Name: Fabio Lazzerini Title: Chief business officer Company, city: Alitalia; Rome, Italy Number of employees: 12,000 Recent project: Re-launching Alitalia and coming out of the tough times First job: I worked in the State Department for nine years. Little-known fact about you: I grew up in the mountains surrounding Lake Como, and my dream career is to start a business in the wine industry.
Name: Deborah Flint Title: Chief executive officer Company, city: Los Angeles World Airports; Los Angeles, California Number of employees: 3,700 Recent project: We painstakingly removed a pedestrian bridge to pave the way for our Automated People Mover and we broke ground on our Consolidated Rent-A-Car facility. First job: I was an ice cream server at the Sweet Stop, but I actually lost money because of all the ice cream my little sister ate. Little-known fact about you: I’m the biggest Golden State Warriors fan in Los Angeles.
Name: Dan White Title: Complex general manager Company, city: Claridge House; Chicago, Illinois Number of employees: 70 Recent project: Leading a neighborhood mural design and installation project First job: Grocery store clerk Little-known fact about you: I enjoy playing acoustic guitar.
Name: Michael Dorf Title: CEO and founder Company, city: City Winery; New York, New York (additional locations in Chicago; Boston; Atlanta; Washington, D.C.; and Nashville; plus Philadelphia and Hudson Valley coming soon) Number of employees: 1,000-plus Recent project: Raising money for Solar Responders, a great nonprofit working to solve the electric grid challenge during storms in Puerto Rico using renewable energy at all first responder stations First job: I never worked for anyone. I sold my beer can collection at a flea market at age 12, had a lawn mowing business at 13–14, built rec rooms on contract at 15–16, did more flea market business, then started the Knitting Factory. Little-known fact about you: I really love hiking, going off into the woods almost every weekend for at least a two-hour hike/climb. Once a year for the last 31 years, I go away out of cell range and spend a week off the grid, going deep into a journey while on some mountain expedition.
Name: Jae-sung Rhee Title: President and CEO Company, city: Seoul Tourism Organization; Seoul, South Korea Number of employees: 150 in the STO office Recent project: Launching a Seoul Welcome Kit through our Seoul MICE Alliances program, which includes vouchers for extra services and goods from more than 30 partners First job: I worked at a shipbuilding company in Masan, South Korea. As I majored in Spanish in my university years, my first project was working on ships for export to Venezuela. Little-known fact about you: I enjoy playing golf and walking outdoors.
Eva Reda, Executive Vice President, Global Co-Brand Partnerships and Business Development, American Express
Name: Eva Reda Title: Executive vice president, global co-brand partnerships and business development Company, city: American Express; New York City, New York Number of employees: 55,000 Recent project: The rebrand and refresh of the Marriott Bonvoy American Express Card portfolio, formerly the SPG American Express Card portfolio First job: I was a pharmacy technician. Little-known fact about you: I love old homes and find restoration so much fun. I bought a home from the 1890s and restored it to what it was; I love all the detail and architecture notes.
Name: John Selden Title: Airport general manager Company, city: Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport Number of employees: 700 in the Department of Aviation; 63,000 employees throughout the airport Recent project: The canopy on the south side of the airport will be finished by mid-September. First job: I started a lawn mowing business with my friend when I was 14 years old on Long Island. Later, I attended flight training with the U.S. Navy in Pensacola, Florida. Little-known fact about you: I’m left-handed and enjoy wake boarding.
Name: Tarek Adawy Title: General manager, USA Company, city: EgyptAir, New York, New York Number of employees: 20 in New York; 9,000 in Cairo Recent project: Working on opening new gateways in the United States First job: EgyptAir ticket agent in Cairo Little-known fact about you: I am a Backstreet Boys fan.
Brendan Griffin, Minister of State for Tourism & Sport, Government of Ireland Department of Transport, Tourism & Sport
Name: Brendan Griffin Title: Minister of State for Tourism & Sport Company, city: Government of Ireland Department of Transport, Tourism & Sport; Dublin, Ireland Recent project: Tourism Ireland recently launched a new brand advertising campaign, “Fill Your Heart with Ireland,” to inspire Americans to put Ireland on their vacation destination list. First job: I was a porter at age 15 at a 5-star hotel in Killarney, my summer job Little-known fact about you: I am a writer; I have self-published two books of fiction for children and have one planned for adults.
Name: Perry Cantarutti Title: Senior vice president, alliances Company, city: Delta Air Lines; Atlanta, Georgia Number of employees: 80,000 company-wide; 50 in Alliances department Recent project: Bringing together our two trans-Atlantic joint ventures into one combined partnership that offers more than 340 destinations First job: Analyst, domestic yield management Little-known fact about you: I was a young entrepreneur at the age of 12, starting a small business selling coffee and pastries at an Italian film festival organized by my father. More than 40 years later, the festival is still going strong, but I lost the taste for coffee!
Name: M. İlker Aycı Title: Chairman of the board and executive committee Company, city: Turkish Airlines; İstanbul, Turkey Number of employees: Approximately 51,000, including subsidiaries Recent project: Bringing all our developing technology within Turkish Airlines to create a seamless experience, from using AI in our reservation system to fullservice enhancements at the airport First job: Right out of university, I worked for the İstanbul metropolitan government as a consultant for the mayor. Little-known fact about you: I enjoy learning about the unique cultures, from gastronomy to history and mythology, of the places I visit around the world.
Name: Derek DeCross Title: Senior vice president, global sales Company, city: InterContinental Hotels Group; Atlanta, Georgia Number of employees: 375,000 at 5,500 hotels and corporate offices around the world Recent project: We celebrated reaching the milestone of 200 Inter- Continental Hotels and Resorts open around the world. First job: Unpaid? Probably pulling weeds for my mom. Paid? I was a cook and a carhop at a Sonic Drive-In at age 15. Little-known fact about you: My first hotel job was playing piano in lobbies and bars.
Name: Ayo Akinsete Title: Managing director/vice president of operations Company, city: Dream Hollywood; Los Angeles, California Number of employees: 250 Recent project: Dream Hollywood First job: Football player for West Ham United in the U.K. Little-known fact about you: I love music; sometimes people call me a jukebox. I DJ as a hobby.
Name: Rob Gurney Title: CEO Company, city: oneworld; New York, New York Number of employees: The central oneworld team numbers around 30, but oneworld member airlines collectively employ 400,000. Recent project: I don’t think of things as projects but as a stream of initiatives to make the customer experience better. In that vein, we’re updating technology, growing revenue by making it easier to do business with us and reimagining our brand. First job: Unpaid, I ran errands for my grandfather; he owned multiple businesses, from jewelry to betting shops. In the travel industry, I started as a management trainee with Qantas. Little-known fact about you: I’m a long-time surfer. It’s not as easy to surf in NYC as it has been in some of my other postings.
Name: Jamie Rhee Title: Commissioner Company, city: Chicago Department of Aviation; Chicago, Illinois Number of employees: 1,400 Recent project: O’Hare International Airport is always on the move, with new services, new amenities and projects opening to serve our customers. Most recently, we opened a Multi Modal Facility, centralizing all our rental car operations for the first time, and expanded economy parking capacity. We also just opened a centralized deicing pad for use by all our carriers, which will enhance operational efficiency, improve gate capacity and further reduce delays during Chicago’s winter operations. First job: I’ve come full circle; it was providing foreign language assistance at ORD. I also served as general counsel here 2004–2008. Little-known fact about you: I grew up on a farm in a small town with only one stoplight!
Name: Luis Gallego Title: Chief executive officer Company, city: Iberia; Madrid, Spain Number of employees: 16,000 Recent project: In 2012 Iberia’s transformation began. At that point, the airline was losing $1 million per day. I joined in 2013 to help turn the company around; with more than 30 initiatives today, we strive to be the best in everything. First job: I studied to be an engineer, but I’ve been in the aviation industry since I started my career 25 years ago. Little-known fact about you: I don’t have a lot of secrets! I’m a big supporter of Real Madrid Football Club.
Name: Janelle Anderson Title: Vice president, global marketing Company, city: American Airlines; Fort Worth, Texas Number of employees: 100 people on AA’s marketing team and 130,000 worldwide Recent project: Developing AA’s Flagship program as the only domestic airline with a truly first-class product First job: I was a swimmer in college, so my first job as a lifeguard in Cambridge, Minnesota, was an easy choice. Little-known fact about you: In college I minored in English and theology, which taught me how to think broadly and from different points of view.
Name: Thomas Kochs Title: Managing director Company, city: Corinthia Hotel London Number of employees: 500 Recent project: Working with Tom Kerridge to open Kerridge’s Bar & Grill and the new London and Garden suites First job: I worked in a restaurant in my hometown. Little-known fact about you: I enjoy cooking and frequently have dinner parties. I do not enjoy baking, but cooking for friends is enjoyable.
Name: Rafael Lizarraga Title: Chief commercial officer Company, city: Grupo Posadas; Mexico City, Mexico Number of employees: 18,200 Recent project: We expanded outside of Mexico, opening two new Fiesta Americana hotels in Cuba. First job: I started in reservations with Grupo Posadas 24 years ago. Little-known fact about you: When possible, I like to cook, but I hate to wash the dishes.
Name: Jess Peterson Title: Director, itinerary and revenue planning Company, city: Windstar Cruises; Seattle, Washington Number of employees: 1,800 (140 at the Seattle headquarters) Recent project: Launch of Wind Surf’s Grand Caribbean voyage, a 56-night voyage to every corner of the Caribbean. Our flagship will visit many places for the first time, including a partial transit of the Panama Canal, ports in Central America and Cayman Brac. First job: Product manager, Imgur Technologies Little-known fact about you: I studied computer science and thought I would work in Silicon Valley after college.
Name: Peter Ingram Title: President and CEO Company, city: Hawaiian Airlines; Honolulu, Hawai’i Number of employees: 7,153 worldwide Recent project: Integrating the Airbus A321neos into our fleet; we will have 11 by the end of 2018 and 18 by 2020. Also, 10 Boeing 787-9s will join our fleet starting in 2021. First job: I delivered the Toronto Star at age 10, including in the winter. Little-known fact about you: I enjoy hiking Koko Crater Trail in East Honolulu, with its 1,000-plus steps. On my 50th birthday I hiked it three times to prove I could do it.
Charles E. “Chilly” Ewing, Sr., Director of Concessions, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport
Name: Charles E. “Chilly” Ewing, Sr. Title: Director of concessions Company, city: Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport; Atlanta, Georgia Number of employees: 63,000 employees overall; 6,000 in concessions Recent project: Completing request for proposals for new concession vendors, and our Global Runway event First job: As a youngster, I worked at a newsstand. Then I spent 27 years in the Air Force and served in Vietnam and Desert Storm. Little-known fact about you: I love to ride motorcycles and I love to golf.
Name: François Luiggi Title: General manager Company, city: The Pierre, a Taj Hotel; New York City Number of employees: 500-plus Recent project: Launch of our new signature restaurant, Perrine First job: Assistant manager of room service at the Essex House in New York when it was managed by Nikko Hotels Little-known fact about you: I was born and raised on Corsica in southeastern France.
Name: Kristen Bowdoin Title: Managing director Company, city: Chase Bank Credit Cards; Wilmington, Delaware Number of employees: 12 Recent project: Relaunching the United MileagePlus Explorer Card from Chase June 1; now called the United Explorer Card, it offers two times the miles on dining and hotel stays, up to a $100 statement credit toward Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee and 25 percent back on in-flight purchases, including WiFi. First job: My first job was working at a fast-food Greek restaurant in Paramus Park Mall, where I got hooked on Greek salads. My first job in credit cards was 23 years ago, at the banking management company at a Pennsylvania regional bank. Little-known fact about you: I love to dance. I’m the first person on the dance floor at weddings.
Name: Morten B. Andersen Title: General manager Company, city: SIGNIEL Seoul Number of employees: 300 at SIGNIEL Seoul; 120,000 with Lotte Recent project: Opening of the L7 properties in various cities First job: Steward at a hotel, responsible for filling the minibars Little-known fact about you: I am a diverse music lover; I enjoy nearly every type of music.
Name: Mert Dorman Title: Senior vice president, corporate marketing & distribution channels Company, city: Turkish Airlines; İstanbul, Turkey Number of employees: 24,075 Recent project: Corporate Help Desk First job: Financial consultant, Aviva Life and Pensions Little-known fact about you: I graduated from Istanbul University with a bachelor’s degree in economics and hold a master’s degree in business administration from Marmara University.
Name: Luc Bondar Title: President, MileagePlus Holdings; vice president, loyalty Company, city: United Airlines; Chicago, Ill. Number of employees: 90,000 Recent project: With Chase, we launched the new United Explorer Card, now the best $95 travel card in the United States, allowing MileagePlus members to accelerate their earning power with 2x miles for hotel and dining purchases. First job: Waiting tables and working bars in high school and university, I learned the value of hard work and the power of connecting with people. Little-known fact about you: My first international flight was at 6 months old, on a Boeing 747 with my parents from Australia to San Francisco via Honolulu. When I joined United in 2017, I flew United’s last 747 SFO–HNL flight. It felt like one travel chapter closing as a new one opened.
Name: Heather Geisler Title: Vice president, Global Brands, Full Service Company, city: Hyatt; Chicago, Ill. Number of employees: 110,000 colleagues Recent project: We recently launched (ANDAZ)RED Cabanas across Andaz hotels in West Hollywood, Mayakoba, Costa Rica, Scottsdale and Maui, with a portion of each cabana booking going directly to support (RED)’s fight to end AIDS. And, for the Hyatt Regency brand, we launched the Portraits of Understanding initiative that brought cancer survivors to the Chicago hotel for empowerment, healing and to help them move on. First job: I bagged groceries in Chicago at age 15. Little-known fact about you: I am a yoga devotee.
Name: George Liu Title: Chief marketing officer Company, city: Hong Kong Airlines, Hong Kong Number of employees: 3,500 worldwide and 12 in the United States, with more to come as we expand Recent project: Hong Kong Airlines launched its first continental U.S. destination at LAX in December, followed by SFO in March. We welcomed our first Airbus A350 Sept. 1 and opened a state-of-the-art VIP lounge at HKG. First job: I was a journalist for eight years, then moved into public relations and marketing. Little-known fact about you: I dress to express myself. As a marketing executive I have the freedom to be creative, and I like to incorporate my personality and that of the brand into my daily uniform.
Name: Ashley Gochnauer Title: General manager Company, city: Kimpton Everly Hotel Hollywood; Los Angeles, Calif. Number of employees: About 125 First job: My first hotel job was with W Hotels as a guest services agent. Little-known fact about you: I am a coffee enthusiast, and it is a true hobby. I love exploring L.A.’s coffee scene, which has no shortage of great options.
Name: Marc Ferguson Title: General manager, Delta Sky Club Experience Company, city: Delta Air Lines; Atlanta, Ga. Number of employees: More than 80,000 Recent project: Launch of our third Asanda Spa Lounge, in our Delta Sky Club at ATL First job: Retail manager at Federated Department Stores (Rich’s, now Macy’s) Little-known fact about you: I swam in the U.S. Olympic Trial in 1988 in Austin, Texas.
Name: Zahi Hawass Title: Former Minister of Antiquities Company, city: Consultant; Cairo, Egypt Number of employees: Three to four assistants Recent project: Director of excavation at Valley of the Kings, monthly lecture series for American tourists with a tour company, other lectures around the world, writing articles for publications in Egypt, preparing the second part of my autobiography First job: Inspector of Antiquities at Tuna El-Gebel in Middle Egypt Little-known fact about you: I get really nervous and annoyed when I meet any stupid man or woman.
Name: Frank Reilly Title: President Company, city: Reilly Financial Advisors; San Diego, Calif. Number of employees: 40 Recent project: Entering the institutional retirement plan space, expanding into our European office and offering free financial education to the masses First job: I was a dishwasher at a barbecue restaurant when I was 16. Little-known fact about you: I’ve taken 20-plus around-the-world flights, and I’m an ordained deacon in the Catholic Church.
Name: Liza Milagro Title: Sustainability manager Company, city: Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport; Atlanta, Ga. Number of employees: 63,000 Recent project: Green Acres ATL Energy Park & Entrepreneurial Center First job: Sales rep/assistant buyer for my family’s Just Sox store Little-known fact about you: I am a vermiculturist; our worm colonies eat our vegetative food scraps, paper towels and shredded paper.
Name: Slim Zaiane Title: General manager Company, city: Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates Dubai; Dubai, U.A.E. Number of employees: 400 Recent project: Our $100 million property renovation, with the full refurbishment of the Aspen Chalets, took close to four years to complete. First job: Food and beverage management trainee in Geneva at what was then the Hilton, now a Kempinski Little-known fact about you: I am British; I was born in Tunisia and studied in Switzerland and the U.K. I speak fluent French, English, Arabic and Italian. I am married with two daughters. I love to run 10k at the end of a hectic day and tend to complete 100k in running per month.
Name: Trey Urbahn Title: Chief strategy officer Company, city: TAP Air Portugal; Lisbon, Portugal Number of employees: Approximately 7,800 airline employees, with another 4,000-plus at ground handling, maintenance and regional subsidiaries Recent project: Transforming TAP from a stodgy, state-owned airline to a private, innovative, profitable airline capable of competing globally First job: I rotated stock on supermarket shelves for a pet food company in college. Little-known fact about you: I commute weekly from my home in Connecticut to Lisbon. Before that, I did the same to São Paulo. In the past 12 years, I’ve flown more than 5 million miles and spent more than 1,000 nights commuting to and from work.
Name: Diego Garcia Title: Commercial director Company, city: Aerolineas Argentinas; Buenos Aires, Argentina Number of employees: 12,300 Recent project: Launching our third gateway in Argentina: Córdoba First job: I was a travel agent; I’ve been in this industry for 28 years in a variety of different capacities. Little-known fact about you: I was a professional soccer player when I was young; I played fullback.
Name: Kim Day Title: CEO Company, city: Denver International Airport; Denver, Colo. Number of employees: 1,200 city employees who actually work for the airport, plus 400 Denver Police and Fire first responders Recent project: We opened a 519-room Westin hotel at a commuter rail station, incredibly significant to the airport and far exceeding revenue projections. The rail station makes DEN physically closer to downtown. Ridership is up and trains run frequently. First job: Working for a large architectural firm after earning a degree in architecture Little-known fact about you: I played alto saxophone in high school and college marching bands.
Name: Ms. Jittima Sukpalin Title: Executive Director, The Americas Region Department Company, city: Tourism Authority of Thailand; Bangkok, Thailand Number of employees: 30 Recent project: Destination Wedding Planner Congress in Phuket, May 2017; Thailand Travel Mart+ 2017 in Chiang Mai First Job: Marketing officer, marketing publicity division, marketing services department Little-known fact about you: Apart from expertise in marketing, I have experience in marketing communications of more than 15 years.
Name: Rob Gurney Title: CEO Company, city: oneworld; New York, N.Y. Number of employees: 25 at oneworld; 400,000 across our member airlines Recent project: I started in this role October 2016, so I’m looking at the business with a fresh set of lenses, focused on how we can make our offerings more contemporary. Airlines have changed, and we need to better utilize our digital capabilities. First job: My grandfather was an entrepreneur, and my first job was working in his betting shops. Little-known fact about you: I’m an animal lover, a supporter of animal charities and also a surfer.
Name: David Canty Title: Vice president loyalty programs Company, city: InterContinental Hotels Group; Atlanta, Ga. Number of employees: More than 300,000 globally, including hotels Recent project: We launched a Stay Preferences program last year that gives members an easy way to tell us about what they prefer when they travel. First job: I worked as a farm laborer during the summers in Ireland: bailing hay, cutting corn, picking potatoes and carrots and even milking cows. Little-known fact about you: I grew up in the pub industry in Ireland. My great-grandfather opened Canty’s Bar in Cork in 1892. My grandfather and then my dad ran it until it was sold. It is still there, so if your travels take you to Cork, drop in for a pint.
Name: Allison Ausband Title: Senior vice president, inflight service Company, city: Delta Air Lines; Atlanta, Ga. Number of employees: 80,000 Recent project: Improving Delta’s Main Cabin experience, from the overall flow of service to providing more unique and thoughtful choices for passengers First job: At 15 I worked at an ice cream parlor. The job taught me to always test the product and be creative. Little-known fact about you: I was a morning radio announcer for a local station, Easy Listening.
Name: Dan Donahue Title: President Company, City: Saunders Hotel Group; Boston, Mass. Number of employees: 425 Recent project: Acquiring the Beacon Hill Hotel & Bistro First job: I was a cashier, dishwasher and soda jerk (for millennials, Google it). Little-known fact about you: I went to the seminary and almost became a priest.
Name: Stephen Thompson Title: Senior executive vice president Company, city: Qantas Airways; Los Angeles, Calif. Number of employees: 28,000 worldwide; 250 in the United States Recent project: G’Day USA, our annual campaign with Australia to bring trade, tech, Best of Australia to the United States First job: I sold insurance in Adelaide for 12 months, then moved into the airline industry, starting at Ansett Airlines for 14 years and then Qantas for 24 years. Little-known fact about you: I run three times a week, three 10k jogs around Santa Monica. I also run when I travel to help with jet lag.
Name: Michael Ziemer Title: General manager Company, city: Mandarin Oriental, Taipei Number of employees: 650 Recent project: Concept changes for two restaurants: from formal French to all-day dining, and from a Cantonese to a Chinese restaurant serving specialties from around China, Hong Kong and Taiwan First job: Hotel management trainee in Sydney, Australia Little-known fact about you: I truly enjoy the simpler things in life!
Name: Michael Dorf Title: Founder, CEO Company, city: City Winery; New York City, N.Y. Number of employees: 750, with plans to have 1,000 by the end of 2017 Recent project: We’re opening City Winery locations in Boston and Washington, D.C., this year, with plans to announce three more openings in 2018. First job: I’ve never worked for anyone else; I’ve always created my own money-making opportunities. I started a lawn mowing business, collected beer cans … many different jobs before I opened the Knitting Factory in 1987 in New York City. Little-known fact about you: I’m a golfer, which doesn’t necessarily fit in the avant-garde club world I’ve come up in.
Name: Byung-Tae Kim Title: CEO and president Company, city: Seoul Tourism Organization Number of employees: 125 Recent project: Creating local, authentic experiences for MICE visitors through new initiatives First job: Ahead of the 1988 Seoul Olympics, I noticed the only atlas maps were in Korean, and I published the first atlas maps of Korea in English, Chinese and Korean just in time for the event. Little-known fact about you: For my mandatory military service, I was stationed in the DMZ, quite rigorous and tough but a rewarding and memorable experience.
Name: Franco Tedeschi Title: Regional vice president Company, city: American Airlines; Chicago, Ill. Number of employees: 120,000 overall for American Airlines and 10,000 strong in Chicago Recent project: Construction projects at Chicago O’Hare International Airport and the launch of new routes First job: As a waiter to help pay for college, I served the likes of Telly Savalas and Sofia Loren. I joined flight operations with American Airlines in 1990. Little-known fact about you: I’ve lived in 10 places in the United States, Europe and Asia, and I speak four languages; I’ll master Japanese before I die.
Name: Jayson Goh Title: Managing director, airport operations management Company, city: Changi Airport, Singapore Number of employees: Changi Airport Group has 1,800; the airport community has 50,000. Recent project: In January we kicked off a SGD50 million project with the Singapore Economic Development Board called Changi Airport Living Lab Programme, collaborating with innovation-driven companies and startups to develop and demonstrate new technology solutions in a live airport environment. First job: Singapore Economic Development Board, for 15 years Little-known fact about you: In junior college I was on the canoe team, and we paddled around the island of Singapore for three days, an amazing experience that grew my appreciation for nature while testing my physical strength and mental endurance.
Name: Ed Bastian Title: Chief executive officer Company, city: Delta Air Lines; Atlanta, Ga. Number of employees: 80,000 Recent project: Notable ongoing projects include closing a joint venture with Aeromexico and launching an expanded partnership with Korean Air, launching a major enhancement and expansion of our facilities at LAX, embarking on a major terminal project at New York-LaGuardia, and paying more than $1 billion in profit-sharing to our employees for the third year in a row. First job: Working on a road crew in upstate New York Little-known fact about you: I was once the official accountant for the MTV Music Awards and briefly appeared on the show.
Name: Joe Berger Title: President, Americas Company, city: Hilton; McLean, Va. Number of employees: 165,000 worldwide and 65,000 in the Americas Recent project: We recently opened Conrad Chicago on the Magnificent Mile and will open the Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills this June, the first new-build Waldorf Astoria on the West Coast. First job: I began my hospitality career as a bellman at the Marriott Hotel at Dulles International Airport. Little-known fact about you: You would never know it by my personality, but I am a highly introverted person.
Name: Ho, Nuan-Hsuan Title: Chairman Company, city: China Airlines; Taoyuan City, Taiwan Number of employees: 12,645 First job: Teaching assistant Little-known fact about you: I have extensive experience in the transportation sector, most recently as chairman of the Taoyuan Metro Corp.
Name: Elena Kountoura Title: Minister of Tourism, Greece Company, city: Ministry of Tourism; Athens, Greece Number of employees: Almost 1 million jobs in Greece are linked with tourism and travel. Recent project: National tourism policy to promote Greece as a 365-day destination First job: Physical education professor Little-known fact about you: Mother of two wonderful sons
Anthony Melchiorri, Creator and Host, Travel Channel’s Hotel Impossible, and Managing Director and Founder, Argeo Hospitality
Name: Anthony Melchiorri Title: Creator and host, Travel Channel’s Hotel Impossible, and managing director and founder, Argeo Hospitality Company, city: Argeo Hospitality; New York, N.Y. Number of employees: It varies depending on the project, but we currently have seven. Recent project: We’re working on the Streamline Hotel in Daytona Beach, Fla., the home of NASCAR; we’re infusing the history of the city back into the hotel. We’re also working on two resorts in South America and Central America. First job: At age 11, I was a paperboy in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn. Little-known fact about you: I can juggle anything.
Name: Angela Foster-Rice Title: Managing director, Environmental Affairs & Sustainability Company, city: United Airlines; Chicago, Ill. Number of employees: 82,000 Recent project: I had the honor to be part of an international airline delegation that engaged with governments to reach an agreement among 190 countries to regulate greenhouse gases from international aviation. The UN’s International Civil Aviation Organization reached the agreement in October 2016. First job: Working in my dad’s pizza parlor washing dishes at age 12 Little-known fact about you: I enjoy choreographing dance performances with my kids; whether it’s ballet, jazz or hip-hop, we have a blast.
Name: Jeff Zidell Title: Senior vice president, loyalty marketing Company, city: Hyatt Hotels Corp., Chicago Number of employees: 100,000 worldwide Recent project: I have spent most of my time working on the launch of our new loyalty program, World of Hyatt. First job: My first “real” job during college was selling athletic shoes in a department store. Little-known fact about you: I can juggle.
Name: Diane Moore Title: President Company, city: Paul Gauguin Cruises; Bellevue, Wash. Number of employees: 39 Recent project: We completed an agreement for two onboard programs with the Wildlife Conservation Society. First job: I started my career in the 1970s with Royal Cruise Line, a small company run by my father, Richard Revnes. Everyone wore many hats and learned every aspect of the business. Little-known fact about you: I grew up in the Chicago area, and I’m a Chicago Cubs fan. What an amazing year to be a Cubs fan!
Name: Brad C.H. Shih Title: Director Company, city: Taiwan Tourism Bureau; Los Angeles, Calif. Number of employees: 10 in the United States and 250-plus in Taipei Recent project: We are underway in a large public relations project, bringing Taiwan to the mainstream, with initiatives like trade shows and reaching the millennial market. First job: Right out of university I started my career as a public servant. My first project was making Yehliu Geopark, featuring the 4,000-year-old natural sculpture called The Queen’s Head, into a well-known travel destination. Little-known fact about you: I travel often for work, but I am truly a homebody on my days off.
Name: Peter Strebel Title: Chief marketing officer Company, city: Omni Hotels & Resorts; Dallas, Texas Number of employees: 19,800 nationally Recent project: In 2016 we launched Say Goodnight to Hunger. For every direct booking on our website, Omni makes a donation to Feeding America. First job: Desk clerk at an oceanside resort in the Hamptons Little-known fact about you: Even as a small child, I was interested in hotels. I remember building resorts using blocks and home items.
Name: Vibhat Nair Title: General manager, Chase Card Services Company, city: Chase; Wilmington, Del. Number of employees: Chase has more than 235,000 employees. First job: Tutor for younger kids Little-known fact about you: I am a hobby woodworker.
Name: Jasper Hope Title: Chief executive Company, city: Dubai Opera, Dubai Number of employees: 102 Recent project: Opening Dubai Opera! First job: Agency receptionist (maternity coverage) Little-known fact about you: I usually carry a lollipop in a jacket pocket for those low-sugar moments, whether mine or someone else’s.
Name: Luc Delafosse Title: Managing Director Company, city: Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills; Beverly Hills, Calif. Number of employees: Close to 400; guests can expect two employees per room when the hotel opens. Recent project: Opening the hotel, scheduled for June 1, 2017 First job: I was a chef during hotel school. Little-known fact about you: Even though I may be someone who portrays a cool persona, I am not that cool.
Name: Beverly Nicholson-Doty Title: Commissioner Company, city: Department of Tourism; U.S. Virgin Islands Number of employees: 24, with contractors and representatives across the United States and Denmark Recent project: We commemorate our centennial in 2017, so we’ve planned a combination of events, festivities and celebrations to surround the anniversary. First job: In ninth grade I joined a program to help students learn pottery in an effort to enhance their productivity. Little-known fact about you: My love of the water; the Caribbean Sea can cure everything!
Name: Tim Sheldon Title: President, Caribbean & Latin America Company, city: Marriott International, Inc.; Plantation, Fla. Number of employees: More than 45,000 associates serve our guests in the Caribbean and Latin America. Recent project: Opening Four Points in Havana, Cuba, was a highlight for 2016. First job: I was a busboy/server in a Sheraton hotel in Fort Wayne, Ind., 31 years ago. Little-known fact about you: I studied six years to become a Lutheran pastor while waiting tables at a hotel restaurant.
Name: Ann Marie Maher Title: President/CEO Company, city: Discover Prince William & Manassas; Manassas, Va. Number of employees: 10 Recent project: Partnering with three neighboring counties in Virginia to create an experiential artisan trail to promote agritourism; the arts; and our many craft breweries, wineries and distilleries First job: Burger King drive-thru Little-known fact about you: I’m an avid scuba diver, logging more than 100 dives including the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, Belize, Costa Rica, Grand Cayman, Jamaica and The Bahamas.
Name: Joseph Nam (Jae Seob Nam) Title: Vice president and director, marketing and sales Company, city: Hotel Lotte Co., Ltd.; Seoul, South Korea Number of employees: 4,103 Recent project: Launching the new lifestyle/boutique hotel brand L7 in Seoul First job: Human resources associate at Lotte Hotels and Resorts Little-known fact about you: I spend my spare time hiking. Korea has many beautiful mountains, and I feel refreshed by looking at the view from the mountaintop.
Name: Suzie Mills Title: General manager Company, city: Trump International Hotel & Tower New York; New York, N.Y. Number of employees: 255 Recent project: Renovating the residential hallways, changing out the in-room TVs; there’re always projects going on and continual upgrades to both the hotel and residences. First job: I grew up in the hospitality industry; my parents owned a hotel. Little-known fact about you: I was the youngest female GM at a 5-star hotel in North America.
Name: Mark Spencer Conroy Title: Managing director, the Americas Company, city: Silversea Cruises; Miami, Fla. Number of employees: 160 in the Miami office Recent project: Launching a business-class offer for our 2016 Mediterranean season and unveiling our World Cruise 2018, an epic, 121-day voyage to 60 destinations in 21 countries First job: A caretaker for a nearby lake home in Wisconsin at age 14 Little-known fact about you: I was a ski instructor in high school.
Name: Alex Spektor Title: General manager Company, city: INNSIDE New York NoMad, Meliá Hotels International; New York, N.Y. Number of employees: 105 Recent project: Opening INNSIDE New York NoMad First job: Guest service agent Little-known fact about you: I have played piano since the age of 6.
Name: Matt Hardison Title: Executive vice president, marketing and sales Company, city: Amtrak; Washington, D.C. Number of employees: 21,200 Recent project: Testing technology to deliver the first true broadband WiFi on board a train First job: Hauling hay Little-known fact about you: I finished my Master of Business Administration degree in Lima, Peru.
Name: Cenk Ocal Title: General manager Company, city: Turkish Airlines, New York Number of employees: 50 (New York) Recent project: Creating a new marketing campaign aimed at B2B customers First job: Flight attendant, Turkish Airlines Little-known fact about you: I am the former general manager of Turkish Airlines in Sofia, Bulgaria.
Name: Yu-Hern Chang Title: President Company, city: China Airlines, Taipei Number of employees: 12,452 Recent project: Next Generation program First job: Chairman, Department of Transportation and Communication Science/Institute of Telecommunications Management, National Cheng Kung University Little-known fact about you: As a devout Buddhist, the key to my happy enterprise practice is the Three B’s Approach: Be Altruistic, Be Grateful, Be Humble.
Name: Chris Myers Title: Regional general manager, Americas, U.K. and Europe Company, city: Air New Zealand; Los Angeles, Calif. Number of employees: 300 Recent project: We opened our fifth North American gateway, Houston, in December. First job: I worked in finance with the Bank of New Zealand. Little-known fact about you: I coach two junior rugby teams through the Los Angeles Rugby Club, a great way to give back to the community.
Name: Kim Soo Cheon Title: President and CEO Company, city: Asiana Airlines; Seoul, South Korea Number of employees: About 12,000 globally Recent project: Launch of Air Seoul, Asiana Airlines’ second low-cost carrier subsidiary First job: Responsible for new business development at SamCheok Coal Co. (acquisition of pharmaceutical company) Little-known fact about you: I am a huge fan of Korean and Chinese classics and novels.
Name: Liz Carisone Title: Chief executive officer Company, city: GroundLink, New York, N.Y. Number of employees: 150 Recent project: Creating a strategic plan and vision for business alignment First job: Credit and collections analyst Little-known fact about you: I never set out to be a CEO.
Name: Florence Quinn Title: President/founder Company, city: Quinn PR; New York and Miami Number of employees: 50 Recent project: Building our 10,000-square-foot penthouse office in Manhattan First job: Picking strawberries for 10 cents a quart when I was 14 Little-known fact about you: I can make animal calls, from guinea pig to elephant.
Name: Nicholas Panza Title: Vice president, Americas Company, city: Air Tahiti Nui; Los Angeles, Calif. Number of employees: U.S. office, 32; corporate, 710 Recent project: A recent promotion (fly Air Tahiti Nui to New Zealand and enjoy a free three-night hotel stopover in Tahiti) met with great consumer response. First job: Ticket taker, Dodger Stadium Little-known fact about you: I am just a hard-working guy trying to do my best and do the right thing. One of my sons served in the Marine Corps in Afghanistan during the surge. As a parent, I can tell you when you have a child in the middle of war, you wonder and worry every day.
Name: David Gold Title: General manager Company, city: JPMorgan Chase Card Services; Wilmington, Del. Number of employees: 20,000-plus in Chase Card Services Recent project: Preparing for the Chase and United Airlines’ VIP Holiday and Big Game Week lounges in San Francisco, Calif., and the VIP Holiday Lounge in Short Hills, N.J. First job: I worked at my local county park. Little-known fact about you: I’ve run the New York City Marathon 15 times and helped raise more than $100,000 for cancer research for “Fred’s Team.”
Name: Ersen Engin Title: General manager Company, city: Turkish Airlines; Los Angeles, Calif. Number of employees: 26 Recent project: Turkish Airlines currently offers two daily flights from Los Angeles to Istanbul, a route in high demand. I am focused on increasing the number of weekly flights and making the experience ever better. First job: I started as a part-time accounting clerk in the aviation sector of Turkish Airlines in 1997. Little-known fact about you: I majored in mathematics in college.
Name: Sean Verney Title: General manager Company, city: The Westin New York at Times Square, New York City Number of employees: 500 Recent project: We teamed with Starwood Preferred Guest partner Audience Rewards for a series of exclusive on-property activations. One of our greatest assets is our location beside the Broadway theater district, and we were thrilled to bring our guests Broadway experiences ranging from a live performance of WICKED in the lobby to wake-up calls featuring the title character in Matilda – The Musical! First job: At age 12, I was a dishwasher at Heidi’s Brauhaus in Mahopac, N.Y. Little-known fact about you: I married my junior high school sweetheart. We’ve been married for 28 years and have four beautiful children.
Name: Rishikant Singh Title: Regional manager Company, city: Air India, New York City Number of employees: 67 in the United States and Canada Recent project: Preparing to announce and launch Air India’s newest North American gateway First job: Working for a New York City garment company as its “man Friday” Little-known fact about you: I’m extremely shy by nature.
Name: Eli Ostreicher Title: Founder and CEO Company, city: Regal Wings, New York City Number of employees: 125 Recent project: The exciting launch of RegalCard.com, a one-of-a-kind elite luxury travel membership club First job: At 18, I was part-time assistant to the editor of a small weekly newspaper in my hometown of London, U.K. Little-known fact about you: I get goose bumps when I near an airport, even if I’m not traveling and am just dropping off a friend.
David C. Marr | Senior Vice President, Brand Management, Global Brand Leader, Tribute Portfolio and Sheraton Hotels & Resorts
Name: David C. Marr Title: Senior vice president, brand management, global brand leader, Tribute Portfolio and Sheraton Hotels & Resorts Company, city: Starwood Hotels & Resorts; Stamford, Conn. Number of employees: 180,000 employees Recent project: We recently launched Tribute Portfolio, Starwood Hotels & Resorts’ 10th brand. First job: My first job was as a banquet houseman at a hotel in New Hampshire. Little-known fact about you: I enjoy attending trapeze school. I also love drawing.
Name: Lars Redeligx Title: Chief commercial officer Company, city: Brussels Airlines; Brussels, Belgium Number of employees: 3,500 Recent project: Our new commercial strategy will bolster the company against the ever-increasing low-cost competition in the Belgian market, offering 21 new destinations to attract business and leisure travelers at low fares but with high-level service. Soon we’ll launch a new frequent-flyer program for the not-so-frequent traveler. First job: A trainee in Beiersdorf, the German company that makes Nivea and much more Little-known fact about you: When I travel, I kitesurf wherever possible. From New York to Dubai, Norway to Vietnam, I get to know places from the water.
Christophe Laure, Area General Manager Paris, IHG/General Manager, InterContinental Paris – Le Grand
Name: Christophe Laure Title: Area general manager Paris, IHG/general manager, InterContinental Paris – Le Grand Company, city: IHG; Paris, France Number of employees: 580 Recent project: The opening of the first Indigo Hotel in France last September, the Hôtel Indigo Paris Opéra, just next to the InterContinental Paris – Le Grand First job: Valet at a car park in Monaco Little-known fact about you: I am a member of the Harley Owners Group.
Name: David W.J. Hsieh Title: Direct-general Company, city: Taiwan Tourism Bureau, Taipei City Number of employees: 1,626 Recent project: Taiwan’s 2015–2018 Tourism Action Plan, emphasizing diversity and lifestyle First job: Section chief and senior engineer, Department of Public Housing, Taipei City Government Little-known fact about you: I graduated from Chinese Culture University and National Cheng Kung University; while getting around campus, I developed a passion for riding bicycles that I keep up with today.
Name: Park Wan-su Title: President and CEO Company, city: Incheon International Airport Corp.; Incheon, South Korea Number of employees: 1,100
Name: Peter Mainguy Title: General manager Company, city: The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore Number of employees: 600 Recent project: We refreshed the Ritz-Carlton Club Lounge in late 2013, offering panoramic views of Marina Bay which guests can enjoy while savoring culinary options and eight types of wine from our Enomatic machine. The Drawing Room provides drawing paper, coloring pencils and an easel so guests can explore their inner artist, while The Library offers an alternative boardroom meeting venue for Club guests. First job: I was a newspaper delivery boy in London at age 12 and made my first foray into hospitality as a room service attendant for a Brussels hotel at 24. Little-known fact about you: I enjoy competitive off-road rally motorcycling and motocross racing and collect and restore American classic muscle cars.
Name: Todd Orlich Title: General manager Company, city: Montage Beverly Hills; Beverly Hills, Calif. Number of employees: 470 Recent project: Working on back-of-house projects including staff locker rooms and our employee dining room. We are also working on an in-room technology project which began testing in February. First job: A dishwasher at Loews Ventana Canyon Little-known fact about you: I was a trumpet player. For a moment, I had aspirations to play professionally.
Name: David Sarafinas Title: Managing Director Company, city: HX Global; Boston, Mass. Number of employees: 350 Recent project: Medical staffing for large media/entertainment company during FIFA World Cup in Brazil First job: U.S. Navy Little-known fact about you: I am an avid gardener and consider it therapy in order to reduce stress.
Name: Michael Rutter Title: Chief revenue officer Company, city: Aer Lingus; Dublin, Ireland Number of employees: 4,000 Recent project: Re-imagining and re-launch of Aer Lingus business class First job: General secretary, U.K. students’ union Little-known fact about you: I ran the European launch of Ray-Ban’s Men in Black campaign, dressing up as Tommy Lee Jones to deliver the launch show to 1,000 European opticians.
Name: Seema Pande Title: Group director of sales and marketing Company, city: Emaar Hospitality Group, Dubai Number of employees: 80-plus on the sales and marketing team Recent project: Opening our new hotel — Manzil Downtown Dubai in December 2014, a modern boutique hotel brand that celebrates authentic Arabesque design aesthetics and culinary flavors First job: Front office assistant, Crowne Plaza, New Delhi Little-known fact about you: I like to spend time on my own — not generally obvious, given my personality.
Name: Cristian Vasquez Title: Food and beverage director Company, city: The Westin New York Grand Central, New York Number of employees: Approximately 100 Recent project: We implemented a new point of sale system that allows us to better service our guests by making it easier for associates to input orders in the restaurant, bar and room service. First job: Food and beverage intern, Atlantic City Trump Hotel and Casino Little-known fact about you: I love the outdoors. I compete in Spartan Races, an obstacle course challenge that tests your strength and endurance.
Name: Ángel Valdemoros Title: Head of Sales, North America Company, city: Iberia, Madrid Number of employees: 18,000 Recent project: Integration of sales forces of Iberia and British Airways in North America and presentation of Iberia’s new brand and long-haul product First job: Financial analyst
Name: Tom Faust Title: Vice president, sales Company, city: Omni Hotels & Resorts; Dallas, Texas Number of employees: 21,000 Recent project: Finalizing our Omni Meetings University, an online meeting planner educational portal modeled after our successful Omni Travel Agent University First job: A bellman at Stouffer’s Riverfront Towers in St. Louis Little-known fact about you: While my weeks are filled with creating memorable experiences for guests, on weekends I unwind with yoga.
Name: Pierre Perusset Title: General manager Company, city: The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong Number of employees: 570 Recent project: Daily operations at The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong First job: My first job in the industry was “apprentice server” at the age of 16. Little-known fact about you: I have learned karate (broke my hands twice when I was young), silat (Indonesian martial art), energy-restoring methods including tai chi and reiki and some practices of the Universal Tao System (healing sounds, qi gong, healing love), in addition to healthy eating. I exercise regularly and can do 100 push-ups in three minutes!
Javier Rosenberg, Chief Operating Officer, Americas, And Executive Vice President, Managed Hotels, Carlson Rezidor
Name: Javier Rosenberg Title: Chief operating officer, Americas, and executive vice president, managed hotels Company, city: Carlson Rezidor; Minnetonka, Minn. Number of employees: 80,000 globally Recent project: Opening the Radisson Blu in downtown Minneapolis First job: I was a butler at Claridge Hotel Buenos Aires. Little-known fact about you: I’ve lived in 11 cities in eight countries, and all three of my kids were born in different locations.
Name: Emily Snyder Title: Vice president, sales and marketing Company, city: Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group; New York City, N.Y. Number of employees: 13,000 worldwide Recent project: Opening properties in Shanghai and Paris, and taking over the Rosewood in Atlanta First job: Selling Girl Scout cookies door to door Little-known fact about you: I met and kissed Bruce Springsteen in 1980.
Name: Jason Cho Title: Vice president and director, marketing and sales Company, city: Hotel Lotte Co., Ltd.; Seoul, South Korea Number of employees: About 120 globally Recent project: Last June we opened Lotte Hotel Guam, with 222 guestrooms providing much-needed accommodations in Guam. First job: Front desk clerk, Lotte Hotel Seoul Little-known fact about you: I mastered my proficiency in English and Japanese, but it seems there is no end to the desire to learn a new language. I want to study Spanish and Chinese and surprise the people around me.
Name: Rick Smith Title: Owner, Rick Smith Golf Academy Company, city: Treetops Resort; Gaylord, Mich. Number of employees: 400 Recent project: Several projects are underway in China. First job: Teaching professionally at Toledo Country Club in 1979 Little-known fact about you: I hold the record for the PGA’s playing ability test.
Name: David Morgan-Hewitt Title: General manager Company, city: The Goring; London, England Number of employees: 170 (2.5 staff per guestroom) Recent project: The Goring’s complete refurbishment First job: At university, I took a summer job as a barman in a lovely hotel in Norfolk, U.K. Little-known fact about you: I am the honorary catering advisor to the British Army, evaluating the quality of catering for troops at bases around the U.K.
Name: Robert Schofield Title: General manager Company, city: The Langham, Chicago; Chicago, Ill. Number of employees: 300 Recent project: As our hotel is only a little more than a year old, we are just in the process of refining and fine-tuning. First job: A trainee accountant Little-known fact about you: I am a chartered accountant.
Name: Rosemarie Andolino Title: Commissioner Company, city: Chicago Department of Aviation; Chicago, Ill. Number of employees: 1,500 between Chicago O’Hare International and Midway airports Recent project: I began work on one of the world’s largest construction projects 11 years ago at one of the busiest airports in the world, and the work is ongoing. Recently, we opened Runway 10C, the end of Phase I of the project. First job: Selling subscriptions to the Daily Herald to win a new bike, then working concessions in my grandparents’ bingo hall Little-known fact about you: My family and friends mean everything to me, and my co-workers are like family.
Name: Thomas P. Botts Title: Executive vice president and chief customer officer Company, city: Denihan Hospitality Group; headquartered in New York, N.Y. Number of employees: 2,000 Recent project: Refining our revenue platforms from brands to revenue management systems; redesigning and re-engineering all of our websites; launching a new industry-leading mobile app for The James brand, bringing a new level of customization to guests pre-, during and post-stay. First job: Loading luggage and cargo for Delta Air Lines at Boston Logan Airport. Stacking 200-pound boxes of seafood in the belly of a Boeing 727 keeps you in great shape! Little-known fact about you: I’ve recently started running, which most people would not expect unless I were wearing loafers and charging through an airport.
Name: Michel Volk Title: General manager Company, city: Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora, French Polynesia Number of employees: 296 Recent project: Expansion and enhancement of our overwater bungalows was completed April 1. First job: Front desk agent at Four Seasons Hotel London Little-known fact about you: I once bungee-jumped from the highest bridge possible at the time (216 meters, in South Africa) — and cracked a rib doing so.
Name: Bob Stuart Title: Executive vice president, global sales and marketing Company, city: Hertz; Naples, Fla. Number of employees: 44,000 Recent project: The Dollar Thrifty integration and a major rebranding initiative First job: I was a busboy at Ponderosa Steak House. Little-known fact about you: My family changed our last name in 1952, from Cicone to Stuart.
Name: Masaki Yokai Title: Vice president and director, marketing and sales, the Americas Company, city: All Nippon Airways; head office in Tokyo, Japan; regional office in Torrance, Calif. Number of employees: 14,000 globally, 280 in the Americas Recent project: A joint venture sales project with United First job: I worked as an airport check-in agent for ANA at Fukuoka, Japan. Little-known fact about you: I love to swim. When I first moved to Los Angeles, I joined the YMCA but have only gone a few times because of my busy travel schedule!
Name: Offer Nissenbaum Title: Managing director Company, city: The Peninsula Beverly Hills; Beverly Hills, Calif. Number of employees: 464 Recent project: We redesigned a 1,500-square-foot suite for Suite 100, a year-long hospitality promotion coordinated by the Beverly Hills Conference & Visitors Bureau for the Beverly Hills Centennial. First job: Mail and information agent at The Park Lane Hotel Little-known fact about you: I played NCAA ice hockey (goalie) and soccer (striker) in college. I occasionally play in an adult hockey league.
Name: Christie Hicks Title: Senior vice president, Starwood Sales Organization Company, city: Starwood Hotels & Resorts; Stamford, Conn. Number of employees: 171,000 worldwide Recent project: With our goal to be the easiest hotel company to do business with, we developed StarwoodPro, an educational program to provide our travel professional partners with tools and programs to help grow their business. We recently introduced a new core module on upselling to help them increase loyalty and profits. The program offers six modules geared toward business development and a growing library of destination immersions, including nine options, with more to come in 2014. First job: Secretary, Hyatt Regency New Orleans Little-known fact about you: I learned to speak and cook Italian while living in Italy in my 20s. I make a mean spaghetti carbonara.
Name: Haim Gutin Title: Commissioner, North and South America Company, city: Israel Ministry of Tourism; New York, N.Y. Number of employees: 60 in the United States Recent project: Every day, we have at least 10 projects in the works. Recent projects include a media campaign to the Christian market; online training for travel agents; and organizing media visits, conferences, seminars and trade shows. First job: As a student, I was a security guard and paramedic. Little-known fact about you: I’ve practiced martial arts, and I love to play soccer.
Name: Pablo Chiozza Title: Vice president, USA, Canada and Caribbean Company, city: LATAM Airlines Group; Miami, Fla. Number of employees: 1,654 in the United States; 54,000 worldwide Recent project: Overseeing the merger of LAN and TAM airlines in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean and managing the synergies resulting from the merger First job: I worked in the strategy department of BankBoston in Argentina. Little-known fact about you: I have four wallets in my travel backpack: one for Europe, one for my home country of Argentina, one for the rest of South America and my day-to-day U.S. wallet. I often combine business and personal travel, so I may use more than one wallet in one trip.
Name: Philippe Zuber Title: Chief operating officer Company, city: Emaar Hospitality Group, Dubai Number of employees: 4,200 Recent project: Vida Downtown Dubai, The Address The BLVD Downtown Dubai, The Address Emaar Square in İstanbul First job: Corporate trainee Little-known fact about you: I am a passionate hotelier. I believe in innovation, consistency and timeless design.
Name: Lindsey Ueberroth Title: President Company, city: Preferred Hotel Group; Newport Beach, Calif. Number of employees: 210 Recent project: Launch of our iPrefer Loyalty Program First job: I worked at Anderson Consulting as a change management analyst. Little-known fact about you: When I was 12, my mother sent me to survival camp in South Africa and Super Camp in Russia.
Name: Scott Wiseman Title: President, the Americas Company, city: Cox & Kings; Los Angeles, Calif. Number of employees: 2,500 globally Recent project: We relaunched our website, adding more content, dynamic search options and a strong travel agent portal. First job: When I was 14, I worked as a dishwasher/prep cook at an Italian restaurant. Little-known fact about you: I was relentless when starting my first job. I worked 40 hours a week all through high school.
Name: Rob Palleschi Title: Global head Company, city: Hilton Hotels & Resorts, the flagship brand of Hilton Worldwide; McLean, Va. Number of employees: 145,000 Recent project: In 2013, we launched our Vacationitis campaign, which targets working professionals who are familiar with Hilton Hotels & Resorts through business travel; we aim to increase their awareness of the brand’s incredible leisure travel offerings with our playful and bold workforce humor campaign. Travelers can take a short quiz at vacationcarecenter.hilton.com to receive their diagnosis and a prescription to cure their “vacationitis.” First job: Front desk employee at a suburban motor lodge Little-known fact about you: I am a hotel fitness center snob; I expect ample modern commercial equipment; a positive atmosphere; bright, good air movement; and a fresh scent.
Name: Tom O’Toole Title: Senior vice president, marketing and loyalty, and president, MileagePlus Company, city: United, Chicago Number of employees: More than 85,000 Recent project: Introducing new product features, a new brand advertising campaign, new digital channels, onboard WiFi and new onboard media First job: Movie theater usher Little-known fact about you: I like football and cars.
Name: Edward Maynard Title: General manager Company, city: The Westin New York Grand Central, New York City Number of employees: 435 Recent project: Opening of the 2,800-square-foot Madison Ballroom, the hotel’s primary social event space First job: Dishwasher at an ice cream parlor in Aviation Mall, Glen Falls, N.Y. Little-known fact about you: This November, I celebrated my 50th birthday by running my fifth New York City Marathon with my 24-year-old daughter, who ran her first marathon.
Name: Alison Metcalfe Title: Executive vice president, United States and Canada Company, city: Tourism Ireland, New York City Number of employees: About 150 globally Recent project: A major review of the U.S. market entitled “Make Ireland Jump Out … A Strategy for Growth 2013–15” First job: Graduate management trainee with Visit Britain, London Little-known fact about you: I competed in my first 10K snowshoe race in Colorado in January.
Name: Katie Benson Title: CEO and executive director Company, city: Langham Hospitality Investments Limited, Hong Kong Number of employees: Approximately 1,000 Recent project: Recently named CEO of the newly formed Langham Hospitality Investments Limited out of Hong Kong First job: I was a chef for Grand Metropolitan Hotel Co. in London’s West End. Little-known fact about you: I do kick boxing in my spare time.
Name: Jorge Goytortua Title: Executive vice president, global sales Company, city: Grupo Aeromexico, Mexico City Number of employees: More than 13,000 Recent project: Incorporation of the Boeing 787 into the Aeromexico network First job: Mexicana Airlines Little-known fact about you: I have a passion for my family, and I am a workaholic.
Name: Paul Wright Title: General manager Company, city: Hyatt Regency Incheon; Incheon, South Korea Number of employees: 580 Recent project: We are expanding the hotel to a second tower, which will double the number of guestrooms to more than 1,000 in 2014. First job: I was a banquet waiter at the Hyatt Regency Perth. Little-known fact about you: I enjoy cooking in my spare time.
Name: William D. Talbert III Title: President and CEO Company, city: Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau; Miami, Fla. Number of employees: 60 Recent project: The 2016 Super Bowl bid; the launch of the new tag line, “It’s so Miami,” something people used to say all the time; rebranding the Port of Miami to “Port Miami”; opening rail connections from Miami airport to downtown First job: Park planner in Metro Dade County, now Miami Dade County Little-known fact about you: I played drums in a high school band and snare drum in the marching brand. I played at the Elks and Moose lodges.
Name: Bruce Dickinson Title: Vice president and chief project engineer, 747 program Company, city: The Boeing Co.; Chicago (headquarters); Everett, Wash. (747 factory) Number of employees: More than 170,000 company-wide Recent project: Director of engineering, 777 and 767 programs First job: Stress analysis, Boeing C-17 side-of-body wing fairing Little-known fact about you: I conducted onboard testing on more than 1,000 stall maneuvers during my days in flight testing.
Name: Guillaume Epinette Title: General manager Company, city: InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa; Bora Bora, French Polynesia Number of employees: 160 First job: Head waiter Little-known fact about you: I enjoy scuba diving in French Polynesia and photography with a drone.
Name: Nancy Deck Title: Vice president, multi-brand and loyalty marketing, Hilton Worldwide Company, city: Hilton Worldwide; McLean, Va. Number of employees: 130,000-plus Recent projects: We launched new HHonors rewards in 2012 (Points & Money, Premium Room and Room Upgrade). We also launched HHonors Global Shopping Mall, a site where members can transform points into experiences or gifts, and HHonors Shop-to- Earn Mall, online shops where members earn Bonus Points through purchases. First job: In high school, I worked in an old-fashioned toy store; every item was gift-wrapped, and I tested the toys. Even then, I had client service on the brain. Little-known fact about you: Travel is not only my job, it’s also a passion. My favorite travel experience thus far was wine tasting in Mendoza, Argentina.
Name: David Rabkin Title: Senior vice president, Consumer Lending Products Company, city: American Express; New York, N.Y. Number of employees: 63,500 worldwide Recent project: Working to raise the bar in delivering value associated with our affinity cards, including partner-specific benefits like frequent-flyer rewards and services like priority boarding First job: At 15, I scooped ice cream at Baskin-Robbins; postcollege, I was a sales representative for Proctor & Gamble in San Francisco. Little-known fact about you: I’ve worked in 20 countries and lived in six, including two and a half years in Jamaica.
Name: James Hogan Title: President and CEO Company, city: Etihad Airways, Abu Dhabi Number of employees: 14,500 Recent project: Launch of daily service to Washington, D.C. First job: Sales and service agent at Melbourne Airport Little-known fact about you: I played Australian rules football.
Name: Mark Schwab Title: Chief executive officer Company, city: Star Alliance; Frankfurt, Germany Number of employees: 65 from more than 20 countries Recent project: Securing Heathrow Terminal 2 as the new London home for Star Alliance First job: Management trainee, Pan Am, Rio de Janeiro Little-known fact about you: I’m an American Civil War buff.
Name: Bjørn Kjos Title: CEO Company, city: Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA; Oslo, Norway Number of employees: 3,000 Recent project: Setting up a base of operations in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria; London; and Alicante, Spain First job: I was in the military Special Forces. I also served as an Air Force pilot. Little-known fact about you: I published a spy thriller, The Murmansk Affair, in 2007.
Name: Paul Kerr Title: CEO Company, city: Small Luxury Hotels of the World; London, England Number of employees: 70 Recent project: The March 2013 launch of our Chinese website to improve communication and meet the needs of this emerging outbound market First job: I began as an accountant with Deloitte Haskins & Sells (now PricewaterhouseCoopers), but a passion for the luxury market led to my first travel position with Forte Hotels. I then combined both passions as financial director of Cunard Hotels & Resorts. Little-known fact about you: I am an avid sailor and feel most relaxed on the water. My sailboat is named Rum Truffle.
Name: Rob Friedman Title: Vice president of marketing Company, City: American Airlines, Fort Worth Number of employees: AMR Corp. has more than 81,000 employees worldwide. Recent project: We unveiled American’s new, more modern look, which included developing the product strategy for our new fleet, designing new aircraft interiors and promoting new aircraft. First job: I started my own yard service when I was 12. Little-known fact about you: I’m color-blind.
Name: Huang-Hsiang Sun Title: President Company, city: China Airlines; Taipei, Taiwan Number of employees: 10,822 Recent project: Developing eco-friendly service, plus the Greater China Connection and Next Generation programs First job: China Airlines’ traffic staff at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport Little-known fact about you: I enjoy having fun with my grandchildren.
Name: Gerald Lawless Title: Executive chairman Company, city: Jumeirah Group, Dubai Number of employees: 13,000-plus Recent project: I co-chaired the World Economic Forum on East Asia in Bangkok in May 2012; as vice-chairman of the WEF’s Aviation, Travel and Tourism Council, I work to promote e-visas worldwide. First job: Prior to hotel school, I worked for six months in a kitchen of the Great Southern Hotel in Galway, Ireland.
Name: Fatma Yuceler Title: General manager, Western USA Company, city: Turkish Airlines, Los Angeles, Calif. Number of employees: 15,000-plus; 20 in Los Angeles Recent project: Working on a corporate travel agreement with businesses in the United States First job: Turkish Airlines part time while studying at university Little-known fact about you: I am a workaholic.
Name: Danny Saadon Title: Vice president and general manager Company, city: EL AL Israel Airlines; New York City Number of Employees: 110 Recent project: The introduction of our GlobaLY/Matmid program First Job: Summer lifeguard Little-known fact about you: I speak Italian fluently.
Name: Offer Nissenbaum
Name: John T.A. Vanderslice Title: Global head, luxury and lifestyle brands
Name: Colm McLoughlin Title: Executive vice chairman
Name: Adam Simkins Title: General Manager
Name: Amit Arora Title: Chief Sales and Marketing Officer
Name: Herve Humler Title: President and COO
Name: Mark Templin Title: Group vice president and general manager, Lexus Division, Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. and general manager, Lexus Product Marketing Planning Division, Toyota Motor Corp.
Name: Todd Neuman Title: Executive Vice President, North America
Name: Devendra Bharma
Tell Our Readers About The Re-launch Of The Executive Club. British Airways re-launched the Executive Club on a global scale. Overall, the new program makes achieving and maintaining status more accessible. We’ve introduced a tier level to match oneworld’s Ruby level and changed the name of the mileage currency to Avios. The change brings the program more in line with Iberia’s Plus program; their mileage currency is also known as Avios now. Customers are the heart of our business, and the re-launch was designed with them in mind.
RETURN VISITORS ARE OFTEN PLEASANTLY SURPRISED BY JAMAICA’S TRANSFORMATION. DESCRIBE WHAT THEY DISCOVER FROM THE MOMENT THEY ARRIVE. Jamaica is a wonderfully complex, beautiful country. You can keep coming back for decades and continue to be beguiled by its food, music, art, dramatic mountains, sea and rolling hills. Years ago, people seemed content to lie on the beach drinking rum punch. Now guests want to hike Dunn River Falls; swim in the Blue Lagoon; bird-watch; and learn about Jamaica’s tropical flowers, wetlands and majestic trees.
THAILAND IS A DIVERSE COUNTRY. TELL US ABOUT THE DESTINATIONS THAT ATTRACT VISITORS TO THAILAND.
WHAT ARE CHINA AIRLINES’ INITIATIVES TO ANSWER THE NEEDS OF U.S. BUSINESS TRAVELERS? China Airlines is the largest airline in Taiwan, operating 224 flights daily from Taiwan to 80 destinations in Southeast Asia, Northeast Asia, Australia, New Zealand, the United States, Canada and Europe. As the cross-strait market leader, we fly to 20 cities in Mainland China. In addition to direct services from China Airlines, we offer seamless interline products with U.S. carriers, taking customers to their desired destinations in North America.
WHY IS PHILADELPHIA RANKED ONE OF THE TOP CITIES FOR TOURISM? Philadelphia is positioned between New York City and Washington, D.C., attracting millions of visitors who can access the city in a day’s drive. Philadelphia International Airport is strategically positioned, offering easy access to the city for those arriving by air.
How Will Finnair’s New Brand Launch Change The Vision Of The Airline? One of my first priorities at Finnair was to help formulate Finnair’s “Vision 2020.” Two goals emerged: Make Finnair the No. 1 airline in our home market in terms of airline size, quality and financial health; and make it the most desired option for travelers between Europe and Asia, and possibly North America and Asia. Through our long-term strategy of operational efficiency, reliability, innovation and distinctly personal service, I am optimistic that we will attain these goals.
What Successes Have You Seen From Ba’s Face-to-face Campaign? We have seen huge successes from the Face-to-Face campaign, which was started to help small businesses grow. We believe in the importance of meeting face to face and the profitable business partnerships that result from such meetings. Helping our passengers reach their objectives is one measure of the campaign’s achievements: Some of the small businesses that have since flown on BA have signed their biggest contracts ever, opened in new markets and increased their success rate. By flying on BA, they have seen the ease and value of getting to go where they want. Being on the Face-to-Face flights, they have also gained the opportunity to network with other small businesses.
The Elysian Opened In Difficult Economic Times As A 5-star Luxury Hotel With 188 Hotel Rooms And 52 Private Luxury Residences. How Was Its First Year? Despite the challenges, our first year was a huge success, based on the service delivered by our team. Elysian opened as an unknown brand with luxury status yet to be proven. While we have a beautiful, newly constructed property, our industry requires unscripted hospitality in order to be considered genuinely luxurious. We opened with zero brand awareness in December 2009 when the economy was at its worst and Chicago was beginning a four-month period of its weakest demand. We spent the year building brand awareness, strategically managing expenses and proving ourselves as luxury operators.
What Is Iberia’s Growth Strategy In The United States? The United States is Iberia’s main market overseas, and it is the focus of our growth for 2011. This year, we will offer almost 1.2 million seats between Europe and the United States, which is a quarter of our long-haul capacity. This represents a growth of 13 percent compared to 2010 in terms of available seats. Part of this growth comes from the opening of two new routes in late March — Los Angeles–Madrid and Miami–Barcelona, with three weekly flights each — and from increased capacity to Madrid from our existing gateways in New York, Chicago, Boston and Miami. Iberia offers an extensive network in Spain (37 destinations), Europe (38 cities), Africa and the Middle East.
What Do You Recommend Business Travelers Explore To Extend Their Israel Visit? Israel is a small country, about the size of New Jersey, and nothing is too far for a weekend getaway. The culinary scene is varied, with many excellent restaurants boasting celebrity chefs, not only in Tel Aviv but all over the country, and especially in the Galilee. From Tel Aviv, you can be in Jerusalem in 45 minutes or the Galilee in about two hours, where you can ride horses with the “cowboys.” In a little over an hour from Jerusalem, you can be at the Dead Sea, the lowest place on Earth, where you can float in the mineral-rich, salty water and receive mud treatments that make your skin glow. But wait! You can also fly to Eilat on the Red Sea for the weekend and swim with the dolphins. Israel is filled with natural wonders, history, archaeology, UNESCO World Heritage sites, fun and sun — something for every interest.
Congratulations On Winning Best Airline In Mexico In The 2010 Gt Tested Awards. How Will Aeromexico Continue To Provide Premium Services To Business And Luxury Travelers? Being recognized as the Best Airline in Mexico is a proud accomplishment, but it also embodies a hefty responsibility for all Aeromexico employees since it further advocates our everyday efforts to deliver an enhanced, safe, reliable, high-quality product.
TAP Air Portugal is adding 15 new weekly flights from the United States and Canada by summer 2020, a new record for the carrier of 71 weekly flights between North America and Portugal.
Six Senses Kocataş Mansions opened late last month along the Bosphorus Strait. The property is housed within two restored, Ottoman-era mansions in Istanbul. The resort’s urban decor incorporates architectural features and artifacts from the mansions.
United Airlines’ environmentally friendly efforts lessen the impact on local U.S. communities.
Experience a big-city hotel stay that doesn’t feel like your typical urban visit at Chicago’s Claridge House, nestled in the sought-after Gold Coast neighborhood. The hotel’s sophisticated décor and serene residential ambience foster the atmosphere of an oasis amid the hustle and bustle of a busy metropolis.
InterContinental Hotels Group expands its footprint in Saudi Arabia with plans for the new InterContinental Durrat Al Riyadh. The property opens in 2020, a short drive from King Khalid International Airport. The property is also near King Abdullah Financial District and many luxury shopping options.