Last month, we held our inaugural advisory board meeting at The Waldorf-Astoria in New York. It was an amazing day! We assembled some of the industry’s best and brightest, and we are truly honored to have their support and partnership on the inaugural event. What resulted was a productive day that proved to be positive and a great testament to the new direction of LTX.
Comprising global luxury experts representing the top producing North American luxury travel agencies and global supplier partners, the advisory board reported an optimistic outlook for 2012. Throughout the day, members shared that they have seen an uptick in bookings from the previous year with many giving credit to the positive perception the travel agents are receiving in the media, coupled with the strong value they present to consumers. Additionally, board members applauded us for repositioning our popular Luxury Travel Expo as Luxury Travel Exchange International.
The meeting focused on a rotating format allowing all board members the chance to interact with each other throughout the day. The group has committed to act as ambassadors for LTX and attend the inaugural event. Additionally, they will actively provide input on the conference programming to ensure LTX is the must-attend event for luxury travel advisors.
A note of appreciation to The Waldorf-Astoria for playing host to the advisory board meeting and which also held a reception for travel advisors in one of its opulent Presidential Suites in the Towers of The Waldorf-Astoria and conducted tours of the property.
Advisory board members in attendance were: Collette Baruth, vice president of marketing, AMResorts; Cheryl Bennett, vice president of Travel Industry Sales, Viceroy Hotel Group; Carol Black, senior director of strategic marketing, Ensemble Travel Group; Joshua Bush, vice president, Park Avenue Travel; Peter S. Carideo, president, CRC Travel; Roselyn Cosentino, chief sales officer, Luxe Hotels; Isaac Cymrot, director of sales and industry relations, Travel Insured International; Greg DeClemente, managing director, Courtyard Travel; Nathan Devore, vice president, Protravel International; Jennifer Fernandez, group show and event director, Questex Hospitality + Travel; Gina Gabbard, vice president of leisure sales, Tzell Travel Group; Robbie Gold, president, Travel Center Tours; Kerry Griffin, vice president of strategic partnerships, Island Destinations; Sheila Heustess, vice president of Travel Industry, Merchant Services Americas, American Express; Art Jimenez, director of leisure sales, Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority; Maureen Jones, president, All Horizons Travel; Jeff Lanzarotta, account director of Global Leisure and Luxury Sales, Starwood Hotels & Resorts; Richard Lebowitz, director of Luxury Sales, Worldwide Sales, Hyatt Hotels and Resorts Worldwide; Jack Mannix, founder and principal, Jack E. Mannix & Associates; Eric Maryanov, CEO, All Travel; Kier Matthews, vice president of Travel Industry Sales, Europe Express; Bernadette Mari, senior marketing manager, Questex Hospitality + Travel; Ignacio Maza, executive vice president, Signature Travel Network; Stephen McGillivray, chief marketing officer, Travel Leaders Group; Marilyn McHugh, vice president of Global Events, Questex Hospitality + Travel; John McMahon, executive vice president and publisher, Questex Hospitality + Travel; Anne Morgan Scully, president, McCabe World Travel; David Morris, president, David Morris International; Terry Morrison, vice president of sales and marketing, MLT Vacations; April Murena, regional director of National Accounts, Loews Hotels; Gary Murphy, vice president of sales, AMA Waterways; Kate Murphy, president, Wings Travel Group; Margaret Murphy, vice president of marketing, Cruise Lines International Association; Joan Novack, owner, Majesty Travel; Camille Olivere, senior vice president of sales-The Americas, Norwegian Cruise Lines; Steve Orens, president, Plaza Travel; Robert Romano, partner, Fugazi Travel Agency; Kathy Sudeikis, vice president of sales and marketing, All About Travel; Sharon Symons, director of Travel Industry Sales, Globus Family of Brands; Wendy Taylor, director of Leisure Travel Division, Preferred Travel of Naples; Ruthanne Terrero, vice president and editorial director, Questex Hospitality + Travel; Roy Twiste, managing director of sales, Tzell Park Avenue; John Vanderslice, global head of Luxury and Lifestyle Brands, Hilton Worldwide; Kimberly Wilson Wetty, co-president, Valerie Wilson Travel; Julie Zadeh, managing director of Travel Trade Marketing, Hawaii Visitors & Convention Bureau; Matt Zolbe, director of sales and marketing, The Waldorf=Astoria; and Ricci Zuckerman, president and founder, Worldview Travel.