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Sadiq Gillani

Senior Vice President, Chief Strategy Officer
Deutsche Lufthansa

Alexander Schröder

Executive Director Strategy

Philipp Schröder

Country Director Germany & Austria
Tesla Motors

Peter Arnold

Director, Economic Advisory

Valerie Scuermans

Director of Business Development - Benelux
Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group

Rose Anderson

VP Branding
Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group

John Connolly

Head of UK Development
Dorsett Hospitality International Ltd

John’s experience spans over two decades ‎in the property development sector. Initially starting in the Property Consultancy industry, most recently working for McBains Cooper, he specialised in advising Clients on the acquisition of development opportunities, predominately in the leisure and residential sectors

John joined the Dorsett Hospitality International group in 2011 as Head of UK Development and is responsible for all activities on both the hotel and residential developments. The company has currently acquired 5 development sites (2 hotels, 2 Residential & 1 Serviced ‎Apartments) which totals circa £400m construction costs and are seeking more opportunities in the UK, mainly focusing on London.

Our Upper scale hotel site (operating under the Dorsett brand) with 317 bedrooms in Shepherds Bush opened in June 2014 and we are currently on site with 270 bedroom hotel in Aldgate.

Abdulla Ziyath

Managing Director
Maldives Marketing & PR Corporation

Jane Ashton

Director of Sustainability
TUI Group

Jane Ashton

Director of Sustainability
TUI Group

Malcolm Preston

Global Leader - Sustainability and Climate Change

Malcolm Preston is Global Sustainability Leader at PwC leading a 700 strong team of sustainability and climate change experts.  Malcolm is an “expert generalist” on numerous Sustainability issues, but has a particular interest in how companies measure and manage the total impact of their operations in a more holistic manner. By valuing social, environmental, tax and economic impacts, he believes business leaders will have more insight to compare the overall impact of their strategies and investment choices and so be able to manage/optimise the trade-offs – a new system for a managing business.

Sustainability is not an issue that can be managed in isolation.   It plays a critical role in the trust, transparency and reputation agendas.  Malcolm spends most of his time engaging with the C suite on these issues. He is an accomplished speaker, most recently speaking at the United Nations MDG Innovation Forum hosted by Ban Ki Moon, and at the NY Stock Exchange to launch the 2013 CDP report.  He is delighted to be returning to the IHIF, where he delivered key note speeches in 2004, 2005 and 2006.

Malcolm also set up and lead PwC's Travel and Tourism group from 1995 to 2012, and still retains an over-sight role. He has spoken at every ABTA convention from 1995 to 2013  and most recently spoke on the subject of "Is your operation Net Positive?".   He is passionate about the role the hospitaility industry should play in furthering economic and social development whilst being environmentally responsible.

A graduate in Oceanography, Malcolm joined Coopers & Lybrand and qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1986.  After spells working in the US, Australia and Zambia, he became a Partner in 1996.  During his career he has advised large multinationals, entrepreneurial start-ups and lead the e-business team in the early 2000’s.  He has lead the Sustainability & Climate Change team since 2008.

Malcolm was born to travel, not so much to see the sights, but to meet the people and learn  about the culture.  He has driven across every continent in the world – except Antarctica.  His mantra is twofold – (1) never fly over somewhere if you have the time to do it by land, and (2) leave the places you visit as you find them.

David Topolewski


Alexi Khajavi

Managing Director, D2
EVP, Questex Hospitality

Alexi Khajavi is Executive Vice President of Questex Hospitality + Travel and Head of Destination Develop Investment Services. He is responsible for the overall management and development of the company’s global hospitality and destination communications properties and events including the Hotel Management Group, the International Hotel Investment Forum (IHIF) Summit Series, Destination Develop and Destination Development Investment Services, HOTEC Operations & Technology and other destination and hotel investment events in the U.S., Latin America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

Khajavi, who brings more than 17 years of travel, outdoor and publications experience to his position, joined Questex in 2014 as senior managing director of Destination Develop, a new digital media platform covering global tourism industry investment opportunities at the destination level, and Destination Develop Investment Services, an in-house agency that develops marketing and matchmaking campaigns and services for destinations and private-sector businesses in tourism looking for investment.

Prior to joining Questex, Khajavi was senior vice president, global strategy, for MercuryCSC, a marketing agency specializing in the travel industry where he helped grow the firm’s client roster four-fold and designed global marketing campaigns for travel companies, tourism boards and airlines. Prior to MercuryCSC, he was one of the founding team members of a regional airline located in Central America and helped guide the airline in being the fastest growing travel company in the region between 2003 and 2010.

Concurrent with his Questex duties, Khajavi is senior business advisor at the Center for Health and the Global Environment at the Harvard School of Public Health, Boston; advisor board member at KERBspace Inc., a location-based sales and publishing platform; founder & president of Adventure Kapitalist, a venture capital firm; director on the executive board of Sustainable Travel International, Washington; and director on the board of governors of Nature Group, an airline and hotel management company based in Costa Rica.

Theresa Jaeger

Director, Real Estate & Asset Management
Hilton Worldwide

Theresa Jaeger is director, Real Estate and Asset Management, EMEA, Hilton Worldwide, based in London.  The team is responsible for all hotel real estate activities outside the Americas.  This includes oversight of a portfolio of more than 85 owned, leased, and joint venture hotels internationally.  The department has oversight of all capital investments and a leadership role in managing joint venture relationships and hotel real estate transactions.
Theresa joined the team in 2012 and is the lead underwriter for real estate transactions and main coordinator for all capital investment activities. She also asset manages the Turkish portfolio. 
Prior to her current role, Theresa worked in Hilton Worldwide’s feasibility team, where she prepared underwriting papers for agreements worth in excess of $140 million. Theresa also gained work experience at Marriott’s feasibility and valuation department in Zurich and at HVS’s consulting & valuation division in New York.
Theresa holds a BSc in International Hospitality Management (Hons) from the Ecole Hoteliere de Lausanne and a Master in Finance from London Business School.

Mike DeNoma

Chief Executive Officer

Mike joined glh in August 2012. New to the industry, he had previously been Chairman and CEO of Chinatrust Bank and before that CEO of the Global Consumer Bank and Board Director at Standard Chartered. He has held a range of executive-level positions at Procter & Gamble, Pepsico and Hutchinson Whampoa.( Health warning : He often uses these bio sections as a company advertisement so – apologies in advance.)

Under Mike’s leadership, glh is undergoing a significant 3 year  transformation – resetting standards in the guest experiences offered, and introducing an innovative new value centre management model in the hotels.

The guest experience across glh’s estate is being transformed with the rollout of 3 new global brands – Amba Hotels (launched Oct 2014), every Hotels (to launch Feb 2015) and Clermont Hotels (to launch in 3 cities by 2016). The brands target different segments; but feature 3 common elements – industry-leading customer facing technology, radical hosting and a distinctive management model.

Amba Hotel Charing Cross, the first of these hotels launched in October 2014, has jumped tripadvisor ranking from c.250th in London to consistently top 25 (out of 1089 tracked hotels), and offers the world’s fastest, unlimited hotel wifi, free of charge.

Mike believes hotels are best run by the people who work in them.  And so glh’s value centre management model reverses the industry trend of de-skilling and de-scoping on-property management. By flipping the model he has restructured the hotel level management teams and empowered them to be truly profit accountable for all commercial decisions. Value Centre General Managers (VCGMs) work in a high wire no net environment, rewarded for profit improvement and guest experience.

Mike and his team are currently engaged in a scenario building initiative – working with a wide range of industry players to model alternative futures for the European hospitality market given the digital landscape.

If ‘ how to dance with a digital tornado’ is something that grabs your interest, please drop Mike an email at

Erik Janse


Erik has been working in Hospitality and in Business IT and Finance related  international environments since 1992. He started working in the Caribbean as a Management Consultant in the hospitality industry and became an entrepreneur in 2006, starting ConQuaestor Management Consulting with other partners. In 2013 ConQuaestor became part of Grant Thornton International. Erik is a member of the  global Grant Thornton Hotel & Tourism team.

After working as a management consultant in the field of Finance and Restructuring in the Hospitality Industry in the  Caribbean/ Latin America and Africa, Erik moved to London to become Director of Sales & Marketing for the managed services division of Odyssey. In 2000 he moved  to the Netherlands were he continued  his work in restructuring and also became involved with ERP and IT suppliers.  Besides the management consulting he has been involved  in large and complex ERP/ PtP/ BPM implementations for program management  and quality assurance.  Within  the management consulting division he started the Business IT practice consisting of 20 Business IT management consultants. The practice is specialized in Business IT transformations  (business advisory and support – implementation services in ERP/ PtP/ CRM/  BI/ DMS/ BPM/ CTS).  Erik has always retrained the hospitality sector as a key specialisation and he  is currently  one of the Grant Thornton Leads working on a major  Hotel Group's procurement IT  pitch as well as having other industry clients such as NH Hotels .

Erik studied business economics in Rotterdam and  business administration (MSc.) at Nyenrode Business University.  After his study he followed several  business courses in Business IT, Finance and Turnaround Management program at Harvard Business School. Besides  Grant Thornton,  Erik works in the academic world doing research and lecturing in IT Governance and Management, Accounting & Control.

Erik van Dijk

Chief Operating Officer
Meininger Hotels

Eric joined MEININGER Hotels in May 2013 as Chief Operating Officer following its acquisition by Holidaybreak Limited. He brings a wealth of experience from Generator Hostels, another leading hostel chain in Europe. Starting in 2000 as operations manager, he took several career steps and became Managing Director in August 2007, significantly growing Generator Hostel’s capacities. In August 2012 he was promoted Director of Business Development and additionally became a member of the board of Generator Hostels. He was also on the board of StayWyse.

Guido Fredrich

Vice President Special Property Finance - Hotel Properties
Aareal Bank AG

Mr. Guido Fredrich is a Vice President in the hotel financing team at Aareal Bank AG, one of the leading providers of debt financing to the hospitality industry worldwide. Together with his colleagues, he is responsible for the structuring and origination of various forms of loans to the lodging industry.  Aareal Bank AG provides property finance solutions in more than 25 countries across Europe, North America and Asia.

Aareal Bank AG holds a portfolio of approximately EUR 6.2 billion of hospitality related financings. Including Mr. Fredrich, the Hotel Properties Team consists of seven professionals with in-depth knowledge of the hospitality industry. The team focuses primarily on lending to first-class hotels in prime locations, as well as portfolio transactions.

Prior to joining Aareal Bank in 2013, Mr. Fredrich was a Vice President with Cedar Capital Partners in London, where he was responsible for acquisitions and asset management of upscale and luxury hotels in Europe. Previously, he was a Senior Analyst at CBRE Hotels’ London office where he provided valuation and consulting services to hospitality investors and lenders throughout the EMEA region. Mr. Fredrich holds a BSci degree in Hospitality Management from the Lausanne Business School of Hotel Management in Switzerland, where he graduated in 2007 with honours.

Maureen McDermott

Maureen McDermott Consulting

Charlie MacGregor

Chief Executive Officer & Founder
The Student Hotel

At the age of 16 I started in the construction industry. When I was 20 I moved to London and worked for a small development company. During these years I also built up a small private portfolio of apartments, which I bought, renovated and either sold or rented out.

In 2000, when I was 25, I raised €10M and bought a student company which had 480 beds across the UK. I stared a redevelopment plan for all the properties and secured new projects in the UK.

I moved to Amsterdam in 2003. I started working on Dutch student housing in 2004. In 2005 I began a student housing company. In 2007 I secured a deal with The Carlyle Group to provide us with equity. Our new JV partnership would build 5000 student beds by 2015. I was responsible for all day-to-day elements of the new company. From finding projects, securing planning & bank debt, managing the construction process and ensuring the projects were full upon opening and were operated professionally.

We opened our first project in September 2008 (148 beds). In the following years 2009,10 & 11 we purchased projects in Amsterdam, Den Haag & Rotterdam. We fine tuned the brand, The Student Hotel and opened our first project in September 2012.

In 2013 we successfully opened our flagship hotel in Amsterdam.  Here we have 707 rooms full of students, young graduates and hotel guests.  Followed by The Hague with 309 rooms (2014) and expansion of our Rotterdam location (2014), with now 485 rooms. Plans are underway to open further properties across Europe.
All of our projects have been 100% occupied from opening date until now.

Our goal is to provide the best student housing in the world.

My role within the company is still very much hands on and will remain so. I work closely with all senior management and with a focus on operations. This ensures that I stay close to what our guests experience and can keep our brand on message.

Marcus Roberts

Director - Head of Student Investment
Savills (UK) Limited

Marcus has been involved in a number of acquisitions and disposals for clients including UNITE Plc, McLaren Property, Berkeley Group, Quintain and Crosslane Group. In addition to his roles within the private sector, Marcus is also actively involved with a number of University backed projects including King's College, London, University of Northampton and Kaplan International Colleges.

Recent projects:
 Summer 2014 -  development consultancy advice to Macdonald Estates for 232 bed student scheme in Glasgow. Forward sale to Ahli United Bank.
 Summer 2014 – advise don’t he sale of the Cordea Savills student portfolio to USAF for £137m. the portfolio comprised 9 assets totaling 2,904 beds.
 Summer 2014 – acting for MCR in the sale of a 2,000 bed portfolio in Manchester & Liverpool for £77m to Centurion Corp (Singapore)
 December 2013 - Acting on behalf of Crosslane Group advising on JV with BBFD, France. To develop pipeline of opportunities for the Victus Fund, of c5,000 bed spaces - €250-300m
 Autumn 2013 - acting on behalf of KPMG on the disposal of a portfolio of 6 assets and c2,900 bed spaces.
 Summer 2013 - Acting on behalf of Crosslane Group advising on JV with Bauer Capital, Germany. To develop pipeline of opportunities for the Victus Fund, of c5,000 bed spaces - €250m.
 January 2013 - acting on behalf of Kaplan Inc in the leasing of a 420 bed student scheme in Nottingham on a 21 year lease. Practical completion of the scheme September 2014.
 December 2011 - acting on behalf of the University of Reading, advising on the disposal of the residential estate of c4,300 beds spaces to UPP.

During the last 10 years Marcus has acted for a number of different developers and operators in the acquisition of sites and buildings across the UK and Europe. Marcus has acquired or sold in excess of
20,000 bed spaces.
Along with members of the team, Marcus is also involved with a number of universities & colleges advising them on wider accommodation reviews and strategies.

Eduardo Golin

Director of the Department of Financing and Promotion of Tourism Investment
Brazil Ministry of Tourism

Tim Davis

Managing Director
Pace Dimensions Ltd

Tim Davis is founder and Managing Director of PACE Dimensions; a strategic management consulting company.  Consulting for the last 5 years principally in the Hospitality, Travel, Transportation and Leisure sectors, PACE has completed over 30 assignments helping clients improve their business performance and competitive edge.  PACE has core expertise in strategy, brand, commercial and corporate development.   Capabilities include helping companies take advantage of digital disruption, marketing 1 to 1 on a mass market basis, managing distribution change, optimising sales performance, innovating product and price structure, developing customer and business intelligence, designing and implementing business capabilities (systems, processes and organisation)

Prior to PACE, Tim was a Senior Vice President of Hilton Hotels, and on the management board of Hilton International for 9 years. He has held senior management roles for Marketing, Distribution, eCommerce, Sales, Commercial Development and IT working for Hilton, Galileo International, Hughes Olivetti Telecom, and GRiD Computer Systems. 

Tim has also served as a Chairman, Executive and Non-Executive Director of 3 travel distribution companies and joint ventures. 

Tim is currently the Chairman of Blind Veterans UK, a 100 year old charity that helps thousands of men and women, who have served, get back independence and quality of life from visual impairment.  Tim is married with 3 children, is a private pilot and enjoys running and other physical challenges.

Olaf Steinhage

Managing Director
hospitality competence berlin GmbH

Grad. Engineer Architect, Real Estate Economist (ebs)

Olaf Steinhage (born February 1963) started his career as a consultant at Suter + Suter AG in Basel, Switzerland, after having completed his architectural studies at the Technical University of Hannover in 1991. At Suter + Suter AG he was amongst other tasks responsible for portfolio analyses, real estate consulting, market and feasibility analyses as well as project development. In 1993, Olaf Steinhage acquired a degree in real estate economy at the European Business School in Oestrich-Winkel, Germany.

From 1993 to 1997, he worked as management assistant and director of project development at Deutsche Interhotel GmbH Berlin, Germany. Thereafter Olaf Steinhage changed to BKatz Group to take over the management of the project development, especially for the resort “Land Fleesensee” in Mecklenburg-West Pomerania, Germany. In 1998, he opened his own hotel in Waren at Müritz Lake (Mecklenburg-West Pomerania, Germany). From 2002 to 2005, Olaf Steinhage held the position as managing director at Drees + Sommer GmbH Berlin, responsible for the hotel development department of the Drees + Sommer Group.

In March 2005 Olaf Steinhage founded hcb hospitality competence berlin GmbH, which specializes in the consulting, development and realization of international hotel projects and touristic destinations.

Beyond that, Olaf Steinhage holds positions as associate professor at the IREBS real estate academy as well as the University of Applied Science Bad Honeff.

Alex Just

Co-Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder
Home. Global

A young graduate from the Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne, Alex Just and his two partners have recently launched a branded student accommodation management start-up in Switzerland. Home. Global seeks to draw from the synergies that exist with the hospitality industry, with a focus on experience orientated service delivery.

Prior to undertaking this entrepreneurial venture, Alex spent time in London working for HVS Executive Search in 2012 and until recently was with Lausanne Hospitality Consulting as an associate.

A Swiss New Zealander, Alex holds a Bachelor from the Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne, and is fluent in English, German and Spanish.

Graeme White

Head of Tourism
Scottish Development International

Scottish Enterprise
Graeme White is head of Tourism at Scottish Development International, leading a team responsible
for identifying and supporting innovative and commercially attractive investment opportunities which will
boost tourism and help Scotland cement its position in the global hotel and resort development
He works with developers, investors and operators to help secure successful investments and
maximize the opportunities that Scotland offers, helping Scotland’s tourism sector to contribute to the
£500 million of inward investment that Scotland attracted last year.
Prior to joining Scottish Development International Graeme spent over 20 years as a sales and
marketing professional in companies such as Shell, Fisons and Olympus. He also ran an award-winning
marketing practice which provided support to some of Scotland’s leading events and venues.
Graeme is an Honorary Lecturer at the University of Dundee.

Willy Weiland

Managing Director
Solutions dot WG, Hospitality Advisory Alliance

Certified hotel manager with focus on corporate strategy and positioning, and a great deal of experience as a General Manager for major international hotels. In his last position he worked as the regional director of one of the largest hotel groups worldwide. At present, he is member of various committees of different tourism organizations and advisory boards of private companies in the hospitality and tourism industry.

Wolfgang Gattringer

Managing Director
Solutions dot WG

Certified tourism manager with emphasis of process optimization, finance and controlling. Many years of experience as a financial director of major international hotel companies. He also has extensive experience in positioning and development of product strategies of business software providers.

Steffen Szeidl

Partner & Member of the Executive Board
Drees & Sommer

Steffen Szeidl completed his degree in Architecture at Darmstadt Technical University and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), Zurich. He gathered practical experience both during and after his studies in various architectural and engineering firms in Germany and Switzerland.

Steffen Szeidl has special experience in the area of tenant management and construction management. As project leader, he is also responsible for the implementation of due diligence projects. He has in-depth knowledge of projects from the Retail and Hospitality sector and also has special expertise in BIM (Building Information Modelling).

In autumn 2008 he became in charge of establishing and developing the Drees & Sommer Switzerland location. As Managing Director he is now responsible for the Basel, Andermatt and Zurich offices. Since 2012 Steffen Szeidl has also assumed the function of (managing) Partner of Drees & Sommer AG.

Steffen Szeidl and his team stand for lean and optimized project execution for the benefit of the client. In 2011 the team was honored with ’the Swiss Real Estate Award' for its significant commitment.

Since January 2015 Steffen Szeidl is also Executive Board member for Organization, Controlling and Finance.

Brad Wilson

Ace Hotel Group

After attending Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration Brad Wilson’s first jobs with major hospitality brands like Hilton International, Park Hyatt and Westin honed his instincts, but he missed the creative spirit he was weaned on. He was recruited to launch the first W Hotel and helped guide the fledgling Starwood brand's early days, rising to Vice President of Operation for W Worldwide, overseeing twenty properties and a corporate team of support and creative staff. From there, he helped build James Hotels from the ground up, serving as CEO and introducing sophisticated, warm, modernist design principles, focused on organic materiality and authentic craft details.

Today, Brad is President and co-partner of Atelier Ace and the Ace Hotel Group, where he oversees growth and operations, and helps create new hotels and collaborative projects. Back to his roots, surrounded by innovative energy, he joins the Atelier team in developing projects, developing culture and creative processes that seek to transform the industry.

Alan Tang

Chief Operating Officer
Frasers Hospitality Group Pte Ltd

Alan Tang was appointed as Chief Operating Officer of Frasers Hospitality on 29 August 2013 to help oversee the operations with a key focus on developing the Group’s business growth and expansion strategy.

Alan Tang was with GIC Real Estate Pte Ltd (“GICRE”) from 1999 to May 2013 and he headed the hospitality sector to help build up a portfolio of hospitality assets globally. He had overall responsibility in both investment and asset management.  Some of the notable assets within the portfolio include the Westin Sydney, the Shangri-La Sydney, the Park Hyatt Melbourne, the Westin Paris, the Westin Tokyo and Hilton Seahawk Fukuoka, to name a few. Alan also managed GICRE’s joint venture interests through key relationships with several global and regional hospitality players like, Host Hotels and Resorts Inc., Ascott group, CDL in HK, the Swire group, China Resources and the Sunway group, amongst others.

Prior to joining GICRE, Alan was part of Raffles International’s pioneering team in business development involved in the maiden acquisitions of both the Browns Hotel in London and Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten in Hamburg in 1997.

Alan started his career with the Singapore Tourism Board upon graduation from the School of Hotel Administration, Cornell University (with distinction) in 1992. He is also a CFA charterholder.

Gregory Lanter

VP Global Development & Construction
Club Med

David Ling

Head Strategic Development
CDL Hospitality Trusts

David’s 25 years of experience spans from establishing and managing new businesses, investment and professional activities in the hotel real estate industry.

He maintains excellent relationship with major institutional and private investors, financiers, developers and fund managers, and has diverse geographic experience in markets across Asia Pacific (Singapore, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, India and Maldives) and Europe (UK, Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland and Spain).

As Head of Strategic Development of M&C REIT Management Limited, David’s current role includes identifying strategic investment opportunities from the regional and international markets for CDL Hospitality Trusts (CDLHT). CDLHT is listed on the Mainboard of Singapore Exchange Securities Trading Limited, with its current asset portfolio comprising 12 hotels and 2 resorts worth over $2 billion.

His passion and entrepreneurial spirit drove him to establish and manage five new offices of HVS Global Hospitality Services in Asia Pacific between 2004 and 2014, as well as pioneered and chaired the largest and most influential hotel investment conferences in mainland China and Indonesia – the annual China Hotel Investment Conference and Indonesia Hospitality and Tourism Investment Conference.

David is actively involved in the hotel real estate industry. He regularly speaks at international conferences and delivers lectures at Universities and industry seminars. He served in the international board of HVS from 2005 to 2013 and the Hotel Licensing Board of Singapore from 2010 to 2014.

David graduated with a Master in Urban Land Appraisal from the University of Reading in the United Kingdom and a Bachelor of Business (Distinction) in Valuation and Land Economy from Curtin University in Australia. He is a member of the Australian Property Institute (AAPI), Singapore Institute of Surveyors and Valuers (MSISV) and a Licensed Appraiser registered with the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore.

Hans Meyer

Co-Founder and Managing Director

Hans Meyer is a partner at HotelsAhead, an Amsterdam-based consultancy that develops new hotel concepts, where he is responsible for concept development, branding, marketing, operations and strategic partnerships.

A firm believer of value creation and innovation for the international hospitality industry, Hans is the initial creator and a former founding partner of the award-winning citizenM concept. As COO, he was responsible for concept, creativity, design and development for this new international hotel chain.

Hans is currently working with HotelsAhead on the development of Zoku, a re-invented apartment hotel concept, facilitating global living and working for the independent travelling professional. Launching in 2015, Zoku will create a new category in the hotel industry – a home-office hybrid, with the services of a hotel and the social buzz of a thriving neighbourhood. Hans is Co-Founder and Managing Director of the Zoku project.

Before HotelsAhead, Hans worked for large international hotel chains like NH Hoteles and Golden Tulip Hotels, Inns and Resorts. He has held senior corporate positions in Operations and Development, where he was responsible for projects throughout Europe, Africa, The Middle-East and Central America.

Hans is also a mentor for the Rockstart Accelerator start-up programme, and a member of the advisory board of The Hub Amsterdam. He was educated at Hotelschool The Hague and Cornell University in The United States.

Fred Hines

Director, Head of Acquisitions
Queensgate Investments LLP

Mr Hines is currently Director, Head of Acquisitions at Queensgate Investments, an opportunistic European real estate private equity fund which seeks asset-rich, operational asset investments.  Prior to this, Fred was Vice President of Hospitality & Leisure at Patron Capital, a European private equity fund with capacity to invest over USD 10B in assets. During his time at Patron, Fred focussed particularly on investment platforms such as Generator Hostels, Jupiter Hotels, and Luxury Family Hotels. Mr Hines was in investment banking advisory at Global Leisure Partners and previously in the Merrill Lynch UK M&A team.

Jasper Harrison

Global Resilience Group, Operations Director - Security Services

Robert Crook

Managing Director UK
Interstate Hotels & Resorts

Robert Crook is Managing Director for Interstate's UK operations, responsible for leading the executive team and overall operations management throughout the region. He joined the company following Interstate's acquisition of Chardon Management Ltd. in October 2013. With Chardon since 1999, he was instrumental in leading the executive team, executing numerous hotel rebranding and repositioning activities, and furthering new hotel developments in Dunfermline, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Perth, Cambridge, Milton Keynes, Drayton Manor and Stevenage. Robert also spearheaded the takeover of a number of trading hotels, including a group of seven Hilton hotels in 2005 and a group of 12 Holiday Inn Express-branded hotels in 2010. He has over 30 years of hotel management experience, previously working in leadership roles in operations and franchising with IHG.

Cody Bradshaw

Senior Vice President, Head of European Hotels
Starwood Capital Group

Cody Bradshaw is a Senior Vice President at Starwood Capital Group and Head of European Hotels. In this role, he oversees the firm’s hospitality investment and asset management activities across Europe. His portfolio responsibilities extend to numerous North American and European lodging investments totaling over $4 billion in asset value, including the firm's ownership of Louvre Hotels, the second largest hotel chain in Europe, comprised of over 1,000 hotels across more than 40 countries.

Prior to joining Starwood Capital, Cody was one of the first employees at Pebblebrook Hotel Trust (NYSE: PEB) where he served as Vice President of Acquisitions during the twelve-month period in which the newly-formed “blind pool” REIT deployed over $1 billion of capital through the acquisition of over 20 major lodging assets. Prior to Pebblebrook, he was the first employee of the Chartres Lodging Group where he played an integral role in growing the firm over a seven year period into what at the time was comprised of five offices across the U.S. and Japan and a 20,000-room, $6 billion portfolio of lodging assets. He began his career at Hyatt Development Corporation after graduating from Cornell University.

Cody co-created the Certified Hotel Asset Manager ("CHAM") professional designation program which launched in 2012. He previously served on the Board of Directors of the Hospitality Asset Managers Association ("HAMA") and was recently appointed to the International Hotel Investment Council (“IHIC”).

Torsten Scholl

Chief Financial Officer
Novum Group Hotels

After studying Business Administration, Torsten used to work at Christie + Co for more than seven years as a Director, stationed in Frankfurt, Hamburg and Berlin.

Having advised on various hotel transactions, restructuring and refinancing projects, Torsten is an expert in the hotel industry.

During this time, he completed his post-graduate degree in Real Estate Investment Banking at the European Business School. In 2011, he was appointed as Chief Financial Officer within Novum Group Hotels and is overseeing the group‘s finance, expansion and legal department.

Andreas Ewald


Andreas Ewald is Executive Director and Head of Hospitality GSA at EY’s transaction advisory services team.

He has more than 20 years of hospitality and real estate experience. Since joining EY/ Arthur Andersen in 2001, he has been responsible for structuring large pan-European real estate portfolio transactions with a transaction volume of more than EUR 15 billion.

Andreas Ewald is specialized in the organization of acquisitions and sales of hotel assets and portfolios. Furthermore, his expertise lies in valuations including buy-side and sell-side due diligence, operator and investor searches as well as management and lease contract negotiations. In addition, he provides advisory services in regards to independent business reviews, highest-and-best-use analyses, feasibility studies and investment analyses for hospitality developments and properties. His clients are composed of international and national banks, investment funds, private equity firms as well as private and institutional investors.

Andreas Ewald holds a Master of Science in Real Estate from the European Business School, Oestrich-Winkel as well as a Bachelor (Hons) in International Business Administration from the European Business School, London.

Serge Trigano

Co-founder & President Mama Shelter

Graduated from the Assas University of economics, Serge Trigano worked his way up into the Club Méditerranée. He first became animator, then head of village and Director of International Operations of the Club.

In 1980, he takes the direction of Club Med in the USA where he doubled the number of villages in 5 years. After that, he became CEO and then President of the Club that he left in 1997 to create different companies.

ALTOUR France, a travel agency specialized in the incentive, seminars and roadshow organization.
He also manages a resort in Forges-les-Eaux, Normandy.

And, in 2008, he launched with his sons Benjamin and Jérémie, Philippe Starck and Cyril Aouizerate the concept of Mama Shelter.

Mama Shelter modified the codes of hospitality with its location in the 20th district of Paris, its rooms perfectly equipped at affordable prices, its restaurants and bars, real places of meeting between the inhabitants of the city and the guests of the hotel, all designed by Philippe Starck.

After the success of Paris, Mama Shelter opened its doors in Marseille, Istanbul, Lyon, Bordeaux, and Los Angeles in 2016.

In 2014, Accor joined the family Mama Shelter to accelerate its development and create synergies.
The same year he became the ambassador of the international fair Equip’Hotel.

Serge Trigano is also regularly consulted on subjects related to tourism, travels and urban planning.

John Ozinga

COO HotelInvest

Aged 49, John Ozinga is a graduate of La Roche-en-Ardenne hotel management school in Belgium, attended the Institut Supérieur d’Informatique in Liège and obtained a postgraduate degree in Business Administration from Heriott-Watt University Edinburgh (Scotland).

John Ozinga has over 20 years’ experience in the real estate industry in France and internationally. He started his career in 1991 with Accor as Development Director for the United Kingdom, Ireland and Benelux. In 2001, he joined Dolce hotel group as Vice President of Development in Europe. He went on to become Executive Vice President in charge of international real estate activities for Groupe Casino in 2004. In 2008, he joined Carrefour as CEO of Carrefour Property France.

Since 2012, he has been CEO of the French platform and Head of Separate Accounts Continental Europe of CBRE Global Investors, a world leader in real estate investment management.

He joined the Accor Executive Committee in June 2014.

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 Marchal

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

Bernold Schroeder is Chief Executive Officer of Pan Pacific Hotels Group, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Singapore-listed UOL Group Limited, one of Asia’s most established hotel and property companies. In this role, Bernold is fully responsible for the Group’s operations, strategy and performance.

Pan Pacific Hotels Group currently owns and/or manages 40 hotels, resorts and serviced suites in Asia, Oceania, North America and Europe with some 12,000 rooms, including those under development. Headquartered in Singapore, it also has offices in San Francisco, New York, Tokyo, Sydney, Shanghai and Beijing.

Bernold has over 20 years of executive management experience in the hotel industry. Prior to joining Pan Pacific Hotels Group, he was Chief Executive Officer of Jin Jiang International Hotel Management, China’s largest hotel group. Bernold has also held senior management positions with Banyan Tree Hotels and Resorts, and worked with Hyatt Corporation in New York and Holiday Inn Asia Pacific in Hong Kong. 

Bernold received his education in the hospitality industry in Germany and has completed executive programmes from Cornell University and Stamford University-Singapore Management University. He also holds a Director Certificate from the Thai Institute of Directors Association.

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

Carl Oldsberg is currently Vice President, International Operation, for Choice Hotels International. He is responsible for directing franchise services, sales, marketing and distribution and enhancing Choice’s value proposition to more than 1500 franchisees in over 35 countries outside North America.
Most recently, Carl held the position of Vice President Revenue & Distribution for Nordic Choice Hotels. He built the company’s revenue and distribution system from the ground up and led the implementation of the first dynamic pricing strategy for corporate clients in Scandinavia. Additionally, Carl successfully launched a distribution strategy including a brand new website that resulted in a 120 percent increase in direct on-line channels over two years. This included new agreements with several OTAs in Scandinavia that changed the playing field between the hotel industry and online travel agencies.
Previously, Carl worked for Revenue Management Solutions in Florida, a leader in pricing solutions for the retail and restaurant industries. He also held positions at the Grand Hotel Stockholm, where he implemented the hotel’s food and beverage revenue management system.
In 2013 the Hotel Sales and Marketing Association International named Carl one of Europe’s Top 20 Extraordinary Minds in Sales, Marketing and Technology. He is a frequent panelist and speaker at industry events and holds a Bachelor of Science from Cornell University.

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 & Resorts

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

Vice President of Operations and Brand Development - Venu
Matt Balcik joined Venu in July 2014 as Vice President Operations, Brand Development.
A Turkish American national, he brings with him a wealth of international experience from his 18 years working for some of the world’s best known luxury hospitality brands.
New to Dubai, Matt’s previous role was General Manager of the W Hotel in Istanbul, Turkey. He has also worked in Washington DC, Sydney, Aruba, US Virgin Islands, New Orleans and Newport Beach, California.
Matt has held a number of senior roles working for well-known hotel brands such as Marriott and Starwood Hotels & Resorts, including General Manager of the Westin Virgin Islands and General Manager of the Westin Aruba. He also has extensive Brand development experience having spent three years as the Global Brand Advocate and Corporate Director of Operations for Renaissance Hotels.

Vivek Badrinath

Deputy CEO, Marketing, Digital, Distribution & IT

Vivek Badrinath, born in 1969, graduated from  Ecole Polytechnique and ENST.

He began his career in the French Ministry for Industry and has 20 years' experience in the ICT sector.

He joined the Orange Group in 1996, working in various technical positions , before being appointed CEO of Thomson India in 2000.
After returning to Orange in 2004, he became CTO of mobile activities, then joined the Group's Executive Committee in 2009, heading up the networks and operators division.

Between  2010 & 2013, he headed Orange Business Services.  In May  2013, he was appointed Deputy Chief Executive Officer in charge of Innovation, Marketing and Technologies.

In March 2014, Vivek joined the Group Accor, international leader in the hotel industry, as Deputy Chief Executive Officer in charge of Marketing, Distribution, Sales and Information Systems. His major challenge in this new function is to carry out the Digital Plan throughout its various facets, an essential step for the modernization and development of the hotel industry.

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.