Founded in 1927, the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI) is the industry champion in identifying and communicating trends in the hospitality industry. With a strong focus on education – led by the association's research and educational arm, the HSMAI Foundation – the membership organization is the source for the tools, insights and expertise for leaders committed to fueling sales, inspiring marketing and optimizing revenue. HSMAI has more than 7,000 members worldwide, with 40 chapters in the Americas Region. The association is active on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.
Should you be looking for experts for future articles on the hospitality industry, please keep the following people in mind.
For interview opportunities, please contact: Lindsay Stout, Edelman for HSMAI, Lindsay.Stout@Edelman.com, 214-443-7586
Hospitality Industry Experts Available for Commentary
Title: Immediate Past Chair of HSMAI Americas Board of Directors; Principal of Digital DNA Infusion, LLC
Areas of Expertise: mobile, social, and digital media, marketing, and distribution for the hospitality industry; revenue optimization; PPC; SEO; SEM; mobile applications; vendor selection; media buying and planning; product planning; market sizing; developing property and brand level strategies; market analysis and forecasting
About: David Atkins is founder of Digital DNA Infusion, LLC, a digital strategy and services company built on his industry expertise – including his work as a founding shareholder at Expedia. With more than 20 years experience, David has a deep passion for and knowledge of all things digital. A frequent contributor to Hospitality Upgrade, he has worked in leadership capacities for Expedia, Microsoft, McDonalds and IAC among others. At Expedia, he was a key architect in the company's initial forays in the hotel business, including the development of the merchant model.
Barb Bowden, CRME
Title: Chair of HSMAI Americas Board of Directors; General Manager for The Peabody Orlando; Corporate Director of Revenue Management for Peabody Hotels
Areas of Expertise: revenue management, creation and implementation of revenue management and distribution infrastructure, group pricing, organizational structure, internal education and training
About: Barb Bowden has worked with the Peabody Hotels since 1986, where she started as front desk supervisor. Currently she is responsible for the creation and implementation of the corporate revenue management and distribution infrastructure for Peabody Hotels. Under her leadership, Peabody Hotels launched its own central reservations office and GDS Chain Code.
Fran Brasseux, CHSE, CHBA
Title: Executive Vice President of HSMAI
Areas of Expertise: resort marketing, sales growth, trends in the hospitality industry, HSMAI information and activities, meeting planning
About: Executive Vice President of HSMAI since 2004, Fran Brasseux is responsible for chapter relations, membership and marketing for the association. Prior to joining HSMAI, she managed sales and marketing for the Americas for the nearly $6 billion Forte Hotel Group in London. Her responsibilities included all hotel and regional sales, marketing programs, reservations and public relations.
Robert "Bob" Gilbert, CHME, CHA
Title: President and CEO of HSMAI
Areas of Expertise: meeting planning, revenue optimization, trends in the travel and hospitality industries, HSMAI information and activities
About: Robert "Bob" Gilbert has led HSMAI since 1995. Under his guidance the association has launched a number of initiatives, including establishing special interest groups, and has strengthened its chapters worldwide. Focusing on educating members, he has worked to establish HSMAI as the industry champion in identifying and communicating trends.
Title: HSMAI Global Chair, Executive Vice President, Sales & Marketing, Fairmont Raffles Hotels International
Areas of Expertise: Travel industry sales and marketing, revenue optimization, portfolio brand management, strategy
About: A 30-year veteran of the travel industry, Jeff Senior, serves as Fairmont Raffles Hotel International's executive vice president, marketing & sales. Senior also sits on the company's executive committee and serves as the enterprise customer advocate, providing leadership and strategic direction with an emphasis on the brand performance group. He is responsible for leveraging FRHI's wealth of assets, including global sales, marketing, ecommerce, revenue management, loyalty, data management, and distribution disciplines in order to maximize the performance objectives of the 100 hotels in 25 countries that make up the Fairmont, Raffles, and Swissôtel brands. He also directs the branded lifestyle businesses, which include the golf, spa, and retail disciplines.
Title: Immediate Past Chair of HSMAI Foundation Board of Directors; HSMAI America Board Member; Senior VP, Global Marketing for Marriott International
Areas of Expertise: global marketing; portfolio and brand marketing; B2B and B2C customer segmentation and engagement; CRM/database marketing; strategic partners; social media; marketing infrastructure, measurement and effectiveness
About: Susan Thronson leads all consumer marketing efforts for Marriott, including marketing strategy, advertising and promotions, strategic alliances, customer relationship management, design and production services, certificate marketing and Marriott Rewards. She joined Marriott in 1989 and has developed the marketing strategy for the company's lodging brands in 64 countries outside of the U.S. and Canada.
Title: Vice Chair of HSMAI Americas Board of Directors; Managing Director, Travel for Google
Areas of Expertise: digital advertising and marketing for the travel industry, integrated marketing for the travel industry, location based and mobile marketing
About: A 20-year veteran of the hospitality industry, Rob Torres serves as Google's managing director of advertising and marketing for the North American travel sector. He oversees the strategy development and profitable growth of integrated and innovative advertising campaigns – serving some of the largest web and brick-and-mortar travel brands in the U.S. including Expedia, Priceline, Hilton Hotels and Carnival Cruise. Prior to joining Google in 2006, Rob was the VP of Strategic Accounts for Expedia, where he managed more than $2B in hotel revenue.