Sales Leader Forum

Save the Date! November 13, 2024 | Washington DC, USA

The HSMAI Sales Leader Forum advances the hotel sales discipline by elevating the knowledge and skills of off-property sales leaders when it comes to important trends, critical insights, and best practices…and what it means for leading hotel sales teams in today’s landscape.

You’ll leave with practical information, insights, and strategies to help you sharpen your action plan and challenging ideas to guide your strategies – all aimed at fueling sales.

The Forum is organized by HSMAI’s Sales Advisory Board.

“The hotel industry is changing at a tremendous rate. That means that the needs of hotels are constantly changing, which in turn affects the skills required of sales leaders to manage those demands. HSMAI’s Sales Leader Forum is the place for sales leaders to get critical insights on important issues.”
–Eric Kreins
Assistant Managing Director, Sales | Hilton Worldwide Sales


“The more informed your sales leaders are, the better results you will achieve. That’s why IHG is sending some of our top performers to HSMAI’s Sales Leader Forum in October.”
–Jonathan Kaplan
Vice President, Commercial, Essentials & Suites Brands | IHG

Make Your Case to Attend & ROI Calculator

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Who should attend?

  • Off-property seasoned sellers who want to fuel, update, and/or reinvigorate their career in sales or sales leadership
  • Sales professionals from brands, management companies, and independent hotels and resorts who are leading teams and impacting front-line sellers – from corporate leaders who support on-property teams to regional DOS who oversee multiple properties
  • Examples of attendee titles include Group & BT:
    • national sales director
    • strategic account director
    • key account director
    • area director
    • regional director of sales


  • The agenda will include strategic conversations and tactical solutions sessions – all designed to build business acumen to elevate sales as a whole.
  • Chief Commercial Officers will provide recommendations and insights into the most pressing issues of the day, and those coming down the line.
  • With thought leader keynotes and collaborative roundtables, we will dive deep into how sales leaders can tackle the challenges of The Convergence of Sales and Technology, DEI, Career Journeys for Sales Stars, and Meeting Space Utilization.
  • We will recognize and celebrate the Sales Professionals of the Year and the 2023 Career Achievement Award in Sales honoree.

Events In Conjunction With the Forum

  • HSMAI’s Chief Sales Officer Executive Roundtable (by invitation)
    • Thursday, November 9, 2023
    • 8:00 am – 2:00 pm
  • HSMAI’s Hotel Management Company Sales & Marketing Executive Roundtable (by invitation)
    • Thursday, November 9, 2023
    • 8:00 am – 2:00 pm
  • HSMAI Curate (by invitation for Organizational members)
    • Tuesday, November 7, 2023 (+ reception the evening before)
    • 8:00 am – 6:30 pm

Tuesday, November 7, 2023

12:00 – 6:00 pm ♦ Registration & Bookstore Open

Pick up your badge first! Then check out the keynote speakers’ books and certification study guides available at very special prices.

4:30 – 6:30 pm ♦ Welcome Reception

Reconnect with old friends and make some new ones as we kick off the 4th annual Sales Leader Forum. The reception is included in all conference registrations!

Wednesday, November 8, 2023

8:00 am ♦ Partner Showcase & Networking Breakfast

9:00 – 9:45 am ♦ The World Around Us

Get ready to drink from a firehose of data as we arm you to lead the change that will secure the value proposition for sales leadership in the future. We’ll hear from:

  • Neil Corr, Global Manager, Emerging Innovations Sales, IDeaS Revenue Solutions
  • Jennifer Hill, CRME, CHDM, VP, Commercial Strategy, Kalibri Labs
  • Steve McCarthy, Senior Director, CoStar Group
  • Katie Moro, Vice President, Data Partnerships, Amadeus

9:45 – 10:30 am ♦ Icon Interview: One-on-One with the Career Achievement Award Honoree
Kimberly Furlong, Chief Commercial Officer for Atrium Hospitality, has led commercial organizations inside leading hotel management companies for more than 25 years. In conversation with Lori Kiel, CHDM, Chief Commercial Officer for Kessler Collection, and chair elect of the HSMAI Foundation, we’ll have an intimate conversation with her about her legacy of progress and innovation, and her perspective on the future of the hotel industry.

10:30 – 10:45 am ♦ Break for Coffee & Conversation

10:45 – 11:30 am ♦ The Future of Sales: A View from the Top

A panel of innovative senior sales and commercial leaders will weigh in on what they see in the future for hotel sales, and provide recommendations and insights into what you can do today to prepare for and mitigate the disruptions that are here today and coming tomorrow.

  • Kimberly Furlong, Chief Commercial Officer, Atrium Hospitality
  • Soojin Kim, Vice President of Asset Management, Park Hotels & Resorts
  • Chris Riccardi, CHDM, SVP, Global Sales Strategy, KSL Resorts
  • Amanda Voss, VP Sales, MGM
  • Moderated by Bob Gilbert, President & CEO, HSMAI
About “Strategic Issues” Sessions: A thought leader will share strategic insights on this issue to get you thinking about it in new ways. Then we’ll make time to allow attendees to learn from one another and leverage the wisdom of the crowd for an open exchange of ideas, experiences, and insights that leaves you with new connections and knowledge that you can use to immediately impact your business.

11:30 am – 12:15 pm ♦ Strategic Issue #1: Revolutionizing Hotel Sales Today and Tomorrow
Thought Leader: Mike Francis, Business Consulting Manager – Travel & Hospitality, ZS

Technology-driven transformations are reshaping the entire sales funnel, from prospecting to conversion. These modern advancements have reshaped traditional sales approaches, and hotels must harness the power of innovation in order to stay competitive.

Through a series of real-world case studies — inside and outside of the hotel industry — we’ll explore the ways in which AI and other technologies are revolutionizing how sales teams engage with customers, optimize revenue, and streamline operations. Among the questions we’ll answer are:

  • What’s possible?
  • What does the journey to value look like?
  • Is the tech a productivity aid or substitute for salespeople?

12:15 – 1:00 pm ♦ Strategic Issue #2: Reshaping the Hotel Industry to Unleash Potential
Thought Leaders:

  • Shawn Parker, Executive Director, Strategic Account Management & Corporate Group Sales, Hilton
  • Greg DeShields, Executive Director, Tourism Diversity Matters
  • Moderated by Eric Kreins, Assistant Managing Director, Sales for Hilton Worldwide Sales, and chair of HSMAI’s Sales Advisory Board

The hotel industry is a significant contributor to the global economy, and plays a vital role in communities both large and small. However, leadership positions and senior roles have historically lacked diversity with limited representation from women and minority communities. It is crucial to address this gap by elevating all people’s voices and perspectives. This session will bring together experts from diverse backgrounds to share their experiences and insights on the challenges and opportunities in creating a more inclusive industry. Participants will come away with a better understanding of the importance of elevating under-represented people and practical strategies to make their workplaces more inclusive and diverse.

1:00 – 2:00 pm ♦ Lunch & Partner Showcase

  • Hospitality students from local universities will join us for lunch…giving you the opportunity to connect directly with the next generation of the industry’s leaders

2:00 – 2:15 pm ♦ Award Presentations: Professional & Educator of the Year Awards

2:15 – 3:00 pm ♦ Strategic Issue #3: Unleashing Potential: Nurturing Top Contributors for Impactful Growth
Thought Leader: Bart Berkey, Founder & CEO, Most People Don’t

What can you do with sellers who are great contributors but shouldn’t (or don’t want to) be people leaders?

Successful career journeys need not solely lead to leadership roles. We’ll explore innovative strategies that will help your organization channel the unique talents of invaluable contributors, fostering their professional advancement while cultivating a thriving team ecosystem.

From identifying leadership aspirations and alternative growth paths to skill diversification and collaborative leadership approaches, you’ll leave with a treasure trove of ideas to unlock the potential of exceptional individual contributors and create a culture that celebrates and leverages the strengths of every team member.

3:00 – 3:45 pm ♦ Strategic Issue #4: A Path to Meeting Space Maximization and Revenue
Thought Leader: Kristi White, Vice President, Data, Reporting, and Analytics, Groups360

Every square foot of unutilized space represents untapped revenue potential. This session promises to reshape the way you think about — and sell — your hotel’s meeting and event spaces, and equip you with tools and knowledge to enhance your space utilization, ultimately driving revenue and profitability.

3:45 – 4:00 pm ♦ Break

4:00 – 4:45 pm ♦ Customer Insights: Driving Impactful Growth through Stakeholder Understanding

What do customer think about this issues we’ve been talking about today? And what else are they grappling with in their business? You’ll hear directly from experienced customers from a variety of business sectors. Moderated by John Washko, Vice President Sales & Marketing at Mohegan Sun and chair of HSMAI’s Americas Board of Directors, it will be a thoughtful discussion that leaves you with actionable insights.

  • Jeanne Norton, CTC, CCTE, GLP, Director, Global Corporate Travel and Expense, OSI Systems, Inc.
  • Chelsea Crowe, Director, SMM Procurement & Industry Relations, Ameriprise Financial

4:45 – 5:30 pm ♦ The Lightning Round

It’s an HSMAI tradition: Sales leaders will share their interesting ideas and case studies for driving revenue and profit.

In 6 minutes & 40 seconds, each will share best practices with practical takeaways that you can use to sharpen every-day skills and boost property performance, or strategic insights that broaden your perspective and help you better understand key issues and concepts that impact the strategic and leadership aspects of the sales discipline.

We’ll get “lightning bolts” from:

  • Mercedes Blanco, CMP, Chief Partnerships Officer, The Hotels Network
  • Lovell Casiero, SVP, Sales & Marketing, PM Hotels
  • Christoph McLaughlan, Vice President of Asset Management Strategy, Ashford
  • Gissell Moronta, CMP, Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing, Atrium
  • Mike Schmitt, CEO, Clairvoyix

5:30 – 6:30 pm ♦ Closing Reception

Registration includes the entire program on November 8, 2023, including breakfast, lunch, and the Sales Awards Dinner.


Registration Type Early Bird through October 11
October 12–Onsite
Hotel/Associate1 $795 / $1150 $995 / $1350
Partner/Supplier2 $895 / $1250 $1095 / $1450
Faculty or Student HSMAI members3 $398 / na $398 / na
Hotel Group Pricing Hotel companies can enjoy significant savings when they register THREE or more people from the same company. The discount is $50 off per person. Contact Mandie Hart at +1 703.506.2025 or to register your team.

1 Individuals who are directly employed by hotel brands, management companies, ownership groups, independent hotels and resorts, DMO’s, restaurants and attractions
2 Individuals from supplier organizations who market to hotel/associate professionals
3 Full-time faculty or student members
4 Join HSMAI today to save on registration fees.

Please register onsite at the Hilton Long Beach

Health & Safety Protocols: What You Can Expect in Long Beach

HSMAI will follow the most up-to-date guidance from the CDC for indoor gatherings in terms of masks and other protocols. Details will be shared a little closer to the event.


Cancellation Policy

Cancellations received four weeks prior to the conference will receive a full refund less a $100 administrative fee. Cancellations received between four and one week out are entitled to a 50% refund, or 100% roll-over to the 2023 conference. Cancellations received within one week will not be refunded, except in the case of a medical emergency (including if you are required to isolate due to covid exposure). The transferring of a registration to a colleague is free of charge, and must be requested in writing. All cancellations and transfers must be submitted in writing to

Substitution Policy

A transfer of your full registration is permitted prior to the conference by submitting a written request to Onsite transfers must be accompanied with proof of the original confirmation letter. Only one transfer is permitted per original registrant. The individual submitting the transfer request is responsible for all financial obligations (any balance due) associated with that substitution. Badge sharing, splitting, and reprints are strictly prohibited.

Hotel Group Pricing/Promo Codes

Hotel companies can enjoy significant savings when they register three or more people from the same company. The discount is $50 off per person. Contact Mandie Hart at +1 703.506.2025 or to register your team.

Earn Certification Credits

You will be eligible to receive up to 8 hours of continuing education for CRME and CHDM certification and re-certification for attending the conference.


If you register online, you will immediately receive an electronic confirmation of your registration. If you faxed, mailed, or called in your registration and have not received a confirmation within 10 business days, please contact

Consent to Use of Photographic Images

Registration and attendance at, or participation in, HSMAI meetings and other activities constitutes an agreement by the registrant to the use and distribution of the registrant or attendees’ image or voice in photographs, videotapes, electronic reproductions and audiotapes of such events and activities by HSMAI.

Corporate Confidentiality, Antitrust Guidelines, & Code of Conduct

Attendees at HSMAI’s events must agree to follow HSMAI’s statement on corporate confidentialityantitrust guidelines, and code of conduct.

Special Accommodations

HSMAI is committed to providing access to all individuals attending the conference. Those needing any special accommodations (e.g., sign-language interpretation or large-type print materials) should email Juli Jones.

Registration Help

If you have any questions regarding your registration, please contact Mandie Hart at +1 703.506.2025 or

Bart Berkey, the renowned TEDx motivational storyteller who has taken the speaking industry by storm. Bart’s unique trademarked “Most People Don’t” approach is transforming the way people view their potential and empowering them to take action. With his keen observational skills and unwavering focus on others, Bart draws from his extensive experience in the service industry, including his tenure as a global executive at the Ritz-Carlton.

Bart’s inspirational message has captivated audiences worldwide, earning him a spot as a bestselling author on Amazon, with his book ranking in the top 1% of sales. Additionally, his podcast has been recognized as one of the top 15% most shared podcasts in the world.

As a KEYNOTE speaker, Bart brings a fresh and innovative perspective to the table, inspiring companies to push the boundaries and challenge the status quo. With his proven track record of motivating people to achieve their goals, Bart is the perfect addition to any conference. Don’t miss the opportunity to hear from one of the most dynamic and captivating speakers in the industry.

Mercedes Blanco is a Corporate Leader Executive with over 15 years of experience in Travel & Hospitality, she is passionate about creating value through digital-tech solutions, as well as fighting for women empowerment. Prior to The Hotels Network, as Chief Partnerships Officer, she worked at BCV a Rategain Company, Microsoft and AC Hotels by Marriott among others.

She has two bachelor’s degrees and two master’s degrees under her belt, including Tourism Management from IE Business School and a PDP in Digital Marketing from Harvard University.

Mercedes has been a dedicated member of the travel industry at-large. She is active member of the Sales Americas Advisory Board at HSMAI, and founding member of Women in Travel THRIVE. She was recognized as Top 50 Women in Travel by WINiT by GBTA and one of the Top 25 Most Extraordinary Minds by HSMAI.

Christian Boerger has cultivated a deep-seated passion for the world of hospitality that spans over 25 years. Throughout his career, characterized by versatility and numerous accolades, he has assumed key roles in both operational and strategic leadership across renowned organizations including IHG, Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts, Design Hotels, and Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group. In his current capacity at IDeaS, Christian dedicates his expertise to support internal teams and clients in challenging conventional norms, seeking superior methods, and crafting strategies focused on amplifying revenue, optimizing profitability, and fostering the adoption of technology. As past chairman and member of HSMAI’s Revenue Optimization Board, Christian continues to advance the Revenue Optimization through mentorship, thought leadership, and education.

Chelsea Crowe, with a distinguished career spanning two decades in sales and hospitality, I’ve had the privilege of spending a rewarding decade with Marriott International, where I honed my expertise in building relationships and connecting people. Most recently, I thrived in a global sales role, managing financial and insurance accounts, crafting valuable connections in the process. This rich experience naturally led me to my current role as Director, SMM Procurement & Industry Relations for Ameriprise Financial. In my current capacity, I excel at sourcing and skillfully negotiating over 100 contracts annually, ensuring successful partnerships for our organization.

Drawing from my extensive 20-year background in sales, I’ve seamlessly transition into the world of event planning and procurement, bringing a unique perspective to the table. My dedication to personal growth and collaboration is exemplified by my 12+ year membership with FICP. As a testament to my commitment, I have served the past 2 years on the MPI SoCal Board of Directors as their Director or Special Events and currently hold the position of Vice President of Marketing on the SITE SoCal chapter.

Greg DeShields is the Executive Director of Tourism Diversity Matters and he is a Qualified Tourism/Hospitality and Academic Professional Certified Hospitality Educator (CHE), proficient in developing and implementing plans, strategies, and initiatives specifically designed to raise destinations image for diverse, multicultural travel. DeShields is also an Experienced Certified Diversity Executive (CDE), with demonstrated cultural competence. Prepared to strategically position an organization to remove systemic barriers to inclusion, lead culture change, and transform the brand.

Mike Francis is a Manager with ZS in Chicago and is a leader in ZS’ Travel & Hospitality (T&H) Practice. He has tackled a wide variety of commercial challenges with T&H clients across the hospitality, aviation, travel management, and entertainment industries.

Mike has partnered with clients to craft compelling value propositions, create new go-to-market strategies, develop robust customer engagement processes, and design and deploy optimized team structures with enabling tools – often leveraging data, analytics, and customer insight. In hospitality, Mike has worked side-by-side with executive leaders to identify growth opportunities, develop new engagement strategies, and build commercial capabilities to realize those opportunities.

Before joining ZS, Mike was in a developmental program at Bank of America Merrill Lynch and worked on integrating Countrywide into the mortgage portfolio, managing counterparty risk during the Euro Banking Crisis, and minimizing regulatory capital charges for the derivatives portfolio. Mike has also interned at Morningstar as an equity analyst and McDonald’s Innovation Center as an operations research analyst.

Mike holds a BS from Cornell University in Applied Economics and Management and an MBA from University of Chicago Booth School of Business

With 30 years of experience in the hotel industry, Kimberly Furlong serves as Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) of Atrium Hospitality, which is one of the nation’s largest hotel operators. Headquartered in Alpharetta, Georgia, Atrium Hospitality manages a portfolio of more than 80 hotels in 28 states, representing well-known brands such as Hilton, Marriott, IHG, and Wyndham, among others. The award-winning company operates 20,000+ guest rooms/suites and approximately 3 million square feet of event space. Atrium’s commercial division is an innovative leader in sales, marketing, digital, analytics, distribution and revenue management.

Kimberly appreciates the relevance of quality data in making strategic business decisions. She drives the value proposition of Atrium’s commercial division as she leads the company’s multimillion-dollar investments in data science and forward-looking technology. Operating in a highly competitive culture that supports the freedom to take risks, the high-performance team of Atrium’s commercial division successfully blends a data-driven mindset with creativity to consistently deliver superior results tied to clear goals.

Kimberly joined Atrium Hospitality in 2015 as one of the founding members of the executive leadership team, which grew the company from zero assets to managing 80+ hotels nationwide. Prior to being CCO at Atrium, Kimberly was Senior Vice President, Revenue Strategies at the company. As a nimble leader, Kimberly strategically directed Atrium during the unprecedented pandemic to not only survive but thrive. Rather than rebuilding local teams in markets where the recovery was in different stages, Kimberly advocated to build an above-property enterprise sales organization (ESO), where remote-based highly skilled sellers could support multiple hotels and brands. On a moment’s notice, Atrium’s Enterprise Sales Managers could be easily redeployed to markets with demand. Kimberly was also instrumental in launching and growing Atrium’s digital team to support the company’s large hotel portfolio.

Before Atrium, Kimberly was Vice President of Revenue Management for TPG Hotels & Resorts. Her three-decade hotel career journey also includes executive revenue management and sales and marketing positions with Hersha Hospitality and Lodgian, Inc.

Kimberly is the Executive Sponsor for Atrium’s SPIRIT Council, which is responsible for creating and nurturing a culture of recognition and appreciation to support the hospitality career journeys of the company’s 7,500 Associates. She is a member of the Marriott Distribution Strategy Advisory Committee and Hilton’s Distribution Advisory Council. She previously served on IHG Owners Association Global Committees, among other hospitality industry forums and advanced user groups. In addition, Kimberly is a guest speaker and mentor for students at The Ohio State University.

As President and CEO of the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International, Robert A. Gilbert, CHME, CHA, has been guiding HSMAI through a dynamic and exciting period of change as the 7,000+ member organization has been re-established globally to grow the revenue for hotels through sales, marketing, and revenue optimization. During Gilbert’s tenure, HSMAI has achieved tremendous success with a number of initiatives ranging from the development of expert communities in the areas of Digital Marketing, Resort Marketing, and Revenue Management, the development of HSMAI University’s webinars and certification programs and the global expansion of HSMAI thru the formation of HSMAI Global and regional development in Europe, Asia Pacific, and the Middle East. Most recent, the business model of the association was shifted with the introduction of an organizational membership which are now available in addition to individual memberships.

Gilbert holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University and has been a member of HSMAI since joining the student chapter at Cornell. He is a frequent guest lecturer at Cornell. Gilbert is a past chair of the Events Industry Council (formerly CIC), and has served on the Board of Directors of the American Hotel & Lodging Association and the Travel and Tourism Coalition of the U.S. Travel Association. He also serves on a number of advisory boards of hospitality and hotel management schools.

Jennifer Hill’s specialty is revenue management, using a successful profit-based model of collaboration with all commercial disciplines to achieve optimal performance. In her role as Vice President of Commercial Strategy at Kalibri Labs, she relies on this experience to help clients identify and solve strategic business priorities. Jennifer partners with clients to tailor plans for adoption and the effective utilization of Kalibri Labs products to optimize revenue and profit generation capabilities.

Prior to joining Kalibri Labs, Jennifer worked with several third party management companies, and has nearly two decades of experience in operations and revenue strategy at branded and independent hotels in major markets. She is a member of HSMAI’s Revenue Optimization Advisory Board, and served as the co-chair for HSMAI’s Revenue Optimization Conference (ROC) from 2020-2022. Jennifer has served on the HSMAI Washington DC Chapter Advisory Board since 2015. In 2017, HSMAI recognized Jennifer as one of the Top 25 Minds in Sales, Marketing, and Revenue Optimization, and awarded her the Revenue Management Professional of the Year award in 2014.

Jennifer holds a BA in American History from Mercer University, and enjoys exploring new places. When traveling, her favorite thing to do is find local street art.

Lori Kiel, Chief Commercial Officer, is responsible for the top-line revenue strategy for all hotels, F&B operations, galleries, and event venues for the Kessler Collection. Lori leads a talented team of revenue, sales, and marketing professionals that are leading the industry in commercial adoption.

Lori has more than 30 years of experience in the Hospitality Industry and has worked in various positions throughout her career, including operations, sales, on-property, regional, and corporate. Lori’s analytical skills and her passion for sales offer a unique combination of talent perfectly paired to lead Commercial Strategy. Additionally, Lori has had the privilege of working with all of the major brands, soft brands, and independent hotels.

Lori has two degrees; one in Hospitality Management and one in Leadership. Lori’s passion for continued enrichment has found its home with HSMAI, where she serves on the Sales Advisory Board, is Co-Chair of the Commercial Excellence Workgroup, and serves on both the Foundations and Americas Board. Lori is the author of the Commercial Strategy Evolution newsletter on LinkedIn and actively speaks on panels, podcasts, and keynotes throughout industry events.

Soojin Kim is a hospitality real estate industry executive with expertise in asset management, commercial strategies, and strategic analyses. She has overseen all aspects of hotel ownership responsibilities with emphasis on topline driven profit maximization and asset value enhancement. She is currently VP of Asset Management at Park Hotels & Resorts after tenures at JLL, Host Hotels & Resorts, and Interstate Hotels & Resorts. She served as President of HSMAI DC Chapter. Soojin is also a licensed real estate salesperson in Washington DC. She holds a Master’s degree in Hospitality Management from Cornell University and a Master’s degree in Real Estate from Georgetown University.

Eric Kreins is Assistant Managing Director, Sales for Hilton Worldwide Sales, and chair of HSMAI’s Sales Advisory Board.

Steve McCarthy is An Experienced Senior Sales Executive with a demonstrated history of working in the information technology and financial services industry. Steve’s primary focus at Costar Group is new business development in the areas related to Commercial real estate brokerage, ownership, finance, marketing, and management. Steve is also heavily involved in specialized training programs for all client verticals in the CRE industry. Prior to joining the Costar Group in 2002, Steve worked in the Financial Services industry acting as a stockbroker and financial planner at American Express Financial Advisors in La Jolla, CA. Steve resides in San Diego California.

Katie Moro joined TravelClick in 2011 and is responsible for the global expansion of TravelClick’s Demand360 product. Katie is a veteran of the hospitality industry and has been involved with the demand initiative since the product’s early days.

Prior to joining TravelClick, Katie was an Account Manager with Rubicon and led a sales team that focused on product growth in major accounts. She has also held roles at Morgans Hotel Group and Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company.

Katie was recently recognized by Hotel Management Magazine as one of 2018’s Influential Women in Hospitality.

Katie holds a Bachelor of Arts from The University of Georgia.

Gissell Moronta is the Senior Vice President, Sales & Marketing for Atrium Hospitality where she leads the sales organization’s strategic and tactical initiatives and help the sales team focus on optimizing financial results.

Gissell kicked off her hospitality career in sales as a Business transient manager in the Dominican Republic after graduating college. After moving to the US, her career progressed in hotels through catering and group sales, as Director Sales & Marketing, and customer contact centers.

She has served in area and regional roles leading teams to Gold and Platinum award winning performance over two decades and created the first centralized inbound RFP team for Starwood Hotels, which she took from a pilot into a multimillion-dollar inbound operation. She held positions of Area, Regional and VP of Sales, Sales & Marketing for TPG and Colwen Hotels where she led the sales function for the company.

Gissell is an active member in the industry, serving on the Sales Advisory Board at HSMAI. In 2020, she was named HSMAI’s Top 25 Extraordinary Minds in Sales, Marketing and Revenue Optimization. Gissell also serves in the Diversity and Inclusion Collective resource group at Atrium Hospitality and is the recipient of the Inclusion Champion award in 2022.

Gissell holds a bachelor’s degree in Hotel Business Administration from Dominican Republic (PUCMM), meeting management certification (CMP), Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) certification from Northwestern University, and a master’s degree in liberal arts from Harvard University.

Schafer Newman is a Consultant with ZS in San Diego and a leader in ZS’ Travel & Hospitality (T&H) Practice. Drawing from his experiences working with leading travel brands, Schafer has cultivated an expertise in helping firms optimize the performance of their key commercial functions to drive bottom-line impact.

With a sharp focus on commercial strategy, Schafer’s projects have spanned a broad spectrum including: Go-to-Market & Strategic Planning, Growth Marketing, AI-infused strategies for Personalization and Loyalty, and M&A Advisory, among others.

Before joining ZS, Schafer was a management consultant at Qral Group, a venture capital and consulting firm that consults for and invests in early-stage life sciences companies. Additionally, Schafer also served as a Surface Warfare Officer in the US Navy for 7 years, leading teams of Sailors and Marines on exciting missions around the world.

Schafer holds an MBA with a focus on Global Management from UCLA Anderson School of Management. Prior to this, he earned a B.S. in Engineering and American History from the United States Naval Academy.

Jeanne Norton brings over 30 years of global travel, expense, and meeting experience to the industry. As the Director of Travel for A&M Records/Polygram she developed and implemented their first managed corporate travel program .After six successful years, Jeanne was recruited by American Express to manage their entertainment division located in Los Angeles and Nashville. Over the next 15 years, Jeanne went on to assume greater responsibility and was selected to participate in their first global leadership program handling account strategy for a top client in the United Kingdom. She was able to share this experience overseas with her husband of now 35 years and two sons. In 2015, Jeanne joined CTM as the SVP/GM West Region implementing their acquisition strategy in the US.

Jeanne was extremely excited to take her professional expertise back to the corporate side as the Director of Global Travel, Meetings and Expense for OSI Systems, Inc. Her experience as a supplier and buyer places Jeanne as a leading consultant in the industry. She has been a part of GBTA since 1991 earning her CCTE and then GLP from Wharton. Currently on the board of GBTA LA focused on engaging our Direct membership and expanding education. Her hobbies include golf, hiking, cooking, travel and singing with a band that raises money for worthy charities.

A highly strategic and skilled commercial leader, Chris Riccardi is senior vice president, global sales strategy for KSL Resorts – leading the strategic sales efforts for the company’s growing portfolio of world class destinations.

Over a three-decade hospitality industry career, he has parlayed his strong leadership skills into the development of successful teams, developing effective sales strategies and cohesive partnerships. He has been a change maker for his past organizations.

Previously a senior vice president of global sales for KSL Resorts’ Outrigger Hospitality Group, he is a proven commercial leader who has played a key role in enhancing their global sales efforts, developing a membership program, reimagining their travel advisor loyalty program while re-positioning Outrigger Hospitality Group as a premier beach resort brand.

Known for his sarcastic wit and ability to induce a good laugh, Chris especially enjoys working with colleagues to help them achieve their career goals.

When not working he enjoys mountain biking, skiing and travelling and also takes pride in crafting longboard skateboards for friends and family.

Personal motto: Treat everyone the way you would want to be treated

Mike Schmitt is the founder of Clairvoyix, a profitable hospitality focused sales and marketing automation company based in Las Vegas. As the CEO of Clairvoyix Mike is responsible for setting the company’s strategic direction, assisting with sales and marketing, developing strategic partnerships, and collaborating with the technical team on the product and services roadmap. Ultimately Mike’s most important task at Clairvoyix is the hiring of the best people in the hospitality business.

Mike holds a Bachelor of Science, Computer Science degree from California State University, Long Beach, and a Master of Business Administration from Nova Southeastern University.

Amanda Voss is the Vice President of Sales for Bellagio Resort & Casino and Park MGM in Las Vegas, Nevada. In this role, she is responsible for leading the strategic vision and direction for the Hotel Sales, Catering, Convention Services, Wedding, and Group Dining Departments. As a dedicated servant leader, Voss is committed to inspiring her staff, delivering full support to clients and guests, and aligning with the long-term vision and objectives of the organization.

Voss began her hospitality industry career as a reservation agent and front desk clerk for MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas and was promoted through the ranks to serve as an integral part of the launch at ARIA and Vdara where she led the day-to-day operations of the Hotel Sales Team. She went on to assume several other roles of increased responsibility in the areas of Convention Sales, Services and Catering across multiple properties within the MGM Resorts International portfolio, including Bellagio and Park MGM.

Throughout her career, Voss has served in various capacities that demonstrate her enthusiasm to continuously grow as a leader and to leave measurable impacts on each of her employers. For instance, she served a key role during Monte Carlo’s transformation to Park MGM by developing the resort’s convention business and planning the strategic course for the Group Sales, Catering, Private Dining Sales, and Park Theater Group Sales divisions. During this time, Voss managed the expansion of the convention area which included the addition of two new meeting space concepts, the Madison Meeting Center – an all-inclusive meeting experience; and the Ideation Studio, a high-touch, high-technology meeting venue, to appeal to the evolving needs and expectations of meeting planners.

Having achieved such success, in 2018 Voss was honored as one of HSMAI’s Top 25 Most Influential Minds in Sales, Marketing, and Revenue, as well as Connect Association Magazine’s 2018 “40 Under 40” award which highlighted top-performing young professionals across the events industry.

Voss is a Certified Meeting Professional from the Events Industry Council and serves as a Foundation Board Member for the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI). She holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Hotel Administration from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and has completed additional training at the MGM Resorts Leadership Institute and Leadership Las Vegas for the Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce, as a member of the 2015 and 2016 graduating classes, respectively.

In her spare time, Voss enjoys mountain sports, sea fishing and spending time with her two active sons. She always keeps in mind the influence of her father who instilled many core values, including perseverance and hard work—both of which Voss embraces as she continues to demonstrate a passion for influential leadership and development of shared solutions that positively transform the hospitality sector.

John Washko is the Vice President of Sales & Marketing at Mohegan Sun, located in Mystic Country, CT.   In this role, he is responsible for leading the Expo & Convention sales and marketing team, setting the overall strategic direction and goals while achieving revenue targets for Mohegan Sun.

Washko is a veteran in luxury hospitality sales and marketing with over 25 years of experience. Most recently, Washko was the Vice President of Group Marketing and Sales for Atlantis, Paradise Island. Prior to that role, Washko was Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Elite Meetings International, a hospitality marketing and technology company.   Prior to that role, Washko was the Vice President of Sales and Marketing for the historic The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Washko currently sits on HSMAI’s Americas Board Executive Committee as Chair as well as the board of the Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau. Past roles include chairing HSMAI’s Resort Marketing Advisory Board. Additionally, for the Colorado Springs CVB, he chaired both the Board as well as the Marketing Committee. In 2010, Washko received The Resort Marketer of Year award from HSMAI; and in 2015, HSMAI recognized him as one of the Top 25 Extraordinary Minds in Sales & Marketing. Washko received his BS from James Madison University.

As of October 16, the Hilton Long Beach is sold out for the week of the Sales Leader Forum (the room block deadline was 10/13/23).

As of 10/16, the following hotels close by are showing availability at different points throughout the week (it all depends on your arrival and departure dates):

  • Renaissance Long Beach Hotel
  • Hotel Royal
  • Greenleaf Hotel Long Beach Convention Center
  • Hyatt Centric The Pike Long Beach
  • Hotel Maya – a Doubletree Hotel by Hilton
  • The Queen Mary
  • The Cove Hotel, Long Beach

HSMAI Sales Leader Forum Partnership Opportunities

Platinum: $10,000

  • Welcome attendees from the main stage during a general session (2-3 minutes).
  • Send three (3) company representatives to take advantage of your complimentary registrations and connect with influential attendees face-to-face.
  • Be recognized for your investment in the sales discipline and hotel industry.
    • Premium logo recognition in pre- and post-event marketing
    • Logo placement on print and email marketing
    • Logo recognition as a “Platinum Partner” on the event website
    • Onsite branding on the sponsor logo loop
    • Logo in printed program with 200-word company description
  • Connect in person with attendees at your premium-placed display table in the general session room. You will have room for collateral and a display screen.
  • Provide a customized logo item for distribution at attendee place settings. The item is produced at the sole cost of the sponsoring company, and must be pre-approved by HSMAI.

Silver: $5,000

  • Send two (2) company representatives to take advantage of your complimentary registrations and connect with influential attendees face-to-face.
  • Be recognized for your investment in the sales discipline and hotel industry.
    • Logo recognition in pre- and post-event marketing
    • Logo placement on print and email marketing
    • Logo recognition as a “Silver Partner” on the event website
    • Onsite branding on the sponsor logo loop
    • Logo in printed program with 150-word company description
  • Connect in person with attendees at your display table in the general session room.

Bronze: $2,500

  • Send one (1) company representative to take advantage of your complimentary registration and connect with influential attendees face-to-face.
  • Be recognized for your investment in the sales discipline and hotel industry.
    • Logo recognition in pre- and post-event marketing
    • Logo placement on print and email marketing
    • Recognition as a “Bronze Partner” on the event website
    • Onsite branding on the sponsor logo loop
    • Recognition in printed program with 100-word company description
  • Connect in person with attendees at your display table in the general session room.

Co-located Event Partnership Opportunities

Executive Roundtables: Thursday, November 14, 2024

Sponsor an executive roundtable for senior leaders of hotel companies.

HSMAI Executive Roundtables are networks of like-minded senior hotel leaders that meet periodically at face-to-face forums. The by-invitation-only executive roundtables in Charlotte, NC will host 15-20 senior executives, each responsible for a leading hotel brand or hotel management company’s sales strategy and execution.

Each roundtable has three exclusive partnership opportunities available to connect with these unique audiences.

  • Opportunity for one (1) company representative to sit for a 20 minute Partner Insights session (10 min case study presentation/10 min discussion with attendees). Discussion topics will be mutually agreed upon with HSMAI, our partners and the Roundtable Planning team
  • Invitation for the interviewee and one (1) other company representative to attend the networking lunch
  • Co-branded content with logo recognition and partner mention in the Roundtable summary providing insights for the industry at large
  • Recognition on signage, and in the onsite guide with company description, representative listing, and logo
  • Opportunity to offer guests a branded gift
  • Pre- and post-event access to full contact information for all attendees (except email)
  1. Brand Chief Sales Officer Executive Roundtable: $7,500
  2. Hotel Management Company Sales & Marketing Executive Roundtable: $7,500

Interested in learning more? Contact:

Mark Primuth
HSMAI Partnership Manager
T: 571-762-4379 |

Ready to sign up? Complete the SLF Partner Commitment Form today!

Representatives from these companies are attending the Sales Leader Forum 2023 (updated 11/02/23).

AC Chicago
Aimbridge Hospitality
Amadeus Hospitality
Ameriprise Financial
Arlo Hotels
Atrium Hospitality
Boston University
BWH Hotels
Choice Hotels
Choice Hotels Canada
Concord Hospitality
CoralTree Hospitality Group
Costar Group Inc.
First Hospitality
G6 Hospitality
Gillis Consulting & Training Inc.
Gillis Sales
Grand Geneva Resort & Spa
Great Ohio Lodges
HHM Hotels
Hilton Hotels
Hilton Madison Monona Terrace
Hilton Minneapolis/Bloomington (Marcus Hotels & Resort)
Hilton Worldwide Sales
Houston Marriott Sugar Land / Remington Hospitality
Hyatt Centric Las Olas Fort Lauderdale
Hyatt Coralville
IDeaS Revenue Solutions
IHG Hotels & Resorts
InterMountain Management
Introspect Strategic Advisory Services
Kalibri Labs
Kessler Collection
Casa Monica Resort & Spa
Kimpton Monaco Pittsburgh
Kolter Hospitality
KSL Resorts
Loews Hotels & Co.
M1 Milwaukee – Pfister, Saint Kate, Hilton Milwaukee
Marcus Hotels & Resorts
MGM Resorts International
Mohegan Sun
Most People Don’t, LLC
Omaha Marriott
Opal Hotels Group
OSI Systems, Inc.
Otesaga Resort Hotel/The
Outrigger Resorts & Hotels
Oxford Collection
Pacifica Hotels
Park Hotels & Resorts
Park MGM
Parks Hospitality Group
Pima Community College
Platinum Hotel and Spa
PM Hotel Group
Preferred Travel Group
Regency Hotel Management
Remington Hotels
Revenue Analytics
Revenue Generation LLC
Scout Simply
SearchWide Global
Springhill Suites Madison / Raymond Management
Star Performance, Inc.
Sun Outdoors
The Hotels Network
The Inverness Denver, a Hilton Golf & Spa Resort
The Lincoln Marriott Cornhusker Hotel
Tourism Diversity Matters
Trivest Hotels LLC
Wyndham Hotels & Resorts

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Helping Sales Teams be More Effective & Efficient

Opportunities & Threats: Strategic Issues for Short- & Long-Term Talent

View from the Top

Icon Interview: One-on-One with Roger Dow

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Platinum Partner


Silver Partner


Bronze Partner