Speakers are listed in alphabetical order. Click on the speakers name to view their bio and CHIEF sessions.
Rafael del Castillo
Vice-President of Hospitality
Puntacana Resort & Club
Mr Alberto J. Abreu is a respected and passionate leader in the Hospitality sector with over 30 years of experience. Mr Abreu has served in many tourism related institutions such as Asonahores (Asociacion Nacional de Hoteles y Restaurantes de la Republica Dominicana), the JHTA (Jamaica Hotel & Tourism Association), was 2nd VP for CHTA (Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association) where he also served as the Chairman of CAST (Caribbean Alliance of Sustainable Tourism) and is currently a Director for Dominican Republic for CHTA and is a Director for Asoleste (Asociacion de Hoteles del Este). Mr Abreu is the Vice-President of Hospitality at Puntacana Resort & Club in Puntacana, Dominican Republic. He is responsible for the Hospitality operation of the resort which comprises: a 200 unit resort hotel, The Westin Puntacana Resort & Club, a 124 Four Points by Sheraton Puntacana Village and the award winning Leading Small Hotel of the World hotel, Tortuga Bay, the first and currently only AAA 5 Diamond hotel in Dominican Republic, the operation of two golf courses (45 holes), one Tom Fazio course, named Corales and one PB Dye, La Cana.
Chief Operating Officer
Grace Bay Resorts, Turks and Caicos
Mr. Advani oversees the overall operation of Grace Bay Club, the company’s flagship resort, while expanding his operational responsibilities to include managing new Grace Bay Resorts in the Caribbean and other regions, including Latin America and additional properties in Turks and Caicos. Advani joined Grace Bay Club in August 2004 as Managing Director responsible for operations at Grace Bay Club. Advani boasts an extensive background in the hospitality industry, having served as the top operational executive in the expansion and renovation of Grace Bay Club as it evolved from a $14 million 21-room boutique hotel to a full-service luxury resort boasting 82 suites and residences now valued at over $250 million, and is most recently responsible for the successful opening of The Veranda Resort & Residences in February 2010, the first five-star fully-inclusive resort in Providenciales, managed by Grace Bay Resorts.
Patricia has a proven track record in consistently increasing occupancy and ADR, implementing measures to improve cost control, developing and maintaining supplier relationships and improving service quality.
Passionate about service quality and service delivery, Patricia is a strong team leader, who supports training and is constantly encouraging and working with and through her managers and their teams at the hotels to continually seek ways to surpass guest expectations, focus on the details, improve their personal and professional abilities and to take pride in their hotel, industry and island.
Over the past 14 years Patricia has sat on the board of the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association in various capacities including Chair Person of Direct Tourism Services, Chair Person of the Marketing Committee, Second and 1st VP and President.
Patricia is now the CHTA representative on the BHTA Board, is Chairperson of the CHTA People Development Initiative and in June 2018 will take the role of President of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association.
Human Resource Director
Hyatt Regency Trinidad
A Highly skilled Human Resource professional with advanced interpersonal, communication and analytical skills who is focused on achieving individual and team objectives. Has a passion for people which has been demonstrated for more than 15 years in developing and implementing best-practice strategies in Compensation, Recruitment & Selection, Training & Development, Job Analysis and Organizational design, Workmen’s Compensation, Employee Relations, Employee Benefits, Performance Management and Industrial Relations. Has been a guest lecturer, panelist and speaker at varied events on topics ranging from Customer Service and HR.
Chief Technology Officer
Luis Barberi is the Chief Technology Officer for Reservhotel, a 27 year old business providing distribution and booking solutions to over 1800 hotels worldwide. Over the past 12 years Luis has helped build tools specializing in driving direct business for independent hotels from call center software, hotel website, booking engines, and payment solutions. With many hotels in Mexico and the Caribbean, Luis has worked hand and hand with major brands to come up with online strategies, best practices, and technology solutions for resort properties leading to dramatic increase their conversion rates and overall revenue.
Chief Executive Officer
Bucuti & Tara Beach Resorts
Ewald Biemans developed the Bucuti Beach Resort, which opened in October of 1987. The resort has enjoyed year round average occupancies of 90%+. In March of 2004, Biemans added a luxury wing to the resort called the Tara Beach Suites, which has averaged 96% occupancy since opening. Biemans has been on the board of the Aruba Tourism Authority and serves as Chairman of the Board of the Aruba Hotel and Tourism Association (AHATA). His contributions have included serving as president of Aruba’s SKAL club chapter, Creator and longtime Chairman of the Environmental committee for AHATA, and director on the board of the island’s Arikok National Park. As an industry leader in eco-friendly practices, Bucuti was able to achieve 15 consecutive years of Green Globe Certification as well as the distinction of being the first hotel in the Americas to earn the highly coveted ISO 14001 environmental certification every year since 2003. Bucuti & Tara also is Travelife Gold certified and has just recently been Certified LEED.
Karibe Hotel in Port-au-Prince, Haiti
Mr. Buteau is a third generation Haitian hotelier and restaurateur. He has a Bachelor Degree in marketing from Long Island University and a Master Degree in Hotel Administration from Cornell University. Is presently the General Manager of the Karibe Hotel in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. He was the President of Association Hotelliere et Touristique d’Haiti, member of the Presidential Commission for Economic growth and founding member of CLED (Centre pour la Libre Entreprise et la Democratie).
Puerto Rico Tourism Company (PRTC)
Carla Campos is the Executive Director of the Puerto Rico Tourism Company (PRTC), the Government of Puerto Rico’s Tourism Board. She was previously the Deputy Director and Chief Marketing Officer of the PRTC, but her tourism industry experience and track record in destination management and marketing quickly placed her at the forefront of the agency and a key member of Governor Ricardo Rosselló Nevares’ cabinet. She has spearheaded the recent design and implementation of Puerto Rico’s transformational Destination Marketing and Recovery Plan before and after hurricanes Irma and Maria with ample private sector buy in, which have enabled a rapid pace recovery for tourism on the Island. Having obtained a Masters in Tourism Administration with a concentration in Destination Management from the George Washington University in Washington D.C., her field experience in destinations throughout Latin America and the Caribbean position her as an experienced facilitator in public-private partnerships for destination management, and most recently a leading professional in crisis management for tourism.
SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT Hotel Brokerage ＆ Investment Sales
Christian Charre is a Senior Vice President with CBRE Hotels, focused on serving owners and investors in Florida, the Caribbean and Latin America. A hospitality professional with more than 25 years of expertise, Mr. Charre has sold in excess of $5 billion in hotel assets and has been involved with the operations, underwriting and asset management of numerous hotels and resorts worldwide. Prior to joining CBRE, Mr. Charre formed The Charre Group where he and his team earned a reputation in South Florida as a trusted real estate investment banking firm and advisor dedicated to the lodging industry. Mr. Charre also spent 10 years with Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels in Miami as Senior Vice President where he opened their Latin America and Caribbean office and built relationships with investors and lenders throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. During his tenure, Mr. Charre was involved in transactions, financing, asset management, operator selection and valuation throughout the region.
Vice President, Client Services
Chad Church is Vice President, Client Services for (STR, Inc.). In his role, Mr. Church manages the account management, call center, contracting, and analysis operations at STR. In addition, he is responsible for custom research and special projects for consulting, investment, government and corporate hotel clients. Mr. Church earned his Master of Science degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management and Economics from North Carolina State University in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Turks and Caicos Hotel Association
Mrs. Stacy Cox currently serves as Chief Executive Officer of The Turks and Caicos Hotel and Tourism Association (TCHTA) since September 1, 2011 and the current President of Caribbean Society of Hotel Association Executives (CSHAE). A native of the Bahamas and a citizen of the Turks and Caicos Islands, she brings 20+ years of hospitality experience to the TCHTA.
As CEO of Turks and Caicos Hotel and Tourism Association, Stacy represents the membership of TCHTA on matters affecting the tourism and hospitality industry, both locally and internationally including advocacy issues and marketing initiatives which build a sustainable tourism product through awareness, outreach and educational programmes.
Director of Emergency Preparedness
Atlantis Paradise Island Resort and Casino
Kevan received his BS in Electrical Engineering with Minor in Physics and Mathematics from Florida State University and a Master’s of Science in Engineering Management from the University of South Florida. With almost 30 years of professional experience, he has worked at Florida Power Corporation in Demand Side Management, System Protection and Controls and Energy Risk Management. For almost two decades he has been employed with the Atlantis Resort with responsibility for Energy Conservation, Power Reliability/Quality, Environmental compliance and a primary focus on Emergency Preparedness which includes, Fire Life Safety, Risk and Disaster Management to include Hurricane Preparedness.
Owner & Managing Director
Bay Gardens Resorts
Mrs. Joyce Destang is the Owner and Managing Director of the Bay Gardens Resorts, a prestigious resort chain she started with her husband in 1994. After 15 years of teaching, she began a real estate career before expanding into hotels. Her many accolades include, the award for “Ordinary Officer of the Civil Division of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire,” in 2005; 2012 SLHTA Crystal Award; and St. Lucia’s Chamber of Commerce’s 2014 Entrepreneur of the Year. Mrs. Destang, a trailblazer in the hospitality industry, continues to steer the St. Lucian hospitality industry towards a culture of inclusion.
Bay Gardens Resorts, St. Lucia
Sanovnik Destang is the Executive Director and a Shareholder of Bay Gardens Resorts. This Chartered Accountant and Chartered Financial Analyst has helped engineer a dramatic turnaround in the fortunes of Bay Gardens, using a digital marketing strategy focused on encouraging better yielding direct bookings. He has earned numerous awards including St. Lucia’s Chamber of Commerce’s ‘Business of the Year Award’ for two consecutive years and Caribbean Hotel & Resort Investment Summit 2014 Rising Star Award. Currently, he serves as President of St. Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association, Director of the CHTA and holds positions on numerous boards, locally and regionally.
As President of Diamond Public Relations, Jody Diamond leads with a forward-thinking, relentless and smart, savvy style. Diamond began her career in her hometown of Los Angeles, California, as a celebrity and film publicist before finding her niche working as a unit publicist for independent and major feature films. In 2000, Diamond relocated to the east coast where the film business gave way to the hospitality industry and she began her career in travel and tourism. Delivering a fresh approach, ideas, and style to the market, Diamond quickly attracted industry attention and recognition. In 2007, she took her industry knowledge and expertise and opened the doors to Diamond PR with the goal of providing PR campaigns as unique as each client. With 27 years of experience in publicity and public relations, 18 of those specializing in travel and tourism, she is an undisputed expert in her field and has the rolodex and powerhouse relationships to prove it. Throughout her career, Diamond has always been a master strategist – able to create and execute plans that are smart and streamlined, while still being directly responsible for the implementation of public relations initiatives for clients.
Director of Information Technology
Mandarin Oriental, Miami
Jason Doebrich is currently the Director of Information Technology & Telecommunication at Mandarin Oriental, Miami. He is responsible for a broad range of Technical services including next generation in-room technologies such as IPTV, IP telephony, wireless solutions, and fully automated in-room control as well at traditional services such security, networks, helpdesk and infrastructure. Previously, Jason worked with Morgans Hotel Group as Regional Director of Technology in Miami, overseeing properties such as Delano, Shore Club and Mondrian South Beach. He was heavily involved in the opening of multiple properties throughout the Morgans organization. Jason has also served as the President of the HFTP South Florida Chapter and was on the Board for many years. And is currently on the Advisory Committee for the USF Cybersecurity Certificate Program.
Regional Project Lead – Caribbean Cooling Initiative
United Nations – Environment
Loreto Duffy-Mayers was born in Dublin, Ireland and moved to Barbados in 1985. She was educated at University College Dublin and the UK Institute of Marketing. She is currently the Project Lead on the United Nations-Environment CCOOL programme (Caribbean Hotels Cooling Initiative). Loreto was formerly the Regional Programme Manager for the Caribbean Hotel Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Action (CHENACT) Programme. She held the position of Environmental Manager in several Green Hotels, including Coconut Court Resort, Casuarina Beach Club (Barbados) and the Almond Resorts (3 hotels in Barbados and 2 in St. Lucia).
JAIME J. FAIRFOOT
Director Business Development Latam and Caribbean
This company is considered to be an industry leader in innovative design and manufacturing excellence since 1977. SportsArt Fitness is one of the most creative manufacturers of premium quality fitness, medical, performance, and residential equipment and present in over 80 countries worldwide. SportsArt designs, manufactures and tests all equipment to rigorous TÜV and ISO quality standards. With hundreds of patents worldwide for innovative technologies among them ECO-POWR™, a unique green technology used in clubs, hotels and homes. It consists of gym Cardio equipment that harnesses and converts human energy into usable electricity. Jaime is a Business Development Professional with extensive experience in developing markets internationally. Creative deal-maker with a solid track record of building up companies. Solid record from 20+ years of experience as VP International Business, Sales Director of Spain, Portugal and Latam, Product Manager, etc. Extensive cross-functional and cross-culture experience working across different businesses categories. Jaime holds a M.B.A. in International Marketing from Simon Bolivar University, and a B.Sc. in Engineering from City University, London, United Kingdom.
REYNALDO REY FERNANDEZ
AC Hotel San Juan Condado
General Manager at the AC Hotel San Juan operated by Highgate Hotels. With 22 years of Hospitality career, have opened two Marriott branded hotels in the Caribbean. Started with Intercontinental and Hilton Hotels in Front Office and Hotel Operations with Marriott. Member of the Marriott International Training Network, delivers Management Trainings in the CALA region. Selected in 2009 Honoree of the JW Marriott Award of Excellence, AC Hotel by Marriott Hotel Opening of the Year in 2017 and Highgate Hotels Emerging Leader of the Year 2017. Holds a Degree in Sport Sciences from the University of Sports in Havana, Cuba.
True Blue Bay Boutique Resort
Mexican born, architect graduate, Magdalena moved to the Caribbean after meeting her British husband Russ Fielden while sailing in Baja California. The adventurous couple have work together for over 25 years around the Caribbean, setting up hotels, marinas, restaurants & retail outlets. In 1998 they decided to settle down in Grenada with their 2 daughters and bought a 7 cottage bankrupt Inn now called True Blue Bay Boutique Resort (TBBBR), they personally have run, designed & developed the inn into a 48 rooms, resort, with a restaurant, marina, dive center, spa & yoga studio. TBBBR is currently in the process of expanding the resort with an additional 22 carbon-neutral, environmentally-friendly rooms. The resort is one of the leading environmentally sustainable resort in the Caribbean thanks to Magdalena and Russ, personal environmental policies. Magdalena day job is the Marketing Director but she somehow also finds the time to be the Honorary Consul of Mexico for Grenada, organizes the Grenada Chocolate Fest, owns the House of Chocolate Museum and most importantly is a fun, loving Abuela.
JEAN MARC FLAMBERT
Your Tourism Partner
A Sri Lankan, Haitian who has lived in the UK for the past 13 years. He has worked for the governments of Sri Lanka, Saint Lucia, Antigua & Barbuda and Haiti plus consulted for Gibraltar and the state of Kerala in India. A strategic marketer, he enjoys working with small brands to help them compete in the global world of mega brands. Creativity and innovation is the only way to get noticed on a small budget, and he looks forward to sharing some ideas.
Managing Director British Virgin Islands
Marvin, a British Virgin Islander, is the Managing Director of OBMI in the BVI. As Managing Director, Marvin oversees the growth and balance of the BVI office; providing a wide area of process expertise to various levels within the organization to improve effectiveness, efficiency and customer centricity. Applying business architecture strategy, he is responsible for identifying and managing office projects. Marvin is instrumental in cultivating the local architectural expertise within the BVI to enhance the company’s Centre of Excellence framework. As an active citizen of the BVI community, Marvin was inducted into the Rotary Club Sunrise of Road Town and was later elected President of the club from 2016-2017.
CEO / President Toro Verde
Jorge is the president of Toro Verde Adventure Park in Puerto Rico in which he has received awards around the world for being the most innovative park, receiving more than 60,000 people per year in the park. For 2016, he makes possible for Toro Verde to win the Guinness World Record of the longest cable in the world. In 2018 he repeats the asana but in Middle East obtaining the GWR, in the new Toro Verde park in Ras Al Khaimah UAE, creating the highest cable in the world. These achievements have converted Toro Verde into an international brand with expansion proposals to other countries.
Hamilton, Miller & Birthisel, LLP
For 23 years, Marlon A. Hill has served as general counsel to entrepreneurs, corporations, sovereign governments, public agencies, and not-for-profit organizations, especially in the tourism, hospitality, and media/entertainment industries on matters related to strategic governance, intellectual property, and business immigration. Born in Kingston, Jamaica, Mr. Hill has served as a past president of the Caribbean Bar Association and currently serves as a board member of the Miami Parking Authority, Miami Book Fair, and Orange Bowl Committee. Mr. Hill is a civic commentator on Caribbean Riddims, “The Peoples Politics”, on WZAB 880AM, Saturdays, 4 pm, an op-ed writer for the Miami Herald and Sun-Sentinel, and a recurring public affairs contributor to WPLG Local 10 “This Week in South Florida” Roundtable.
Founder & President
Admiral Travel International
Malaka Hilton is founder and president of Admiral Travel International, founded in 1997 in downtown Sarasota. Honored for 15 consecutive years as an Egypt Specialist on Travel + Leisure’s annual A-List, Malaka has been recognized for creative marketing programs which deliver extraordinary custom itineraries for groups and individuals. She rapidly established a niche in the luxury travel market by offering one-of-a-kind escorted groups to Egypt and South Africa. Today, expanded and specialized services and provide a variety of departures to adventure-based, historic and luxurious food and wine meccas, or any destination of your choice, around the globe! As a boutique, Virtuoso-member travel agency, ATI’s reputation and successful alliances within the prestigious network allow advisors to deliver the WOW-factor with “Insider Access” and opportunities that break the mold of a traditional travel agency.
Director of Sustainability
Denaye leads OBMI’s initiatives in the sustainability sector. With her experience in sustainable infrastructure, training and regulations for international standards and systems, and tourism operations, she’s responsible for leading design and planning sustainability policy and projects. Denaye is experienced in planning at the destination and operations level, working with governments to produce sustainability plans for the tourism sector. She has developed plans to ensure the longevity of industries, with the goal of improving and implementing sustainable development. Denaye is Co-Chair of the Sustainable Tourism & Hospitality Initiative for the USGBC South Florida, as well as the Technical Director of CAST.
Business Development Manager
Warren is a Business Development Manager and DMO Specialist at the Miami office of Travelzoo. He works with destinations, vacation packagers, cruises and airlines from around the world to deliver the best travel experiences for TravelZoo’s 28 million members. He has worked in the media and travel industries in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Panama, Paris and Milan and is fluent in five languages.
Senior Vice President, P & C
CGM Gallagher Insurance Brokers
Karen Holder’s career spans over 20 years in the general insurance industry and has been with CGM Gallagher for the past 10 years. Karen manages a team of Brokers in the Barbados office and she performs the operational management functions for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean. Karen has a wealth of knowledge of various classes of General Insurance and specialises in Insurance for the oil, gas, hospitality, retail, manufacturing and construction sectors. Her clients span the Caribbean and Latin America markets. Ms. Holder is the holder of a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Management and is a Chartered Insurance Professional.
Anse Chastanet & Jade Mountain Resorts St Lucia
Carl Ryan-Hunter B.Eng. C.E.O.E. is the Property Manager for Anse Chastanet & Jade Mountain Resorts St Lucia. He attained Bachelors in Engineering (Imperial Collage) and is a Certified Engineering Operations Executive. He has managed the maintenance and development needs of Caribbean hotel and resort facilities for 24 years. He has a special passion for management of energy and leveraging environmental initiates to drive down operation costs and enhance marketing ability. He is currently the Chairman of the St Lucian Hotel and Tourism Environmental Committee. A strong proponent of the Caribbean Centric approach to engineering and managing projects that are regionally appropriate and sustainable. He is also passionate about training and information sharing with a special focus in overcoming cultural barriers to change.
Brian J. Kent is the CEO and co-founder of Flip.to, the advocacy platform that helps destinations and hotels reach, inspire and convert an entirely, new global audience every day. Brian is a Brooklyn-born, NYC-raised, half-time Orlando dweller who is as comfortable with hyphens as he is in design, engineering, product development, strategy and all-around good company-building.
Regional Director of Sales and Marketing Florida & Caribbean
John MacMullen has been working in hotel sales and marketing for over twenty years. A majority of his last two decades have been selling Caribbean resorts in such great destinations as: St. Lucia, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Costa Rica, Bahamas and most recently in Curacao for the 350 room Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort. He has also had the pleasure of working for The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, Rock Resorts, Viceroy Hotel Group and most recently Benchmark Global Hospitality as their Regional Director of Sales & Marketing over Florida and the Caribbean. John grew up “on the water” in the Virgin Islands and although he resides in Miami, the islands are where he calls home.
Group Director of Marketing & Sales
The Courtleigh Hotel Group
With over twenty (20) years’ experience in the Hospitality business, her career started in the industry as a customer service representative in the airline industry. She has worked in various sub-sectors of the industry including cruise lines, attractions and hotels holding various Management positions. Currently, Group Director of Marketing & Sales for The Courtleigh Hotel and Suites, The Knutsford Court Hotel, The Jamaica Pegasus Hotel and The Holiday Inn Resort, Montego Bay. A graduate of Florida International University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management (Honours) and The University of the West Indies (Mona School of Business) with an Executive Masters in Business Administration (Distinction). She is the immediate past President of The Jamaica Hotel & Tourist Association (JHTA) and sits on the Board of Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) as well as co-chairs of the Joint JHTA/JTB Marketing Sub-committee and is a member of the JTB Events Sub-committee. She also currently sits on the board of The Jamaica Hotel & Tourist Association, The Caribbean Hotel & Tourist Association and The Tourism Linkages Network. She is also the Chair of the Gastronomy Tourism Network.
With over two decades of extensive hospitality experience in all aspects of resort operations both in the Caribbean and the Pacific, Kyle Mais has been driven by the growing threat of global warning and cost management to become a change agent for his organization, the local community and members of the broader Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association where he currently holds the post of Chairman for the Small Hotels and Accommodations Sector. From championing the recent establishment of a regional fish sanctuary to employing various technologies and practices he has been successful in reducing both operational overheads and the Hotels carbon footprint.
VP & General Manager of Sales and Marketing
Daly Mariatte brings nearly 20 years of customer engagement in airline and hotel operations experience as VP & General Manager of Sales and Marketing of the ultimate Caribbean Luxury Resort, Ladera Resort. Daly recently transitioned into this role after serving as General Manager of said resort from 2016. As General Manager, Daly was successful in maintaining the coveted Forbes 4-Star status as well as achieving record revenues and occupancies. Previous experience includes Virgin Atlantic Airways as well as Sandals Resorts. A voracious hospitality and sales and marketing professional at heart, Daly continues to make her mark on tourism in the region.
Scrub Island Resort, Spa & Marina
Growing up in Marriott’s Autograph Collection, I am a passionate leader focused on delivering an exceptional guest experience. Throughout my senior career I have been an advocate of engaging young professionals at the college or university level and demonstrating to them the endless possibilities a career in hospitality can bring. I’m a firm believer that a passionate and driven team are the secret to meeting and exceeding guest expectations.
VP Global Ports and Caribbean Government Relations
Marie McKenzie has over 22 years of experience in the Cruise Industry. She started her career with Carnival Corporation in 1996 and since then has held a number of roles of increasing responsibility. As of December of 2016, McKenzie was appointed the role of Vice President, Global Ports and Caribbean Government Relations, joining the Global Port and Development team, where she primarily leads in representing a family of 9 cruise brands under the Carnival Corporation umbrella in engagement opportunities in the Caribbean with government, regional, and local community organizations.
Director of Marketing
With over 15 years’ experience in hospitality & destination marketing, Gina has managed advertising and brand communications for award winning properties including Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Hilton Bahamas and currently, Elegant Hotels Group. Gina’s focus has been on creating, developing and executing creative messaging across multi-channel platforms including: Radio &TV, Print, PR, Social, Co-Op and digital advertising.
President & CEO
Social Caddie is a creative marketing and consulting firm whose mission is to provide affordable innovative marketing strategies for businesses of all sizes. With more than 25 years of sales and marketing experience, Javier has created a team that have a proven track record of designing and implementing highly effective business development initiatives, strategic partnerships, and tactical marketing programs that have achieved measurable success. Social Caddie integrates web design, social media marketing and search engine optimization to increase exposure and revenues for clients such as USVI Hotel & Tourism Association, Bolongo Bay Beach Resort and Sunset at the Palms Resort.
Vice President Development
AMResorts/Apple Leisure Group
Federico Moreno-Nickerson joined ALG in July 2017 to support the expansion of the company’s footprint for AM Resorts, specifically in Mexico, the English-speaking Caribbean and Latin America. Moreno-Nickerson leverages over 30 years of experience in luxury hotel management / operations, destination / hotel marketing, and travel product development in the luxury space. Before joining ALG Development, Moreno-Nickerson spent 13 years as director of product development at Classic Vacations, Expedia’s luxury brand, responsible for Caribbean and Mexico. It was during this time that he lead Classic Caribbean portfolio to become the top selling travel region within the company, surpassing Classic Hawaii in 2015. Prior to that, in his role as Senior Director of Marketing at Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts, for nearly a decade, he successfully opened the hotel in Mexico City and the resort in Punta Mita. During this same time, Federico also accepted the Promotions Committee President role at the Mexico City Hotel Association. Federico was later appointed as Chief Counsel of Mexico City’s first Tourism Board, where he co-authored the destination’s first Strategic Marketing Plan. Recognized for his luxury travel and destination marketing expertise, Federico is a founding member of the World Heritage Alliance between Expedia Inc. and the United Nations Foundation, and a frequent speaker on UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Fort Young Hotel & Secret Bay Resort
After attending NYU, Nassief founded Cerca Technology in 1993, a Latin America based Software Implementation company, which he continues to lead with operations in multiple countries in South and Central America. Nassief returned to Dominica in 2009 and developed Secret Bay Resort which opened in 2011 and is also the Executive Chairman of the Fort Young Hotel, a role he assumed since 2013. He recently served as Deputy Chairman of Discover Dominica Authority as well as Chairman of Crime Stoppers Dominica and is the immediate Past President of the Dominica Hotel & Tourism Association.
U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism
Beverly Nicholson-Doty serves as Commissioner of Tourism for the United States Virgin Islands, a cabinet-level position. She oversees the Department of Tourism’s advertising and marketing strategy, its national and international tourism-related efforts and product development. Raised in St. Thomas, Mrs. Nicholson-Doty began her career in the hospitality industry while attending the College of the Virgin Islands. In 1993, Nicholson-Doty joined the St. Thomas-St. John Hotel & Tourism Association as its Executive Director. In this position, her responsibilities included spearheading the implementation and development of the Association’s strategic plan. Nicholson-Doty oversaw the unification of the St. Thomas-St. John Hotel & Tourism Association with the St. Croix Hotel & Tourism Association to create an integrated Association that strengthens the entire U.S. Virgin Islands hotel product while recognizing the unique offerings of each island. In 2004, she was appointed President of the USVI Hotel & Tourism Association. Nicholson-Doty has served as Commissioner of the USVI Department of Tourism since 2007, and as Chairman of the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) Council of Ministers and Commissioners from October 2012 to September 2014.
Chief Communications & Public Affairs Officer
Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority
Jacqueline Peterson is the chief communications & public affairs officer for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA). The LVCVA is the destination marketing organization for Las Vegas and Southern Nevada, and its mission centers on attracting visitors by promoting the destination as the world’s most desirable destination for leisure and business travel.
In her role, Ms. Peterson oversees all LVCVA corporate communications, government and community relations, as well as the Las Vegas News Bureau and the Las Vegas Host Committee.
Ms. Peterson holds a bachelor of science degree from the University of Illinois. She is a member of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA).
POLLY PICKERING, CAMS, CEC, CBRITP, VSP
Polly Pickering is an IT security solutions and business continuity consultant as well as an offshore AML enthusiast. She is a founding member of the IACCS, International Association of Certified Compliance specialists. As the Managing Director of eShore Cayman she is familiar with the challenges surrounding disaster recovery, IT governance, cyber security and data sovereignty. She extends her support to various professional associations and service companies across the Caribbean and Channel Islands (UK). Polly practices her IT cross jurisdiction consulting and risk mitigation services through her eShore partnership with SURE INTERNATIONAL (formerly Cable & Wireless) working jointly for the last decade with their PCI ISO certified Channel Islands data centers. SURE is part of the Batelco group, a provider of communications services and operates in 14 jurisdictions across four continents.
Madigan Pratt has over 25 years of strategic communications and database marketing experience with Fortune 100 companies and luxury Caribbean resorts. He heads an award-winning firm specializing in integrated Customer Relationship Marketing (iCRM). It is a database-driven approach that targets messages to key segments to build relationships, stimulate bookings, create loyal guests and increase ROI. The multi-disciplined team creates custom content resulting in marketing programs that drive direct revenue ensuring MPA clients get more than their fair share. A published author and popular conference speaker, Madigan provides expert counsel to the hospitality industry and offers CRM tips on his blog, https://mpa.digital/blog/. He can be reached at Madigan@MPA.Digital.
Owner / Director of Operations
John Quail is the Owner/Director of Springboard Caribbean. a leading training and consultancy company which offers a range of organizational developmental programs to the hospitality industry. As the strategic educational partner of the CHTA, Springboard operates across the Caribbean offering a range of UK accredited programs including Management & Leadership, Regulatory Compliance such as HACCP and Risk Management, and HR Consultancy Services. John is a Fellow of CMI (Chartered Management Institute) and prior to opening Springboard, acquired significant leadership experience whilst working at BT (British Telecom) at Vice President and Director levels in areas such as Business Performance, Planning and Global Operations. Based initially in the UK, his experience in strategy formulation and implementation took him around the world as a conference speaker and consultant working with companies such as StarHub (Singapore), CLEAR Communications (New Zealand) and Siemens (Germany) to name a few. John is also an expert on Quality Management and Balanced Scorecards having worked across Europe as an Award Assessor with the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM).
Laila Robak is CEO and Founder of Digitall International, a Cybersecurity Consulting and Solutions Provider company. Laila Studied Computer Science at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro and International Business at Southern New Hampshire University, and holds certifications in Programming, Management and Cybersecurity. Among her expertise is Data Privacy and Compliance, Encryption, Identity Governance and IoT Security.
Vice President, Alliances
Angela has over 25 years of experience in the travel and payment industry: having held the position of Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Star Clippers Cruises and 10 years as Vice President of Travel and Entertainment for Visa International, where she handled travel and upscale merchant relations in the Latin American and Caribbean region. In February 2008, she accepted the position of Vice President of Alliances for Virtuoso, overseeing relationships with MasterCard, worldwide tourism boards and international retailers. Angela has earned her CTA (Certified Travel Advisor) and CTC (Certified Travel Consultant) and she is a Graduate of the University of Miami with a Bachelor’s Degree in both political science and languages, followed by a Master’s Degree specializing in International Business; Angela speaks English, Spanish and Portuguese fluently, as well as conversational French and Italian.
Caribbean and Venezuela General Manager
Daikin Applied Latin America
José G Rodríguez is the general manager of the Caribbean & Venezuela region of Daikin Applied, a position he has held for the past 2 years as part of a successful CV in the HVCA-R industry, to which he has belonged for 20 years. From his position, José G Rodríguez is responsible for the development of the company’s annual strategic plan for the markets he leads, as well as managing the accounts and sales of segments such as hospitality, health, life sciences and government. In addition, the development of distribution agreements, networks and pricing strategies for commercial and residential lines, and key initiatives to establish differentiation against the competition. Added to this is its role in the motivation and retention of key talent and when it comes to maintaining high levels of employee commitment.
Curtain Bluff Resort
Mr. Sherman is the Managing Director for Curtain Bluff in Antigua. He holds a business degree from the University of Arizona, is the Chairman of Antigua Hotel Association and of Antigua Sailing Week. He has served as CHTA Vice-President and Finance Chairman. A proud father of two, Mr. Sherman has been married to his lovely wife Bernadette for 30 years.
Smith Orloff & Associates
Stanley W. Smith is a certified public accountant and loss consultant with over 50 years of financial, insurance and international experience and specializes in representing clients in catastrophic insurance loss claims. Mr. Smith has represented clients throughout the world in multimillion-dollar insurance claims involving losses to buildings, contents and business interruption and extra expense and has extensive experience in insurance settlement negotiations, related claim preparation and policy interpretation and application and is an expert in business interruption losses. Mr. Smith has been a guest speaker on the subject of property insurance especially as relates to windstorms, floods, earthquakes, etc., and related claim handling for the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association, the Caribbean Alliance for Sustainable Tourism, the Bahamas Hotel & Tourism Association, the USVI Hotel & Tourism Association, the St. Maarten Hospitality & Tourism Association, the Trinidad Ministry of Tourism, the Hospitality Financial & Technical Professionals the Belize Tourism Industry Association and other Caribbean national hotel & tourism associations and various organizations in the United States.
Vice President and Managing Director of Valentines Residences Resort and Marina
Valentines Residences Resort and Marina
Dean Spychalla, VP and Managing Partner of Valentines Residences Resort and Marina, is a Hospitality Industry veteran with more than 35 years of experience working in The Bahamas. After graduating with a degree in Business Administration from the University of Wisconsin, Spychalla went on to work for numerous high-profile brands including Norwegian Cruise Line, Driftwood Hospitality, Prism Hospitality Management, Restaurants Bahamas Limited and Paradise Island Resort and Casino (now Atlantis Paradise Island). Spychalla has won several awards, including The Bahamas Hotelier of the Year for 2017 and is currently the President of The Bahamas Out Islands Promotion Board as well as the S.V.P of The Bahamas Hotel and Tourism Association.
Vice President – Corporate Finance for the Caribbean Region based in Toronto. Responsible for the Bank’s corporate and commercial loan portfolio in the Caribbean and also provide oversight for the Bank’s international real estate and hospitality portfolios in both the Caribbean and LATAM regions. His 31 year real estate and hospitality career at Scotiabank has included: running lending teams focused in North American corporate real estate markets, real estate and hospitality loan work out situations in both: Canada & the U.S., and the Caribbean. His career has included 4 years as an investment banker advising the Canadian real estate companies, and three years in the global risk management operations of the Bank. David’s extensive market knowledge and expertise is used to support Scotiabank’s regional in-country based teams in the: structuring, approval, and administration of key real estate and hospitality loan transactions. Prior to joining Scotiabank, David practiced as a professional engineer and earned an MBA from Dalhousie University.
Chief Marketing Officer
Annmarie Thompson, Chief Marketing Officer of Crane Resorts in Barbados, is a seasoned travel marketer with 25 years of branding, sales, and PR experience. Her passion is driving marketing excellence through focused teamwork, creative execution, and staying on top of current trends to reach customers “where they live.” Her tourism experience spans the industry, across three countries – in luxury travel PR, airline, events, DMC and hospitality. Annmarie is a former chair of the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association’s Marketing Committee; holds an M.A. in PR from Syracuse University and a B.Sc. in Management from the University of the West Indies.
Immediate Past President
Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association
Karolin Troubetzkoy is the Executive Director, Marketing & Operations of Anse Chastanet & Jade Mountain Resorts in Saint Lucia, a position she has held since 1984. She is CHTA’S Immediate Past President and current CHTA Chairperson. From 2010 – 2015, Mrs. Troubetzkoy served as President of the St. Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association. She was recognized with the St. Lucia Hotelier of the Year Award in 2006. In 2012, Mrs. Troubetzkoy received CHTA’s Caribbean Hotelier of the Year Award. She is the Honorary Consul of the Federal Republic of Germany in St. Lucia and is a citizen of St. Lucia.
Born and raised on St. Croix, it’s fitting that Jane Watkins specializes in marketing communications for the hospitality industry. From working at boutique PR firms and international giants to running her own show for the 15+ years, she has built a track record in integrated marketing communications including launches, events, promotions, sponsorships, media relations, collateral, and advertising. Her vertical marketing experience includes food and beverage, movies, retail, travel and tourism, art, and youth marketing. She has managed marketing efforts for chain and independent hotels. Watkins connects hotels and lifestyle clients with potential and existing customers through multiple strategies and platforms.
The Palms Turks & Caicos
A native of Dallas, Texas, she brings more than 20 years of hospitality industry experience to this landmark property. No stranger to the Caribbean, Karen moved to Turks and Caicos from Jamaica in 2005 and assumed the position of General Manager of the Somerset Resort. Karen has remained an active member of the Turks and Caicos Hotel and Tourism Association, and while maintaining her position at the resort also held the role of President of the TCHTA from 2008 to 2013. In June, 2014, Karen was elected as 3rd Vice-President of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association, the regional governing body of the Hotel Association. Karen is a member of the Board of Directors of The Turks and Caicos Community College Foundation, a Board member of the TCHTA, and she serves as a volunteer to numerous civic and professional organizations on the island. An avid supporter of the National Cancer Society, Karen has spearheaded many fundraising events contributing to the local organization. In 2010 and 2012, she was named “Hotelier of the Year” in Turks and Caicos. She was also awarded the prestigious title of “Top General Manager Worldwide” by Luxury Travel Advisor at their March, 2014 Awards of Excellence Ultra Summit in Chicago, Illinois.
Group Director of Human Resources
Sheba La’Trice Munkoff-Wilson hold a degree in Mass Communication and a Master’s Certification in Human Resource Management from Cornell University. She has extensive experience in journalism and the Hospitality Industry and currently holds the post of Assistant Director of Human Resources with the Grace Bay Club. Sheba has always been interested in national issues and politics. In 2002, she joined the youth arm of the Progressive National Party and in 2003 was elected as the Vice President of that organization. She also served as Public Relations Officer for the PNP from 2004 to 2009. She currently serves as the Chairperson for Electoral District 5 Leeward/Long Bay Constituency Council. Always willing to assist her country and people, she accepted the opportunity to serve as Chairperson of the Work Permit Board Zone 2 in April 2014 and continues to serve in that capacity today.