Josh Belkin is Vice President, Global Brand at Hotels.com, part of Expedia Group.
In this role, Josh leads brand marketing, loyalty and communications activities globally at Hotels.com. He oversees brand advertising, brand media, public relations, social media, sponsorships, and brand strategy, including the award-winning Captain Obvious campaign. In addition, Josh is responsible for the Hotels.com Rewards program, which enables customers to earn and redeem reward nights at hundreds of thousands of properties around the globe.
He joined Hotels.com in 2012, and most recently Josh was Vice President and General Manager for Hotels.com in North America, where he was responsible for financial plans, marketing, operations, and strategy for the U.S. and Canada businesses. Previously, he was Senior Director, Global Retail Merchandising at Hotels.com, where he managed global merchandising across 70+ points of sale. He also led the launch of the Hotels.com Gift Card program.
Prior to joining Hotels.com, Josh was a consultant at Bain & Company, with a focus on the travel and retail industries, as well as revenue optimization. He began his career at Cambridge Associates in Boston, primarily advising non-profit endowments on investment management and asset allocation.
Josh holds a B.A. in Economics from Tufts University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Josh lives in Dallas, Texas, with his wife and 7-year old son.
Nicolas is Vice President of Growth & Integration with the Travel Partners Group. His team is responsible for accelerating growth in conventional lodging, vacation rentals and activities by combining Expedia Group platform’s strengths with external parties – to bring best offers and experiences to travelers. Nicolas joined Expedia Group 9 years ago and has held several positions in the lodging space, from leading strategy to developing and running new lines of business. In recent years, he has worked very closely with Vrbo, driving integration within Expedia Group.
Nicolas started his career in financial services at Paribas bank in Asia. He then moved on to consulting at Arthur Andersen, helping financial and telecom companies to accelerate their growth. He later transitioned to UBS, where he assumed strategy and operational responsibilities, based in Zurich and Hong Kong.
Nicolas holds a master’s degree from the ESSEC Graduate School of Business in Paris. He lives in Geneva, Switzerland, with his wife and 4 kids, with whom he shares a passion for outdoor activities and, of course, travel.
Chandreyi Davis is the Vice President, Global Brand for Brand Expedia. In this role, Chandreyi leads brand marketing globally for Brand Expedia overseeing brand advertising, brand media, sponsorships, and brand strategy. Chandreyi joined Expedia Group in March 2020… one month after the start of the global pandemic.
Prior to Expedia, Chandreyi has spent her 20 year career translating customer needs into paradigm shifting programs, from launching Amazon’s first Brand Purpose campaign platform, to introducing Amazon Alexa to the world as Echo’s first Brand and Mass Advertising leader, to driving new to the world beverage innovation at Starbucks with product pipeline development for the Nitro and Flavored Cold Brew portfolio. Chandreyi’s passion is helping brands find their unique voice through communication and product strategies, helping them fulfill their customer’s needs with intention, and enable passionate teams to create on behalf of those customers.
Chandreyi holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Michigan Technological University and an MBA from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
Chandreyi is also a certified mindfulness teacher through Mindfulness Northwest. When sitting on the cushion in her Seattle, WA home isn’t enough, she loves escaping on road trips with her husband Ryan, or finding little adventures discovering new music or food.
With a passion for service and a BSc in Computer Science, Matthew spent 20 years prior to joining Expedia Group as a technology entrepreneur, providing Information Technology Consulting and Professional Services.
After selling his company to General Electric (GE), he played a pivotal role in the rejuvenation and business development of a struggling public company Infowave until CruiseShipCenters (CSC), now known as Expedia CruisesTM (EC), recruited Matthew to assist with its technology strategy and operations leadership in 2002.
Upon becoming a shareholder, Matthew assumed the position of Chief Operating Officer in 2005, selling CSC to Expedia Group (EG) in 2007, and stepping into his current role as President of Expedia Cruises in 2009.
In addition to his responsibilities now leading the Global Cruise for all EG brands and partners that sell cruise, Eichhorst’s efforts are focused on the long-term growth and sustainability of Expedia Cruises’ 300 Franchise Partners and over 6000 Vacation Consultants.
Under Matthew’s leadership, Expedia Group has implemented a transformative omnichannel retail strategy enabling customers to plan and purchase their air, land, and sea vacations seamlessly across all EG channels and brands. To enable this strategy, EG has used their technological expertise to connect web traffic and supply from the world’s most powerful travel brand with the efficiency of personalized service provided by its brick and mortar-based franchise sales force.
Outside the office, Matthew is a longtime member of YPO, dirt biker and traveler who enjoys spending downtime in the country with his family.
Ariane Gorin is Group President of Expedia Business Services which includes Expedia Partner Solutions and Egencia Corporate Travel. Expedia Partner Solutions leverages the best of Expedia Group’s partner facing API and template products with a laser focus on B2B, powering thousands of partners around the world. Egencia has been the corporate travel arm of Expedia Group since 2004 and joined Expedia Business Services in 2019.
Gorin joined Expedia in 2013 as Vice President of Market Management for EMEA and led the EMEA team in rapidly expanding the hotel network in the region. Prior to joining Expedia, Gorin spent 10 years at Microsoft in various sales, distribution and marketing roles. Before joining Microsoft, she was a consultant with the Boston Consulting Group, both in San Francisco and in Paris.
Gorin received an MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Northwestern University and a BA in economics from the University of California at Berkeley. She currently serves on the board of directors of Adecco Group, and is on the advisory council of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in London.
Eric Hart is Chief Financial Officer at Expedia Group. Prior to this role, he acted as Chief Strategy Officer where he was responsible for Expedia Group strategy and business development as well as global M&A and investments. In his ten years with Expedia Group, Hart was most recently the General Manager of CarRentals.com. Prior to that he led corporate strategy for the company, leading some of the company’s largest acquisitions.
Prior to joining Expedia Group, Hart spent time as a Vice President at Lake Capital, a Project Leader at Boston Consulting Group, and a Consultant at Accenture.
Hart holds a bachelor’s degree from Georgia State University and a Master’s in Business Administration from University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
Lish Kennedy is Vice President of Global Brand Marketing at Vrbo, part of Expedia Group.
Lish Kennedy leads brand marketing globally for Vrbo, overseeing brand advertising, brand media, brand strategy, public relations, social media, and sponsorships. In 2020, Lish asked to take on Vrbo’s Inclusion & Diversity program and has become its champion.
Lish joined Expedia Group to guide Vrbo, the company’s vacation rental brand, in August 2019. Before that, Lish was responsible for global brand marketing at Etsy where she led brand strategy, brand communications and merchandizing. Prior to Etsy, Lish worked on the creative agency side, building award winning brands spanning consumer packaged goods (CPG), tech, and direct-to-consumer (DTC) from BBH Global’s offices in London, Shanghai, and New York City.
Lish holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of Newcastle, a master’s degree in marketing from Imperial College, and an accelerated MBA.
Accepting the role of Vrbo vice president of global brand marketing brought Lish to Austin, TX – a good move for her recue dog Tater Tot and for her love of hiking with her husband.
Peter Kern is the Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Expedia Group. Mr. Kern has been a director of Expedia Group since completion of the IAC/Expedia Group Spin-Off and has served as Vice Chairman of Expedia Group since June 2018. Mr. Kern has spent decades in leadership roles in public and private settings.
Previously, Mr. Kern was CEO of Tribune Media and Managing Partner of InterMedia Partners VII, LP, a private equity firm. Prior to joining InterMedia, Mr. Kern was Senior Managing Director and Principal of Alpine Capital LLC. Prior to Alpine Capital, Mr. Kern founded Gemini Associates in 1996 and served as President from its inception through its merger with Alpine Capital in 2001. Prior to founding Gemini Associates, Mr. Kern was at the Home Shopping Network and Whittle Communications. Mr. Kern has served on the Board of Directors of Tribune Media Company since October 2016, where he currently also serves as Chief Executive Officer, as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Hemisphere Media Group, Inc., a publicly-traded Spanish-language media company, since April 2013, and since 2016, as a member of Supervisory Board of trivago N.V., a majority-owned subsidiary of Expedia Group. Mr. Kern also serves on the boards of several private companies.
Mr. Kern holds a B.S. degree from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
Julie Kyse serves as Vice President, Global Air Partnerships at Expedia Group, one of the world’s largest travel companies. In this role, she is responsible for leading the team that manages a portfolio of the world’s largest global airlines.
Julie joined the Expedia Group in September 2011. Prior to that, she worked at British Airways for sixteen years in a variety of Sales and Marketing roles including managing the commercial team in Latin America and Caribbean.
She holds a BA from the University of Richmond - Virginia and an MA in Latin American Studies from the University of Texas - Austin.
Julie lives in Miami, Florida.
Kevin Locraft is the Vice President of Partner Success, Vacation Rental at Expedia Group. Kevin joined Expedia Group in July 2013 with then HomeAway, now Vrbo, as a Director of Corporate Strategy & Development. Since then, Kevin was promoted to Vice President and, in 2017, moved from strategy and business development into the Vacation Rental sales and account management organization. From 2017 through the present, Kevin has focused entirely on building out a world-class Partner Success organization with a mission to efficiently enable partners to achieve their goals with Expedia Group while enhancing the traveller experience.
Before joining Expedia Group, Kevin was a Director of Global Analytics at Electronic Arts. Prior to Electronic Arts, Kevin spent several years as a Consultant and Cace Team Leader at Bain & Company. Kevin holds a BA in International Studies from Middlebury College and an MBA from the Red McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin.
Outside of work and schooling, Kevin enjoys spending his time with his wife, Leslie, and their four boys (2 human, 2 canine). Suppose you don’t see Kevin at a conference, on a call, or engaged in work-related email conversations. In that case, he can usually be found by the pool/grill with his family, out boating, at the gym, or watching his boys and favorite teams from the Washington, DC area, engaged in sport.
The opportunity to explore new places led Melissa Maher to embark on career in the travel industry. But making the world more inclusive, accessible, and connected has fueled her love of the industry for more than two decades. As senior vice president of Marketing and Industry Engagement, Melissa brings together her purpose-driven leadership and passion for great storytelling to design global programs that inspire and engage Expedia Group’s travel partners. In her role, Melissa leads the teams responsible for Expedia Group’s business-to-business marketing, public relations, owner engagement, partner loyalty solutions, and strategic events.
Melissa is dedicated to creating space for diverse voices in the travel industry. She served as Expedia Group’s first Chief Inclusion Officer where she led the team responsible for celebrating and championing diversity and creating a sense of belonging for employees, customers, partners, and communities. To drive positive change in the career mobility for women in travel, Melissa serves on the board of WINiT by Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), a network that provides unique career development opportunities. Melissa also serves on the board of the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI), the industry’s leading advocate for intelligent, sustainable hotel revenue growth, and is a content contributor for GlobalHotelNetwork.com.
Melissa not only believes in connecting the world through travel but doing her part to make the world a better place through her charitable giving and volunteer work for the Lupus Foundation of America, Crystal Cove Conservancy, and the Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth.
Prior to working at Expedia Group, Melissa opened the Paris Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas as Director of Conference Center Sales, served as Director of Tour and Conference Sales with the Las Vegas Hilton, and received her MBA and BS from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
John Mast is the Sr. Director, Global Cruise Marketing responsible for leading the marketing strategy and organization across the cruise line of business for the Expedia Inc. brands globally. This includes Expedia, Expedia Cruises, Travelocity, Orbitz, AARP and white label partnerships. Mast is an accomplished multi-channel marketing and franchising executive with over 20 years’ experience leading teams and building brands. During his career, he’s contributed to the growth of brands such as Royal Caribbean International, Carnival Cruise Lines, Expedia CruiseShipCenters, Aeroplan, Magic Johnson Enterprises and Mikes Hard Lemonade.
Mast holds a Bachelors Degree (BBA) in Marketing and Communications from Simon Fraser University and is a Certified Franchise Executive (CFE) with the International Franchising Association. In addition, he proudly serves as a founding member and the Vice-Chair of the Board for Canada Scores Vancouver, a not-for-profit after school program for vulnerable youth in elementary schools, and is also an enthusiastic leader of his son’s Scout Troup.
As global senior vice president of Expedia Group Media Solutions, the digital advertising organization of Expedia Group, Hari Nair oversees all facets of the business including product development and execution, engineering, operations, marketing, media sales and business development.
Hari was previously Vice President and General Manager of Orbitz.com and CheapTickets.com, subsidiaries of Expedia Group, responsible for overseeing retail operations and profitability of the business, brand strategy, marketing efficiency and customer lifecycle management.
Hari joined Expedia Group in 2002, and has managed and led market management operations in a variety of offices, including Dallas, New York and London. He also oversaw the company’s hotel supplier relations and directed lodging strategy and business for North America.
Prior to joining Expedia, Hari worked in corporate training and food and beverage operations at Oberoi Hotels, a leading luxury hotel chain that owns and manages thirty hotels and five luxury cruisers across six countries under the ‘Oberoi’ & ‘Trident’ brands.
Hari holds a master’s degree in Hotel Management from Cornell University.
In this role, he is responsible for empowering all travel partner segments through the Expedia Group platform’s leading-edge marketing, distribution, data and technology solutions. This includes connecting conventional lodging, vacation rentals, air, cruise, car, activities, destination marketing organizations and other travel and non-travel advertisers with our traveler audiences on our global network of trusted brands.
Prior to joining Expedia Group, Ranque was Vice President of Marketing & Distribution for Louvre Hotels, after having advised the Taittinger Group on the creation of the company in early 2004. Previously, Ranque was head of the French CRM practice for AT Kearney and has also served as a CRM consultant at Accenture, an investment banker at Morgan Stanley in London, and a financial analyst with LVMH in Tokyo.
Ranque holds a master’s degree from the ESSEC Graduate School of Business in Paris, with a specialization in finance and strategy.
Greg Schulze is Senior Vice President for Expedia Group, Inc., representing some of the best brands in travel, including Expedia, Hotels.com, Travelocity, Orbitz, Hotwire, Wotif, and Expedia Cruises. His team manages global leisure and corporate relationships with travel partners for air, car rental, rail and cruise. He spent five years in Singapore and recently relocated back to the United States. Greg served as a director for Air Asia Expedia and is currently on the board of directors of Traveloka and the US-ASEAN Business Council.
Greg joined Expedia in 2005 to lead its air reporting and analysis practices. He subsequently assumed responsibility for package pricing and revenue management, building on his days at American Airlines, where he worked on the airline’s Internet pricing strategy. Most recently at Expedia, he served as the Vice President of Tour and Transport for supply partnerships throughout North and South America.
Greg holds a bachelor’s degree in Engineering from Northwestern University and a Master of Business Administration from the University of North Carolina.
As vice president for Ground Transport at Expedia Group, Susan Spinney leads the global team focused on growing relationships with, and developing new services for, ground transport partners. Her role focuses on increasing the visibility and reach of ground transport partners, attracting high-value customers from around the world to their offerings, and providing unique tools and insights to help them manage their business.
Previously, Spinney served as vice president of Owner Relations at Expedia Group. Since joining Expedia Group in 2001, Spinney has held several management roles including director of Planning, Hotel Sales in Dallas, director of Market Management for Northeast and Mid-Atlantic.
Prior to Expedia, Group, Spinney held management, sales and product management positions at various travel companies including Air Jamaica Vacations, Globetrotters and Lowestfare.com.
Ait studied engineering in Belgium and the UK, and an MBA in the US. He lived in 10 countries across the world, starting his career as an engineer, in the microchip industry in South Korea. He then moved to consulting, helping internet and telecom companies to innovate and accelerate, across the world for 13 years. Before joining Expedia, Ait joined a Berlin based start-up incubator (Rocket Internet), where he build up the travel business for Groupon, across the EMEA region, with what was known to be the most talented travel team ever seen in the region. He joined Expedia in 2014, as Vice President for Market Management in EMEA, and became the Global Account Management Senior Vice President in 2018. In this role he travels the world every week, working with independent hoteliers and other supply partners, to make them successful on the Expedia Group platform and stay ahead of digital innovation.
With the combined experience in engineering, process optimization, and sales, Ait also takes on the ambition to make his team one of the highest performing travel teams the world has ever experienced. Ait has a habit of starting every day with a little adventure, in the form of a 5k outdoor run where-ever he is in the world. Ait lives in Switzerland with his wife and 2 kids, with whom he shares a passion for adventures, and water and mountaineering sports.
Zuhairah is an energetic, compassionate and resilient global business leader with over fifteen years of experience crafting innovative partnerships and driving profitable growth at the world’s most disruptive startups and most respected Fortune 500 companies.
As an early executive at Uber, Zuhairah grew businesses from startup to scale and grew one of the top five US markets to profitability. In this capacity, she oversaw full people management and P&L responsibility, led the successful launches of uberX, uberPOOL and uberEATS and grew the core business to a $1B run rate. Currently, she is a Senior Vice President at Expedia Group leading global strategic accounts. In this capacity, she is responsible for driving strategic partnerships with hotel chain partners and leveraging Expedia Group’s unique technology assets to identify new opportunities to power their businesses.
Internationally, Zuhairah has lived and worked in Barcelona, Dubai and London where she led business development partnerships for Europe’s largest local search and user-generated review website which was subsequently acquired by Yelp. Prior to entering tech, Zuhairah was an investor and Regional Vice President at MacFarlane Partners, a high-growth, real estate private equity firm with $20B in assets under management.
A native of Los Angeles, Zuhairah holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from UCLA, as well as a joint JD/MBA from Harvard. In her free time, she enjoys singing, mentoring, writing and exploring the world with her husband and two active and lively young sons.
As Senior Vice President of Multiproduct Engagement, Tina leads both product and technology teams for a travel portfolio that includes six global brands, including Expedia, Orbitz and Travelocity. Tina is currently focused on designing, developing and delivering engaging multiproduct trip experiences that travelers love. She also sits on the Expedia Group Inclusion & Diversity Advisory Council and is the Executive Sponsor for EG WELL, a global initiative to empower and support women toward leadership roles at Expedia Group. Prior to her current role, Tina held a variety of product leadership positions, including Chief Product Officer, at Vrbo.
Before her time with Expedia Group, Tina graduated from UCLA (Go Bruins!) and has since held a variety of leadership roles at Yahoo!, Ask.com, Demand Media, IAC Publishing Labs and more.
She is an avid runner, adventure seeker, and art lover. When not at work, her favorite places are on mountain tops, Tokyo and Iceland.
Jose Arozarena is the CEO and founder of Amigo Group, a tourism group that operates tours and hotels. Fast growing and one of the biggest top operators for individuals worldwide, operating in 10 different countries, in 2019 Amigo Group handled over 1.2 million passengers and their core business is to sell through distributors and OTA´s such as Expedia Group.
Adam Goldstein serves as the Global Chair of Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), a position he previously held in 2015 and 2016. His current term began in 2019 and continues through 2020.
Mr. Goldstein is a travel and cruise industry expert, having spent the majority of his career in leadership roles with Royal Caribbean Group (RCL). He joined RCL in 1988 and served in numerous positions including President & CEO of Royal Caribbean International from 2007 – 2014 and President and COO of RCL from 2014 to 2018. He retired from his position as Vice Chairman of RCL in March 2020.
Throughout his career, Mr. Goldstein has remained an active member of the travel and tourism industry. He served as Chair of the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) in 2017 and 2018. In 2001, he served as the National Chair of the Travel Industry Association of America (now U.S. Travel Association) and has been inducted into the Travel Industry Hall of Leaders, as well as the International Maritime Hall of Fame. He serves on the Board of Trustees of INSEAD, the Board of Directors of Rhombus Energy Solutions, Inc., the Board of Directors of Tarana Wireless, Inc.; and is co-Chair of the Energy Security Leadership Council, a leadership affiliate of Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) in Washington DC.
Mr. Goldstein graduated with honors from Princeton University. He also has a law degree from Harvard University and an MBA with distinction from INSEAD.
Omid is EVP Global Growth at Big Bus Tours and oversees strategic global partnerships including some of the world’s biggest travel businesses. With over 20 years in the travel and technology industry, including Voyages-SNCF and Trainline. Omid holds a Masters degree from Greenwich University and is based in London, United Kingdom.
Gloria joined the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) in August 2017, following a varied career in Travel & Tourism. WTTC is the global body that represents travel & tourism worldwide. A sector that generates 10% of GDP and employs circa 300 million jobs.
Her career in the travel industry started in 1995 at the Sabre Travel Network and Sabre Holdings, she was later CEO of JV Sabre Mexico reporting to a board of directors from Aeromexico, Mexicana, and Sabre. In March 2010 President Calderon appointed her as Minister of Tourism and two weeks after she was given in addition the full responsibility of the Mexican Tourism Board. Under her leadership the “National Agreement for Tourism” in Mexico was created in 2011 and for the first time “the importance of Travel & Tourism” was included in the G20 declaration of leaders in Los Cabos.
Gloria received the Good Neighbour Award from the US-Mexico Chamber of Commerce and Virtuoso awarded Mexico the best tourism board in the world due to her successful branding and repositioning efforts. In addition, Gloria has been Special Advisor on Government Affairs to Harvard University, and part of the Future for Travel, Tourism and Aviation Global Agenda Council of the World Economic Forum (WEF). She was recognised as one of the most influential women in Mexico by CNN and Expansion.
In addition, Gloria is a board member of HSBC Mexico and Playa Hotels & Resorts (NASDAQ listed).
She holds a BS in Computer Science from Anahuac University and MBA from Kellogg School of Business, Northwestern University.
Mike Hawkins is Vice President of Global Sales for Enterprise Holdings Inc., In this position, Hawkins is responsible for identifying growth opportunities and new initiatives in the off-airport market globally. Additionally, Hawkins helps oversee operation strategies for the travel industry.
Enterprise Holdings operates – through an integrated global network of independent regional subsidiaries and franchises – the Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Alamo Rent A Car and National Car Rental brands, as well as more than 10,000 fully staffed neighborhood and airport locations in 100 countries and territories. Enterprise Holdings is the largest car rental company in the world, as measured by revenue and fleet. In addition, Enterprise Holdings is the most comprehensive service provider and only investment-grade company in the U.S. car rental industry.
The company and its affiliate Enterprise Fleet Management together offer a total transportation solution, operating more than 2 million vehicles throughout the world. Combined, these businesses – accounting for $25.9 billion in revenue in fiscal year 2019 – include the Car Sales, Truck Rental, CarShare, Commute vanpooling, Zimride, Exotic Car Collection, Subscribe with Enterprise, Car Club (U.K.) and Flex-E-Rent (U.K.) services, all marketed under the Enterprise brand name. The annual revenues of Enterprise Holdings – one of America’s largest private companies – and Enterprise Fleet Management rank near the top of the global travel industry, exceeding many airlines and most cruise lines, hotels, tour operators, and online travel agencies.
Hawkins began his career with Enterprise in 1989 as a Management Trainee in Michigan and worked his way up to Area Manager. In 1996, he was promoted to Regional Rental Manager in New York. One year later, he was promoted to General Manager in Ireland, where he remained until he became General Manager of Tucson in 2006. In 2009, Hawkins became the General Manager of Northern Ohio. He was promoted to his current position in 2014.
During his career, Hawkins has frequently been recognized for outstanding performance, earning numerous Founding Values Awards, a Chairman’s Award, President’s Awards and more than 10 Exceptional Achievement Awards.
Hawkins received a bachelor’s degree in business from Albion College in Kalamazoo, Michigan. He and his wife, Lisa, live in St. Louis with their two children.
Hawkins previously served as a Board Member on the Presidents Council in Cleveland, the Boys and Girls Club of St. Louis, the Tucson Urban League and the Tucson Sports Authority. In addition, Hawkins is an active member of the community and volunteers for various organizations as time permits.
Yeoh Siew Hoon
Yeoh Siew Hoon is the founder of WiT, launching it in Singapore in 2005 and going on to launch WiT editions across Asia Pacific. In 2016, WiT Europe made its debut in London, days after the Brexit vote.
WiT has won several awards including Most Innovative Marketing Initiative and Trade Conference Of The Year from the Singapore Tourism Board and in 2014, Siew Hoon was recognised Tourism Entrepreneur of The Year. A journalist by profession and passion, she’s also a speaker and facilitator at events around the world.
She’s also a published author of titles such as Around Asia In One Hour: Tales of Condoms, Chillies & Curries and children’s books such as Adventures of Habibie The Turtle and The Story of Baitong and Boon.
Beth Kinerk is Senior Vice President of Sales and Customer Development at Avis Budget Group, Inc. She has overall responsibility for driving and retaining revenue across the entire Avis Budget Group organization, including: global markets, large commercial, on-line travel, travel partnerships and associations, mid-market, and small business. She also leads international segments including Asia/ Pacific, EMEA, and Latin America and is the head of sales for all of the Avis Budget Group brands, AVIS, Budget, zipcar, and Payless that represent $8.8 Billion in revenue.
Prior to Avis Budget Group, Beth served as a Corporate Officer and Senior Vice President of Sales and Customer Development at Omnicare Inc., a $6+ billion Fortune 500 company and a leading provider of pharmaceutical care worldwide. In total, she has more than 20 years of executive leadership experience.
Beth serves as a board member for Business Travel News, GBTA’s Allied Leadership, US Travel Association Finance board, and the Women in Travel board for GBTA. She is the Executive Sponsor for the Global Power of Women program for Avis Budget Group, Inc. Additionally, she is an adjunct professor at Columbia University’s Business School. Beth is a graduate of Michigan State University.
Ms. Rauch first encountered Phocuswright at a conference at Beijing, two years into her five working in China, and officially joined the team shortly after returning to the U.S. in 2012. She's an expert in market sizing for APAC and the U.S., in addition to a wide range of topics. Maggie has also spoken at conferences from the U.S. to Hong Kong and Singapore. She speaks Mandarin and spends months each year re-immersing herself in the fast-changing Chinese market.
A graduate of the magazine program at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism, Maggie's introduction to the travel business came over several years working as a travel trade editor in New York. Among her hobbies is coaching youth sports (basketball, swimming and water polo) both in Brooklyn and her second home in Southwest China.
Rick Steves is a popular public television host, a best-selling guidebook author, and an outspoken activist who encourages Americans to broaden their perspectives through travel. But above all else, Rick considers himself a teacher. He taught his first travel class at his college campus in the mid-1970s — and now, more than 40 years later, he still measures his success not by dollars earned, but by trips impacted.
Rick is the founder and owner of Rick Steves' Europe, a travel business with a tour program that brings more than 30,000 people to Europe annually. Each year, the company contributes to a portfolio of climate-smart nonprofits, essentially paying a self-imposed carbon tax. He also works closely with several advocacy groups and has been instrumental in the legalization of marijuana in states across the US.
Rick spends about four months a year in Europe, researching guidebooks, fine-tuning his tour program, filming his TV show, and making new discoveries for travelers. To recharge, he plays piano, relaxes at his family cabin in the Cascade mountains, and spends time with his son Andy and daughter Jackie. He lives and works in his hometown of Edmonds, Washington, where his office window overlooks his old junior high school.
Jan Swartz was promoted in 2016 to the role of group president of Princess Cruises and Carnival Australia, responsible for shared services for Carnival Corporation. Also added to her portfolio is executive oversight of P&O Cruises Australia brand.
She continues to lead Princess Cruises, the third largest cruise line in the world (based on capacity) comprised of a fleet of 17 modern ships that serve over 1.8 million guests annually. As a vacation brand recognized globally, Princess employs more than 28,000 people and operates in more than 60 countries.
Swartz was appointed president of Princess Cruises in November 2013, after more than 15 years working with the cruise line. Prior to this, she served as executive vice president overseeing the line’s sales, marketing and customer service operations, a position she held since 2009. In this role, she directed many of the line’s key departments including domestic and international sales, global marketing and public relations, commercial planning, yield management and customer service for both consumers and retail business partners (travel agents). She has been at the forefront of the industry in developing innovative educational programs, like the award-winning Princess Academy and business-building tools for travel agents like OneSourceCruises.com.
Previously, Swartz served as senior vice president of sales and customer service for both Princess and sister brand Cunard, beginning in 2004. In 2001 she was appointed vice president of strategy and business development, and worked on the P&O Princess acquisition by Carnival Corporation.
Additionally, Swartz is president of the Princess Cruises Community Foundation, a non-profit public benefit corporation that provides financial and in-kind support to charity and relief organizations. In this role, she guides the foundation’s mission that serves to touch the lives of the people in the destinations the cruise line visits, the places where employees are from and through education and perseveration of natural and historical global landmarks by responding to disaster relief and supporting global communities’ local health and welfare efforts.
Swartz holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Harvard Business School and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and English from the University of Virginia. She and her husband live in the Los Angeles area with their two daughters.
Merilee has travelled the world to over 60 countries – and feels at home in many of its major cities. A strategist, property management and partnership expert formerly working for a global energy company, she has always been inspired by authentic and memorable travel experiences. When she’s not feeding her own wanderlust, she loves hiking, cycling, skiing and taking part in the occasional triathlon.
Merilee has a passion for changing the world. 12 years working for Shell and being able to observe different cultures around the globe, gave birth to her desire to actually start making a difference in the way things are done. Combining her drive for initiating change with her love of travelling, Merilee realised the potential for tourists to experience a new destination like a local while allowing homeowners to earn extra income with piece of mind through the growing sharing economy.
Jennifer is Founder and President of Arrived, a west coast based full service vacation rental management company. Jennifer founded Arrived in 2004. Since 2004 she has grown the company through both acquisition and organic growth to include locations in multiple states with varying governmental jurisdictions and restrictions, as well as geographic and target marketing variances.
Maximizing revenue for vacation rental home owners, seeking out innovative opportunities to create a unique and exceptional product, and keeping our owners and guests happy, are what drives Jennifer’s decisions on a day to day basis. Building a strong business foundation during 2020, by taking advantage of the restart in the industry, to make Arrived an exceptionally efficient business is the type of challenge that Jennifer enjoys. As part of the changing industry this year, Jennifer and renewed her love and understanding of U.S. travel by exploring and falling in love again with the rural west coast.
Alison Taylor is Chief Customer Officer at American Airlines. She serves as the voice of the customer and works to create a secure, comfortable, and welcoming environment for our customers, to deliver unique and exceptional experiences at each step of the customer journey.
Under her care, American is developing and implementing brand and marketing strategies to drive equity and value, with a focus on creating a more seamless travel journey. Alison's team works to sell the product and experience, by building strategic relationships with corporate and group customers, travel management companies, online travel agencies, and travel partners. Additional responsibilities include the airline's Customer Experience and Reservations teams, which provide customer service and recover efforts for American Airlines travelers.
For the past 30 years, Alison has served in many leadership roles in two of the world's top travel organizations. Before joining American Airlines in September 2016, she led the Sales team at Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, as Senior Vice President of Global Sales, based in New York. Her prior roles at Starwood include Senior Vice President of Sales and Revenue Management and Vice President of Sales, Revenue Management, and Digital Marketing.
Alison is an established leader within the travel industry with a caring management style and the ability to oversee multiple teams and functions globally. She has lived and worked in eight countries, including over 20 years in Asia.
Alison grew up in Australia and later lived in London, England. She returned to Australia to attend Victoria University in Melbourne, earning a Business degree. She now lives in Dallas, Texas and is married with one son. She is passionate about the charities she supports, and in her free time enjoys watching rugby and traveling. Alison had the pleasure of working in Fiji in the South Pacific for three years, and it's one of her favorite places in the world.
Shai Weiss is Chief Executive Officer at Virgin Atlantic and an Executive Director of the Virgin Atlantic board.
Shai joined Virgin Atlantic as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer in July 2014 from Virgin Management Ltd, where he had been an Investment Partner since 2012 and was a Founding Partner of Virgin Green Fund. In January 2017 Shai assumed the role of Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer responsible for shaping the airline’s strategic position in the market, driving opportunities for new revenue, and leading the loyalty, alliances and marketing programs that distinguish the airline. In January 2019, Shai took up the role of Chief Executive Officer. Following the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the global economy, Shai led Virgin Atlantic through the crisis and delivered the privately funded, solvent recapitalisation of the airline and holiday business in September 2020. Through his role at Virgin Group Shai has been a member of the Virgin Atlantic board from summer 2012.
Shai has extensive financial and operational expertise. Prior to joining Virgin Group, he held several senior management positions at ntl:Telewest (now Virgin Media), the UK and Europe’s largest cable operator. Shai was part of the turn-around of ntl with roles including Managing Director of Consumer Products, Director of Operations, and Director of Financial Planning for the Consumer division. Shai was also behind the merger between Virgin Mobile UK and ntl:Telewest and the re-brand to Virgin Media.
Prior to ntl, Shai established the European office of early-stage technology venture fund JVP and was a senior associate with Morgan Stanley.
Shai also serves as a non-executive director of Checkpoint Software Technologies (NASDQ: CHKP), a leading provider of cyber security solutions to governments and corporate enterprises globally.
Shai holds an MBA from Columbia University in New York and a BBA from City University of New York, Baruch College. He resides in London with his family, attends Arsenal games whenever he can, reads The New Yorker magazine from cover to cover and attempts to play basketball.
Last Modified: January 10, 2020
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