Eric Danziger is the chief executive officer of Trump Hotels, the world-renowned luxury hotel brand and management company, and is responsible for the strategic direction, growth and performance of the business. With more than 45 years of experience in the hotel business, Eric, who started as a bellman at The Fairmont San Francisco at the age of 17, has served as the head of several of the industry’s leading hotel companies. He joined Trump Hotels following roles as President and CEO of Starwood Hotels, President and COO of Carlson Hotels Worldwide and President and CEO of Wyndham Hotel Group.
Dr. Rick Garlick is the Global Travel and Hospitality Practice Lead at J.D. Power. He is responsible for providing industry thought leadership to the company’s clients in the hotel, destination, rental car, airline, and cruise line industries, as well as for creating new products and revenue opportunities to grow the practice.
Greg Fisher is CEO and co-founder of TripShock, an activities and tours OTA based out of Santa Rosa Beach, FL. Managing a high volume Destin hotel allowed Greg to focus on Customer Service, and to gain unique insight as to where the travel industry was heading. In 2009, Greg was approached by a respected charter fleet owner in Destin to assist in creating a reservation system. His hard work and dedication quickly got the attention of the local tour operators in Destin Harbor and beyond. The company now operates in 7 different destinations along the northern Gulf Coast with over 175 tour operators participating in the program.
Dr. Aurora Dawn Reinke is a passionate and dynamic speaker and consultant who specializes in sustainability for the hospitality industry. Aurora launched Astrapto LLC to help owners and management teams with practical and strategic approaches to sustainability and corporate responsibility. Aurora’s favorite quote, from Fernando Trias de Bes, is “Better a mediocre idea with brilliant execution than a brilliant idea with mediocre execution.” She believes sustainability strategies are generally straightforward, but require dedication and diligence to come to fruition. Her services and tools turn sustainability from a lofty idea to a feasible reality.
Kelly Harvel, CHA is a life long hospitality professional with experience in all levels of the lodging industry, from local operation to national branding. He currently serves as President/COO of V&S Hospitality Management – a Full Service Hotel Management Company with a focus on operational customer excellence based in Palm Harbor, Florida.
David Durko is Founder, CEO and Chief Compliance Officer of Security Validation, the Hospitality Industry’s leading Managed Security Provider. Prior to founding Security Validation, David was responsible for navigating Wyndham through their data security challenges culminating in Wyndham’s first successful PCI Compliance Filing in 2010. David continued to work with Wyndham achieving compliance again in 2011. During this period David was responsible for Security Compliance and Management of Wyndham’s portfolio of more than 6,000 franchised / owned and managed properties.
Dee Ann is a business leader, best-selling author and speaker. She started her career at Chick-fil-A in 1985 as an administrator in the Human Resources department. Selected as Chick-fil-A’s first female officer in 2001, Dee Ann has led various areas of the business including Human Resources, Franchisee Selection, Culture, Learning and Development, Talent Management and Talent Acquisition. She currently serves as the Vice President of Enterprise Social Responsibility.
Lina Patel’s goal is to climb mountains and her passion is to serve. Born and raised in India, Lina immigrated to the United States in the early 80’s with her parents. She grew up working in the hotel, cleaning rooms, doing laundry, working front desk shifts, and even mowing the lawn. She remembers coming home after school and immediately racing to the hotel lobby to begin her shift.
RJ Friedlander is the Founder & CEO of ReviewPro, the world leader in Guest Intelligence for the hotel industry. He recently negotiated the sale of ReviewPro to Shiji Group, a publicly traded company that is 15% owned by Alibaba and one of the largest hospitality technology companies in the world. Prior to ReviewPro, Friedlander worked extensively in the Internet and technology sector in Europe, US and Asia and spent 10 years at Grupo Planeta where he was the CEO of the Group’s Digital Media Division.
Paul H. Ingebretsen is a paragon of the hospitality industry. Through a career spanning four decades mostly in Latin America, he rose through the corporate ranks from Dishwasher to President. Iconic five-star hotels and resorts on four continents have benefited from his results-oriented leadership, and his excellency has allowed Paul the opportunity to host and serve over 100 heads of state, Fortune 500 CEO´s and celebrities throughout his distinguished tenure.
Dina Patel, CHO was born in Bardoli, India, and immigrated to USA with her family in 1988, when she was 10 years old. Two years later, Dina’s parents bought their first independent motel in San Antonio, Texas. From day one, Dina helped out in every part of the motel.
Miraj S. Patel, CHIA, CHO is a highly motivated young professional who is currently pursuing a B.S. in Hotel & Lodging Management at Johnson & Wales University. He is the President & CEO of Houston, TX based, Mirage Hospitality, and he has spoken at various business, educational, social and legislative conferences.
Rupesh is the CEO of 3Hospitality and SmartGuests.com, and he operates award winning hotels in the Daytona Beach area. Known for his out of the box, innovative thinking, Rupesh has incorporated his marketing and design background into hospitality industry to deliver simple ideas that bring smiles to guest’s faces and drive revenues for his hotels.
Biran has been an AAHOA member since 2001, Lifetime Member since 2008, and proactive leader since 2010. He now serves as North Texas Regional Director and previously was an Ambassador.
Martin Owen joined the industry as a travel agent specializing in corporate travel, before working in reservations and sales for an international airline. He moved back into agency management eventually managing a chain of travel agencies in London. In 1983, he joined Travelbag, a small company of 12 people selling discounted air tickets to Australia. He was part of the ownership team that grew the company to 400 people as a major long-haul tour operator. Travelbag also ran its own charter flight operation with daily flights to Australia from the UK, and owned a tourist ranch and hotel in Central Australia.
Susan Pannozzo, CHA, CHT brings over 30 years of experience to the hospitality industry. She started her career as a Guest Service Representative, working her way up through multiple departments to eventually the role of General Manager. After 14 years in hotel operations, Susan joined the corporate office of IHG in 2000 as Quality Consultant, later transitioning to the IHG Training Department where she managed the quality and service training programs for the Americas Region up until February of 2017.
The Lodging Leaders Podcast: Powerful Business Strategies for Hotel Professionals - 22 February 2017
Erik is a hotel technology marketing specialist, with deep experience across global markets with solutions such as revenue management, online distribution and property management. Erik started his career in hotel management, then shifted to technical roles in solution consulting and delivery, before specializing in sales and marketing leadership.
Rajiv Bhatia, M.S., CHA, CHE, CRME is CEO of FairBridge Hotels International, a promising franchise system with 43 properties providing an attractive alternative to legacy franchise models. Prior to his appointment as CEO of FairBridge, Rajiv served as leader of the Knights Inn Brand of the Wyndham Hotel Group. Throughout the last decade he was responsible for brand operations, property openings, design and development, franchise services, quality assurance, training, development financing and marketing. During his tenure at Wyndham, Mr. Bhatia served as president of the company’s Villager brand from 2003 until it merged with the Knights Inn brand in September 2004. Prior to his role as brand president, from 1996 until 2003 Mr Bhatia supported the Hotel Group’s worldwide master licensing efforts for several Wyndham brands including Howard Johnson, Days Inn, and Super 8 while working across five continents and numerous international destinations.
Ron Whitfield is an Executive General Manager with ResortQuest by Wyndham in Destin Florida. He earned his Associate of Arts Degree from the University of West Florida and a Bachelors of Science in Hospitality Administration from Florida State University with an emphasis in Resort and Club Management.
Tarun S. Patel is a second generation hotelier and entrepreneur specializing in Hospitality Management and Development, Deal Structure, Finance and Accounting. He’s Principal of Pacific Hospitality Company, and Founder and CFO of Pracrea Inc, a Silicon Valley based startup offering software-as-a-service solutions used by commercial real estate brokers and owners to manage the sale of their listings and properties. Their solution, TheHotelInventory.com, provides a virtual meeting place for hotel buyers and sellers that helps hotel sellers and brokers market their properties, and hotel investors find their next investment.
Joann V. Saucier, Ed.D. has 30 years experience in hospitality/tourism, government, education, and real estate management. She served as Director of Operations and Senior Regional Manager, ResortQuest, Destin, FL 1985–2005, and went on to serve as a Management Consultant for several companies and organizations, including the Greater New Orleans Hotel & Lodging Association.
Dr. Joseph Hegarty M.Ed., Ed. D is an educator, author, and international consultant. He has 35+ years experience as a professional manager with innovative organizations including, international and local hotels in management/proprietorship, a full academic career in professional vocational & higher education institutions, and as a published hospitality & culinary education researcher. He holds a Doctoral Degree in Education from University of Sheffield. A Masters Degree in Education from Trinity College Dublin and a Diploma in Hotel Management from Shannon College of Hotel Management.
The Lodging Leaders Podcast: Powerful Business Strategies for Hotel Professionals - 28 December 2016
Dr. Kate Price-Howard has 30 years experience in the fields of hospitality and commercial recreation. Her work experience includes recreation positions on board cruise ships, hotels, summer camps, psychiatric units, nursing homes, and serving as Director of Recreation for several Florida resorts. In 2001, she founded Go Play, Inc., providing recreation consultation to resort and property management companies, corporate team building, and special events. She has taught more than 600 students that have come through her company as recreation interns.
The Lodging Leaders Podcast: Powerful Business Strategies for Hotel Professionals - 21 December 2016
Kerry V. Ranson is Chief Development Officer, Business & Acquisitions, for HP Hotels – a Birmingham, Alabama-based 3rd party management group with a portfolio of over 30 hotels in 12 states comprised of Hilton, Marriott, InterContinental, Choice, and Independent full-service and select-service hotels. Kerry is also the outgoing Chairman of the Board for the IHG Owners Association.
The Lodging Leaders Podcast: Powerful Business Strategies for Hotel Professionals - 14 December 2016
Atul G. Patel, CHO is a second generation hotelier. He and his family moved to the United States in 1979 and settled in Tifton, GA, where his family bought their first independent hotel. After learning the trade in the family business, Atul went on to earn a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Emory University, and a Master’s Degree in Finance Georgia State. He now has an interest in seven properties, and he and his partners manage a portfolio of five.
Amanda is an entrepreneur, speaker and consultant who helps corporations develop strategies around attracting, retaining and engaging top millennial talent. She has spoken to Millennials over 800 times in the last 5 years. In fact, one group of college students dubbed her the “Millennial Translator” after speaking to them, so clearly she understands, and knows how to connect, with this generation.