Susan Pannozzo, CHA, CHT brings over 30 years of experience to the hospitality industry. She started her career as a Guest Service Representative, working her way up through multiple departments to eventually the role of General Manager. After 14 years in hotel operations, Susan joined the corporate office of IHG in 2000 as Quality Consultant, later transitioning to the IHG Training Department where she managed the quality and service training programs for the Americas Region up until February of 2017. Keep Reading
Erik is a hotel technology marketing specialist, with deep experience across global markets with solutions such as revenue management, online distribution and property management. Erik started his career in hotel management, then shifted to technical roles in solution consulting and delivery, before specializing in sales and marketing leadership.
Rocco is a passionate hotelier and energetic entrepreneur with a remarkable career of over 20 years. He studied hotel management at Westminster College in London and Cornell University in Singapore, and he has worked in some of the finest, world class properties in amazing destinations spanning three continents. He’s led pre-opening, rebranding, and repositioning projects, and he’s recognized as a turnaround expert. Keep Reading
Jan Edwards is the founder and CEO at Paving the Way, an organization committed to ending sex trafficking in the U.S. through education and empowerment. Jan spent over 25 years in sales and marketing working with big names like Time Warner, Bright House, the UN and other international organizations, before taking on the worldwide initiative to prevent children from become victims of this silent crime.
She is the writer and producer of the award winning film; Trapped in the Trade that is used globally in business and educational programs across the country and believes this endeavor must start in our neighborhoods.
Tarun S. Patel is a second generation hotelier and entrepreneur specializing in Hospitality Management and Development, Deal Structure, Finance and Accounting. He’s Principal of Pacific Hospitality Company, and Founder and CFO of Pracrea Inc, a Silicon Valley based startup offering software-as-a-service solutions used by commercial real estate brokers and owners to manage the sale of their listings and properties. Their solution, TheHotelInventory.com, provides a virtual meeting place for hotel buyers and sellers that helps hotel sellers and brokers market their properties, and hotel investors find their next investment.
Tarun earned a BS, Finance and Economics from San Diego State University.
Joann V. Saucier, Ed.D. has 30 years experience in hospitality/tourism, government, education, and real estate management. She served as Director of Operations and Senior Regional Manager, ResortQuest, Destin, FL 1985–2005, and went on to serve as a Management Consultant for several companies and organizations, including the Greater New Orleans Hotel & Lodging Association.
Joann earned a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Social Studies Education from Dominican College, New Orleans, LA, a Masters of Education in Counseling from Loyola University, New Orleans, LA, and a Doctor of Education in Educational Psychology from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
Dr. Kate Price-Howard has 30 years experience in the fields of hospitality and commercial recreation. Her work experience includes recreation positions on board cruise ships, hotels, summer camps, psychiatric units, nursing homes, and serving as Director of Recreation for several Florida resorts.
In 2001, she founded Go Play, Inc., providing recreation consultation to resort and property management companies, corporate team building, and special events. She has taught more than 600 students that have come through her company as recreation interns. Keep Reading
Kerry V. Ranson is Chief Development Officer, Business & Acquisitions, for HP Hotels – a Birmingham, Alabama-based 3rd party management group with a portfolio of over 30 hotels in 12 states comprised of Hilton, Marriott, InterContinental, Choice, and Independent full-service and select-service hotels. Kerry is also the outgoing Chairman of the Board for the IHG Owners Association. Keep Reading
Atul G. Patel, CHO is a second generation hotelier. He and his family moved to the United States in 1979 and settled in Tifton, GA, where his family bought their first independent hotel. After learning the trade in the family business, Atul went on to earn a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Emory University, and a Master’s Degree in Finance Georgia State. He now has an interest in seven properties, and he and his partners manage a portfolio of five.
Luis Fernandez, and his wife Yanin, own and operate two restaurants located in Historic Downtown Norcross, Georgia. In 2008, they opened their first restaurant, Mojitos Cuban American Bistro, offering authentic Cuban cuisine in a casual 50’s atmosphere. In 2014, they opened their second restaurant, The Crossing, in the more than a century old Norcross train depot. The casual, fine dining establishment offers steaks, chops, and a contemporary American menu. Both restaurants deliver amazing cuisine, great service, and quality live music.