is a leader in the firm’s New York practice. He currently oversees a team of associates on day-to-day operations and strategy to maximize the investment value of properties. Since joining the firm in 2009, he has played an instrumental role in expanding the firm’s owned asset portfolio; establishing hotelAVE’s NY presence; and creating financial investment models and benchmarking tools.
Senior Vice President of Marketing
As Senior Vice President of Marketing, Karin Salinas oversees all advertising, marketing, public relations, high-profile events, digital and web development efforts on behalf of Baha Mar, the $4.2 billion integrated resort destination in Nassau, Bahamas owned by Chow Tai Fook Enterprises. The luxury destination is comprised of three global hotel brands, Grand Hyatt, SLS and Rosewood, with the largest casino in the Caribbean, 40 restaurants, bars and lounges, an 18-hole Jack Nicklaus Signature golf course and the Caribbean’s only ESPA spa.
Vice President of Global Digital Strategies & Innovation
Bridget Tran was recently appointed to VP of Global Digital Strategies & Innovation for Nobu Hospitality — one of luxury's 25 Most Innovative Brands by Robb Report. Tran is a forward-thinker, and performance-driven marketing expert, regarded for her leadership, passion and impressive track-record of positioning Brands in the forefront. Tran turns ideas and concepts into profitable realities. She's a champion of innovation, transformation, and collaborative marketing. Tran brings 18 years of digital and marketing experience that includes Dream Hotel Group, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, InterContinental Hotels and Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces.
Vice President of Public Relations, The Americas
Allison oversees the reputation, messaging, media relations and strategic positioning of one of the world’s most iconic and powerful brands.
Before joining Marriott Internationa, she was in charge of Public Relations for the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, guiding her team through a period of unprecedented growth and evolution, and oversaw the company’s thrust onto social media platforms.
Dream Hotel Group
Director of Development
Judy Chen has 15 years of experience in the hospitality sector with a focus on luxury lifestyle brands, f&b, nightlife and private members clubs. After starting as an intern for Andre Balasz Properties, she joined Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels working on asset sales, development advisory and management selection. She then became Director of Design and Development at Thompson Hotels in NYC, where she was responsible for analyzing potential acquisitions and management opportunities while also overseeing design and construction of both new build and renovation projects. She held a similar position in Los Angeles at Petit Ermitage. Judy was also a lecturer at NYU Schack Real Estate Institute where she implemented its first hotel development overview course. She is currently Director of Development for Dream Hotel Group assisting with the company's portfolio expansion.
She holds a BS in architecture design from the University of Virginia and a MS in real estate development from New York University.
Regional Public Relations Director
Louise O’Brien is the Regional Public Relations Director for Langham Hospitality Group in North America, directly overseeing the public relations efforts for five hotels in North America, and acting as the liaison for all North American press initiatives on behalf of the Langham Hospitality Group hotels around the world.
Vice President of Food & Beverage
With almost two decades of experience in restaurants across the United States, David Varley joins the Canyon Ranch team as Vice President of Food & Beverage. With a culinary degree from New York’s Culinary Institute of America, Varley brings with him an extensive background in hospitality having worked in various top-tier restaurants including Lespinasse in NYC, Clio in Boston, MA, The Ryland Inn in White House, NJ, and Parcel 104
in Santa Clara, CA.
CEO & Chairman
Since 1987, Mr. Evins has served as Chairman of EVINS Communications, Ltd., the leading branding, marketing, communications and public relations firm in the luxury and prestige sectors, with specialist expertise in travel and hospitality. EVINS has made an invaluable contribution to the growth and development of numerous icons, including American Express Centurion/Platinum, Departures Magazine, Exclusive Resorts, Hotels & Resorts of Halekulani, Marquis Jet, Park Hyatt, Preferred Hotels & Resorts, Rosewood Hotel & Resorts, The Knickerbocker Hotel, The Lanesborough, and Wheels Up, amongst many others, and is consistently recognized for its excellence in creativity, strategies and tactics.
Green founded SGEi in 2001 - a cutting edge, global customer experience company that designs and facilitates cultural blueprints and learning experiences to allow brands to deliver on their promised customer experience.
Shane’s client list includes W Hotels, the NBA, Christie’s, Starwood, MGM, The Ritz-Carlton, Hayman Island, The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, and Hakassan. He's opened and transitioned more than 100 hotels globally, and has presented keynotes for many global brands.
David Goldstone joined DigiValet in February 2017 to launch and manage their entry and growth in the North American hospitality market. After an enviable 20 year career in the domestic and international hospitality technology industry, David, in his current role as President - The Americas for DigiValet, is responsible for launching, building and sustaining this industry leading technology and iconic brand recognized the world over as the industry's leading technology in the luxury and boutique lifestyle segment of the hotel industry. Prior to joining DigiValet, David served in various senior and executive management positions both in the United States and Europe. He is the recipient of the prestigious John Whitaker Award for his dedication to, and innovation within the hotel industry.
Cornell Institute for Healthy Futures
Rohit is the Executive Director for the new Cornell Institute for Healthy Futures. He was Professor of Service Operations Management at the Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration (SHA). He also holds the endowed position of Singapore Tourism Board Distinguished Professor.
He also serves as the Co-Chair of Cornell Hospitality Research Summit — a leading conference that facilitates engaging and open dialogue about research issues of mutual interest between industry and academia.
Rohit is currently the coordinator for MBA-MMH dual degree program (under-development) for the School of Hotel Administration.
Founder & Managing Director
With more than 20 years of brand marketing and communications experience and an early architect of creative positioning and integrated campaigns, Andrea B. Werbel founded Parasol in early 2004 and spearheads The Parasol Advantage through an evolved and integrated approach that combines in-depth hotel operations, hospitality and luxury lifestyle expertise, as well as international marketing and branding experience.
Founder and President
Laura Davidson is the owner and creative force behind LDPR, a leading New York-based travel and lifestyle public relations agency. For 25 years it has been in the vanguard of its industry, constantly stretching the traditional boundaries of PR, embracing new digital solutions and adding services for its roster of top international clients. LDPR is headquartered in NYC with additional staff in Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco, and affiliate agencies in London, Singapore and Australia. LDPR partners with Thin Pig Media, a leading digital/social agency, to offer supplemental digital solutions to clients.
Vice President of Destination Experience
Joey Colby-Begovich is the Vice President of Destination Experience at Inspirato. Prior to joining Inspirato, Joey spent 15 years as a part the cruise industry as Director of Guest Experience for Carnival Corporation. Joey’s passion is serving as a leader to multicultural and remote teams; modernizing standards of execution and innovating bridges between front line teams, distance employees, and field teams to connect to each other and his company leadership. Joey believes by being a leader who serves his team and community we have the power to transform our ourselves and teams into an engaged work force with a common vision for success. Joey is also a proud alumnus of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas William F. Harrah School of Hospitality.
Medical Tourism Association / Global Healthcare Resources
President & Co-Founder / Co-Founder & CEO
Renée-Marie Stephano, JD is a passionate advocate for health transformation. She is president and co-founder of the Medical Tourism Association®, editor-in-chief of Medical Tourism Magazine® and the Health and Wellness Destination Guide Series of books. Ms. Stephano is also founder and CEO of Global Healthcare Resources, the leading global consulting and market solutions firm in Medical Tourism, Destination Medicine, Wellness Travel and Corporate Wellness. As founder and president of Corporate Health & Well-being Association, Renée-Marie is passionate about improving productivity through corporate wellness programs. She brings strategic solutions for the integration of medical and wellness travel, corporate wellness and population health management strategies for destinations worldwide.
Vice President & Creative Director
Travel Mindset is a niche-marketing agency that specializes in influencer marketing for the tourism and lifestyle industry. From overall creative strategy to social media and influencers, online and offline activations and every little decision in between, Jade develops the most engaging and innovative marketing campaigns.
With her team, Travel Mindset has managed and executed more than 300 marketing campaigns for clients such as Fairmont Hotels, AccorHotels, Virgin Atlantic, Celebrity Cruises, Airbnb, and country, state and city DMOs and CVBs from all over the world, including Visit Britain, Visit California, Visit Memphis, and Morocco Tourism.
Vice President of Marketing
James Geneau is the Head of Marketing at Benbria and has close to 20 years of experience in the field of customer relationship management and strategic marketing. His company is the provider of Loop®, a mobile guest engagement technology solution allowing guests and hotel brands to communicate with each other in real time while on-site. In addition, their product provides the tools for analyzing these requests and identifying opportunities for improving service quality and guest experience to increase loyalty and revenue long-term.
Serta Simmons Bedding
Director of Emerging Technology
JD Velilla is Director of Emerging Technology for Serta Simmons Bedding (SSB), the world’s largest bedding company. JD joined the company in 2016 in a newly created division of the Advanced Technologies team. In this role, JD leads the research and development of the next generation of sleep products that utilize the Internet of Things (IoT), cloud connectivity, and advanced sensor technology.
He’s focused on leveraging sleep science, emerging technology, the IoT and strategic partnerships to enhance sleep recovery and sleep health and transform the way we sleep for generations to come.
Prior to joining SSB, JD served as Product Marketing Manager at the Chamberlain Group where he managed the MyQ Garage connected portfolio, the world’s first connected garage door operator and controller. JD is a twelve-year veteran of the United States Air Force, where he specialized in aircraft electrical and environmental systems.
Media and luxury-travel expert Jackie Caradonio is the travel editor for Robb Report, the world’s leading luxury lifestyle magazine with 17 international editions. In her role at the publication, she has spearheaded the brand’s print and digital travel content, providing a roadmap for the luxury consumer with a penchant for exploring the world. She also oversees the magazine’s travel lists and series—including the highly coveted Best of the Best awards, the annual Top 21 Trips list, and the Leaders of Luxury video series—and, in between, travels the world to uncover the latest in luxury experiences for Robb Report’s discerning readers. Prior to her role at Robb Report, Jackie produced travel content for an array of publications, including National Geographic, Town & Country, The New York Times, and Travel + Leisure. She has also been a featured speaker and panelist at travel conferences around the world.
Travel Media Personality
After 10 years in investment banking, Scott moved overseas and lived in Europe and Asia for 17 years. While living in Bangkok, I started one of the first digital agencies in Southeast Asia, and it remained the biggest one in the region for 5 years. After selling the agency and spending some time in Europe, now I travel full-time, while building digital strategies and consulting for the world of luxury travel.
DR. STOWE SHOEMAKER
Dr. Stowe Shoemaker (Ph.D., Cornell University) is the Dean of the William F. Harrah College of Hospitality and a Lincy Professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, with extensive background in pricing, revenue management, consumer behavior, and customer loyalty programs. He has worked with British Airways on their pricing strategy and trained all their revenue managers. He also worked with Accor, Hilton, Landry’s, and Hyatt
on their loyalty programs.
Dr. Shoemaker has an extensive background in strategic pricing, revenue management, and customer loyalty programs. He has conducted research into these areas, as well as the hospitality in healthcare field, and his studies have appeared in the Journal of Pricing and Revenue Management, Cornell Hotel and Restaurant Administrative Quarterly, and several other academic journals and publications. Dr. Shoemaker has been recognized with the Michael D. Olsen Research Award, and as Graduate Faculty Member of the year for the College of Hospitality.
DR. STEVE KING
Dr. Steve King, General Manager of Dos Brisas Farms is a native of Fayetteville, Arkansas, where he obtained his B.S. in crop science and an M.S. in plant breeding at the University of Arkansas. Following that, he received a Ph.D. in plant breeding with minors in plant pathology and plant molecular biology at Cornell University in 1994.
In addition to his role at Dos Brisas, Dr. King currently serves as an adjunct professor at Texas A&M, providing consultation for graduate student committees and guest lectures in horticultural department. He was Chair of the Watermelon Research & Development Group, an organization of university and industry researchers from 2007-2009, and has been a consulting editor for the Journal of the American Society of Horticultural Sciences since 2007. He is a member of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Cucurbit Crop Germplasm Committee and Vegetable Breeding Work Committee of the American Society for Horticultural Science. Since 2003, he has served as Editor of the Watermelon Section for the Curcurbit Genetics Cooperative Annual Report, and backup germplasm curator the Curcurbit Genetics Cooperative’s gene list.
TERRY SCHAACK, M.D.
California Health & Longevity Institute
Medical Director & Managing Partner
In 2003, while still running his private practice, Dr. Schaack accepted the opportunity to help develop and later lead the California Health & Longevity Institute. After leaving the academic setting of UCLA School of Medicine, he became a Principle Investigator (PI) for privately sponsored clinical research with companies such as Sandoz Pharmaceutical, Laboratory Corporation of America, Google and, more recently, Verily Life Sciences. Throughout his career, his focus on proactive and preventive medicine and high standard of care have given him the opportunity to provide medical care to some of Southern California’s most discerning patients, including those in entertainment, real estate and finance as well as foreign royalty and heads of state (including a president of the United States). It is the opportunity to practice wellness at California Health & Longevity Institute and in his private practice while still participating in emerging research that has made this location the perfect home for Dr. Schaack. He lives in Beverly Hills with his wife, their son and daughter and family pets.
Security Solution Consultant
Susan Rue is a Security Solution Consultant within Elavon, the payment processing subsidiary of U.S. Bank. She has been in the acquiring and payment solutions business for over 20 years, working with clients from across many industries throughout North America to implement a variety of products and services in their payment acceptance environments. In Susan’s current role, she works specifically with customer needs for security, including tokenization, encryption and EMV, in their credit card processing environment. She holds a Bachelor’s in Business from Bellevue University, is a certified Project Management Professional and is a native and current resident of Omaha, Nebraska.
LUXURY HOTELIERS Magazine