Rupesh is the CEO of 3Hospitality and SmartGuests.com, and he operates award winning hotels in the Daytona Beach area. Known for his out of the box, innovative thinking, Rupesh has incorporated his marketing and design background into hospitality industry to deliver simple ideas that bring smiles to guest’s faces and drive revenues for his hotels. Keep Reading
Inder Sharma is a visionary, a serial entrepreneur, an angel investor and an environmentalist seeking practical solutions to everyday life problems. He has founded 15 companies over the last 20 years varying from hospitality solutions, to energy efficient lighting, to power generation. Inder founded Hotel.com in 1996 and sold it in 2001. He founded hotelsupplies.com which became the platform for chicebuys.com. He founded medibuy which went public in 2001 with a valuation of $1.5B. Inder has been associated with AAHOA for over 23 years and has been part of it’s growth since 1993. Keep Reading
Martin Owen joined the industry as a travel agent specializing in corporate travel, before working in reservations and sales for an international airline. He moved back into agency management eventually managing a chain of travel agencies in London.
In 1983, he joined Travelbag, a small company of 12 people selling discounted air tickets to Australia. He was part of the ownership team that grew the company to 400 people as a major long-haul tour operator. Travelbag also ran its own charter flight operation with daily flights to Australia from the UK, and owned a tourist ranch and hotel in Central Australia.
On selling his stake in Travelbag in 1996, he established a Tourism Consultancy, Owen Organization. The consultancy assisted in air and land product purchasing for a major tour operator; technology management for an international travel agency group; technology consulting for Sabre/American Airlines in Europe; establishing travel industry distribution for Serviced Apartment rentals worldwide; and developed a travel agency specializing in international travel for dogs among other projects.
Raul is CEO of Virgin Hotels and is responsible for the company’s overall expansion, customer experience and culture. In a career that spans 30 years, Raul has held top management positions for Interstate Hotels, Lane Hotels and the Continental companies and is one of the few hospitality industry executives that understands both the lifestyle and branded hotels segments. Keep Reading
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.
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.
Rajiv Bhatia, M.S., CHA, CHE, CRME is CEO of FairBridge Hotels International, a promising franchise system with 43 properties providing an attractive alternative to legacy franchise models.
Prior to his appointment as CEO of FairBridge, Rajiv served as leader of the Knights Inn Brand of the Wyndham Hotel Group. Throughout the last decade he was responsible for brand operations, property openings, design and development, franchise services, quality assurance, training, development financing and marketing. During his tenure at Wyndham, Mr. Bhatia served as president of the company’s Villager brand from 2003 until it merged with the Knights Inn brand in September 2004. Prior to his role as brand president, from 1996 until 2003 Mr Bhatia supported the Hotel Group’s worldwide master licensing efforts for several Wyndham brands including Howard Johnson, Days Inn, and Super 8 while working across five continents and numerous international destinations. Keep Reading
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.
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