- 2019 Presentations
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Royce Chwin is the CEO of Travel Alberta, an award-winning provincial crown corporation mandated to develop and market Alberta as a premier tourist destination. Royce leads a high-performance team responsible for Alberta’s regional, national and international tourism marketing, as well as Albertafocussed tourism industry development.
Travel Alberta was recently named one of Canada’s 10 Best Corporate Cultures – Broader Public Service by Waterstone Capital and recognized as one of Alberta’s Top 70 Employers of 2017 by Mediacorp Canada, Inc. Prior to joining Travel Alberta, Royce was the Executive Director, Global Brand Integration at the Canadian Tourism Commission. There, he and the team were instrumental in bringing the Canada brand to life for millions of viewers in support of 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Games.
Royce brings over 25 years’ leadership experience the retail and hospitality industries. He successfully led and executed business strategy and operations for organizations including Starbucks, Blockbuster Video, Boston Pizza International and a retail start-up.
A graduate of the Queens University Executive Program and CommunityShift, a C-level leadership development program founded by KPMG Enterprise and Ivey Business School, Royce is a member of the Edmonton International Airport Business Advisory Committee, the Calgary International Airport Business Development Advisory Council, the Hospitality and Tourism Management Advisory Committees at both the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology and Olds College and volunteers as part of the ‘Grizzly’ panel for in-transition professionals building purposeful careers.
Deborah has served as the President of Campus Philly since October 2010, doubling the organizations partnerships, budget, staff and programs in that time. Prior to Campus Philly, Deborah was vice president at The Melior Group, a market research and consulting firm in Philadelphia and served as a director of research and strategy at Visit Philadelphia, the regional tourism marketing organization from 2003 to 2008.
Deborah's early career began in academics. She received a Bachelor's degree from Bryn Mawr College in Political Science and a Master's degree and Ph.D., also in Political Science, from the University of Chicago. She was a Mellon Post-Doctoral Fellow at Columbia University and has taught at Bryn Mawr as a visiting lecturer as well. Within political science, Deborah's academic work focused on political philosophy.
Deborah serves on the board of overseers of the Jewish Grad Network of Greater Philadelphia is a past board member of Bryn Mawr’s Alumnae Association. In 2014 she was recognized as a “Most Admired CEO” in the nonprofit category by the Philadelphia Business Journal; in 2016 she was awarded a Brava Award for leadership by SmartCEO; and in 2017 she received a Globy Award for educational leadership from the Global Philadelphia Association.
A futurist, strategist and frequent keynote speaker, Chris leads a team that has completed more than 100 visioning, strategy, planning, policy and branding projects for destinations and cities around the world. Chris holds a Masters degree in Studies of the Future, is an adjunct instructor in placemaking for New York University and is a member of the Project for Public Space’s Leadership Council, the Urban Land Institute and Destination Marketing Association International. In 2013, Chris was recognized as the place branding “Thought Leader of the Year” at the World Sense of Place Summit for his development of place branding methodologies.
Tom Kiely currently serves as President and CEO of the West Hollywood Travel + Tourism Board, the city’s official marketing organization, a position he has held since 2017. In this role, Tom oversees the organization’s efforts to promote West Hollywood, California as a first-choice visitor destination in the heart of Los Angeles. Previously, Tom spent six years as Executive Vice President, Tourism with the San Francisco Travel Association. In that role, Tom coordinated all sales efforts to attract leisure visitors to San Francisco from both the USA and international markets. His 30-year career in the travel and tourism industry includes executive management roles with Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, Universal Studios Hollywood, Monte Carlo Resort and Casino in Las Vegas and Atlantis the Palm Resort in Dubai.
Located at the base of the Hollywood Hills and adjacent to Beverly Hills, West Hollywood is a creative and progressive city that embodies the quintessential L.A. lifestyle. West Hollywood is home to 18 hotels and comprised of three main districts: the world-famous Sunset Strip with unparalleled nightlife, eclectic and LGBTQ-friendly Santa Monica Boulevard, and the Design District known for its sought-after shopping and dining.
Tom is on the board of the U.S. Travel Association, California Travel Association and IGLTA and is a key figure in travel and tourism in California.
Kristian’s role at the New Orleans Visitor & Convention Bureau enables him to focus on the strategic direction and messaging of the New Orleans tourism industry. He creates and oversees the implementation of public relations and communications strategies to brand New Orleans as the nation's premier business and leisure destination and is responsible for positioning the NOCVB as one of the top CVBs in the country. He supports the president and CEO as a spokesperson for the tourism industry on all levels, supervises the day-to-day operations and management of the communications staff and manage activities of outside CVB partners.
Prior to joining the NOCVB I 2015, Kristian was with the New Orleans-based Peter A. Mayer Advertising, Louisiana's largest full-service advertising, public relations and marketing agency, He and his team serviced approximately 20 accounts per month ranging all categories including Emerald Coast Convention and Visitors Bureau, GE Capital, Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Louisiana, Hancock/Whitney Bank, The National World War II Museum and the Louisiana Office of Tourism, among others.
He has held numerous leadership positions in the city and region, including serving on the Host Committee for Super Bowl XLVII, serving on the city's team of BP oil spill communications specialists, and working with key city and state officials on Louisiana's recovery efforts post-Hurricane Katrina and Rita. Sonnier began his career as a public relations manager at the Resort at Squaw Creek in California.
Tourism is a $6.47 billion industry for New Orleans, employing more than 80,000 people and attracting 9.28 million visitors annually.
Shauna Stewart has served as CEO of Experience Olympia and Beyond, for three years. She has spent a dozen years in tourism and destination marketing, promoting communities throughout the Pacific Northwest. Shauna earned her Business Administration & Marketing degree from Western Washington University, a Master’s in Public Administration from The EverGreen State College, and was recently recognized as a 40 Under 40 Honoree by the Puget Sound Business Journal. She lives in Olympia, WA with her husband and two children and refers to this season in life as beautiful chaos.