Greg Duff
owner/chair, Hospitality, Travel & Tourism practice
Garvey Schubert Barer

Speaker: "Hey Alexa, book me a room at . . "

Greg chairs Garvey Schubert Barer’s national Hospitality, Travel & Tourism practice. Greg’s practice at GSB is directed at the variety of operations-oriented matters faced by hospitality industry members, including sales and marketing, distribution and e-commerce, procurement and technology. Greg also serves as counsel and legal advisor to many of the hospitality industry’s associations and trade groups, including AH&LA, HFTP and HSMAI.





Bernard Gay
Chief Information Officer
Delaware North

Moderator: "Mini Session v2: Evolution of the Hospitality CIO – Preparing the next generation of hotel CIOs"

Bernard Gay serves as Delaware North’s chief information officer, based at the company’s global headquarters in Buffalo, New York. A strategic partner to the CEO, Gay leads all aspects of Delaware North’s information technology department, including planning, developing, evaluating and implementing strategies to further the organization’s business models and objectives. His responsibilities also include the governance, performance, operation and management of the company’s IT systems and staff.

Joining Delaware North in September 2016 with more than 25 years of information technology experience, Gay was previously with Brookfield Hospitality Properties in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where he served as senior vice president and chief information officer for the massive Atlantis Paradise Island resort in the Bahamas. In that role, which he served in for 10 years, he managed the company’s business and technical vision and directed a strategic organizational transformation. Prior to that, Gay held a variety of IT leadership roles at prominent global companies such as Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., Cintas Corporation and Rubbermaid Inc.

Gay holds a bachelor’s degree in management information systems and business administration from Gardner Webb University in Boiling Springs, N.C., and a Masters of Business Administration from the Rochester (N.Y.) Institute of Technology. He currently serves on the board of the Information Technology Senior Management Forum (ITSMF).



Mary Guzman
Senior Vice President, E&O/Information Security Practice Leader
McGriff, Seibels & Williams – Financial Services Division

Speaker: "The Value and Considerations of Cyber Insurance"

Mary Guzman joined McGriff in September of 2009 as a Senior Vice President and Errors & Omissions/Information Security practice leader concentrating on the design, placement and oversight of customized executive risk solutions for the Fortune 1000 and other complex accounts. Mary has a background in both property/casualty and executive risks issues and has concentrated the past several years in the errors and omissions/professional liability, cyber/privacy, and media risks across industry groups. Her current responsibilities include the strategic leadership role for both clients and the insurance markets relative to product and service development, education and consulting, and the development of market capacity in difficult to insure industries such as energy and financial institutions. Mary is also a senior broker for the Law Firm team at McGriff and is involved with the Department of Homeland Security and other government agencies in various working groups where the insurance industry is leading some initiatives around helping public/private partnerships secure US Critical Infrastructure.

Prior to McGriff Mary served in senior roles at competing multinational brokers including Marsh where she was the Regional Practice Leader in cyber/E&O risks in the Southeast over 15 years ago, when these products were in their infancy. In that capacity she served as liaison to several federal government agencies around the protection of the critical infrastructure.

Mary is a frequent speaker and has written publications related to information technology and security risk. She also consults with clients on risk management and contracting strategies for vendor/business partner relationships and is the lead insurance placement specialist for McGriff in cyber, E&O, and related insurance products.


Koehler, Bryson

Bryson Koehler
Chief Technology Officer–IBM Watson & IBM Cloud
General Manager & Distinguished Engineer-IBM

Speaker: "Who's Coming to the AI Party?"

Bryson is the CTO for the IBM Watson and Cloud Platform. This division encompasses cognitive and AI computing capabilities of Watson machine learning, the public IaaS IBM Cloud platform, IBM’s big-data cloud analytics group, the Watson Data Platform and The Weather Company.

In 2016, Bryson’s team was ranked #2 in the InformationWeek Elite 100 (#5 in 2015). Additionally in 2015, Bryson’s team won the Technology Association of Georgia’s Excalibur Award for best use of technology and the Computer World Premiere 100 global IT teams. In 2014, Bryson was selected as Georgia CIO of the Year by the Georgia CIO Leadership Association, and his team was selected into the top 10 most innovative technology teams in Georgia by the Technology Association of Georgia as well as one of the top 10 of the decade for the state.

Over the past 20 years Bryson has served as operating partner with Exigen Capital, overseeing the firm’s investments and operations in the travel & entertainment sectors, spent 10 years as the Senior Vice President of Global Revenue and Guest Technology for InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), and led teams at Vicorp, USWeb and Arthur Andersen Business Consulting.

Bryson earned his double bachelor’s degrees in Political Science and Interpersonal Communications from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, NC. He has lived in the Atlanta area for 20 years, is married and has five children. Bryson is active in the Atlanta community, currently serving as co-chair of TechBridge Atlanta and is on the Board of Directors for Atlanta Habitat for Humanity, The Technology Association of Georgia and San Francisco-based Revinate.


Lamb, Jim

Jim Lamb
Chief Information Officer
Interstate Hotels & Resorts

Moderator: "Mini Session v4: Brand, Manager & Owner; Supporting & balancing the interests of all constituents"

Jim Lamb is the Chief Information Officer for Interstate and a member of the Executive Committee. Jim’s thirty years of experience in delivering efficiency and effectiveness from IT organizations makes him central to the Company’s performance and global growth strategy as he previously served as the global CIO for two of the world’s leading luxury hotel brands operating in over 50 countries around the world. At Interstate, he is responsible for the design and delivery of innovative technical and business solutions to meet the diverse needs of the company and its global hotel portfolio. Partnering with operations, finance, and development he has played a vital role in all aspects of the Company’s performance.

Jim serves as the Vice Chairman of the Technology and eBusiness Committee for the American Hotel & Lodging Association, and as an Advisory Board Member for the School of Hospitality Leadership at East Carolina University. Jim received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from East Carolina University and is currently pursuing his MBA.



Blair Linville
Chairman & CEO

Speaker: "Shape Customer Behavior Using Data & Predictive Analytics"

Blair Linville has spent his career working for multibillion dollar, growth oriented and middle market companies of varying sizes. Before founding Tectonic, Blair served as CIO for the $12B Caesar’s Entertainment where he was instrumental in developing the technology vision and delivering powerful marketing and analytics capabilities that are used to drive the business today. A premier professional services firm specializing in marketing automation, CRM transformation and cloud consulting services, Tectonic boasts an enviable client list that includes MetLife, Ralph Lauren, Coca-Cola and The Walt Disney Company.



Mark McBeth
Vice President IT-North America
Marriott International

Moderator: "Mini Session v1: Merging & Acquiring Technologies; Buckle your seats when two industry giants merge" 

As the Vice President, Information Technology for Marriott International, Mark McBeth is responsible for the development and support of property IT standards and strategies across all of Marriott's hotels and resorts in North America. Mark is a seasoned industry veteran with more than 40 years of experience in the hospitality industry, 37 of which have been dedicated to property technology. He began his IT career with Sheraton Hotels in 1980 and played an influential role in growing the brand’s IT footprint in North America through the ‘80’s. He joined Westin Hotels in 1996 and was with Starwood Hotels & Resorts since the company’s formation in 1998 through its acquisition by Marriott in 2016. He is based in the company’s world headquarters in Stamford, CT. Mark lives with his wife Terri in Danbury, CT and is an avid fly fisherman, golfer and musician.


Meyer, Steve3

Steve Meyer
Main Street Pedicabs

Speaker: "Lean, green, convertible machines"

On a whim, Steve Meyer founded Main Street Pedicabs where he has spent the last 25 years building and operating pedicabs. With an undergraduate degree in Biology and a Master’s degree in Economics, Meyer believes the company has allowed him to pursue his broad interests in what he calls “the ecology of people”. While traveling through India, Meyer and a friend hopped into a pedicab for a short ride and all the tires blew. This experience did nothing to convince Steve that pedicabs would someday play a big role in his life, or in addressing transportation needs in cities throughout North America, Australia and Europe. For many years, Meyer was in real estate working on the redevelopment of downtown areas. Drawing on his experiences in Asia Steve believed that pedicabs could have a role in modern US cities to deliver a more pedestrian friendly mode of transportation. Main Street Pedicabs spawned from the idea of creating a pedicab with the attributes of a mountain bike. Having sold his fleet of pedicabs in New York and Chicago, he has narrowed his focus to manufacturing and now believing that his pedal and pedal/electric powered vehicles will play an important role in successful cities of the future.



Jeff Parker
Vice President of Hospitality Systems
Red Lion Hotels Corporation

Moderator: "Mini Session v3: Engaging your guests with new technologies, substance or filler?"

For over thirty years Jeff Parker has been a leader in hotel and restaurant hospitality, with the last twenty-two focused on technology. Parker has extensive understanding of systems and infrastructure as it relates to delivering above expected customer service.

Parker has created and implemented the technology systems that facilitated the growth of a regional brand; managing both operational and capital budgets to balance the needs of the operations versus tax and capital implications. In addition, he has worked for one of the largest management companies in the world, leading a team that handled major technology projects for franchised and independent hotels. 

Leveraging new technologies Parker has been able to reduce costs and improve customer services and loyalty, specifically working with disparate partners to develop or improve integrations with Property Management Systems, Central Reservations Systems, Sales & Catering and Global Distribution Systems. 

Jeff is also involved in the hospitality education community through HTNG, HFTP and AH&LA, contributing through presenting in educational sessions and participating on committees and boards. 

When not working, Jeff is keeping up with his wife and two boys, tailgating or watching sports. In addition, he is an avid Home-Brewer and beer-snob.


Rock, Jeremy2

Jeremy Rock
RockIT Group

Moderator: "Annual Interactive Roundtable"

With more than two decades of industry experience, he brings extensive knowledge in all areas of Telecommunications, Low Voltage and Systems Applications and Implementation. Mr. Rock has successfully provided consulting services on numerous projects of all types, including some of the largest and most prestigious resort and hotel properties in the United States and abroad. Mr. Rock possesses a comprehensive skill set with vast knowledge of many critical systems and applications. Prior to founding the RockIT Group, he was the Director of MIS with Sunstone Hotels in San Clemente, CA where he was responsible for overseeing the Information Systems and Telecommunications for a portfolio of over 60 multi-branded and independent hotels as well as their Corporate Office.



Victor L. Vesnaver
Managing Director
VSquared Consultants

CIO Summit Emcee/Moderator

Victor Vesnaver has over 30 years of experience driving technology initiatives in the hospitality industry worldwide. As Managing Director of VSquared Consultants, Vesnaver manages the efforts of a network of experienced practitioners and works directly with clients on a wide variety of engagements ranging from contracted CIO services and executive search assignments, IT strategy development, operational assessments, project management, system selection, due diligence efforts and advisory services.

Previously, Vesnaver held the position of Senior Vice President, Sales & Marketing with PAR Springer-Miller Systems, Vice President Hotel Business Unit for MICROS Systems, Inc. and Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer for The Mills Corporation. In addition, Vesnaver’s background includes positions with Security Capital Group where he was the Vice President of Information Technology and Chief Information Officer for their European subsidiaries, Hyatt Hotels Corporation, as the Assistant Vice President, Information Systems, SABRE Decision Technologies, and Zoho Corporation.

Vesnaver earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Colby College in Waterville, Maine and holds an MPS degree in Hotel Administration from Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration in Ithaca, New York.




Frank Wolfe, CAE

Speaker: "The HFTP 411"

Wolfe joined the Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals(HFTP®) in March 1991 as the association's director of education. He became executive vice president/CEO of HFTP in 1994 and at that time was one of the youngest association CEOs in North America. As HFTP’s CEO, Wolfe oversees the association’s operations, as well as represents the association worldwide at industry events, on industry boards and committees and via the news media.

As the spokesperson for HFTP, Wolfe frequently speaks on hospitality finance, technology, social media and travel issues to varied audiences and has presented in more than 20 countries. He is also a regular columnist for Hotel Management magazine. He has been featured in association, conference and industry publications including Convene magazine, Association Management magazine, MeetingTech Online and Hospitality Upgrade magazine. He has appeared on several television network interviews and programs including CNN, CBS, ABC, NBC, TVAsia and Bloomberg.


Mark Holzberg, EVP and Chief Commercial Officer, Cloud5

Panelist: "Vendors: The Necessary Evil"

Bio coming

Jonah Paransky, CEO, SkyTouch Technology

Panelist: "Vendors: The Necessary Evil"

Bio coming


Jonah Paransky, CEO, SkyTouch Technology

Panelist: "Vendors: The Necessary Evil"

Bio coming

Louis A. Paonessa, Sales Director, National Accounts, Comcast Business – Hospitality Vertical

Panelist: "Vendors: The Necessary Evil"

A telecommunications professional with more than 25 years of experience. Lou currently leads the National Accounts Hospitality Vertical for Comcast Enterprise Solutions. Lou most recently managed a Sales Team for Comcast Business in the Keystone Region. Prior to joining Comcast, Lou was the Sales Manager with Verizon Business in Pittsburgh, Pa. He also previously held management and sales roles with Qwest Communications and MCI Telecommunications covering Western Pennsylvania businesses.

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