Our board represents leaders in the gay and lesbian tourism industry and come from all over the world. If you are
interested in how our board operates or want more information about becoming a board member, please e-mail
Click here to review the Board of Directors meeting notes.
Click here to review the IGLTA ByLaws.
Juan P. Juliá Blanch is the founder and owner of Axel Hotels. AXEL HOTELS is a small
specializing in the LGBTQ+ community. “It all started with a dream… to open a hotel for
world, my world”. Each of its hotels provides a setting where ambience, diversity and
are highly valued. Axel Hotels provide accommodation with a professional and
service, anticipating the needs of their guests for the purpose of ensuring their
Hotels knows and vitalizes the local gay scene and offer their guests information and a
heterofriendly environment. Each of its hotels are places where diversity and respect
valued. Axel Hotels is a hotel chain aimed at the LGBTQ+ public,but, above all, it is a
respectful space, where diversity and respect are highly valued and two men, two women,
or a man
and a woman are equally welcome. Any person regardless of his/her sexual orientation is
welcomed, valued and respected. For this reason, Axel Hotels does not wish to define as
because Axel Hotels represents much more, for which it has coined a new term:
space aimed at the gay public but open to everyone. Axel Hotels was founded in 2003 with
opening of the first Axel Hote in Barcelona. Juan Juliá has been involved in the gay
since early thirties when he opened the Axel Barcelona. Juan has also being engaged with
young entrepeneurs as mentor and giving lectures in different conferences and
Email Juan Julia
Jon Muñoz is Vice President of global diversity and inclusion for Hilton. Muñoz leads
diversity management strategies focused on culture, talent and marketplace. Muñoz is
for leading external engagement with diverse strategic non-profit partners, consulting
internal diversity stakeholders, launching and executing team member resource groups
and developing diversity training initiatives.
Prior to joining Hilton, Muñoz served in diversity roles for Sprint and marketing roles
Nextel Communications, Bank One Corporation (now JPMorgan Chase) and NationsBank (now
Muñoz actively serves in numerous leadership positions of diverse non-profit
including Friends of the American Latino Museum (FALM), League of United Latin American
(LULAC) Corporate Alliance, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored
(NAACP) ACT-SO Advisory Council, the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce
Corporate Advisory Council and the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC)
Executive Corporate Advisory Board.
Email Jon Muñoz
Colombian LGBTQ+ Chamber of Commerce
Felipe is the Co-Founder & CEO of the Colombian LGBTQ+ Chamber of Commerce where he
board & operations for 160+ members and 15+ corporate partners in Colombia. He
the organization internationally and ensures the consolidation of its portfolio geared
membership, partnerships, events, and certifications. Felipe has more than 10 years of
experience leading high performance teams, both in physical and virtual environments at
local, national and international level. He is also an advisor to different entities in
America and Europe about growth, organizational development and foreign trade. He is an
entrepreneur interested in senior management, business development & LGBTQ+
speaks three languages and was recognized with an IGLTA Honor - leadership in Networking
the 2015 Annual Global Convention in Los Angeles.
Email Felipe Cardenas
Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board
Don Skeoch is Chief Marketing Officer for the Los Angeles
& Convention Board, the organization responsible for marketing and promoting Los
a top global destination for leisure and business travel. In 2016, Los Angeles welcomed
47.4 million visitors, making it one of the most visited destinations in the world. Los
is projected to have another record year in 2017, with approximately 49 million
Renowned both nationally and internationally as a global brand
marketer and strategist, Skeoch leads L.A. Tourism's global brand strategy,
innovation initiatives, as well as the global marketing and communications functions. He
oversees offices and representation in 12 countries including the U.S., the U.K.,
China, Japan, S. Korea, India, Mexico, Australia, Brazil, Gulf/Middle East, Scandanvia,
Skeoch is a member of the U.S. Tourism Marketing Advisory
(BrandUSA), the California Tourism Marketing Advisory Board as well as a former
member of the San Francisco Travel Association. He also is an Executive Board member of
largest non-profit law firm, Levitt & Quinn Family Law Center, which provides legal
to the working poor.
Email Don Skeoch
American Society of Association Executives (ASAE)
Dan Melesurgo is the Vice President, Strategic Partnerships for ASAE: The Center for
Leadership. As part of the leadership team, he is responsible for the management
strategic direction of the Alliance Partnership Program. This program was created
provide the industry partner community with opportunities to align itself with ASAE
customized marketing platforms. These comprehensive bundled packages are designed
assist industry partners in building and maintaining year round relationships with our
plus members in 50 countries.
He also works closely with the Global Development Team at ASAE as the organization seeks
the leader in developing/tailoring and delivering products and services to different
around the world.
Prior to joining ASAE, Mr. Melesurgo was the founder and principal of Plural Solutions,
provided marketing solutions to destination marketing organizations and the association
community. He has also held executive leadership positions with the Canadian
Commission and the Puerto Rico Convention Bureau. Earlier in his career he was
part of the
opening team at the Hotel InterContinental Los Angeles and held senior positions with
and Wyndham Hotels & Resorts.
Mr. Melesurgo currently sits on the board of directors for the International Gay &
Travel Association (IGLTA) and is part of the executive committee currently serving as
Chair. As an active member of the Professional Convention Management Association
he has served in a variety of committee leadership and task force capacities.
Email Dan Melesurgo
Center for Black Equity (CBE)
Earl is the President/CEO of the Center for Black Equity
CBE membership is comprised of indigenous Black LGBTQ+ Pride and other Community Based
Organizations in nearly 40 U.S. cities and eight countries around the globe. Over
and women attend Black Prides domestically each year. CBE was started as the
Federation of Black Prides in 1999 to organize Black Gay Pride events around the world.
became the CBE in 2012 to broaden the scope of its work in the Black LGBTQ+ community.
previously worked in the hospitality industry for fifteen years as a hotel manager for
Westin, Novotel and Sheraton Chains. His experience in hospitality, event planning and
destination travel has provided a unique lens to view the travel industry, especially
perspective of a person of color.
Email Earl Fowlkes
Apoorva Gandhi is Vice President for Multicultural Affairs for Marriott International,
dedicated and proud straight ally to the LGBTQ+ community. At Marriott, he shapes and
externally focused global strategy to build loyalty and preference from all diverse
for the Marriott portfolio—including all of their diverse LGBTQ+ guests, families and
His responsibilities bridge most of Marriott’s business units and he often engages with
company’s public affairs stances and their steady support for LGBTQ+ equality and
consistently earns a 100% perfect score on the HRC Corporate Equality Index, a signal of
strong global policies. This year, significantly, Marriott was among the first
first global hotel leader—to endorse the historic United Nations LGBTQ+
Conduct for Business, aimed to tackle discrimination globally against Lesbian, Gay, Bi,
and Intersex People. Apoorva recently served on the board of directors for
for the families, friends and co-workers of LGBTQ+ people everywhere and twice was named
co-chair for the annual PFLAG Straight for Equality Gala held in New York City
Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau
Moved to the United States from London in 1982, and after a successful career in
Banking on Wall Street in 1991. He changed careers and entered the world of LGBTQ+ travel,
The Royal Palms Resort in Fort Lauderdale. The Royal Palms became the global standard
gay accommodations and took gay lodging to the luxe level.
In 2012 he was appointed Managing Director for the LGBTQ+ market at the Greater Fort
Convention & Visitors Bureau. The only CVB in the US with a full time designated
whose sole responsibility is the LGBTQ+ market and with a budget that exceeds $1 million.
position was a natural succession for me as in 1996 I created the GFL CVB’s LGBTQ+
initiative, and became their LGBTQ+ liaison.
He joined IGLTA in 1991 and in 1993 and was elected to the IGLTA Board for four
and served on the Executive Board as Vice President and Treasurer. In 1997 he received
President’s Award and in 2001 was inducted into the IGLTA Hall of Fame.
Email Richard Gray
Hotel Granvia Kyoto
Ms. Shiho Ikeuchi, Director of Overseas Marketing at the Hotel Granvia Kyoto, Japan, has over
of professional experience in the hospitality industry, with an extensive and diverse
background in hotel and restaurant operations, sales, and marketing. Over the past few
Ms. Ikeuchi has been aggressively involved in the development of LGBTQ+ tourism in Japan,
steadfastly works to increase the number of national IGLTA (International Gay &
Travel Association) members.
In coordination with her team at the Hotel
, Ms. Ikeuchi was instrumental in creating the ‘Same-Sex Wedding
March 2014. At present, same-sex marriage is not legally recognized in Japan, and the
wedding venues that accept ceremonial same-sex couples is very limited. As the direct
Ms. Ikeuchi’s keen insight and continuous efforts, Hotel Granvia Kyoto was the very
in Japan to officially announce the acceptance of same-sex weddings – a true feather in
of the hotel that has been highlighted by numerous international and domestic media
This exclusive three-night package offers LGBTQ+ couples from around the world a rare
to experience an authentic traditional Japanese wedding, and it attracts not only
international travelers but also domestic couples in Japan.
In her role as the Director of Overseas Marketing, Ms. Ikeuchi’s unwavering focus towards
attracting and satisfying the special needs of LGBTQ+ travelers, as well as her tireless
towards organizing the involvement of local communities and governments – are talents
truly deserving of exceptional applause.
Email Shiho Ikeuchi
Uwern is the Editor-in-Chief for OutThere Publishing. He has
the OutThere brand from its inception to what it is today, a leading luxury and
travel journal and portal for the high-end gay traveller segment driving audience
what is now over 250,000 people in 20 markets across the globe. In addition, Uwern has
exponentially grown the brand commercially and OutThere is now the flagship title within
portfolio of five publications. An avid traveller, Uwern's reach extends across the
is particularly engaged in Southeast Asis in his capacity as Luxury and LGBTQ+ Travel
for the Kingdom of Thailand.
Email Uwern Jong
Pride World/The Isramworld Portfolio of Brands
Richard is the President for Pride World/The Isramworld
Brands located in New York, NY. With a background spanning more than 20 years in the
industry, Richard has had a broad range of experience. His early career was spent as a
Travel Advisor in New York City. From there, he moved into agency management and
South Florida. During these years he opened PrideWorld, an LGBTQ+ tour operator/travel
Post September 11, he also did consulting and management work focusing on agencies that
looking to evaluate their position in the market and expand, merge, sell or close. In
was asked by the owner of The Isramworld Portfolio of Brands to move back to New York to
with him on expanding into new markets and destinations as well as placing a fresh focus
PrideWorld. In 2013 he took on the leadership role as company president, overseeing all
of the portfolio and its five hallmark brands.
Email Richard Kreiger
Delta Air Lines
Steven has more than 20 years in the travel industry spanning
wholesale and airline. He currently serves as the Director of Sales, Canada for Delta
He oversees the leisure and corporate segments of the market as well as acting as the
'voice and face' for the brand via sponsorship, partnership and community outreach.
Steven is a
former co-owner and founder of OUT Adventures, a proud member of IGLTA that ahas run
LGBTQ+ tours worldwide since 2008. He also previously let Intrepid Travel Canada, a small
adventure tour operator specializing in Asia, Africa and Europe; served as Vice
Sales of G Adventures, the world's largest independent small group tour operator, and
senior sales roles with Virgin Atlantic Airways and Singapore Airlines.
Email Steven Larkin
Oriol Pamies is a Spanish entrepreneur, LGBTQ+ activist and LGBTQ+ tourism expert. In 2014,
attended his first IGLTA Annual Global Convention in Madrid just as he was beginning his
startup, an LGBTQ+ social network that he wanted to connect to the LGBTQ+ tourism
connections were an integral part of his new company’s success and now Moovz has more
million LGBTQ+ users.
Pamies also develops innovative marketing strategies for tourism destinations around the
particularly in Latin America and spends his time expanding Moovz globally, speaking at
conferences and consulting on LGBTQ+ tourism. He wants to focus on IGLTA’s Latin American
expansion, connecting the organization and its members to the latest online marketing
reinforcing the association’s B2C value.
The Godfrey Hotel Chicago
Sandi Robinson serves as Director of Sales at The Godfrey Hotel Chicago, overseeing the
and the sales team at the property, as well as day-to-day operations. Robinson joined
team prior to the property’s opening in 2014 as the Senior Events Manager and was then
into her current role. In 2017, Robinson was awarded HSMAI’s Director of Sales and
the Year, which recognizes excellence, creativity, and leadership in hotel sales. With
than 20 years in the hospitality industry, Robinson has mastered the craft of executing
successful events and finds the most joy in her work when her clients are happy with
celebrations and meetings.
Before joining The Godfrey team, Robinson served as the executive events manager for the
Hotel and Spa. In her four years at that property, Sandi focused on corporate events for
Sky Lounge, where she increased sales by 60 percent during her first year. Prior to the
Hotel, she worked in event sales for several brands, including the Four Points by
Chicago, Holiday Inn Hillside, and Spirit of Chicago.
Robinson prides herself on being an integral part of the Chicago community in hospitality
beyond. She is a Board Member Emeritus for the Lesbian Gay Bisexual & Transgender
Commerce, serves as a Choose Chicago Ambassador, and is a Co-Chair of the Greater North
Avenue Association Lights Festival Committee.
Monaco Goverment Tourist Office
Maria G. Tuttocuore is the Senior Executive of Sales & Marketing for the Monaco
Tourist Office. Originally from Sicily in Italy, she arrived in the United States as a
student at Mount Holyoke College in 1997. After graduating from college, she started
the travel industry in Italy and never looked back. Tourism became such a passion that
returned to the U.S. to pursue a master’s degree in Tourism and Travel Management at New
University. She gained further experience with the Leading Hotels of the World and the
State Department of Tourism. She did some consulting for NYU and PhoCusWright before
joining the Monaco Government Tourist Office where she covered a range of positions
landing her current role.
Maria conceives, plans and implements marketing efforts for the Principality of Monaco in
America, working closely with the travel advisor community, agencies, suppliers and
partners to deliver an effective message across business-to-consumers and
channels. Her strong digital background and analytical skills have played a significant
developing the online presence of the Principality of Monaco. She has also been a strong
advocate for Monaco to join IGLTA and pursue an LGBTQ+ marketing strategy to position the
Principality as an open and welcoming destination for all.
When she is not at work, she enjoys the company of her wife Laura Fantini, contemporary
travel, tennis, bike spinning and olive oil. Her family back in Italy produces EVOO and
recently pursued the Olive Oil Sommelier Certificate Level 1 at the International
Center in New York.
Email John Tanzella
1201 NE 26th Street Suite 103
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33305