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The inspiration and conversation ignited at City Nation Place Americas has brought focus to the essential work of place branding and we are delighted that New York City gets to play a recurring role as host city and backdrop for this important annual gathering.
City Nation Place combines all of the critical elements of placemaking in one place, at one time: tourism, economic development, planning and cutting edge leaders. The compelling program makes it the most intensive and experiential conference of its kind.
Country Branding and Place Making as we know them today are dynamic concepts; what used to work yesterday may not be what would work tomorrow. Bringing together professionals representing different entities that thrive in this industry for a couple of days to connect and share their knowledge is golden.
Sylvie Gallier Howard is Chief of Staff of theDepartment of Commerce. She assumed this position in January 2016 after servingas Deputy Chief of Staff to the Deputy Mayor for Economic Development duringthe Nutter Administration. In addition to supporting day-to-day operations, Ms.Gallier Howard’s responsibilities include communications and marketing,coordinating legislative activities, international relations, and rolling outnew programs. She has spearheaded several priority initiatives, such as thelaunch of Kiva City Philadelphia, a zero-interest micro-business loan program,and the City’s successful effort to become the first World Heritage City in theU.S.
Prior to joining government, Sylvie spent her entire career in the non-profit sector. For six years, Mrs. Gallier Howard was the Principal and Founder of Clementine Consulting, providing guidance to non-profits and social enterprises working in areas such as education, social justice,economic development and immigration. Mrs. Gallier Howard has also served as the Executive Director of two community-based non-profits in Philadelphia: The Northwest Fund and The Empowerment Group. At the Empowerment Group, Mrs.Gallier Howard started Philadelphia’s first bilingual Spanish-English entrepreneurship training program.
Mrs. Gallier Howard serves on the board of directorsof the Global Philadelphia Association and the Mayor’s Fund for Philadelphia.She has a B.A. in International relations from Barnard College of Columbia University and an M.A. in Sociology from Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales in Ecuador (a graduate school started by the United Nations Development Program to promote development in Latin America). Mrs. Gallier Howard is fluent in Spanish and French and is the mother of four boys – including twins:Demetrius, Bahari, Jai and Karim.
Brandom Gengelbach is an economic development professional with 15 years of diverse foreign and domestic experience in Nashville, Indianapolis, and Brisbane, Australia. Brandom joined the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce as Executive Vice President of Economic Development in 2016, overseeing business attraction and retention efforts. The Fort Worth Chamber is the largest chamber in the DFW market, with more than 2,000 member companies.
Ray Hoyt joined the Tulsa Sports Commission in September of 2010 as the Executive Directorbut quickly assumed senior leadership with the Tulsa Regional Chamber as the Senior Vice President of both Visit Tulsa and the Tulsa Sports Commission. Within his first year in this expanded role, Ray succeeded in raising over $3.5 million in private monies, under a campaign known as “VisitTulsa 1.0.” That campaign’s success led to VisitTulsa 2.0, in which investors “doubled-down” an additional $6.4 million for an event closing fund. In late 2014 Ray worked with the VisitTulsa and Tulsa Sports Commission Boards to consolidate into one Regional Tourism Board. Now President of Regional Tourism, Ray recently led the Board to secure $1.2 million in additional lodging tax annually through a change in a city ordinance.
Prior to his arrival in Tulsa, Rayserved as the Director of National Games for the National Senior Games Association, an organization with whom he had been associated since serving as inaugural Executive Director for the Tucson Sports Commission 1994-1997.
The convention and tourism leader, the Walt Disney Company, recognized Ray’s success in Tucson.Subsequently, he joined the Disney’s Wide World of Sports team in 1997 ultimately leading the event management team, which ran over 40 AAU National Championships, the USTA National Clay Court Championships, Disney’s Indy 200, the Walt Disney World Marathon, POP Warner Super Bowl Championships and more - totaling to over 200 separate events annually. Ray’s impact led to more profitable events as defined by higher per-athlete spending and increased room nights sold per event.
Ray graduated from Illinois State University, with a BS degree in Parks and Recreation Administration and is an active member of both the National Association of Sports Commissions and Destination Marketing Association International, among other organizations.
Away from the office, Ray enjoys golf, cycling, and spending time with his family. Ray lives with his wife Tricia and their two children, Riley and Regan; Ray’s elder daughter, Alyssa, resides in Tucson, Arizona with her husband.
Daniel Valverde Bagnarello has wrought his career in marketing for over 20 years. He holds both a Master in Digital Marketing and a Master in Management from IE Business School, a seat in the British School of Costa Rica's Advisor Committee and also one in the Latin American Country Brands Forum.
Although he started in advertising, Daniel's career path has led him over the years from a copywriter’s desk at a BBDO network agency, to the commercial director's seat in one of the most successful company holdings in the Central American region devoted to global trade. Along the way he has skilled in the management of multinational marketing teams praising that success in his field lays on two major pillars: The first, embracing data as the main source to spark creative initiatives. And the second, committing to talent development as a KPI.
Currently, Daniel is the Country Brand Director behind "essential COSTA RICA", the country brand that showed the greatest annual growth in America according to the Bloom Consulting Country Brand Ranking 2017/2018. He also leads the country brand's Technical Unit that comprises representatives from Procomer (Costa Rica's TPA), CINDE (IPA), ICT (Tourism Bureau), COMEX (International Trade Bureau) and Costa Rica's Chancellery (Foreign Affairs Bureau).
EmrahYucel is a world-renown branding expert and designer based in Los Angeles, USA. Through his two highly-decorated companies, Iconisus and I Mean It Creative; he offers motion picture advertising and destination branding services, respectively.
Holding a Master's degree in Art, Design, and Architecture, Yucel was selected the “Graphic Designer of the Year" at the age of 21. His eye-catching designs for famous Broadway plays led him to become one of the most sought-after creatives in Hollywood. The list of his campaigns for famous Hollywood projects includes, but not limited to: Kill Bill, Frida, Avatar, American Horror Story, Fifty Shades of Gray among others.
In 2001, EmrahYucel co-founded Iconisus, an agency providing visual design, advertising, and branding services to major Hollywood studios and TV networks.
In 2008, he founded I Mean It Creative, an independent consultancy, specializing in advertising, strategic brand consulting, and destination branding. Believing that “Great brands are exceptional storytellers, and great branding is exceptional storytelling,” Yucel’s story-based approach to destination branding became a quick hit. He created the ‘Turkey: Home’ campaign for the Turkish Ministry of Tourism, which has been running since 2013. He also created the destination brand campaigns for the City of Gaziantep and the City of Izmir. Emrah and his team also delivered destination branding projects all around the world such as Big Island in Hawaii, Leiki Free Trade Zone in Nigeria, Kenya Free Trade Zone.
Among the many prestigious awards Yucel received are; Key-Art Awards, PromaxBDA Awards, Webby Award, Sunset Billboard Award. In 2009, he and his team were awarded the "Designer of the Year" by International Design Awards.
Yucel is a highly sought-after speaker, who recently gave a keynote speech at United Nations WIPO in Geneva Switzerland in the Intellectual Property Day.
Yucel currently resides in Los Angeles.