Meet Our Keynotes

Thursday Keynote
Phil Hansen

Embrace the Shake
 
Thursday, June 3 at 11:00AM
Sponsored by Marriott International and Goodman Speakers

Referred to by his fans as "the Artist for the People", Phil Hansen is an internationally recognized multimedia artist, speaker, author, and innovator -- at the forefront of bringing art to a wider audience. Crashing irreverently through conventional boundaries, Phil works at the intersection of traditional art, electronic media, offbeat materials, and interactive experiences. He is most widely known for his meta-art, videos that document the creation process (sometimes even through destruction), showing millions that art is action, not just result. Hansen's work also extends deeply into traditional media with features on the Discovery Channel, Good Morning America, the Rachael Ray Show, Last Call with Carson Daly, Glamour and many more. His work is sough-after by many influential clients including the Grammy Awards, Disney, Skype, Mazda and the Rockefeller Foundation. 

For the tens of millions who have seen Phil's art on TV and online, it's hard to imagine that his artistic journey nearly came to an end when a tremor developed in his drawing hand. In exploring new ways to create art, Phil discovered that by embracing his shake, limitations could become the passageway to creativity. 

His inspirational story was first shared on the TED stage to a standing ovation, and then shared around the world including on PBS, BBC, and CCTV. Now, Phil's ability to draw parallels to the business setting has won him followers among industry and business leaders, leading to invitations to speak at the TED2013 conference, Adobe MAX Creativity Conference, World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates, and the Million Dollar Round Table. "Phil's message of self-reinvention and the power of transforming adversity into opportunity is one that translates well across audiences-regardless of the industry. His message inspires, motivates and re-energizes the creative spirit in us all." - Ford Motor Company

"We need to first be limited in order to become limitless." - Phil Hansen

At the request of some of his speaking clients, Phil has designed a unique art experience beyond the talk. Companies who are seeking an unforgettable interactive experience for their audience are absolutely stunned by its originality, value and effect. "A number of years ago at our sales meeting we had a very expensive performance painter present. I can say that the impact of Phil's talk with the fingerprint art project provided much more impact and value. Being able to connect all employees to a single work of art is absolutely incredible." - Bethany Quam, General Mills President, Convenience & Foodservice Division

Besides speaking and doing art, Phil is an advocate for advancing art education. He's the author of Tattoo a Banana, a guide to exploring creativity through art with everyday materials. And he's the founder of Goodbye-Art Academy, providing high quality and free art education videos to teachers and students everywhere. 

Friday Keynote
Jade Simmons

The Smell of Breakthrough
Friday, June 4 at 11:00AM
Sponsored by Goodman Speakers

Jade Simmons is a creator of transformational experiences designed to activate audiences into becoming the biggest, boldest version of themselves possible. The world-class concert artist has been called a “musical force of nature” with an “uncanny ability to connect with the sounds of today.” Jade is the CEO of Jade Media Global, a revolutionary live experience and global content distribution company specializing in 360º personal development and strategic transformation. 

Following an artistic epiphany, she pivoted from playing the piano to impress audiences, to using music as the vehicle by which to provide the inspiration, entertainment, and transformation that profoundly moves them instead.

Nicknamed “Classical Music’s #1 Maverick,” her electrifying, genre-bending concert adventures span Rachmaninoff all the way to rap and include virtuoso storytelling, uncommon insights, and boundless inspiration. Today, Jade’s experiences not only delight concert audiences, but her dazzling, high impact presentations are fast becoming the go-to fuel for the world’s superlative brands and organizations from financial services, biotech, entertainment, education, energy and beyond. 

In her inimitable career as a concert pianist, Jade has remained committed to expanding the boundaries of Classical music. Simmons has toured the US extensively in recital and with orchestra highlighted by performances at venues as wide-ranging as Ravinia, the Chicago Sinfonietta in Symphony Hall, New York's Town Hall, Detroit Institute of Arts, and the halls of the White House. She has been named one of the Best of South By Southwest and has also received the Sphinx Organization's Medal of Excellence in a concert held at the US Supreme Court. 

Simmons is also the author of the best- selling Audacious Prayers for World Changers. As an equal opportunity disrupter, in 2020, the Maverick made her boldest leap yet as founder of Operation Restoration, which powered her run as an Independent candidate for President of the United States. Her platforms prioritize people and unifying policies over politics as usual. Learn more about her audacious journey from pianist to the Presidency at www.jadesimmons.com.

Meet Our General Session & Breakout Speakers

Stephanie Harris
President, IRF

Stephanie Harris is President of the Incentive Research Foundation (IRF). In her role she directs the efforts of the IRF, an organization that funds and promotes research to increase the understanding, effective use, and benefits of non-cash incentives to businesses globally. Prior to joining the IRF, Harris was part of the American Express Meetings & Events leadership team, leading their global event strategy, thought leadership, and marketing efforts. During her tenure, Harris created the Global Meetings Industry Forecast which has become an industry bellwether. Harris resides in St. Louis with her husband, four children, Labrador and two miniature donkeys.

Susan Adams
Vice President of Travel & Engagement, Next Level Performance

Susan Adams, CPIM, CEP is Vice President of Travel & Engagement at Next Level Performance. She is committed to generating business improvement through recognition, incentives, and engagement and her areas of expertise include travel and marketing operations, content creation, and product development. She is an author and frequently contributes to industry press. Currently, she serve on the board of the Incentive Research Foundation (IRF), and as chair of the Research Committee. She has served as secretary of the board of directors of the Incentive Marketing Association (IMA), as a member of the Incentive & Engagement Solution Providers and the Performance Improvement Council (strategic industry groups of the IMA), and as a past president of the Recognition Council.

Jim Kelley
Vice President, Marketing and Industry Relations, Fern

Jim Kelley, Vice President, Marketing and Industry Relations, brings to the table decades of trade show and corporate meetings industry experience. He came to Fern in 2019 from Production Resource Group (PRG). Jim's career prior to that spanned the industry, including roles with exposition service contractors, convention centers and hotels. Committed to supporting the professional growth of the industry, Jim has been active in PCMA, both locally and nationally. In 2014 he was honored by PCMA as the “Distinguished Service Professional of the Year.” Additionally, he is active with the Incentive Research Foundation and Corporate Event Marketing Association (CEMA). Jim is excited to be part of a company with a deep-rooted culture of service and solutions that is designed around the customer first.

Joshua L. Grimes, Esq.
Attorney at Law, Grimes Law Offices, LLC.

Joshua L. Grimes, Esq., of Grimes Law Offices based in Philadelphia, is a leading attorney in the association, nonprofit, meeting, and hospitality industries. He is a specialist in all matters relating to meetings and conventions, as well as association & nonprofit governance.

Mr. Grimes’ expertise includes preparing and negotiating all types of meeting industry contracts. He also advises clients on avoiding liability risks. In addition, many organizations rely on Mr. Grimes to aggressively represent their interests when disputes arise, including in litigation, mediation, and other resolution procedures. During the current COVID-19 crisis, Mr. Grimes is advising meeting planners and event hosts on legal strategies for safely returning to in-person meetings, as well as presenting hybrid and virtual events. He is advising clients on the best ways to adapt their meetings and policies in the face of continued medical and economic uncertainty. Mr. Grimes was named a Meetings Trendsetter in 2020 by Meetings Today magazine and website. He was also recently awarded the 2019 Partnership Award by the PCMA Greater Philadelphia Chapter. Mr. Grimes is one of the association and meeting industries’ most prominent speakers. He has appeared before industry professionals throughout the United States, and in Europe, the Middle East, Canada, and Mexico. Aside from his legal practice, Mr. Grimes proudly serves as an elected official, as a Commissioner in Lower Merion Township, Pennsylvania.

Sarah Haines
Vice President of Event Management, ITA Group

Sarah Haines has been in the events industry for over 15 years. She became an employee-owner at ITA Group in 2007 starting in operations and has moved to various leadership positions within the company. In her current role she leads a team of over 250 event professionals handling purchasing, operations, air operations, registration and onsite event execution. Her primary focus is helping clients infuse strategy and the science behind motivating people into their events. Sarah believes in a culture of integrity, teamwork and unwavering commitment to excellence. In her free time she enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, running and taking on various projects around the house.

Michael Sheeley
Chief Marketing Officer, United Fire Group Insurance

Michael J. Sheeley is the Chief Marketing Officer of UFG Insurance. Sheeley joined UFG in 1985 as an Underwriter. He was named an AVP of the company in 2004. In 2020, Michael was elected Chief Marketing Officer. He has served as President of the Underwriting Executive Council of America and President of the Cedar Valley Chapter of CPCU’s (Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter). Sheeley has a degree in business management from the University of Northern Iowa.

Lauren Dejmal, CMP
Department Head: Event Marketing, Dealer Marketing Services & Intivity Center, AGCO Corporation

Lauren Dejmal, CMP of AGCO Corporation is the department lead for North America meetings, events and incentives as well as print and digital marketing services and the factory welcome center. After 20 years in the event and experiential marketing industry and 8+ years building the strategic events engagement plan at this global agriculture equipment manufacturer, Lauren has garnered the trust of the c-suite for how to best impact AGCO’s customer base of dealers and farmers. With a $10+ million dollar budget impact and a Farmer First guiding principal, every event, whether in-person or virtual, is centered around what is best for the end user – professional or hobby farmers – and how the dealer can best serve their needs

Rick Garlick
Chief Reseach Officer, IRF

Dr. Rick Garlick serves Frank A. Magid Associates as Vice President, Strategy Consultant, and the IRF as Chief Research Officer. During a career that has spanned over two decades, Rick has worked with the most prestigious hospitality, travel, and leisure companies in the world, in a variety of research and consulting roles. He has a diverse research and consulting background that includes extensive experience with guest experience management, employee engagement measurement and training; talent selection; brand research; customer satisfaction and loyalty programs; forecasting; image and awareness studies; and national opinion polling. Rick is a member of the International Society of Hospitality Consultants (ISHC) and the former Global Travel and Hospitality Practice Lead at J.D. Power where he provided industry thought leadership to the company’s clients in the hotel, rental car, airline, destination, gaming, and cruise line industries. His resume’ also includes experience with two of the most prestigious research companies in North America: The Gallup Organization and Maritz Research.

Laura Puglisi
Director of Sales, Sourcing, and Housing Solutions, Cvent

Laura Puglisi is a Director at Cvent where she manages a global team dedicated to promoting Venue Sourcing and Housing Solutions. Laura has extensive experience in understanding how organizations across all verticals benefit from implementing hotel and venue sourcing programs to drive cost savings, increase efficiency and ensure the safety of attendees and travelers in our ever- evolving environment.

Karen Devine
CEO & Founder, 3D Cruise Partners

Karen Devine is a 38-year veteran of the incentive travel industry, bringing a wealth of knowledge given her history of combined customer and supplier experience. After 10 years working for incentive companies such as Carlson Marketing Group and S&H Motivation, Karen began her supplier career in the Worldwide Sales Office in Chicago for Four Seasons/Regent Hotels & Resorts. After representing an established multi-country DMC throughout Europe as Director of Marketing in the U.S., she joined Rosewood Hotels and Resorts where she became the Regional Director of Sales in Chicago representing the entire collection of luxury hotels and resorts. Joining Radisson Seven Seas (now Regent Seven Seas) in 2000, Karen became the Director of Charter & Incentive Sales representing this luxury cruise line to the incentive market nationwide. Opening 3D Cruise Partners in 2004 allowed Karen and her team to bring instant cruise ‘insider’ expertise to customers by providing immediate access and complete details for all cruise lines. Karen’s combined buyer/supplier (hotel, DMC, cruise) experience is unique in the industry, benefitting 3D’s clients with a diverse background to provide cruise and geographical expertise.

Travor Hanks
Managing Partner, 360 Destination Group

Trevor has been part of the industry since day one... Raised by pioneers in the DMC world with roots in Southern California he was the first kid in his neighborhood to pack coolers, deliver props and suck gas fumes on the curb. After working in the incentive travel as a travel director for several years, Trevor returned to TMM - The Meeting Manager to assist and take over leading the family business. Trevor was responsible for expanding TMM while ultimately taking over the companies full time operation. After recovering from the 2008/2009 mortgage crisis Trevor decided to think bigger in the face of opportunity and decided to ultimately merge and create 360 Destination Group in 2011. 360DG is a premier DMC with 17 locations throughout the US, with annual sales in excess of $55M pre-pandemic. As a leading full-service destination management & event company (DMC) “Built Around You” isn’t just a tagline. It’s our DNA.

Allan Schweyer
Chief Academic Advisor, IRF

A professional writer and researcher in the fields of incentives and rewards, human capital management, and learning for more than twenty-five years, Schweyer serves as the IRF's Chief Academic Advisor and lead researcher. Schweyer has authored or co-authored three books, several peer-reviewed articles in journals, dozens of courses, workshops and eBooks, and hundreds of white papers and articles.

Scott Siewert
President, Fab at Incentives

Scott has enjoyed 30 years in performance marketing and is President of Fab at Incentives. His experience and skills have translated into successful programs including five-star incentive travel and points programs, innovative employee recognition programs, and meetings and events. He is an advocate for using technology to improve the participant experience. Scott’s hallmark is developing incentive rules and structures that successfully “Move the Middle” performers. He has an MBA from Emory University, and currently serves as a volunteer for the Incentive Research Foundation’s Sponsor Development Committee.

Patricia Kerr, CMP
AVP, Meeting & Event Management at Nationwide

Patricia Kerr, CMP, is a 25-year veteran in corporate meeting and conference management. She is a past member of the FICP Board of Directors, serving as its Chair in 2009. Patricia is recognized internationally for her expertise in strategic driven leadership in the areas of Strategic Meeting Management, Incentive & Recognition Development, Program Planning/Implementation and Strategic Sales Support. Patricia has been named as a "Changemaker" by Corporate Meetings & Incentives twice in her career. She has served on the MPI Executive Advisory Council. As AVP, Meeting & Event Management at Nationwide, she strategically drives enterprise wide meetings, conferences and events including the development of innovative cost-effective solutions that enhance client satisfaction, drive sales behaviors, increase revenue and lower meeting expenditures. In addition, Patricia's organization manages in excess of 300 meetings and incentive conferences globally. Patricia works out of Nationwide’s corporate headquarters in Columbus, Ohio as a proud Canadian. She lives in New Albany, Ohio with her husband Jeff and their son Jonathon – a recent Ohio State University grad. They facetime daily with their daughter Jessica who is a third year Education student at Laurentian University in Canada.

Morgan Crain
Senior Manager, Rewards & Recognition, T-Mobile

It's no secret the Un-carrier works hard, but it plays hard, too. In fact, that's where you'll find Morgan Crain—at the intersection of hard work and celebration, with her pom poms cheering. T-Mobile, knows what success looks like, and celebrates this success in Un-carrier style. Morgan spends each day of the year focused on recognizing others – and she and her team do that in a big way. As the Senior Manager for T-Mobile’s Rewards and Recognition team, Morgan leads the development and delivery of innovative and dynamic departmental and company-wide recognition programs. These include reward programs like the PEAK Recognition Award – the pinnacle of achievement at the T-Mobile – and Winners Circle, which rewards the top performing frontline employees in its retail stores and customer care. But whether it’s a complex, company-wide award program or a small gesture of thanks, Morgan helps ensure that meaningful recognition remains a big part of T-Mobile’s DNA. T-Mobile has built a strong reputation for listening to customers and evolving based on their feedback, and in the true Un-carrier spirit, the company’s sweet suite of offerings evolves based directly on feedback from #TeamMagenta – after all, people are willing to give more fuel to the Un-carrier machine when they feel recognized, motivated, and engaged!

Bich-Lien Kaldahl
IRF Airline Advisor

Bich-Lien Kaldahl recently retired from United Airlines after 31 years in aviation sales and management. She was a Meeting, Incentive & Group Sales Manager, a position she had held for over 16 years combined with Continental & United Airlines. In this role, Ms. Kaldahl seeked out and facilitated corporate, group, incentive and meeting travel. She worked closely with many tourism offices and Convention Visitor Bureaus to help increase meeting and group business worldwide. Prior to this, Ms. Kaldahl held positions of increasing responsibility in the Continental Sales organization in Baltimore, Washington DC and Chicago. Ms. Kaldahl is very involved with the hospitality industry and was the SITE Chicago Chapter President in 2007 and 2008 and SITE Leadership Council in 2007. She is a member of MPI, PCMA, FICP and SITE.

Barbara Laken
Regional Sales Director, Corporate and Meetings & Incentives, United Airlines

Barbara is responsible for leading the Chicagoland corporate sales effort for United's hometown headquarters as well as eight neighboring Midwest states. She leads a sales team focused on providing value-add partnerships with large and mid-sized corporations in the Midwest as well as meeting & incentive Travel Management Companies across the USA. She also serves as board member for Choose Chicago and is an active member of Chicago Business Travel Association Allied Council Committee.

Soma Kim
Account Director, Incentive Sales, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts

Soma Kim draws on two decades of hospitality sales experience at some of the most renowned players at the luxury end of the industry. As Account Director, Incentive Sales at Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, she is focused on direct sales efforts in the Incentive Market, building solid relationships, increasing market share and generating revenues for the still-expanding luxury brand.

Lorraine Mahoney
Global Account Manager - Global Sales Intermediary Team, Marriott International

Lorraine Mahoney is a Global Account Manager for Marriott International’s Intermediary Sales Team. She is responsible for total account management for some of Marriott’s key intermediary partner accounts. Lorraine joined Marriott in 2002 as Business Travel Manager for the Renaissance Austin Hotel. In 2004, she moved to Senior Sales Manager responsible for the National Corporate Market. During her tenure with the Renaissance Austin, Lorraine worked with the hotel’s largest corporate clients and intermediaries and was a member of Sales Team of the Year, twice. She joined the Global Sales Intermediary Team in June of 2010 and has enjoyed growing her intermediary relationships ever since. With over 35 years in the hospitality industry she also has experience as a Convention Meeting Planner, Founder of a successful online registration business, and as a Convention Sales Manager for the Austin Convention & Visitors Bureau. Ms. Mahoney currently lives just outside Austin, Texas with her husband, three children and more pets than she cares to admit.

Chris Ruane
Vice President, Meetings and Incentives, Accor Hotels

Chris Ruane currently serves as Vice President, Meetings and Incentives for Accor Hotels.  Based in Minneapolis, Chris oversees the Global Sales Organizations M&I team for the Accor’s North & Central American Region where he plays a key role in developing and executing the strategic direction, deployment and productivity for this important market. 

Larry Epstein
President, The Launch Group

Larry Founder of The Launch Group.  A Creative Company focused on content development with Show direction, custom graphics, scripting and video production.  Our goal is integrating live theatre into corporate meetings and entertainment.  Launch!  produces business meetings and entertainment worldwide.
 

Kelsey Nicol
Director of Business Development, USA & Canada, Mutika Group

Kelsey Nicol joined Mutika, Italy’s premier Experience Management Company (EMC) in 2019 as Director of Business Development. In her current role, she is responsible for strategic customer acquisitions and marketing development within the USA and Canada. Being based in the U.S. allows her to be available to Mutika clients and support with their program’s intricate details. Kelsey believes you are only as good as the last program you operated and supports the Mutika team on reimagining today’s client and participant journey through understanding the lifestyle of travelers. Having also been on the buyer side, she understands the importance of listening to a customer’s needs. Previously, Kelsey spent 15 years with a third-party and during this time, it was important to have a well-rounded understanding of event management. She began her career in operations and then moved to presale, account management and ended in sales. Her experience took place operating incentives on six continents. Kelsey is deeply passionate about the incentive industry and creating unforgettable memories for others that become emotional stories passed throughout family generations. Kelsey is also an active member of FICP (Financial Insurance Conference Planners), SITE (Society for Incentive Travel Excellence) and ADMEI (Association of Destination Management Executives International).

Rutger Hoorn, CIS, CITP, DES
Vice President, Global Sales & Strategic Partnerships , Ovation Global DMC 

Rutger Hoorn is an accomplished explorer, event industry professional, content creator, relationship builder, and courageous father of three. Traveling throughout the year to connect and build relationships, Hoorn works to create memorable event experiences for close to 100 destinations worldwide. Certified Incentive Specialist and Incentive Travel Professional, plus being a Digital Event Strategist, Rutger runs Global Sales and Strategic Partnerships for Ovation Global DMC from out of New York City.

Joe Fijol
Principal, ETHOS Event Collective

Powered by passion and a good cup of coffee, Joe brings the highest level of experience and energy to every event. With more than 25 years in the Hospitality Industry, Joe experienced planning from the incentive, cruise. Resort and DMC perspectives prior to founding ETHOS Event Collective. ETHOS Is a full-service event management company that believes in connecting the meetings we deliver to the local communities we serve.  As a part of his service, Joe also believes in donated his time to speak with College Universities throughout the United States as developing future Hospitality leaders is also one of his passions.

Joe and his ETHOS Event Collective Florida team cover all five markets in Florida and the entire Northern California meeting and incentive markets including Napa Valley as well as lesser-known locations, like Amelia Island and Monterey. His Penchant for organization and hyperawareness of every little detail (combined with his abundant energy) make working with Joe and his team an experience you won’t soon forget.

Richelle Taylor
Vice President Strategic Marketing, One10 Marketing

Richelle Taylor, is Vice President, Strategic Marketing for One10 - a leader in performance improvement and marketing services in North America. Taylor oversees One10’s go-to-market strategy and its Incentives & Recognition business segment which includes global rewards as well as technology development for One10’s propriety performance improvement platforms, PerformX and Rewarding You.

Taylor brings a seasoned background to One10, having held leadership positions in marketing, sales and product management for enterprise recognition and incentive technology solutions.

She is an active member of the Cincinnati chapter of the Network of Executive Women (NEW) and a member of Women in Business Networking (WIBN), in which she was named Top 25 Women to Watch in 2013. Over the last 20 years, Taylor has published articles and spoken on incentive and recognition best practices.

Previously, Taylor has worked for MotivAction in Minneapolis, Aimia Inc, a Canadian loyalty analytics company; and for Dayton-based companies, Excellence in Motivation and Teradata Corporation; and started her career in the incentive industry at the Miami-based, Landry & Kling.

One10 has offices in Dayton, Minneapolis, Dallas, Los Angeles, Detroit and Toronto.

Beau Ballin
Vice President, Commercial Leader, CWT Meetings & Events

Beau Ballin, Commercial Leader, is responsible for leading CWT’s strategic vision of presale for meetings & events in the AMERICAS, ensuring that innovative ideas meet client needs now and in the future. Beau is an industry veteran with over 15 years of experience in delivering meetings, incentives and virtual events. His work and client programs have received global recognition from SITE, CMI25, and Incentive Magazine. He plays an active role in industry roundtables and advisory boards for several leading hotel chains and currently sits on the Digital Task Force for SITE the Society for Incentive Travel Excellence.

Norma Dean
Director, Specialty Sales, Delta Air Lines

Norma Dean is a 36-year Delta veteran who began her career in New Orleans Delta Reservations Sales.  Since that time, she has held jobs of increasing responsibility beginning as an Account Manager in Baltimore, and District Sales Manager in SW Florida. 

From her field experience, Norma came to Delta's headquarters in Atlanta and was promoted to National Account Manager, overseeing association sales in Washington, New York City and Chicago.  Thereafter, she held the position of Global Account Manager-Corporate Sales and then went on to serve as General Manager - Corporate Sales for the Northeast region and General Manager of Specialty Sales. 

In her current role as Director- National Specialty Sales, Norma manages (Pre-COVID) $2.5B in Delta segmented and leisure revenue, including Military & Government, Meetings, Convention & Incentive Sales, Sports & Universities, and Leisure/Tour Operator/Cruise/Ski Sales. She is an active industry leader serving on several segmented advisory boards and committees.

Norma was named GBTA WinIt GBTA Female Mentor of the year.  She is a native of New Orleans, LA. She is a graduate of Louisiana State University. So it should come as no surprise she loves food, LSU and NO Saints Football!  

David Caldwell
Managing Vice President, Sales at Maritz Global Events

With 30 years in the performance improvement, meetings, events and incentive industry, Dave Caldwell is currently Managing Vice President, Sales at Maritz Global Events. He leads the company’s Corporate sales team focused on business development and account management in the Automotive, Financial, Technology, Pharmaceutical and Consumer Retail industries. Dave spent his first 12 years with Maritz in an Account Management role selling and operating performance improvement, events, research, training and creative production solutions to clients across multiple industries. Since 2004, he has held multiple sales leadership roles of increasing responsibility for both Maritz Global Events and Maritz Motivation Solutions. Dave has served on multiple industry Advisory Boards in the past and currently, including those for hotels, DMOs, DMCs and industry groups.

Jonathan Spero
CEO, InHouse Physicians

Jonathan Spero, M.D is CEO of InHouse Physicians. InHouse Physicians is a global employee healthcare company that regularly delivers health security services for many of the highest-profile corporate sales, incentive, and executive meetings around the world including the Olympic Games and World Cup. Dr. Spero practices both Internal and Emergency Medicine. He is an expert on medical risk management in the meeting industry, pandemic preparedness, and a leader in the field of neurobiology of human performance. Dr. Spero completed all of his education at the University of California and his residency in Internal Medicine at Scripps Mercy San Diego. Dr. Spero currently resides in Philadelphia, PA.

Zoila Rivera
Regional Sales Director, Encore 

Zoila Rivera is a passionate sales leader that is dedicated to helping others achieve their goals and objectives. She is a certified meeting professional that has served the meeting and event planning industry for more than a decade. She joined Encore 16 years ago and is currently the Regional Sales Director for the South Florida and Caribbean market. Zoila is an active member of MPI and holds a BS in Communications from Florida International University.

Nicole Trottier
Director of Group Sales, The Leading Hotels of the World

Nicole accepted her dream job as Director of Group Sales at Leading Hotels of the World in 2015, following 18 years of Four Seasons experience in Chicago, London and Nevis.  She has extensive experience in both the incentive and corporate meetings world, working with both third parties and corporate end-users. Nicole is based in Chicago where she strives to keep the balance in a very divided sports fan household.  

Caleb Rice
Director of Insurance, Incentive & Northeast Sales, The Broadmoor

Joining The Broadmoor in 2008, Caleb just celebrated the start of his 13th year at the hotel.  He grew up in Pryor, Oklahoma and graduated from Oklahoma State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Hotel Restaurant Administration.  During his tenure at the hotel, he was the Assistant Manager at La Taverne, the resort’s steakhouse for over 6 years before moving into his first sales role as an Executive Meeting Manager- selling and servicing all programs up to 40 rooms per night. In January of 2016, he was promoted to Sales Manager for the Rocky Mountain Region. From there, in 2019, Caleb was promoted to Director of Incentive & Insurance Sales and added the Northeast to his market in Spring of 2020.

Caleb and his husband Justin, will celebrate their 3rd marriage anniversary in September 2018 and have 2 French Bulldogs- Gurdy and Gus.  They have recently started their adoption process and are very excited for their family’s future growth.  In his spare time, he enjoys traveling, baking, Mexican food, and skiing- both snow and water.

Venkat Viswanathan
Director of Group and Meeting Travel Sales, American Airlines

Venkat Viswanathan is American’s director of group and meeting travel sales, and helps define American’s value proposition for group, meeting and incentive customers globally. He is focused on connecting with key leaders in the meeting travel space in order to provide the best group customer and traveler experience. Venkat has spent 8 years in leadership roles within sales and revenue management including most recently managing AA’s west coast strategy

He graduated from Vanderbilt University with an MBA in Marketing and Strategy.

Lisa McQuerrey
Senior Vice President, Agent and Customer Loyalty, American Equity Investment Life Insurance Company

Lisa is a 20-year veteran in corporate meeting and conference management. In her current role, Lisa’s focus is on developing and implementing customer-centric strategies and programs to drive customer engagement and loyalty across multiple audiences which includes conceptualizing, developing, and managing successful execution of our best-in-class meetings and events. She joined American Equity in 1997 as a Marketing Representative, and has served in several positions throughout the organization. She was named Senior Vice President in 2016. Lisa enjoys being active in the community, spending time with family and friends, and traveling.

Jeff Martindale, MBA
Events Project Manager, FedEx

Jeff Martindale, MBA, is an Events Project Manager and 21-year veteran for FedEx, a global leader in the delivery services industry. In his current role, he is responsible for project management and event planning for the FedEx President’s Club and Ambassador’s Club global sales incentive programs. Jeff earned an MBA from the University of Georgia, and is a member of the Society for Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE) and the SITE Southeast chapter. In his leisure time, he is nearing his goals of running all 6 of the Abbott World Marathon Major races, attending games at all 30 MLB stadiums, and reading 1,000 books.