IGLTA Foundation Leadership Think Tank
Uniting industry leaders for a more inclusive tourism sector
The IGLTA Foundation's Leadership Think Tank is a pioneering initiative that brings together the most influential executives from LGBTQ+ welcoming companies and destinations worldwide to discuss the most pressing issues facing LGBTQ+ tourism and the communities it impacts.
Through a collaborative and inclusive approach, the Think Tank harnesses the collective expertise of industry leaders to identify and tackle key challenges facing LGBTQ+ tourism. By pooling their knowledge, resources, and networks, the Think Tank seeks to create a more inclusive and welcoming tourism industry for LGBTQ+ travelers.
The Think Tank is a unique platform for executives to exchange ideas, insights, and best practices, as well as to develop innovative solutions to the challenges facing the LGBTQ+ tourism sector. By engaging with a diverse range of perspectives, the Think Tank is able to create a more holistic and nuanced approach to LGBTQ+ tourism.
At the heart of the Think Tank's mission is a commitment to thought leadership. The Think Tank seeks to drive change in the industry by generating new ideas and perspectives, and by promoting best practices that can be adopted by other industry players.
The Think Tank's impact is felt not just within the tourism industry but also in the wider LGBTQ+ community. By addressing issues that impact LGBTQ+ travelers, the Think Tank is helping to create a more inclusive and accepting world for all.
The IGLTA Foundation's Leadership Think Tank is a testament to the power of collaboration, thought leadership, and a commitment to creating a more inclusive world. By bringing together top executives from around the globe, the Think Tank is paving the way for a brighter future for LGBTQ+ tourism and the communities it impacts.
Past Think Tanks
2022 IGLTA Foundation Think Tank
The IGLTA Foundation's third Leadership Think Tank took place during the 38th IGLTA Global Convention, presented by Simpleview and hosted by Google. This exclusive roundtable united C-Suite thought leaders from LGBTQ+ welcoming travel businesses worldwide to discuss the topic of LGBTQ+ tourism in destinations lacking the necessary infrastructure to support LGBTQ+ travelers. The roundtable explored strategies for promoting emerging destinations as LGBTQ+ travel hotspots while ensuring the safety and inclusivity of LGBTQ+ travelers. The discussion aimed to contribute to global efforts towards creating a more welcoming and secure environment for LGBTQ+ travelers.
Sean Howell | Co-Founder, Buffalo Market
Sean Howell serves as the CEO of the LGBT Foundation, a not-for-profit organization with the mission to utilize blockchain technology to achieve equal rights and acceptance for all members of the LGBT+ community worldwide. He is currently Chairman and one of the founders of Hornet, a gay dating and social network, where Sean helped the company grow its user base to 25 million and its editorial division to become the largest global LGBT+ newsroom at Hornet, Howell also oversaw the company's corporate responsibility efforts under Hornet impact, organizing social justice and health related activations. Prior to Hornet, Sean Howell was a fellow of the World Affairs Council, as well as a Trustee and President of the Young Professional International Network. He has helped numerous organizations leverage technology to expand their impact through his work with the MSM Global Forum along with serving on various nonprofit boards and committees including UNAIDS, E-CDC, PFLAG and chair of the center for public health and human rights at Johns Hopkins university. He is a founding member of the UN Global Coalition for HIV prevention and technical advisor to UNDP’s LGBTI inclusion index. He has published scientific papers and is the principal investigator in the upcoming UNAIDS global study on LGBT wellness.
Amine Gabbouj | Coordinator, IGLTA Foundation
Amine Gabbouj is committed to promoting equality and advocating for LGBTQ+ tourism in developing destinations. He serves as the coordinator of the IGLTA Foundation, leveraging his expertise in international tourism management to drive positive change in the industry.
Amine holds a Master's degree from the Higher International Institute of Tourism in Tangier, where he honed his skills in tourism management. He recently graduated from CETT, an affiliate of the University of Barcelona, where he completed the first-ever LGBTQ+ tourism master's program in history.
Amine is committed to creating a more inclusive and welcoming tourism industry for LGBTQ+ travelers, particularly in emerging destinations where infrastructure and awareness are lacking. Through his work with the IGLTA Foundation and beyond, he is dedicated to driving progress and promoting positive change in the industry.
2021 IGLTA Foundation Think Tank
The IGLTA Foundation's second Leadership Think Tank, presented in conjunction with The 37th IGLTA Global convention with support from Simpleview and King & Spalding, united top executives from LGBTQ+ welcoming travel businesses and institutions around the world to discuss the intersection of LGBTQ+ tourism and equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) initiatives. The conversation explored how the tourism industry can become more welcoming and inclusive for LGBTQ+ travelers and how this effort aligns with broader EDI goals. Participants exchanged ideas on strategies to create safe and welcoming spaces for all tourists, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. By collaborating and focusing on these issues, the industry can bounce back stronger and more welcoming to all travelers.
BIlly Kolber | Co-Founder and CEO, HospitableMe
BIlly Kolber is a renowned voice in the LGBTQ+ travel segment, and a global innovator in inclusive hospitality. As the Co-Founder and CEO of HospitableMe, he and his team provide inclusive hospitality strategy and training for tourism, retail and healthcare organizations around the world, helping them provide a more respectful and inclusive welcome to diverse customers, patients and guests. Their clients include some of the world’s most respected and powerful brands, including Booking.com, NYC & Company, The Kering Group, Discover Puerto Rico, The Travel Corporation, AIG Travel, and Greater Fort Lauderdale CVB.
Billy has a degree in Biology from Yale University, but has spent his entire career in travel, running an American Express travel agency before launching OUT&ABOUT, the first gay and lesbian travel magazine in the USA. He launched ManAboutWorld Magazine in 2012, one of the first built-for-mobile magazines of any kind, and HospitableMe in 2017. Currently, he and the HospitableMe team are launching a new curriculum: Everyone Welcome: Seven Secret Principles of Inclusive Hospitality. This innovative approach to diversity, inclusion, equity and belonging empowers hospitality providers to provide more personalized, authentic and considerate service to all guests, through the lens of 14 different forms of diversity/identity.
Billy traveled and sang around the world with the Yale Whiffenpoofs, was a top selling Avon Representative for a decade (including 4 years as #1 in Avon’s Manhattan headquarters district), and is a two-time annual Pie Contest champion in Water Island. He served on the board of Yale.NYC for seven years, plus four years on the Yale Alumni Board of Governors, and is the only two-time recipient of a Yale Alumni Leadership Award. A 3rd generation native New Yorker, he has visited 74 countries, and currently lives with his husband in Frankfurt, Germany.
Jamie Anne Harrell | Emory university's Goizueta Business School
Jamie Anne Harrell (she/her) is the business intelligence and data analytics lead at Emory university's Goizueta Business School, where she earned her MBA in 2016. Jamie leads the financial reporting and analytics department at Goizueta, and is responsible for the school’s operational data analytics strategy.
With over 20 years of experience in the hardware and software industry, Jamie has held VP positions in two public companies and has co-founded and sold two self-funded software startups. Jamie was the first openly transgender graduate of Emory University’s Goizueta Business School. She is a keynote speaker on diversity. Her DE&I speaking events have included moderating Goizeuta’s Out in Business panel, and keynote sessions at the Atlanta Women Who Code affiliated conferences. Notably, she was the keynote speaker at The Center for Civil and Human Rights / LGBT Institute’s Diversity in Business Forum in 2017. In 2018 Jamie received the prestigious Atlanta Business Chronicle inaugural Diversity and Inclusion award for Outstanding Voice, and in 2019 she was named Transgender Advocate of the Year at Emory University. She currently serves as member at large on the Goizueta Business School Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Council. As a community organizer, she also volunteers to run the Atlanta Trans Social Group. Jamie was past PTA co-president at her daughter’s elementary school, is the proud parent of two wonderful daughters, Sparrow Nicole and Anna Christina Harrell. She is a self-produced musician with her debut instrumental album “Memories of Home” released on December 21, 2020.
Greg DeShields | Executive Director, Tourism Diversity Matters
Greg is a qualified Tourism/Hospitality and Academic Professional Certified Hospitality Educator (CHE) proficient in developing and implementing plans, strategies, and initiatives specifically designed to raise destinations image for diverse, multicultural travel. He is also an experienced Certified Diversity Executive (CDE), with demonstrated cultural competence, strategically positioned to assist organizations to remove systemic barriers to inclusion, lead culture change, and transform their brand. A longtime tourism and hospitality professional, Greg is a native Philadelphian with a passion for his work and is dedicated to giving back to the next generation of hospitality leaders. Tourism Diversity Matters is a new organization that was founded as the collaborative leader of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion initiatives and concepts that can address the blind spots of ethnic disparities and provide decision-makers in the tourism and events industry access, resources, and tactics to develop more effective Diversity & Inclusion strategies that will engage and retain a diverse workforce.
Zoe Moore | Strategic EDI Consultant, Grow with Zomo
A Strategic Equity, Diversity & Inclusion consultant, Zoe Moore is challenging the status quo across the hospitality, events and tourism industries. She is using her platforms to educate leaders about supplier diversity, inclusive organizational culture and diverse representation in leadership.
Zoe Moore resides in Smyrna, GA with her 18-year-old son, Jourden Moore of JEM Innovations. She loves homemade chocolate chip cookies, photography and traveling.
2019 IGLTA Foundation Think Tank
The first IGLTA Foundation Think Tank edition, presented with support from Miles Partnership and Google, centered on responsible tourism through the lens of LGBTQ+ welcoming travel. The roundtable brought together thought leaders from the travel industry to explore ways to promote responsible tourism practices while providing safe and welcoming experiences for LGBTQ+ travelers.
Daniela Wagner | Group Business Development Director at Jacobs Media Group & Director of EMEA, Pacific Asia Travel Association, (United Kingdom)
Daniela Wagner heads up the international team at Jacobs Media Group, the group’s international marketing services brand, providing strategic services, market intelligence, dedicated global events, networking and partnership building with companies wishing to target the UK travel trade, or for the UK businesses seeking to internationalise. Daniela 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. In addition to her role at Jacobs Media Group, Daniela is also Director for Europe, Middle East and Africa at PATA, responsible for driving strategic relationships with international institutions and private companies. She is also responsible for coordinating European PATA chapters, recruiting and retaining members, coordinating key events (including PATA Advocacy dinner) and securing sponsorship.
Fred Mayo | MBA, PhD, CHT, CHE
Fred Mayo, MBA, PhD, CHT, CHE, retired in December 2019 from fifteen years as Clinical Professor of Hospitality and Tourism Management at New York University. Before that, he ran his own consulting firm and was the dean of the faculty at The Culinary Institute of America for twelve years. His book Planning an Applied Research Project in Hospitality, Tourism and Sports Management was published in 2013 by Wiley; Modern American Manners: Etiquette Advice for Hosts and Guests was published in 2017 by Skyhorse Press. He has presented research on etiquette and soft skills at EUROCHRIE and lectured at etiquette dinners for a number of college program. Currently serving as Executive Director of Outreach and Partnerships (interim) for ICHRIE, he has been coordinating and presenting talks and workshops at ICHRIE for the past twenty-five years.
About the IGLTA Foundation
The IGLTA Foundation empowers LGBTQ+ welcoming tourism businesses globally through leadership, research and education. Founded in 2012, the foundation is the 501(c)3 public charity subsidiary of IGLTA and supports initiatives for industry organizations, leaders and communities to advance LGBTQ+ travel around the world.