Confirmed speakers included:
Leah is the Chief Marketing Officer for the Puerto Rico Destination Marketing Organization, Discover Puerto Rico. Leah is charged with strategic marketing leadership for the organization; including oversight of paid media, creative, public relations, brand management, and digital strategy.
Prior to her move to San Juan, Leah was the CMO for Explore Branson, leading the growth of the community’s tourism industry for five years, repositioning the destination brand and posting back-to-back record ROI for the organization’s marketing program. In previous years, Leah led the Missouri Tourism account at H&L Partners, the agency of record for the Missouri Division of Tourism. Leah developed and guided the strategic direction of the Division’s marketing, managing paid and earned media, creative and interactive development, and campaign implementation. Leah led Missouri Tourism’s brand repositioning effort, introducing a new brand identity and corresponding campaign featuring “Enjoy the Show.”
Leah is a veteran of the travel and tourism industry, having directed the Indiana Tourism account for five years prior to H&L Partners.
Javier has an uncanny ability to realize complex brand strategies with ease, producing meaningful design that both delights and supports business and creative objectives.
Javier has led projects for clients such as The Waldorf Astoria, Four Seasons, and The Ritz Carlton, in locations including Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago, New York, and Palm Beach.
He was named one of Massachusetts’ most influential people for the Latino community by El Planeta newspaper, and is a James Beard Foundation award winner.
Kris has over 10 years Digital Marketing experience and has helped define how Jamaica tells their story more effectively through digital media. As the lead Digital Marketing Strategist, Kris has developed data driven strategies which increasingly supports the Jamaica Tourist Board transitioning into an intelligence driven marketing organization.
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.
The daughter of a Mexican mother and a Costa Rican father, Claudia Dobles represents thousands of Costa Rican women, workers, wives, mothers and daughters. Women who know that their contribution is fundamental for the construction of a better society. In the case of the First Lady, her contribution is in the construction of said society, given that she has 14 years of experience in design, project management and urban planning. During her career she has been dedicated to the development of large-scale projects (nationally and internationally), while always promoting sustainability and resilience in each of them.
Rodrigo has more than twenty years in the tourism industry. At the national level he has worked at FONATUR - the tourism planning agency - and the Mexico Tourism Board, where he served different positions in New York, Chicago and Toronto. Since October 2016, he is the Managing Director of the Los Cabos Tourism Board.
Esponda was an adjunct faculty member of the Tisch Center for Hospitality at NYU. He earned a degree in Architecture from the National University of Mexico (U.N.A.M.) and has a Master’s in Public Administration from Columbia University in New York.
Caio Esteves is a Place branding Expert. He is also the Founder of Places for Us, a pioneering consulting firm in Place Branding in Brazil, and works as a Place branding consultant for both the government and private sector.
Caio is the author of "Place Branding", 1st book about Place Branding in Brazil. He also runs the Idealized Place Branding MBA, which coordinates, and teaches place branding in several postgraduate courses.
Bettina Garibaldi is a Senior Vice President at Ketchum, a top global communications consultancy. She brings 15+ years of experience leading integrated marketing communications campaigns. She is the account director for Ketchum’s largest Travel & Economic Development (T&ED) client, Discover Puerto Rico. A daughter of an Argentinian diplomat and international economist, Bettina spent her youth in Argentina, Australia, the Philippines and the U.S. Thriving meant adapting to different environments and constant change – skills she has leveraged to help build the T&ED sector at Ketchum. She oversees a variety of clients and is active in industry organizations including Tourism Cares. She holds a BBA from Baruch’s Zicklin School of Business and a Master’s degree from NYU.
Nate Huff is a Senior Vice President at Miles Partnership, a marketing agency that specializes in the travel and tourism vertical. Nate has spent the last 15 years working with destinations and travel brands to craft content- and media strategies that generate measurable results. His clients include San Francisco Travel, Destination DC, Discover Puerto Rico, Macy’s and Brand USA, where he leads a team dedicated to helping Brand USA develop and execute partner marketing programs that drive international consumer engagement and conversion. He is currently leading Miles Partnership’s Google destination content initiative which was unveiled at Destination International’s 2017 Annual Conference and now includes more than 70 participating destinations.
Dr. Robert Paul Jones, is an associate professor and Department Chair of Hospitality and Retail Management in the College of Human Sciences. Dr. Jones serves as the Founding and Executive Director of Center for Global Understanding of Experiential and Sustainable Tourism (GUEST) at Texas Tech University. Dr. Jones also serves as the President of the American Collegiate Retail Association, the leading retail academic organization. Robert earned his bachelor’s degree in Retailing Management from Michigan State University, and his masters and Ph.D. in Retailing Management from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He previously taught at the University of Texas at Tyler as an associate professor of marketing and served as the Director of the Center for Retail Enterprises. Dr. Jones is active with many industry organizations such as the Texas Retailers Association, Texas Food and Fuel, Texas Retailers Education Foundation, Category Management Association, and others. Dr. Jones has over 25 years of executive leadership and consulting experience in retail and hospitality, with firms such as May Company, Dollywood, Shop at Home, and Jewelry Television. He continues to engage with industry working with firms such as 7-Eleven, Walmart, Walgreen’s, Brookshire’s, Brookshire Brother’s, Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits, Republic National Distributing, MillerCoors, Andrews Distributing, John Soules Foods, and many others. Dr. Jones has an active research agenda focused on the shopper and the shopper experience. His publications are found in journals such as Journal of Retail and Consumer Services, International Journal of Retail and Distribution Management, and International Review of Retail, Distribution, and Consumer Research.
As the Executive Director of GUEST, my role will be to concentrate on the development of the network of companies who will receive the participants of the grant project and the positions they will assume. In this capacity, I will work on the development of work standards and reporting which we will require from the companies. Additionally, continued mentorship, skill refreshing, and skill development with the youth will also be a focus.
Glenn Jones is chief experience development officer at the Bermuda Tourism Authority (BTA) and is also an EMMY Award-winning broadcast journalist, part of a decade-long television news broadcasting career in the United States. He left the journalism field in 2007 to become Press Secretary to the Premier of Bermuda where his responsibilities included speechwriting, political communication strategies and media relations. Following almost three years in that role, which included a General Election victory, Glenn re-entered the private sector as a media corporate executive – initially running Bermuda.com and then assumed leadership of MediaHouse, the parent company of Bermuda.com, Island Press and the former Bermuda Sun.
Today Glenn is primarily responsible for empowering Bermuda’s entrepreneurs and small businesses to develop on-island experiences that align with the National Tourism Plan and meet the desires of the destination’s target visitors. His goal is to win the hearts and minds of visitors through strategies that put the customer first and position Bermudians at the forefront of economic opportunity.
In his previous BTA role as director of strategy and corporate communication, Glenn led the rollout of Bermuda’s National Tourism Plan and is working now to implement the plan through a coordinated effort with a broad cross-section of tourism stakeholders. His background in journalism, digital media and politics make him uniquely suited for the role.
Glenn graduated from Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts.
Corinna Keller is Vice President of Advertising Sales for the Americas at CNN International. Keller joined CNN International Commercial from Viacom in 2016 to oversee the company’s pan-regional news advertising sales business across the Americas. She is based in Miami, reporting to Rani Raad, President of CNN International.
In her role, Corinna oversees the pan-regional ad sales business for CNN International, CNN en Español, CNN.com/international and CNNEspañol.com for Latin America, Canada and clients based in the U.S. who want to target international viewers.
She leads CNNIC teams in New York and Miami, and manages senior relationships with government entities, clients and agencies. She also works directly with TURNER Latin American sales teams throughout the region to develop CNN strategy in the various and diverse markets of Latin America and Brazil
Andres Letelier, has a wide experience in urban development projects, urban management, participatory processes, and public-private partnerships. His approach has a strong focus in integrated planning, innovation, socio-spatial integration and sustainability.
He is an Architect from the Catholic University of Chile and master in Urban Design & Planning from the University of Sydney, Australia, and currently is Executive Director of CREO Antofagasta, an initiative of cross-sector collaboration to improve quality of life in Antofagasta, the Chile´s largest mining city.
Federico Moreno-Nickerson joined ALG in July 2017 to support the expansion of the company’s footprint for AM Resorts, specifically in Mexico, the English-speaking Caribbean and Latin America. Moreno-Nickerson leverages over 30 years of experience in luxury hotel management, operations, destination / hotel marketing, and travel product development in the luxury space. Before joining ALG Development, Moreno-Nickerson spent 13 years as director of product development at Classic Vacations, Expedia’s luxury brand, responsible for Caribbean and Mexico. It was during this time that he lead Classic Caribbean portfolio to become the top selling travel region within the company, surpassing Classic Hawaii in 2015. Prior to that, in his role as Senior Director of Marketing at Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts, for nearly a decade, he successfully opened the hotel in Mexico City and the resort in Punta Mita. During this same time, Federico also accepted the Promotions Committee President role at the Mexico City Hotel Association. Federico was later appointed as Chief Counsel of Mexico City’s first Tourism Board, where he co-authored the destination’s first Strategic Marketing Plan. Recognized for his luxury travel and destination marketing expertise, Federico is a founding member of the World Heritage Alliance between Expedia Inc. and the United Nations Foundation, and a frequent speaker on UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Throughout his career, Moreno-Nickerson worked for several international chains in the Caribbean, United States and Europe such as Accor, Four Seasons, Hilton International and Hyatt Domestic, and in Mexico with Camino Real and Grupo Posadas.
Federico is a graduate of the Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management at the University of Houston where he earned both a Bachelor of Science Degree and a Masters in Hospitality Management.
Bachelor in Business Administration from the Anahuac University in Mexico, he has a Master's Degree in International Marketing and Business Management from the Madrid Business Institute in Spain; also a PHD Candidate in Tourism from the World Tourism Organization and the Antonio de Nebrija University in Madrid, Spain. He has been recognized by different associations and by national and international organizations for his boundless work and career in Mexico´s Tourism, becoming a point of reference and consultation for many professionals and organizations.
As President and CEO of GMS, Mr. Pace is directly responsible for the development of each client’s marketing, sales, and public relations initiatives in the region, focusing on the Mexican market. Current and former GMS clients include; Avis Rent A Car, Budget Rent A Car, Visit California, the Orange County Visitors Association, Jamaica Tourist Board, Wyndham Hotel Group, Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau, Aeromexico, and the Guanajuato Tourism Board. GMS counts on an experienced team of executives across all disciplines and a full support staff to successfully achieve its clients’ objectives throughout the region.
María Paula’s background in strategic planning and experience in diverse practice areas have allowed her to develop a multi-scale approach towards design that has positioned her in relevant initiatives around experience strategy, research and innovation across the firm.
María Paula currently leads the Consulting Practice Area for Gensler in Latin America and devotes most of her time to the human experience side of design for projects in Costa Rica, Colombia and other emergent markets such as Chile and Mexico.
Larissa Perdomo has been head of the Uruguay Country Brand team since June 2014. She has been Image and Communications Manager at the Uruguayan investment and export promotion agency (Uruguay XXI) since 2009, contributing to the creation and management of the Uruguayan country brand project, and coordinating this activity from Uruguay XXI with the Interministerial Advising Committee for Foreign Trade. In recent years she has taken part in Country Brand international forums and workshops with specialists in Nation Branding. She coordinates the Jeremey Hildreth consultancy for “Redibero Region Image” Project (Ibero-American Network of Trade Promotion Organizations) within the framework of IDB Regional Public Goods programme. Larissa has worked as a professor of corporate communications and public relations in the Uruguayan Association of Marketing Executives (ADM) and has trained many executives from companies and organizations in their relationship with the media. She also lectures on country branding for the Tourism degree program at the Universidad Católica del Uruguay.
María Amalia Revelo has over 40 years of professional experience in the Costa Rican tourism industry, participating in the positioning and marketing of Costa Rica as a tourist destination within the public and private sectors. Prior to her role as minister, Ms. Revelo led the development of routes for the Juan Santamaría International Airport, together with the Government of Costa Rica, and led important projects with the Costa Rican Institute of Tourism (ICT), such as, contracting the first North American advertising agency, developing and implementing strategic tourism campaigns, and executing a Marketing Strategic Plan for Sustainable Tourism. For more than 17 years, Ms. Revelo held the position of Director of Marketing and Sales at System Level at LACSA, Líneas Aéreas de Costa Rica (Costa Rica Airlines). Her team led the development of the expansion of LACSA in South America and implemented innovative campaigns and partnership programs that positioned Costa Rica as a diverse tourist destination.
Ms. Revelo’s priorities for this period as Minister of Tourism include the promotion of small and medium-sized businesses, the development of new local destinations and authentic products, with a focus on the culture and cuisine, as well as the strengthening of the joint efforts between the public and private sectors. Sustainability will be the keystone of all the activities of the Ministry. The positioning of Costa Rica as a highly attractive destination for the MICE industry, and the program for the attraction of flights from new cities in the United States and new airlines from other markets will be strengthened.
Mr. Sequeira is the Managing Director of the Costa Rican Investment Promotion Agency, CINDE. Mr. Sequeira joined CINDE in 2014, after the Trade Promotion Agency of Costa Rica, PROCOMER, where he served for four years as the General Manager.
Prior to that, Mr. Sequeira co-founded and acted as CEO of Exactus Corporation, a business software development company with presence in 12 countries throughout Latin America. Mr. Sequeira acted also as Vice-president of the Board of Directors of the Costa Rican Chamber of Industries, as well as of GS1 Costa Rica, the local office of the Brussels-based global organization for the facilitation of commerce.
Mr. Sequeira graduated Magna Cum Laude from Tufts University, in Boston, Massachusetts, where he obtained an Engineering degree in Computer Science and Applied Math. He then obtained a post-graduate degree in Administration and Management from the Harvard University School of Extension, also in Boston.
As VP, Audiences & Data, Tini leads and develops CNNIC’s international and geographically distributed team of specialists focused on using Turner’s own data cloud and out-of-house capabilities to create new data solutions via analytics and visualisation, as well as accelerating the modernisation of our existing audience research tools. Tini joined CNN from YouGov, a data & analytics provider, where she was Global Director of Data Applications. Prior to joining YouGov, Tini spent 14+ years in the media agency industry. Whilst working at Mindshare & Starcom Mediavest, Tini has worked with digital, data, analytics and technology to lead clients on a journey of transformation turning insights into actions to drive business outcomes. Over the years, she has worked across various categories including pharmaceuticals, automotive, finance, telecommunication, and FMCG spanning clients like Sprint-Nextel, Motorola, Unilever, BP, Kraft Foods, Novartis, Honda, McCormick and P&G. In her spare time, Tini is training for an ultra-marathon and is currently writing a cookbook “East Meets West: A Mother Daughter Cookbook’.
Rebecca is a business veteran with over 20 years experience in marketing across diverse sectors such as Diary, Banking, Telecomms, IT, Manufacturing and Tourism.
Rebecca has led business growth, competitive repositioning, brand development and was a pioneer in digital and direct marketing in New Zealand. Having worked across sales, marketing, operations and manufacturing she brings a wealth of knowledge, real-life experiences and a practical perspective to her leadership of New Zealand's country reputation programme, the New Zealand Story.
The New Zealand Story was established in 2013 to expand the reputation of New Zealand beyond natural beauty. Rebecca's team enable the success of businesses by providing them with the skills, tools and knowledge to each share a compelling story that sets them apart on the world stage. In addition, Rebecca works with Govt. agencies to craft and harmonise messages about New Zealand through diplomatic, trade, and public channels.
Rebecca is passionate about enabling a sustainable and prosperous future for New Zealand and the world.
Bloom Consulting CEO
Since 2003 Mr. Torres has been advising Countries in the field of Nation Branding and City Branding, working directly with heads of state, directors of National Tourism Organizations and Investment Promotion Agencies.
His clients include Countries, Regions and Cities such as Australia, Costa Rica, Israel, Jamaica, Poland, Sweden, Stockholm and many others spread across all five continents.
Mr. Torres collaborates directly with the World Economic Forum in the matters of Nation Branding and is a guest speaker in some of the most prestigious universities in USA and Europe, such as HARVARD, the London Business School, Stockholm School of Economics and many others, being interviewed by The Economist, BBC, Guardian and CNN.
Since 2011 his company performs a global research project called the Bloom Consulting Country Brand Ranking and most recently the Digital Country Index and the Digital City Index