Jerad Bachar has close to thirty years of tourism and economic development experience in an array of countries and business environments. He has worked in both developed and emerging markets in the areas of destination branding and marketing, economic development and diversification, and workforce development.
Jerad began his tourism development career at VisitPITTSBURGH in 2004. In 2008, he became Director of Business Events for the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing where he led the development of the city’s strategy for business, sports, and leisure events. In 2015, Jerad became the Executive Director of Tourism for the Bahrain Economic Development Board where he was responsible for investment promotion for the sector.
Jerad returned to Pittsburgh in January 2019 as the Executive Vice President of VisitPITTSBURGH. In this role, he leads the teams responsible for convention development, sports events, market research, partnerships, visitor services, and convention services.
Clare’s interest in the complex area of place branding was sparked whilst working on a series of Nation Branding Masterclass events, led by Simon Anholt, one of the first thought-leaders to speak about and promote the concept of place branding. Having listened to Simon address audiences in Accra, Delhi, Dubai, London and Singapore on how policy, governance, and symbolic actions need to combine with branding and marketing to create a competitive identity and drive economic growth, she continued to follow the growth in this sector. As Global Conference Director for The International Herald Tribune, now the New York Times, Clare also saw growth in advertising and storytelling around tourism and investment promotion strategy. Clare launched the first City Nation Place Global conference in London in 2015: CityNationPlace.com has been steadily building followers and in 2017, she launched the first City Nation Place Americas conference, in 2018 City Nation Place Asia Pacific took place in Singapore, and 2019 has seen the first City Nation Place UK, specifically for towns, cities and regions across the UK, and the launch of the first City Nation Place LatAm & Caribbean event. Clare manages the small team at City Nation Place alongside providing event consultancy and management for a number of clients in the publishing and trade association sector, including running the World Media Awards for the World Media Group and event consultancy for the UK Association for Online Publishers.
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.
David Ferreira is the City of Mississauga’s Manager of City Marketing and Planning, and led the City’s rebranding project in 2013. Along with brand promotion and reputation management, David also holds responsibilities for market research, citizen engagement, customer service and business planning.
He holds an MBA from Wilfrid Laurier University and an Undergraduate Degree from the University of Toronto. David is passionate about developing authentic, research driven marketing campaigns, storytelling and place branding.
As president and CEO of VISIT PHILADELPHIA®, Jeff Guaracino is charged with building the region’s image, driving visitation and boosting the economy. In 2018, the Greater Philadelphia region welcomed 45 million people. These visitors injected $7.6 billion into our economy, supported 103,800 jobs and generated $980 million instate and local tax—leading to $12.2 billion in economic impact.
Over the past two decades, Sean Malone has earned a reputation as an entrepreneurial, mission-driven nonprofit CEO. With a diverse background, Sean brings an integrative approach to his work and is committed to the impact he can help his organization achieve. His mission-fit focus leads to fiscal and institutional health, vibrant programs that serve, and the accomplishment of ambitious goals.
Since his move to Raleigh, Sean has led the Conservancy’s transition from a volunteer-run start-up organization to an effective and professional nonprofit – with a bold vision to build a park on par with the greatest urban parks. Working closely with board and community leaders and a growing staff team, Sean has led the Conservancy to the successful completion of the capital campaign for the planning phase of the park. In total, donors gave over $12.5 million toward the goal of $8 million, with gifts ranging from $1 to $1 million. At the same time that they exceeded goals for the current campaign, Sean and the board/staff team were effectively setting the stage for the next capital campaign, which is currently in its “quiet phase.”
Sean has a Masters in Business from the University of Wisconsin–Madison and a BFA in Theatre from the University of Southern California. He was honored to be selected as one of “the 100 top arts/cultural leaders in America and abroad” invited to participate in the inaugural Chief Executive Program through National Arts Strategies, and has earned post-professional certificates from executive programs at the Schools of Business at Harvard University, University of Michigan, and University of Texas–Austin. Aside from his work, Sean enjoys spending too many hours baking bread, listening to NPR podcasts, and pretending that, one day soon, he’ll run his second marathon.
Before joining NYC & Company, Nancy served as Vice President, Marketing for Patina Restaurant Group, where she oversaw marketing at more than 35 company-owned and operated restaurants nationally, including dining establishments within famed New York City institutions such as the Met Opera, Rockefeller Centre, Lincoln Centre, Macy’s Herald Square and Brooklyn Botanic Garden, to name a few. Beyond NYC, she oversaw marketing for the company’s growing presence in Orlando, most notably the opening of its Morimoto Asia restaurant in Disney Springs.
Mammana has had a successful career in marketing and partnerships with a heavy focus on travel and tourism, culinary and arts promotion with organisations such as Alvin Ailey and Cunard Line in addition to global partnership work for the National Basketball Association (NBA). She also has extensive agency experience, having worked with The Marketing Arm for 10 years as Vice President, Account Services, representing major brands such as Pepsi, Monster, Victoria’s Secret, American Express and Staples.
Steven Pedigo is an expert in economic and urban development, city strategy and management, and placemaking. Steven has advised and collaborated with more than 50 cities, universities, developers, nonprofits, and Fortune 500 companies across the globe to build more creative, innovative, and inclusive communities.
Steven is the director of the LBJ Urban Lab Initiative and professor of practice at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin. He is also a vice president for strategy at Resonance Consultancy. Steven was a clinical professor at the NYU Schack Institute Real Estate.
Steven’s city clients include New York, Jerusalem, Vancouver, Dallas, Washington, D.C., Brisbane, the Yukon, Tulsa, Austin, Portland, Newark, San Diego-Tijuana, Miami, Sao Paulo, Monterrey, Mexico City, and many others. His corporate clients include BMW, Converse, Starwood Hotels, Philips, Cirque du Soleil, Audi, Pinewood Studios, Zappos, EDENS, Kraft, among others.
Steven holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin and graduate degrees from the H. John Heinz III School for Public Policy and Management at Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Bob Ross is the Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communication for the Greater Topeka Partnership.
Before joining the Partnership, Bob had a successful career in corporate retail that spanned 20 years. He served in a variety of leadership roles within Payless ShoeSource and Academy Sports and Outdoors. During that tenure he lead business operations for Payless ShoeSource in their international territories. Overseeing merchandising and marketing strategies for Israel, Peru, Thailand, Vietnam and Australia. Notably his team reversed a negative trend in the Israeli market which enabled the franchise to begin opening new stores and gain greater market share.
Ross has brought his corporate retail background to Topeka, Kansas. In his tenure with the Greater Topeka Partnership he is taking on the challenge of marketing the city as a destination for site selectors, tourists, and those seeking to relocate for work. His organisation has successfully lead a transformation of their downtown core. Over the last five years $100M in new investment has reshaped the historic district and brought new life to the community. This revitalisation allowed Ross and his team to launch the Choose Topeka campaign, which positions the city as a vibrant place for people looking to live, work and play. This campaign went viral in December of 2019 garnering over 5M views globally across media outlets ranging from the New York Times, Univision, and the BBC.
Gregg Wassmansdorf is a Senior Managing Director in Newmark Knight Frank’s Global Corporate Services division and shares responsibility for sales, platform development, and client service delivery at NKF Global Strategy, the company’s corporate consulting practice.
In his management consulting capacity, he works with his corporate clients to address challenges related to global portfolio strategy,business location strategy and site selection, supply chain planning, economic incentive negotiation and procurement, workplace strategy, and capital project implementation. His experience spans the asset mix found within most large companies: head offices, shared services hubs, call centers, data centers,manufacturing plants, and distribution facilities.
Mr. Wassmansdorf also utilizes his location strategy and site selection consulting experience to support senior and lower levels of government with economic development strategy, investment attraction initiatives, and regional & community competitiveness assessments. He is regularly called upon by investment promotion and economic development agencies for his expert opinions.
Gregg is a Canadian and U.S. citizen, a corporate real estate specialist, a LEED accredited professional in sustainability, a cross-border FDI business expert and regular columnist for fDi Magazine (a Financial Times publication), and is a member of the Site Selectors Guild, an association of the world’s top corporate site selection professionals, for which he is also a member of the Board of Directors.