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2016 North American Conference Speakers
Founder/Travel Industry Analyst, Atmosphere Research Group
Henry Harteveldt is one of the travel industry’s most well-known and respected analysts and advisors. Henry has been a travel industry analyst for more than 15 years. After spending more than 11 years as head of Forrester Research’s global travel research practice, Henry launched Atmosphere Research in September 2011 to fill the void when Forrester exited this space. Atmosphere Research provides objective, trustworthy research and perspective to the global travel industry, pushing aside hype and distilling what it believes are relevant emerging trends and opportunities in marketing, distribution, and industry technology topics. Prior to his career as an analyst, Henry spent more than 15 years in marketing, planning, distribution, and strategy roles at companies such as TWA, Continental Airlines, The Trump Organization, The Fairmont Hotel Management Company, and GetThere. Reflecting Henry’s influence with both travel industry leaders and global media, Skift named Henry as one of its 30 “movers and shakers” in May 2014. Henry lives in San Francisco and is a graduate of the Tulane University School of Business. He actively shares his industry analysis and perspectives on both Twitter (@hharteveldt) and LinkedIn.
Author and Global Speaker
Jennifer B. Kahnweiler, Ph.D., CSP, is a global speaker and bestselling author hailed as a “Champion of Introverts.” Her books, The Introverted Leader: Building on Your Quiet Strength and Quiet Influence: The Introvert’s Guide to Making a Difference have sold over 60,000 copies and been translated into 14 languages. Her newest book is The Genius of Opposites: How Introverts and Extroverts Create Extraordinary Results Together. Jennifer has spoken at hundreds of organizations including GE, AT&T, NASA, Freddie Mac, Boeing, CNN, the CDC and the U.S. Embassy in Vietnam. She is a 14-year faculty member of the American Management Association and was the “Madrina” (Godmother) speaker at the Universidad Americana’s Commencement in Paraguay. Jennifer has also written for The Wall Street Journal and has been featured in The New York Times, Forbes, Bloomberg Business Week, the Wall Street Journal, and Time Magazine. She is a Certified Speaking Professional (CSP), granted to only 8% of the National Speaker’s Association and has played leading roles in the the Berrett-Koehler Author’s Co-op.
|Dr. Ajay 'AJ' Aluri, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, West Virginia University
Dr. Ajay 'AJ' Aluri is an Assistant Professor in the College of Business and Economics, West Virginia University. His research interests include hospitality management and information systems, predominantly in the areas of wearable computing, data mining, social media, website quality, new technology deployment and consumer behavior. His research has been accepted in several academic journals including Cornell Hospitality Quarterly, International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Education, and Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Technology. Dr. Aluri is an editorial board member of Cornell Hospitality Quarterly and two other cutting-edge hospitality journals, Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Technology and International Journal of Culture, Tourism, and Hospitality Research. He is currently serving as a Director of Research for the NENA Federation at the ICHRIE. He has been invited to speak and demonstrate new cutting-edge technologies at several industry shows and conferences, including HITEC, IHMRS, HOSPACE, and National Restaurant Association (NRA).
Specification Manager, OpenTravel Alliance
Sandy is the Specification Manager for the OpenTravel Alliance. Her responsibilities include managing the workgroups, project teams and committees as well as publishing both the 1.0 and 2.0 OpenTravel Specifications. She has worked with the OpenTravel Alliance for over 15 years, first as an OpenTravel member chairing various workgroups and committees, then working for OpenTravel directly. Sandy has extensive experience in the hotel industry working for Marriott International for over 20 years, holding many different positions within operations, reservations sales and information technology. Sandy graduated from Michigan State University’s College of Business with a Bachelor of Science degree in Hotel Restaurant Management.
Founder, Ajontech LLC
Co-Chair Software Resource Team
Founder of Ajontech LLC and an Associate Professor for the Center of Applied Information Technology (CAIT) at Towson University. He has been developing software for more than 30 years and is an author and contributor to several books related to software development. Mr. Bell is TOGAF certified and is currently serving as Co-Chair for both the IEEE and Open Group SOA Reference Architecture groups. He serves as Co-Chair for the HTNG Secure Payments Framework Workgroup, The Bulk Data Transfer Workgroup, and the Software Resource Team. He has also served as the Co-Chair for the Reference Architecture Workgroup and the HTNG Governance Council.
Michael Blake is HTNG's Executive Vice President and CEO. He was previously the CIO of Commune Hotels & Resorts, encompassing Joie de Vivre, Thompson, Tommie and Alila Hotels. Michael provided strategic leadership and sound perspective to contribute to the management and evolution of Commune's global IT functions. He previously served as the CIO for Hyatt and set the global technology direction for their global footprint. Michael has over 20 years of experience in finance and technology in various roles. Prior to his CIO roles with Commune and Hyatt, Michael was Senior Vice President of IT for First Data, CFO of IT Finance at Kaiser Permanente and Director of IT Finance for Sears. In each of his roles, he was the highest ranking IT Finance resource and key internal consultant and advisor to international senior leadership teams. Prior to that, Michael held various financial roles within United Airlines including the controller of the IT organization. Michael holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from the University of Utah, received his MBA in Finance and Economics from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and also his MS in Information Technology from Northwestern University. He also maintains several credentials and licenses: CPA, CMA, CISA, CITP and PMP. Michael served as a member of HTNG Board since 2008 and was Treasurer for many of those years.
Senior Consultant, AV Operations, Electro-Media Design
Eric Bracht is the Senior Consultant, for all audiovisual technology operational services at Electro-Media Design (EMD), and serves as the Project Manager for all operational consulting projects. His experience allows EMD to offer services that extend beyond the design and commissioning of AV systems, and include operational consulting services and programs that ensure an efficient, profitable and guest-focused Audiovisual Technology service. These include the development, implementation and support of property-operated AV and Event Technology services as well as RFP development and process management for properties that choose to outsource to a third party provider. Eric joined EMD in 2009 after nearly twenty years of experience in hospitality AV department operations and sales. His experience encompasses all aspects of AV services, including equipment logistics, scheduling and productivity, budgeting, staffing, sales and marketing, financial planning and management, purchasing, inventory management, vendor negotiations, conflict resolution, new technology evaluation and employee training and development.
Vice President, Strategy Oracle Hospitality
As Vice President, Strategy, Ray Carlin is responsible for the global hospitality portfolio that includes product direction, market analysis and competitive intelligence, and field enablement. In addition to his unique perspective from having been a former MICROS Systems supplier and partner, Mr. Carlin has also accumulated extensive industry knowledge from having served as a senior executive for more than 30 years. Prior to joining Oracle, Mr. Carlin led Hewlett Packard’s global retail business where he oversaw the Retail Point of Sale, Digital Signage, and Self Service/Kiosk markets worldwide. Prior to this role, Carlin was President and Chief Executive Officer of StoreNext Retail Technologies L.L.C. and Executive Vice President Retalix USA, a provider of retail technology solutions to the grocery and convenience retail segments. Mr. Carlin also served in executive roles at Zaiq Technologies, Renaissance Worldwide Inc., and NCR Corporation. Mr. Carlin received a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Pace University.
EVP, Global Enterprise Sales & Business Development, SiteMinder
Co-Chair Software Resource Team
David Chestler is a renowned figure within the hospitality and travel industry, with a near-25-year career that has seen him serve in various senior roles, including at BirchStreet Systems, Pegasus Solutions, Visual Data Corp and, most recently, Sceptre Hospitality Resources. Today he is Co-Chair of HTNG’s Software Resource Team and Executive Vice President – Global Enterprise Sales & Business Development at SiteMinder, a company continually driven to positively disrupt the industry through its leading online distribution and direct booking technology. This pivotal position sees David providing strategic focus on partner and global account development, as well as new revenue opportunities for the company which facilitated more than 18 million reservations and $7.4 billion in revenue for hotels worldwide over the 12 months ending 30 June 2014.
Managing Director, Travel Startups Incubator
Michael Coletta has 14+ years of experience as a travel technology entrepreneur, advisor to startups, and organizer of travel-focused social/meetup groups. He has served in a variety of high-level roles in the travel industry and at digital agencies, driving results spanning technology, business development, monetization, marketing, product and design. He is currently Managing Director at Travel Startups Incubator, which invests $50,000 in travel startups (cash+services). He advises startups in the portfolio, vets startups for inclusion in the incubator, and works with investors to raise funds. Mike was selected as one of 35 members of the Phocuswright class of 2013 “Young Leaders under 35” executive development program and is now a freelance analyst with the firm.
Group Head, New Product Development - Global Commercial Products, MasterCard
Richard Crum is group head, New Product Development - Global Commercial Products. In this role, he is responsible for the development and delivery of new products, services, and business models to achieve acceleration of the business and to open up new revenue streams for the Commercial business at MasterCard. The new product innovation agenda is built on deep customer insights obtained through engagement with key stakeholders. Prior this role, he lead the Global T&E Product Management team with responsibility for the corporate travel payment products and solutions offered by MasterCard and our issuers. Prior to joining MasterCard, Mr. Crum held senior leadership positions with AirPlus International and UATP. During his career at AirPlus, Mr. Crum was responsible for establishing and growing their commercial card issuing business in North America. He held multiple positions with UATP, including serving as the president for the global airline payment network for four years. Mr. Crum also served as the president for the Association of Corporate Travel Executives and as a member of the ACTE Board of Directors. He was twice recognized as one of the 25 Most Influential Executives in the industry by Business Travel News and named by Travel Agent Magazine as one of the industries Rising Stars. Mr. Crum has a degree in Economics from George Mason University.
Partner, The Prism Partnership
Mark G. Haley, CHTP is co-founder and Partner in The Prism Partnership, LLC, a professional services firm serving the global hospitality industry based in Boston, MA. The Prism Partnership offers proven expertise in all aspects of hospitality technology and marketing consulting. Services include strategy development, marketplace positioning, Internet marketing, needs analysis, system selection, Request For Proposal development and customized training. Core practice areas include Travel Distribution, Customer Relationship Management, On-Line Marketing, and In-Room Entertainment. Relevant technologies include distribution & reservations systems, CRM & loyalty systems, Internet applications and infrastructure, all aspects of voice and data communications, networks, property management systems, in-room services and more. Mark’s specific niches include adapting the business and the use of technology to each other and moving business processes to the Internet. Mark frequently speaks at industry events and contributes articles to a range of lodging and technology publications. Mark also plays a leadership role in the industry as President of the New England Hospitality Finance and Technology Professionals and Past Chair of the AH&LA Technology Committee. Prior to founding The Prism Partnership, Mark founded and led High Touch Technologies, a consulting firm. Prior to founding High Touch Technologies in 1997, Mark was with ITT Sheraton for 15 years in a broad range of positions of increasing responsibility at every level in the organization, beginning as a Guest Service Agent. In his last role at Sheraton, he served as Director of Property Technology, responsible for the alignment of business and technology strategies. Mark lives in Bradford, MA with his wife Julie and two children. He holds degrees from the University of Virginia and the University of Denver School of Hotel & Restaurant Management.
Executive Partner, Independent Security Evaluators
Ted Harrington drives thought leadership initiatives for Independent Security Evaluators, the elite organization of security researchers and consultants most commonly recognized for being the first company to hack the iPhone. He is a sought-after speaker, presenting at high-profile conferences in a range of industries, including media & entertainment, hospitality, finance and others. Mr. Harrington is the Co-Chair of HTNG's Door Lock Security Workgroup, and holds several other special appointments, including to the University of Southern California (ETC Project Cloud Security Team), the Media & Entertainment Services Alliance (Advisory Board Member), and to the Georgetown University Alumni Association (San Diego Executive Committee; Speakers Bureau). He is a contributing author to several trade publications, including the HFTP Bottomline, M&E Journal, Content Delivery & Security Association Newsletter, ISACA newsletter, and others. He holds a bachelors degree from Georgetown University and has been named one of San Diego’s “40 Under 40” business executive.
VP of Technology, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group
Americas Co-Chair Infrastructure and Device Forum
David Heckaman has been engaged in the technology and hospitality industries for the past 20 years with the past ten being with Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group. He joined the group to lead the technology development aspect of their North American flagship property in New York City. The development of this property placed Mandarin Oriental as a clear international leader in the area of lodging technology. There were numerous technologies that were presented to the world for the first-time when this property opened in 2003. In his current position with Mandarin Oriental he oversees hotel development, technology direction and physical infrastructures. Mr. Heckaman’s technology path started with Stormont Trice Hotels where he was a regional technology manager and participated in hotel development and project management. He later joined Crestline Capital in Bethesda, MD to assist in the creation and growth of Crestline Hotels & Resorts. Mr. Heckaman earned his undergraduate degree in Hotel Management and Development from the University of Central Florida. He has also obtained certifications as a Registered Communications Distribution Designer (RCDD) and a Cisco Certified Network Administrator (CCNA).
Partner, The Prism Partnership
Mark's professional career spans 30 years in the hospitality and hospitality technology sectors of the travel industry. His career has covered all areas of hotel operations, and general management in both Europe and the Americas for The Savoy Group London, ITT Sheraton, Le Richemond Geneva, and Royal Classic Hotels Scandinavia. Currently serving as a Partner with The Prism Partnership, he is now leveraging his last 18 years of specialist expertise in the design, development and deployment of hospitality technology solutions including property management, central reservation, loyalty, revenue management and electronic distribution systems. Throughout his career, Mark has focused on bridging the gap between business needs and technology solutions, at the same time promoting the industry’s adoption of new technologies and standards. Over the last 15 years he has held senior Product Management positions for companies that include Hotel Information Systems, Disneyland Paris, Hilton International, Anasazi, Pegasus Solutions, Hotel Booking Solutions, and IBS.
National Sales-Hospitality, ComNet Communications
Keith Konicki leads the Hospitality Practice at ComNet Communications As a 16+ year veteran of Hospitality, Keith and his efforts help pioneer the move to “above property” telephony and HSIA managed solutions back in 1999 and was the one first to successfully market telephony and guest internet services as SaaS globally. Today Keith is focused on positioning ComNet as a Hospitality deployment partner of choice for GPON Fiber to the Room, Network/Telephony Infrastructure, Hosted Voice, HSIA, DAS, AV and related technologies. Keith currently co-chairs the HTNG Cloud Communication Workgroup and is active in providing subject matter expertise in various other workgroups within HTNG.
Co-Chair Infrastructure Resource Team
Dayna has over 30 years of experience in sales, channel development, marketing and senior level management, specializing in technology for the hospitality market. Dayna is a co-founder and partner in 5thGenWireless, a consultancy specializing in hospitality technology and strategic investment planning for everything wireless and in-room entertainment. Dayna has held leadership roles in numerous companies specializing in hospitality technology, including VP, Hospitality Business Development for Enseo, a digital media solutions firm; Sr. Director Vertical Business Development at Corning MobileAccess, a leading distributed antenna system provider; VP, Sales and Marketing for IP3, a broadband gateway supplier. Early in her career, Dayna successfully managed sales, technical and operations teams at GE/RCA and Williams Communications, later joining Nortel Networks' emerging optical and access group. Dayna later went on to lead successful broadband divisions as VP of Hospitality at both Everest Broadband and Mitel Networks. Prior to this, Dayna co-founded Brautovich/Kully, a product marketing firm offering expertise in the strategic marketing of telecommunications products. Dayna is actively engaged in HTNG, currently serves as Co-Chair as the Infrastructure Resource Team and has helped spawn multiple workgroups on topics ranging from Multi-MNO cellular solutions to Fiber-to-the-Room. Dayna holds a Bachelor's degree with honors in Economics from the University of California at Berkeley.
Director of Applications Development and Integration, Global Technology, InterContinental Hotels Group
Lo Li leads IHG’s Hotel Solutions Hotel Interface Development teams, with accountability for migrating traditional on premise systems to above property, cloud enabled solutions. Since 2001 she has had varying roles in software development, quality assurance, maintenance and thought leadership. She is responsible for the deployment and oversight of hotel systems globally across over 5000 hotels and serves as a liaison with internal and external business clients. Lo Li has a deep passion in mentoring and fostering the next generation of technologists. She is a current board member, and chair of the Women in Leadership board at the National Association of Asian MBAs (NAAMBA), Technology Association of Georgia (TAG) and co-chair for the Women in Technology Association. She is also a Professor of Management Information Systems at the University of Phoenix. Lo Li is multi-lingual - fluent in Mandarin, Portuguese, Spanish, English, and received a Bachelor's in Management Information Systems and a Master's degree in Business Administration from the University of Georgia. In her spare time, she enjoys chaperoning her 8-year old son between extracurricular activities all over the state of Georgia.
Mr Lin received his Ph.D degree of Natural Language Processing from Peking University. He is a leader in the ﬁeld of big data, has strong research background in natural language processing and rich practical experiences in big data analysis.
President, Electro-Media Design, Ltd.
Jeff Loether is President and Founder of Electro-Media Design, Ltd., an AudioVisual systems design and Acoustical consultation group launched in 1990 to provide expertise in audio, video, control, and related presentation, entertainment, and communications technologies. For 25 years, Loether has overseen the production of hundreds of designs created by EMD’s AudioVisual and Acoustical engineers. He remains active in the development of new products and design approaches that sometimes converge different technologies to enhance functionality, reduce system complexity and cost, and improve reliability. Through this work, Loether has distinguished himself as a consultant's Consultant. He serves on technology committees for a number of industry associations and is a frequent guest lecturer at their conferences throughout North America. He has authored numerous articles for trade publications. Prior to EMD, Jeff managed the A/V Systems Design for the Marriott Corporation's Architecture and Construction Division from 1980 to 1990. He completed more than 250 projects for Marriott, including five-star resorts, convention/conference centers, corporate and educational facilities.
Global Chief Information Officer, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group
Monika Nerger joined Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group in 2006 as Vice President of Technology, the Americas, and was promoted to global Chief Information Officer in 2011. Prior to Mandarin Oriental, Monika worked internationally with Pan Pacific Hotels, KPMG Consulting, Advanced BusinessLink and Royal Caribbean Cruise lines. As a writer and consultant, she has published several articles on subjects ranging from legacy application modernization, CRM in the gaming industry, to the use of satellite communications onboard cruise ships. She holds a Masters Degree in Business as well as an undergraduate degree in Computer Science, and is a member of Beta Gamma Sigma. Monika has a keen interest in working with and mentoring the next generation of hospitality technologists. Be prepared to debate whether technology in our industry is evolutionary or revolutionary!
Senior Infrastructure Analyst, Marriott International
Lasse has a vast amount of experience in hospitality spanning multiple countries and continents with Marriott and The Ritz-Carlton. Today he leads the Americas long term voice strategy for Marriott, focusing in particular on efforts such as Hosted PBX, Telecom Expense Management (TEM) efforts, vendor management, and cost savings initiatives. Lasse’s customers include over 800 managed Marriott properties in the Americas, with an additional 150+ properties under development, ranging from select service to luxury brands such as Marriott, The Ritz-Carlton, Gaylord, Delta, Courtyard, and Renaissance in geographical diverse areas from Canada to Chile. Lasse is an active lead on the HTNG Cloud Communication Workgroup as well as other workgroups including Mobile Authentication. In his spare time you will find Lasse mountain bike packing across multiple states, climbing snow covered peaks in Africa, or scuba diving in fresh water caves in the jungles of Mexico. Lasse is also fluent in 4 languages.
Chief IT Officer - Americas, Marriott International
Page Petry is the Chief IT Officer of the Americas at Marriott International in Washington D.C., where she is charged with directing key initiatives from conception to completion, with responsibility for 3500 hotels that span from Canada to Argentina. Page joined Marriott in 1979 and has held positions of increasing responsibility in several areas including Hotel Operations, Customer Call Centers and Regional Information Systems. Following her initial tenure with Marriott, Page worked with Fannie Mae and Varsity Books.com before rejoining Marriott in 2000 as the Regional Director of IR North American Lodging Field Services for the Southeast Region. In 2006 Page’s accountabilities expanded to include the North American portfolio as the Senior Vice President. In 2010 Page joined the Americas Continent organization as the Chief Information Resources Officer. Page led the IT integration for the Autograph Collection, Gaylord Hotels and Delta Hotels and Resorts. In 2011, Page was honored with a place on Computerworld’s Premier 100 IT Leaders. Page earned her Bachelor of Science at Syracuse University and is a certified PMP through the Project Management Institute. She sits on the Board of Directors at the Academy of Information Technology for Montgomery County Public Schools.
Security Consultant, Trustwave SpiderLabs
Matt Presser is a Security Consultant with Trustwave’s elite SpiderLabs group, where he specializes in incident response and forensic investigations. Prior to joining Trustwave Matt was an Assistant Professor of Information Engineering Technology at New Mexico State University where he developed and taught curriculum in digital forensics, information security and systems administration. Previously, he was the Enterprise Systems Security Administrator for NMSU where he built its Information Security program. Matt is also president and founder of Essential Systems Consulting, a provider of information security and technology consulting services, as well as, a contract instructor in support of the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Diplomatic Security Anti-Terrorism Assistance program (ATA-Cyber), teaching computer forensics and information security courses to foreign law enforcement personnel throughout the world. He holds an M.B.A with a concentration in Business Computer Systems and numerous industry certifications. Matt is currently a member of IACIS, HTCC, InfraGard, the SANS advisory board, and is a member of the Board of Director for CDFS.
CIO, CitizenM Hotels
Nick Price is the founder of NetSys Technology a software development and technology consulting company focussing on the hospitality and travel sectors. As part of his portfolio of responsibilities, Nick also holds the post of CIO at citizenM (www.citizenM.com ), a happening Amsterdam NL based Hotel Company with global aspirations. Nick has worked with citizenM since early 2013 and is responsible for a large and growing set of digital technologies, including traditional IT. Prior to starting NetSys, Nick held the CIO post at Global luxury hotel brand Mandarin Oriental for twelve years where he was fortunate enough to participate in a significant global expansion of the company from its base in Hong Kong. Nick, a UK national, is an inductee in the HFTP (Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals) Hall of Fame and a co-founder and past-president of HTNG (Hotel Technology Next Generation). When not on a plane, Nick can be found at his homes in France or Hong Kong.
Managing Director, Hospitality Technology Strategic Advisors
Douglas Rice is an industry leader in the global hospitality technology industry. He advises hotels, technology providers, and investors on strategic technology planning, market development, funding, and mergers and acquisitions. Douglas was a founder of HTNG and served as its first chief executive from 2004 to 2015, following 15 years as a strategy consulting advising hotels and technology vendors. Douglas was the 2012 inductee into HFTP’s International Hospitality Technology Hall of Fame; is the sole recipient of the Lifetime “Most Valued” Award from China Hospitality Technology Alliance; and was recognized in a 2008 Hotel Business cover story as one of the most influential technology executives in hospitality. He is been a frequent speaker at industry conferences around the world and has authored dozens of published articles. Douglas earned his Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Mathematics with honors at Dartmouth College and an MBA with highest distinction from Harvard Business School.
Vice President, Business Development, Hospitality eResources
A strategic thinker with 25 years of global experience in hospitality technology, Marion spearheads an industrywide initiative to protect guest and employees’ personally identifiable information (PII). Leading Hospitality eResources Consultancy’s activities in data protection, she’s a frequent speaker and author on privacy, data security, PCI compliance and payment technology often writing for Hospitality Upgrade Magazine on the Data Security beat with industry specialists on data security concerns in hospitality. A former board member of HSMAI and HEDNA, she’s helping HTNG explore charter of a PII Protection Specifications Workgroup. Roger is proactively involved with The International Association of Privacy Professionals and the Online Trust Alliance as well as HFTP. Speaking fluent French, Spanish and Portuguese, with an MBA in Global Marketing, she worked in France for 20 years. Stepmother to two fantastic teens currently scouting colleges, Ms Roger is also assisting NYU’s Tisch Center for Hospitality and Tourism develop their innovative Diploma in Privacy and Data Security for Hospitality.
Vice President, IT Strategy, Marriott International
Americas Co-Chair Infrastructure and Device Forum
Neil Schubert is the Vice President, IT Strategy for Marriott International. Neil plays a major role in the determination of which technologies and applications will be used in Marriott beyond the traditional 3-year planning horizon. Neil joined Marriott’s Information Resources (IR) division in 1996 after eight years with Renaissance Hotels. Neil is a 25 year Hospitality technology industry professional. He has held a variety of roles in IT leadership, application development, network and operations support. Marriott International is a leading worldwide hospitality company with over 2,700 operating units in the US and 64 other countries and territories. Marriott’s lodging business includes hotels and vacation ownership (timeshare) resorts operated and franchised under the Marriott, Ritz-Carlton, Renaissance, Residence Inn, Courtyard, TownePlace Suites, Fairfield Inn, SpringHill Suites, and Marriott Vacation Club International brands. The company is headquartered in Washington, DC and has approximately 128,000 associates.
President and Publisher, Hospitality Upgrade/Hotel Online
Richard Siegel has been involved in the hotel industry since 1974. In 1992, Siegel created the first-ever industry publication that was solely dedicated to hospitality technology. Today his publication, Hospitality Upgrade, has more than 32,000 readers in 108 countries. It is the leading technology magazine published for hotel, travel and foodservice professionals. In 2002, Siegel created and produced the CIO Summit, which offers technology leaders at major hotel, casino, cruise line, management and timeshare companies a rare combination of peer-to-peer networking, social events and programs. In 2005, Siegel created and produced the Executive Vendor Summit, a similar event for the industry’s vendor community to interact at the most senior levels. Siegel also serves as managing director of Hospitality Internet Media LLC, the parent company of Hotel-Online. Siegel’s intimate involvement with numerous industry events, associations and committees furthers his vision to make technology more mainstream to the industry. In recognition of his efforts, Siegel was inducted into the prestigious HFTP International Hospitality Technology Hall of Fame in 2003. Through his efforts, Siegel has significantly expanded the role technology will play in the hospitality industry both today and in the future. If you want to talk horses, he’s your guy.
As Chief Operating Officer, David is responsible for driving the operational execution of HTNG’s mission. David is a lifelong hotelier with deep background in hotel technology, distribution and operations. He has held senior executive positions with several industry suppliers, such as Pegasus, TravelClick and Fidelio, as well as leading hotel chains Carlson Hospitality and Hyatt. David holds a bachelors degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management from the University of Denver and an MBA from Golden Gate University in San Francisco. He also serves on the Executive Advisory Board of the Fritz Knoebel School Of Hospitality Management at the University of Denver.
Dr. Michael Toedt is the founder and CEO of dailypoint.com, a leading Big Data Marketing and CRM company. Operating at the intersection of business and technology, he helps hoteliers to use the tremendous increase of data in order to become data-centric. Michael has over 25 years of experience in operations, technology and marketing. He is the author of several books (among others “Big Data – Challenges for the Hospitality Industry”, “Data Revolution – How Big Data Will Change the Way of Doing Business”). His articles are published by journals on a regular basis. Michael holds a doctoral degree in management science, is a lifetime-member of the Cornell Hotel Society, lecturer at several universities, and a member of various committees and associations.
Endri Tolka is co-founder and COO/CFO of YouVisit, a leading virtual reality company empowering the world to easily create, share, and enjoy virtual reality content on VR headsets, mobile devices, and desktops. Prior to co-founding YouVisit, Tolka lead efforts at Fidelity Investments to build a data warehouse reporting system that would accurately measure and report business drivers. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Brandeis University in computer science and economics. In 2011, Tolka received a master’s degree in business administration (MBA) from New York University. When not working, Tolka enjoys traveling, photography, and DJing. He is an avid supporter of student entrepreneurialism, and is a coach for the W.R. Berkley Innovation Lab’s $200K Entrepreneurs Challenge.
Yvette Vincent has over 20 years in the IT industry with the past 12 at Delaware North Companies, Inc., a privately held international hospitality management company. She served as Director of Applications with responsibility for the IT management of corporate systems and data architectures for Finance, HR, Payroll, Benefits Administration, CRES, PMS, Catering, POS, and other hotel systems. In her current role, Yvette is responsible for the business IT strategy for the sports and entertainment division, and is working on several integration opportunities that span DNC wide technologies to meet business needs related to guest service, revenue enhancement, and productivity. She previously co-chaired the HTNG property web services work-group and is actively involved in the data integration ODX team. Prior to joining DNC, Yvette was responsible for custom systems at National Fuel Gas and a privately owned medical company. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Canisius College in Buffalo, NY with a marketing focused MBA. Yvette lives in Western New York with her husband and two children, and still ballroom dances and cycles when time permits.
Richard E. Wagner is currently Director, Emerging Technologies for Marriott International, Inc. In this position, he is responsible for the evaluation and recommendation of emerging communication technologies that could be deployed at all of the Marriott Hotel Brands. Prior to joining Marriott, Mr. Wagner held similar network management positions for an Internet Service Provider (ISP) and a Competitive Local Exchange Carrier (CLEC). He also spent five years as a Messaging Integration Consultant working on Fortune 500 accounts for Digital Equipment Corporation, and held management positions in software development for Citicorp and Mitre Corporation. Mr. Wagner holds a BSEE in Electrical Engineering from Pennsylvania State University and an MSEE in Electrical Engineering from Purdue University.
Todd has 30 years of experience in the technology industry, primarily in hospitality, and recently came to Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group from PC Mall, Inc. He is currently responsible for applications globally and all aspects of technology for properties in the Americas. Mr. Wood was Vice President of Information Services at The Sea Island Company, a regional resort and development company. He also was the president, COO (and CTO) of Clubessential, a cloud-based content management company he co-founded for KKR, serving country clubs and resorts. Todd was a partner with Deloitte Consulting in Atlanta where he led the e-commerce/Intemet practice globally and was a global market development manager for IBM. Mr. Wood is a graduate of the Georgia Institute of Technology, where he earned highest honors in Electrical Engineering.
Graduated in Computer Management from Maastricht School of Management. Owns dozens of product patents. Engaged in Hotel Information Service for over ten years. Yeah Media, set up in 2007, specializes in providing Multimedia and Information Service solutions for the hotels. Yeah Media focus on creating an intelligent television platform for hotels and offering other peripheral services for Business travelers. Yeah Media, which was listed on the “Neeq” in 2013, won “the Best Market Maker” honor in 2014.
Zhong Qiang is the head of international hotel business in Ctrip since 2012. He successfully introduced Booking and Agoda partnership to Ctrip, establishing the biggest international hotel reservation platform in China. He led the business to globalization by setting up 10 overseas offices in the past 2 years. He launched “Chinese Preferred Hotel” program for the convenience of Chinese customers. With his leadership, Ctrip international business grows rapidly and well recognized by the market. Zhong Qiang also has rich experience in hotel management. Before join Ctrip, he has been engaged in a number of five-star hotels at senior management positions.