Speakers

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Mohammed Ali

Founder
Austin VR Lap
Mohammed Ali was born in Columbia, SC and moved to Austin,TX at the age of 5. Mohammed is a serial entrepreneur and futurist. He has formed and operated several businesses in both the technology and entertainment production fields.

He most recently, in January 2016, founded Austin VR Lab which focuses on delivering Virtual Art, Commerce, and Experiences. Being raised in Austin, TX provided the perfect environment that has propelled him to achieve new heights in the ever evolving industry of Virtual Reality.

Mohammed is regarded as an expert in Virtual Reality production, distribution and education.  Past speaking engagements include keynotes, panels and educational summits at the Technologies Futures Conference, Global Volatility Summit, Destination Management Conferences, SciPy Conference, SXSW, for the US Armed Services (@BaseFEST); and many more!

08 February

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Sandy Biback CMP Emeritus, CMM

Founder
Meeting Professionals Against Human Trafficking (MPAHT)
Sandy Biback has been a member of the conference/business/event business for over 35 years.  She has, along the way, worked for planning companies, a hotel, and owned her own professional planning consulting company since January 1990.

Sandy has, for about 15 years, taught hospitality and conference management at a variety of Ontario Canada colleges, including George Brown and Centennial, and online for the University of Nevada at Las Vegas.  She has served on countless boards within professional associations, including being one of the founders of an independent planning consulting association in Canada (CanSPEP).   She has collaborated on industry text books that have been used in colleges and universities.  

Sandy has spoken at many industry events and has been published widely.  Along the way she has continued to learn and grow within her own profession.  She has won several awards for her work, her teaching, and her mentoring.  

Sandy officially retired in 2017.  Aligned with her retirement, she began researching the horrors of sex trafficking and realized it WAS happening in hotels at all levels; at conferences; at sporting events, etc.  She formed Meeting Professionals Against Human Trafficking (www.mpaht.com) as a grassroots organization with a group of passionate professionals, to create awareness and collaboration between planners and hotels.  Ultimately MPAHT wants to see every planner ask about training of every hotel they intend to use AND to see every hotel have training in place for all staff.

She recently moderated a session at http://untf.unwomen.org/en/news-and-events/stories/2018/02/conference-to-tackle-modern-slavery where she told the story of MPAHT.  

Sandy has been married to Stephen for over 50 years, has two grown daughters, and a teenage grandson.  She is grateful for the financial stability to allow her to do the work she is doing.  She can be reached at s.biback@sympatico.ca

09 February

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Kevin Brewer, DMCP

Leo Events
As co-founder of LEO Events, Kevin has over 25 years of diverse and progressive sales and marketing experience in the tourism, entertainment, and high-profile service industries. In other words, a whole lotta know-how for a whole lotta years in a whole lotta ways. He excels at strategic planning, marketing assessment, sales analysis, brand positioning, negotiating and product development. And a couple of times, he’s even done all of those things in one day.
Being in the business this long has afforded him many things. One of the most rewarding has been the opportunity to co-found and chair the Jay Uiberall Foundation. He’s also chaired, served, and continues to serve on various boards of many industry-leading organizations.

07 February

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Paul Cataudella

General Counsel and General Manager
360 Destination Group
Paul Cataudella is General Counsel for 360 Destination Group, as well as General Manager for 360 Destination Group’s San Diego, Palm Springs and Arizona offices.

As General Counsel, Paul is responsible for addressing existing and prospective legal matters, including contract drafting and negotiations, administration of human resources, risk management assessments, and application of trademark, copyright and trade secret law. As General Manager, Paul is responsible for managing daily operations by creating and sustaining efficient and effective business systems and procedures.

Prior to joining 360 Destination Group, Paul was the Principal Attorney of Cataudella Law, APC, a San Diego based law firm dedicated to providing business owners and their respective businesses with comprehensive legal services. Paul’s practice focused primarily on business law, labor and employment law, and intellectual property law matters, with an emphasis on commercial transactions and civil litigation.

Paul also served as an Adjunct Professor and Supervising Attorney at Thomas Jefferson School of Law. During his tenure, Paul lectured students on the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and oversaw the prosecution of hundreds of trademark applications performed by students of the Trademark Clinic at the Small Business Law Center.
Paul received his undergraduate degree, magna cum laude, from Arizona State University and his law degree, magna cum laude, from Thomas Jefferson School of Law. During law school, Paul served as an Editor on the Thomas Jefferson Law Review, became a Fellow of the Thomas Jefferson Intellectual Property Fellowship, and worked for esteemed government agencies such as the United States Attorney’s Office, Southern District of California, and the San Diego County District Attorney Office, Gangs Division.

Paul is a member of the Academy of Hospitality Industry Attorneys (AHIA) and the State Bar of California. He is admitted to practice before all Courts in the State of California, the United States District Court for the Southern and Central Districts of California, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

08 February

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Michelle Crosby DMCP CMP

Director of Global Sales
Hosts Global
From a young age, hospitality has been part of Michelle’s DNA. Upon graduating from Western Illinois University in 1995, she jumped head-first into the industry and began working for various major hotel chains. In 6 short years, Michelle built lasting customer relationships and learned key sales and business development skills.

In 2001, she received her first taste of the Destination Management industry. It was then that she realized her passion for creating unique event experiences that leave a lasting impression.

Michelle serves on a number of industry association boards as her way of giving back to the industry that has given her so much. When she isn’t making memories with her clients, Michelle spends her time relaxing outdoors with friends and family as well as cooking tantalizing meals for her husband and two dogs. Weekly photos of her latest dishes can be found on her personal Facebook page.

07 February

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David Diaz CIS CITP

PROCESA Event Management and Incentives
David Diaz has been involved in the MICE industry since 1998.He is Co-Founder at PROCESA Event Management and Incentives.He develops experiences for incentive travel, and is always looking for a match between the program, destination culture, and social responsibility.

He is a member and co-founder of AMDEMAC – a Mexican DMC Association – that helps Mexican DMC´s to become professionals by understanding the structure, quality of services, and roles as experiences developers.

Also has been speaker in several events for the MICE Industry in Latin America, India and Poland.


09 February

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Miek Egberts CMP

Owner and Managing Director
InspireME Monte Carlo
With more than 25 years of experience in the Hospitality and MICE Industry, and more than 1,000 unique incentive travel programs, deluxe leisure travel, weddings, product launches, conferences, Miek is one of Europe’s leading experiential event planners.

She has lived since her childhood in the Netherlands, Italy, Portugal, South of France, French Riviera and the Principality of Monaco –Living and experiencing different intercultural environments with other traditions, customs, habits and values.

Miek combines the typical international and innovative spirit of the Dutch, with the strength and open-mindedness of being a citizen of the world.

She is well known for her stylish and creative ideas, deep local destination knowledge and her special sense for all the wishes and needs of her clients.

Miek studied Business & Administration at the Hoge Hotelschool Maastricht in the Netherlands with a specialization in Tourism and Marketing.

She has an all-round experience in the hospitality and events industry as she has worked for various leading luxury hotels in the Netherlands, Monaco and Italy, as well as for a privately owned independent DMC leader in the Italian market, and managed a DMC in Monaco for one of the largest international Destination Management companies worldwide.

She holds a CMP and a CMM certification and is an active member of Site–Society for Incentive Travel Excellence. She is a holistic, humanist entrepreneur.

Miek has 2 children, a boy and a girl. She is currently living between Monte Carlo Principality of Monaco and, curiously, another city with the same name but located elsewhere: Montecarlo, Tuscany, Italy.

She has a passion for mindfulness, art, music, gastronomy, lifestyle & design, sustainability, producing wine, cultures, travel… and people!

09 February

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Terry Epton DMCP CIS CITE

Executive Vice President - Global Brand Ambassador
Hosts Global
Terry has been a DMC executive for 35 years, working out of the Hosts Global office located in his hometown of New Orleans.Terry was President of ADME in 2001 & 2002. He served for six years on the Site International Board and for eight years on the Incentive Research Foundation’s Board of Trustees.

Once named “Incentive Travel Personality of the Year” in Geneva at EIBTM, Terry is considered a leader in Destination Marketing circles and is well versed in domestic and international visitor marketing. Terry has served several terms on the New Orleans CVB Board (Now New Orleans & Company).  When hurricane Katrina struck, he was Chair-Elect and was sworn in as Chairman of the CVB shortly after the storm.  Terry was deeply involved in New Orleans’ post disaster brand restoration and rebuilding of the destination’s prominence in the Meetings and Conventions Industry.

With the CIS, CITE and DMCP designations, Terry Epton believes strongly in on-going industry education and community involvement.

08 February

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Airika Gigas

Vice President, Events
Leo Events
Since joining LEO Events in 2011, Airika has been responsible for the success of more than 500 events for clients such as AutoZone, Mid-America Apartments, Kowa Pharmaceuticals, Merkle Inc., Krone North America, The National Civil Rights Museum and more. As Vice President of Events, Airika is known for bringing her clients’ vision to life with her integrated approach, attention to fine detail, and gracious customer-service skills. She has been named a “Top 20 Event Pro to Watch” by Special Events Magazine, as well as a Rising Star by the Association of Destination Management Executives International.


08 February

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Kathryn Gleesing MBA CMP

President/CEO
Destination Management Connection
With over 30 years of combined meeting and destination background, 15 years at Visit Milwaukee as Director of Convention Services and 15 years as a meeting professional at an Educational Association, Kathryn took her love of the destination (Milwaukee) and her meeting planning background and started Destination Management Connection and is the President/CEO.

Kathryn has maintained her Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) designation since 1994, she is Past President of Event Service Professionals Association (ESPA) an active member of ADMEI, MPI, PCMA and is a ASAE Diversity Executive Leadership Professional (DELP) Scholar 2009-2011.

Her education includes an MBA from Ottawa University, a BS in Management with a minor in Sales and Marketing from Cardinal Stritch University.

Kathryn is married and has a daughter.The family enjoys traveling, kayaking and walking their rescue dog Abi.

08 February

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Bent Hadler DMCP CIS

Director and CEO
Hadler DMC Scandinavia
Once met, never forgotten. Bent Hadler DMCP CIS is a larger than life character, who is passionate about everything he does. He leads from the front, shoots from the hip and has a heart the size of Denmark. Having been in the hospitality industry for most of his life has taught him many of the unspoken secrets of the trade. As founder and CEO of Hadler DMC Scandinavia, it has since 1984 grown beyond the Danish borders and is today one of Scandinavia’s most exceptional leading DMCs – proven by becoming the first Accredited Destination Management Company in Europe, and to this day the only ADMC in Scandinavia.

Bent has served on countless boards as President such as SKÅL International Council and was the first non-North American President of Association of Destination Management Executives International, and is currently serving as President of the Danish Association of Conferences and Incoming Agencies. He is a firm believer practical education is the way forward, to create a strong independent team, who can handle emergencies and needs for personalized experiences. Therefore he is a strong advocate for hiring and training trainees first hand, and further, educate his staff with relevant industry certifications.

Besides his DMC, he also consults larger organizations, DMCs and destinations about experience economy, lead generation, sales techniques and optimization.

Bent is married and has a son. Bent loves hunting, training dogs, camping and solving client’s needs with a big smile. His work experiences ranges from frogman in the Danish military, to director of sales at IBM, Robert Bosch and Tivoli Gardens.
Bent is always looking to learn and share his knowledge. Feel free to reach out to him at bha@hadlerdmc.com



08 February

09 February

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Alton Hagen DMCP CMP

President and Founder
Agenda USA
Alton Hagen, CMP, DMCP is President and Founder of Agenda: USA. One of the first 200 meeting professionals to receive his CMP (Certified Meeting Professional) designation, Alton has been in the hospitality industry more than 40 years.

Alton spent the first 17 years of his career in Tourism, beginning as a Tour Manager leading special interest groups to destinations throughout the world. Then, in 1987 he began what ultimately became Agenda: USA, a full service, accredited, Destination Management Company that also operates its own fleet of chauffeured transportation vehicles in Kansas City.

Currently, Alton serves on the ADMEI Board of Directors as Treasurer.Alton and the entire Agenda: USA team believe strongly in supporting organizations that support the Hospitality Industry.



08 February

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Kasey Hunter

Manager, Event Sales
Leo Events
Born and raised in Memphis, Kasey brings her experience in nonprofit event management and her passion for detail and customer service to the Memphis-based LEO team. As Manager of Event Sales, she leads the overall DMC positioning with Memphis, writes DMC proposals, manages budgeting and recons for services, leads client site visits, and aids in executing DMC programs. Prior to joining LEO, Kasey worked for the Memphis Charitable Foundation, where she planned and implemented the organization’s two largest fundraisers, The Blues Ball (with more than 1,500 attendees) and The Jingle Bell Ball, a holiday dance for children.


08 February

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Diana Rogers Jaeger

Appreciation Consultant & Certified Trainer
Love to Appreciate Consulting
Diana Rogers Jaeger helps businesses harness the power of appreciation to achieve greater success. As a results-driven consultant and trainer, she specializes in working with organizations to drive employee engagement and to create a culture of appreciation that leads to improved morale, productivity, and retention.

As founder and owner of Love To Appreciate Consulting, Diana’s clients benefit from her more than 12 years of experience in the communications industry and her Master’s degree in adult and continuing education from the University of Oklahoma. Diana is a certified facilitator of the “5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace” and motivates individuals to show appreciation in ways that are both meaningful and effective.

She is a graduate of Leadership Oklahoma City's Signature Class 35 and LOYAL Class I and a recipient of the OKC Biz Forty Under 40 Award and the Journal Record Achievers Under 40 Award. She also serves on the Girl Scouts Western Oklahoma Board of Directors.
Diana is a wife and a mother of two young boys. She loves to collect experiences and journal about them which is why she trained 32 weeks to run her first two marathons in 2018.

09 February

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Joshua Jones DMCP

Regional President
Hosts Las Vegas
Joshua Jones, DMCP is has been in the Destination Management arena for 15 years. Joshua has helped produce thousands of events over the last decade and has a unique understanding of both Sales & Operations. Joshua’s philosophy of “All challenges are seen as Opportunities to Succeed” enables him to deliver top-notch service and build long-term relationships with clients and Strategic Partners. Josh is a believer in continuing education and industry leadership having served as President of the ISES Las Vegas Chapter, ongoing education with UNLV and The International School of Hospitality and involvement with ADME International. Joshua loves to golf, travel and laugh with this friends and family and of course spend time rough-housing with his two boxers, Layla and Dempsey.

08 February

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Robert Lee DMCP

Director of Sales
Spaintacular DMC

08 February

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Cindy Lo DMCP

President & Event Strategist
Red Velvet Events
When Cindy Y. Lo, DMCP started Red Velvet Events, a Global DMC Partner (RVE) 16 years ago, she did so with the mission to Outplan, Outplay and Outparty! RVE is a full-service creative events agency and Austin DMC. Cindy is a recent author of Behind the Red Velvet Curtain. Connect with RVE on all the major social media channels (@RedVelvetEvents) to see behind the scenes of what event life is like at RVE. Cindy calls Austin, Texas home with her husband of 14 years and their 2 children.

09 February

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Tony Lorenz CMM

Chief Executive Officer
PRA
Prior to his service to PRA, Tony has been a Founder of three event-focused businesses, most recently an award-winning online platform, BOB.tv – Best of Business, acquired by PCMA to drive PCMA’s global online strategy. Tony founded and then sold his successful business event marketing firm, ProActive, to Freeman, where he then led the global strategy and creative team at Freeman. Tony was a Co-Founder of rEvolution, the largest independent sports marketing firm in North America.

Tony is a graduate of Harvard Business School, and Indiana University, and has been a Board member across leading industry and civic organizations.

09 February

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Denise Malo DMCP

BBC Destination Management
Denise Malo, DMCP is Director of Operations for BBC Destination Management, a Global DMC Partner in New Orleans, LA.Denise has been a part of the BBC team for over 17 years, promoted to Director in 2004.However, she brings to the table over 25 years in the hospitality industry.
A graduate from University of New Orleans, Denise is a past President of the International Live Events Association (ILEA) New Orleans Chapter, past Co-Chair of the Special Event TSE Starts Here event, past nominee for ADMEI Destination Management Professional of the Year, and past board member of ADMEI Certification & Accreditation Board).Currently Denise serves on the Global DMC Partner Operational Excellence Committee.
Denise’s gifts in organization, attention to detail, logistical design and contagious enthusiasm have earned her a reputation for unparalleled excellence as an event planner.
In addition, she manages three (3) Operation Managers and along with the Director of Sales, David Rome, CMP, DMCP, manages the day to day operations of the entire BBC team as well as design studio creative team.

08 February

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Nicole Marsh DMCP CMP

Partner
Imprint Events Colorado
Nicole Marsh, CMP, DMCP is a partner of Imprint Events Colorado.Nicole previously owned The Arrangers, a 45-year old destination management company.Nicole began working at The Arrangers in 1998, purchased the company in 2000 and in early 2014 merged with a local entertainment and production company to create AXS Group.

A graduate from Colorado State University, Nicole is a past president of the Association of Destination Management Executives International (ADMEI), past Chair of ADMEI’s Certification and Accreditation Board, past chair of the Meetings Industry Council (MIC) of Colorado and also the Rocky Mountain Chapter of the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA).

Nicole has received many top industry awards including the ADMEI Destination Management Professional of the Year, a two time winner of the ADMEI President’s Award, a two time winner of Visit Denver’s Mile High Energy Award, MIC of Colorado’s Industry Leader Award and numerous PCMA Chapter Awards.She has also been inducted into the Colorado Meeting+Events Magazine Hall of Fame as Best Meeting Professional.The Arrangers was repeatedly listed on Colorado’s Top 100 Woman Owned Business List and is a past winner of CO Biz Magazine’s Top Company Award for the Hospitality Industry.

07 February

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Paul S. Mears, III

President
Hello! Destination Management
Paul grew up in Orlando, Florida. As a teenager he washed taxis and worked as a mechanic’s assistant in his family’s business, Mears Transportation Group (MTG). After high school he attended Georgia Tech, where he played Division I baseball and graduated with a degree in Industrial Management. Unwilling to part with his baseball dream, Paul served as Assistant Coach at Georgia Tech for three years. He then returned to Orlando and MTG where, after starting as a Checker Cab driver, he gained experience in all aspects of the transportation business. Paul was the top producing Sales Manager in 1996 before he was promoted to Director of Convention Sales in 1997. In November 1998 he took on additional responsibilities as President of Mears and Hello! Destination Management. Highly regarded as a leader in his field, Paul served as Chairman of Visit Orlando (Orlando’s Convention & Visitors Bureau) and was appointed by the President of the Florida Senate to a Statewide Transportation Appropriations Committee. In his spare time, Paul coaches baseball and enjoys spending time with his wife and their four children.

09 February

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Pat Owings DMCP CMP

Chief Operating Officer
Maple Ridge Events
Pat Owings joined Maple Ridge Events in 2015. His career started selling products in a technical sales role in which he traveled the world selling to the telecommunications markets.From there he ventured into the transportation world providing both car service as well as bus transportation throughout Nashville.Since joining Maple Ridge Events, Pat has achieved both his DMCP (Destination Management Certified Professional) and the CMP (Certified Meeting Planner).He serves as the Treasurer of CAB(Certification and Accreditation Board) as well as heading up the mentorship program for ADMEI
Pat serves as the General Manager for Maple Ridge Events and is responsible for the day to day operation of the organization and strives to keep Maple Ridge on the cutting edge of the Destination Management industry but integrating traditional time tested business practices while allowing the team to remain creative and bring unique experiences to our clients.

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Hillary Patriquin DMCP

Senior Operations Manager
Hosts DC
Starting in the hospitality industry by managing events with celebrity chef José Andrés, Hillary joined the Hosts Global Team in 2011 and has developed and grown her role from a Senior Account Executive to Associate Director of Operations. Hillary’s combined account and operational experience, along with her 15+ years in our nation’s capital, ensures clients the most comprehensive consultation while providing high-touch service and attention to detail.

Through relationship building, her extensive DC knowledge, and proactive problem solving, Hillary is best known for exceeding the highest client expectations and providing personalized attention to each and every program. Her love for all of the unique opportunities DC offers is felt by every client, showing how captivating, international, and truly special the city is. Whether it’s exploring DC or traveling the globe, Hillary’s favorite experiences have been when she went off the beaten path, took a chance, and had the opportunity to find the true nature of the destination.

08 February

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Benoit Sauvage DMCP CMP CIS

Founder and CEO
Connect DMC
Ben Sauvage, DMCP, CMP, CIS is the founder and CEO of Connect DMC, a leading Destination Management Company in the Dominican Republic and Mexico.

Ben brings 25 years of experience in delivering high end and complex services to worldwide clients and has a passion for creativity, attention to details and sustainable practices.

Winner of an Imex Green Award, President of the Site Florida & Caribbean Chapter, Member of the Site Global Sustainability Committee and EIC Sustainable Event Professional Certify Ben is also a speaker on Sustainability.


09 February

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Marc Schwabach DMCP CIS

President and CEO
Ambiance Incentives
With a strong academic background in Economics, and after holding different positions in the telecommunication and hotel industries, Marc Schwabach, 50, became CEO and Founder of Ambiance Incentives, Destination & Event Managment Company in Spain, in 1998. Active member at SITE since the year 2000, MPI since 2003 and ADMEI since 2012, he became certified a DMCP (Destination Management Certified Professional) in 2013, as the first Spanish DMC owner ever.

Marc is proudly contributing to our MICE industry, serving as President of World of DMCs 2012-2015, Board member of the SITE Spain Chapter 2013-2015, SITE Crystal Award Jury Member 2013-2015, ADMEI Communications Committee Member 2015-2017, and ADMEI Host Committee member for the International Conference in Barcelona 2017.

Marc is married and has two daughters. In his spare time he enjoys playing tennis, skiing, travelling, and going out with friends.

09 February

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Jonathan Sprinkles

Founder
Sprinklisms, Inc.
Trust is the new currency of business. Jonathan Sprinkles, “Your Connection Coach” has been recognized for over a decade as a thought leader on the psychology of the human connection—the force that drives engagement, loyalty, and profitability. The author of 13 books, including two international bestsellers, Jonathan’s innovative approach inspires positive culture shifts throughout organizations. Labeled a “turnaround specialist” by executives and celebrity clients, Jonathan has earned multiple awards for excellence in business and leadership coaching, and is well known as a top-rated keynote speaker. Jonathan’s practical, proven strategies have worked for organizations like yours that want to re-energize their workforce and reconnect their people to their mission and key initiatives. Jonathan has pioneered a movement, inspiring high-functioning teams of people to trust each other, work together, communicate better, and win bigger.

07 February

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Berk Tanal

Senior Account Executive
Group Services Puerto Rico
Berk Tanal is currently a Senior Account Executive with Group Services, Inc. (GSI), based in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Berk has enjoyed growing within the organization, beginning in 2006 as a summer intern, being hired full time in 2007 as an accounting executive after graduating from Michigan State University, and advancing in 2017 to become senior account executive. Working with GSI’s top corporate clients and 3rdparties, Berk helps service the organization’s most valuable and complex programs, in addition to consulting closely with GSI executives on IT and internal company policies.

He also expresses passion for travel and health in his personal life, having participated in 6 national and international marathons to date, backpacking 1000s of miles throughout the US and Europe, and sailing in many corners of the world.

08 February

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Jill Tate, DMCP

Partner/Owner
Corinthian Events
Jill Tate commands a comprehensive knowledge of all aspects of conference and event planning, local tours, and transportation. Together with her partners Courtney and Mary she loves the challenges of running one of the largest event and destination management companies in New England. Each day is different, each event is different, each employee is different. Event planning is truly in her blood; even as a teen, her desire to surround herself with good people had her constantly throwing parties (she says her house was THE house) and by high school she was planning full service ski trips for her friends. Jill holds a Bachelor's of Science degree in Leisure Management and Tourism from the University of New Hampshire and has the designation of Destination Management Certified Professional (DMCP). Outside of the office you can find Jill boating on the Westport River, biking or lounging with friends on Elephant Rock Beach.

08 February

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Jill Tate DMCP

Partner/Owner
Corinthian Events
Jill Tate commands a comprehensive knowledge of all aspects of conference and event planning, local tours, and transportation. Together with her partners Courtney and Mary she loves the challenges of running one of the largest event and destination management companies in New England. Each day is different, each event is different, each employee is different. Event planning is truly in her blood; even as a teen, her desire to surround herself with good people had her constantly throwing parties (she says her house was THE house) and by high school she was planning full service ski trips for her friends. Jill holds a Bachelor's of Science degree in Leisure Management and Tourism from the University of New Hampshire and has the designation of Destination Management Certified Professional (DMCP). Outside of the office you can find Jill boating on the Westport River, biking or lounging with friends on Elephant Rock Beach.
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Ryan Underwood

CEO and Chief Leadership Officer
TEAMTRI
When leadership improves, everything gets better from relationships and results to profitability and possibilities.

For the last 25 years, Ryan Underwood has studied, practiced, and delivered powerful tools that have helped organizations expand their leadership potential, capacity, and influence. Whether it’s The White House, Congress and federal/provincial agencies; schools, nonprofits, and NGO’s in India and Uganda; or Fortune 100 companies and small businesses, Ryan and his colleagues deliver leadership principles that are portable across every industry sector to grow organizational health and transform leadership from the inside out. His work throughout the United States and Canada have earned Ryan recognition as one of Tulsa’s “40 Under 40” and “Business Person of the Year” honors in five U.S. states.

In addition to speaking, consulting, and facilitating leadership and communication across North America, Ryan oversees the delivery of over 300 meetings and conventions per year and the association management of 20 nonprofit organizations serving 5 countries, 10 states, and more than 100 communities across the world.

Ryan was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, launched his business TEAMTRI in California while pursuing an honors degree from Pepperdine University in business management and marketing. He now makes his home in Oklahoma with his wife and business partner Carrie Underwood and their two daughters Madelyn and Annabelle.

As a GiANT Worldwide Ambassador and CEO of TEAMTRI, Ryan works each day with a dynamic team to raise the standard of leadership and create cultures where everyone can bring their best.



09 February

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Crystal Washington

Social Media Marketing Strategist & Author
Crystal Washington, CSP works with organizations that want to leverage technology to increase profits and productivity!

As a technology strategist and certified futurist, Crystal takes complex social media, app, and web topics, and makes them easy to understand and accessible for everyday people.

Crystal’s clients comprise Fortune 500 companies including Google, Microsoft, and GE and as a sought-after keynote speaker, she has entertained and educated audiences around the globe.

She has appeared in numerous publications including Entrepreneur, Bloomberg Businessweek, and Forbes and is regularly called on by major television networks as a tech expert.

Crystal is the author of the books One Tech Action: An Efficiency Guide for Busy Non-techie Professionals to get More Done, Build Better Relationships, and Enjoy More Free time and The Social Media Why: A Busy Professional’s Practical Guide to Using Social Media Including LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Google+ and Blogs for Business.

08 February

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Mike Waterman

President & Chief Executive Officer
Greater Houston Convention & Visitors Bureau
Mike Waterman became President & CEO of the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau (GHCVB) also known as Visit Houston in May 2015. The hospitality veteran, with more than 30 years in the industry, also serves as Chief Sales and Marketing Officer of Houston First Corp.

Waterman joined the GHCVB/HFC from Marriott International, where he served as Vice President of sales for the Western region overseeing 100 properties, including a grouping of Marriott hotels in Los Angeles' convention district known as L.A. Live. Waterman has held a series of executive positions with Marriott International over the last 20 years.
Houston is the 13th city Mike has lived in since graduation from the University of New Hampshire.

Mike currently serves on the following boards:US Travel, Destination International, Hotel Lodging Association of Greater Houston and is an officer of the Texas Travel Industry Association (TTIA).
His wife Bridget and three boys reside in Katy TX.

08 February

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I N S P I R E

08:00 AM 08:00 AM

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Registration

08:00 AM 06:00 PM

Registration is open!
Attendify Graphics Specs.pdf Download Link
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DMC Institute

08:30 AM 02:00 PM Highland

This workshop focuses on the best practices in all disciplines of Destination Management. Designed to inspire entry and mid-level DMC professionals, the session will help you and your company evolve with material covering everything from sales and marketing to the intricacies of the core services provided by DMCs.

A copy of the Best Practices in Destination Management is included for each registrant.

Pre-Conference Workshop - $195

Speakers on a session

Kevin Brewer, DMCP
Leo Events
Nicole Marsh DMCP CMP
Partner
Imprint Events Colorado
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DMCP Test Item Writing Conclave

01:30 PM 03:30 PM Whitney

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"You Had Me at ADMEI"

02:30 PM 04:00 PM Highland

Have you recently joined ADMEI in the last 9 months? Is this your first ADMEI Conference? If you answered YES to either of those questions, this session is for you! Interact with fellow newcomers as well as seasoned veterans! Hear from ADMEI leadership on upcoming initiatives and how to get the most out of your conference experience and beyond! Afterwards, join us as we break the ice during a special reception that will be held immediately following the session. Come for the information, stay for the cocktails and lifelong connections!

Speakers on a session

Michelle Crosby DMCP CMP
Director of Global Sales
Hosts Global
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- GENERAL SESSION -

04:30 PM 06:00 PM

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General Session

The Power of Connection

04:30 PM 06:00 PM Ballroom AB

Prepare to be inspired! The Power of Connection™ is a high-energy recharge that will get you to feel more connected to your work, your customers, and each other than ever before. You will start feeling unstuck and your organization can get reconnected, work together, and win as a team.

Speakers on a session

Jonathan Sprinkles
Founder
Sprinklisms, Inc.
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Opening Reception

06:15 PM 07:15 PM Ballroom Foyer

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"ADMEI Sunrise Salutations" Yoga Class

06:00 AM 07:00 AM Whitney Room (second floor)

The Four Seasons Hotel is offering a complimentary yoga class for ADMEI members.   Mats, towels, ice water and Green Goddess Smoothie Shooters will be provided!    Class size is limited to the first 30 guests.  

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I N N O V A T E

08:00 AM 08:00 AM

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Breakfast - Sponsored by Visit Houston

08:00 AM 08:45 AM Quattro

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Registration

08:00 AM 05:00 PM Lone Star

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Exhibits

08:00 AM 05:00 PM Ballroom Foyer

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- GENERAL SESSION -

09:00 AM 10:15 AM

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General Session

Reimagine, Recharge, Refresh--Technology Tools for DMCs

09:00 AM 10:15 AM

SPONSORED BY CAREY MEETINGS & EVENTS
How do innovative DMC professionals embrace technology in a changing event atmosphere while still providing a personalized, white-glove touch to clients?  Crystal Washington, technology strategist and futurist, will offer you a buffet of tech treats for business innovation, growth, and fun.

Employ tech tools for collaboration.  Leverage technology for ingenious and interactive customer proposals.  Craft "aha" experiences that have a lasting impact on attendee.

Speakers on a session

Crystal Washington
Social Media Marketing Strategist & Author
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Networking Break

10:15 AM 10:45 AM Ballroom Foyer

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- CONCURRENT SESSIONS -

10:45 AM 12:00 PM

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Concurrent Session

Introduction to the Revised ADMEI DMC Service Agreement

10:45 AM 12:00 PM Ballroom AB

In this session, Paul Cataudella, General Counsel for 360 Destination Group, will introduce the newly revised ADMEI DMC Service Agreement.  Paul will discuss how this document was created, how it may be used, and highlight substantive changes throughout the document with the goal of educating and informing DMCs on how to make this service agreement best suit their needs.  

Speakers on a session

Paul Cataudella
General Counsel and General Manager
360 Destination Group
Intro to the Revised ADMEI DMC Service Agreement.pdf Download Link
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Concurrent Session

Productivity Hacks For Working Outside Of The Office

10:45 AM 12:00 PM Austin

In an age of so many technological advances, it has become overwhelming to determine the best methods for staying on top of all work-related matters in between executing events and conducting site
visits. The experts at LEO Events have determined what works (and what doesn’t) and broken down the best applications and practices to incorporate while working outside of the office.

Speakers on a session

Airika Gigas
Vice President, Events
Leo Events
Kasey Hunter
Manager, Event Sales
Leo Events
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Concurrent Session

#EscapeToTheFuture

10:45 AM 12:00 PM Highland

Virtual Reality is here!

Join Austin VR Lab and its founders as they take you through an unforgettable interactive demonstration and show you how you can apply a Virtual Reality experience to your next event.

Covering everything from 360° capture to VR arcade activations by making them relevant to your event themes, take a deep dive into the ever growing world of Virtual Reality its applications and all the
possibilities for the future available to you now.

Speakers on a session

Mohammed Ali
Founder
Austin VR Lap
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Networking Lunch

12:15 PM 01:15 PM Quattro

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- GENERAL SESSION -

01:30 PM 02:30 PM

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General Session

Emergency Preparedness

01:30 PM 03:00 PM Ballroom AB

The Emergency Preparedness Panel will feature industry experts who have experienced emergencies that affected their cities or countries. Panelists will discuss how they handled the situations before, during, and after the incidents occurred, plus lessons learned for how to handle a similar occurrence in the future. 

Speakers on a session

Terry Epton DMCP CIS CITE
Executive Vice President - Global Brand Ambassador
Hosts Global
Kathryn Gleesing MBA CMP
President/CEO
Destination Management Connection
Joshua Jones DMCP
Regional President
Hosts Las Vegas
Berk Tanal
Senior Account Executive
Group Services Puerto Rico
Mike Waterman
President & Chief Executive Officer
Greater Houston Convention & Visitors Bureau
FRIDAY - Emergency Preparedness Combined.pdf Download Link
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Networking Break

03:00 PM 03:30 PM Ballroom Foyer

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- CONCURRENT SESSIONS -

03:30 PM 05:00 PM

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Concurrent Session

DMCs Innovate! Sales

03:30 PM 05:00 PM Ballroom AB

This open-forum, crackerbarrel session is designed just for DMCs in sales roles.   Led by two facilitators, this session gives you the chance to help drive the conversation with new ideas, technology, challenges, or whatever is on your mind.  Be ready to share!


Speakers on a session

Alton Hagen DMCP CMP
President and Founder
Agenda USA
Robert Lee DMCP
Director of Sales
Spaintacular DMC
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Concurrent Session

DMCs Innovate! Operations

03:30 PM 05:00 PM Austin

This open-forum, crackerbarrel session is designed just for DMCs in operations roles. Led by two facilitators, this session gives you the chance to help drive the conversation with new ideas, technology, challenges, or whatever is on your mind. Be ready to share!

Speakers on a session

Denise Malo DMCP
BBC Destination Management
Hillary Patriquin DMCP
Senior Operations Manager
Hosts DC
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Concurrent Session

DMCs Innovate! Owners

03:30 PM 05:00 PM Highland

This open-forum, crackerbarrel session is designed just for DMC Owners. Led by two facilitators, this session gives you the chance to help drive the conversation with new ideas, technology, challenges, or whatever is on your mind. Be ready to share!

Speakers on a session

Bent Hadler DMCP CIS
Director and CEO
Hadler DMC Scandinavia
Jill Tate, DMCP
Partner/Owner
Corinthian Events
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Friday Social - Lucky Strike

06:00 PM 09:00 PM Lucky Strike - 1201 San Jacinto St, Houston, TX 77002

Join your ADMEI friends at Lucky Strike for a fun-filled evening of food, drinks, and fun activities!  Just a block away, Lucky Strike is Houston’s hottest bowling & nightlife destination!   But it's much more than bowling!  ADMEI has surprises in store!
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I M A G I N E

07:30 AM 07:30 AM

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Breakfast

07:30 AM 08:15 AM Quattro

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Past President's Breakfast

07:30 AM 08:15 AM Whitney

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Registration

08:00 AM 12:00 PM Lone Star

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Exhibits

08:00 AM 02:15 PM

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General Session

ADMEI Business Meeting and Board of Directors Transition

08:30 AM 09:15 AM

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General Session

Economic Impact for the Meetings Industry

09:15 AM 10:00 AM Ballroom AB

Presenters will speak about the economic impact of the meetings industry and its effect on Destination Management Companies.

Speakers on a session

Tony Lorenz CMM
Chief Executive Officer
PRA
Paul S. Mears, III
President
Hello! Destination Management
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- GENERAL SESSION -

09:15 AM 10:00 AM

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Networking Break

10:15 AM 10:30 AM Ballroom Foyer

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- CONCURRENT SESSIONS -

10:30 AM 11:45 AM

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Concurrent Session

Cultural Differences and Their Impact on Destination Management

10:30 AM 11:45 AM Ballroom AB

When running a DMC we all have to abide by our local conditions, being them legal, social, political, geographical or natural, no matter where we are. One thing of particular interest when it comes to Destination Management is culture - cultural differences between destinations lead to different Destination Management practices and procedures among DMCs from around the globe, in all aspects of a DMC: they are decisive when pitching, doing an offer, quoting, negotiating, communicating, marketing, paying and so on.

But, not everything is different for DMCs among the various destinations in the world – there are some rules, policies, guidelines and best practices any professionally working DMC must follow in order to be successful.

In this panel session, we want to work out cultural differences, how we can learn from each other in order to improve, and the principles that should be guiding us globally, no matter where we are based and which destinations we cater for.

Speakers on a session

David Diaz CIS CITP
PROCESA Event Management and Incentives
Miek Egberts CMP
Owner and Managing Director
InspireME Monte Carlo
Bent Hadler DMCP CIS
Director and CEO
Hadler DMC Scandinavia
Cindy Lo DMCP
President & Event Strategist
Red Velvet Events
Benoit Sauvage DMCP CMP CIS
Founder and CEO
Connect DMC
Marc Schwabach DMCP CIS
President and CEO
Ambiance Incentives
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Concurrent Session

The Five Languages of Appreciation: How to Unlock the Secret of Employee Engagement

10:30 AM 11:45 AM Austin

79% of employees who quit their jobs cite lack of appreciation as a key reason for leaving.

On the flip side…

81% of employees say they’re motivated to work harder when their boss shows appreciation for their work.

Find out how to prevent disgruntled employees and how to show your staff and co-workers appreciation in the language they want and deserve using the 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace.

Diana Rogers Jaeger, owner of Love To Appreciate Consulting, will share how companies can build a culture of appreciation that leads to a more positive work environment, stronger performance, and the long-term retention of talented employees.

Speakers on a session

Diana Rogers Jaeger
Appreciation Consultant & Certified Trainer
Love to Appreciate Consulting
The 5 Languages of Appreciation -Diana Rogers Jaeger.pdf Download Link
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Concurrent Session

Imagine a World Without Modern Slavery

10:30 AM 11:45 PM Highland

In this session, the audience will move from a global perspective of the human trafficking issue, to a North American perspective (giving statistics, resources, etc.) and bringing the issue down to our industry. What can WE do about it?  What questions can WE ask in RFP’s, in conversations? What can WE do if WE spot what WE think is trafficking? What are cities and hotels doing to stem the tide of, in particular, sex trafficking within hotels, conferences, sports events?

Speakers on a session

Sandy Biback CMP Emeritus, CMM
Founder
Meeting Professionals Against Human Trafficking (MPAHT)
Fast Facts Eng Jan 2019.pdf Download Link
Imagine A World Without Modern Slavery.pdf Download Link
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Networking Lunch

12:00 PM 01:00 PM Quattro

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- GENERAL SESSION -

01:15 PM 02:15 PM

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General Session

Power Up Your 5 Voices

01:15 PM 02:15 PM Ballroom AB

Healthy organizations are full of healthy communicators. But in too many situations, people are speaking, but not everyone is heard. Certain voices dominate while others hesitate. Great organizations realize every voice is vital to a healthy culture, strong relationships, and delivering exceptional service experiences.

Get ready to have a great time and learn “what it’s really like to be on the other side of you” in a team and organization environment. The natural tendency of leaders will be revealed and self-awareness of your style under normal, moderate, and extreme pressure will be explored. You will learn a simple and powerful team communication system that everyone can use to unleash real understanding, healthier dialogue, and stronger engagement.

Power up your performance and relationships with the 5 Voices Communication System. Join GiANT Worldwide Ambassador and CEO of TEAMTRI Ryan Underwood to learn simple, proven and powerful tools, to provide your world with a culture boost where everyone can bring their best. (5voices.com).


Speakers on a session

Ryan Underwood
CEO and Chief Leadership Officer
TEAMTRI
Power up your 5 Voices with Ryan Underwood for APP Distro.pdf Download Link
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INTERACT! - ADMEI Unconference

02:15 PM 03:15 PM

This time slot provides the opportunity for members to discuss key topics that are set by those that attend. ADMEI will solicit topics from attendees prior to the conference and will post the topics and meeting locations on the conference app. Each topical breakout will be led by a facilitator who will encourage interaction on the top issues to be discussed.  

Rule #1: Whoever shows up are the right people
Rule #2: Whatever happens is fine
Rule #3: Whenever it starts is the right time
Rule #4: It is over when it’s over

You are allowed to float from one topic to another.   Your job is to INTERACT with other DMCs and learn from one another.   INTERACT DMCs! 

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Concurrent Session

International

02:15 PM 03:15 PM Highland

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Concurrent Session

Independent DMCs

02:15 PM 03:15 PM Austin

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ADMEI Awards Reception and Gala

06:00 PM 10:00 PM Ballroom AB