SPEAKERS - Caribbean Hotel & Resort Investment Summit – CHRIS

as of April 14, 2015
McHale S. C. Andrew
Invest Saint Lucia
Mchale Andrew is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Invest Saint Lucia and current President of the
Caribbean Association of Investment Promotion Agencies (CAIPA). He is a former Executive Vice
President of the Saint Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association (SLHTA) and is also a former Research and
Development Advisor at the Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO); past Permanent Secretary in Saint
Lucia’s Ministry of Tourism; and Director of External Relations at the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank
(ECCB), where he served for some ten (10) years, prior to a five (5) year stint as an economist at the
Ministry of Finance in Saint Lucia.
Andrew holds a Bachelor's Degree in Economics & Law from the University of the West Indies and a
Master's Degree in Economics, Law & Policy-Making from the London School of Economics & Political
Science (LSE). Over the past 28 years, he has gained valuable experience in the public and private sectors
of Saint Lucia and various other Caribbean countries. He is an avid adherent of the “triple bottom line”
approach to development that gives equal consideration to the economic, environmental and social
Andrew is also a popular public speaker, keen golfer, jazz music fan and published amateur poet.
Letvia M. Arza-Goderich
Preston Arza LLP
Letvia concentrates her practice in hospitality, vacation ownership and real estate projects, with a focus
on international transactions. Her experience includes legal structuring and documentation of vacation
clubs, fractional and other vacation ownership projects; negotiation and preparation of hotel management
and related agreements; zoning and planning; commercial leasing; acquisitions and sales; international
transactions; and commercial litigation.
Originally from Cuba, she is multilingual and experienced in common law and civil law, handling matters
in the U.S., Latin America and the Caribbean. She has practiced in California, the District of Columbia and
Puerto Rico, and her firm maintains offices in West Hollywood, California and San Juan.
She serves as a Chairman’s League Member of the American Resort Development Association (ARDA)
and is a member of the Asociación Mexicana de Desarrolladores Turísticos (Mexican Tourism
Development Association) and the Canadian Resort Development Association. She is in the Planning
Committees of the Caribbean Hotel and Resort Investment Summit and the Hotel Opportunities Latin
America Investment Summit. She is a past chairman, U.S.-Mexico Chamber of Commerce, California
Regional Chapter, and since 2005 is a member of the Chamber’s bi-national board.
Letvia is an active member of the State Bar of California, District of Columbia Bar Association, Puerto
Rico Bar Association, Hispanic National Bar Association and the U.S.-Mexico Bar Association.
Letvia graduated from the University of Louisville (B.A. 1972), Georgetown University School of Foreign
Service (M.A. 1976), and Georgetown University Law Center (J.D. 1980).
Page 1 of 27 SPEAKERS
as of April 14, 2015
Rogerio Basso
Terranum Hotels
With over 17 years of real estate and hospitality experience, Rogerio is responsible for growing Terranum’s
portfolio of hotels across Latin America, and oversees all activities related to investment, acquisition and
development. Terranum Hotels is an owner, developer and operator of all-inclusive, select-service, fullservice and luxury properties across seven countries, operating under seven different brands. The
company is sponsored by Colombia-based Santo Domingo Group, Estrategias Corporativas, a premier
investment bank focused on complex M&A transactions, and Equity International, the Sam Zell-founded
private equity firm focused on emerging markets.
Prior to joining Terranum Hotels, Rogerio worked for over 11 years with Ernst & Young LLP in Miami,
where he was responsible for leading the firm’s real estate and hospitality initiatives across Latin America.
In this capacity, Rogerio led numerous complex consulting assignments and multi-billion dollar
transactions, and is well versed on a variety of asset classes. His operational skills are drawn from having
worked for InterContinental, Holiday Inn, Four Seasons, and Crowne Plaza Hotels.
Mr. Basso is often quoted in industry publications on hospitality trends and topics, and is a guest
speaker at industry related conferences in the United States and Latin America. He also served as a
professor of feasibility analysis for the graduate hotel management program at Florida International
University. Rogerio holds a Business Degree from the College of William and Mary and a Masters Degree
from the School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University.
Andrea Belfanti
Andrea Belfanti is the Executive Director for the International Society of Hospitality Consultants (ISHC).
Andrea has been with ISHC since April 2009, has over 15 years experience in the hospitality industry and
has previously held positions with InterContinental Hotels Group, The High Museum of Art, Walt Disney
World and Arnold Palmer’s Bay Hill Club and Lodge. Andrea earned her bachelor’s degree from the School
of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Administration at the University of South Carolina.
ISHC is a professional society with 200 members with work experience in over 60 countries.
Membership is by invitation only and members are owners, principals, directors and/or officers in their firms
and are leaders in the industry in their respective areas of expertise.
Gregory T. Bohan
Florida Atlantic University
Gregory T. Bohan, ISHC, BS Cornell University, MS Florida International University is an instructor and
Coordinator of Special Programs at Florida Atlantic University’s College of Business, instructing in the
rapidly growing Hospitality and Tourism Management Program. Prior to joining the faculty at FAU, Mr.
Bohan was on the faculty at the Chaplin School of Hospitality at Florida International University, where he
designed and taught graduate and undergraduate level classes in financial feasibility analysis and revenue
management for the hospitality industry. In addition to his teaching, Mr. Bohan maintains a strong presence
in the world of hospitality consulting, building on more than 35 years of hospitality consulting – primarily in
the areas of financial structuring and market feasibility. Before embarking on his current, full-time teaching
career, Mr. Bohan was Managing Director of Pinnacle Advisory Group’s Florida/Caribbean practice. Earlier
in his career he was a co-Principal in charge of the consulting practice at PKF’s New York office as well as
developer/owner/operator of full-service country inn in Vermont. He is on the Executive Committee of the
Board for the Hotel Sales & Marketing Association’s South Florida chapter and active in other industry
affairs. He can be reached at Florida Atlantic University via email: [email protected]
Page 2 of 27 SPEAKERS
as of April 14, 2015
Camilo Bolanos
Hyatt Hotels Corporation
Camilo Bolanos is Vice President of Development & Real Estate for Hyatt Hotels Corporation in Latin
America and the Caribbean. Mr. Bolanos is currently in charge of development and strategic business
planning in Latin America for Hyatt with a specific emphasis in Mexico, Central and South America. He is
focused in not only refining, but also spearheading the development strategies for these markets and
structuring deals that bring together local needs and opportunities while successfully satisfying Hyatt’s midto long-term business model. In his role, Mr. Bolanos is also responsible in utilizing and leveraging Hyatt’s
strong balance sheet through key asset acquisitions and the establishment of joint venture partnerships.
Mr. Bolanos is an 18-year industry veteran having held senior level positions at leading companies such
as Real Hotels and Resorts, Avianca Airlines and Carlson Restaurants Worldwide.
David Brillembourg
David Brillembourg founded and is and Chairman & CEO of Bricapital, a private equity firm focused on
the hospitality asset class in Latin America and the Caribbean.
In 1995 he founded CycleLogic, Inc., the largest provider of SMS outsourcing services for mobile
operators in Latin America. CycleLogic was acquired in September 1999 by StarMedia Networks (a NYSE
company). In 2003, he founded and was CEO of Emida Technologies, Inc., a payment network for mobile
prepaid cards in Latin America with $1 billion in annual transactions, in which he remains a shareholder
and Director. In 2007, Emida was merged with Debisys.
Mr. Brillembourg serves as a substitute Board Member of Mercantil Servicios Financieros and as
Director of Seguros Mercantil, part of Banco Mercantil, the second largest Venezuelan-based financial
He graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor’s in Finance from Babson College in Massachusetts,
and is a member of the Babson College Global Advisory Board.
Gary Brough
Gary is the Managing Director for KPMG in TCI and Head of KPMG’s Travel, Leisure & Tourism (“TLT”)
group in the Caribbean with offices in Antigua & Barbuda, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, Bonaire,
BVI, Cayman, Dominica, Jamaica, St Lucia, St Maarten, St Vincent & Grenadines, Grenada and Trinidad
& Tobago.
KPMG’s TLT group provide a wide spectrum of audit, advisory and tax services throughout the region.
Gary has advised many regional governments on TLT related matters. He is currently lead partner on
an engagement to advise the Turks and Caicos Islands Government on a National Tourism Policy and
Strategic Implementation Plan.
Gary is client service partner to a variety of world renowned luxury resorts.
Gary has led many TLT related advisory engagements involving market studies, feasibility studies,
economic impact studies and raising of debt and capital.
He has extensive experience on numerous TLT restructuring and “turn around” engagements both
locally and internationally.
Gary is a regular moderator and speaker at tourism industry conferences.
Page 3 of 27 SPEAKERS
as of April 14, 2015
James E. Burba
Jim Burba is the co-founder and president of Burba Hotel Network LLC (BHN), the worldwide leader in
developing and producing conferences for the hotel and tourism investment community. BHN hosts ten
events each year around the world including: ALIS, ALIS Law, ALIS Summer Update, AOCAP, HICAP,
HICAP UPDATE, HIFI, CHRIS, HOLA, and Hot.E. In 2008, BHN and Google teamed up to host Digital
Discovery Day (D3) and in 2011, Burba was retained by the ITC, a joint agency of the UN and WTO to
help organize WEDF which focused on tourism development in the least developed countries of the world.
Actively involved in the hotel investment arena for 30 years, Burba was formerly: a principal at Pannell
Kerr Forster, Senior Managing Director with Insignia/Hotel Partners, VP/Worldwide Director of Advisory
Services at WATG, and President at Horwath HTL (US). A member of the International Society of
Hospitality Consultants (ISHC) and the Industry Real Estate Finance Advisory Council (IREFAC), Burba
has received numerous honors including the Educational Institute Lamp of Knowledge Award, IREFAC’s
first Crystal Ball Award, and the ISHC Pioneer Award.
In 2007, California Governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, re-appointed Burba to his second term on the
California Travel & Tourism Commission and he recently served on its Executive Committee.
Gabriele Burgio
Gabriele Burgio (Florence, Italy 1954) attends law school in Florence, with a Major in International
Private Law and an MBA at Insead Fontainebleau in 1982.
He starts his professional career in Bankers Trust, investment bank, working for several years between
New York and Italy. Later on he becomes AD of Manufacturers Hanover Trust, a venture specialized in
M&A and acquisition finance.
In 1993 Gabriele moves to Spain as CEO of COFIR, a holding company operating in many different
sectors in Spain and Portugal, with a philosophy close to a private equity fund.
In 1997 he becomes CEO of NH hotels, at the time a small, local hotel company specialized in 3 and 4
stars urban hotels in Spain, and he builds it in the fastest growing Hotel Company in Europe, managing
from the original 66 up to 401 hotels, expanding in 26 countries and increasing the turnover more than 10
From 2012 he is President and CEO of Alpitour S.p.A.
In 2002 He won the Tiepolo prize and in 2003 the award as “best Manager of the year in Spain”. In
2007 His Royal Highness Prince Felipe awarded him with the prize “Excellence in tourism”. In 2010
Republic of Italy appointed Gabriele “Grande Ufficiale della Stella”.
Page 4 of 27 SPEAKERS
as of April 14, 2015
Ian Carter
Hilton Worldwide
Ian Carter is President - Global Development, Architecture and Construction for Hilton Worldwide. Mr.
Carter was Chief Executive Officer of Hilton International prior to its re-acquisition by the company in 2006.
Prior to joining the company, Mr. Carter served as Officer and President of Black & Decker Corporation,
Middle East, Africa and Asia. In this role, he was responsible for all operations outside of the Americas.
Prior to Black & Decker, Mr. Carter spent more than a decade with General Electric Plastics, ultimately
serving as President of General Electric Specialty Chemical.
Mr. Carter serves on multiple boards and organizations including: Hilton in the Community Foundation
– Chairman of the grant-making organization, which fundraises throughout Hilton Worldwide properties in
Europe to support disadvantaged children and young people; Board of Burberry Group plc – Non-Executive
Director and Chairman of the Remuneration and Compensation Committee of the FTSE 100 British luxury
fashion house, which manufactures clothing, fragrance and fashion accessories; International Tourism
Partnership – Chairman of the membership organization of leading companies from the travel and tourism
industry; California Travel and Tourism Commission – Commissioner of the non-profit organization with a
mission to develop and maintain marketing programs – in partnership with the state's travel industry;
Boston University School of Hospitality Administration – Member of the Board of Advisors.
Mr. Carter is a graduate of the University of West London, School of Business and Management, and
received an honorary doctorate from the University for his industry accomplishments and ongoing support
of the development of future hospitality leaders.
Sabrina Cendral
Club Med
Joined the Miami office as Director of Brand, Communications and Product Marketing for North America
2 years ago. Multicultural profile.
Previously: in charge of worldwide product marketing (innovations and new Resort openings) at the
Group’s headquarters in Paris.
Talented young executive, with strong product and client acumen. Leads a Marketing/digital/data team
with strong expertise in each domains.
Sabrina holds a Master’s Degree in Business and Marketing from HEC Paris, and worked as a brand
consultant in London before joining Club Med.
Christian Charre
CBRE Hotels
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 $2 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 South
Florida, Latin America and Caribbean office and built relationships with investors and lenders throughout
the Americas and the Caribbean.
Prior to joining Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels, Mr. Charre was Vice President of Investment Sales at Hotel
Source, Inc. in Chicago. Before returning to the United States to join Hotel Source, Inc. he spent two years
in Moscow, Russia, as Chief Financial Officer for AeroIMP, a Canadian joint venture between IMP and
Aeroflot. Mr. Charre also held various positions as CFO and Director of Finance with Hilton and Club Med.
With Hilton Hotels Corporation and Club Med he held positions in various countries including France,
Spain, Japan, Switzerland, Indonesia, Mexico, Dominican Republic and the United States.
Page 5 of 27 SPEAKERS
as of April 14, 2015
Annie Chen
The Leading Hotels of the World
Annie Chen was appointed director, membership development for The Leading Hotels of the World,
Ltd. (LHW) in 2011. In her position, Ms. Chen oversees and directs all aspects of new hotel acquisition for
LHW. The company represents over 400 predominantly independent hotels and provides global sales,
marketing and distribution services through an expansive network of worldwide sales and reservations
offices. Based in London, Ms. Chen is also responsible for the overall quality of LHW’s new hotels. To
date, Ms. Chen has acquired over 80 new hotels for The Leading Hotels of the World, Ltd.
Ms. Chen joined LHW in 2007 as business development manager for The Private Label Company, LLC.
In 2010, she became director, business development and was responsible for client acquisition and
account management. During her tenure, Ms. Chen managed over 20 independent hotel management
companies and collaborated with over 45 regional sales staff in 10 global sales offices to achieve revenue
targets for each client.
Born in Taipei, Taiwan and grew up in New Jersey, Ms. Chen is bi-lingual in English and Mandarin
Chinese. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration.
Frank J. Comito
Frank has over 30 years of experience in economic development, organization management,
government affairs, project management, workforce development, research, and in providing business and
investor support in The Bahamas, the United States, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Caribbean.
He presently holds the position of CEO and Director General for the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism
Association (CHTA).
Previously, Frank served as Executive Vice President for the Bahamas Hotel and Tourism Association,
a position he held for more than 10 years.
He has held executive positions with the Nassau Tourism & Development Board, the National Alliance
of Business in Washington DC. And earlier with the St. Croix and St. Thomas-St. John Chambers of
Regionally, he was President of the Caribbean Society of Hotel Association Executives a long-serving
member of the Board of Directors for CHTA.
Frank was Deputy Chairman of the Nassau Airport Development Company where he helped to guide a
$410 million investment in upgrading the airport. He served on the Board for the International Downtown
Association and is a Lifetime Director for the Downtown Nassau Partnership.
He has two children, is married to a Bahamian, Donna. Frank is an island collector with an avid love
for the Caribbean, its beauty, people, diversity, history and culture. He has travelled to 21 Caribbean
islands, most on multiple occasions, plus 15 islands in The Bahamas.
Page 6 of 27 SPEAKERS
as of April 14, 2015
Rich Cortese
Aimbridge Hospitality
Senior Vice President Caribbean Operations & Development Rich Cortese joined Aimbridge in 2009
and has 32 years of hospitality experience. Cortese is responsible for identifying prime resort and luxury
investment opportunities and oversight of resort hotel operations. Most of his more than 30 years of
experience in the hotel industry has been centered on the Caribbean Region.
Prior to Aimbridge he was most recently Executive Vice President of Caribbean Property Group (CPG),
where he had both management and asset management responsibilities of their 750 million dollar hotel
portfolio. This portfolio included the Ritz Carlton San Juan, Marriott Aruba, Radisson San Juan, a Marriott
Courtyard portfolio, and an independent Hotel in San Juan, The Normandie. Before his tenure with CPG,
Cortese was responsible for overseeing the El San Juan, El Conquistador and Conrad Plaza, the most
successful resorts in Puerto Rico as well as a number of other Wyndham properties throughout the
Caribbean. Prior to Wyndham Resorts, Cortese was Senior Vice President - Operations of Atlantis
Paradise Island and Corporate Food and Beverage Director of Hyatt Hotel Corporation.
Mr. Cortese holds a BBA from St. John’s University. In 2004, as Regional Vice President of Wyndham,
Cortese was chosen as Hotelier of the Year by the Puerto Rico Hotel Association where he serves as a
board member and Chairman of its Gaming Committee. Cortese was also appointed by the Governor of
Puerto Rico to serve as a board member of the Puerto Rico Convention and Business Bureau.
Richard F. Davis
Greenberg Traurig LLP
Richard F. Davis has more than 30 years of experience in the global recreational and resort real estate
industry and is Co-Chair of the Hospitality Group of international law firm Greenberg Traurig. Rick has
counseled owners, developers, investors, operators, lenders, and advisors in connection with major global
hospitality industry projects. He is a Trustee of the American Resort Development Association, a member
of the Urban Land Institute and its Recreational Product Council, the U.S.-Mexico Chamber of Commerce,
the Association of Mexican Tourism Developers, and the Caribbean Hotel Association. He has been a
member of industry task forces in Florida, California and other U.S. jurisdictions as well as with respect to
Mexico, the Caribbean and other foreign locations. Rick holds political science and law degrees from the
University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) and is admitted to practice law in California, Washington
D.C. and before all U.S. district federal courts, the U.S. Tax Court and the U.S. Supreme Court.
Liam J. Day
BCQS International
Liam is the Managing Director of BCQS International (www.bcqs.com), based in the Grand Cayman
office. BCQS International is the largest property and development consultancy in the Caribbean and Latin
America with thirteen offices across the region and over eighty staff.
Liam has thirty years of experience providing quantity surveying, project management, project
monitoring and appraisal services to both public and private sector clients. He has lived and worked in the
Caribbean since 1990 and has personally worked on projects in Anguilla, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados,
Belize, Bermuda, Bonaire, Cayman Islands, Cuba, Curacao, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Puerto Rico,
Providenciales, St. Lucia, St. Maarten, St. Thomas, Tobago and Tortola.
Liam has a BSc in quantity surveying from Leeds Metropolitan University and is a Fellow of the Royal
Institution of Chartered Surveyors. Additionally, Liam is a RICS Registered Valuer, a RICS APC Assessor
and sits on the RICS Americas Eminent Panel and Education and Standards Board.
Page 7 of 27 SPEAKERS
as of April 14, 2015
Isabel de Caires
CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank
Isabel is an Associate Director in Investment Banking at CIBC FirstCaribbean. Isabel joined the Bank 5
years ago and is responsible for leading both corporate finance and capital market transactions, with a
focus on debt origination for major corporate clients throughout the Caribbean region. Isabel is currently
the Bank’s Hospitality Industry expert, however her experience has been across several sectors, including
energy & utilities, sovereigns and real estate. These transactions have included acquisition financing, debt
refinancing, bond financing and large scale working capital lines; funded through direct bank lending or
syndicated facilities.
Isabel has had a diversified financial services career spanning 10 years. Prior to joining CIBC
FirstCaribbean Isabel worked for both PriceWaterhouseCoopers and Ernst & Young. Isabel holds a BBA
in Finance from the University of Miami and is a qualified chartered accountant.
Jorge Duany
Cuban Research Institute, FIU
Dr. Jorge Duany is the Director of the Cuban Research Institute and Professor of Anthropology at
Florida International University. Born in Cuba and raised in Panama and Puerto Rico, Dr. Duany previously
served as Acting Dean of the College of Social Sciences, Professor of Anthropology, Chair of the
Department of Sociology and Anthropology, and Director of the journal Revista de Ciencias Sociales at the
University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras. He has held visiting teaching and research appointments at several
U.S. universities, including Harvard, Connecticut, Wisconsin, Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and the City
University of New York. He earned his Ph.D. in Latin American Studies, specializing in anthropology, at
the University of California, Berkeley. He also holds an M.A. in Social Sciences from the University of
Chicago and a B.A. in Psychology from Columbia University. He has published extensively on migration,
ethnicity, race, nationalism, and transnationalism in Cuba, the Caribbean, and the United States. He is the
author, coauthor, or editor of 18 books, including Un pueblo disperso: Dimensiones sociales y culturales
de la diáspora cubana (2014); Blurred Borders: Transnational Migration between the Hispanic Caribbean
and the United States (2011); and Cubans in Puerto Rico: Ethnic Economy and Cultural Identity (1997).
John Fareed
John Fareed, Principal of John Fareed Hospitality Consulting LLC is an internationally recognized
authority in the field of hospitality marketing, and has spoken on the topic at industry events in Brazil,
Croatia, Egypt, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, United Kingdom, and across the US, Canada and
Caribbean. Fareed has appeared as an expert on national television programs including ABC News, CNN
and Fox News Network, in publications such as the New York Times, USA Today, and the Wall Street
Journal, and has had articles published in numerous trade journals. Fareed holds two postgraduates
including a Master of Science degree in Hospitality Management from the Dublin Institute of Technology's
School of Hospitality Management and Tourism in Dublin, Ireland, as well as professional designations
from the prestigious International Society of Hospitality Consultants [ISHC] and the Hospitality Sales and
Marketing Association International [HSMAI]. HSMAI recognized Fareed as one of the “Top 25
Extraordinary Minds in Sales and Marketing”, and he currently serves on the Board of Directors for ISHC
and as Chairman of the Board of Trustees for HSMAI’s International Foundation. For additional information,
please visit www.johnfareed.com.
Page 8 of 27 SPEAKERS
as of April 14, 2015
Michelle M. Finn
ST Media Group
Michelle Finn is senior vice president, Hospitality Division, ST Media Group International, and president
and co-founder of the Hospitality Media Group LLC formed for purposes of developing and managing trade
fairs and events primarily focused on the hospitality industry, worldwide. In these roles, she oversees the
management and development of its hospitality and related brands, which encompasses Boutique Design,
Boutique Design Trade Fairs: BD|NY and BD| west held on an annual in New York City and San Diego
respectively, Boutique Design forum series, Hospitality Match, International Design & Development
Conference held in Korea and the management of the International Hotel Motel and Restaurant Show
(IHMR), held on an annual basis in New York City.
Finn has received numerous awards for innovation in trade fair development, publishing, leadership
and service. She is a member of the Hospitality Industry Network (NEWH), American Hotel Lodging
Association (AHLA), Cornell University Innovation Network, Boutique Lifestyle and Lodging Association
(BLLA), Urban Land Institute (ULI) and the International Society of Hospitality Purchasers (ISHP).
Neil Freeman
Aries Capital, LLC
Neil Freeman is Chairman and CEO of Aries Capital, LLC, a full-service real estate lender and mortgage
banking firm offering long-term, interim and mezzanine loans, equity arrangement, and government tax
credit advisory and placement. Throughout his over 30-year career, he has funded more than $5 billion for
all commercial property types, with a strong focus in hospitality assets. Financed hotels include the newly
refurbished Malliouhana on Anguilla in the British West Indies (an Auberge Resort), The Roosevelt New
Orleans (Waldorf Astoria), The Whitehall Hotel Chicago, the Embassy Suites Riverwalk San Antonio and
Hotel 21 C in Louisville. Freeman’s entities have held equity interests in real estate worth more than $250
million, including flagged and boutique hotels, as well as luxury vacation rental developments in the
Freeman is also President of Urban Development Fund, LLC (UDF) a New Markets Tax Credits CDE.
UDF has received approximately $500 million in federal and state New Markets Tax Credits allocations,
translating to $1 billion in transactions. UDF focuses on the rehabilitation of hotels, mixed-use properties,
retail developments, theaters, hospitals and medical facilities in highly distressed census tracts nationwide.
Formerly a licensed CPA, Freeman received his BSBA degree in Accounting from the University of
Florida, and his MBA degree from Stanford University. He is an adjunct Real Estate professor at DePaul
University in Chicago and serves on The Executive Board of DePaul’s Real Estate Center.
Patrick Freeman
Cisneros Real Estate
Patrick Freeman is the President of Cisneros Real Estate and oversees the development and strategic
positioning of the company’s real estate portfolio, which includes commercial, industrial and residential
properties across the Western Hemisphere. The real estate division’s crown jewel is Tropicalia, a
sustainable luxury development that will encompass thousands of acres and miles of coastline on the Bay
of Samaná in the Dominican Republic.
Previously, as Vice President of Sustainable Development for Auberge Resorts, he directed the design,
development, and construction of luxury resort projects throughout the Caribbean. Prior to his transition
into the international luxury resort sector, Mr. Freeman spent a decade working as an engineer and natural
resources expert on large-scale civil infrastructure projects throughout the western Unites States. In 2005,
Mr. Freeman joined Sherwood Design Engineers in San Francisco where he helped position the firm as a
leader in sustainable and environmentally sensitive resort design in conjunction with Hart Howerton and
other forward-thinking design firms.
He graduated from New Mexico State University in 1995 with a Bachelor of Science in Geological
Engineering and is a registered Professional Engineer in the states of Oregon and California.
Page 9 of 27 SPEAKERS
as of April 14, 2015
Jan Freitag
Mr. Jan Freitag is a Senior Vice President at STR, the recognized leader in lodging industry
benchmarking services. During his 10+ year tenure at STR he has overseen a variety of projects, all
charged with the accumulation and interpretation of global lodging data.
Mr. Freitag is a frequent public speaker and in 2014 delivered 39 presentations at, among others, ALIS,
NYU, and numerous brand, owner, and investor meetings.
In addition, he is a trusted source for industry insights, quoted in trade publications and the general
news media such as The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, etc. He frequently shares his thoughts in
a blog on HotelNewsNow.
Prior to joining STR, Mr. Freitag was the Director of Content Integrity at hotelreports.com in upstate
New York and a hospitality consultant with Ernst & Young in Phoenix.
Mr. Freitag holds a Bachelor Degree, with distinction, from the School of Hotel Administration, Cornell
University, where he lectures frequently, and received his Executive MBA, with honors, from Vanderbilt
He is a member of the advisory board for STASH Rewards, the independent hotel loyalty program.
Mr. Freitag resides in Nashville, TN, and plays basketball every Saturday (when he is not on the road).
Pedro A. Freyre
Akerman LLP
As chair of Akerman's International Practice, Pedro Freyre focuses extensively on inbound foreign
investment in the U.S. and outbound U.S. investment in Latin America. His work includes project
construction and financing involving governmental and private entities in Latin America, Europe, and Africa,
acquisitions and dispositions, environmental regulation, international transactions, cross-border due
diligence, insurance regulation, and corporate representation. He regularly provides compliance
counseling and training in connection with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).
Additionally, Pedro is a nationally recognized authority on the U.S. Embargo on Cuba and has been
extensively quoted in the national media regarding the evolving U.S. policies toward Cuba. He advises
U.S.-based companies on the types of business transactions that are legal in Cuba under the U.S.
embargo, helps U.S. entities that are engaged in authorized activities in connection with entering the Cuban
market, and advises foreign entities that are involved in Cuba business on implications with U.S. law. Pedro
is a Lecturer at Law at Columbia University School of Law, where he teaches a seminar on Cuba.
Fernando Garcia-Chacon
JLL’s Hotel & Hospitality Group
Mr. Garcia-Chacon leads JLL’s Hotel & Hospitality Consulting practice for the Caribbean, Mexico &
Central America. Based in Miami, he brings more than 20 years of real estate and hospitality experience
in addition to a strategic perspective to consulting and transactional analysis engagements. He has worked
in various roles including direct investment and consulting. His areas of expertise are in real
estate/financial analysis and valuations, franchising, strategic planning and economic/operational analysis.
Prior to JLL, Mr. Garcia-Chacon was most recently Development Director for YRI, (KFC, Pizza Hut and
Taco Bell) for the Latin America region. Mr. Garcia-Chacon also worked for CitiGroup in their in-house
real estate group as well as with KPMG’s Real Estate & Hospitality Practice. He graduated from Boston
College with a BA in Economics and obtained an MBA from New York University.
Page 10 of 27 SPEAKERS
as of April 14, 2015
Erin R. Green
Rosewood Hotels & Resorts
Erin Green is Vice President Development – Americas for Rosewood Hotels & Resorts, having joined
the company in August 2012, leading Rosewood’s development efforts as the company embarks upon an
ambitious global expansion with the aim of doubling its portfolio within five years. He brings a wealth of
experience in both finance and development to this position. Erin previously held development roles with
Hilton Worldwide, overseeing the growth of the Waldorf Astoria and Conrad brands across Europe and
Africa, and Starwood Hotels & Resorts, with specific responsibility for W Hotels in North America, Europe,
Africa and the Middle East. Prior to entering the hospitality industry he held several financial and strategic
planning positions with American Express, The Walt Disney Co. and Bain & Company. Cherie Jeffries
Cherie Jeffries is the Caribbean Account Executive with RCI and has more than 24 years vacation
hospitality experience ownership experience. She began her career with RCI in Indianapolis, IN in
customer service and later moved into Business Development. She was instrumental in launching
Abercrombie and Kent Registry Collection, now known as The Registry Collection the largest collection of
luxury properties in the world. After moving to Orlando, FL., she took a job with Wyndham Vacation
Ownership where she worked in conjunction with the nationwide sales division as a project manager. Since
2008 she has been back at RCI servicing a large clientele base and engaging hotels/whole ownership and
the benefits of adding shared ownership or vacation club to their portfolio. Cherie is a master networker
who builds strong relationships that will foster the growth and development of vacation ownership in
addition to providing rental channels Caribbean resorts.
She earned a B.A. in Communication from Purdue University.
Warren Jestin
Warren Jestin is Scotiabank’s Chief Economist and has been with the Bank since 1979. He manages
a team of Economists providing research and support to Scotiabank’s domestic and international business
lines and clients from retail to capital markets. Warren travels extensively meeting with clients and external
organizations to discuss the latest economic and financial market developments.
Reflecting his strong interest in policy and education, Warren is currently Chair of Ontario’s Central
Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) and serves on the boards of the Vineland Research and
Innovation Centre, Seneca College and the Sobey School of Business.
Warren is the Economist in Residence at the University of Guelph’s College of Management &
Warren has been a member of the C.D. Howe Institute’s Monetary Policy Council, the Canadian
Foundation for Economic Education, the Learning Partnership, and the Markham Stouffville Hospital Board
of Directors, where he is past Chair. He has also been involved with policy committees of the Canadian
and Ontario Chambers of Commerce and the Toronto Board of Trade.
Before joining Scotiabank, Warren earned a Ph.D. from the University of Toronto, worked at the Bank
of Canada and taught at several universities.
Page 11 of 27 SPEAKERS
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Robbie Karver
Ernst & Young
Mr. Karver is a Senior Manager within the Hospitality and Real Estate group of EY, bringing over eight
years of experience in the hospitality and real estate industries in advisory areas such as lodging
development and acquisitions, resort residential master-planned mixed-use development, timeshare and
vacation ownership acquisitions and development, and master-planned amenity development (e.g. golf,
As the lead Senior Manager covering the Latin American region, Mr. Karver is a fluent (native) Spanish
speaker, and has participated in over $1 billion worth of transactions, feasibility assignments, and
valuations for US and foreign institutions throughout the Northern, Central, and Southern America.
Additionally, Mr. Karver has participated in multiple country and tourism overview engagements for both
private and governmental clients, including strategic tourism assignments in Mexico, Costa Rica,
Colombia, and Brazil.
Mark Keiser
Baccarat Hotels/1 Hotels
Mark Keiser is Senior Vice President & Chief Development Officer for SH Group. In his position, he is
primarily responsible for the growth of the Baccarat Hotels & Resorts and 1 Hotels brands.
Mr. Keiser most recently was a leader on Starwood Hotel’s development team for ten years and was
responsible for its managed and franchised development efforts for the nine brands in the western half of
the US. Prior to that role, Mark held varying leadership roles including Starwood’s luxury development
activities across the US, Canada and Caribbean, and Starwood’s real estate investment activities on the
East Coast and in the Caribbean. Before joining Starwood’s development team, Mr. Keiser gained a
diverse range of experiences in the hotel industry working for the financial services firm, Bear, Stearns &
Co. Inc. as well as at the hotel companies Wyndham International and Prime Hospitality.
Mark Keiser holds a BS in Hotel Administration from Cornell University and is an active member of its
Young Alumni Dean’s Advisory Board and of the Recreational Development Council of the Urban Land
Moses Kirkconnell
Government of the Cayman Islands
Moses Kirkconnell Deputy Premier of the Cayman Islands is a respected civic leader and businessman.
First elected to the Legislative Assembly in 2005, Mr. Kirkconnell has served the Cayman Islands on both
the Government and Opposition benches, and in May 2013, he was appointed by H.E the Governor as
Minister with responsibility for District Administration, Tourism and Transport.
A businessman involved in retail, tourism, and the construction industry, Mr. Kirkconnell was named
Ambassador of Economic Development for the Sister Islands during the Cayman Islands 2005
Quincentennial celebrations. With a passion for tourism, he and has served three times as President of
the Sister Islands Tourism Association (SITA).
Highlights of his public service record include his appointment in 2011 to chair the Public Accounts
Committee of the Legislative Assembly. In 2012 he was named Deputy Leader of the Opposition (PPM)
by the Governor.
Mr. Kirkconnell is a founding member of the National Trust, a Paul Harris Fellow of Rotary Foundation
of Rotary International, and a proud member of the Veteran’s and Seaman’s Society of Cayman Brac and
Little Cayman. He is also a devoted supporter of youth-related sports and activities.
He and his wife, Kathy, enjoy fishing, walking and reading.
Page 12 of 27 SPEAKERS
as of April 14, 2015
David Larone
PKF Consulting Inc.
David Larone is a National Managing Director with PKF Consulting in Canada. With offices in Toronto
and Vancouver, PKF Consulting is one of Canada’s leading professional service firms specializing in the
hospitality and tourism industries. In association with global affiliates, PKF International has for over 90
years provided advisory services to the hospitality and tourism industry internationally.
A graduate of the University of Guelph, David joined PKF in 1975. He has been instrumental in the
development of the Canadian practice. Actively involved in all aspects of consulting to the hospitality and
tourism industry, David concentrates his activities in the areas of asset evaluation and asset strategy; hotel
valuations and acquisition due diligence/underwriting; management contract and franchise negotiation.
However, David’s knowledge and experience is also more broadly based touching on a diverse range of
topics including resort development and operations, tourism marketing and promotion.
David has considerable experience with resort development and hotel valuations in the Caribbean and
Latin America with recent experience in Belize, Panama, Dominican Republic, Antigua, Trinidad and
Tobago, Bahamas, Anguilla, Barbados and Bermuda.
Professional Associations, Hotel Association of Canada, Policy Advisory Board, School of Hotel and
Tourism Management, University of Guelph.
Recognition, PKF Consulting Inc. named Hotelier Magazine’s 2011 “Supplier of the Year” Pinnacle
Award Winner.
Robert J. Lowe, Jr.
Lowe Enterprises, Inc.
In addition to his expanding duties as Co-President of Lowe Enterprises, and a member of the firm’s
Executive Committee, Mr. Lowe oversees operations of Destination Hotels, Lowe’s hospitality operations
company. With more than 40 independent luxury and upscale hotels and resorts and over 10,000 rooms
under management, Destination is one of the largest independent hospitality management companies in
the country. He also oversees Lowe Destination Development, responsible for hospitality development,
with well over $3 billion in projects over the last decade. Previously, Mr. Lowe was with Copley Real Estate
Advisors where he was involved in acquisition, asset management and portfolio management.
Education: Stanford University, AB and University of California, Los Angeles, MBA
Mark Lunt
Ernst & Young
With over 20 years of experience, Mark Lunt leads E&Y’s efforts in providing hospitality and real estate
advisory services for the U.S. Southeast Area, Caribbean and Latin American region. Major recent
engagements included a detailed restructure analysis of regional demand characteristics to advise the
lender on go-forward alternatives on major components of a large mixed-use resort, acquisition due
diligence for the purchase of multiple luxury & all inclusive hotels in the US and Latin America, analyses of
supply and demand characteristics for lodging, vacation ownership, golf and residential components as
well as strategic guidance on development & exit strategy, phasing, and critical success factors related to
mixed-use resort development in Mexico, Costa Rica, Colombia, Brazil, South Florida, the Bahamas,
Caribbean and throughout the United States.
Mark has led advisory projects involving all types of hospitality assets, including hotels, vacation
ownership, mixed-use resorts, condominium-hotels, golf courses, marinas, convention facilities and tourist
attractions. He has focused his activities on transaction due diligence and strategic development
consulting. Mr. Lunt is a graduate of Cornell University and serves as Chair of ULI’s Recreational
Development Council. He is the author of many articles, is often quoted in industry and trade publications,
and is an experienced speaker and lecturer on real estate and hospitality issues.
Page 13 of 27 SPEAKERS
as of April 14, 2015
Robert MacLellan
MacLellan & Associates
Robert MacLellan is Principal of MacLellan & Associates, the Caribbean’s leading hospitality
consultancy. Established 1997, the company has conducted assignments in 23 Caribbean islands with
consultants based in St Lucia, Antigua, St Maarten, Trinidad, USA and UK. Development related services
range from conceptual and feasibility studies, through design input and hotel operator evaluation /
selection, to finance sourcing. The consultancy also undertakes valuations / appraisals and expert witness
In a diverse 35 year career in the hospitality and property sectors, Robert gained early operations
experience with P&O / Princess Cruises, Forte Hotels, Holiday Inns International and Loews Hotels. He
has managed resorts in Bermuda, St Thomas, Jamaica, England and Spain. Prior to founding the
consultancy, his last three corporate positions in UK were as vice president of a luxury explorer cruise line,
managing director of a major London property management company and managing director of a national
chain of budget hotels and restaurants. Robert is a Fellow of the Institute of Hospitality and a member of
the International Society of Hospitality Consultants – an elite invitation-only group of specialists world-wide.
He has a Masters Degree in International Hotel Management from University of Surrey in England,
majoring in design and development.
Eugenio Macouzet
Eugenio Macouzet has 25 years of experience in the hospitality industry, with specific involvement in
the vacation ownership business where he began working at RCI in the late 1980’s.
He has held a variety of leadership positions in the company in the areas of strategic planning, business
development, marketing, operations and information technology. He was senior vice president in charge
of strategy for RCI’s global contact center group, and responsible for the coordination of core e-commerce
businesses and marketing initiatives for the company, based at RCI’s global headquarters in New Jersey.
He was also RCI’s Chief Operating Officer for Latin America and the Caribbean; and is now based in
Florida with the position of Sr Vice President and Managing Director, HOA’s & Caribbean, for RCI.
Mr. Macouzet has made significant contributions to the growth of RCI and the industry especially in the
Latin American and Caribbean markets. He has worked in different capacities with many of the industry
leading global brands, participating in different development initiatives for their vacation ownership groups
around the world.
Ilan E. Marcoschamer
Alvarez & Marsal
Ilan Marcoschamer’s career accomplishments are the result of a masterful union of artful sensibility and
business acumen. With a career span of over 20 years and experience in a multitude of facets, ranging
from operations to financial advisory, to investment management, Ilan possesses expertise in hospitality
consumer trends, market fundamentals, industry best practices, and development and financial
management. Additionally, Ilan is an avid art and music lover; an advocate of social and environmental
responsibility, has travelled extensively around the world; and is fluent in English, Spanish, and Hebrew.
Ilan grew up in a hotelier family. Born in Mexico, raised in Israel, and schooled in the US, Ilan’s multicultural background and on-the-job training in hotel operations from a young age propelled him to early
career successes in the hospitality business. Ilan holds a Master of Management degree from the School
of Hotel Administration at Cornell University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from
Brandeis University.
As a Senior Director in the Hospitality & Leisure Group at Alvarez & Marsal, Ilan is leading the charge
of growing the group’s international footprint, particularly in the Latin America and Caribbean region,
leveraging the firm’s globally renowned interventive management competency and its proven track record
at driving value at transformative points in the lifecycle of a businesses.
Page 14 of 27 SPEAKERS
as of April 14, 2015
Hector A. Medina
Alvarez & Marsal
Hector A. Medina is a Manager with A&M’s Hospitality & Leisure Group. He has more than eight
years of combined hospitality and real estate advisory experience with hotel market and feasibility studies,
hotel operation diagnostics, market and operations due diligence, asset management, and interim
management. He has served numerous clients including US government entities, multinational financial
institutions, law firms, developers and construction companies, lodging operators, and private investors.
Mr. Medina has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance from
Louisiana State University, EJ Ourso College of Business; Culinary Arts Diploma from the Art Institute of
Houston; and a Master of Science in Hospitality Management from the Conrad N. Hilton College at
University of Houston (“UH”).
Mr. Medina is fluent in Spanish and in 2013 authored an article on the all-inclusive segment and the
likelihood of major US brands entering the sector. He has also served as moderator at the Hospitality Law
Conference, panel participant at HOLA Conference in Miami, and as a guest lecturer for undergraduate
and graduate classes at the Conrad N. Hilton College.
Helped spearhead the UH alumni Dallas chapter and is currently assisting fellow alums to revive the
UH Miami chapter.
Marta Molina Seal
CPG Real Estate
Mrs. Molina runs CPG’s asset management organization and in that capacity oversees the performance
of CPG’s 2,000+ hotel rooms and hospitality related assets. In her capacity she also gets actively involved
in prospective prospective hotel acquisitions, driving development, repositioning and disposition strategies,
aiding in transaction structuring, contract negotiation and due diligence.
In her previous role at Marriott International, Mrs. Molina managed all project processes for select
hospitality transactions as part of the Mixed Use Development Group and evaluated the market potential
and financial returns for all proposed Marriott and Ritz-Carlton lodging products throughout Latin America
and the Caribbean.
A native of Panama, Mrs. Molina served as Policy Advisor to the Presidential Committee on Sustainable
Development led by Vice President Kaiser Bazan. She also served as Director of Marketing and Analysis
for the Panama Tourism Board. She has consulted for the Inter American Development Bank and the
Mission of Panama to the United Nations, among others.
Mrs. Molina holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Cornell University's School of Hotel Administration
and a Master of Science in Foreign Service from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. She
resides in New York City with her husband David and her sons Luis Aristides, Alejandro and Andres
Page 15 of 27 SPEAKERS
as of April 14, 2015
Roland Mouly
Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group
Mr. Mouly is overseeing all development activities for the Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group in the Caribbean,
Mexico and Latin America. His duties include guiding the deployment of additional resources in the region
and leading an aggressive development staff focused on negotiating and structuring management and
franchise agreements to expend Carlson’s presence (today over 50 hotels). Roland’s role also encompass
leveraging his contacts with owners/developers and institutional investors (equity funds/REIT) to structure
multi units agreements as well as directing Carlson’s investment initiatives to secure brand enhancing
acquisition, management and franchise opportunities. He is currently directing the company strategy to
selectively expand in the upper upscale segment in major gateways with Radisson Blu, establish a network
of Radisson Red, Carlson’s new upscale lifestyle offering, an alternative for owner developer seeking a
contemporary and efficient hotel concept, whilst still focusing on on-going initiative to expand the midmarket Park Inn by Radisson brand, all three segments selectively complementing the already extensive
regional Radisson portfolio.
Over the last 25 years, Roland has successfully acquired, built and negotiated an extensive number of
first class hotel assets, positioning several prominent international hotel companies as leading operator
and franchisor in various segments (Regent, Radisson, Renaissance, Park, and Ramada).
Mr. Mouly is a graduate of Arizona State University, USA and Universite des Sciences Sociales
Toulouse, France, where he respectively obtained an MBA in finance and a Master of Economics. He is
fluent in Spanish, French and proficient in Portuguese.
Xavier Mufraggi
Club Med
Xavier Mufraggi is a young, dynamic professional with a strong strategic marketing background in the
food, consumer and hospitality sectors. Graduated of EDHEC, one of the top 5 business schools in France,
Xavier holds a Master’s Degree in Business Management. He began his career with Kraft Foods in Europe
in marketing, commercial and product development. After 7 years with Kraft Foods, he accepted a position
with Club Med as Marketing Group Manager in Paris. Only 3 ½ years thereafter, he was promoted in 2008
to CEO of Club Med North America at age 31. Xavier oversees a 250 million dollar operation consisting of
2,200 employees and is part of the Club Med worldwide board.
Xavier has succeeded in positioning Club Med into an innovative new family upscale vacation niche
and turnaround the region, which was unprofitable since 2001. 2012-2013 marks the beginning of a more
aggressive strategy for Club Med North America starting by the search for new sites in the area to develop
all-inclusive resorts in both ski resorts and Caribbean Islands. He also started bold initiatives to get his
offices and resorts embracing the concepts of Change, Dare, Agility, and Active lifestyle.
Mike Muir
Best Western International
Mike Muir is Vice President, North American Development for Best Western International. An industry
veteran with more than 25 years of hotel development and franchising experience, Muir brings his expertise
in strategic growth, new construction, and rapid development to the Best Western brand.
As one of the founders of U.S. Franchise Systems, Muir helped launch and develop two outstanding
hotel and franchise brands; Microtel Inn and Suites and Hawthorn Suites. Muir has also worked with
Holiday Inn Worldwide and most recently the Wyndham Hotel Group, and has a proven track record of
growing new and established brands in the midscale market, including extended stay products.
Muir is also a board member of the Extended Stay Council for the American Hotel and Lodging
Page 16 of 27 SPEAKERS
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Fernando Mulet
Playa Hotels & Resorts
Mr. Mulet heads the Acquisitions Group for Playa Hotels & Resorts. Prior to joining Playa Hotels &
Resorts, he was the Director of International Investments & Asset Management with Highland Hospitality
(NYSE: HIH). He brings more than 10 years of International hotel experience in both hotel operations and
corporate positions. A native of Spain, Mr. Mulet began his career within the hospitality industry at Barceló
Hotels & Resorts in Mexico, Spain and Orlando, Florida. He earned his degrees at the Universidad
Pontificia de Comillas (ICADE) and Universidad Complutense de Madrid. He continued his education in
the US at Cornell University where he earned a certification in Real Estate, Development and Hotel
Greg O’Stean
Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group
Greg O’Stean serves as the chief development officer for Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, one of the
world’s largest and most dynamic hotel companies. Mr. O’Stean reports to Javier Rosenberg, chief
operating officer of the Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group. Mr. O’Stean is a veteran hospitality professional with
more than 25 years of hotel development and finance experience.
Mr. O’Stean is in charge of leading the aggressive growth strategy in the Americas for Carlson Rezidor
and its brands including Quorvus Collection, Radisson Blu®, Radisson®, Radisson Red, Park Plaza®, Park
Inn® by Radisson and Country Inns & Suites By CarlsonSM.
Mr. O’Stean joined Carlson Rezidor from Piper Jaffray & Company in Atlanta, where he served as
managing director and led a division of the hospitality investment banking team that focused on the
development of upscale hotels. His prior experience includes finance, acquisitions and development
positions with Access Point Financial, Inc.; GE Capital; Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide;
InterContinental Hotels Group; and Ernst & Young.
Mr. O’Stean holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Management and a Master’s degree in
Management from Georgia Tech.
Paulo Pena
Wyndham Hotel Group
Paulo Pena is president and managing director, Latin America and Caribbean for Wyndham Hotel
Group. In this role, he is responsible for leading the company’s development efforts in Latin America, an
integral region in Wyndham Hotel Group’s international plans, as well as providing operational, marketing,
revenue management and sales services to the company’s franchisees and robust network of multi-unit
development partners.
Pena joins Wyndham Hotel Group from Starwood Hotels & Resorts where he held various roles in
operations, strategy, marketing and global partnerships throughout his ten year tenure. Most recently, he
served as vice president, global partnerships, responsible for developing, negotiating and executing crossfunctional strategic alliances and partnerships.
Pena previously held several international finance positions for The Coca-Cola Company across Asia
Pacific, Europe and the United States. He began his career in the audit division of Ernst & Young.
Pena is fluent in Spanish and holds a bachelor’s degree in business from the University of Technology
in Sydney, Australia and a master’s of business administration from Harvard Business School in
Cambridge, Massachusetts. He is also a member of the Australian Institute of Chartered Accountants.
He is based in Wyndham Hotel Group’s Parsippany, N.J. offices.
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as of April 14, 2015
John Perrottet
World Bank Group
John Perrottet has worked in tourism for 30 years, mostly in emerging markets where he specializes in
tourism investment generation. His experience extends across the developing world – in Africa, Asia and the
Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean, South Eastern Europe and the Middle East. He has advised
governments and private clients and led more than 50 successful project financing assignments for hotels and
tourism related businesses.
He is currently the Global Lead for Tourism in the Trade & Competitiveness Global Practice at the World
Bank. This work involves helping governments and industry work together to build a competitive and attractive
investment environment and then mobilizing the right type of investment which builds destinations, creates
sustainable jobs and improves peoples’ lives.
Ron Pohl
Best Western International
Ron Pohl is senior vice president, Brand Management & Member Services for Best Western
International. He serves on the company’s executive committee and leads its Brand Management Team.
Pohl oversees Operations which includes key departments within the hotel chain including customer care,
member services, revenue management, education and training, design, and supply, development in North
America and Asia, and international quality assurance.
Pohl joined Best Western in 2007 as vice president of operations. In that role, the 30-year hospitality
industry veteran significantly improved the customer care department by implementing new education and
training resources, the Best Western I Care® program and a consistent survey system for Best Western
properties, resulting in increased customer satisfaction scores and enhanced brand performance. Prior to
joining Best Western, Pohl spent more than 20 years with Boykin Management Company, a respected
hotel management firm based in Cleveland. With Boykin, Pohl also spent 10 years as a full-service hotel
general manager and earned awards for sales leadership, website development and outstanding customer
service. He served in a number of senior-level positions in the areas of marketing, sales and revenue
management, working his way up to regional vice president, and ultimately senior vice president of
Pohl's diverse hotel background comes from working with an array of hotel brands, including Choice,
Hilton, Marriott and Radisson, and independent resorts and condo hotels. He served on the board of
directors for the Convention & Visitors Bureau of Greater Cleveland, as well as advisory committees for
Marriott and Doubletree hotels.
Santiago L. Porta
IFC - World Bank Group
Santiago Porta works at the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector arm of the World
Bank Group, where he is a Principal Investment Officer at the Manufacturing, Agribusiness and Services
group. He is responsible for the origination and execution of transactions in the Tourism, Retail and
Property sectors including Latin America. He has worked at the IFC for ten years across all regions
including the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe. Prior to IFC, he worked in the corporate
finance and structured finance groups of Price Waterhouse Coopers and Enron respectively, mainly in
South America. He lives in Washington DC, US.
Santiago obtained an Engineering Degree at the Instituto Tecnológico de Buenos Aires (Argentina),
followed by an MBA at the IESE Business School (Barcelona, Spain).
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Mark Purcell
Starwood Hotels & Resorts
Mark and his team are responsible for expanding Starwood’s portfolio of managed hotels throughout
the eastern United States and the Caribbean with a primary focus on Starwood’s luxury brands – St. Regis,
Luxury Collection and W Hotels – and upper upscale brands – Le Meridien, Westin and Sheraton. This
role includes sourcing opportunities for both new build and conversion projects and sharing the strengths
and benefits of the brands and Starwood operations with developers and owners. In addition, Mark is
responsible for underwriting transactions, negotiating management agreements and utilizing the Starwood
balance sheet when appropriate.
Mark has more than 25 years of experience in the hotel industry in the areas of hotel operations and
finance, corporate finance, feasibility and development. Prior to joining Starwood, he was with Interstate
Hotels & Resorts for 17 years holding a variety of property level management and corporate finance and
development positions.
Michael Register
Trust Hospitality
Michael Register is a partner at Trust Hospitality, a hotel management company with over 35
independent boutique and branded hotels in the United States, the Caribbean and Latin America. Michael
oversees business development and legal and works with investment partners to source hotel properties
for acquisition or development. Prior to joining Trust Hospitality, Michael was in charge of business
development and legal affairs for Nikki Beach worldwide. At Nikki Beach, Michael was responsible for
sourcing over 20 new hotel and other F&B development projects around the world.
Prior to working in the hospitality industry, Michael was the co-founder of a successful software
company that was sold to Kaba Holdings. Before that he practiced international corporate and business
law, including two years at the Pinheiro Neto Law Firm in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Michael received his J.D. from
Cornell Law School where he was a member of the Cornell Law Review and his B.A., magna cum laude,
in Latin American Studies from Vanderbilt University.
Alberto Reyes
Guzmán Ariza Law Firm
Mr. Alberto Reyes is the main contact in the Guzman Ariza’s Santo Domingo office for tourism and
international investment. He has handled multiple real estate transactions, from the most simple to the
most complex multi party, multimillion-dollar operations. Also, he has served as a legal advisor to many
international hotel and resort chains, and real estate developers, on real estate, corporate and construction
matters. As a lawyer he has more than 11 years of experience in complex civil, commercial, and real estate.
Mr. Reyes completed a Bachelor of Laws at the PUCMM of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. He
attended the University of Paris for a diploma in Commercial Law and pursued another diploma in New
Technologies Laws at Universidad Complutense, Madrid. He has completed different postgraduate studies
in International Business, Trust and Patrimonial Organization.
Alberto Reyes focuses his practice in Real Estate, Tourism, Construction, Corporate and Business Law,
Mergers and Acquisitions, Civil Law and Arbitration.
He is also Professor of Contract Law and Civil Liability at the PUCMM University of Santo Domingo;
thesis counselor to law students. Also, he lectures on motivation and leadership.
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Gregory Rockett
Hilton Worldwide
Gregg Rockett joined the Hilton Development team in June 2004 as Vice President, Development with
responsibility for hotel expansion in Latin America and the Caribbean. In 2009, Gregg assumed
responsibility for Corporate Development in North America with a focus on public-private hotel initiatives,
while also remaining focused on development in the Caribbean.
Gregg’s previous experience includes nine years with the Hotel Development group of Marriott
International. While based in Madrid for three years, he led the expansion efforts in Spain, Portugal and
Italy and prior to that, he was based in Washington, DC as Director of Feasibility and Market Analysis in
Latin America and the Caribbean.
He has been involved in the hotel and tourism industry for 30+ years, mostly focused on international
markets. He has a bachelor’s degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management from the University of Houston,
Conrad N. Hilton College and recently completed a Master of Business Administration from the University
of Maryland University College.
Joel Rosen
Geolo Capital
Joel leads Geolo’s asset management group with a focus on value creation and developing solutions
to achieve ownership’s investment objectives. Joel brings more than 40 years experience in hotel & resort
development, management contract negotiations, operations, marketing and sales, capital projects,
property tax valuation, and asset management.
Prior to joining Geolo, Joel was a founding partner of Horwath HTL (Canada) and its Chairman and
CEO. Over the past 20 years, he has asset managed and provided advisory services to hotels and resorts
ranging in size from 88 rooms to 1600 rooms in Canada, the US, Mexico, Caribbean and Asia. Joel was
a Partner in the hospitality consulting practices of Laventhol & Horwath and Price Waterhouse, where he
worked with major hotel brands, lenders and developers. Before launching Horwath HTL, he was VicePresident of Marketing & Sales for Delta Hotels & Resorts where he was responsible for brand
management, national and international sales and its guest loyalty program. Joel is a graduate of Michigan
State University’s School of Hospitality Business.
Adam Rosenberg
Fortress Investment Group
Adam Rosenberg is a Managing Director and Global Head of Gaming & Leisure within the Credit Funds
at Fortress Investment Group. In this role, Adam is responsible for investments made by Fortress’s family
of Credit-related funds across the capital structure in the Gaming & Leisure sector around the world.
Prior to joining Fortress, Adam spent over 16 years in the Investment Banking Division of Goldman,
Sachs & Co, where he was a Managing Director and Global Head of Gaming. Adam was instrumental in
building and eventually running the Gaming Group on a global basis. In that role, Adam provided strategic
and financial advice to the firm’s casino operator, gaming technology and equipment manufacturer clients
around the world. Firm clients included casino operators such as Las Vegas Sands, Caesars
Entertainment, Penn National Gaming and Pinnacle Entertainment, as well as gaming technology
providers and equipment manufacturers such as International Game Technology, Bally Technologies,
GTECH Corporation and Scientific Games.
Adam was the firm’s representative to the American Gaming Association, where he served as a member
of the Board of Directors in 2011 and 2012. He currently serves on the Conference Advisory Boards for
the Global Gaming Expo (G2E Las Vegas) and the Global Gaming Expo (G2E Macau), and on the Advisory
Board of the Harvard Association for Law and Business. Prior to joining Goldman Sachs, Adam spent four
years as an attorney with Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom’s New York office. He received his law
degree from Harvard University magna cum laude and his bachelor’s degree from the University of
Pennsylvania magna cum laude.
Page 20 of 27 SPEAKERS
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Kent Schwarz
Colliers International
Kent Schwarz is Executive Vice President of Colliers International Hotels. Based in Florida, he focuses
on hotel and resort transaction services in the Caribbean, Eastern Seaboard and Florida.
Kent brings over 30 years of hotel and resort experience to Colliers International Hotels that includes
15 years of transaction specific experience. Prior to joining Colliers, he headed the New York office of an
international hospitality investment banking firm. Previously, Kent was president of a hotel ownership and
management company specializing in full-service and condo-hotels. He also served as divisional manager
for Hilton Hotels Corporation at Hilton’s world-headquarters.
Kent speaks extensively at investment conferences in the United States and the Caribbean. He holds
real estate brokers licenses in multiple states including Florida and New York.
Scott D. Smith
PKF Consulting
Mr. Smith is a Senior Vice President of CBRE PKF Consulting USA, and he is located in the Atlanta,
Georgia office. Mr. Smith has over 20 years of hospitality industry experience in both appraising and
consulting capacities, as well as proficiencies in other real estate types. Mr. Smith has managed and
conducted appraisal and consulting assignments, involving both the public and private sectors, throughout
the U.S and Caribbean. He has worked for the industry’s leading lenders, developers, chains and
management companies and has dealt with many aspects of the lodging industry, including: valuation
analyses; market and financial analyses and investment structuring for hotels; resorts, mixed-use
residential and lodging developments, conference and convention centers and other hospitality industry
projects; workouts, repositioning and strategic planning; loan review and disposition strategy; and litigation
Mr. Smith is a Member of the Appraisal Institute (“MAI”) - an international membership association of
professional real estate appraisers - and is CBRE PKF Consulting USA’s chief appraiser in the Southeast,
where he is a Certified General Appraiser in Georgia and Florida. Furthermore, Mr. Smith is the principal
author of the Hospitality Investment Survey, which is a bi-annual publication produced by CBRE PKF
Consulting USA in conjunction with The Hospitality Research Group that reports on important real estate
investment trends. He also authors the Caribbean Trends in the Hotel Industry which is an annual
publication produced by CBRE PKF Consulting USA. He is also called upon frequently by local and national
news agencies to report on hospitality industry matters.
Matthew Sparks
Hilton Worldwide
Matthew Sparks is senior vice president of Luxury and Corporate Development for Hilton Worldwide.
Mr. Sparks leads the company’s corporate and luxury brand growth & development in North America. A
seasoned hospitality executive, Mr. Sparks has held positions with some of the leading hospitality
companies in the world in both the Americas and Asia Pacific, including Fairmont Hotels & Resorts
Worldwide, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, and Marriott International.
Mr. Sparks has been active in all aspects of hospitality real estate and brand development including
acquisitions, joint venture structuring, repositioning and new construction. Mr. Sparks has a strong
knowledge of all major North American and Asian lodging markets and hotels.
A graduate of Michigan State University’s School of Hospitality Business, Mr. Sparks currently serves
on the Alumni Board of Directors and the Real Estate Counsel for the program and has been a featured
speaker at numerous industry events, including the ALIS, the Lodging Conference, and the Hotel
Investment Conference Asia Pacific. Page 21 of 27 SPEAKERS
as of April 14, 2015
Adam Stewart
Sandals Resorts
In the nine years of Stewart’s stewardship, Sandals has experienced a period of unprecedented growth,
innovation and development transforming the all-inclusive concept to Luxury Included® resorts that offer
guests levels of exclusivity never seen before.
With Stewart as pioneer, the group has witnessed a constant stream of exciting and employmentgenerating launches, expansions and acquisitions including multi-million dollar enhancement programmes
throughout the Caribbean.
It is this pioneering spirit which has brought him numerous accolades including World Travel Award’s
Rising Star, Recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Torch Award from FIU, Caribbean World’s Travel and
Tourism Personality of the Year and The Gleaners Jamaica 50 Under 50 Award to name but a few.
Stewart has founded The Sandals Foundation, a non-profit organization to elevate the people of the
Caribbean and protect its ecosystem, the Caribbean’s award-winning premier luxury tour company, Island
Routes Caribbean Adventures, offering countless unique island experiences throughout the region and
most recently an internationally-accredited private sector educational institute, Sandals Corporate
University that pushes the boundaries of distance learning in the region.
Roberto Andre Stipa
Hotelco International
Roberto Andres Stipa is the Director and Development Vice President of Hotelco Group. Hotelco Group
has over seventeen years of experience developing luxury hotels and real estate, specializing in Venezuela
and the Caribbean. Currently, Hotelco Group is developer and owner of JW Marriott Caracas; Marriott
Playa Grande, Hotel Rennaisance La Castellana, the Ritz Carlton Hotel and Casino in Aruba and the
Courtyard Bonaire. As result of its activities in the Caribbean, Hotelco has recently moved part of its
corporate office’s business operations to Aruba, from where it is now overseeing and managing the projects
and developments in the Caribbean.
Although Roberto holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineer and a master in Technology and
Construction Development, he plays an important role on the financial structure by getting involve in the
due diligence process, financing, construction, and operation. Roberto concentrates on seeking new
investment opportunities and works together with the government and local authorities to guarantee the
realization of the projects.
At this time, Roberto and the company are working on the construction and development of St Regis
Saint George’s, Bermuda; and Ritz Carlton Grace Bay, Turks and Caicos.
Carol Straw
Jamaica Promotions Corporation
Carol Straw has extensive management and operational experience spanning over eighteen (18) years
in marketing, and sales practices, within the Tourism sector. She has worked closely with investors from
all the over the world in establishing their investment projects in Jamaica as well as with corporate entities
in North America, Europe and South America in the management of individual and group travel to the
Caribbean. She has good knowledge of French, German and Spanish.
She is a team motivator with proven track record in providing effective and timely solutions to various
business and management problems. In her current position as Manager of Tourism and Agribusiness for
Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO), she is responsible for the promotion of investments in these
areas and for the development and execution of related strategic marketing plans. Carol has worked
extensively in the Tourism sector in both the government and private sectors, primarily in the areas of sales
and marketing.
She specializes in Government Liaison and Marketing.
Page 22 of 27 SPEAKERS
as of April 14, 2015
Christal V. Stubbs
British Colonial Hilton Nassau
My career started at the British Colonial Hilton as an intern from the College of the Bahamas completing
my Associate’s degree in Hospitality Operations. Upon completion of my internship, I was awarded a twoyear scholarship by the British Colonial Hilton to complete my Bachelor’s degree in Tourism Management.
This award was established by the hotel to assist deserving young Bahamians with the desire for a career
in the hospitality business.
Full time employment began with the British Colonial in September 2006 as Team Relations
Administrator, where I was responsible for payroll and general office administration and the well- being of
the team including team recognition and events.
In February 2008, I was promoted to Assistant Manager, Human Resources where I became involved
in the full operation of the human resources department.
In October 2010, I was promoted to the position of Human Resources Manager. In this capacity, I along
with the director ensured that critical functions of the department are executed on a timely basis meeting
the current and anticipated needs of the hotel. More specifically, I was involved with recruitment,
compensation and benefits, labour relations, team relations, and training and development.
In February 2013, I was promoted to the position of Director of Human Resources, a position I currently
Wesley Stumbo
Bluegrass Equity Partners
Wesley has formed multiple real estate and private equity companies following his injury-shortened
career in professional baseball with the Cincinnati Reds. He’s been involved with all types of commercial
projects throughout the US and internationally. Wesley adds great value to each transaction or
development by bringing in his unique blend of strategic partners.
Wesley has been married since 2005 to Emily and is a proud father to Madeleine. During his free time,
he is active in his community and church. He’s a fan of all sports, especially the University of Kentucky
Wildcats and thoroughbred horse racing. His family is well established in Lexington and the state of
Bluegrass Equity Partners serves as a conduit for Wesley’s extensive and proprietary network of
strategic partners and investors to capitalize a wide array of projects. Bluegrass Equity Partners identifies
the deal, conducts due diligence, prepares the loan package and creates the single purpose entity to close
the deal. Bluegrass Equity Partners has formed a special arm solely focused on Caribbean hospitality
finance and investment. Wesley is currently developing or involved in hospitality related projects
throughout the Caribbean and Latin America.
Kel Thompson
Thompson Resorts Ltd.
Cayman Airways Ltd. 1978- 1984, First Officer, Assistant to the Managing Director.
May 1984, promoted to Captain Boeing 727, at the age of 26, among the youngest, if not the youngest,
B727 captains in airline service in the world at that time.
1988-1990, Chief Pilot, and assistant to Managing Director.
1991-1992, Managing Director.
1993-2015, Primary business has consisted of varied real estate developments.
Opened the first CENTURY 21 office in the Caribbean. Currently, Master Franchisor CENTURY 21 of
the Caribbean, Bermuda & Bahamas.
A founder and Director of Weststar TV Ltd. The first provider of television and cable services in the
Cayman Islands. Interest now sold.
Director - Cayman Islands Real Estate Brokers Association 2002 to 2010 (President 2009 ), First
Chairman of the Cayman Islands Health Services Authority.
Page 23 of 27 SPEAKERS
as of April 14, 2015
Simon Townend
KPMG Advisory Caribbean
Simon is a Partner of KPMG in The Bahamas and Head of KPMG’s Advisory activities in the Caribbean,
Bermuda, Isle of Man, the Channel Islands, Gibraltar and Malta. He has 24 years experience gained with
KPMG in the UK and the Caribbean. Simon has experience in a variety of advisory work including the
structuring of debt finance, M&A, due diligence, valuations, expert witness and arbitration services,
business plans, feasibility studies, economic impact studies, financial modeling, restructuring and
insolvency services.
He has led advisory work covering 20 countries in the Caribbean primarily in the hospitality and real
estate, and infrastructure sectors (including airports, container ports, cruise ports, energy, telecoms, water
and wastewater, healthcare and others).
He has a BA (Hons) Degree from the University of Bristol, England. He is a Fellow of the Institute of
Chartered Accountants in England & Wales, he holds the Corporate Finance Qualification (ICAEW, SII &
CICA), he is a Member of the Corporate Finance Faculty of the ICAEW, a Member of the Bahamas Institute
of Chartered Accountants, and an Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. He is CoChair of the KPMG Islands Infrastructure Conference, the Honorary Treasurer of The Bahamas National
Trust, Director of the Lyford Cay International School, and a Director of the Bahamas Chamber of
Commerce and Employers Confederation.
Bruce Turkel
Turkel Brands
Three words sum up Bruce Turkel’s communication philosophy. Whether he’s helping his ad agency
clients develop memorable brands, keeping audiences riveted and entertained, writing another compelling
blog post or giving useful branding and advertising advice on national news, Bruce lives and breathes this
Driven to see clients enjoy greater revenue by changing consumers’ perceptions of their products and
services, Bruce employs a unique combination of creativity and marketing to help make their brands more
Turkel Brands continues to break new ground with innovative work using simple yet powerful brand
building techniques. Over the years, the firm has created remarkably effective campaigns for American
Express, Miami tourism, Discovery Networks, Puerto Rico, Bacardi, and more.
Bruce is a weekly contributor on the Fox Business Channel and has appeared as a branding and
advertising expert on CNN, ABC, CBS and NPR. He’s been featured in Fast Company, The New York
Times, Communication Arts, Fortune, and AdWeek. He’s authored three books on advertising (his latest:
Building Brand Value) and is currently finishing his next two.
You can read Bruce’s blog and watch his TEDx speech and FOX appearances at
www.BruceTurkel.com. Bruce’s agency work is available at www.TurkelBrands.com
Russell D. Urban
Destination Hotels
Russ Urban brings more than 30 years of knowledge as a senior real estate professional to the
Destination Hotels team. Urban joined Destination in January 2013 to oversee asset acquisition and
business growth efforts, including sourcing and securing new management contracts. His hotel acquisition
expertise and proven capacity to lead all aspects of complex hotel real estate acquisition and development
projects support the portfolio expansion and opportunities for growth in key markets.
Prior to joining Destination, Urban served as principal and senior vice president of acquisition and
development for HEI Hotels and Resorts in Norwalk, Connecticut. He has also held leadership positions at
leading hospitality companies including Marriott International, Hotel Partners, CapStar Hotels, Island
Resort Collection and Urban Hotel Corporation.
Urban is a graduate of Cornell University's School of Hotel Administration and serves on alumni boards.
Page 24 of 27 SPEAKERS
as of April 14, 2015
Bruce D. Wardinski
Playa Hotels & Resorts
Mr. Wardinski is the Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of Playa Hotels & Resorts (“Playa”). Playa is
the owner of all-inclusive resorts located in Mexico and the Caribbean. Mr. Wardinski has served in his
current position since founding Playa in early 2006.
Previously, Mr. Wardinski was CEO of Barceló Crestline Corporation; Chairman of the Board of
Highland Hospitality Corporation (NYSE: HIH); Chairman, President and CEO of Crestline Capital
Corporation (NYSE: CLJ); Senior Vice President and Treasurer of Host Marriott Corporation (NYSE: HMT);
and served in various other capacities with Host Marriott and Marriott Corporation. He graduated with
honors from the University of Virginia with a B.S. degree in Commerce and earned an MBA degree in
Finance from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.
Mr. Wardinski currently serves as Chairman of the ServiceSource Foundation, serves on the Board of
Directors of the Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts and is a member of the George Mason
University Foundation Board of Trustees.
Mr. Wardinski serves as a director of DiamondRock Hospitality Company (NYSE:DRH) and previously
served as director of privately-owned international resort company Kerzner International.
Stefan C. M. Wright
Inter-American Development Bank
Mr. Wright is a Lead Investment Officer in the Structured and Corporate Finance Department at the
Inter-American Development Bank (“IDB”) in Jamaica. Mr. Wright is responsible for making loans directly
to the private sector throughout Latin America and the Caribbean with an emphasis on Jamaica.
Mr. Wright is the senior banker covering the tourism and hospitality sector throughout the Caribbean
and Latin America.
Mr. Wright was the CEO of Near Shore Solutions Inc., a financial advisory firm (2005-2008).
Mr. Wright was also formerly a Vice President of Investment Banking in the Media & Telecom Group at
Banc of America Securities in New York (1997-2004). As Vice President, his responsibilities included
raising debt and equity securities as well as providing mergers and acquisitions advisory services to
telecom companies.
Mr. Wright holds a Master’s in Business Administration (M.B.A.) from the Leonard N. Stern School of
Business at New York University (Major in Finance), U.S.A. (1997). He holds a BSc. Accounting (Hons.)
from the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona. Mr. Wright has completed all stages of the ACCA
Mr. Wright is a past recipient of the Carreras Postgraduate Scholarship (1995-1997) and of the KPMG
Peat Marwick Scholarship in Accounting (1991-1993).
Mr. Wright and his wife, Marilyn have three children.
Page 25 of 27 SPEAKERS
as of April 14, 2015
Todd G. Wynne-Parry
Commune Hotels & Resorts
Todd Wynne-Parry is Executive Vice President, Acquisitions & Development for Commune Hotels &
Resorts. He is responsible for establishing the development platform, developing a growth vision and
team, securing management contracts and reviewing investment opportunities for the Commune. The
Commune growth team now includes five development professionals and three development offices
including San Francisco, New York City and Singapore.
During his thirty years in the hotel industry, Todd has held senior development positions with Pan Pacific
Hotels Group, InterContinental Hotels Group, Starwood, and most recently Trump Hotel Collection. He
has worked and lived in the USA, Great Britain, Asia and Australia. While in Australia he was instrumental
in the expansion of the Vidor family’s Toga Hospitality Group. For ten years he served on the Tourism
Committee of the Property Council of Australia and coordinated the formulation of the PCA’s positions on
issues such as sustainability for hotels, illegally operating serviced apartments and the push for new
convention and exhibition space in Sydney.
Todd holds an MBA from the Thunderbird Graduate School of International Management, Glendale AZ
and a BA from Alma College, Alma Michigan. He studied abroad as an undergraduate at Scotland’s
University of Aberdeen and was recently appointed to the University’s US charity foundation board of
directors. He is a keen fly fisherman, mountain and road biker and includes canoeing and woodworking
as passions.
Jonathon S. Zink
Jonathon Zink is managing director for Burba Hotel Network (BHN) based in California, where he directs
and/or manages various hotel and tourism investment conferences produced by BHN around the world.
Program development, event growth, and special projects such as operational processes and new
business opportunities also fit under his management. BHN has successfully completed over 120
conferences in 22 countries, where over 85,000 delegates from around the world have come together to
network, conduct business, and learn about the latest trends.
Most recently, Jonathon was manager, strategic business unit for The Soneva Group based in both the
Maldives and Thailand. With Soneva, he worked in cross-functional teams to develop and implement
group-wide initiatives, analyzed and recommended solutions for new projects/business opportunities, and
reported directly to the chairman & CEO. The Soneva Group is a successful luxury collection of worldclass resorts that sets the benchmark for responsible tourism through its SLOW LIFE philosophy.
Jonathon holds an MBA from the International University of Japan (IUJ) in 2013 and a BA from The
School of Hospitality Business at Michigan State University (MSU) in 2004. In addition to being an active
IUJ alumnus, he serves on the Real Estate Investment Management Advisory Council at MSU.
Page 26 of 27 SPEAKERS
as of April 14, 2015
Alejandro Zozaya
Apple Leisure Group
Alejandro (Alex) Zozaya is Chief Executive Officer of Apple Leisure Group®, an esteemed collection of
vertically integrated hospitality companies comprised of Apple Vacations®, Travel Impressions®,
CheapCaribbean.com®, AMResorts®, Amstar dmc®, and Unlimited Vacation Club®.
Alex has served as CEO for Apple Leisure Group (ALG) since its 2013 inception. His 30+ years of
industry experience, including 11 years as AMResorts' Founding President and CEO, shaped his vision
and helped him propel ALG to its current status as the #1 provider worldwide of leisure travel to Mexico
and the Dominican Republic.
Currently, Apple Leisure Group, through AMResorts, operates 36 resorts with over 13,730 rooms in 15
beach destinations across the Caribbean, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica and Panama. In
addition to expanding its footprint within existing regions, Alex is launching initiatives to introduce Apple
Leisure Group’s best-in-class products and services to spectacular locations in Central America and
Prior to establishing AMResorts in 2001, Alex held senior positions at Fiesta Americana Hotels &
Resorts, including Vice President of Sales and Marketing, where he directed all commercial activities for
Latin America's largest hotel consortium.
Alex's outstanding contributions to international hotel business has earned him numerous distinctions
such as "Hotelier of the Year", and the Diamante award. He has been included on Expansions' list of the
100 most important and influential business people in Mexico for the last three consecutive years and most
recently, the American Academy of Hospitality Sciences (AAHS) presented Alex with their prestigious
International Star Diamond Achievement Award for hospitality excellence.
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