Staff

 
Michael Blake
CEO

Michael Blake is the CEO of HTNG. Michael previously served as the CIO of Commune Hotels & Resorts, encompassing Joie de Vivre, Thompson, Tommie and Alila Hotels. He provided strategic leadership and sound perspective to contribute to the management and evolution of Commune's global IT functions. Michael was previously 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. Before his CIO positions with Commune and Hyatt, Michael was SVP of IT for First Data, CFO of IT Finance at Kaiser Permanente and Director of IT Finance for Sears. In each role, 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's Board of Governors since 2009 and held the Treasurer position for many of those years.

 
David Sjolander

COO

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.

 
Sandy Angel

Web Services Architect

Sandy is HTNG’s Web Services Architect with her focus being primarily on the Software Forum Workgroups. She is also currently the Specification Manager for the OpenTravel Alliance and acts as a liaison between the two organizations. 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. In Sandy’s free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two sons.

 

 
Patrick Dunphy

CIO

Patrick's responsibilities largely focus on member activities and workgroups. In addition to managing the ongoing activities of workgroups as well as coordinating insight meetings, Patrick is also responsible for directing HTNG’s internal systems strategy and architecture. Patrick holds several Microsoft systems certifications and is familiar with managing systems across distributed networks, and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Software Engineering. In his prior role, Patrick managed IT projects for a suburban Chicago school district, which totaled 25,000 users in 27 different buildings. In his free time, Patrick enjoys reading popular non/fiction 

 
Laura Folkl

Director of Membership

Laura is the Director of Membership here at HTNG. Laura began her career in hotel/destination sales and marketing which is where she discovered her passion for “selling the experience.” In the last several years, she has identified her niche in designing and implementing creative ways to help organizations and individuals build brand awareness by telling their stories. Laura served as the Marketing and Communications Manager for the Downtown Evanston (SSA) organization and the North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association. In both roles, she was responsible for creating multimedia communications as well as developing, executing and optimizing a yearly marketing program and budget. Laura has a B.A. in Political Science from Northwestern University in Evanston, IL. Laura enjoys exploring communities globally and discovering what makes them unique.

 
Victor Idrac
Project Coordinator

As Project Coordinator, Victor facilitates the workgroup meetings and the work that comes out of them. He also manages and updates the workgroups sections of the HTNG website. Having grown up in the hospitality industry and with a passion for technology, Victor brings that excitement and drive to his work at HTNG and beyond. He graduated in 2013 with a Bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications from Louisiana State University. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his family playing music, and cooking.

 
Dynette Lucas
Finance and Member Services Manager

Dynette provides the daily accounting, reporting and analysis of HTNG financial results reporting directly to the COO. She also contributes to the on-going maintenance of the association’s CRM. Dynette holds a Bachelor of Science in Accountancy from DePaul University with experience in the Airline and Outsourced Customer Care Industries. She enjoys spending her free time with her family, traveling to warmer destinations in the winter and listening to live music.

 
Katie Mazzuca

Senior Director of Marketing & Events

Katie heads up the marketing & events department for HTNG. Prior to joining HTNG, Katie worked at an association management company where she managed a team that organized over 50 conferences per year.  Katie earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accountancy and a Masters of Science in Accounting from the University of Notre Dame.  In her free time, Katie enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, performing in community theater and cheering on the Irish.

 
Armand Rabinowitz

Senior Director of Strategy and Workgroups

As Senior Director of Strategy and Workgroups, Armand leads strategy with a mission to foster collaboration among industry members working to improve technology that is critical to business operations in the globally connected era. Armand excels at bringing people and products together to create new technology solutions. Armand also focuses on enabling the HTNG workgroups to continue the tradition of creating educational content, solutions and standards. Armand received a bachelor’s degree from Vanderbilt University’s School of Engineering. Armand has an extensive background in information technology and emerging technology, working for over a decade in the technology and hospitality industries. In his free time, Armand enjoys cooking with his wife, photographing his daughter in jazz and ballet and coaching his son’s hockey team.

 
Emily Wilson

Marketing Communications Specialist

Emily is HTNG’s Marketing Communications Specialist with her primary focus being on the organization’s external communications. Emily develops and executes all email marketing campaigns and generates social media campaigns across all of the organization’s social media channels. Emily also produces company press releases and collaborates marketing efforts with leading industry partners. Emily graduated from Illinois State University with a Bachelor of Science in Public Relations and holds experience from previous communication roles. Emily enjoys traveling, playing and watching sports and spending time with her family and friends.