Leading Speakers Announced for Travel Industry Exchange in Orlando

NEW YORK (July 20, 2015) ─ Questex Travel Group today announced an impressive line-up of speakers who will lead panel discussions and educational seminars for its Travel Industry Exchange event Sept. 15-17 at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort in Orlando, Florida.

The event, emphasizing niche travel and specialization, will offer over 60 sessions focused on revenue-generating niche segments, including certification programs in luxury travel, cruise ship travel and weddings and romance as well as concentrated programs in technology, trends, destinations and millennial travel.

Questex has announced the following leading industry speakers who will present dynamic educational content on topics relevant to attendees’ business development:

  • General Session:  Raise the Bar Now: Step Up Your Business for the Next Wave of Travelers
    Joshua Bush, CEO, Avenue Two Travel
  • Zane Kerby, president & CEO, American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA)
  • Thomas Ostebo, president & CEO, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA)
  • Ruthanne Terrero, vice president of content and editorial director, Questex Travel Group

Cruise Travel Specialists:

  • Charles Sylvia, vice president, trade relations, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA)
  • Gretchen Bell, vice president of sales, Americas, SeaDream Yacht Club
  • Ellen Bettridge, vice president, sales & marketing, The Americas, Azamara Club Cruises
  • Susan Shultz, director of sales, American Cruise Lines
  • Susan Wolfson, travel expert, Go Astro Travel LLC, an independently owned and operated affiliate of Avoya Travel, an American Express Travel Representative
  • Kim Grammer, travel expert, i-travelagent
  • Mark Bradley, S. business development consultant, European Waterways Ltd.
  • Joe Leon, senior director, business development & travel agency sales, Regent Seven Seas Cruises
  • John Bateman, regional trainer, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA)
  • Navin Sawhney, chief operating officer, Ponant USA
  • Wayne Peyreau, director of sales, MSC Cruises (USA) Inc.
  • Nicola Iannone, director of sales, USA CroisiEurope
  • Ken Muskat, executive vice president, sales, PR & guest services, MSC Cruises (USA) Inc.
  • Rhian Torontow, travel expert, Magical Family Adventures
  • Rainer Jenss, president & founder, Family Travel Association

Luxury 2.0: Going Beyond the Basics

  • Ruthanne Terrero, vice president of content and editorial director, Questex Travel Group
  • Mary Ann Ramsey, president and owner, Betty Maclean Travel
  • Susan Moynihan, founder, The Honeymoonist
  • Andera Malis, managing director, private client division, Camelback Odyssey Travel
  • Michelle Woodson, owner/luxury travel advisor, MH Signature Journeys
  • Leslie Overton, managing director, Absolute Travel
  • Hope Smith, owner, Born to Travel, independent contractor affiliated with Montecito Village Travel & Virtuoso

Property and Destination Updates:

  • Kelly Messina, sales executive, Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA)
  • Jim McMichael, specialty markets manager, Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA)
  • Ron Mracký, managing director, Africa Consult Group
  • Sylvia Frommer-Mracký, owner, Production Travel & Tours
  • Chris Austin, vice president, global retail leisure and luxury sales, Starwood Hotels and Resorts
  • Joy Skaardal, sales manager, Scandinavian Airlines
  • John McAuliff, executive director, Fund for Reconciliation and Development
  • Sarah Postler, distribution development manager, Tourism Australia
  • Adam Lubicz, marketing executive, USA, Destination New South Wales
  • Kylie Smith, marketing manager, Tourism & Events Queensland
  • Susan Brown, regional manager, The Americas, Tourism Victoria
  • Daisy Godreau, business development manager, Puerto Rico Tourism Company

Lifestyle Travel and Trends Including: Adventure, Eco-Tourism, Culture, Culinary, Spa and Wellness

  • Ron Fenska, vice president, sales, North America, Intrepid Group
  • Dan Austin, founder & director, Austin Adventures
  • Anne Dimon, CEO, Travel to Wellness, co-founder, Wellness Travel Media
  • Carol Dimopoulos, president, Perillo’s Learning Journeys
  • Michael Luongo, award-winning freelance journalist and photographer, About.com
  • Doug Kostowski, founder, Travel People
  • Carmen Perez, travel expert, Effortless Living
  • Naomi Reed, corporate sales manager, Canyon Ranch
  • Gilad Goren, founder & executive director, Travel+SocialGood
  • Duane Penner, vice president, sales, Roadtrips.com
  • Patrick Sarkisisan, founder and CEO, Sarkisisan Partners

Trends and Impact of Tech, Online and Social Media

  • Anna Lysakowska, travel blogger, Anna Everywhere
  • Caroline Eubanks, travel blogger, Caroline in the City
  • Carmen Perez, travel expert, Effortless Living
  • Michael Hodson, past president, Professional Travel Bloggers Association
  • Jenna Vandenberg, executive vice president, marketing, Fifty & Five LLC
  • Ari Charlestein, founder, Award Magic
  • Rhian Torontow, travel expert, Magical Family Adventures

Wedding and Romance Travel Specialists

  • Shannon LeBlanc, chief romance officer, Paradise Vacation Escapes
  • Matthew Schumacher, commander in chief, Travel Troops LLC
  • Yvette De Vries, president, Association for Promotion of Tourism to Africa(APTA)
  • LoAnn Halden, media relations manager, International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA)
  • Jim McMichael, diversity & cultural manager, Las Vegas Convention & Visitor Authority (LVCVA)
  • Vicky Garcia, chief operating officer and co-owner, Cruise Planners
  • Susan Moynihan, founder, The Honeymoonist
  • Lisa Sheldon, executive director, Destination Wedding & Honeymoon Specialists Association (DWHSA)

Millennial Travelers and Advisors

  • Ashish Sanghrajka, director of industry relations, Millennials in Travel
  • Gilad Goren, founder & executive director, Travel+SocialGood
  • Joe Pike, senior editor, Travel Agent magazine
  • Dave Cicotte, marketing communications & social media associate, Conlin Travel
  • Katelyn O’Shaughnessy, CEO and founder, TripScope
  • Daniela Harrison, travel consultant, Avenues of the World

Multigenerational and Family Travel

  • Nigel Osborne, vice president, sales and business development, Keytours Vacations International
  • Rainer Jenss, president & founder, Family Travel Association
  • Jennifer Forehand Round, manager, Slaydon’s Travel
  • Brandy Posey, owner and CEO, Fairytale Adventures Travel
  • Nicole Thibault, owner/consultant, Magical Storybook Travels
  • Yvette De Vries, president, Association for Promotion of Tourism to Africa (APTA)
  • Daniela Harrison, travel consultant, Avenues of the World

Your Business, Your Brand: Building Both Together

  • Vanessa McGovern, executive vice president, business development & strategic partnerships, Global Institute for Travel Entrepreneurs (GIFTE)
  • Trish Gastineau, travel expert, Simply Europe Travel

The full schedule can be viewed at http://www.travelindustryexchange.com/schedule.

Meredith Hill, travel industry trailblazer and founder and chief executive officer of Global Institute for Travel Entrepreneurs (GIFTE), will deliver the event’s keynote address, “The Path to Limitless Opportunities Begins with Specialization.” Hill’s empowering message will draw upon her extensive travel career, entrepreneurial journey and success turning her failing business around to achieve record sales through specialization.

Travel Industry Exchange will bring travel professionals and lifestyle specialists together with international suppliers, including destinations, hoteliers, cruise lines, tour operators, transportation providers, technology companies, spas and resorts. The event will include over eight hours of one-to-one meetings, comprehensive education including agent specialty training and networking events and receptions.

The one-to-one appointments and networking events are designed to help attendees build on their specializations and grow their businesses. For more information or to register, travel professionals may visit www.travelindustryexchange.com.

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