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Texas Travel Summit 2013 - Keynote Speakers
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Keynote Speakers
Luke Williams, Professor of Innovation, NYU Stern School of Business
Professor of Innovation at NYU Stern School of Business, and Executive Director, Berkley Entrepreneurship Center at New York University; Fellow, Global Innovation at Frog Design; and International Bestselling Author, Disrupt: Think the Unthinkable to Spark Transformation in Your Business.

Luke Williams is an internationally recognized authority on innovation leadership. He works with organizations all over the world on challenges ranging from creating new products and services, to transforming organizational processes and behaviors. He is Professor of Marketing and Executive Director of the Berkley Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship at New York University's Stern School of Business and a Fellow at Frog, one of the world's most influential innovation companies.

Williams is a sought-after commentator on disruptive innovation, entrepreneurship and cultural change. He is invited to speak worldwide, and his views are regularly featured in Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Fast Company, The Atlantic and NPR (National Public Radio). He is the author of Disrupt: Think the Unthinkable to Spark Transformation in Your Business (FT Press, 2011).


Benjamin Smithee, CEO, SPYCH

Ben Smithee is the CEO of Spych Market Analytics, LLC. His strong passion for innovation and creativity, and awareness of the evolving world of marketing research and communications, led to his vision for the foundation of SPYCH. Upon co-founding SPYCH in 2009, Ben has led the SPYCH team in consulting the upper echelon of brands in preparing for "Future-Market Readiness” by understanding the future consumers (Gen Y/Millennials), the future of technology, and the future consumer environments both on and off-line.  

In addition to leading the global and domestic research efforts for SPYCH, Ben is often sought for consulting and speaking engagements on topics of digital marketing, Gen Y/Millennial understanding, qualitative research, social media, online research, technology and entrepreneurship, successfully completing close to 100 engagements in the past two years. His high energy level clearly resonates in all that he does.  

A sampling of his clients include McDonald’s, General Mills, Del Monte, HSN, eBay, American Cancer Society, Coca-Cola, Fiat, Pfizer, Pella Windows, The National Guard, Hallmark, GEICO, Kroger, Ad Council, and South by Southwest Interactive. He has been a featured speaker around the globe, including ESOMAR’s Qualitative Summits in Morocco and Vienna, and the 2010 and 2012 global AQR/QRCA summits in Prague and Rome. He has also been a featured speaker for a variety of conferences ranging from the Idaho Fish and Game Department to the Women’s Jewelry Association in NYC, as well as venues such as the MRA CEO Summit, the Forrester Research Forum, QRCA, MRA, the 2010, 2011, and 2012 South by Southwest Interactive Festival, and has been interviewed by industry-leading business publications such as Bloomberg’s BusinessWeek.   

When Ben is not submersed in the world of research and business, he is living out other passions of playing jazz saxophone, wakeboarding, snowboarding, baseball, golf, travel, food and wine. Ben can also be seen on ABC/WFAA’s newest segment on Good Morning Texas – Social Radar, and D: TV’s The Broadcast – The Weekend Insider, where he helps to bring Dallas the latest in trends, lifestyle and entertainment news. 

David Huether, Senior Vice President, Research, U.S. Travel Association

David Huether is the Senior Vice President for Research at the U.S. Travel Association, where he manages the association’s economic, marketing and advocacy research programs. Prior to joining U.S. Travel in January 2011, David served as the Chief Economist of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) where he serves as the organization’s economic forecaster as well as a principal spokesman on economic matters important to America's industrial base.

Before coming to the NAM in 1997, he worked as an economist with the Bureau of Economic Analysis at U.S. Department of Commerce.

David received his undergraduate degree from Guilford College in 1990 and his graduate degree in economics from the George Washington University in 1997.


Hanna Rosin, Senior Editor, Atlantic magazine & Author
Hanna Rosin is a senior editor at the Atlantic magazine and a founder and co-editor of DoubleX, Slate's women's section. She covered politics and religion for the Washington Post for many years, and she has written for the New Yorker, The New York Times, GQ and The New Republic, among other publications. In 2009 she was nominated for a National Magazine Award for her Atlantic story about transgendered children, "A Boy's Life." In 2010 she won the award as part of a package of stories on circumcision in New York magazine. Her stories have also been included in Best American Magazine Writing and Best American Crime Reporting. 

Rosin’s most recent book, The End of Men: And the Rise of Women, grew out of her 2010 cover story for the Atlantic, "The End of Men," which sparked a national conversation and led to appearances on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, The Colbert Report, Today, and a keynote address at the first TED national women’s conference in December 2011. Rosin’s previous book, God's Harvard: A Christian College on a Mission to Save America was published by Harcourt in 2007. 

Rosin lives in Washington, DC, with her husband, Slate editor David Plotz, and their three children.

Brian Solis, Principal, Altimeter Group

Brian Solis is principal at Altimeter Group, a research firm focused on disruptive technology.

A digital analyst, sociologist, and futurist, Solis has studied and influenced the effects of emerging technology on business, marketing, and culture. Solis is also globally recognized as one of the most prominent thought leaders and published authors in new media. His new book, What’s the Future of Business (WTF), explores the landscape of connected consumerism and how business and customer relationships unfold and flourish in four distinct moments of truth.

His previous book, The End of Business as Usual, explores the emergence of Generation-C, a new generation of customers and employees and how businesses must adapt to reach them. Prior to End of Business, Solis released Engage, which is regarded as the industry reference guide for business to market, sell and service in the social web.

His blog,, is among the world’s leading business and marketing online resources, ranking among the top 1% of all blogs tracked by Technorati. Brian is also ranked as one of the leading voices in the AdAge Power 150 index of worldwide marketing bloggers. He actively contributes to FastCompany, Businessweek, AdAge, Harvard Business Review, and Mashable. He also shares his vision and experiences through keynotes and presentations at conferences and events worldwide to help organizations understand and embrace the dynamics defining the rise of social business.

Prior to joining Altimeter Group, Brian led interactive and social programs for Fortune 500 companies, notable celebrities, and Web 2.0 startups since 1999 as Principal of FutureWorks. 

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