Young Leaders Conference Announces New Steering Committee for 2013

young leaders conferenceQuestex Hospitality + Travel has announced a series of updates for its 2013 Young Leaders Conference (YLC), including a roster of new Steering Committee members and expanded networking and educational opportunities.

The event, to be held Sept. 9, 2013, at The Venetian® Las Vegas in conjunction with Luxury Travel Exchange International (LTX), provides a forum for under-40 travel professionals that showcases industry talent and fosters peer-to-peer networking, career development and information-sharing.

The Young Leaders Conference’s dynamic networking and relevant educational programming will be guided by a Steering Committee of some of the travel industry’s brightest young leaders, including:

•    Lia Batkin, president and co-founder, In the Know Experiences, New York
•    Daniela Harrison, travel consultant, Avenues of the World Travel, Flagstaff, Ariz.
•    Beth Jenkins, travel consultant, McCabe World Travel, McLean, Va.
•    Andrey Zakharenko, owner and founder, Russian Connections, San Francisco
•    Sara Butruff, owner, Travel Leaders, Apple Valley, Minn.
•    Mallory Bankson, leisure travel consultant, Valerie Wilson Travel, New York
•    Ryan Doncsecz, group operations director, VIP Vacations, Whitehall, Pa.
•    Heather Christopher, manager, Classic Travel at Tacketts Mill, Woodbridge, Va.
•    Hilary Wallace, romance travel consultant, Bliss Honeymoons, Millersburg, Ohio
•    Ryan Mielke, manager, Regency Travel, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
•    DeAnne Petritz, director, leisure travel, CI Travel, Virginia Beach, Va.

The committee represents front-line travel advisors as well as owners and managers with both affiliated and non-affiliated agencies that represent major consortia organizations including Virtuoso,, Travel Leaders, American Express and Signature.

“This year’s event is especially exciting simply because we raise the bar every year,” said Joe Pike, senior editor of Travel Agent magazine and co-chair of YLC. “In order to meet the expectations from our young leaders in attendance, we need to have a strong, experienced, creative Steering Committee. Without hesitation, I can say this is one of the most solid groups of minds we’ve put together since the event was first launched.”

Produced by Luxury Travel Advisor and Travel Agent magazines, YLC is the first and only industrywide forum created exclusively for the under-40 travel professional. For more information, visit the website or connect on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn.