Young Travel Leaders Conference Announces New Steering Committee for 2014

young travel leaders conference logoQuestex Hospitality + Travel has announced a roster of the travel industry’s brightest young leaders to serve as Steering Committee members for the newly rebranded  2014 Young Travel Leaders Conference (YTLC).

The event, to be held Dec. 8 at The Palazzo Las Vegas in conjunction with Luxury Travel Exchange International (LTX), provides a forum for under-40 travel professionals to showcase industry talent and foster peer-to-peer networking, career development and information-sharing. 

RELATED: 2014 Young Travel Leaders Conference to Be Held December 8 in Las Vegas

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The Steering Committee will guide Young Travel Leaders Conference’s dynamic networking and relevant educational programming. Its members include:

  • Carole Anne Hughs, VWT coordinator, Valerie Wilson Travel, New York
  • Andrey Zakharenko, owner and founder, Russian Connections, San Francisco
  • Ryan Mielke, manager, Regency Travel, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
  • DeAnne Petritz, director, leisure travel, CI Travel, Virginia Beach, Va.
  • Heather Christopher, manager, Classic Travel at Tacketts Mill, Woodbridge, Va.
  • Daniela Harrison, travel consultant, Avenues of the World Travel, Flagstaff, Ariz.
  • Chris O’Connor, travel consultant,  Allure Travel, a division of Corporate Travel Management, Denver
  • Bernadette Sperrazza, leisure travel enthusiast, The World Awaits Travel, Brooklyn, New York
  • Katelyn O’Shaughnessy, luxury travel planner, TravelStore, Brentwood, Calif. 
  • Caroline Bracewell, Atlanta-based luxury travel consultant, Easy Escapes Travel, New York

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

“It’s always exciting to see a healthy mix of agents who have been with us since day one and agents who are attending for the first time,” said Joe Pike, senior editor of Travel Agent magazine and co-chair of the event. “The show always evolves, whether it be an increase in interactive sessions or simply a spike in excitement from our attendees. I'm excited to see where this year's show will take us.”

Peer-to-peer networking was the number-one reason cited for YTLC attendance in 2013. “The level of expertise ranges from a few years in the industry to over a decade of travel selling,” he said.

Registration will open in late spring. Sponsorship opportunities are available but limited. All YTLC participants will receive complimentary admission to LTX, Dec. 9-11 at The Palazzo Las Vegas.

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 or connect on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn