Presenting Friday May 5th, 2017
Roger Dow leads the U.S. Travel Association, the Washington, D.C.-based organization representing all segments of travel in the United States - an industry that generates $2.1 trillion in economic output and supports 15.1 million jobs. U.S. Travel's mission is to increase ravel to and within the United States.
U.S. Travel champions a pro-competition, pro-growth, pro-traveler agenda and advocates for policies that reduce barriers to travel and travel infrastructure in the United States. In addition, the association provides essential research, such as the monthly Travel Trends Index, and engages, connects and informs the travel industry at events year-round.
Dow was instrumental in establishing Brand USA, the highly effective national promotion program, which was reauthorized through 2020 by Congress.
In 2014, Dow launched Project: Time Off, a multifaceted, research-driven initiative aimed at shifting American culture so time off is understood as essential to personal well-being, professional success, business performance, and economic expansion. This new venture builds on other successes during Dow's tenure, including the growth of U.S. Travel's annual IPW international marketplace, which generates $4.7 billion in direct bookings to U.S. destinations over the following three years.
Prior to joining U.S. Travel in 2005, Dow advanced through the ranks at Marriott International in a tenure spanning 34 years, where he rose to senior vice president of global and field sales. He has held seats on the boards of ASAE, ASAE Foundation, PCMA, MPI Foundation, GWSAE, the Travel Institute, RE/MAX International and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Committee of 100.
Presenting Friday May 5th, 2017, 9:00am-10:15am
David Downing is the President & CEO of Visit St. Pete/Clearwater, which is the official Destination Marketing Organization for Pinellas County, the most popular destination on America’s Gulf Coast. Downing oversees more than 40 full-time in-house staff, along with international sales and PR representation in the United Kingdom and Central Europe, and an annual operating budget of more than $25 million. He has helped lead Visit St. Pete/Clearwater into record-breaking Tourist Development Tax collections. He also sits on both the Visit Florida and U.S. Travel Association’s media advisory boards. Before joining Visit St. Pete/Clearwater in 2007, he worked in tourism marketing and publishing in New York City for more than a decade, first with Fodor’s/Random House and then at Zagat Survey.
Presenting Friday May 5th, 2017, 10:30am-12:00pm
George A. Kalogridis is a veteran of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, currently overseeing a workforce of 74,000 Cast Members at four theme parks and 26 resort hotels, all in Orlando, Florida. He also serves on the boards of the Metro Orlando Economic Development Commission Governors Council, The Florida Council of 100, Out & Equal Workplace Advocates and Give Kids the World.
From 2009 to 2013, Kalogridis served as president of the Disneyland Resort, where he led more than 25,000 Cast Members at the Disneyland Park, Disney Californian Adventure Park, the Disneyland Hotel, Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, the Paradise Pier Hotel and Downtown Disney. During his tenure as president of the Disneyland Resort, he was active in the community in California, serving on CHOC Children's Hospital Board of Directors, the Board of Directors of Children's HealthCare of California, the Out and Equal Board of Directors, California Travel and Tourism Commission, Irivine Center for Global Leadership and UCI's Paul Merage School of Business Dean's Advisory Board.
He began his career at Walt Disney World in 1971 as a busboy a the Contemporary Resort. During his tenure, Kalogridis has held numerous executive positions, gaining a breadth of experience from all aspects of the operation. He holds a bachelor's degree in sociology from the University of Central Florida. George and his partner, Andy Hardy, reside in Orlando, Florida.
Presenting Friday May 5th, 2017, 9:00am-10:15am
Rick Kriseman was sworn in as the 53rd mayor of St. Petersburg, Florida on January 2, 2014, ushering in a new era for the Sunshine City.
As mayor, he leads an organization of nearly 3,000 employees, governing more than 250,000 residents.
Prior to becoming mayor, Rick Kriseman served for six years in the Florida House of Representatives and as his caucus's policy chairman from 2011-2012. From 2000-2006, he represented District 1 on the St. Petersburg City Council and served as the council chairman in 2005.
Mayor Kriseman earned a B.S. in broadcasting from the University of Florida and a J.D. from the Stetson University College of Law. He is married to Kerry, a St. Petersburg native, and they have two children, Jordan and Samuel. Together, the Krisemans serve as a volunteer puppy raiser family for Southeastern Guide Dogs.
Presenting Friday May 5th, 2017, 1:45pm-3:00pm; Saturday May 6th, 2017, 9:30am-10:15am
Pastrana ranks among the most influential tech women on Twitter, according to Business Insider. She is a two-time TEDx lecturer and four-time speaker at Campus Party and Aldea Digital. She has worked as aproducer and director for Nerdcore Podcast, the technology show with the largest audience in Mexico, and has written tech columns for numerous media outlets. Pastrana is a professor of business strategy for the Institute of Technology and Higher Education, Platzi. She has worked on digital strategies for corporate clients ranging from Telmex and Telcel to Nike, Reebok, Speedo and Nine West and spoken before the Mexican Senate on entrepreneurship. She is also part of numerous LGBT visibility efforts.
Presenting May 6th, 2017, 10:30am-11:15am
Meg Cale is an LGBT advocate and community educator. After finishing her MPA and research practicum focusing on LGBT urban youth policy, Meg went on to inform educational programming at three of the largest LGBT nonprofits in the US. Meg’s first book, “Slacktivist: Using Digital Media to Create Change” will be released in 2017. Meg’s LGBT subject matter expertise has been featured in Cosmopolitan Magazine, Go Magazine, Out Traveler, Gay Star News, Matador Network, Elite Daily, Korea Observer, and India's The Quint. Her passion lives at the intersection of travel, queer culture, and new media. Follow her on Instagram @MegCale or check out her blog DopesontheRoad.com.
Presenting: Friday May 5th, 2017, 1:45pm-2:45pm
Karen Christensen has served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Overseas Citizens Services since August 2014.Most recently, Ms. Christensen was the Minister Counselor for Consular Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Berlin where she coordinated consular operations at several posts in Germany. Prior to that, she was Consul General in Manila. She has also served in Washington within the Bureau of Consular Affairs in the Visa Office and the Office of the Executive Director. Overseas, she has served as a consular officer in London, Bucharest, Warsaw, and Seoul. Other Washington tours include serving as an instructor in the Consular Training Division and a Career Development Officer in the Bureau of Human Resources.
Presenting Friday 5th, 2017, 1:45pm-2:45pm
Peter De Wilde leads VISITFLANDERS, the official tourism board of Flanders and Brussels. Flanders, the northern part of Belgium, and its capital Brussels are famous for its rich art and heritage, amazing gastronomy, fashion and cycling. VISITFLANDERS is part of the Flemish Government and supplies the necessary support to render the tourist offer more attractive, stimulates the professionalisation of the tourist sector, promotes Flanders and Brussels internationally as a top tourism destination and stimulates holiday participation (social tourism).
Before he became VISITFLANDERS' CEO in 2009, Peter De Wilde was a researcher and professor of the French language and French medieval literature at the University of Antwerp, where he obtained a PhD in the Arts, Romance Languages and Literature in 2000.
In 2003 he became head of the Culture Department of the Province of Antwerp and in 2007 Chief of the Cabinet for Culture & Tourism of the City of Antwerp. Since January 2014 he is also president of the European Travel Commission.
Peter Jordan has emerged as one of the travel industry's leading specialists on Millennial consumers, the emerging markets and their effect on the dynamics of global tourism. He is an avid follower of tourism trends and works extensively in industry education and forward planning for destinations and travel brands around the world. Peter is a Milennial traveler himself and has visited over nearly 40 countries, researching and observing the ways in which his generation is changing the travel industry and how the travel industry can capitalise on those changes. He also applies this knowledge in his role as Senior Tourism Analyst with the destination marketing agency Toposophy. His previous career experience incldes the United Nations World Tourism Organization and the World Youth & Student Travel Confederation. In addition to his work on emerging markets, he has authored a wide range of travel trends reports including the UN's first ever report on LGBT travel which has gained global recognition for its pioneering content and educational value. In recent years, Peter has delivered Keynote presentations on NextGen travel trends at industry events in Berlin, Manila, Sydney, Tokyo and the prestigous Global Tourism & Economic Forum in Macau. Originally from the UK, and a fluent speaker of French and Spanish, Peter is currently based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
Presenting Thursday May 4th, 2017, 3:30pm-5:00pm
Juan P. Juliá Blanch is the founder and owner of Axel Hotels. AXEL HOTELS is a small hotel chain specializing in the LGBT community. “It all started with a dream… to open a hotel for the GLBT world, my world”. Each of its hotels provides a setting where ambience, diversity and respect are highly valued. Axel Hotels provide accommodation with a professional and personalized service, anticipating the needs of their guests for the purpose of ensuring their loyalty. Axel 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 are valued. Axel Hotels is a hotel chain aimed at the LGBT public,but, above all, it is a free and 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 gay, because Axel Hotels represents much more, for which it has coined a new term: heterofriendly. A space aimed at the gay public but open to everyone. Axel Hotels was founded in 2003 with the opening of the first Axel Hote in Barcelona. Juan Juliá has been involved in the gay Community since early thirties when he opened the Axel Barcelona. Juan has also being engaged with the young entrepeneurs as mentor and giving lectures in different conferences and universities.
Presenting Friday May 5th, 2017, 9:00m-10:15am; Friday May 5th, 2017, 1:45pm-2:45pm
Brian King leads a team of commercial service professionals whose mission is to optimize demand, drive revenue and deliver a seamless experience for customers across all of the company's sales channels, whether in-person or online. His digital portfolio encompasses Marriott.com, which accounts for $12.3 billion in gross annual revenues; the Marriott Mobile app, which increased sales by 55% in 2015; and the company's relationships with online intermediaries such as Expedia and Google. Brian also has responsibility for Global Sales, the team who looks after the company's largest multinational accounts representing $15 billion in worldwide sales; Customer Care Centers, whose agents engage with 44 million customers annually; and Revenue Management, who set room rates and drive revenue using "part art, part science" to forecast demand.
He began his Marriott career in 1988 at the Residence Inn in Milwaukee, Wisconsin (USA). Since then, he has held a range of executive positions across the company, including leadership roles in brand management, revenue management, reservations, regional operations, and regional sales and marketing. Previously, he held operations management roles for the Six Flags Corporation, and held multiple positions with Allen & O'Hara, LLC's hospitality management division. Brian resides in Washington, D.C., with his husband.
Presenting Saturday May 6th, 2017, 11:30am-12:45pm
Billy Kolber graduated from Yale with a B.S. in biology. In his senior year, he was elected Business Manager of the Whiffenpoofs, and organized their traditional round-the-world tour. Upon his return, he started a career in travel, managing the American Express travel agency in New Haven, Connecticut. He left American Express to co-found OUT&ABOUT, the ground-breaking gay travel newsletter and website, which he sold to PlanetOut.com in 2000. A true renaissance man and entrepreneur, he has worked as a commercial photographer, chocolatier, top-selling Avon Representative, author and guest experience consultant. He is a recreational baker, and the only person to have twice won the Water Island Pie Contest (with his Banana Cream Pie). Billy has visited 58 countries, but still lives in Manhattan, where he was born. Billy is Vice President of the Yale Alumni Association of New York, and is the creator and chair of Foodtober, a month of food-related events and activities benefitting the Yale Sustainable Food Project and local NYC food non-profits.
Presenting Saturday May 6th, 2017, 10:30am-11:15am
David Paisley has been with Community Research & Insights for 24 Years. He coordinates the company's quantitative and qualitative client research projects and professional educational programs. Paisley's work represents a wide variety of corporate, nonprofit and government entities including Wells Fargo, Target Brands, Aetna, Northstar Memorial Group, Prudential Financial, NYC & Co., Chicago History Museum, WNBA, E&J Gallo Winery, Kaiser Family Foundation, American Cancer Society and the United States Census Bureau. He is also a featured speaker at LGBT sales and marketing conferences, and conducts training webinars for corporations throughout North America and beyond. He lives in both San Francisco and Palm Springs.
Presenting Friday May 5th, 2017, 4:30pm-5:30pm
Oriol is an entrepreneur, LGBT activist, and prominent digital influencer. As part of his role as VP Business Development at Interacting Technology, he helped find Moovz, an LGBT social network that aims to create a supportive and respectful global online community. With more than 2M users around the world and especially expanding rapidly in the US and LATAM, Moovz has been the perfect space to develop innovative travel marketing strategies that make him a key expert when it comes to connecting leading travel destinations and hospitality business with the evolution of the digital world.
Presenting Saturday May 6th, 2017, 9:30am-10:15am
Gustavo is Director at LATITUDE, the public relations agency managing Puerto Vallarta’s PR campaign in the US and Canada. In his 14 years in the public relations field he has worked on PR and marketing campaigns as well as crisis management for clients as diverse as the Mexico Tourism Board, Chef Patricia Quintana, the Ritz-Carlton, the Four Seasons hotels and the OCVs of Quito, Morocco, Zambia, Cancun, Los Cabos, Puerto Vallarta and Acapulco.
At LATITUDE he has successfully developed and executed representative campaigns for the tourism ministries of Guatemala and Ecuador which have included events with consumers, trade, media and a social media marketing. He also headed a marketing campaign to promote nine countries in Asia called Asia Now.
His main account at LATITUDE is Puerto Vallarta where he is responsible for strategy development and positioning of the destination in top tier, MICE, and trade media. During his tenure, the account has seen profitability with an ROI of 300 USD and increasing the account from a media relations account to a truly 360 account. He also headed the committee that brought NATJA to Puerto Vallarta for its 2015 conference.
Gustavo has a Master’s Degree in Journalism and Communications from Ithaca College and Cornell University. He is bilingual in English and Spanish.
Presenting Saturday May 6th, 201, 9:30am-10:15am
André Rojer is the Marketing Manager, North America for the Curaçao Tourist Board, based out of the Miami, Florida office. Rojer, a Curaçao native from the small neighborhood of Barber, on the rural western side of the island, has worked with the Curaçao Tourist Board for seven years.
He previously served as the Marketing Coordinator in the Northeast U.S. office, as well as the Sales and Marketing representative in Miami. Rojer has also worked on behalf of the private sector of tourism for four years at the Curaçao Hospitality and Tourism Association (CHATA) in Curaçao. Rojer’s education includes Hotel and Restaurant Occupational Education and Tourism Management.
Thomas Roth, President and Founder, launched Community Marketing, Inc. in 1992, and has served as its President for over 20 years. Tom and his team have developed a spectrum of products and services to skillfully lead the company's global clients to their goals. Tom is now primarily dedicating his industy-leading expertise to head up the Community Marketing & Insights division, which produces the annual LGBT Community Survey, as well as custom consumer research studies for a variety of market leaders. Tom engages in strategic consulting to CMI's diverse cllients in tourism, hospitality, banking, retail, pharmaceutical, beverages, real estate, insurance, government, etc., and conducts educational seminars for corporations and organizations.
Presenting Friday May 5th, 2017, 1:45pm-2:45pm
Commissioner Patty Sheehan was first elected to the Orlando City Council in 2000. She was the first openly gay elected official in Central Florida, where she championed non-discrimination ordinances and the domestic partner registry. She was a first responder during the Pulse tragedy. Commissioner Sheehan has been recognized multiple times as Best Elected Official. She was in Orlando Life Magazine’s Top 25 Inflectional Women, was awarded the Diversity Champion Award by the Asian American Chamber of Commerce, and was recognized as a Woman of Distinction by the Girl Scouts of America, Citrus Council. The commissioner served as President of the Colonialtown North Neighborhood Association and is a former administrator with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. She serves her constituents full time and is a huge proponent of the arts and culture in Orlando. She lives in a 1928 bungalow home with her rescue puppy Sienna, diva kitty Nina Simone, and her mini flock of urban chickens.
Presenting Thursday May 5th, 2017, 3:30pm-5:00pm
John Tanzella is the President/CEO of the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association. Founded in 1983 with 25 members, IGLTA has grown into the leading global organization dedicated to LGBT tourism. Since his arrival in 2005, IGLTA membership has increased to more than 75 countries. Prior to joining IGLTA, Tanzella has worked for Delta Air Lines, the Washington D.C. Convention Bureau, and the Human Rights Campaign. He was born in Massachusetts, attended the University of Georgia, lived for three years in Italy and now resides in South Florida. In addition to serving on both the IGLTA Board and the IGLTA Foundation Board, he also serves on the National Stonewall Museum & Archives Board, the advisory board for Atout-France (the National Tourism Office of France), and the LGBT advisory board for Belmond.
Moderating Friday May 5th, 2017, 1:45pm-2:45pm
Daniela Wagner is Director of International Partnerships of Connecting Travel, the new global business community for the travel & tourism industry launched by the Travel Weekly Group. She has a demonstrable track record of outstanding achievement within the travel industry and has applied her entrepreneurial and interpersonal skills very effectively in large corporate and start-up environments. Fluent in both German and French, she has an extensive network of top-level industry contacts around the globe. Daniela is also the Director for Europe, Middle East and Africa for the Pacific Asia Travel Association, driving strategic relationships with international institutions and private companies. In addition, she coordinates European PATA chapters, recruiting and retaining members, managing key events (including the PATA Advocacy dinner) and securing sponsorships.
Photo by: Visit St. Pete/Clearwater
IGLTA 33rd Annual Global Convention. Copyright © 2017 IGLTA. All rights reserved.