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2014 Conference Programme

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Hotel Design Hotel Management Hotel Management Asia


Yannis Ermilios

Dolphin Capital Partners

Yannis Ermilios is a Director at Dolphin Capital Partners and is responsible for the development and management of the European assets of the various investments vehicles under management. The main focus is the development and operation of sophisticated leisure-integrated residential resorts in emerging markets, in partnership with the world’s leading designers, hotel operators and advisors. He has also worked as Project Manager at Jones Lang LaSalle in France providing consulting services for corporate clients and investors in the field of real estate, and previously as a site engineer for AEGEK S.A, a Greek contractor coordinating construction works. Yannis holds an MBA from INSEAD and an MSc in Civil Engineering from the Ecole Speciale des Travaux Publics in Paris.

Alex Campbell


Ralph Wagner

Managing Director
FREO Financial & Real Estate Operations GmbH

Sue-Lin Heng

Eastdil Secured

Sue-Lin Heng is a Director with the London offices of Eastdil Secured. She has over 15 years working experience in the hospitality and real estate sector in both investment sales and corporate advisory services. She has sold over $3bn worth of hotel real estate across Europe and Asia.

Her current responsibilities include leading and executing Pan European hotels transactions, managing client relationships with key Asian buyers and facilitating cross border capital flows.

Sue-Lin is fluent in English, Mandarin Chinese and various Chinese dialects. She holds MBAs with Columbia Business School in the US and London Business School in the UK.

Yves Marchel

Managing Director Southern Europe, Hotels & Hospitality Group

Yves is directly responsible for the development and management of the Southern Europe business (France, Italy, Spain and Portugal). He leads a team of 30 professionals who provides transaction and development advice, leasing and management contract negotiation, sale and leaseback structuring together with debt finance sourcing, valuation reports, feasibility studies and general real estate advice.

Yves Marchal has an extensive knowledge of the hospitality sector. He has been involved in numerous high profile hotel instructions and major international negotiations both in France and in the EMEA Region. He has been dealing with asset and corporate transactions, sales and purchase of French and European single or portfolio hotels, in urban and resort locations, for more than 5 Billion Euros. He was recently involved in the sale of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Paris, The Club Med Pragelato in Italy and Accor’s portfolio in Switzerland. He also initiated the creation of the Mid-Market Transactions division in JLL H&H France which focuses on the transactions of hotel assets worth less than 10 million€, and extended the french business by opening 2 new offices in Lyon & Marseille.

Yves began his career in 1980 as financial consultant at SCET, a subsidiary of Caisse des depots et Consignations. Since 1986 he has held management roles in several prominent hotel companies and real estate groups throughout France, including Regional Manager of Pierre & Vacances, Partner Managing Director of Adagio Hotels (sold to Accor) and Managing Director of Citadines where he has contributed to the development, opening and running, throughout France and Europe, of around 10 hotels and 30 apart hotels. Before joining JLL in 1999, he worked for Comptoir Des Entrepreneurs Bank (a subsidiary of AGF Allianz Insurance) in the distressed Asset division, to asset manage and dispose of their hotel portfolio.

David Kong

President & Chief Executive Officer
Best Western International

David Kong is a hospitality industry leader with more than four decades of experience. Since he was named president & CEO of Best Western International in 2004, Kong has led the company to its highest RevPAR Index of 110 the past three years as well as unprecedented performance in guest loyalty and hotel satisfaction. Best Western has nearly 4,200 hotels in over 110 countries with annual hotel revenue exceeding $6 billion.

Kong is known in the industry as a strategic thinker and innovator. His comprehensive brand strategy included initiatives such as stratifying the brand into three tiers, raising standards, launching new brands and establishing marketing partnerships with high profile organizations such as Harley-Davidson and Facebook.

Under Kong's leadership, Best Western has set out to be a leader in the Internet, mobile and social media space. Compuware named the best hotel website the past three years. In 2013, EyeForTravel named Best Western's mobile site as the industry's best, Travel Click named Best Western "E-Marketer of the Year" in 2012 and 2013, and L2 named Best Western the best in e-commerce in the hotel industry.

With Kong's background and involvement in sales and marketing, Best Western won 20 HSMAI Adrian Awards and 26 Travel Weekly Magellan awards in 2013 – the most won in the travel industry. AAA has recognized Best Western as the "Partner of the Year" every year since 2008. In 2014, Best Western Rewards® was named the top loyalty program by Loyalty 360, the third best hotel loyalty program by U.S. News & World Report, and received the American Express Loyalty Award. The BEST WESTERN® and BEST WESTERN PLUS® hotels were voted the Best Midscale and Best Upper Midscale Hotel Chains in the 2014 Business Travel News survey.

Roy H. March

Chief Executive Officer
Eastdil Secured

Roy March is the chief executive officer of Eastdil Secured, L.L.C., the leading real estate investment banking company in the United States. 

He has more than 37 years of real estate experience at Eastdil Secured across financing, sales, acquisition, and capital markets activities in the United States, Europe, and East Asia.

Founded in 1967, Eastdil was the first real estate investment banking firm in the United States.  Eastdil Secured is a wholly owned subsidiary of Wells Fargo Bank, one of the largest financial service companies in the world and the largest commercial real estate lender in the U.S.  In 2009, as a result of the Wells Wachovia merger, the real estate investment banking division of Wachovia was moved to Eastdil Secured forming the first comprehensive end to end real estate banking investment platform in the industry.  The New York based firm was involved in over $950 billion in transactions from 2007 through 2014.

Roy serves on various industry, corporate and community boards, is a Trustee of the Urban Land Institute, is the Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Samuel Zell and Robert Lurie Real Estate Center at The Wharton School at The University of Pennsylvania, the Board of Directors of Real Estate Roundtable and is on the Board of Directors for PREA.  He is also a member of NAREIT – the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts, and the International Council of Shopping Centers.  He was the president of the Friends of Malibu Urgent Care, is on the board of The Painted Turtle and is co-founder of March to the Top-Africa.

Michael Widmann

Managing Partner
PKF hotelexperts GmbH

Michael Widmann is Managing Partner of PKF hotelexperts. As chairman of the PKF International Hospitality Consulting Committee, he coordinates PKF's worldwide hotel consulting activities.

PKF hotelexperts focuses on consulting services for the hospitality sector, including feasibility studies, valuations, operator selection, corporate finance, project development, asset management, benchmarking and research.

Michael Widmann is a lecturer at various universities, member of the Cornell Hotel Society and author/co-author of several hotel-related books.

After a management training programme with Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group in Asia, he worked for Stouffer Hotels & Resorts in Seattle and Claridge's in London. In 1992 he joined PKF in Munich, before setting up PKF hotelexperts in Vienna in 2004.

Max Thorne

Chief Executive Officer
CL Serviced Apartments

Max Thorne CEO has over 29 years’ experience in the serviced apartment market. Max is a former SVP of Development at Bridge Street, responsible for the brand’s international growth from its 1998 London inception. Max has been involved in delivering over 30 sites across Europe, 20 of which are in Central London.

Stephen Tate

Cristal International Standards

Born in England, Steve has travelled the world building the Cristal International Standards global operation.  He now spends at least 6 months of each year actually visiting corporate clients and operational offices globally. He is an active skier, golfer and cyclist. He also has a keen interest in art and photography.

He started his career in 1985, and spent 7 years with PHS Group as a Sales Director. Then, from 1992, he spent 10 years as a founder and main board director of the National Britannia Group. In early 2003 he put together a small group of private investors to form Check Safety First Ltd, an environmental risk management service business. Then, from 2013, the business has expanded to incorporate Cristal International Standards. The company is now the global leader in the field of quality standards and environmental risk management to the hotel and hospitalities sectors.

Barry Sternlicht

Chairman & Chief Executive Officer
Starwood Capital

Patrick Southwell

Director of Strategy
Berkeley Public Relations International

The best ideas are the simple ones. The ones that convey a message in the quickest, most efficient way possible. And that’s achieved most effectively through the power of story.

My job is to help our award-winning teams find stories that make an impact. That achieve a goal. That can be measured. And that do so in an exciting and compelling way. I’ve done this for FTSE firms, global giants, central government and start-ups alike.

It’s always exciting and never feels like work. Especially when I have the opportunity to work with big consumer brands such as the RAC and Kaspersky Lab. Or industry specialists like Wincor Nixdorf and Alphabet, which are changing their sectors forever.

As you might expect, out of work I like to keep it simple. I play with my kids, I talk with my wife, I hang out in my garden, I play drums and I sit in front of my open fire. After all, the best ideas are the simple ones.

Nick Smart

Vice President Development - North & West Europe
Hilton Worldwide

Nick joined Hilton Worldwide in 2006 as Vice President of Development, North & West Europe. After doubling the Hilton footprint in the territory (by adding 70 hotels/15,000 rooms), Nick is responsible for development of all Hilton Worldwide brands in North & West Europe.

Nick is focused on extending core Hilton Worldwide brands in gateway cities and airport locations, as well as introducing the company’s portfolio into Europe & Africa, including luxury brands Conrad and Waldorf Astoria Hotels and Resorts, upscale Hilton Hotels & Resorts, DoubleTree by Hilton, Curio and Canopy, and focused service Hilton Garden Inn and Hampton by Hilton hotels.

Nick is married with eight children. He is also a former player and enthusiastic supporter of rugby (especially the London Wasps!).

Yateendra Sinh

Chief Executive Officer
Lausanne Hospitality Consulting

Yateendra is the head of Lausanne Hospitality Consulting SA, a Swiss knowledge development and advisory company. With this responsibility, Yateendra is at the forefront of LHCs business strategies, with offices in Switzerland, China and India.

Since moving to Switzerland in the year 2000, he has delivered training and consultancy on strategic, managerial and operational issues, in over 40 countries. Yateendra believes in continuous improvement of service quality and in providing the hospitality industry with radical and innovative solutions.

Prior to joining LHC, Yateendra held various operational responsibilities such as pre-opening and managing of hotels, business clubs, townships and large IT infrastructure networks. Yateendra has expertise in diverse facets of the hospitality industry: planning, policy-making, industry diagnostics, strategic analysis, new product & concept development, re-engineering, marketing and information technology.

He is a graduate in Economics from the University of Bombay and has a three-year post-graduate Diploma in Hotels & Management.

While not at work, you will find Yateendra on the cricket grounds, playing in the Swiss Cricket League or fooling around with his teenage son!

Bernold O. Schroeder

Chief Executive Officer
Pan Pacific Hotels Group

Owen Pritchard

Director – Head of Development EMEA
CBRE Hotels

Owen Pritchard heads the Hotels’ Development Team and is responsible for international operator selection, lease, franchise and management agreement negotiations and hotel disposals in the EMEA region.

Owen has secured agreements for owners with leading hotel operators on a number of prominent mixed use schemes throughout the UK including One Blackfriars in London and Marischal Square Aberdeen. He has recently been involved in a number of high profile projects such as the Conrad St James, London and Heathrow Terminal 4.

Owen has extensive international experience in the property industry having spent a number of years working in Canada and the Caribbean in a number of roles including Managing Director of a resort development project in St Kitts & Nevis. 

Owen was educated at the University of Nottingham, RMA Sandhurst and Nottingham Business School.

Carl Oldsberg

VP Revenue & Distribution
Nordic Choice Hotels

Neil Odom-Haslett

Head of Commercial Real Estate Lending
Standard Life Investments

Neil joined SLI in Q4 13 and set up a Commercial Real Estate Lending platform, focusing in the UK market and, in time, Europe and beyond. 

SLI offer structured real estate finance that is tailored to clients’ strategies focusing on income producing properties across most of the real estate asset classes.  Typical clients are from listed companies, global property fds, private companies, Sovereign Wealth Funds and high net worth individuals.

Neil is also a member of the Real Estate Management Team at Standard Life Investments, responsible for contributing to the development and execution of the Real Estate business strategy.  He is also a Vice President of the Association of Property Lenders.  

Previously Neil worked at PBB (Deutsche Pfandbrief Bank), initially as a Originator before moving to the non-core part of the Bank as the Senior Negotiator to restrcutre non compliant loans across Europe.  Prior to PBB, he held Origination roles at RBS and Eurohypo (that was, now Wells Fargo).

Marco Nijhof

Chief Executive Officer
Yoo Hotels

As a founding member of yoo Hotels (yoo Collection and yoo2 brands), Marco Nijhof brings to the company some of the most extensive and diverse hotel industry experience in the world,  with more than 30 years’ experience in the development, management and ownership of hotels.

Having begun his career as a bellboy at 16, Marco’s acumen, savvy and talent for shaping hotels was soon realised. Before long Marco had climbed the ranks to become one of the world’s youngest General Managers of a Grand Hyatt hotel, in Japan. Marco has since grown his career to become one of the world’s leading authorities on hotel development, management and ownership, with an outstanding track record in high volume, multi-site operations across 19 countries and five continents.

In 1999 Marco was appointed as Senior Vice President of Our Lucaya Beach & Golf Resort in the Bahamas where he took charge of the construction and opening of two new hotels. In 2001 Marco was appointed to Boscolo Hotels, where as the Chief Operating Officer he oversaw and grew the success of 18 four and five star hotels throughout Europe. Subsequently Marco was appointed to Serena Hotels where he worked for His Highness the Aga Khan, increasing the profitability of the portfolio of 22 hotels across nine countries including the launch of seven new hotel projects.

In 2006 Marco was appointed as Senior Vice President Middle East, Africa & South Asia for Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts where he was responsible for the profitability of all hotel and residential units, the development of the hotel portfolio in Africa and South Asia. After the success of Jumeirah, Marco joined the Corinthia Group where as Chief Operating Officer he oversaw operations across ten countries for the Corinthia hotel brand and the Wyndham Grand Hotels and Ramada Plaza brands.

Before joining yoo Hotels Marco worked as Senior Vice President Asset Management for the Al Hassawi group of companies, overseeing 15 hotels in six countries throughout the Middle East and Europe. Now at yoo Hotels Marco has developed two finely crafted hotel brands that will create an enhanced hotel experience through delivery of original design and first rate hotel management services. Tapping into yoo’s unique talent bank of globally renowned designers both yoo Hotels brands offer an unparalleled breadth of design talent and heritage. The culture of each location is essential for both yoo Collection and yoo2, and this is interpreted through world-class designed interiors. A truly global management executive Marco has an innate cultural understanding and keen instinct for marketing and developing hotels across continents and at luxury and 3-4 star levels. He also speaks seven languages.

Marcello Mortilaro

Head of Applied Research
Swiss Center for Affective Sciences - University of Geneva

Leo Johnson


Leo Johnson is the co-author of  “Turnaround Challenge: Business and the City of the Future” (Oxford University Press, 2013). He is a Visiting Fellow at the Smith School of Enterprise & Environment at Oxford University, and the Presenter of the BBC World News programme “One Square Mile”. He is the co-founder of the strategy advisory firm Sustainable Finance, now part of the PwC group, and a Trustee of the New Economics Foundation. Formerly with the Technical and Environment Department of the World Bank’s IFC, he is a Judge for the FT Boldness in Business Awards. Alongside speeches ranging from Campus Party to TEDx,  he has commented and written guest columns for the Wall Street Journal, Evening Standard, FT and Huffington Post. He is the co-Founder of the Prix Pictet—a Prize for Photography around sustainability issues for which Kofi Annan is the Patron.

Kristin Intress

Chief Executive Officer / Managing Director

Kristin Intress has an extensive career in the hospitality industry, with over 15 years of experience in entrepreneurship, sales and marketing.

Before joining Worldhotels in 2014 as the group’s Chief Executive Officer, Intress served as President and Chief Executive Officer of InnLink LLC, a leading CRS provider based in Nashville, USA. Under her leadership, Innlink LLC has developed into one of the most successful CRS providers, serving over 7,000 independent hotels worldwide.

Intress’ previous career stations have also included several executive sales and marketing positions, such as US Director of Sales and Marketing for Mentice, and Director of Sales & Marketing for Cardiac Renewal. She also has a proven track record as a restaurant entrepreneur, having successfully opened and operated two restaurants in Scotland.

Kristin Intress holds an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, a Bachelor Degree in Marketing, and a Pharmaceutical Degree from the US Army. She works from her Nashville, TN office, USA. Her three children and husband reside in Wisconsin where she was born and raised. When her global career doesn’t see her at one of the almost 500 Worldhotels properties or at an international travel conference, she likes to spend her free time playing rugby, volleyball, and anything outside. Kristin Intress is very active in Women’s initiatives and educational projects.

Aaron Greenman

Senior Vice President, Development & Acquisitions - Europe
Interstate Hotels & Resorts

Aaron Greenman is Senior Vice President, Acquisitions and Development - Europe for Interstate Hotels & Resorts, where he has held the position since 2010. He is responsible for overseeing all of Interstate’s development, strategic investments and acquisitions in Europe. Interstate Europe Hotels & Resorts’ portfolio (as of 30 September 2014) encompasses 72 hotels with over 11,600 rooms in nine countries, including signed pipeline.

Before his European role, Aaron was the Chief Operating Officer for JHM International in India, at the same time heading development there for JHM Interstate Hotels, and was instrumental in establishing both companies there. Prior to joining JHM and Interstate, Aaron was managing director for the AFEX Group in East Africa and, before that, senior manager, real estate for Ernst & Young LLP in Boston and New York.

Andrew Gibson

Vice President, Spa and Wellness
FRHI Hotels & Resorts

Andrew brings over 25 years of hospitality and spa experience as Vice President, Spas & Wellness for FRHI Hotels & Resorts. He began his career in England and the Middle East where he held progressive positions, including Leisure Centre Manager, Gatwick Penta Hotel, England – one of the first hotels in the UK to build significant leisure facilities.

He then went on to become the Recreation Manager, Abu Dhabi Intercontinental Hotel, UAE, Beach and Country Club Manager, Al Bustan Palace Hotel Oman and eventually the Business Development Manager, Oman Sports Services LLC, Oman. His final posting in Oman was as the Regional Director of Leisure and Sports Activities, Intercontinental Hotels.

In 2000 Andrew moved to Cyprus as investor and Owner of Aphrodite Tennis and Spa Ltd. and consultant to Aphrodite Hills Integrated Resort. Andrew joined Six Senses, Thailand in 2003 as Managing Director of Six Senses Spa and held that position until 2006. In his tenure Six Senses Spas were developed and grew from 4 to 33 spas worldwide in 3 years.

In 2007 Andrew assisted Raison d’Etre Spas Discovery, Sweden as Chief Executive Officer before moving to Hong Kong in his most recent position as Group Director of Spa, Mandarin Oriental Hotels Group, Hong Kong.

Andrew holds a BA with distinction in Recreation Management and Environmental Conversation from the University of Manchester, England.

Chip Conley

Head of Global Hospitality & Strategy

The founder and former CEO of Joie de Vivre Hospitality, Chip Conley began reinventing hotels at age 26, taking an inner city motel and turning it into the 2nd largest boutique hotel brand in the world. The author of four books, including PEAK and The New York Times bestseller, EMOTIONAL EQUATIONS, he shares his theories on transformation and meaning with audiences around the world. In 2013, Chip launched Fest300 -- where his passion for travel, culture, and the world’s best festivals is an invitation to reconnect with humanity -- and joined Airbnb as Head of Global Hospitality & Strategy, where he's teaching his methods to hundreds of thousands of hosts in nearly 200 countries. Chip received his BA and MBA from Stanford University, and holds an honorary doctorate in psychology from Saybrook University. He serves on the boards of Youth Speaks, Esalen Institute and the Burning Man Project.

Dr. Graeme Codrington

International Director
TomorrowToday Global

Dr Graeme Codrington is an internationally recognised futurist. He specialises in the future of work and has helped companies across the world to understand the forces that will shape our lives in the next ten years. Graeme has five degrees, four best selling books and lectures at four universities including London Business School and Duke. But he’s no boring academic: he’s steeped in business knowledge having worked at KPMG, for an IT start up, in the charity sector, and is an entrepreneur as one of the founders of the consulting firm TomorrowToday Global. He works in over 20 countries every year with some of the world’s top companies. Graeme is the only speaker to have been admitted to two different speaker halls of fame and received the highest accolade of Global Certified Speaking Professional.

Derek Cheung

Chief Executive Officer
New Century Asset Management Ltd, Manager of New Century Real Estate Investment Trust (1257.HK)

Mr. Derek Cheung is the Chief Executive Officer of New Century Asset Management Limited, the manager of New Century Real Estate Investment Trust (HK stock code 1275), which is the first listed China hotel REIT in the world and was rated the 7th best managed Chinese company under the FinanceAsia’s Best Managed Companies – China Poll 2014.

New Century REIT is sponsored by New Century Group, the largest privately owned hotel group in China, and The Carlyle Group, a global alternative asset manager with US$203 billion in assets under management as of 30 June 2014. New Century Group currently has about 140 star-rated hotels in operation or under development in China.

Currently, New Century REIT’s portfolio comprises five 5-star and one 4-star hotels, located in Hangzhou, Shanghai, Ningbo, Qiandao Lake and Changchun. Beside organic growth, we envisage to grow through acquisitions, leveraging both on New Century Group’s significant hotel pipeline and a large pool of hotels that are expected to become available for sale in the next few years.

Mr. Cheung is currently an independent non-executive director of Springland International Holdings Limited (HK stock code 1700) and Best Pacific International Holdings Limited (HK stock code 2111).

Before joining New Century Asset Management Limited, Mr. Cheung was the Chief Investment Officer of Neutron INV Partners Limited, Head of Greater China Investment Research of DBS Vickers (HK) Ltd., Asia Pacific Chief Investment Of-ficer of Cohen & Steers Asia Ltd., Head of Hong Kong & China Property Research at HSBC Securities, Vice President of Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, Property Analyst of Salomon Brothers, Assistant Vice President of Citibank and Semi-Senior Accountant of Arthur Andersen & Co..

Jason Burnett

Technical Director
Check Safety First Ltd

Jason Burnett is the Technical Director of Cristal International Standards and is an expert in the development of risk management systems, particularly in large multinational organisations with distributed operations.  Jason’s experience with safety, health and environment spans over 15 years and a number of continents.  Specialising in the development, implementation and auditing of management systems for risk management; he has developed a detailed understanding of how integrated technology and technical management systems can enhance the performance of complex multi-site and multi-national organisations.  Jason is also the resident expert on technology and software systems that can be used in conjunction with an effective management system to provide tangible financial benefits and return on investment.

As Group Development Director for UK based safety consulting firm National Britannia Jason was responsible for designing the RIDDOR (Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences) system that was outsourced by the UK Health and Safety Executive. 

Jason is also the architect of two other major systems for safety and risk management:

• e-Cristal is a multi-lingual system used across the globe by the hotel industry to protect the safety of their guests.  This system provides management tools to co-ordinate safety and risk management aspects of hotel operation and is supported by a team of consultants employed in these countries by Check Safety First.  Hotels using this system have 24 hours a day, 365 days a year access to their safety data as well as monthly visits from highly qualified consultants.

• Riskcheck is the equivalent of e-Cristal for use outside the hotel sector and concentrates on property and labour related risk management.  This is primarily used in Canada and North America.

In addition to the hotel sector Jason has experience of safety management in a variety of industries, including real estate, construction, retail, independent schools and numerous others.

Coley Brenan

KSL Capital Partners, LLC

Coley Brenan, Principal, KSL Capital Partners. Mr. Brenan runs the European office for KSL Capital Partners, based in London. KSL is a leading private equity firm with $3.4 billion of equity capital under management and a 20-year track record of making investments exclusively in travel and leisure businesses. Through its investment vehicles, KSL has owned and operated some of the largest and most renowned hotel and resort properties in the United States, including La Quinta Resort & Club, Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa, the Hotel del Coronado, Grand Wailea Resort Hotel & Spa, La Costa Resort and Spa, Montelucia Resort & Spa, and the James Royal Palm. KSL’s current portfolio also includes Squaw Valley USA and Alpine Meadows Ski Resort, two of the largest mountain resorts in North America; ClubCorp, Inc., the largest owner of golf, country, and business and sports clubs in the world, with over 150 destinations; and Western Athletic Clubs, an upscale, family-focused fitness club company in California. Within the last 12 months, KSL has exhibited its commitment to investing in Western Europe by purchasing The Belfry, a 312-room golf resort in Wishaw, England and Malmaison & Hotel Du Vin, a 27-property boutique hotel portfolio located throughout the United Kingdom.

Prior to KSL Capital Partners, Mr. Brenan was with Deutsche Bank Securities in their Real Estate, Gaming, Lodging & Leisure corporate finance team. During his tenure at Deutsche Bank, he completed various M&A and financing transactions in excess of $14 billion. He holds a B.S. from Cornell University's School of Hotel Administration.

Roger Bootle

Capital Economics

One of the City of London’s best-known economists, Roger Bootle runs the consultancy, Capital Economics, one of the world’s largest independent economics consultancies, which he founded in 1999.  Roger is also a Specialist Adviser to the House of Commons Treasury Committee and an Honorary Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries.  He was formerly Group Chief Economist of HSBC and, under the previous Conservative government, he was appointed one of the Chancellor’s panel of Independent Economic Advisers, the so-called “Wise Men”. In July 2012, it was announced that Roger and a team from Capital Economics had won the Wolfson Prize, the second biggest prize in Economics after the Nobel.

Roger Bootle studied at Oxford University and then became a Lecturer in Economics at St Anne’s College, Oxford.  Most of his subsequent career has been spent in the City of London.

Roger has written many articles and several books on monetary economics. His latest book, The Trouble with Europe, published in May this year, has been widely acclaimed. It follows The Trouble with Markets, which analyses the deep causes of the recent financial crisis and discusses the threats to capitalism arising from it. Like his previous book, Money for Nothing, which correctly anticipated the financial crisis, it has been widely praised. It followed the success of The Death of Inflation, published in 1996, which became a best-seller and was subsequently translated into nine languages. Roger is also joint author of the book Theory of Money, and author of Index-Linked Gilts. 

Roger appears frequently on television and radio and is also a regular columnist for The Daily Telegraph. In The Comment Awards 2012 he was named Economics Commentator of the year.

Matt Balcik

Vice President Operations and Brand Development
Jumeirah Group

Vivek Badrinath

SVP, Marketing, Sales & Distribution

Svetlana Bats

Head of Hotel interiors Department
Smart Company

Sonny Lundqvist


Sven Osmers

Director - KPMG in Russia, Head of Real Estate Advisory practice in Russia and CIS

Sven joined KPMG in 1997. Prior to this, he gained extensive experience as a leading project engineer in the construction industry for five years. With the beginning of 2009 he heads the real estate valuation group in Corporate Finance Russia and CIS
Sven assists clients in making informed decisions and achieving optimum outcomes in relation to property investments. He delivers expert advice on corporate real estate planning, including strategic property portfolio reviews, feasibility analysis, property developments and divestments
In the last few month he has worked with numerous Russian developers and asset holding companies as well as international investors assisting in the area of Real Estate Advisory services
Recently he was assigned to:

■ Determination of the fair value of complex real estate investments in commercial real estate as well as in the hospitality & leisure sector with a total investment more than USD 2 billion in order to raise finance
■ Diverse valuation and Impairment reviews of development projects for financial statements and financing
■ strategy advise for group of companies in the hospitably sector
■ Feasibility study, concept development and placement strategy as well as the work out of instructions for architects for a historical hotel in the City center of Moscow

Denis Sokolov

Head of Research and Strategic Advisory
Cushman & Wakefield

Inna Shalyto

Committee on Tourism Development of St. Petersburg

Krish Sundaresan

Group CFO
Abu Dhabi Capital Group

Simon Newberry


Abu-Bakr Makhlouf

Commercial Director
Egyptian Resorts Company

Philipp Krause

Director Strategy
Dubai Holding

Manav Fernandez


Rabih Feghali

Roya International

Aboudi Asali

SVP Development MEASA
Jumeirah Group

Hamad Alshaikh

VP, Marketing & Programs
Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA)

Eng. Omar Almubarak

GD of Licensing
Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA)

Naif Saleh Al Hamden

VP - Investments and Business Development
Al Rajhi Investments Co

Munir Ahmed

Director Hospitality
Naseel Holding

Georgy Gakhariya

Business Ombudsman

Mar 2013 – present
Business ombudsman of Georgia. Nominated by Prime Minister of Georgia - Is accountable before Prime Minister of Georgia and Parliament Of Georgia

Nov 2008 – Feb 2013
Lufthansa Service Holding AG. LSG , Frankfurt am Main, Germany.
Moscow, Russia
Director Business Development & Government Relations Eastern Europe,  Russia & CIS
(Reported to Managing Director Eastern Europe and CIS)

May  2004 – Nov 2008
SkyFood Group, Moscow, Russia
General Manager, Owner

Alexander Goncharov

Deputy Chairman
Moscow City Committee for the implementation of investment projects in construction and monitoring of shared construction

Alexander Timokhov

Deputy Chairman
Moscow City Committee for Architecture and Urban Planning

Frédéric Marion

Deputy CEO - Flaine
Compagnie des Alpes

  • More than 20 years in managing teams, projects and development in moving environments
  • focused on targets to achieve with respect of economical requirements
  • perfect knowledge of mountain touristic sector, from real estate to lodging and skiing areas  management

Since 2007 Operating General Manager Ski resort of Flaine ( France )
Deputy CEO of Grand Massif Skiing Area ( France )
Co master planner for  Arkhyz resort ( Russian Federation )

  Domaine Skiable de Flaine SA Compagnie des Alpes
  Flaine ( France )

Sophie Perret


Sophie Perret is a director of the London office of HVS, the leading global specialist hotel valuation, consulting, asset management and brokerage firm which was founded in 1980. HVS operates from thirty offices worldwide, with the London office responsible for work carried out throughout Europe and Africa. HVS was named Management Consultant of the Year in the IHIF Awards for 2011. Sophie holds a dual French-Argentinean nationality and speaks English, French and Spanish. She completed her Bachelor’s degree in Hotel Management at the Ateneo de Estudios Terciarios (Buenos Aires, Argentina) and then went on to work at the InterContinental Buenos Aires, where she was part of the opening team. Upon relocation to Paris, she completed an MBA at IMHI (Essec Business School, France and Cornell University, USA). She went on to complete an MSc in Real Estate Investment and Finance at Reading University in July 2014, and is working towards obtaining her RICS qualification in 2015. Sophie joined HVS Madrid in 2003, and relocated to London three years later. Since joining HVS, she has advised on hotel investment projects and related assignments throughout Europe, Africa and the Middle East and is specifically responsible for the development of HVS services in France and the French-speaking world. Sophie has worked in more than 20 markets in Africa over the last few years.

Michel Augier

Director of Finance, Managed hotels EMEAI
Wyndham Hotel Group

Michel started work at Hotel Meurice in Paris, then part of the InterContinental chain where he spent 28 years. He soon moved to an owned hotel in London and in 1991 got his first Financial Controller position at the InterContinental Stuttgart in Germany, a leased property.

In 1993 he moved to a similar role in a managed hotel in Abidjan, Ivory Coast and after several Operations and Finance roles in Gabon, Saudi Arabia and Lebanon, he joined the then Bass Hotels and Resorts MEA divisional office where he took the role of VP Finance and Business Support, assuming the leadership of the hotel and the corporate Finance teams from 2000 until 2007. Soon, after a demerger from its pub business, BHR became InterContinental Hotels Group.  As a member of the divisional executive committee he was closely involved in managing and developing the IHG brands in the region, primarily under management agreements. During this period, he worked on the introduction of 2 new brands to the region. In 2006, he was appointed Acting COO for 8 months.

In 2008, he took a similar role in the UK where IHG managed a large single owner portfolio with many centralised functions and processes. The focus quickly moved to managing the worse recession to hit the hospitality industry in living memories, and he was instrumental in reshaping the business to mitigate the impact of the declining revenues.

In late 2011, Michel moved to Scotland where is family is based, and joined as Director of Finance the Cameron House management team which was re-launching and repositioning the hotel after an extensive renovation. He actively supported the material revenue growth, and he reinforced the financial discipline in the business.

In 2014, he joined the Wyndham Hotel Group management team in Dubai to support the growth of the managed properties portfolio in the region.

Magdaline Oesi Baffour

Senior Hospitality Analyst
HTI Consulting

Magdaline started her career as a human resources consultant at Ellis Fairbank International.  Magdaline decided to develop her career in the hospitality industry joining as a junior Management Controller the ACCOR Head Office in Paris. Thereafter, she took a specialization in Corporate Finance at EDHEC Business School combined with a Real Estate dimension. In June 2011, she started working at BNP Paribas Real Estate Hotels as a consultant with the consulting and valuation division. Magdaline has significant experience in single asset and portfolio valuations. Magdaline joined HTI Consulting in March 2014 and has worked on feasibility, asset management, operator selection and due diligence assignments in: Congo, Uganda, South Africa, Swaziland, Togo and Kenya. Magdaline speaks the following languages: French, English & Twi (Ghananian Dialect)

HE Alain Saint-Ange

Minister of Tourism and Culture
Republic of Seychelles

HE Abdoulaye Diouf Sarr

Minister of Tourism & Air Transportation
Republic of Senegal

H.E. Jean Kapata

Minister of Tourism and Arts
Republic of Zambia

 Honourable Jean Kapata MP, currently saving as Minister of Tourism and Arts is an elected Member of Parliament for Mandevu Constituency in Lusaka the capital city of Zambia. She was appointed Minister of Tourism and Arts on 26th March, 2014

 Hon. Jean Kapata MP was first elected as Member of Parliament in 2006 the ticket of the Patriotic Front Party.

 In October, 2011, her party won the Presidential and General Elections and she was appointed Deputy Minister in the Ministry of Community Development, Mother and Child Health

 Before her appointment to the current portfolio as Minister of Tourism and Arts, she served as Deputy Minister in the Ministry of Community Development, Mother and Child Health.

 Hon. Jean Kapata has a healthy sector background where she worked as a registered nurse until when she joined politics and subsequently elected as Member of Parliament. She has over 20 years of professional experience in the health sector.

Viacheslav Romanov

Head of Research
Bank of Moscow

Viacheslav is a Head of Research at Long Term Credit Structuring and Real Estate Financing Department, responsible for investment analysis of long term lending deals in Real Estate and other sectors. Viacheslav joined Bank of Moscow in 2012, prior to that he worked in BCG London and Moscow offices specializing in commercial due diligence and strategy projects.
Viacheslav graduated from Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology and from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania with an MBA in Finance and Entrepreneurship

Elena Lysenkova

Chief Executive Officer
Hospitality Income Consulting

Oxana Nabok

Area Human Resources Director - Russia & CIS

Govind Mundra

General Manager - Business Development (Africa)
IHMS Hotels (SA) (Pty) Limited

Govind (34) is based in Johannesburg and takes care of the expansion of Taj Hotels Resorts & Palaces in Africa & Indian Ocean Region as General Manager – Business Development. Taj Hotel Group own and operate 119 hotels including palaces, private islands and resorts, spanning 66 destinations in 10 countries across 5 continents. Besides India, Taj Hotels are located in USA, UK, UAE, Australia, Africa, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Langkawi and Bhutan.
Taj Hotel Group operates in the luxury, premium, mid-market and value segments of the market through the following brands - Taj, Vivanta by Taj, The Gateway Hotels, Ginger, Taj Holidays and Jiva Spa. The current focus of the group in Africa is to grow Upper Upscale Brand – ‘Vivanta by Taj’ both in city and resort locations via management contract model.

Govind, an Indian national, has more than 12 years of hospitality development, real estate and construction experience in emerging markets like South West Asia & Africa. He started his career in 2002 as Junior Engineer with a design consultant in North East India. In 2004, He joined Ambuja Realty Development Limited - a premier real estate developer in East India and held several positions with them, last one in 2010 being Asst. General Manager – Design and Development. Post completion of his Master’s in 2011, he briefly worked as Senior Manager – Consulting at DTZ International Property Advisors in Delhi. His list assignment before joining Taj Hotels was with Wyndham Hotel Group as Senior Manager – International Development (Indian Ocean) based in Delhi, India.

He holds a Master’s Degree in Hospitality Administration from Ecole Hoteliere de Lausanne -Switzerland, Diploma in Construction Project Management from NICMAR – India and Bachelors in Civil Engineering from Visveswaraiah Technological University - India.

Benyam Bisrat

CEO & Co-Founder
Jupiter Hospitality Group

Benyam, 38, is one of the young Ethiopian business leaders that are increasingly steering the country’s robust economy. Studying business management at York University in Canada, he returned to Ethiopia to become chief executive of the Jupiter Hospitality Group in 2006. Currently, the group manages two hotels, but it is developing a further 5 throughout the country and the continent.

Benyam is passionate about the hospitality industry and was a primary driver in the restructure of the Addis Ababa Hotels Owners Association. He serves on the board of AHA as a chairman. His many years of hands-on approach and his dedication to the hospitality industry make him the ideal person for the position of AHA Chair.

Constantin Zabrodine

Chief Executive Officer
Zavidovo Development

Constantin Zabrodine was born on April 26, 1964 in Rostov-on-Don. After graduating from school he entered Lomonosov Moscow State University physics department.  After obtaining the graduation certificate with high honors he 
went onto further postgraduate study in Moscow State University physics department. At the same time Constantin Zabrodine carried out research in quantum physics in General physics University of Academy of Sciences of the USSR and he also run teaching profession in The Lomonosov Moscow State University.
In 1992 at the age of 28 Constantin Zabrodine not only had candidate of Physical and Mathematical Sciences degree but also he was operational director of Moscow Apple Computer representative office.
Constantin Zabrodine decided to undertake further management and corporate finance studing abroad in The Boston College. After that for a few years he worked on senior position in Global Data Trade (Switzerland) and CNET Networks (USA).
From 2007 till present Constantin Zabrodine is project executive of Zavidovo integrated development and general manager of Zavidovo Development, the company which carries out execution of this unique project.
Married, has three children. Fluently speaks English and French.



Забродин Константин Николаевич родился 26 апреля 1964 года в городе Ростов-на-Дону. После окончания школы поступил на физический факультет МГУ им. Ломоносова. Получив диплом об окончании университета с отличием, продолжил образование в аспирантуре физического факультета МГУ. В это же время Константин Забродин вел научную работу в области квантовой физики в Институте Общей Физики, Академии Наук СССР и преподавательскую деятельность в МГУ им. Ломоносова. А уже 1992 году в возрасте 28 лет Константин Забродин не только имел степень кандидата физико-математических наук, но и являлся директором по операциям, а затем и генеральным директором, представительства компании Apple Computer в Москве. Продолжил образование Константин Забродин решил за границей в Бостонском колледже, по направлению менеджмента и корпоративных финансов. Затем несколько лет работал на руководящих должностях в Global Data Trade (Швейцария), CNET Networks  (США). С 2007 года и по настоящее время Константин Забродин является руководителем проекта комплексного развития территории «Завидово» и генеральным директором  ООО «Завидово Девелопмент» - компании, которая занимается реализацией этого уникального проекта. Женат, имеет троих детей. Свободно владеет английским и французским языками.

Jonathan Faiman

Tempest Capital AG

Neway Moges

Managing Partner
Calibra Hospitality Consultancy

Nasser Al-Mugheiry

Grant Thornton Ethiopia

Nasser Al Mugheiry founded his own firm Abu Timam in March 1995.

He managing Partner Abu Timam Grant Thornton Oman. He is also Senior Partner Grant Thornton Yemen and Ethiopia

He started his career in 1981 with Deloitte Haskins + Sells in London. In 1989 he joined Coopers Lybrand in Oman and left Coopers as Audit Manager in 1995 to launch Abu Timam. He has more than 30 years rich and extensive experience in statutory audits of various industries including financial institutions, insurance, internal audits, management consultancy, project management and HR consultancy.

He is also a Tax Partner and Consultant with in depth knowledge of the Omani income tax system and assessment. He represents our clients at the Ministry of Finance for any tax related matters.

His strong technical background allows him to get involved in various large assignments both at the private and publicly listed level. He has also been imparting training at workshops and active participates in business forums

Aschalew (Lewis) Belay

Aschalew Belay Hotel Projects (Golden Tulip Addis)

Aschalew Belay has earned his Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree in Computer Science from Beijing University, China and Certified with Business Administration from Coventry University of England. He started private business as Exporter back in 1993 in China. Starting from 1996 onwards, he has been working as Representative to Ethiopian Shipping Lines in China. He lives in between Ethiopian and China and owns a company named “Tianjin Worldwide (Fareast) Co. Ltd.”, a private export, clearing and forwarding company registered in China.

His portfolio of businesses in Ethiopia include the following and he is the major shareholder in most of these investments:

 System Technology PLC, IT equipment supplier established in 2001.
 Elegant Interior Design and Engineering PLC, supplier and manufacturer of finishing materials and sole agent of Mitsubishi Elevator and Escalator for buildings established in 2003.
 Shareholder in United Bank Sh. Co.
 Lewis Construction-major share holder
 Golden Tulip Addis Ababa Hotel
 Belay Ab Enterprises PLC ,Belay Ab Cable Manufacturing PLC and Belay Ab Vehicle Assembly PLC

Rezene Ayalew

Managing Director
Tsemex Hotels and Business Plc (Crowne Plaza Addis)

Mr. Rezene Ayalew Biru Owner and MD of Tsemex Global Enterprise P.L.C have started his business as major importer of spaghetti and Macaroni from Italy since 2001and also importing different commodities in addition to exporting ‘Niger seeds’ for U.S.A market. He has diversified its business and become one of the Leading Importer and Distributor of Water work related materials for sale but mainly for the delivery that the Enterprise has been winning for the supply of Government and NGO international tenders. He also owns a transport company with more than 60 fleets and Grade I Construction Company.
His company is an exclusive importer and distributor of WHO rated finest water tank in the world, Pioneer Water Tanks, for Eastern and Central Africa with a range and quality that no other water tank can produce.
He is also developing a Crowne Plaza Addis Ababa hotel which is co-financed with IFC/World Bank closer to African Union Convention Center.

Ambassador Yamina Karitanyi

Head of Tourism & Conservation
Rwanda Development Board (RDB)

A multi-lingual professional with a strong educational background and practical training in International Business, Diplomacy, Operations Management and business negotiations, Amb. Yamina Karitanyi has developed a sharp eye for leading corporations into new and developing markets. She has also gained significant expertise in developing and implementing government and corporate strategies and has played key strategic roles in the execution of several international initiatives by various institutions.
Amb. Karitanyi is currently the Head of Tourism and Conservation at Rwanda Development Board since March 2014 and her core mandate is to drive the growth of Rwanda’s Tourism Sector as well as spearheading the conservation efforts and programs for Rwanda’s Biodiversity.
Prior to this appointment, Amb. Karitanyi was the High Commissioner of Rwanda to Kenya since September 2012. Amb. Karitanyi joined the Mission in August 2010 as the Minister Counselor where in addition to attending to diplomatic matters, she was responsible for Trade and Investment portfolios and also managed image building activities within the Mission.

H.E. Elizabeth Ofosu-Agyare

Minister for Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts
Republic of Ghana

H.E. Elizabeth Ofosu-Agyare

Minister for Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts
Republic of Ghana

H. E. Walter Mzembi

Minister of Tourism
Republic of Zimbabwe

H.E Amin Abdulkadir

Minster for Culture and Tourism
Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia

Irina Sheshero

National Investment Association

Irina Sheshero is one of the oldest specialists in the branch of investment engineering. She has basic financial education, is a PhD in economic sciences, has big experience in investment raising and deal structuring, as well as big experience in managing work in banks and companies.  In investment business - from middle 90s. She knows personally all representatives of financial-bank community of Russia, as well as many representatives of the banks and funds abroad.

Irina Sheshero was born in Moscow to the family of the First division chief - Deputy Minister of Finance RSFSR, graduated from Moscow Financial Institute (now Financial University under Government RF), then occupied top positions in many banks and companies. Supervised the departments of development, investment raising and deal structuring, IR (investor relations).

Being Aide of Deputy of the State Duma RF, created National Investment Association, which assists enterprises of raising investments. At present she is also a Deputy Chairman of the Expert Council of economic policy and investments of the Committee of economic policy, innovative development and enterpreneurship of the State Duma of the Russian Federation.

Andrea D'Amico

Regional Director - Italy, Eastern Europe and Middle East Africa

Andrea D’Amico, Regional Director at, has been working in the online hotel industry since 1998 when he started his career at

In 2003, he joined in Cambridge and moved to Amsterdam after 2 years.

In 2006, he was given the task of developing the Italian market by promoting services to Italian hotels, and advising them on how to maximize their revenue. He opened the Rome office that same year.

In 2010, he relocated to Singapore and for 3 years he was in charge of developing the business in the APAC region.

He is now back in Rome in the role of Regional Director. He is responsible for Italy, the Balkans, Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Pushpendra Uprety

Vice President
HTI Consulting

Pushpendra has over eight years of experience in real estate and hotel advisory, having worked with wide spectrum of clients including funds, developers, corporate and financial institutions.  

Pushpendra has worked on a variety of assignments covering various real estate components such as commercial, residential, hospitality, retail, industrial etc.
His prior experience includes working with international property consultancies: JLL and DTZ in the advisory side; hotel operator: Hilton on the feasibility side and hotel owners on the development side. He has been actively involved in the complete hotel development cycle of opportunity identification, site selection, evaluation, feasibility, due diligence, negotiations, contract structuring and contract execution.

Natalie Chibrikova

Head of the Real Estate Client Management Department
Sberbank CIB

Helaway Tadesse

Senior Vice President
Zemen Bank S.C

Helaway Tadesse is the Senior Vice President of Zemen Bank, a specialized private bank that works mainly with corporate and institutional clients.  He chairs the Bank’s Management Credit Committee and also oversees its lending and domestic banking operations.  Before joining Zemen Bank at the time its establishment in 2009, he was a Washington-D.C. based Senior Economist at the International Monetary Fund, where he spent ten years on a varied group of country assignments that included Jordan, Indonesia, Yugoslavia, Malawi, and the Caribbean.  Helaway is a graduate of Reed College (BA, Economics) and Princeton University (MPA, Economics & Public Policy).

Haile Gebrselassie

Olympic gold medallist and hotel investor

Jurgen Hautmann

VP Asset Management
Kingdom Hotel Investment

Giorgi Pertaia

Georgian National Investment Agency

Giorgi Pertaia holds the position of director at Georgian National Investment Agency (GNIA) since July 2012 .Throughout his career, he gained substantive experience with previous appointments- including the position of Business Ombudsman of Georgia; Chief Advisor to the Prime Minister of Georgia; Independent Consultant - Trade Specialist at Booz Allen Hamilton; on Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Anti-Corruption and Anti-Fraud Project; Head of Trade and Transport Committee at American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham); Lecturer at Tbilisi State University; the customs expert at EU funded customs project: “Technical assistance to the development of secondary customs legislation and customs management at Georgia”; Head of Planning and Control Division at Customs Department at the Ministry of Finance of Georgia.

Giorgi Pertaia has received his Bachelor’s Degree in Finance from Tbilisi State University, Tbilisi, Georgia and Master’s Degree in Business Administration (MBA) from Western Illinois University, Macomb, Illinois.

Petra Devereux

Recruitment and HR
Hotel Partners Africa

Petra Devereux is a professional Talent Acquisition Specialist, based in Johannesburg, South Africa. She has a wealth of executive management experience within the hospitality, tourism, project management, construction and property development sectors.

Her  professionalism ethos being placed on the importance of having the right employees, as the key, to successful business practice, prompted her to diversify into the HR field of Talent Acquisition. Petra has operated her own agency for over 6 years, successfully sourcing and identifying talented staff for clients both in Africa and abroad in various sectors.  Having recently partnered with Hotel Partners Africa, the plan to extend the existing service offering is on course to expand tremendously.

Petra received her MBA through the London Thames Valley University in 2002 and believes that her varied experience in business from a young age has given her an added advantage in understanding and interpreting her client’s requirements and as such recruiting the best possible candidates for them.

Al-karim Nathoo

Managing Director
4C Hotel Group

Al-karim Nathoo is a Director of the 4C Hotel Group, who joined the organisation following his graduation from University College London in 2004

4C Hotel Group is a privately owned hotel development and management company, with a focus on site acquisition and development, ownership and operations of full and limited service hotels in major markets across the United Kingdom, Middle-East, Canada & East Africa.

The Group owns and operates Holiday Inn, Express by Holiday Inn, Doubletree by Hilton, Comfort Inn, and Easy branded hotels.

The group currently have 3 operational hotels in East Africa, and have a pipe-line of a further 5 Hotels in locations including Bujumbura - Burundi, Kigali – Rwanda, & Mtwara – Tanzania.

Al-karim continues to focus on acquiring existing hotels and development sites.  Al-karim also sits on the Board of Redefine Hotels.

Brad Davidson

Projects Director, Design, Construction And Engineering EAME,
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide

Brad Davidson is an experienced hotel professional with over 25 years’ experience in Hospitality design and planning in many parts of the world.

As an Architect and Interior designer he has been responsible for projects in the US, Latin America, Asia, India, Africa and the south Pacific. He has lived in many countries including Australia, the US, England, Malaysia and Tonga.

For the last 8 years brad has work as a Technical Services Director for Starwood Hotels and Resorts based out of Brussels and working throughout the Division on new build projects and Major renovations of existing properties.

Anastasiya Kremenchuk



In 2009, Anastasiya graduated from the Journalism and Writing Institute with specialization in Broadcast Journalism.
From 2009 to 2012, she received her second university degree at the Chernomyrdin Moscow State Open University, the Faculty of Business and Management, with specialization in Organization Management.
From 2010 to present, she is receiving her third university degree at the Moscow City University of Psychology and Education, the Department of Psychology (to be graduated in 2013).

Professional Experience:
From 2004 to 2005, Anastasiya took the position of Editor with, a project by Artemy Troitsky.
From 2005 to 2006, she was engaged in establishing and development of a restricted-access online project focused on topographic surveys, military off-road vehicles and automotive navigation.
From 2006 to 2008, she took the position of News Editor for and information and analysis web portals.
From 2008 to 2010, she advanced to the position of Deputy Editor in Chief for and information and analysis web portals.
From 2010 to present, Anastasiya Kremenchuk is the Editor in Chief for and

2010 — Anastasiya Kremenchuk became the winner in the Best Contribution on Construction, Reconstruction and Real Estate Market nomination among information agencies and online mass media in the IV PROEstate Media Awards Russian National Journalists Contest.
2011 — Anastasiya Kremenchuk became the winner in the Best Contribution on Construction, Reconstruction and Real Estate Market nomination among information agencies and online mass media in the V PROEstate Media Awards Russian National Journalists Contest.
2011 — Anastasiya Kremenchuk became a finalist in the Pro Development and Interview of the Year nominations in the JOY 2011 Awards.

Keith Aki-Sawyerr

Managing Director
Cape Sierra Co Ltd

Keith, a civil structural engineer with extensive experience in the design, funding and construction of accommodation projects in the UK, now operates in West Africa after making the transition from engineering to strategic leadership and management.  Keith started his career in the UK with Sir William Halcrow & Partners and where he spent eight years and became a chartered civil engineer. He then moved to Lloyd’s Register where he was involved in risk assessments and the approval of designs and manufacturing processes.  Keith has spent the past 15 years specialising in designing, structuring and implementing PFI or Project Finance Transactions.

Matt Luscombe

Chief Commercial Officer, Europe

As Chief Commercial Officer, Matt is responsible for developing and delivering IHG's brand and commercial strategies in Europe, driving performance through leadership of the sales, brand marketing, revenue management, commercial marketing and loyalty functions in the region.

In more than eight years with the company, Matt has held a series of senior commercial and operational positions, most recently running IHG's Franchise business in the EMEA region. Before joining IHG, Matt worked as an Engagement Manager for Marakon Associates, a strategy consultancy firm, where he advised a number of Fortune 500 businesses in sectors including hospitality, consumer goods, telecoms, financial services and pharmaceuticals.

Matt has degrees in Economics and Management Studies from the University of Cambridge. Outside of work, Matt is passionate about sports, particularly rowing, and coached his wife, Jo, to a silver medal at the World Championships.

Luc Gesvret

SVP Sales, Distribution & Loyalty Russia Georgia & CIS

Luc Gesvret, graduated from ESCP Europe is VP Sales Distribution and loyalty for Accor Russia, Georgia and CIS.

With an extended International knowledge of the hotel business, and distribution, Luc Gesvret has led the implementation of the new technologies and digital plan in several Eastern Europe countries, in a ever evolving environment to secure the best return on investment  on customer value for ACCOR and its affiliates.

Michael Sudarkasa

Africa Business Group

Michael E.M. Sudarkasa is a U.S. trained attorney and African economic development consultant based in Johannesburg, South Africa.  Michael has experience and expertise in facilitating trade and investment projects involving business expansion within Africa, as well as between Africa and other parts of the world.  He has significant sector expertise in agriculture/ agribusiness; energy; broadcast media; infrastructure; healthcare; tourism and oil and gas. He also has significant experience working with public sector institutions (municipal, provincial, national and multilateral) developing local economic development strategies, trade promotion and investment attraction strategies, and in managing related implementation projects and processes.  Michael’s background in law is in the area of commercial law with a special focus on cross-border transactions. 

To date, Michael has over 20 years of experience providing international trade, investment, economic development, legal, research and business analysis services related to African economic development with a particular focus on private sector development.  He has travelled, worked, or provided training and development assistance in 53 countries throughout the world (including 33 in Africa).  He has also authored several articles and publications related to African trade and investment.

In addition to undertaking independent consulting projects, Michael heads the Africa Business Group (ABG), an economic development company that focuses on economic and business development consulting, sector focused project development and management, and capacity development (training, facilitation).

Suma Venkatesh

SVP Development
Taj Group

Suma Venkatesh, Vice President – Development, The Indian Hotels Company Ltd., heads the Taj Group’s initiatives for growth through green field developments, acquisitions, licenses and management contracts and also planning of large scale renovations of various hotels within its portfolio. Over the last 12 years with the Taj Group, she has been involved in doubling the Group’s inventory to 127 hotels with 15500+ keys.

Ms. Venkatesh is an Electrical Engineer by training and holds a Masters Degree in Management Studies from the Mumbai University in India. She has over 22 years of cross functional experience across industries. Before joining the Taj Group, she has worked in different functions across multiple industry sectors in India.

Kevan Moses

Stauch Vorster Architects

Kevan was initially employed as Design Architect at Tyser Pellegrini Architects, where he then became a Partner in 1988.  He then joined Pentagraph, a multi-faceted design company, in 1992 to assist in establishing an architectural component to the company.  Kevan established a new architectural practice with Michael O’Malley in late 1993, trading under the name of O’Malley Moses and Associates.  O’Malley Moses then amalgamated with a Zimbabwean practice in 1994 to strengthen African base.  The new entity traded as Mwamuka Mercuri O’Malley Moses, based in Johannesburg, Harare and Bulawayo.  The regional practice focused on a broad range of sectors, including Corporate offices, Retail and Educational. N.U.S.T University and Joina Centre, Harare, being two of the major projects.

MMOM amalgamated with Stauch Vorster Architects in 1997 to establish a broad geographical and sector focus in South Africa and the African continent.
Kevan’s primary focus in the practice has been quality design in the built environment across most building sectors. Kevan’s particular interest and skill has been in the mixed use, commercial and hospitality sectors, with projects in Africa, the Middle East and Asia.Sustainable design has always been a focus, starting with a highly successful (off grid) project in Gaborone breaking new ground.  Kevan has recently taken up the co-chair of the International Council for Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, representing South Africa. 

Andrew Linwood

Head of Design,
Areen Hospitality Design

Andrew has designed interiors for the world’s leading hotel operators, holding senior positions at well-renowned hospitality specialists.

After studying Interior Design in London and working in the UK and Europe, Andrew became Senior Designer and then Managing Director of regional Interiors group GTD in Hong Kong and Singapore. He went on to became Senior Project Designer with globally-renowned hospitality specialists Hirsch Bedner Associates in Singapore and London, designing luxury projects in Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Russia and Thailand.

On his return to the UK he worked at Richmond International- part of the Areen Group- and in 2008 he established Areen Hotel Design, now known as Areen Hospitality.
As Head of Hospitality Design, Andrew is involved in and monitors all aspects of a project, from conception through to on-site installation.  Areen Hospitality is currently working on projects in India, Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia.

Samuel Tafese

Founder & President
Sunshine investment Group

Samuel Tafese is the founder and the CEO of Sunshine Investment Group, Sunshine Construction plc, Sunshine Business plc, Sun sister trading and Sunshine philanthropy foundation.

His first company, Sunshine Construction Plc is a company that was established in 1984 as a sole proprietorship and later in 1993 transformed into a private limited Company. After three decades of a successful engagement mainly in the construction sector, it evolved into and become Mother Company to the three autonomous businesses and philanthropic entity.

His 30-year experience in road projects, real estate and now hospitality has made him one of the leading contractors in Ethiopia.

Road Projects- Completed 16 major road projects.
Building Projects – Completed over 12 major building projects.
Real estate- 210 G+1 & G+2 Villas in Meri-Luke, 33 G+4 residential apartments with 37 shops in Gerji and 15 G+1 &2 Villas and 500 villas and Apartments in CMC.
Hotel – Marriott Executive Apartments, 109 rooms a valued cost of 45 million dollars.
Quality award from the International Quality Summit in New York in 2012.
Platinum award from the Century International Quality ERA Convention in Geneva, Switzerland in 2014.

Berhane Demissie

Managing Director
Schulze Global Investments

Ms Berhane Demissie has been the Managing Director of Schulze Global Investments-Ethiopia since 2008. SGI-Ethiopia manages a private equity fund exclusively focused on investing in Ethiopia in various sectors of the economy. Former positions include Senior Consultant to Ethiopia's Public Financial Enterprise Agency , and various positions with Citigroup in London. Ms Demissie holds an MBA from Imperial College, London and Bsc (Hons) in Computer and Communication Systems, Greenwich University, London.

Frank Mustaff

Managing Partner - Germany
Horwath HTL

Frank Mustaff has more than 25 years of management and consulting experience in various industries. His expertize lies within strategic management and economic tourism development. As the Managing Partner of the Horwath HTL Germany office his assignments in various countries in Eastern Africa included the development of Tourism Master Plans for dedicated areas as well the development and implementation of Tourism Regulation for Rwanda. He is a specialist for facilitating promotion of the tourism sector be it via SME, roadshows or cross-border investments.

Michael Johnston

Chief Executive Officer
Regional Hotel Chain LLC

Michael took over leadership of the Regional Hotel Chain LLC in May of 2014 and is responsible for strategic development and general management of the company.

Michael is a US Citizen and a seasoned hotelier that has built, operated and exited branded hotels in the United States while running a captive hotel investment and management company. Additionally, Michael is a Thunderbird MBA graduate with seven years experience in the CIS working in Private Equity and Investment Management where he focused on acquiring under-capitalized operating businesses and high growth companies. Prior to joining RHC, Michael spent several years as both Head of Private Equity for KPMG and Deloitte in Russia as well as a Director of Strategy in their respected Global Strategy Groups where we was recognized as a strategically minded professional with expertise in developing businesses in complex environments. Prior to overseeing the Private Equity initiatives for Deloitte and KPMG, Michael was Managing Director of Las Brisas Hotel Group, a California based hotel investment and management company, as well as an Investment Director for one of the largest institutionally backed Private Equity funds investing in the CIS.

Norberto Pereyra

Undersecretary of Coordination
Ministry of Tourism Argentina

Michael Pownall

General Manager
Taj Cape Town

Michael Pownall is the General Manager of the Taj Cape Town. Born and schooled in the metropolitan borough of Sheffield in the United Kingdom, Michael graduated at Blackpool Hotel School where he earned his degree in Hotel Management during the 80’s. He has since then traveled the world, working and living on four continents before settling down and taking up permanent residence in South Africa – a country from which he draws his inspiration. 

Michael has managed high profile hotels in USA, the Carribean and South Africa for over a decade, where he has played a pivotal role in assuring optimum performance and effective daily property operations of some of the industry’s finest hotels.

Apart from managing and continuously improving the hotel’s five key result areas (guest service, employees, sales/marketing, property appearance, and profit/financial control), Michael is forever actively pursuing opportunities and projects for the hotel to get involved in- from local art and design to fashion and food- as part of his passion for the rejuvenation of Cape Town’s inner city. “Many of Cape Town’s best attractions are within easy walking distance of the hotel, allowing our guests to immerse themselves completely in a historical and cultural experience. We need to ensure we don’t miss out on projects and events happening in our neighbourhood,” says Michael.

Mario Delicio

Managing Director
Hotel Verde