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Leading Speakers Announced for Travel Industry Exchange in Orlando

July 17, 2015 By: Newswire

handshakeQuestex Travel Group has announced an impressive line-up of speakers who will lead panel discussions and educational seminars for its Travel Industry Exchange event September 15-17 at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort in Orlando, Florida

The event, emphasizing niche travel and specialization, will offer over 60 sessions focused on revenue-generating niche segments, including certification programs in luxury travel, cruise ship travel and weddings and romance as well as concentrated programs in technology, trends, destinations and Millennial travel.

Questex has announced the following leading industry speakers who will present dynamic educational content on topics relevant to attendees’ business development:

General Session:  Raise the Bar Now: Step Up Your Business for the Next Wave of Travelers

- Joshua Bush, CEO, Avenue Two Travel
Zane Kerby, president & CEO, American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA)
Thomas Ostebo, president & CEO, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA)
Ruthanne Terrero, vice president of content and editorial director, Questex Travel Group 

Cruise Travel Specialists

- Charles Sylvia, vice president, trade relations, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA)
Gretchen Bell, vice president of sales, Americas, SeaDream Yacht Club
Ellen Bettridge, vice president, sales & marketing, The Americas, Azamara Club Cruises
Susan Shultz, director of sales, American Cruise Lines
Susan Wolfson,  travel expert, Go Astro Travel LLC, an independently owned and operated affiliate of Avoya Travel, an American Express Travel


Kim Grammer, travel expert, i-travelagent
Mark Bradley, U.S. business development consultant, European Waterways Ltd.
Joe Leon, senior director, business development & travel agency sales, Regent Seven Seas Cruises
John Bateman, regional trainer, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA)
Navin Sawhney, chief operating officer, Ponant USA
Wayne Peyreau, director of sales, MSC Cruises (USA) Inc.
Nicola Iannone, director of sales, USA CroisiEurope 
Ken Muskat, executive vice president, sales, PR & guest services, MSC Cruises (USA) Inc.
Rhian Torontow, travel expert, Magical Family Adventures
Rainer Jenss, president & founder, Family Travel Association

Luxury 2.0: Going Beyond the Basics

Ruthanne Terrero, vice president of content and editorial director, Questex Travel Group 
Mary Ann Ramsey, president and owner, Betty Maclean Travel
Susan Moynihan, founder, The Honeymoonist
Andera Malis, managing director, private client division, Camelback Odyssey Travel  
Michelle Woodson, owner/luxury travel advisor, MH Signature Journeys
Leslie Overton, managing director, Absolute Travel
Hope Smith, owner, Born to Travel, independent contractor affiliated with Montecito Village Travel & Virtuoso

Property and Destination Updates

- Kelly Messina, sales executive, Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA)
Jim McMichael, specialty markets manager, Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA)
Ron Mracký, managing director, Africa Consult Group
Sylvia Frommer-Mracký, owner, Production Travel & Tours
Chris Austin, vice president, global retail leisure and luxury sales, Starwood Hotels and Resorts     
Joy Skaardal, sales manager, Scandinavian Airlines
John McAuliff, executive director, Fund for Reconciliation and Development
Sarah Postler, distribution development manager, Tourism Australia
Adam Lubicz, marketing executive, USA, Destination New South Wales
Kylie Smith, marketing manager, Tourism & Events Queensland
Susan Brown, regional manager, The Americas, Tourism Victoria
Daisy Godreau, business development manager, Puerto Rico Tourism Company

Lifestyle Travel and Trends Including: Adventure, Eco-Tourism, Culture, Culinary, Spa and Wellness 

Ron Fenska, vice president, sales, North America, Intrepid Group
Dan Austin, founder & director, Austin Adventures
Anne Dimon, CEO, Travel to Wellness, co-founder, Wellness Travel Media
Carol Dimopoulos, president, Perillo’s Learning Journeys 
Michael Luongo, award-winning freelance journalist and photographer,
Doug Kostowski, founder, Travel People
Carmen Perez, travel expert, Effortless Living
Naomi Reed, corporate sales manager, Canyon Ranch 
- Gilad Goren, founder & executive director, Travel+SocialGood
Duane Penner, vice president, sales,
Patrick Sarkisisan, founder and CEO, Sarkisisan Partners

Trends and Impact of Tech, Online and Social Media

Anna Lysakowska, travel blogger, Anna Everywhere
Caroline Eubanks, travel blogger, Caroline in the City
Carmen Perez, travel expert, Effortless Living
Michael  Hodson, past president, Professional Travel Bloggers Association
Jenna  Vandenberg, executive vice president, marketing, Fifty & Five LLC
Ari Charlestein, founder, Award Magic
Rhian Torontow, travel expert, Magical Family Adventures

Wedding and Romance Travel Specialists

Shannon LeBlanc, chief romance officer, Paradise Vacation Escapes
Matthew Schumacher, commander in chief, Travel Troops LLC
Yvette De Vries, president, Association for Promotion of Tourism to Africa (APTA)
LoAnn Halden, media relations manager, International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA)
Jim McMichael, diversity & cultural manager, Las Vegas Convention & Visitor Authority (LVCVA)
Vicky Garcia, chief operating officer and co-owner, Cruise Planners
Susan Moynihan, founder, The Honeymoonist
Lisa Sheldon, executive director, Destination Wedding & Honeymoon Specialists Association (DWHSA)

Millennial Travelers and Advisors

Ashish Sanghrajka, director of industry relations, Millennials in Travel
Gilad Goren, founder & executive director, Travel+SocialGood
Joe Pike, senior editor, Travel Agent magazine
Dave Cicotte, marketing communications & social media associate, Conlin Travel
Katelyn O’Shaughnessy, CEO and founder, TripScope
Daniela Harrison, travel consultant, Avenues of the World

Multigenerational and Family Travel

Nigel Osborne, vice president, sales and business development, Keytours Vacations International
Rainer Jenss, president & founder, Family Travel Association
Jennifer Forehand Round, manager, Slaydon's  Travel
Brandy Posey, owner and CEO, Fairytale Adventures Travel
Nicole Thibault, owner/consultant, Magical Storybook Travels
Yvette De Vries, president, Association for Promotion of Tourism to Africa (APTA)
Daniela Harrison, travel consultant, Avenues of the World

Your Business, Your Brand: Building Both Together

Vanessa McGovern, executive vice president, business development & strategic partnerships, Global Institute for Travel Entrepreneurs (GIFTE)
Trish  Gastineau, travel expert, Simply Europe Travel

The full schedule can be viewed at

Meredith Hill, travel industry trailblazer and founder and chief executive officer of Global Institute for Travel Entrepreneurs (GIFTE), will deliver the event’s keynote address, “The Path to Limitless Opportunities Begins with Specialization.” Hill’s empowering message will draw upon her extensive travel career, entrepreneurial journey and success turning her failing business around to achieve record sales through specialization. 

Travel Industry Exchange will bring travel professionals and lifestyle specialists together with international suppliers, including destinations, hoteliers, cruise lines, tour operators, transportation providers, technology companies, spas and resorts. The event will include over eight hours of one-to-one meetings, comprehensive education including agent specialty training and networking events and receptions.  

The one-to-one appointments and networking events are designed to help attendees build on their specializations and grow their businesses. For more information or to register, travel professionals may visit  

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By Newswire | July 17, 2015
Questex Travel Group has announced the line-up of speakers for its Travel Industry Exchange event. Get the full list here.
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