RSS 2017 Speakers

Michael J. Bellisario
Senior Equity Research Analyst
Robert W. Baird

Brian Berry
Senior Vice President of Sales and Revenue Management
Host Hotels & Resorts

Patrick Bosworth
CEO and Co-Founder

Abid Butt
AB Ambassadors

Sundeep Chanana
Internet & Software Investment Banker
Horatio Partners

Cindy Estis Green
Co-Founder and CEO
Kalibri Labs

Nathan Crisp
Vice President, Managed Services and Customer Success, Americas

Kathleen Cullen
Senior Vice President Revenue & Distribution
Two Roads Hospitality

David Eisen
Questex Hospitality Group

Dawn Gallagher
Executive Vice President of Sales & Marketing
Crescent Hotels and Resorts

Krissy Gathright
Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
Apple Hospitality REIT, Inc.

Al Genin
Senior Vice President, Revenue & Ecommerce
Great Wolf Corporate

Danny Hughes
Senior Vice President & Commercial Director, Americas
Hilton Worldwide

Shaun C. Kelley
Managing Director & Senior U.S. Gaming, Lodging & Leisure Equity Research Analyst
Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Michael Levie
Chief Operating Officer

Lee McCabe
Vice President, North America
Alibaba Group

Steven Nicholas, CHA
Principal & Executive Vice President
Noble Investment Group

Chris Nixon
Ashford Group of Companies

Karen O’Neill
Vice President, Sales & Marketing
StayNTouch Inc.

Michael Saylor

Stacy Silver
Silver Hospitality Group

Ron Shah

Dori Stein

Robert D. Tanenbaum
Executive Vice President, Asset Management
Park Hotels and Resorts

Maxine Taylor
Senior Vice President, Asset Management,

A limited number of 2016 speaker slots are now available.Be a 2017 Speaker

Michael Bellisario is Baird’s senior analyst covering Real Estate – Hotel REITs & C-Corps. Prior to joining Baird in 2010, he was a research analyst at Crist|Kolder Associates, LLC and a trading assistant at SKTY Trading, LLC. Michael received a BS in Finance with Highest Honors from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and an MBA from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business with concentrations in Finance and Managerial and Organizational Behavior.

Brian Berry is Senior Vice President of Sales and Revenue Management for Host Hotels & Resorts, the largest lodging real estate investment trust and one of the largest worldwide owners of luxury and upper upscale hotels. Brian has over 20 years of Revenue Management experience and is responsible for providing strategic leadership to over 120 hotels on four continents. He specializes in market and industry analysis, optimization technology, strategic deployment, marketing and distribution. Prior to joining Host, Brian held regional and corporate management positions with ITT Sheraton and Starwood Hotels in both North America and Europe. Brian is a graduate of the Cornell University Hotel School and Johns Hopkins University Carey Business School. He serves on numerous industry and education advisory boards including Marriott’s Distribution Advisory Council, HSMAI Americas Board and Chief Revenue Officer Council, AH&LA Customer Innovation Council, and DePaul University School of Hospitality Leadership.

As Co-Founder and CEO, Patrick drives vision and growth at Duetto. With over a decade spent in the hospitality, non-profit and government sectors, he has brought entrepreneurial insights to organizations and established them as industry leaders and innovators. Previously at Wynn Resorts, and with consulting clients, Patrick realigned strategic marketing functions to maximize profit. While in the public sector, he drove modernization of financial reporting standards, unchanged since the 1950s, making labor unions more accountable to their members.

With more than 30 years of global experience in the hospitality industry, Abid Butt has a keen knowledge of organizational design and implementation supporting balance score card. He is known as a compassionate and results driven professional who believes anything is achievable. His strategic acumen and drive to innovate has been instrumental in the launch of several hospitality brands; Four Points, Angsana, Dhawa and Cassia.

Abid Butt most recently served as Chief Executive Officer of Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts. In his capacity as CEO, he was accountable for service delivery mechanism; creating memorable guest experiences and delivering brand promise while developing an infrastructure to facilitate the company’s growth. He was part of the asset management team of Host Hotels & Resorts, prior to his recent assignment with Banyan Tree, where he was responsible for the preservation and asset enhancement of a group of hotels. Currently he is part of Georgetown University faculty and consults for industry organizations.

An engaged professional dedicated to making a difference, he has been an ambassador for the industry and has frequently spoken at global conferences and served as an advisor for several industry organizations. He received an honorary Doctorate of Business Administration in International Hotel and Tourism Management from Johnson & Wales University. He holds a Master of Science in Real Estate from Johns Hopkins University, a Master of Business Administration from University of Phoenix, San Diego and double Bachelor of Science degrees in Food Service Management and Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management from Johnson & Wales University.

Sundeep Chanana began his career with Jefferies where he worked with technology companies on their M&A transactions, private placements, IPOs, follow-ons, and high yield offerings. More recently he launched Horatio Partners, which is an M&A and growth equity boutique HQ in NYC. The firm largely represents high growth, category leaders across several technology sub sectors, including travel:tech / hot:tech / hospitality software.

Cindy Estis Green’s career began in corporate marketing and senior operations roles for Hilton International. After founding the data mining consultancy, Driving Revenue, and selling it to Pegasus Solutions, Ms. Green spent twelve years as managing partner of The Estis Group providing strategic marketing consulting to the hospitality industry. Co-author of the groundbreaking 2012 study Distribution Channel Analysis: A Guide for Hotels and the newly released 2017 Demystifying the Digital Marketplace: Spotlight on the Hospitality Industry, Estis Green has been honored as one of the 25 Extraordinary Minds in Sales and Marketing by HSMAI, the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International; was inducted into the prestigious Hospitality Technology Hall of Fame; and named as one of Cornell University’s 90 Influential Hotelies.

She is currently leads the AH&LA Consumer Innovation Forum, the European Hotel Forum, and holds a board seat for The Knowland Group as well as the Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals association (HFTP). Ms. Estis Green launched Kalibri Labs in 2012, a firm providing a next generation benchmarking platform to evaluate hotel revenue performance. Using innovative big data techniques, Kalibri Labs helps hotels manage the cost of customer acquisition and optimize profit contribution. Estis Green holds a BS degree from Cornell University and an MBA from The American University.

In one year at Duetto, Nathan Crisp has made a major impact on the company¹s growth by driving the strategy on several key projects, including the launch of new products and key integrations. His newest role is overseeing Managed Services, Duetto¹s virtual RM program that provides hotels with top-tier Revenue Strategy assistance.

At Duetto, Crisp leans on his 17 years¹ experience in various hotel roles, including operations, revenue management and system integrations. He¹s had campaigns with many of the major brands, including Hilton, Starwood and InterContinental, as well as positions with Preferred Hotel Group and Synxis. Most recently, Crisp spent five years developing and executing strategies surrounding Trump Hotels' revenue management, loyalty and distribution.

Kathleen’s passion for hotel revenue management shows in the Two Roads Hospitality portfolio’s consistently positive year over year market share growth. She has a unique ability in understanding people’s strengths and lining them up with hotel needs, ensuring that the overall revenue team is set up to drive optimal market share. Always nimble, she has a strong sense of when and how to quickly apply changes needed to ensure continued success. Change management has become a big part of her job over the years ensuring that the company continues to remain cutting edge in revenue management and distribution.

As Senior Vice President of Revenue & Distribution for Two Roads Hospitality, she is charged with the overall revenue strategies and increasing hotel market share for the portfolio, optimizing the company’s revenue management foundation and culture for all brands including the organizational set up, expert human resources and deployment, technology platform, tools and connectivity.

In addition to her day job, Kathleen has been an active member of HSMAI since 2005, serving as the Chair for the Revenue Management Advisory Board in 2014 and 2015. Kathleen is the author of the first industry, best-selling, revenue management publication, “Defining Revenue Management: Top Line to Bottom Line” published by HSMAI in 2006; followed by two editions of “Evolving Dynamics of Revenue Management”, published in 2010 and 2015.

David Eisen is editor-in-chief of the Questex Hospitality Group, whose titles include Hotel Management magazine. His responsibilities include overseeing print and digital direction, and leading content creation for events and conferences under the Questex umbrella. Prior to joining Questex, he was hotel editor at Business Travel News. David has a master's degree in hospitality industry studies from New York University’s Preston Robert Tisch Center for Hospitality, Tourism, and Sports Management. He frequently presides over and moderates panels and roundtable discussions on global hospitality investment, development and other industry trends and topics.

Dawn Gallagher is an accomplished Sales and Marketing Executive with extensive experience in multiple markets, as well as in both branded and independent hotels. As Executive Vice President of Sales & Marketing, Dawn oversees all Crescent Sales, Marketing, Public Relations, Revenue and Digital Strategies. Prior to joining Crescent Hotels and Resorts, Dawn served as the Senior Vice President of Sales & Marketing at Interstate Hotels where she was responsible for all Sales, Marketing and Revenue for all independent hotels in NYC, Interstate owned assets, as well as other priority projects. Dawn is a key asset to Crescent Hotels and Resorts as she provides knowledge of successful hotel openings, brand transitions and the ability to drive market share.

Krissy Gathright has served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for Apple Hospitality REIT since its inception. Mrs. Gathright served as EVP and COO for Apple REIT Ten until its merger with Apple Hospitality REIT in September 2016. In addition, she served as EVP and COO for Apple REIT Seven and Apple REIT Eight until their mergers with Apple Hospitality REIT in March 2014. She served as COO and SVP of Operations for Apple Hospitality Two until it was sold in May 2007, SVP of Operations for Apple Hospitality Five until it was sold in October 2007, and EVP and COO of Apple REIT Six until it was sold in May 2013. Prior to managing these companies, she served as Assistant VP and Investor Relations Manager for Cornerstone Realty Income Trust. From 1996 to 1998, she was an Asset Manager and Regional Controller of the Northern Region Operations for United Dominion Realty Trust. From 1994 to 1996, she served as a Senior Staff Accountant at Ernst & Young LLP. Mrs. Gathright serves as President of the Courtyard Franchise Advisory Council and on the Consumer Innovation Forum of the American Hotel and Lodging Association. Mrs. Gathright holds a Bachelor of Science degree, Graduate with Distinction, in Accounting from the McIntire School of Commerce at the University of Virginia.

Recently appointed Senior Vice President & Commercial Director for Hilton Worldwide in the Americas, Daniel (Danny) Hughes brings more than 30 years of hospitality experience to this role. He sits on Hilton’s Commercial Services Leadership Team with the goal of bringing all functions of commercial services together for the benefit of customers, owners and the company.

In his previous position, Danny served as senior vice president, Caribbean, Mexico and Latin America, where he was responsible for the operations of all Hilton Worldwide corporate owned or managed properties throughout the Caribbean, Mexico, Central and South America. Additionally, he also played a key role in the company’s expansion and development plans, leading a number of milestone openings, including: Hilton Garden Inn Santiago Airport - the company’s first hotel in Chile and the Hilton Garden Inn brand’s first hotel in South America; Hilton Bogota in Colombia - the first Hilton Worldwide managed hotel in the city; Hilton Garden Inn Tucuman, the first for the brand in Argentina; Hilton Lima Miraflores - the first Hilton Hotels & Resorts hotel in Peru; and Waldorf Astoria Panama, representing the Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts expansion into Latin America.

Danny was also directly involved in securing new growth opportunities and maintaining the robust development pipeline in the region, confirming projects in key cities and resort destinations throughout Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Costa Rica, Mexico, Panama and Uruguay.

Earlier in his career with Hilton Worldwide, Danny held the role of area vice president, Caribbean, Central America, and Cancun, during which he contributed to an array of success stories, from new hotel openings to major makeover campaigns. He also worked in several management positions across the globe, serving as vice president of sales and marketing, regional general manager, general manager, director of food and beverage, and director of sales.

Danny received a degree in Hotel and Food Services Management from Bournemouth University in the UK. He currently resides in McLean, Virginia.

Shaun C. Kelley is a Managing Director and senior U.S. Gaming, Lodging & Leisure equity research analyst at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, responsible for primary coverage of 30 hotel, casino, hotel REIT and gaming equipment companies.

Shaun has been a sell-side research analyst for 12 years, ranking #2 in the 2012-2016 All-America Research polls conducted by Institutional Investor, and ranking in the top 3 since 2010. Shaun was also ranked #2 in Greenwich Associates’ 2010-2014 U.S. Research Ranking and was #3 in 2009. Prior to covering the Gaming & Lodging industries, Shaun worked as a retailing analyst covering specialty apparel, department store and luxury goods retailers.

Shaun began his career with four years as an Investment Banking analyst and associate, in the technology, media and telecom industries primarily at JPMorgan. Shaun graduated summa cum laude from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with Bachelor of Arts degrees in Political Science and Economics.

Upon graduating from Essec Mba in hospitality management (IMHI Cornell / Essec), worked for various international hotel chains including Sonesta International Hotels Corporation and NH Hoteles all over the world. As Vice-President of Operations he managed large hotel portfolios. Michael also worked for SynXis, where he started and headed up the European office. Michael Levie is currently a founding partner and in charge of operations at citizenM hotels.

Lee is driving growth in North America by helping businesses of all size capitalize on cross border trade and unlock global opportunities. As Vice President at Alibaba Group, Lee leads the company’s operations and development across North America. As leader of this effort, Lee works closely with all verticals to set the course for how to best utilize Alibaba Group’s family of brands and services.

Prior to joining Alibaba Group, Lee was Global Head of Vertical Strategy at Facebook. He has also held roles with Expedia, eBay, Telstra and Warner Music.

LSteven Nicholas is a principal with responsibility for maximizing value at both the property level and fund level by providing senior asset management leadership.

Mr. Nicholas has more than 20 years of hospitality industry experience and joined Noble as a partner in 1997.

Mr. Nicholas received a B.A. Hotel Administration from Cornell University and an M.B.A from the Goizuetta Business School at Emory University. He serves as the President of the Hotel Asset Manager Association (HAMA) and on the executive board of the Georgia Hotel and Lodging Association. Mr. Nicholas is also a member of multiple Marriott Advisory Boards and is a former president of the Georgia chapter of the Cornell Hotel Society.

Karen O’Neill spent 15 years with MICROS Systems, Inc. as Vice President, Hotel Sales & Strategies where she worked closely with many of the leading global hotel chains, independent properties and management companies on their technology strategy, system selection, and deployment. Karen defined the strategy, assisted in developing the global infrastructure and sold more than 28,000 Opera System installations for hotels, resorts, and casinos in 180+ countries, on all 7 continents. In her last couple of years at MICROS, Karen lead the closing of several new accounts based in North America, which today generate $100+ million a year in combined annual revenue.

Ron is the founder and CEO of Bizly, the next-generation corporate platform for managing small meetings and events. Prior to Bizly, Ron was a venture capitalist for 15 years, most recently the founder and managing director of Jina Ventures where he accomplished several IPOs and strategic exits. He was an on-air expert contributor on CNBC's "Trading the Globe" for three years. Ron has his MBA from NYU Stern and lives in New York City.

Stacy Silver is president of Silver Hospitality Group. Prior to launching Silver Hospitality Group, she served as executive director, business development and sales for Questex Hospitality Events. Silver has held increasingly influential positions throughout her career with two of the industry’s leading media companies, serving in such capacities as vice president, publisher, executive director events and executive director digital media, for Hotel Business (ICD Publications) and Hotel Management (Questex Media Group).

A 25-plus year hospitality publishing veteran, Silver has a long track record of creating successful online and print marketing collateral and events for the hospitality industry. She is a leader in multiple industry fundraising activities for charitable organizations and served as a board member for the Latino Hotel Association and was a charter member of the International Society of Hospitality Purchasers among other industry organizations. She currently serves as a Director for the Common Thread for the Cure as well as part of Cornell University School of Hotel Administration’s Innovation Network Advisory Board.

Silver is a frequent speaker at major industry events. A native of New York, she holds a Bachelors degree from SUNY Oneonta.

Dori is one of the founding partners and CEO of Fornova. He is an esteemed entrepreneur, successfully starting 2 start-ups – both in which he was responsible for international strategy as well as business development.

He started at Fornova in its early days as VP of Business Development. Just after selling his first company he was actively looking for a company that was hoping for assistance in funding as well as someone to join the team. Dori says on the matter; ‘When I was first introduced to the people at Fornova I knew instantly I had met a winning team. I was amazed at the technology that was being developed, knowing that it addressed a real need in many verticals, since joining it has been an amazing journey.’

Robert Tanenbaum is the Executive Vice President, Asset Management of Park Hotels and Resorts (NYSE: PK), a real estate investment trust with 67 properties and over 35,000 hotel rooms.

Robert served most recently as the Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President – Asset Management at DiamondRock Hospitality Company (NYSE: DRH) from 2013 until September 2016. Prior to his tenure at DiamondRock, Robert was the Principal of Madison Hotel Advisors LLC, a specialized asset management firm dedicated to value optimization for hotel owners from 2004 to 2013. He partnered with Goldman Sach’s Whitehall Fund in their acquisition and ownership of a 23-hotel Wyndham portfolio and oversaw their 3,500-room Hawaii and Caribbean portfolio, while also working with additional clients including the owner of the Waldorf Astoria Chicago.

From 1996 until 2004, Robert served as Vice President of Asset Management with Host Marriott Corporation (now known as Host Hotels & Resorts Inc. (NYSE: HST)). During his tenure at Host, Robert was responsible for the repositioning of many assets and optimizing investor returns through a focused approach on operational excellence.

Before joining Host, Robert served at PKF Consulting in San Francisco. He performed appraisals and feasibility studies for hotels, conference centers, and entertainment venues, as well as developed strategic plans for several US Air Force bases. Robert began his career in the hospitality industry with Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts working in Chicago and then Maui. He was a member of the opening management team for the Four Seasons Resort Wailea working in all areas of the rooms division including housekeeping, guest services and the front office.

Robert graduated with High Distinction from the Pennsylvania State University with a Bachelor of Science in Hotel Restaurant and Institutional Management. He is a member of the Hospitality Asset Managers Association (HAMA) and previously served four years on its Board of Directors as its Treasurer.

Maxine Taylor brings 30 years’ hospitality industry experience to her role as Senior Vice President at CHMW, including luxury hotel operations, international consulting and hotel asset management. Based in San Francisco, she is responsible for overseeing a portfolio of hotels located in major markets on the west coast and in Hawaii. As asset manager, Maxine serves as fiduciary and owner representative for owner-related decisions and activities, management oversight, capital expenditure operation and budget review, disposition responsibility, renovation programming and oversight, management contract negotiation and investment strategies. She has a solid track record in the turnaround of underperforming assets and strategic repositioning of big-box hotels and resorts. She is a regular speaker at industry events, and is involved in a number of hospitality organizations, including serving on the Board of Directors as Vice President for the Hospitality Asset Managers Association. Prior to Maxine’s hospitality career, she spent three years in the military stationed overseas in Korea and Germany as a telecommunications specialist.

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