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2018 VAC Nominations - General

2018 Vendor Advisory Council Nominations - General Elections

Thank you to all of the candidates that are participating in this election. There are currently five Vendor Advisory Council positions open for the 2018 election. Below, review each candidate's biography, history with HTNG and goals for their term on the Council.

Starting this election cycle, the VAC has decided to add a dedicated seat from the growing HTNG Startup Community. HTNG Startup members will nominate and elect within their own community concurrently with the Corporate, Platinum and Consultant member process. 

Larry Birnbaum, VP Global Hospitality, Ruckus Networks, An ARRIS Company 

Bio: Larry has a 27+ year career in technology experience in the Hospitality industry spanning from integrator roles to consultant to manufacturing. This experience gives Larry a wealth of understanding and ability to relate to varied perspectives within the vendor community. Being able to step-back and assess a situation with different perspectives in mind is a true skill and Larry has that capability. Key attributes are his ability to develop and implement strategic technology solutions that are applicable and relevant to the increasing demands of the Hospitality industry. He also has the unique capability to maintain a high level, strategic approach while understanding when appropriate to dissect a situation and articulate the granular details when needed.

History: Ruckus is one of twenty-five HTNG members who are Platinum Industry Partner members. This is indicative of Ruckus’ commitment and dedication to HTNG and upholding the principals of the organization. Ruckus has been involved in countless Workgroups throughout the years helping to shape and formulate standards for the Hospitality industry. We are currently co-chairing the CBRS Workgroup and a key member of the CBRS Alliance. As a result, we are keen on ensuring standards set within HTNG are aligned overall with CBRS goals and objectives.

HTNG Event Participation:

  1. HT-Next
  2. HTNG Asia-Pacific
  3. HTNG Middle East
  4. Workgroups Workgroups
  5. Speaking engagements
  6. Previous executive representation on the Vendor Advisory Council 

Why do you wish to serve? As a long-time Hospitality veteran, I believe in the HTNG organization and all that it stands for in regards to supporting the Hospitality industry. Without HTNG driving many of the standards widely adopted at the Brands and Ownership level, we would not have seen the advancements and ability to meet the ever-evolving demands of technology within Hospitality. I have a proven record of accomplishment within the Hospitality industry and am passionate about upholding the positive relationship between vendors, the Brands and the customer. In my new role at Ruckus, I am eager to maintain a voice as a participant in the council and to help shape the standards that continue to ensure Hospitality is meeting the demands of their customer community.

Carson Booth, CEO, SnapShot GmbH

Bio: Carson Booth is the Chief Executive Officer of SnapShot and joins the Company at a critical time to help lead the next stage of growth. Carson brings over 25 years of hospitality technology experience and most recently in the startup consulting space. Immediately prior, he was the global vice president of property technology at Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide and concurrently served as general manager of Starwood’s international licensing company, and previously served as vice president IT EMEA.

History:

  •  Board of Governors from September 2012 to September 2015.
  • Corporate sponsor / approver – Starwood Hotels & Resorts (2011-2017).
  • Supported various workgroups through encouraging my Starwood team to participate.
  • Currently support my SnapShot associate Iris Steinmetz in various workgroups.

Why do you wish to serve? As an active industry leader, having served 21 years with Starwood and now leading SnapShot GmbH, in addition to serving as 2x chairman of HITEC Amsterdam, I see great value in supporting HTNG in the develop of industry standards for the next generation of hospitality technology – both as a previous buyer and now as a seller of technology. With on-going consolidation of industry management company and technology companies alike, it is critical now more than ever to ensure the interconnectedness of technology and data to ensure the best possible solutions for enhancing our guests experience and providing efficient, scalable and innovative technology solutions to the industry. I see HTNG as a leader in ensuring this happens. My voice on the council brings an intersection of buyer, seller and international experience.

Criss Chrestman, CHTP, Advisory Services Leader, Innovation Architect, NTT Data Inc.

Bio: With NTT DATA since 2011 in the roles of Advisory Services Leader and Innovation Architect.

  • Leader in NTT DATA Commercial Industries vertical with majority of time spent in Hospitality. Primarily work with major hotel chains and vendors in areas of strategy, solution development, enterprise architecture, change management, customer experience, integration including: RPA/BPO, social, IoT, and currently blockchain.

With Agilisys for 14 years as: VP of Software Development & Technical Services; CTO; eBusiness Practice Manager.

  • Supervised R&D, Product Management, Technical Implementations, SDLC for multiple COTS Products and custom software development • Led over 100-person development staff responsible for multiple products with various technology stacks. Encouraged staff participation in HTNG.
  • Integrated and transformed the technology model for the products to be a profitable part of Product Portfolio.
  • New product development which also resulted included two patents for Inventory Management.
  • Developed and coded ResNet internet application which accounted for 7% of all the world’s hotel reservation revenue from 2002-2005 and introduced the calendar reservation concept in 1999.
  • Served on Customer Advisory Panels for IBM and Microsoft products. • In the first group of IBM’s certified e-Business Architects Previous experience included Sandestin Resorts CIO, Technical Strategy Leader for Exxon Chemicals’ Application Chemical Division.

History: In the early 2000’s lead efforts to encourage Inter-American Data / Agilisys to join HNTG. Eventually marketing took over the relationship, after which time was the lead technical liaison for Agilisys.

  • A founding member of the Reference Architecture Workgroup. • Implemented 4 different HTNG interfaces prior to 2010.
  • Supported my team who were active members of the Reservation and Availability workgroups.
  • Contributed and consulted the specifications for first direct connects. This based on knowledge gained implemented secure consumer web applications for large casinos.
  • Until 2010 attended most of the North American conferences.

As a consultant, I have attended with my 2 of my large customers who had me as an on their internal staffs for over a year. I have also attended as an Industry consultant.

I have just had NTT DATA join as a Premium Partner. I will make ensure we have 5 or more people in workgroups at any given time. Currently I am an active member in the Blockchain group, contributing 2 sections to the white paper and assisting the co-chairs in final editing. I am also on the Global Strategy Team, and NFC Contactless Payments Workgroup.

Separate from HTNG, I have been involved with HEDNA:

  • One of 3 authors of HEDNA White Paper: Mobility, Distribution and Customer Friction https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/customer-friction-study-hedna-criss-chrestman/
  • Key contributor to Hotel Distribution Analytics Study - which sought to quantify current practices in data collection, storage, usage, and satisfaction. The survey was one of the largest sample sizes of its kind.
  • Co-chairing HEDNA first Blockchain Working Group.

Why do you wish to serve? I wish to serve as an advisor because 1) I feel confident of my ability to contribute, and 2) it is important to contribute to our industry when we are able. Why I feel qualified:

  • I have a well-rounded variety of perspectives and empathy in both vendor and customer roles. With 23-years of concentrated vendor experiences as a Software Vendor; an IT Professional Services Leader; and a Consultant.
  • I am objective, but also very persistent, and will advocate for perspectives that represent voices that need to be heard. The role will need to represent vendor perspectives, but also with the perspective of customer service, fair play, and industry needs.
  • Finally, the need to advance our industry will take efforts from the vendor and customer communities. HTNG is an excellent forum for this, and the Vendor side effort is critically important to have fair and balanced representation.

Speleos Dravillas, VP of Global Sales, Percipia

Bio: Speleos Dravillas has been in the technology space for twenty-five years with the last six being focused solely in the Hospitality Space. His time in hospitality first started as the head of Mitel’s Hospitality Sales for the Americas and then last year transitioned to Percipia to be their head of sales. Speleos has been an active member of HTNG and HFTP and is currently the Chicago Chapter VP for HFTP.

Speleos has maintained many positive relationships with those who were once his competition and now are his possible integration partners including NEC, Avaya, Mitel, Phonesuite, Broadsoft and Cisco. He also maintains very positive relations with Marriott, Hilton, IHG, Four Seasons, and Mandarin Oriental from his time working both as their vendor and as a member HTNG work groups. Speleos also uphold’s his company’s policy of working fairly and equally with Micros, Agilsys, Maestro, Skywire, Springer-Miller and many others.

Speleos’s current company, Percipia, is a software integrator of many technologies from many of the vendors that make up the advisory committee and is committed to making sure all vendors are served fairly and equitably as is his personality and his company’s position.

History: I have been an active and participating member of HTNG’s previous Cloud Communications Workgroup and was a contributor author to their recently released standards paper. I was also active on HTNG’s previous Infrastructure Resource Team. I currently am active on the following current HTNG workgroups: API Registry, Internet of Things (IoT), Global Strategy Team, Voice Interaction Framework. I have recently joined the following pre-charter workgroups of Frictionless Check-In and Panic Button or Emergency Response Technology.

 I am also the liaison for my company, Percipia, which has been active with HTNG since the very first year. I have helped my company’s contribution to HTNG, at both of my companies, by constantly marshaling other members of my company to volunteer on specific tasks where their technical skill sets ultimately helps HTNG. I have also been active in recruiting additional technology partners to join HTNG as I am committed to HTNG’s viability and overall purpose within our industry.

 Why do you wish to serve? I wish to serve on the council to help represent the interests of ALL industry technology partners and their needs that I have experienced over my 25 years as a technology industry partner. My company works with many technology partners and is open to working with the rest. For this reason I feel that my personality, experience, and my day job will help me be successful in this role as I have no bias and only opportunity for improvement.

Florian Gallini, Group CEO, INTEREL (Incumbent)

Bio: Mr. Gallini joined INTEREL in February 2003. In 2005 he moved to Dubai to become Managing Director of the group responsible for leading INTEREL's regional business within the hospitality and residential real estate verticals. Mr. Gallini was appointed Group CEO for the company in December 2012. Of dual Germany and Italian citizenship, Florian grew up in Germany and graduated with a Diploma in Economics & Management from the Libera Università di Bolzano in Italy.

History:

  • 2012 INTEREL joins HTNG as Platinum member
  • 2013-15 INTEREL has attended and sponsored a total of 8 HTNG conferences
  • 2013 HTNG recognized INTEREL for its innovation on Augmented Reality room control
  • 2015 HTNG recognized INTEREL for its innovation - connectBsmartTM beacons as infrastructure with the inaugural TechOvation Award.

Why do you wish to serve? Mr. Gallini wishes to serve on the Vendor Advisory Council to expand and deepen INTEREL’s contribution and involvement within the HTNG organization. Specifically, Mr. Gallini will look to provide on going input and constructive feedback leading to a collective joint vision on how best to further expand HTNG’s impact and relevance to the international hospitality technology industry.

Sanjay Garg, Sr. Marketing Manager, HPE/Aruba Networks

Bio: Sanjay Garg, Sr. Marketing Manager for HPE/Aruba has over twenty years of work experience, including finance, accounting, operations management, IT management, field services delivery, strategy, product management, and marketing. His passion for technology, along with his work experience and MBA, allows him to understand how technology can be used to solve real world business problems.

History: During his ten-year tenure at HPE/Aruba, Sanjay has actively participated in several HTNG workgroups and brought in guest speakers for webinars (IPv6, IoT Security) and speaking engagements (location based services, network security). HPE/Aruba has been an HTNG Platinum Industry partner since 2014 and we’ve attended every HTNG conference and event since then. HPE/Aruba has also sponsored and exhibited at several HTNG conferences globally.

Why do you wish to serve? Sanjay’s relationships with the global brands and hospitality service providers, along with his influence within HPE/Aruba, puts him in a position to help the industry find new ways to solve business problems, drive additional revenue, and streamline operations. Sanjay would love the opportunity to develop stronger ties with industry leaders to build better traveler experiences.

Robert Graves, Vice President Sales, Datatrend Technologies, Inc.

Bio: Robert Graves is Vice President of Sales for Datatrend Technologies. In this role, Robert is responsible for every aspect of Datatrend’s go-to-market strategy, across all offerings and industries.

Prior to Datatrend, Robert served as the Head of Global Sales for Datalink’s consulting business from 2013 to 2015, leading and overseeing the division’s growth from $3.5M to $42M in that time. Before that, he served as a Sales Executive at EMC, building the company’s pre-sales and consulting business. Robert has also served as a Principal Consultant for global mid-range services at IBM, led the IT consulting group at McGladrey and Co., and served as Marketing Leader at General Electric, driving organizational growth and customer satisfaction.

Originally from Southern California, Rob holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations and Economics from the University of San Diego. He’s active in his community as a leader of the Boy Scouts, and in his spare time he enjoys traveling, skiing, sailing and scuba diving. Between business and pleasure travel, Rob spends close to 200 nights a year in hotels – he is passionate about the industry as hotels are truly his home away from home!

History: Datatrend personnel have participated in HTNG events for many years. As a company, Datatrend joined HTNG as a Vendor Member in 2016 after deciding to contribute more to the hospitality technology community. We are currently a Platinum Member. Datatrend has five experts active on various work groups, including New Builds, Centralized Authentication, Fiber to the Room, Hotel Technology Renovations Project Management, Blockchain for Hospitality, GDPR for Hospitality, Global Strategy Team, and Internet of Things.

Datatrend participates in and sponsors HTNG events such as HITEC and Insight Summit 2018. Additionally, we have sponsored the HT-NEXT TechOvation and Hotel Visionary Awards for the past two years. Robert co-presented the awards at the Spring Conferences in 2017 and 2018.
Datatrend will be the sole sponsor of the HTNG Insight Conference in Fall 2018 and looking for similar opportunities in the future.

Why do you wish to serve? Datatrend believes we can add extensive infrastructure breadth to HTNG. As a long time reseller of the IT industry’s largest players, we can bring insights and resources to the group from different vendors including IBM, VMware, Dell, Cisco, HPE, and many others. There is also market development funding available from these vendors that we can leverage to support HTNG events and meetings. Datatrend can bring many dollars to the HTNG organization from our extended network of vendor partners.

Datatrend has many clients in industries adjacent to HTNG’s historical focus of hotels, such as Cruise Lines, Entertainment Venues/Theme Parks, Educational Housing, Extended Care Facilities, and Multi-Use Development facilities including Retail and Restaurants. We are already encouraging these clients to look at HTNG. Our participation on the Vendor Advisory Council will help accelerate these clients joining HTNG.

Gary Hasty, Director of Strategy & Innovation, AT&T

Bio: Gary Hasty (Director of Strategy & Innovation) at AT&T focuses on the Hospitality Industry – Hotels/Resorts, Food & Beverage, Retail, Cruise Ships & the occasional Theme Park. Gary describes himself as a professional geek (or trouble-maker) who years ago accidently fell into management to translate geek-speak into business-speak. He began his professional development career when he was 15 programming on several textile manufacturing applications and started the first Internet Service Provider in North Georgia back in the early 1990’s. From owning an ISP he started working in the PC Gaming world for years before jumping into the world of Telecommunications. He’s been involved in roles from industrial engineering & process improvement, security, forensic investigations, AT&T Labs to currently working with AT&T Foundries & product teams to work on future concepts across enterprise clients within hospitality. Gary’s role is to bring the “art of the possible” together as an entrepreneur and customer advocate. Gary looks across the needs for the industry from in-room entertainment via DirecTV, IoT possibilities as well ways of enhancing guest engagement & loyalty with the brands.

History: I have been involved with HTNG for over 6 years with my primary focus on Hospitality being within the last 4 years as AT&T has evolved our hospitality vertical practices. I have participated across several of the workgroups from Personal Area Network, Infrastructure, IoT to most recently active in Voice Control & Strategy. I’m not very shy when asked for opinion and love to hear other sides of every story. I have been an active participant with HTNG conferences for the last 4 years with my last being HT-NEXT this year. I have also been active in AT&T’s participation within the academia world for hospitality from guest lecturing at UCF Rosen and Cornell School of Hospitality Administration. I’ve been active in bringing HTNG into the Cornell Hospitality Technology Roundtable as well as promoting HTNG across internal and external contacts. More and more AT&T has entrusted me at being the face of AT&T Hospitality working across brands during C-level conversations on the art of the possible as well as working with our innovation teams to bring together results. When asked “what do you work on at AT&T” my answer is usually “somehow I usually touch everything.”

Why do you wish to serve? Why? I believe that collaboration & open innovation in this industry surrounding technology are a must. I am eager to learn more and more about business problems and needs for the members to help enhance both of our futures building the right solutions. I truly enjoy a good debate around process improvements and when technology can help (or hurt) if not implemented properly. In my work in the IoT, 5G & SmartCities world I see more and more times where technology is seen as the shiny new object but no thought on how human interactions can be complimented with the right choices. I’ve also always tried to live my personal and business life by the words of uncle Walt Disney “The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.”

Donald P. Jensen, MHS, Vice President, Windstream Hospitality

Bio: Don Jensen has focused his professional career around delivering network and technology solutions to the lodging industry, spanning 30 years of experience. Don holds a lifetime-certified Master Hotel Supplier designation from the American Hotel and Lodging Association. While leading the Hospitality Division of Windstream Enterprise (NYSE:WIN), Jensen consults daily with lodging customers throughout North America, Hawaii, and the Caribbean, to establish wireless networking platforms, above property and premise voice solutions, cabling infrastructures, and WAN services.

Jensen and his teams are consistent leaders in sales performance. Don attributes this success to building trusted relationships, technical expertise, and applying extensive knowledge of the lodging business to provide value to his clients and staff. Don also has been active over the years in many industry trade groups and lodging associations, has held leadership roles within HTNG (Hotel Technology Next Generation), and has co-authored many articles and periodicals focused on bringing awareness of advanced network platforms to the vertical.

Previously, Don held leadership positions in sales and operations at the Sprint Hospitality Group, Wayport (now AT&T Wireless Services), and Xeta Technologies. Don received his Business Degree at the State University College of New York at Buffalo.

History: We originally were part of a workgroup initiative that was studying Distributed Antenna Systems. We produced the delivery of a white paper and a set of case studies that comprised the original documentation and educational messaging highlighting the advantages of this technology and its use in the Hotel property. While I was not the chair of this group I was a steady contributor and involved in assisting on this collaborative work effort to the benefit of the HTNG membership at large.

More recently I served as the co-chairperson for the “Fiber to the Room” workgroup. This workgroup developed a series of information products highlighting the advantages of using fiber optic cabling within the infrastructure of the lodging property. We produced a series of Webinars, including “Fiber 101” and “GPON”, which were well attended and received high marks for practical info that was useful to the hotelier. We also presented, using a mix of vendors and hoteliers on the panel, at the HTNG annual conferences on these same topics. The most significant work product delivered during my tenure however was the “Fiber to the Room Design Guide” which I also happened to co-author. This 100-plus page, educational reference document was widely distributed and also shared with other organizations, such as BICSI and TIA, and verticalized many of the best practices used in the design/deployment of this cabling for both active and passive optical networking. A great effort and a living example of the type of beneficial work produced from HTNG.

I have been a steady attendee of the HTNG North American annual conference, and various years we have also exhibited. I have been a contributor and active member spanning approximately 13 years.

Why do you wish to serve? It is a very exciting time in the hotel industry and within HTNG. Disruptive technologies are surfacing, and the world continues to innovate. Service on the Council is important because the Board of Governors and the HTNG membership at large need experienced professionals who can recognize and harness the potential of these new technologies and put them to work in our Industry. I also think it is very important to be good listener for our hotel partners, and to continue to understand and consult on their continually evolving requirements. The vendor membership also need a voice as their ideas and innovation are a critical part of the effort. Lastly, the industry has been very good to me over the years, I am about giving back to the benefit of our industry and our members.

Larry Hall, President & CEO, Koridor (Incumbent)

Bio: Larry provides strategic and operational direction to Koridor, Incorporated, a Private Equity-backed start-up pioneering the next generation of guest personalization for the global hotel industry. The company’s first product, MyRoom, leverages rich media to deliver an immersive experience for hotel guests by displaying floor plans and room specific imagery through an innovative application that enables a guest to selection their specific room based on their personal needs. The company, founded in July 2017, will launch in June 2018.

With over thirty-five years of experience in global, high-growth, technology, and service-based organizations, Larry has dedicated his career to serving the global hospitality industry. Larry speaks on a variety of topics including managing for high growth, venture funding, and entrepreneurialism. He also serves on the board of directors of several, high-growth firms and a number of charitable foundations. Larry graduated from Cornell University, and serves as a member of The Cornell University Council and a member of the Board for the Pillsbury Institute for Hospitality Entrepreneurship at the School of Hotel Administration.

Larry has served two terms on the VAC council and seeks a third term.

History: 

  • Currently, President & CEO of Koridor, and a member of HTNG through the start-up program. 
  • Former President & CEO of PAR Springer-Miller, a Charter member and one of the early and active supporters of HTNG.
  • In prior CEO roles at HBSI and Prosero, encouraged team members to serve on a variety of committees and groups at HTNG.
  • Through HBSI, contributed significantly to advances in the HTNG distribution standards.
  • Vocal supporter of HTNG at a number of industry meetings and forums.
  • Positioned HTNG as a critical component of the ATRIO platform.

Why do you wish to serve? As a long-time and staunch supporter of HTNG, I reassert my desire to serve on the Vendor Advisory Council as a means to help HTNG gain deeper and broader support for their mission among the vendor community. While the Vendor Advisory Council has made outstanding progress over the past three years, much work remains. Through a third term on the Vendor Advisory Council, I believe we can establish greater momentum and increase our contribution to the broader HTNG mission.

Vendors represent a critical element of the HTNG mission. The Vendor Advisory Council supports the HTNG mission by representing the voice of the vendor community and by representing and protecting their interests. I believe my actions on the Vendor Advisory Council over my past two terms, my support of HTNG through the companies I lead, and my unwavering commitment to the hotel technology industry, represent great examples of my commitment to the HTNG mission and to the vendor community at large.

Mukund Mohan, Vice President, Infor (Incumbent)

Bio: Mukund Mohan joined Infor Hospitality in November 2010 as VP, Product Strategy. Mukund has over 25 years of hospitality industry technology experience spanning across the globe, specializing in Reservation Distribution and Property Management systems. Mukund has experience in multiple dimensions of Hospitality technology, including Product Management, Deployment, Development, Support and Global Sales /Account Management. Mukund is an engineering graduate in Computer Science and Technology. In addition, Mukund holds certifications in Information Systems management. As part of his role at Infor, Mukund is very active with customers (from independent locations to large global chains and gaming enterprises) and as such maintains a sharp and current understanding of the integration needs within hotels and gaming facilities, not only for their on-property operational systems, but also including financial systems, asset management systems, human capital management systems and more. Mukund plays an instrumental role with Hospitality vendor/partner management. Mukund is skilled in strategic vision, conceptualization, execution and delivery of innovative & trendsetting solutions including mobility, cloud, social networking/collaboration for the hospitality marketplace. Mukund is a serving member of the Hotel Technology Next Generation (HTNG) Vendor Council.

History: Infor Hospitality has been a keen adopter of HTNG standards over the last several years and is the representative company of multiple recent mergers (SoftBrands and Amadeus PMS division). Mukund is a strong proponent to have standards based integration across the industry and is actively involved in HTNG, with the POS workgroup and the Cloud workgroup. Mukund stays current with technology initiatives in the Hospitality industry and works with a number of technology partners in embracing standards based integration. He also works behind the scenes assisting Infor representatives on other workgroups.

Why do you wish to serve? HTNG has been quite good with Distribution and Device level integration– i.e., setting a standard for Central Reservation systems integrating with Property Management Systems and Property management systems connecting to various Device systems. More recently, HTNG has expanded to workgroup initiatives for CRM and the Cloud. Infor’s vision is making technology transition seamless via Cloud offerings. As part of the Hospitality suite a number of applications are being offering in the cloud. In addition to Property management, system, Revenue management systems, other solutions in the cloud include Enterprise Asset Management, Customer Relationship Management, Work Force Management, Financials, Human capital management, Performance Management and Business Intelligence. Mukund plans to bring Infor’s strategic initiatives for executing on the cloud vision to help HTNG expand its standards impact and a result, broaden the HTNG community for the Hospitality industry.

Vanessa Ogle, CEO, Enseo (Incumbent)

Bio: In just 15 years, Enseo has become the industry’s fastest growing hospitality integrator. Founded by Vanessa Ogle, today Enseo is recognized by the world’s largest hotel groups and leading digital signage networks as the premier platform for enhancing brands and engaging guests through sustainable innovation. More than 25 years of operational experience with technology companies comprise Vanessa’s professional past including business development, marketing, finance, engineering, and program management. Before founding Enseo, Vanessa served as the Vice President and General Manager of 3dfx Interactive and held various management positions at STB Systems. Vanessa graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a BBA. Today, she balances her life between caring for her daughters and driving Enseo onward.

History: Vanessa Ogle and Enseo have been an active part of HTNG since October of 2005. Vanessa is currently serving as Co-Chair of the Vendor Advisory Council and has been involved in several workgroups throughout the years, including co-chairing the Cable Collaboration and Hosted Entertainment workgroups and participating in the Infrastructure and Device Forum. Vanessa has also been asked to speak at various HTNG events, including the 2010 and 2012 North American Conferences. Enseo continues to value its involvement with HTNG and several senior executives, including David Simpson and Kevin Sweeney, are active participants and leading (or have led) various HTNG workgroups.

Why do you wish to serve? Enseo continues to be pivotal in taking HTNG theory and innovations into practical real world application that benefit hoteliers and their guest. Most recently, Enseo successfully brought OTT services to Marriott. In the past, Enseo has had success in turning work group theory into practical hotelier technology firsts with City Center, Trump Soho, Mandarin Oriental, JW Marriott, Conrad Hilton, and other hotels.

Vanessa would like to have the opportunity to continue as a part of the Vendor Advisory Council to work together to foster collaboration and advise the Board as to what comes next for hotels, brands, their owners and ultimately (our) guests.

Ron Peterson, CEO, Blueprint RF

Bio: Ron Peterson has built a career rooted in his understanding of how data flows across networks. From his early years with Construction Market Data and Interstate America/eXitSource, he has relied on that knowledge to develop solutions and teams that can compete against the largest behemoths in the space. In 2000, he joined StayOnline, where he helped guide the company to their exit with LodgeNet. He then founded a new company - Blueprint RF - from the front porch with his partner, James Tubo. Armed with little more than knowledge of the space and the products and solutions that their customers wanted, Ron grew Blueprint RF into a rapidly rising star in the HSIA field, and those efforts soon earned him a target on his back. In just five short years, Blueprint RF overcame obstacle after obstacle, and, by 2016, they were one of the undisputed leaders in the space. This caught the attention of Cox Communications, and Ron successfully negotiated a phenomenal transaction for both parties to become part of the Cox team. Today, Ron continues to run Blueprint RF while also contributing to the strategy and direction of the larger Cox entity on a regular basis.

History: Ron Peterson has been deeply involved in HTNG since its inception. Each year, he and his team participate in almost every event or opportunity to understand and address the needs facing the hospitality industry as it pertains to technology. Ron works tirelessly to achieve the highest standards for both Blueprint RF and his wide-ranging customer base. While the technology continues to change at an ever-quickening pace, Ron works with both brands and other leading industry players to help craft solutions that will propel the guest’s experience and smooth their interaction with technology.

Why do you wish to serve? Ron is a visionary. He sees the long-term direction that technology is taking, not just in hospitality but in all walks of life, and he brings that drive and focus to the world of hospitality. He consistently envisions solutions and approaches that are novel and dynamic, and he often consults with the leaders of the industry to aid in their own decision-making process. Ron Peterson would be a fantastic steward of the council, and he would be a vital resource of information and insight for what’s happening both on the ground and in the distance in the world of hospitality technology.

Yannis Pagoulatos, European Hospitality Vertical Leader, LG Electronics

Bio: I am the leader for the European cruise, hotel and healthcare verticals for the Business Solutions product portfolio. Operating from the headquarters of Europe, my scope includes international key account management for international hotel chains & cruises and business development in existing & new hospitality verticals. During my career in LG Electronics Europe I was responsible for the penetration and the development of Cruise sub vertical and consecutively other sub-verticals like Hospital. The last two years I am heading the Hospitality Vertical team as a whole which includes the major Hotel Chains. During the last two years I have been responsible for initiation of the business for LG with major hotel chains and the shaping of a more end customer oriented proposition. Before LG I was responsible for the international retail chains in Royal Philips Electronics. I have an international MBA in Strategy from Rotterdam School of Management and two masters in Marketing Management and Sales Management.

History: My history with HTNG started in 2016 when I got promoted to European Hospitality Verticals Leader. Since then I have been involved in the webinars, conferences and industry organized calls as gold member via LG Electronics, audience or as exhibitor.

Why do you wish to serve? I would like to become part of the vendor council as my objective to play a more leading role in shaping and defining the technological trends around technology and contribute with the knowledge I can transfer from a big technology conglomerate and I have acquired with my interaction with all the major hotel chains’ senior IT leaders I have been working with. The hotel industry is under a major swift from asynchronous to synchronous processes of information transfer and a big shake out is happening among several vendor categories. With my role in LG as a major Hotel supplier I believe I can contribute in the panel and several thinktanks that will be held. Furthermore, I am eager to learn from the interaction with other senior leaders in this panel and other panels and to contribute to the knowledge generation bringing insights also from other Hospitality sub-verticals.

Connie Rheams, Head of Global Sales, Beekeeper

Bio: Connie Rheams is Vice President, Hospitality, for Beekeeper. In this role, Rheams is responsible for advocating the need to create strong employee engagement in the workplace to reduce turnover, improve operational efficiencies and ultimately improve the guests experience. Prior to joining Beekeeper, Rheams served as Senior Vice President for Indra. She was responsible for all sales and marketing activities and ultimately growing the company's customer base for the Indra/SAP ERP. With 20 plus years of experience in helping hotels transform their business through technology adoption from all areas of the technology including back office, central office, and all on property technology, Rheams demonstrates a true passion for driving innovation through technology and in 2014, Rheams was featured in HFTP’s "The Women of Hospitality Technology," a profile of the industry's notable and influential female IT executives. She also held senior leadership roles at Pegasus Solutions, Sabre and American Airlines. Rheams holds a Master’s in Business Administration from Southern Methodist University and is a frequent speaker at industry conferences.

History: Connie Rheams been involved with HTNG from its inception and continues to support the organization through bringing in new members and promoting involvement in the organization. In her start-up companies and/or new solutions, she has always ensured these companies not only become members but also that her and her colleagues contribute to the committees/work groups. She is an advocate for technology interoperability and believes that the entire customer journey combined with the end-to-end related business processes should be at the center when discussing the future of technology. Her current company, Beekeeper, is a member of HTNG and won HTNG’s 2018 TechOvation award.

In 2014, Rheams was featured in HFTP’s "The Women of Hospitality Technology," a profile of the industry's notable and influential female IT executives." She was selected because of her passion and interest in the confluence of hospitality and technology, and her ongoing concentration for working to integrate the practice. Rheams has dedicated herself to getting people to think differently regarding their approach to technology and to not only consider technology but also the human side of the equation.

Why do you wish to serve? With more than 20 years of industry experience, specializing in the convergence of IT with employee engagement, operations, distribution, marketing and sales, Rheams is the ideal candidate to serve on the HTNG Vendor Advisory Council.

In her new role at an entrepreneurial startup, she has a different perspective on where hospitality technology is heading. In addition to her exposure to the next wave of technological advancements, she works with an intelligent group of millennials that gives her great insight into how they think, what matters to them and how to provide a level of guest satisfaction that hotels have been trying to identify in an authentic way.

Combining her experience with the access to cutting edge technology, she can help shape the hotel ecosystem and bring insights forward for the benefit of the hotel industry at large and this organization.

Luis Segredo, CEO, Data Travel, LLC

Bio: Luis Segredo is CEO of Data Travel, the creators of the HAPI data streaming and enrichment platform www.hapicloud.io. He is also an investor in the Spanish mobile key company, STAYmyway, where he serves as an advisor. In addition, he is an investor and advisor to the Florida-based energy analytics solution, Entic (enticllc.com) and is an investor in Aquiva Labs, a Salesforce.com certified product development organization with offices in Florida, Moscow and Buenos Aires (aquivalabs.com). Segredo has a lifelong passion for technology startups and actively explores early stage funding opportunities.

Previously with Amadeus Hospitality, Segredo’s last title with the company was EVP, Strategic Initiatives. Prior to that, he founded and ultimately sold MTech, the developer of HotSOS and REX, two highly successful hotel technology solutions. He ran that company for 18 years, established integration partnerships with over 50 companies and served thousands of hotels in over 55 countries.

Segredo has been a member of HTNG for over 10 years and previously served on the Vendor Advisory Council representing Newmarket and later, Amadeus. He holds a BBA in International Finance and Marketing from the University of Miami.

History with HTNG and/or Goals:

  • Attended HTNG meetings in North America, Asia, Europe and Middle East.
  • Won the first ever HTNG Innovation Award for the Housekeeping Automation solution, REX
  • Participated in the Above Property Workgroup
  • Actively served on the Vendor Advisory Council
  • Participated in the startup presentations of 2017

Why do you wish to serve? Startups have the most to gain from HTNG participation. Developing an idea that creates real value for hotels is difficult. Figuring out how the solution taps into data from other systems and the vendor landscape is even more so. HTNG is already offering great resources for startups. Ensuring that these efforts continue and receive board-level exposure are my goals. To serve as the voice of startups, I first intend to bring the startup community together to ensure that I represent them correctly. Having experienced everything from start up to top tier organization, I believe I bring a unique set of experiences and perspective to this key role with the association.

Dr. Michael Toedt, Founder & CEO, dailypoint

Bio: Operating at the intersection of business and technology, Dr. Michael Toedt helps hoteliers with the software dailypoint™ to use the tremendous increase of data in order to become data-centric. Dr. Michael Toedt has over 25 years of experience in operations, technology and marketing. He is the author of several books (among others the German version “Big Data – Herausforderung und Chance für die Hotellerie (ISBN: 978-3-8751-5305-7) and “Data Revolution – How Big Data Will Change the Way of Doing Business” (ISBN:978-3–7375-1688-4)) and his articles are published by journals on a regular basis. Dr. Toedt holds a doctoral degree in management science. He is lecturer at several universities and assistant lecturer at the University of Applied Sciences of Munich for the subject “Customer Relationship Management in Tourism”.

History: Dr. Michael Toedt has been an HTNG member since 2012. Since then he participated in various events. The latest were:

  • Participation at Asia Pacific Conference, Singapore July 25 – 27 2017
  • Participation at Middle East Conference, Dubai, UAE Jan 23-24 2018
  • Participation at HT-NEXT, San Diego March 12 – 14 2018
  • Participation at Asia-Pacific Conference, Macau July 24 – 26 2018

Why do you wish to serve? HTNG is, for me, the thinktank of the hospitality industry and one of the most important platforms for an exchange between hotelier’s IT and vendors. I want to bring in my experience and network to positively influence the upcoming events.

Christian Weinholtz, VP of Innovation, DCI Design Communications

Bio: Christian has spent the last 11 years in hospitality with a focus on network technology. Christian has been involved in many different roles all focused on delivering high quality converged network solutions across the hospitality industry. Christian now leads the overall HSIA and network division of DCI, which can include anything from basic guest wifi to complex fully converged networks that include VOIP, IPTV, HSIA and multiple additional in-room devices. Prior to joining DCI, Christian started providing technical support for customers of Lorica Solutions and grew through the roles of installation engineer (Xeta Technologies), network architect (Windstream) and product development and product management. Christian attended the University at Buffalo for Mechanical Engineering, holds a BS in Finance from Buffalo State College and an MBA from Canisius College. Christian live with his wife and his two children in Amherst, NY. Christian was a collegiate hockey player and is now youth hockey coach in Amherst, NY.

History: Christian has been involved in HTNG for the last 5 years and has been involved in multiple workgroups such as Fiber to the Room, Central Authentication, Personal Area Networks, IoT, Hotel Systems Dashboards, CBRS and the Global Strategy Team. Christian has attended most of the North American HTNG events since 2014.

Why do you wish to serve? Christian would like to be considered as part of the vendor advisory council to help provide advice from a VOIP and Network integrators point of view and ensure that HTNG is actively incorporating this guidance into its workgroups and strategy. From his experience Christian can help bring a perspective from an integrator and help remove roadblocks to implementing recommendation from various workgroups.