2016 North American Conference Sessions Descriptions



Tuesday, March 1

Welcome Remarks

9:00 am - 9:15 am

Mike Blake - CEO, HTNG

Don't Let the Cloud Rain on Your Parade

9:20 am - 10:05 am

  • Randy Brown - VP, Global Technology Infrastructure, InterContinental Hotels Group
  • Mark Haley - Partner, The Prism Partnership
  • Mark Hoare - Partner, The Prism Partnership
  • Lo Li - Director, Applications Development and Integrations, InterContinental Hotels Group
  • Nick Price - CIO, CitizenM Hotels

The Cloud has rained on the parades of these panelists, but they’re here to prevent it from happening to you. These Cloud pioneers will share their hard-earned knowledge about the struggles they faced when moving bits and pieces of their organization’s operations to the Cloud. Their focus will be on what they would have done differently, and how to avoid some of the traps and pitfalls one encounters on the migration to the Cloud. 

Virtual Reality: Not Just for Gamers Anymore

9:20 am - 10:05 am

Thankfully, a hotel stay is still not virtual. However, this exciting new technology is rapidly making its way into our industry. Dr. Ajay Aluri of West Virginia University, will take you on a virtual journey in this session where he interviews the COO of YouVisit, Endri Tolka. Come to see the new world of virtual reality and "experience" how it will be used in travel and hospitality.   

Connected Devices - An Emerging Threat in Hospitality

9:20 am - 10:05 am

Ted Harrington - Executive Partner, Independent Security Evaluators

Connected devices are becoming a reality in the consumer world – and the hospitality environment is just beginning to realize the potential benefits of connected devices. Unlike homes or traditional businesses, however, valid authorized physical access to a hotel room can be obtained by anyone – leaving a potential risk to the hotel and guest. Join this session to learn why “secure first, connect next,” should be the hotelier’s mantra when evaluating new devices for the hotel room and guest.

We are Watching You: Advances in Hospitality Security

10:35 am - 11:20 am 

  • Mike Gray (Co-Presenter) - Hospitality Practice Manager, NEC Corporation
  • Ashlee Phillips - Sr. Solutions Engineer, Biometrics Solutions Division, NEC Corporation

Advanced security technologies, once the province of nation-states, are available to the hospitality industry with increasing sophistication and viability. This session will cover the technology behind major advancements in facial recognition technology, security and identification applications, privacy implications, real world case studies and the increasing role that IT is playing in loss prevention and risk management.

The Third Generation of Payments

10:35 am - 11:20 am

Richard Crum - SVP New Product Development - Global Commercial Products, MasterCard 


We’re in the midst of a global transformation, moving from the offline world to being constantly connected. The digital shift will also usher in the biggest change in payments since the introduction of plastic – we call this the Third Generation of Payments. Industry payments veteran and Sr. MasterCard executive Richard Crum will explore how consumers and businesses will make payments in a future world beyond cash, plastic, pins and chips. 

Event Space ArchiTechnologySM:  Planning for the Future of Meetings

11:30 am - 12:30 pm

  • Emilie Barta Via Video - Producer, Emilie Barta Presentations 
  • Eric Bracht - Consultant, Electro-Media Design, Ltd.
  • Bob Cohen - Independent Business Development Consultant
  • Jeff Loether - President, Electro-Media Design, Ltd.
  • Andrew Moffett - Global Discipline Leader, Event Management, Marriott International
  • "Live"

Meeting planner and guest expectations are evolving. What is the nature of the changes, and how are advancing event technologies impacting our event spaces? This session will leverage the experience and perspectives of a diverse panel of experts. They’ll look at digital, virtual, and hybrid events, global trends in meeting styles and event technology, evolving guest demographics, and ultimately, how these changes impact the spaces we design, manage, and market. 

Jeopardy, n. \ˈje-pər-dē\: hazard or risk of or exposure to harm, loss, theft; also a popular TV game

11:30 am - 12:30 pm 


Marion Roger - Vice President, Business Development, Hospitality eResources 

Can Data Security and Privacy be entertaining while educational? This innovative HTNG session covers two topics of critical importance in 2016 and beyond – security and privacy – as audience members play “Jeopardy!” 

PCI Security Council Presents

1:40 pm - 2:25 pm

John Fitzsimmons - Vice President, Public Relations, PCI Security Standards Council

In this session, the PCI Security Standards Council will detail how it touches the lives of hundreds of millions of people worldwide. The session will demonstrate what it takes to maintain and promote the evolution of the Payment Card Industry, ensuring standards for the safety of cardholder data across the globe, and what it means for the guest and the hotel industry as a whole. 


1:40 pm - 2:25 pm 


Natasha Tamaskar - VP and Head of Strategy and Ecosystems, GENBAND/Kandy

Cloud PBX - The Time Is Now

2:35 pm - 3:20 pm 

Hotels are beginning to replace their monolithic phone systems with agile, scalable and reliable systems in the cloud. Join this session to learn about the advantages of a cloud-based telephony system, and the best practices you need to successfully deploy this technology in your hotels.

OpenTravel's Architectural Direction: Moving Beyond XML Messaging

2:35 pm - 3:20 pm

Sandy Angel - OpenTravel Alliance

Learn about OpenTravel’s 2.0 Object Model and the OpenTravel Model – Development Environment (OTM-DE), OpenTravel’s open source modeling tool which can generate XML or JSON schemas, messaging and examples. These object-oriented models allow for the creation and implementation of lightweight messages with just the level of detail desired. Attend this session to hear more!

Innovative Power Distribution for Fiber Optics

3:50 pm - 4:35 pm 


Mark Conner - Market Development Manager, Corning

Remote power, AC, DC and composite cabling are just some of the methods that hotels need to deliver outstanding and reliable infrastructure services to guests and critical hotel systems. This session will evaluate these methods (and more), so hoteliers may effectively plan and execute their next hotel retrofit or new construction. 

Wi-Fi and Big Data – How to Capitalize on the Investments

3:50 pm - 4:35 pm

Michael Toedt, Ph.D. - CEO, TS&C

All hotels are confronted with ongoing investments in hardware and software to provide an even better internet experience. The question is, how can hotels capitalize on these growing investments? This session explains why Wi-Fi should be part of a Big Data strategy and how to transform your Wi-Fi investment from a cost to a profit center.

Infrastructure Resource Team

4:45 pm - 5:30 pm 

Software Resource Team

4:45 pm - 5:30 pm

  • John Bell - Founder, Ajontech LLC
  • David Chestler - EVP - Global Enterprise Sales & Business Development, SiteMinder

Wednesday, March 2

The Cloud Imperative - Oracle's Perspective

9:00 am - 9:45 am

Ray Carlin - VP, Vice President, Strategy, Oracle

Enterprises around the globe and across industries are actively transforming their businesses with cloud solutions. Oracle Hospitality’s cloud applications leverage Oracle’s expertise in cloud, security, network and hospitality-specific functionality. With the industry’s broadest portfolio of public cloud services, Oracle Cloud has enjoyed strong adoption, supporting 62 million users and 23 billion transactions each day. Learn how enterprises are leveraging Oracle's cloud solutions to grow faster, reduce IT complexity and costs, increase efficiency and deliver great customer experiences. 

Real Incident Response Readiness – Why PCI Requirements Are More Than Just Checking a Box

9:45 am - 10:30 am

Matt Presser - Security Consultant, Trustwave

Trustwave SpiderLabs expert, Matt Presser, will walk through the anatomy of a breach from the perspective of the incident responders. Hear examples of real-world investigations and see how Trustwave evaluates the environment, acquires evidence and begins analysis. The session will show how PCI requirements truly relate to your environment’s security posture before, during and after a breach; and provide basics that can make a substantial difference in your environment.  

TechOvation Award - Qualifying Round

11:15 am - 1:00 pm

Nick Price - CIO, CitizenM Hotels

Get ready for a lively, fast-paced session with five-minute presentations from our TechOvation Award entrants. Nick Price, CIO of CitizenM Hotels, will emcee the event and a panel of experts will select the three finalists, who will present again in Thursday's general session. Attend to learn more about the latest in hospitality technology innovation and have a bit of fun in process. 

Opening Remarks

2:15 pm - 2:35 pm

Mike Blake - CEO, HTNG

The Three I's Impacting Hospitality Technology

2:35 pm - 3:32 pm

Henry Harteveldt - Founder/Travel Industry Analyst, Atmosphere Research Group

There is a near-universal adoption of mobile devices among travelers. Travelers expect hyper-personalized experiences and service. They also demand highly engaging planning, shopping and booking experiences. These three trends converge in what Atmosphere Research calls the Three I’s: Immediacy, Individualism and Inspiration. In this keynote session, Atmosphere's founder Henry Harteveldt will share facts about these trends, discuss the challenges and opportunities they create for hospitality technology professionals, and provide action items for consideration. 

Workgroups: Getting the Most Out of HTNG

4:25 pm - 5:15 pm

  • John Bell - Founder, Ajontech LLC
  • David Chestler - EVP - Global Enterprise Sales & Business Development, SiteMinder
  • David Heckaman - VP of Technology, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group
  • Dayna Kully - Co-Founder, 5thGenWireless
  • Neil Schubert - VP IT Strategy, Marriott International
  • Yvette Vincent - VP IT Applications, Delaware North Companies, Inc.
  • Richard Wagner - Director, Emerging Technologies, Marriott International
  • Todd Wood - VP of Technology, The Americas & Global Applications, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group 

Above property considerations, credit card security, hotel systems integration, Personally Identifiable Information (PII), fiber optics, new construction for hotels, PBX migrations: these are just a few of the industry teams that are developing best practices, software specifications, frameworks, and new technology products that will shape the future of technology in hospitality. HTNG’s elected forum and workgroup leaders will discuss these groups and more, leaving you with one question: “Where do I sign up?” 

TechOvation Award - Finalists Announcement

5:23 pm - 5:30 pm

Nick Price - CIO, CitizenM Hotels

Thursday, March 3

A New Twist on E=MC2 -- E+C=M2 TM

9:00 am - 9:30 am

Darla Morse - CIO, SeaWorld

Engagement + Convenience = Monetization2 TM
During this session, Darla Morse, Global CIO of SeaWorld, will share her successful formula for driving valuable and memorable guest experiences. She will explain how Engagement PLUS Convenience (E + C) is focused on driving transformation, personalization and innovation while Monetization (M2) solves for itself at scale. Darla will explain how to balance managing and maintaining mission critical systems and operations with transformational guest-facing initiatives to drive guest loyalty and increase revenue.  

The Genius of Opposites: How Introverts and Extroverts Achieve Extraordinary Things Together

9:35 am - 10:35 am

Jennifer Kahnweiler, Ph.D. - Author and Global Speaker

Mick and Keith. Jobs and Woz. Sandberg and Zuckerberg. History is filled with examples of successful introvert-extrovert relationships. Opposites like these can make brilliant products and even change history. But great introvert-extrovert partnerships don’t just happen. Best-selling author Jennifer Kahnweiler offers a five-step process that will enable introverts and extroverts to better understand one another to leverage their strengths and create strong teams in the workplace. This leads to more innovation, employee satisfaction and higher levels of productivity.  

Fresh from China: Big Data on Steroids

11:25 am - 12:10 pm

With unprecedented cooperation, the major Chinese OTAs, hotel groups, CRS, PMS and other vendors have implemented a massive project to track guest behavior from the first point of inquiry all the way through to the post-stay survey. Hear firsthand how hotels are leveraging this rich database, the world’s largest to date to be built on HTNG standards. 

TechOvation Award - Final Round

1:30 pm - 2:00 pm

Nick Price - CIO, CitizenM Hotels

Don't miss this session – the audience picks the winners in the 2nd annual TechOvation Awards. Bring your phone, tablet or laptop with the HTNG conference app loaded so you can vote for the winners after watching the pitches of the three finalists! 

IT Leaders Panel

2:00 pm - 2:50 pm

Top-level hotel IT executives will share how they see technology evolving in hotels in coming years. The panel will also discuss their biggest challenges, issues and concerns.   

Closing Remarks

2:50 pm - 3:00 pm

Mike Blake - CEO, HTNG