|Texas Travel Summit 2013 - Speaker List|
Texas Travel Summit 2013 Speakers & Facilitators
As a motivated and highly energized leader, Steve believes every individual will deliver to his or her maximum potential when an environment is created that educates, inspires, communicates, challenges, and rewards. His background includes 35years at The Atkins Agency, a full-service advertising agency based in SanAntonio. The Agency was designed to deliver comprehensive brand marketing programs with an emphasis on the tourism category. Steve maintained asuccessful contribution to the San Antonio CVB for 20 years, leading the development of all research, strategic planning, campaign development forexternal and internal audiences, media innovation, public relations and public/private partnerships for co-promotion. He also helped to originateS.A.V.E. (San Antonio Vacation Experience) Co-op and managed the program for 10 years. Steve remains highly active in the Texas travel industry, managing a variety of CVBs and hospitality organizations.
Dr. Gary Gibbs stepped into his role as Executive Director of the Texas Commission on the Arts on October 1, 2007. Dr. Gibbs is responsible for the development and administration of the policies, programs, and procedures of the state agency which supports and promotes the creative industries throughout the state. Prior to joining the Texas Commission on the Arts, Dr. Gibbs served as Director of Education and Outreach at Houston Grand Opera for sixteen years. During his tenure, the education and audience development programs he administered achieved national recognition. Dr. Gibbs currently serves on the board of the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies and the Mid America Arts Alliance. He has served on numerous local and national panels including the National Endowment for the Arts.
Nate Gieryn has been with the Texas Governor’s Office since 2005 and is currently serving as the Travel Research Manager within the Economic Development & Tourism division. He is responsible for ongoing research in the division including domestic and international visitor estimates for travelers to Texas, the economic impact of travel spending, hotel performance reports, and advertising effectiveness and accountability studies for the Texas. It’s Like a Whole Other Country® campaign. Nate is active within the Travel and Tourism Research Association serving on the international board of directors and previously as president of the Texas Chapter. Nate holds a Master of Science in Community and Regional Planning from the University of Texas at Austin and a Bachelor of the Arts in Geography with Honors from the University of Wisconsin at Madison.
John Hudak joined Madden Media in 1987 as the first editor of Tucson Guide when there were just five employees and two magazines. He has contributed significantly to Madden Media's impressive growth of nearly 20 magazines and clients in 43 states with more than 100 employees. A recognized travel publishing authority nationwide, John is a frequent tourism conference speaker and the winner of dozens of awards for his contributions to the industry. John serves on the TTIA Executive Committee and Board of Directors, the US Travel Board of Directors, the California Travel Association Board of directors, the Southeast Tourism Society Board of directors, among other industry groups. In addition, John has formed four non-profit arts organizations and one educational foundation. John was twice appointed by two different governors to serve as a commissioner for the Arizona Commission on the Arts. John earned two degrees from the University of Arizona, one in journalism and one in creative writing, specializing in poetry, which is why he often found to quote some poetry in a toast with colleagues.
Danielle Johnson is an Account Supervisor and Millennials Insights Specialist at Slingshot LLC, dedicated to servicing the Texas Tourism business. She is a proud Longhorn, having received her B.S. and M.A. in Advertising from The University of Texas at Austin. Her agency experience showcases a wide variety of disciplines, with leadership in account management, strategic planning, media planning and buying, and emerging/digital and traditional campaign development. Since joining Slingshot in 2009, Danielle has led a range of accounts from Jack Daniel’s and Family of Brands, Shell and the Fuel Rewards Network, VeeV Açai liquor, IHOP at Home and The Sixth Floor Museum.
Dave Kolankarai is the Senior Director within the Lodging Partner Services Group for Expedia, Inc. Dave oversees the company's hotel supplier relations efforts and directs lodging for markets within the Midwest, Central and Regional Territories in North America. He and his team work closely with well over twenty thousand properties to help them effectively build their visibility, increase guest interest and drive bookings on Expedia, Inc. branded sites. Prior to his current role, Dave has also served as the Director for the South Florida/ AL – GA region for 3.5 years, been with the company’s Supply Strategy & Analysis team working on projects that had a long term strategic impact to the company’s Partner Services Group (PSG), and has also served as a Market Manager for Los Angeles and Orange County, CA. Dave joined Expedia in 2003, and has since, managed and led market management operations in a variety of offices, including Bellevue, WA, Fort Lauderdale, FL, and Dallas, TXPrior to joining Expedia, Dave worked in various operational management positions for a variety of hotel companies representing Starwood, Marriott and Hyatt brands in Connecticut & New Jersey.
Director of Brand Development
Midwest Living and Meredith Travel Marketing
Sheila Mahony is the Director of Brand Development for Midwest Living and Meredith Travel Marketing. Sheila joined Meredith Corporation in 2009 and is responsible for all integrated marketing programs, brand extensions, proprietary research and market strategy for these business units. For the past 25 years, Sheila has held media and marketing positions at top advertising agencies and publishing companies in New York. She began her career as a media planner for Toyota Motors Sales at Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising and Johnnie Walker at Smith/Greenland Advertising. From 1993-1999, she was Vice President Print Media at Grey Advertising and oversaw the print media planning and buying for accounts across a wide array of categories (travel, automotive, pharmaceutical, fashion and consumer electronics).
Google Travel Team
Vinnie works as an Account Manager on the Google Travel Team. On this team, Vinnie serves as a marketing and brand consultant to DMO’s, CVBs, and theme parks. His expertise is in managing and optimizing campaign performance specific to search engine marketing, display networks, online video, and social. He is passionate about driving innovative solutions to his partners to produce business growth and drive tourism through the digital space.
Bandera County Convention & Visitors Bureau
After working in the hotel industry, Patricia Moore returned to her native Texas in 1990 and settled in Bandera, Texas, the "Cowboy Capital of the World”. For the past 20 years she has served as the Executive Director of the Bandera County Convention & Visitors Bureau actively promoting and developing Bandera’s brand and marketing efforts. She has served as Chairman of the Texas Hill Country Trail Region and continues to serve on the board. She earned a masters degree in psychology from West Georgia College and is proud to be an alumni of the first graduating class of TTIA’s Travel & Tourism College.
CSO Chief SUPPLY OFFICER
GetGoing is a venture-backed San Francisco startup focused on helping travelers discover and book affordable trips. GetGoing, has developed new search and booking technologies to make travel easier and more affordable for all. These efforts have been recognized with several patents already, and continue to innovate. As an Officer of the company, Frank leverages his many years of sales leadership by working closely with the GetGoing founders and team in marketing and technology departments. Before joining GetGoing Frank was a full partner at Heidrick & Struggles. In this role he acted as a trusted advisor to many of the Global Board members and top CEO’s throughout the travel industry. He spent more than 30 years in the travel industry and held several senior managerial positions with American Airlines in sales and general management, both in the field and at headquarters. His previous management experience touches all facets of the travel industry.
Director, Community Heritage Development
Texas Historical Commission
Bradford Patterson is Director of Community Heritage Development at the Texas Historical Commission, overseeing the Main Street, Certified Local Government, and Texas Heritage Trails Programs. He has significant experience in historic preservation and architecture, having completed work at Miami University and a Masters of Architecture from UT Austin. Mr. Patterson previously coordinated staff reviewing projects under federal and state laws; federal tax incentives, ADA compliance, and Texas Preservation Trust Fund grants. He also oversaw the restoration of numerous historic courthouses through the nationally recognized Texas Historic Courthouse Preservation Program. In addition, Mr. Patterson has helped lead post-fire and disaster related response and recovery efforts for historic structures, including at the Texas Governor’s Mansion.
Texas Country Report
Owner, Phillips MediaSource
Bob Phillips began his television career at KDFW-TV (Channel 4) in Dallas, Texas, while he was a student at SMU. He was a photographer and a reporter covering news, politics, where he covered several state and national political conventions and the inauguration of President Nixon, and even sports, where he spent several years traveling with the Dallas Cowboys and shooting for NFL Films. His "Country Reporter” series began at KDFW-TV in 1972 and continued on that station until Phillips moved his program to WFAA-TV in October of 1986. Bob’s back roads travels have lasted 36 years and "Texas Country Reporter” is now seen in all television markets in Texas. Bob is the president of Phillips Productions, Inc., which produces the TV series, "Texas Country Reporter.” Phillips Productions is a subsidiary of Phillips MediaSource of Dallas, Texas. Bob serves as its president and CEO of the company that specializes in online and offline marketing, content development and HD video production. Bob is also president of Texas Country Tours, Inc., a hospitality company that operates Escondida, a boutique hotel and spa at Medina, Texas.
Jose Quintana currently serves as President of AdventGX, a Texas Corporation located at the Texas A & M University Research Park with a business and technology incubation facility in Historic Downtown Bryan - The Innovation Underground - one of the few private sector incubators in America. As a lifelong entrepreneur, Mr. Quintana has started several successful companies and has acted as consultant to many of the world's top corporations including Disney, Nokia, Sprint, Qualcomm, Frito-Lay, Schering-Plough, Lockheed, Sun Microsystems, Verizon and Novartis International.Mr. Quintana developed the ASD (AdventGX Strategy Deployment) methodology used as the core component in AdventGX strategy development projects – ASD is also used by state agencies and corporate entities. Mr. Quintana brings key technology development, financial engineering and econometric modeling competencies to AdventGX as well as strong strategy deployment and project management expertise. Mr. Quintana has a computer science degree from Texas A&M University with a minor in Mathematics and Statistics.
Director - Travel Information Division
Texas Department of Transportation
Margo Richards serves as Director of the Travel Information Division at Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT). A seasoned marketing and strategic communications executive, Richards is responsible for the state’s travel literature, to include the state’s official travel magazine, Texas Highways, the Texas State Travel Guide, Texas Accommodations Guide, Texas Events Calendar and the Texas Official Travel Map. In addition, Richards oversees the state’s 12 Travel Information Centers and the division’s marketing and advertising campaigns. In promoting Texas as a premier tourism destination, Richards collaborates with multiple state agencies in generating publicity for travel to and within the state. Before joining TxDOT in January 2012, Richards served as the Director of Tourism at the Austin Convention and Visitors Bureau and Public Relations Coordinator with the Office of the Governor, Economic Development and Tourism.
Executive Vice President, Government and Stakeholder Affairs
Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport
Phil Ritter joined DFW Airport on February 23, 2009 as the Executive Vice President of Government and Stakeholder Affairs. Phil directs public policy at the international, federal, state and local level, community
relations, media relations, and other functions. The Public Affairs and Government and Stakeholder Affairs departments report to Phil. Prior to joining DFW Airport, Phil completed 20 years of service at Texas Instruments
Incorporated, where he held the position of Senior Vice President, Public Affairs with global responsibility for government and community relations. Prior to joining Texas Instruments, he served on the staff of the Texas Senate Jurisprudence Committee and as an attorney with Sun Exploration and Production Company in Dallas. Phil earned an undergraduate degree in Urban Studies and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Maryland, and a Master of Public Affairs from the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin. He is admitted to the practice of law in Maryland and Texas.
Texas Parks & Wildlife Department
Lydia Saldaña has more than 30 years of experience in the communications field in state government and as a broadcast journalist. As Communications Director for the TexasParks and Wildlife Department, Ms. Saldaña is responsible for all facets of agency communications, marketing, media relations, education and outreach. She has served as an ex-officio member of the Texas Travel Industry Association Board of Directors since 1996. Communications products include the TPWD website and social media channels, the Texas Parks & Wildlife monthly magazine, a weekly PBS television series, the Passport to Texas daily radio program, a video news report program, video products, plus a wide range of internal and external publications and various public information items. The division also provides boater and hunter education programs and nature tourism initiatives. She's been with Parks & Wildlife since 1990.
Shanna Smith currently manages partner communications, local media relations and communicating the importance of the travel and tourism industry to San Antonio. Prior to joining the San Antonio Convention and Visitors Bureau, Smith was the Director of Communication and Marketing for the City of Granbury, where she served as the leader for Visit Granbury and as the city’s Public Information Officer. Prior to Granbury, Smith was the Director of Communication for the Abilene Convention and Visitors Bureau managing social media, public relations and advertising. Smith’s work has won several awards, including a Statesman Texas Social Media Award and the Texas Travel Industry Association Rising Star Award. Smith holds a master of business administration, emphasizing in management from Liberty University. Smith is originally from San Antonio.
Brad Smyth is the Tourism Director of the Economic Development and Tourism Division of the Texas Office of the Governor (Texas Tourism). In his role with Texas Tourism, Brad is responsible for oversight of promoting and marketing Texas as premier travel and tourism destination. During Brad’s leadership Texas Tourism launched a new award winning advertising campaign in 2013. Brad has worked in the travel industry for more than 15 years. Before being promoted to Director, he served as Texas Tourism’s Deputy Director helping to create and oversee marketing and public relations campaigns for domestic and international markets. His accomplishments include launching campaigns in emerging international markets for Texas. Brad is a proud graduate of the University of Texas at Austin. Following his studies at UT, Brad lived and worked in Mexico City where he studied at the National Autonomous University of Mexico. After returning to Texas, Brad worked in the telecommunications industry marketing to and managing accounts in the Mexican hotel industry where his Spanish language fluency came in handy.
Fran Stephenson is principal of Step In Communication and has extensive communication experience in the field. She was director of corporate communications for Rackspace Hosting and director of communications for SeaWorld San Antonio. She instituted the first successful social media program for the SeaWorld parks and implemented a social media coaching program for internal use at Rackspace. She is a contributor to the PRSA San Antonio Byline blog and is part of a team that organizes Action SA, a series of quarterly breakfasts and annual conference to assist nonprofits with social media and technology practice. She has served in many community and industry associations including the board of PRSA San Antonio and Guide Dogs of Texas. Fran holds a Master’s Degree in Communications Studies from St. Mary’s University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Consumer Science from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. She speaks frequently on integrating social media into communications and marketing initiatives and has won numerous industry awards for campaigns and tactics. She is an adjunct faculty member at Northwest Vista College. Previous clients include Riverwalk Jazz, The Friends of Christus Santa Rosa Foundation, Plano Convention & Visitors Bureau, the Alamo IMAX Rivercenter Theatre and Bloom Maternity.
A lifelong entrepreneur, Ryan Thompson began working at age 11, with a paper route in Ada, Oklahoma. At 14, he was a part-time shipping clerk at a computer technology company. And, by age 18, he managed the multi-million dollar trade show budget for the company as it experienced exponential growth. In the disruptive trade show environment, Ryan realized that focusing on total experience was a key to building strong client relationships. His career enjoyed continued success as he rose to the highest marketing position in the company. Then tragedy struck. In 1999, Ryan broke his neck and was very nearly paralyzed. The injury left him unable to move; confined to a hospital bed for months. This idle time and newfound perspective on life provided an opportunity. And, in 2000, Ariamedia was born. In just over 10 years, Ariamedia has evolved into Aria. What was once primarily a web creation and design firm, has evolved into a full-service, digital agency with a focus on the interaction between brand and consumer, and the entire brand-consumer experience.
General Manager - Tourism Vertical
With more than 15 years of travel industry experience and a digital media veteran, Sylvia Weiler serves as General Manager for the Tourism Vertical at Sojern. In her role, Sylvia oversees strategy and advertising sales for tourism boards and attractions. Prior to joining Sojern, Sylvia spent 12 years at Travelocity in sales and sales leadership roles where she developed innovative and integrated digital marketing campaigns for leading destinations, hotels and airline partners. She played an integral role in the launch of Travelocity sites in Latin America and led the media strategy and sales efforts in the region.
Beth West is a respected advertising professional with strong ties to the Dallas Fort Worth area and throughout the Southwest. She has cultivated relationships with both clients and advertising agencies and has represented both regional and national magazines during her career. She spent several years on the agency side at Neiman Marcus’ in-house advertising agency, and at such prestigious publications as Southern Living, Texas Monthly, Cosmopolitan, and House Beautiful. Now at the Meredith Corporation, she sells print and digital advertising for the travel category in Better Homes and Gardens, Family Circle, Ladies Home Journal, Midwest Living, Parents and More. Beth received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Journalism from SMU. She lives in Dallas with her husband and three children.
Regional Account Manager
Hill Country native Daryl Whitworth has spent the past 16 years promoting destinations. Prior to his entry into the destination marketing field, he earned an MBA in Marketing Management from Angelo State University. For fifteen years, he served in various marketing, sales, PR and management positions with the Fredericksburg CVB and in 2012 came to Madden Media to work with multiple destinations on their marketing projects. He and his wife Stephanie make their home in Fredericksburg with their children; Delaney and Derek.
Dr. Kyle M. Woosnam
Texas A&M University
Dr. Kyle M. Woosnam is an Assistant Professor at Texas A&M University in the Department of Recreation, Park & Tourism Sciences (RPTS). He holds a B.S. from the University of Illinois in Leisure Studies, an M.S. from Virginia Tech in Forestry and a Ph.D. from Clemson University in Community Tourism. He has been a member of the RPTS faculty at A&M since 2008. Dr. Woosnam specializes in examining impacts (e.g., economic, social-cultural, environmental, and political) local communities throughout Texas and the southeast U.S. experience as a result of tourism. Additionally his research focuses on resident-tourist interactions within tourist destinations, and sustainable tourism development and planning. He has conducted visitor perception and economic impact studies most recently in the Lower Rio Grande Valley, Port Aransas and the Big Bend of Texas. Kyle currently serves on editorial boards for five tourism journals and his research has appeared in the Journal of Travel Research, Annals of Tourism Research, Tourism Geographies, as well as others. Presently he is the Treasurer of the Texas Chapter of the Travel and Tourism Research Association (TTRA) and is a member of TTRA and TTIA.
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