EVS Speakers as of 2/15/2018--alpha by last name


Andrew Arthurs
SVP and CIO, Two Roads Hospitality

Panelist: "Annual Customer Insights Onstage/CIO Panel"

Andrew joined Two Roads Hospitality as Chief Information Officer in 2015. Prior to joining Two Roads, Andrew spent 14 years at Vail Resorts where he held various technology leadership roles. Prior to Vail Resorts, Andrew served in software implementation and consulting roles for various companies in the hospitality industry. Andrew earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Vermont and his MBA from the Leeds School of Business at The University of Colorado. In his free time Andrew can be found enjoying the Colorado outdoors with his wife and two young daughters.

Jeff Bzdawka


Jeff Bzdawka
SVP-Global Hotel Operations, Hyatt

Panelist: "Annual Customer Insights Onstage/CIO Panel"

At Hyatt, Jeff is responsible for establishing and executing the portfolio roadmap of all Global Property Systems and Solutions deployed to support Hyatt’s global brands. This includes PMS and PoS, guest service and spa applications, guest Internet access, interactive TV and telecommunications systems. Prior to Hyatt, Jeff was the Executive VP of Global Operations for TravelClick, where he managed a cross-functional, geographically-dispersed team that provided hotel business process management and distribution solutions for 30,000 customers across 140 countries. Prior to that he worked for Pegasus Solutions as SVP of Service Delivery, where he created a functional service delivery organization with focus on enhancing customer experience and improving operational efficiencies.

He also served as Pegasus’ SVP of Financial Services, focused on providing centralized travel agency commissions payment services and was responsible for product development, product delivery, sales and support for the global service offering. Earlier in his career, he served as the VP of Strategic Information Systems for Security Capital Group in Atlanta, GA where he managed IS for Homestead Guest Studios. He graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Wisconsin – Stout with BS in Hotel, Restaurant & Institutional Management, and is active with the university’s foundation alumni programs. He resides in Palatine, IL.

Lesley Carey 

Lesley Carey
President, The Biggest Loser Resort

Speaker: "Hospitality Meets Health and Wellness"

Lesley Carey is the president of The Biggest Loser Resort, a world-class health and wellness results-oriented program, which currently has multiple locations in Chicago, IL, Niagara, NY and Amelia Island, FL. Overseeing all three Biggest Loser Resort locations, Carey is responsible for developing and leading the overall brand growth strategy. A veteran of the hospitality industry, Carey keeps a keen eye on industry trends and business news to maintain a strong presence in today’s competitive landscape.

Carey brings more than 25 years of development, renovation and global management experience in the hospitality industry to her position. Prior to joining The Biggest Loser Resort, Carey held various CEO and Vice President positions at The Lodge at Rancho Mirage, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, Four Seasons Hotel & Resort, The Orlando Hotel and various other notable hospitality and travel brands. Most recently, Carey was President of Palmer Hospitality Group in Beverly Hills, Calif., where she helped develop a specialty global management and marketing resource company tailored to independent, luxury boutique hotels in primary and emerging markets. As President, Carey was responsible for both managing and leading corporate teams across the globe in New York, London, California, Thailand and Indonesia.

During her tenure, Carey also successfully created and developed an impressive international luxury boutique hotel brand collection, SilQ, which currently has multiple locations in Asia.

A proven leader with extensive hospitality experience, Carey leads her teams by setting clear expectations, realistic goals, capitalizing on growing market trends and establishing lasting business relationships. As President of The Biggest Loser Resort, Carey has been relentlessly working on lobbying the health insurance segments to create an alternative to weight loss surgery and additional options for people to start a healthier life.

Darren Clark

Darren Clark
VP Technology, Viceroy Hotels & Resorts

Panelist: "Annual Customer Insights Onstage/CIO Panel"

Darren Clark is a technology specialist who has more than 20 years of experience in Hospitality IT and emerging technologies.

Throughout his career he has worked for established hospitality companies: Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, Standard Hotels and Viceroy Hotels & Resorts. His career has gained invaluable experience for the Luxury, Boutique and Lifestyle sectors in both the hotel and residential fields globally.

Darren has a keen interest in technology and believes the hotel industry is ready for change as its customers drive it towards an ever more customer-centric and hence technology-dependent future. He is also a member of CIO Harvard and Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals/HFTP.

Darren resides in Newport Beach with his wife Trina, 3-year-old daughter Aria and 15-month-old twin boys Grayson and Lucas who all keep him on his toes!


FNL RIck Clemons

Rick Clemons
Former Hospitality Industry Executive, Speaker and Bold Move Expert

Speaker: "Beyond the Hospitality Closet"

Rick Clemons, former Hospitality Industry Exec, is now known as the Bold Move Expert and Coming Out. Shortly after publishing his first book, Frankly My Dear I’m Gay, he realized people and businesses have tons of closets that they need to come out of, and he's made it his mission to be the guy to help them do it. He's a keynote speaker, the host of the Life Uncloseted podcast, a certified life and executive coach, TEDx Speaker, world record holder, and a guy who’s helped 1000’s of people and numerous organizations, in over 50 countries across the globe, come out of the closets of their lives and make bold moves to escape their b.s., explore their fears, and elevate their self-expression.


Sean Cox

Sean Cox, CIPP/US
Attorney, Hall Booth Smith P.C.

Speaker: "Legal Corner"

Sean Cox is an attorney in the Atlanta office. He is a native of Georgia. He received his Juris Doctorate, cum laude, from Georgia State and his undergraduate degree from the University of Georgia. After law school, he clerked for the Georgia Superior Courts Judges of the Cherokee Judicial Circuit. While clerking he learned from some of the best trial lawyers in Georgia. He also had the opportunity to observe, and participate in the judicial decision making process. He is admitted to practice in Georgia and South Carolina.

Data Privacy and Security. Sean is a privacy professional certified by The International Association of Privacy Professionals. He is knowledgeable in the both domestic and global data privacy and security regulation. He is well-versed in data incident response, and provides the experience to guide his clients through the regulatory, legal, and business pitfalls of any data incident. Knowing that without proper preparation a data incident is generally not a question of if, but when, his past experience gives him the tools necessary to advise his clients in advance to prepare for the worst.

Employment. Sean is an experienced employment litigator knowledgeable and comfortable in both state and federal courts. He is well-versed in an array of issues relevant to management side employment litigation, including Title VII, Sec. 1981, FLSA, ADA, ADEA, NLRB, OSHA, FMLA, and others. He also has extensive experience leveraging that litigation knowledge into advising his clients on best practices in all aspects of their business and human resources.

Insurance Coverage. Sean has experience advising clients on coverage matters, and litigating those matters if necessary. Sean has litigated both declaratory judgment and insurance bad-faith actions in state and federal court. His success has typically been at the summary judgment stage. However, Sean is also experienced in successfully trying coverage and bad-faith matters to a jury.

Transportation. Sean represents many of the largest transportation companies in the nation. He is a dogged litigator who understands the issues and challenges of the transportation industry and transportation litigation. He has the experience and qualifications to respond to incidents within hours and to successfully try any case to a jury. As a member of Hall Booth Smith’s Rapid Response Team, he is available 24 hours a day/7 days a week to respond to incidents throughout the Southeastern United States. Members of the Rapid Response Team can be on the ground quickly and organize expert or investigative assistance to begin preparing a defense when time is most critical.


Diane Estner

Diane Estner
DANNI Enterprises

Executive Vendor Summit Moderator

Diane has been enjoying her career in hospitality technology for over 25 years. Previously working with a start-up call accounting company in 1996, and taking a leadership role in going global, in 2014, Diane created DANNI Enterprises. She has since enjoyed her expanded role and direct involvement in several ways; providing global consulting services via collaboration and partnership with a variety of leading industry team experts, Diane is passionate about Guest Mobility, Data Analytics, Guest Personalization, WiFi, Hosted Voice services and Sustainability Solutions that help reduce costs and work towards creating a consciousness of environmental stewardship. 

Diane thrives in finding and deploying disruptive business solutions, providing world-class customer service, partnering with hoteliers and industry providers offering strategic/operational value, and supporting a dynamic evolving industry she loves! 


Larry Hall 2018

Larry Hall
Chief Executive Officer

Moderator: "C-Level Interactive Roundtable"

Koridor, a venture-funded company founded in late 2017, provides a suite of services to the global hotel industry that create a more engaging and immersive reservations experience by empowering guest to select or upgrade their room during the post-reservation, pre-arrival engagement cycle. The Koridor offering focuses on the personalized guest experience by using rich media, consumer behavior principles, and curated content in a highly collaborative technology environment. 

Prior to Koridor, Larry served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Springer-Miller Systems, Inc., the leading provider of integrated, guest-centric hospitality management solutions to hotels, resorts, spas and casinos worldwide. Following an eight-year career at Springer-Miller Systems that included new product introductions, global expansion, and a reorganization, Larry led the turn-around and eventual sale of the company. 

Other roles included the President & Chief Executive Officer of HBSi where Larry led the acquisition, repositioning, and funding of HBSi, which defined the discipline of Demand Management. He also served as President & Chief Executive Officer of Prosero, an Atlanta-based provider of supply chain outsourcing solutions and the President & Chief Executive Officer of hsupply, a venture-funded e-procurement marketplace. Prior to hsupply, Larry held the role of President & Chief Operating Officer of Talus, the global leader in revenue management systems and technologies. In his capacity at Talus, Larry advised some of the largest companies in the hospitality & travel sector on revenue management strategies and organizing for success. Prior to Talus and for twelve years, Larry served as the Director, Hotel Systems & Telecommunications Worldwide for The Sheraton Corporation where he managed the global technology strategies and operations for the multi-national hotel company. 

Larry speaks and writes frequently on a variety of topics including organizing and managing for high growth and performance, entrepreneurship, and the venture-funded organization. He serves on the board of directors of four high-growth firms and several charitable foundations. Larry graduated from Cornell University, and serves as a member of the Advisory Board for the Pillsbury Institute for Hospitality Entrepreneurship at the University’s School of Hotel Administration.


FNL Abhijit Pal

Abhijit Pal
Head of Research, Global Partner Group
Expedia, Inc. 

Speaker: "Why Personalization Matters"

Abhijit has spent more than a decade with Expedia, Inc. in various key travel supply roles. He currently serves as the Head of Research for the Global Partner Group where he focuses on industry research, improving field team engagement with large supply partners and being the product-team liaison. 

Previously, Abhijit oversaw strategic relationships with top global and regional lodging brands, casino operators, U.S. gaming destinations, and connectivity/distribution partners. Prior to joining the Lodging Partner Services Group at Expedia, he was the head of Expedia's Global Rental Car Supply.

Abhijit has a diverse background including Capital Planning & Funding in Morgan Stanley’s Corporate Treasury group, Fraud & Policy with eBay, Inc., and Strategic Planning at Gap. 

Abhijit graduated cum laude in applied economics and management from Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. When not traveling for work, he enjoys spending time with his wife and two young daughters at Southern California's many beautiful leisure attractions.




Rovani 2018

John S Rovani
Managing Partner, Ponterra Business Advisors LLC

Speaker: "Merger & Acquisition Strategies"







Andy Tjan FNL

Andy Tjan, CHTP
Corporate Director of Technology and Innovation, Rosewood Hotel Group

Panelist: "Annual Customer Insights Onstage/CIO Panel"

Andy’s experience spans more than 15 years exclusively in the luxury hotel segment. Beginning with leadership positions at Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts, he is currently serving as corporate director of technology & innovation at industry-leading Rosewood Hotels and Resorts. At Rosewood, Andy provides executive leadership and direction for a global IT team of 30 employees at 17 locations across 3 continents.

His experience includes enterprise architecture planning, IT standards enforcement, vendor/contract management, new hotel openings, project management, budgeting and planning, global infrastructure management and enterprise information systems implementation. 

Andy’s goal as a senior IT leader is to develop an IT vision and strategy that cascades out and inspires global stakeholders. He strives for the ultimate technology experience where end users don’t realize they are in-fact users. Instead, they experience a deliberate designing of choices to steer them toward a positive outcome—translating into increased benefit costs, revenues and net profits.

Andy received his undergraduate degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management from Ryerson University in Toronto, Ontario. He is a Canadian citizen who lives in Thousand Oaks California with his wife, 3 daughters and a chow/shepard mix – who, by the way, is a female as well.



Frank Wolfe

Speaker: "HFTP/HITEC Update"

Frank 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, Frank 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, he 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.

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