Tom Alderink has been employed in the travel and hospitality industry for more than 15 years. He has worked with Orient-Express since 2004 promoting the full portfolio of their premium travel experiences found in 22 countries, including 36 hotels, 3 luxury river cruise operations, 6 luxury trains, and 1 restaurant in New York City, where Tom currently resides. In 2010 he started working closer with the LGBT market and today 23 Orient-Express properties are members of IGLTA. He started his career as a sales manager with TWA in the greater Boston area, eventually move to Washington, DC with US Airways as Manager of National Account Sales, working with the leading national travel agencies throughout the USA.This experience allowed him to establish solid working relationships within the retail travel trade, which eventually led to his current role as Director of Leisure Sales with Orient-Express in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and Eastern Canada.
Bill Baker is founder and principal of global strategy firm BB&Co Strategic Storytelling.
BB&Co has helped travel and tourism organizations such as Relais & Châteaux, Travel
Alberta, Hilton, Montana Tourism and the Tourism Ministry of Spain leverage the power of
storytelling to position their brands, set a vision for their future and engage and align their
people around both.
Jamie Baxter is the VP of Marketing for dotgay LLC, the gay owned and operated originator of the landmark proposal to create a .gay domain on the Internet that will serve the global LGBTQIA+ community. As the key community liaison for the .gay initiative, Jamie is responsible for outreach and communication, as well as garnering endorsements and sponsorships from LGBTQIA+ organizations around the globe.
Briand Bedford, grew up in South Africa, has lived in Berlin for the last 20 years and has been working as Editor in Chief of the Spartacus International Gay Guide – the world’s leading gay guide – since 1999. My biggest professional challenge over the last few years has been the change from a print to a digital media.
Kathy Belge is a professional writer and advice columnist specializing in LGBT issues. She is the co-author of Lipstick & Dipstick’s Essential Guide to Lesbian Relationships (Alyson, 2007) and Queer: The Ultimate LGBT Guide for Teens (Zest, 2011). She pens the monthly lesbian advice column Lipstick & Dipstick in Curve magazine (curvemag.com) and is the guide to all things lesbian on About.com. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her cat Herbie the Love Bug and Alaskan malamute Olive.
In mid-March 2013, Joaquín Castillo Dolagaray was appointed CEO of “Turismo Madrid,” the Tourism Board of the Region of Madrid, Spain. From 2002 until his recent appointment, he held the position of manager of the Club de Campo Villa de Madrid. He has a degree in Law and Economics and Business. His professional career started in 1983 at the Manufacturers Hanover Trust as the office of Deputy Representative in Madrid. He then developed management positions at the Golf Club of Santa Ponca (Majorca) as well as at Adesport and Gesgolf until 1997, when he became the Director of Sport Events within the Commercial department at Viajes El Corte Ingles, the largest Department Store in Spain and one of the largest companies in the country.
Jake Cefolia is Managing Director of the Global Accounts Division at United Airlines. He is responsible for leading a worldwide team of Global Directors and Account Managers who develop, implement and manage customized programs for United’s top 100 Global corporate customers and Top 6 Global TMCs. Prior to his present appointment, which began in January 2011, Jake was based in Hong Kong and served as Managing Director for United’s Asia-Pacific South Region. In that role, he was responsible for United’s commercial functions in Greater China and Southeast Asia. During his tenure in Asia, Jake was instrumental in redefining sales strategy and processes as well as fostering cooperation with airline alliance partners. In addition to his professional responsibilities, Jake has been an active leader in regional business organizations including serving on the Boards of the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong and the Young Leaders Circle of the Executives Club of Chicago. Jake holds a BS in Management from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.
Tanya Churchmuch is Tourisme Montreal’s Assistant Director of Media and Leisure Markets and oversees their LGBT outreach. She was also the founder of the lesbian travel website www.girlports.com. In 2009 Tanya was elected to the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA) Board of Directors and became Chair of the IGLTA Board in 2010. An expert in lesbian travel, she has spoken on the subject at numerous travel industry conferences around the world and written travel articles for many LGBT publications. Prior to working in the LGBT travel and media world, Tanya was a television journalist and news anchor in Montreal, including 9 years at Global Television. She is also a former Board member of Reporters Without Borders International, based in Paris, and Past President of Reporters Without Borders Canada.
Jody Cole founded Wild Rainbow African Safaris in 2006 following her personal passion for Africa. She is certified as a Level2 and Trails Guide by the Field Guides Association of Southern Africa and has trained with the Kenya Professional Safari Guides Association. Most recently Jody became an instructor with EcoTraining in South Africa. Jody divides her time between leading tours to sub-Saharan Africa and her board work with IGLTA Foundation and the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission.
Suzanne Coppola has over 20 years of media sales experience. Suzanne spent the initial 10 years of her career in New York City, selling luxury print advertising for publishing giants Conde Nast and Hearst, and representing titles such as “Vogue” and “Harper’s Bazaar.” On the West Coast, Suzanne ran a successful media sales rep firm for 12 years and is adept at selling all forms of media from print to digital to mobile. Suzanne has both domestic and international luxury brand experience.
Terry Dale was named President/CEO of the U.S. Tour Operators Association in January 2011. A well-known and respected travel industry leader, Dale has had a distinguished career, most recently as President/CEO of Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) since 2003. His previous positions include five years with NYC & Company – The NYC Convention and Visitors Bureau– where he was Executive Vice President; and ten years as President & CEO of the Greater Providence Convention and Visitors Bureau, as well as President of the New England Society of Convention and Visitor’s Bureaus. Dale has also served on the Board of Directors of the US Travel Association, HSMAI, and Visit Florida. He has been a course instructor and Grossinger Lecturer at NYU Tisch Center for Hospitality, and served as a Distinguished Lecturer at Johnson & Wales. Among Dale’s responsibilities at USTOA are developing the association’s strategic marketing initiatives, managing the association’s government advocacy on issues affecting tour operators, and working with other leaders and decision makers in the travel industry to identify mutual challenges and opportunities. He holds the distinction of being the third president in USTOA’s nearly 40-year history.
Travis Ferland is the Executive Director of the IGLTA Foundation. He is an avid traveler, photographer, and humanitarian, and has visited or worked in more than 30 countries. His studies brought him to France and Niger, and Travis later served as a Small Enterprise Development Volunteer with the Peace Corps in Senegal. Most recently, he worked at the International Rescue Committee as Department Manager for International Programs – a role that brought him to Jordan, Kenya, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Travis holds a B.A. in International Relations from Boston University, and a M.S. in International Affairs from the New School for Public Engagement. He is a fluent speaker of French and Pula-Fouta. Travis was raised in the coastal village of Ogunquit, Maine – at his parents’ small hotel. It is no coincidence that he continues to have a passion for travel and tourism, and that he sees such great potential for LGBT travel to advance understanding, awareness, and economic well being.
Andre Fischer is the Founder and Director of MiX Brasil Festival of Diversity (since 1993), Editor of Junior and H magazines, editor of MiX Brasil webportal (since 1994), host and screenwriter of Cine MixBrasil tv show at Globosat (since 2007), anchor of CBN MixBrasil weekly radio show (since 2011). Five books published, curator at film festivals in 30+ countries.
Barney Harford serves as CEO of Orbitz Worldwide. He also serves as a director on the Orbitz Worldwide board of directors. His current term on the board expires at the 2015 Annual Meeting. Barney joined Orbitz Worldwide in January 2009. Barney previously served in a variety of roles at Expedia, Inc. from 1999 to 2006. From 2004 to 2006, he served as President of Expedia Asia Pacific, leading the company’s entry into China, Japan and Australia. Prior to 2004, he served as Senior Vice President of Air, Car & Private Label and led Expedia’s Corporate Development, Strategic Planning and Investor Relations functions. He joined Expedia as Product Planner in 1999 when Expedia was a division of Microsoft.Prior to Expedia, Barney worked in the United Kingdom as a strategy consultant with The Kalchas Group.Barney also serves as a board member of LiquidPlanner, an on-demand management service that is transforming the way organizations manage complex projects. Barney served on the board of directors of eLong, which is controlled by Expedia, from 2004 to 2008, and on the board of directors of Orange Hotel Group, a high-design budget hotel chain based in China, from 2009 to 2012. He was an advisor to Kayak.com in 2008. Barney holds an MBA from INSEAD and a Master of Arts degree in Natural Sciences from Clare College, Cambridge University.
In 2003, Bryan Herb left his educational career in NYC to start a new chapter of his life in Chicago, where he and his business partner co-founded Zoom Vacations. Since its inception, Zoom Vacations has become a globally recognized gay tour company specializing in luxury gay group travel with a modern, experiential-based focus. In its first decade, Zoom Vacations built a solid reputation as a leader in the LGBT tour industry, and has received numerous industry and peoples’ Choice Awards. Beyond Zoom Vacations, Bryan was selected as one of nine travel experts featured on the Travel Channel’s hit show “Vacation Challenge” and was the South America Gay Travel Expert for four episodes on Logo’s gay travel show, Bump. In addition, Bryan has hosted gay travel shorts for Comcast, and he is the gay travel expert for several gay online and print publications, including Orbitz, away.com, chicagopride.com, newyorkqnews.com, and more. Bryan is a former Board Chair of IGLTA.
Masaki Higashida founded Qocci, Japan’s first diversity marketing consultancy, to provide professional advice to the Japanese government and global multinationals across a vast range of issues from product marketing to talent acquisition. He helped many clients convert their diversity considerations into key business and people processes. His unique and pioneering work in LGBT marketing has been mentioned in leading media outlets such as GQ and Nikkei Business. He has been serving as IGLTA Ambassador to Japan since 2010 and is currently working closely with the local travel industry to promote LGBT tourism in Japan.
Tobias Hofelt is CEO/Founder of MB Market Makers, which provides global LGBT-marketing, sensitivity training and research and can currently reach around 30 million LGBT-consumers worldwide. MB Market Makers provides marketing, market-evaluation, management-education and employer branding. Their core markets are Europe and Asia, and we are currently involved with research and education projects in China. Tobias is also the Nordic Ambassador for IGLTA, has served in several LGBT-organisations and is on the steering committee for the Faculty of Gender Sciences at Lund University as well as on the Board for the Buisness Association for Equality, Gender equality and Diversity. Tobias also serves as a board member in Nordic LGBT Professionals network.
Victoria Isley joined Destination Marketing Association International as Chief Operating Officer in May 2011, bringing 18 years of destination marketing experience to trade association. Responsible for supporting and implementing the organization’s overall strategic initiatives, Isley oversees DMAI’s marketing and communications, membership and business development, professional development and meetings departments as well as empowerMINT. She also assumed the role of Executive Director for the Destination & Travel Foundation in October 2012. For nearly a decade, Isley was Destination DC’s Senior Vice President of Marketing & Communications. There she led a new brand strategy for the nation’s capital, built research and strategy for organizational advocacy, and spearheaded crisis communications. Prior to her tenure at Destination DC, Isley served as Vice President of Marketing for Tampa Bay & Company and Director of Communications for the Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau, where she launched one of the first websites in the country for a DMO. Isley holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and has earned her Professional in Destination Management certificate. She is currently a member of Brand USA’s business development advisory board, the Travel and Tourism Advisory Board’s research task force, Ataway Exchange advisory board and also a member of the board of directors for Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company in Washington, DC. She has served as researchchairman for the U.S. Travel Association and as a board member of the Public Relations Society of America Travel & Tourism Section.
Merryn Johns is the Editor-in-Chief of Curve, America’s monthly newsstand magazine for lesbians. She was previously the founding Editor-in-Chief of Bound magazine, the first international travel and lifestyle magazine for lesbians. Prior to that she edited LOTL, Australia’s magazine for lesbians, and LOTL International, a digital lifestyle magazine. She is a regular speaker and panelist on the topic of lesbian culture, media, marketing, and travel, and as acting travel editor of Curve she visits numerous domestic and international destinations each year. Originally from Sydney, Australia, she is based in New York City.
Uwern Jong is a co-Founder of the OUT THERE brand and Editor-in-Chief of luxury travel journal, OUT THERE TRAVEL. He also runs Boutique, a leading pan-European LGBT marketing and PR agency. Of Malaysian heritage, but now based in London, UK, Uwern has worked hard in recent years to put LGBT travel in Asia on the map, both from an inbound and outbound perspective for his clients and Asian readers of his publications. He works and travels in Asia extensively and has already clocked up miles in Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Japan this year.
Gregg Kaminsky has been in the LGBT travel industry for the past 17 years creating specialty cruise and resort vacations all over the world. He co-founded R Family Vacations in 2003 creating the first company to offer travel products for LGBT families and their friends. The company was featured on the HBO Emmy-nominated documentary “All Aboard!”
R Family Vacations offers many types of vacations including cruises, resorts, small ships, summer camps, riverboats, and weekend getaways. Gregg was the former VP of Atlantis Events and also spent five years consulting at Nickelodeon producing multiple full-ship charters and creating a year-round program aboard Norwegian Cruise Line.
Jay Karen is President and CEO of the Professional Association of Innkeepers International, the leading association representing owners of inns and bed and breakfasts. Headquartered in Charleston, SC, PAII provides education, communications, public relations, networking, and research services to its membership and the greater industry. PAII hosts the world’s largest annual gathering of innkeepers, The Innkeeping Conference & Trade Show, and publishes the industry’s leading trade publication, Innkeeping Now magazine. Jay also serves on the board of directors of the United States Travel Association.
Manuela Kay is a journalist, writer and publisher born in West-Berlin, now living and working in Berlin-Kreuzberg. She has been a journalist for LGBT-issues since 1986. She was the chief-editor of queer city magazine Siegessäule from 1996 to 2005, and has served as chief-editor of lesbian magazine L-MAG since 2003. She is also the initiator and editor of LGBT-travel magazine Queer Travel (2010). As of 2012, she is publisher of the above mentioned magazines plus CEO of Germany’s biggest LGBT-publishing house, Special Media SDL.
Joseph Kolb began his government service in 1987 with the former United States Immigration & Naturalization Service as an Enforcement Officer. Mr. Kolb was promoted to Immigration Inspector in 1988 at O’Hare International Airport and rose to the rank of Assistant Port Director for the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, Illinois. Upon the creation of U.S. Customs & Border Protection, under the Department of Homeland Security, in March of 2003, Mr. Kolb was assigned to the Chicago Field Office as the Interim Assistant Director for Field Operations, Immigration Policy and Programs. Mr. Kolb is currently the Program Manager for Admissibility Passenger and Programs at the Chicago Field Office for U.S. Customs & Border Protection. Mr. Kolb administers admissibility and immigration policy, oversees and develops admissibility programs, writes policy on behalf of the Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Customs and Border Protection and provides guidance to 12 states of Ports of Entry with in the jurisdiction of the Chicago Field Office. Throughout his career Mr. Kolb has served in a number of overseas assignments, including DHS and CBP Headquarters as a subject matter expert.
Billy Kolber is founder of ManAboutWorld, the new gay travel magazine on the iPad. He is also a Yale graduate, a Whiffenpoof, and a founder of OUT&ABOUT, the ground-breaking gay travel newsletter and website. A true renaissance man and entrepreneur, he has worked as a commercial photographer, chocolatier, top-selling Avon Representative, author and guest experience consultant. He is a recreational baker, and the only person to have twice won the Water Island Pie Contest (with his Banana Cream Pie). Billy has visited 48 countries, but still lives in Manhattan, where he was born.
Jack Markey began his State Department career in 1975 as a Passport Agent at the Washington Passport Agency. In 1979, he was appointed a Foreign Service Reserve Officer, and has worked in a number of offices within the Bureau of Consular Affairs and abroad. In 2008-09, he was assigned to the Department’s Legislative Affairs Bureau, where he managed all consular issues between the State Department and the U.S. Congress. Mr. Markey currently works as Division Chief in the Office of American Citizens Services and Crisis Management. His office publishes a wide array of safety and security information for U.S. traveling public, including the State Department Travel Warnings, and oversees U.S. embassy efforts to assist U.S. citizens in need.
Marcelo Molinari works for Value Retail as Tourism Marketing Director – Spain, where his role is to develop and implement their Tourism Strategy for Las Rozas Village in Madrid and La Roca Village in Barcelona. He has spent the last 15 years working for the luxury travel industry both in the private and public sectors: Director of the Costa del Sol Convention Bureau (and Director of the Golf and Luxury Travel Departments), Cititravel DMC and Hilton Hotels. He sits on the board of directors for SITE SPAIN, and is a member of IAGTO, ICCA, Virtuoso and GMIC.
Jon Muñoz is senior director of global diversity and inclusion for Hilton Worldwide. Muñoz plays a key role in executing Hilton Worldwide’s strategies focused on culture, talent and marketplace.Prior to joining Hilton Worldwide, Muñoz served in diversity roles for Sprint and marketing roles for Nextel Communications, Bank One Corporation (now JPMorgan Chase) and NationsBank Corporation (now Bank of America). Muñoz actively serves in numerous leadership positions of diverse non-profit organizations, including the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) Corporate Alliance, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) ACT-SO Advisory Council, the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) Corporate Advisory Council and the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) Senior Executive Corporate Advisory Board. Muñoz was recognized in 2011 by Hispanic Business Magazine on their list of the Top 100 Most Influential Hispanics. Muñoz holds a BS in communications and advertising from the University of Texas at Austin.
Andreas Ochse heads Global Account Management for Hahn Air in Frankfurt, Germany where he is responsible for the distribution of Hahn Air products and services for travel agents around the world. Andreas is a Certified Travel Agent, has managed booking and ticketing operations at Carlson Wagonlit Travel and was most recently a project manager at TATS (Lufthansa) before joining Hahn Air in 2007. Andreas lives in Frankfurt, where he enjoys running, camping, and traveling.
David Paisley has been with Community Marketing, Inc. for over 18 years. He coordinates the company’s client research and marketing management programs and facilitates focus groups for CMI’s clients. Over his career, he has managed over 100 gay and lesbian-specific quantitative and qualitative initiatives for clients such as Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, WNBA, Wells Fargo, Miller-Coors, Palm Springs Bureau of Tourism, Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau, Chicago History Museum, the United States Census Bureau, Target, Prudential and more. He is widely quoted in the media on LGBT marketing and research.
Brian Payea leads the Industry Relations practice at TripAdvisor. He focuses on fostering communications with the travel industry and strengthening the ties between TripAdvisor and the hospitality community. His department builds tools for hoteliers and other hospitality professionals to take advantage of the wealth of traveler-contributed information on TripAdvisor and other social media. Brian is a member of the HSMAI Americas board as well as the HSMAI Foundation board. He is a frequent speaker on the subject of social media in travel at industry events around the world. Brian joined TripAdvisor in 2006. Previously, he led public relations, marketing, government relations and investor relations at several technology and internet companies.
Thomas Roth founded Community Marketing, Inc. in 1992, and has served as its President for 20 years. Tom and his team have developed a spectrum of products and services to skillfully lead the company’s global clients to their goals. Tom is now primarily dedicating his industry-leading expertise to head up the Community Marketing & Insights division, which produces the LGBT Community Survey®, as well as custom surveys and focus groups for a variety of market leaders. He volunteers time and marketing support to the AIDS/HIV Nightline in the development and promotion of its successful “World Travel Raffle” fundraiser; he is a long-time instructor of the Transcendental Meditation program, performing volunteer work with at-risk youth in San Francisco schools, and now heading up a pilot study in collaboration with SF AIDS Foundation for people living with HIV/AIDS.
Charlie Rounds is the Board Chair for the IGLTA Foundation and founder of The Forward Motion Group. Charlie has taught French and English for the Peace Corps in Cameroon, where he also worked as a cook in the Peace Corps Training Camp. He has organized cultural travel programs for French and American high school and university students through Vistas in Education, and from 1988 to 2010 he worked periodically at RSVP Vacations. In 2011 Charlie was bestowed the IGLTA Lifetime Achievement Award. He is currently working on creating the first ever National LGBT Day of Giving, and on implementing a process for Minneapolis/St. Paul to become a leader in welcoming LGBT refugees. Charlie’s organization, The Forward Motion Group, manages and operates Brand g Vacations and has built relationships between Brand g’s cruise ship passengers and LGBT groups in destinations like Prague and Bratislava. It has also provided sensitivity and awareness training to Brand g’s predominantly North American clientele. Charlie and his (not legal – but here is hoping he will be next year in Minnesota) husband Mark Hiemenz live in Saint Louis Park, Minnesota.
For customized business and leisure travel worldwide, David Rubin and his team at DavidTravel, operate a respected boutique travel agency and concierge service. In 1996, David moved from a successful law practice, followed a deep passion for travel, and launched his travel company. As the recognized leader in customizing stylish travel for the GLBT communities, David is the GLBT expert both on the Travel + Leisure Magazine “A-List” and the Conde Nast Traveler Magazine “Specialist List” by Wendy Perrin, the two most coveted “best travel advisor” awards. About 50% of DavidTravel’s clients are gay.
David Ryan is the intrepid leader of the Rhino Africa Safaris group which he founded in 2004 – one of the largest online tour operators in Africa. Rhino Africa specializes in tailor-made, luxury itineraries to Southern and Eastern Africa, as well as the Indian Ocean Islands. Based in Cape Town, David is passionate about Africa, sustainable tourism and wildlife conservation. When he’s not raising awareness, he’s jetting off to some exotic new safari lodge. If he had the time, he would show everyone around this magnificent continent himself!
David Scowsill, President/CEO, World Travel & Tourism Council
Prior to joining WTTC in November 2010, David Scowsill worked for six years in private equity and venture capital, completing deals in technology and travel sectors. He was CEO of Opodo, a pan-European online travel company from 2002 to 2004, building the business from start up to a €500mn transaction turnover, before it was sold to Amadeus. David joined the board of Hilton International in 1997 as senior VP sales, marketing and IT, leading the brand re-unification program between the two Hilton shareholder companies. His earlier career was with British Airways, with a variety of operational and sales roles in US, Europe, Latin America, Gulf States, Africa, and Asia.
Robert Sharp is a 30-year-old entrepreneur and co-founder of one the top gay and lesbian travel companies around, OUT Adventures. The company is just over five years old and has already amassed a loyal and repeat clientele within the travel segment. Robert has great interest in digital marketing and social media and has appeared on both the OUTtv and Logo networks as part of the popular gay travel show, Bump.
Kim Simes is the Midwest Regional Manager with Family Equality Council – a national organization that works on behalf of the three million parents who are LGBT in this country and their six million children. We are changing attitudes and policies to ensure that all families are respected, loved and celebrated – including families with parents who are LGBT. We are a community of parents and children, grandparents and grandchildren that reaches across this country. For over 30 years we have raised our children and raised our voices toward fairness for all families.
Matthew Skallerud, founder of Pink Banana Media, began his online career in May 1995 with the launch of GayWired.com which became one of the top three LGBT websites worldwide. Having worked with companies, large and small, for more than 16 years to reach the LGBT online consumer through this site and others, he is now focused on the most cutting-edge global innovations in social networking and Web 2.0 technologies. He empowers his clients to reach the LGBT market using the most advanced techniques taking hold in the online marketing world today, including Facebook, YouTube, blogs, Twitter and others.Andrew joined Marketing Manchester in 1999 as director of destination
Douglas Smith is the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Assistant Secretary for the Private Sector. In this role, Assistant Secretary Smith advises the Secretary on the impact of the Department’s policies, regulations, and processes on 29 million private sector companies, universities, and not-for-profits institutions and enhances strategic communications in order to help the public and private sectors to jointly meet their shared responsibility for homeland security. Assistant Secretary Smith is an ex-officio member of the President’s Travel and Tourism Advisory Board, the President’s Export Council, the White House Business Council, and the World Economic Forum Risk Officers Community. Under his leadership, the DHS Private Sector Office (PSO) launched the Loaned Executive Program, which provides the opportunity for private sector subject matter experts from across sectors and industries to serve in a unique capacity on temporary rotation or sabbatical at DHS. PSO has also developed, and is in the process of implementing, the Private Sector Information Sharing Working Plan consisting of 16 recommendations that will enhance and align private sector engagement and information-sharing efforts across DHS. Under Assistant Secretary Smith’s leadership, the PSO leads industry engagement for the Blue Campaign Against Human Trafficking, supports many of Customs and Border Protection’s Trusted Traveler programs, such as Global Entry and SENTRI, and hosts quarterly DHS for a Day events. Assistant Secretary Smith brings to the Department over 20 years of experience in business development, communications, coalition building, public policy, and creating and managing public-private partnerships among federal, state and local government, and private industry. He has managed large-scale special projects and initiatives both within and outside government. Prior to his appointment at DHS, Assistant Secretary Smith was the Managing Partner of T Street Partners, where he provided strategic counsel and public affairs consulting to clients ranging from Fortune 100 companies to philanthropic and not-for-profit organizations. During his time with T Street, Assistant Secretary Smith successfully managed the winning campaign for the City of Chicago to be the U.S. Designate City for the 2016 Olympics.
Andrew Stokes joined Marketing Manchester in 1999 as director of destination marketing and became chief executive in November 2001. Originally from London, Andrew studied in Liverpool and began his career in the theatre sector, at The Liverpool Playhouse and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Society. This was followed by a move back to London to the Royal Albert Hall and later appointment as director of sales and marketing for the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. Andrew is a board member of Manchester International Festival, CityCo Ltd and Manchester Central (the City’s international convention and exhibition centre). Andrew was chairman of Cultureshock, the award-winning multi-arts festival that surrounded the XVII Commonwealth Games in 2002 and was previously chairman of Manchester Pride, the city’s annual LGBT festival. Andrew lives in Chorlton, Manchester and enjoys spending time at the cottage he restored on the west coast of Ireland.
A seasoned veteran of business transformation initiatives in traditional and growth markets, Tony Tenicela currently leads IBM‘s global customer facing organization for advising C-Suite executives on the role of diversity, human capital, and community relationships as strategic business drivers to foster innovation and stimulate business growth. Tony has been recognized by both multinational corporations and emerging enterprises as a thought leader in the areas of diversity strategy, social media, collaborative environments, workforce transformation, and innovation strategy. Tony also manages IBM’s global LGBT commercial strategy leveraging numerous corporate community partnerships across North America, Latin America, Europe, and Asia to identify new business opportunities. Prior to joining IBM, Tony was a founding employee of Worldview Systems, a joint venture between Random House Publishing and Ameritech, where he led the creation and development of the initial prototype for the Travelocity™ on-line travel service. He currently resides in San Francisco and New York City.
Esperanza Tilghman serves as the Public Affairs Officer for the Office of Poilicy Coordination and Public Affairs within the Bureaus of Consular Affairs of the U.S. Department of State. She joined the Department of State as a Foreign Service Officer in 2006. She has served overseas as a Consular Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan (2007-08), a Public Diplomacy Officer at the U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem (2009-11), and most recently at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, as an Assistant Cultural Affairs Officer. Esperanza joined her current office in September 2012. Together with Jack Markey, and colleagues from the Bureau of Consular Affairs (CA) and the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, Esperanza coordinated CA’s first-ever outreach to LGBT Americans. The Smart Traveler Day Roundtable, held in February 2013, was designed to raise awareness of the information and resources provided by the Department of State for U.S. citizens traveling abroad, and specifically to debut the LGBT Travel Information that was created by Jack. A native of the San Francisco Bay Area, Esperanza received her undergraduate degree from the University of California at Berkeley, and her law degree from the University of Miami in Florida. Prior to joining the Foreign Service, she worked in the retail and legal professions.
Bob Witeck is the President of Washington, DC-based Witeck Communications, Inc., since 1993 a leading communications expert in designing strategies to reach lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) households and consumers. In their 25th anniversary, the editors of American Demographics magazine selected Bob Witeck as one of 25 national leaders ‘who have made significant contributions to the worlds of demographics, market research, media and trend spotting’ for his pioneering work on America’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender population. Witeck is also the co-author of “Business Inside Out: Tapping Millions of Brand-Loyal Gay Consumers” (Kaplan Publishing, September 2006), recognized as the first book advising marketers and business leaders on building successful bridges with LGBT stakeholders.
Nico Zenner’s extensive sales, marketing and management experience coupled with his in-depth understanding of the US travel marketplace provides Brendan Vacations with comprehensive insight and expertise in worldwide travel. As an industry veteran, he brings with him over 19 years of senior executive level experience in the tour wholesaling, tourism board, aviation and rail sectors, having worked for the Rail Europe Group, the Netherlands Board of Tourism and Sabena Airlines. Most recently, Nico served as president of US FIT (Flexible Independent Travel) operator Travel Bound and GTA North America Wholesale. A strategic, tactical and operational leader by nature, he places heavy emphasis on building relationships. This holistic approach to effective general management has consistently helped him propel his companies to new heights. Originally from Belgium, Nico lived in New York for many years and now resides in the Greater Los Angeles area.