Speakers

Director of International Marketing & Aviation Development, External Affairs San Francisco International Airport
Melissa Andretta
Senior Director, Global PR & Media Relations San Francisco Travel Association
Laurie Armstrong
Teresa Baker
Founder The Outdoor CEO Diversity Pledge
Teresa Baker

Teresa works to create events geared around the inclusion of underrepresented communities in outdoor spaces. She does this through planned events such as hikes, talks with environmentalists, national and state park engagement, volunteer projects and various outdoor excursions, all of which speaks to cultural relevance, with the ultimate goal being to inspire new land stewards and environmental advocates.

All too often outdoor organizations, agencies and retailers miss the opportunity to speak to the relevant role culture plays in outdoor experiences. Teresa works to change this by connecting underrepresented communities with outdoor opportunities which may lead to a better understanding of one’s responsibility to the planet.

President & CEO Visit California
Caroline Beteta

Caroline Beteta serves as president & CEO of the industry-led Visit California, a nonprofit organization created to market California as a premier travel destination to increase the state’s share of tourism-related revenues. She simultaneously serves as the Director of Tourism in California’s Governor’s Office of Business & Economic Development (GO-Biz). Beteta is responsible for implementing Visit California’s $131 million global marketing program and serves as the lead spokesperson for California’s $140.6 billion travel industry. She has shepherded the growth of Visit California into a global marketing franchise delivering millions of visitors and billions of dollars of economic growth to the state every year.

Caroline has served as Chair of the Board and Vice Chair of Operations for Brand USA, where she provided strategic direction for the $200 million global program. During a two-year term as National Chair of the U.S. Travel Association, she guided the successful merger of the Travel Industry Association with the Travel Business Roundtable. Caroline serves on the Executive Committee of the World Travel and Tourism Council — Visit California was the first destination marketing organization invited to join the WTTC.

Caroline has received numerous awards for her creative work and leadership in the travel industry, including induction into the U.S. Travel Association’s Hall of Leaders.

Caroline holds a bachelor’s degree in International Relations from the University of California, Los Angeles and a master’s degree in Public Administration/Intergovernmental Affairs from the University of Southern California. She also completed the Stanford Graduate School of Business Executive Marketing Management Program.

Caroline's Blog Event Detail Page
Outlook Forum 2020
CEO and Co-Founder Kind Traveler
Jessica Blotter

Jessica Blotter is CEO & Co-Founder of Kind Traveler, a speaker, and a journalist. The moment she discovered the love of travel can’t be separated from the state of the world after witnessing poverty on a vacation to Belize, she wondered how the $7-trillion travel industry could be harnessed to benefit local communities and the environment. This experience led her to launch KindTraveler.com, the world’s first socially-conscious Give + Get hotel booking and sustainable travel education platform empowering travelers to positively impact the destinations they visit. As of 2019, Kind Traveler represents 105+ hotels and 60+ charities in 15 countries.

Viveca Chan
Founder & Group CEO WE Marketing
Viveca Chan

Viveca is the founder of WE Marketing Group, the leading independent marketing services group with over 250 staff across five offices in China. Before starting WE, Viveca was Chairman & CEO of Grey Global Group China/HK, the chief architect in building all of Grey’s integrated capabilities in the region.

Viveca is recognized as a first mover in China advertising, digital, social, CRM, e-commerce and marketing innovation. Her 50+ awards includes Ad Age Global “100 Most Influential Women in Advertising”, “Contributor to China Advertising in past 40 years” and “Digital Marketer of the Decade”. She is Board member of various industry associations.

President & CEO U.S. Travel Association
Roger Dow
Vice President of Sports, Visit Anaheim Executive Director, Orange County Sports Commission
Roy Edmondson
Co-CEO Chatly
Jeff Fish
Vice President, Global Communications Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board
Jamie Foley
EVP, Managing Director NJF
Julie Freeman
CEO Furfine Network
Lisa Furfine
Director of Analytics and Data Solutions UberMedia
Evelina Giang
Founder Latino Outdoors
José González
John Godfrey
VP, Group Director & General Manager LA MMGY
Danny Guerrero
Associate Media Director Mering
Kat Haro
CEO The Outbound Collective
Brian Heifferon
Editor in Chief Entertainment Weekly
JD Heyman
Anna Hrach
Content Strategist Convince & Convert
Anna Hrac

Anna is a content expert who loves tackling her clients’ toughest digital marketing problems. In case you were wondering, her last name is pronounced “her-ROCK.”

 

Anna is an ad agency veteran, and for more than a decade she’s been developing super-smart content strategies for companies ranging from up-and-coming startups to Fortune 500s. Her experience includes pretty much any industry you can think of, including some of the world’s biggest brands, including Nike and Farmers Insurance.

Today, she’s with Convince & Convert, a digital marketing strategy consultancy headed up by New York Times best-selling author and world-renowned speaker Jay Baer.

 

When she’s not dotting all the i’s and crossing the t’s, you’ll find Anna sneaking away for the occasional ditch day at Disneyland or strapping on her skates and taking the track as her ruthless roller derby alter ego, Lady MacDeath.

Kent Jarrell
Senior Counsel APCO Worldwide
Kent Jarrel

Kent Jarrell, an independent consultant and former global head of APCO Worldwide’s Crisis Management and Litigation Communications practice, currently assists CEOs, general counsels, other executives, and boards of directors on the preparation for unfolding material events.

Mr. Jarrell is currently litigations communications advisor for a global health care company in the ongoing opioid litigation. He has also worked on cases for Disney, Merck, Ford, eBay, Alaska Airlines, Hewlett-Packard, and ExxonMobil. He was advisor and spokesman for the Liquidation Trustees for MF Global Inc. and Lehman Brothers, Inc. and advised the President of Mexico during the H1N1 epidemic in Mexico City.

Director of Communications Greater Palm Springs Convention & Visitors Bureau
Joyce Kiehl
Creative Director Mering
Kerry Krasts
Senior Account Director WE Marketing
Latona Lai
Kimberly Lee
Head of North America Social Ads Business Tencent
Kimberly Lee

Kimberly is Associate Director of Business Development for Tencent’s International Business Group. In her role, she heads the company’s Tencent/WeChat Ad Solutions business and team in North America. Her mission is to work with brands and agencies in market, helping them realize their potential and optimize spend across Tencent social products, which occupy ~50% of China mobile internet usage in terms of time spent.

Before recently returning to the United States, she spent almost two years at Tencent’s Hong Kong office where she led regional brand initiatives for Tencent’s new International products across APAC. Prior to that she orchestrated several WeChat partnership campaigns while on the WeChat US team in the Bay Area. Her past experience also includes time at The Coca-Cola Company in Atlanta serving in a World-Wide Public Affairs and Communications capacity.

CEO Producers Guild of India
Kulmeet Makkar
Vice President Campbell Hill Aviation Group
Howard Mann
Founder & CEO Mering
Dave Mering
Outlook Forum 2020
Senior VP of Innovation MMGY NextFactor
Greg Oates

Greg Oates is Senior Vice President of Innovation at MMGY NextFactor, which develops destination master plans and tourism strategy plans for cities worldwide. Primarily, Greg works with the public and private sectors to align tourism, community and economic development initiatives. He also produces the industry-standard DestinationNEXT research for Destinations International — a global trade association for tourism organizations. Previous to joining MMGY NextFactor, Greg led tourism-related research and brand partnership development at Skift.

Professor and Director of Tourism Crisis Management Initiative University of Florida
Lori Pennington-Gray
Head of Airline Business Sao Paolo Airport
Joao Pita
Outlook Forum Speaker
Head of Strategy Havas Creative Group and Havas Media Group in Greater China
Dennis Potgraven

Dennis oversees strategy development for Havas clients in the Greater China region. He manages teams in five Havas Villages: Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Taipei and Hong Kong. As such he advises clients how to grow in the fast developing Chinese market. Clients include Bank of Communications, LG, Emirates, OSM, Swarovski, Remy Martin, IKEA, Hershey's, Net a Porter, Hermes and Hugo Boss. During his career, he spent many years in marketing on the brand side. He worked for several FMCG and retail companies including Friesland Campina, Nestle and Ahold / Delhaize. After Hong Kong, he is currently based in Shanghai.

Senior Insights Analyst Global Web Index
Virna Sekuj
Director Delhi Art Gallery
Kishore Singh
President & CEO Brand USA
Chris Thompson

Christopher L. Thompson is president and CEO of Brand USA, the nation's public-private partnership dedicated to increasing international visitation to the United States through marketing and promotional efforts. In this role, Chris is responsible for accelerating the organization’s efforts to build and execute effective marketing strategies to increase U.S. travel exports, create jobs, strengthen the economy, and help enhance the image of the United States with people all over the world. Under Chris’ leadership, Brand USA has nearly tripled its partnership network and more than doubled its partner contributions and program offerings.

Chris has over 30 years of experience in the travel and tourism industry. Prior to joining Brand USA on Nov. 1, 2012, Chris was president and CEO of VISIT FLORIDA. Under his leadership, Florida realized record growth in international visitation.

He began his career in tourism with the Division of Tourism in the former Florida Department of Commerce in April 1983, and he became bureau chief for domestic tourism in April 1986. In November 1988, he joined the Leon County (Florida) Tourist Development Council as the organization’s first executive director, and in April 1991, he took leadership of the Tallahassee (Florida) Area Convention and Visitors Bureau as president and CEO.

In August 1995, Chris founded MarketServe, Inc., a professional management, marketing and planning services company based in Tallahassee, Florida. Two years later, he joined VISIT FLORIDA as senior vice-president, partner development. He was promoted to chief operating officer in May 2003, and named president and CEO in May 2009.

Throughout his career, Chris has been honored with a number of industry awards and recognized for numerous accomplishments, including being named the first recipient of Skål International’s USA National Tourism Leadership Award in 2018 in recognition of his “very meaningful contribution to the growth and success of tourism in the United States.”  In 2015, Chris received the NTA National Tour Association's (NTA) Pioneer Award for his accomplishments in producing significant changes in the travel industry. He was named one of the "Top Twenty-Five Most Extraordinary Minds in Sales and Marketing" by the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International in both 2009 and 2013.

Chris is currently on the board of Destinations International, where he is on the organization’s Executive and Global Leadership committees. He is also a member of the Advisory Board for the Eric Friedheim Tourism Institute, an entity within the Department of Tourism, Recreation, and Sport Management at the University of Florida.

A Certified Destination Management Executive (CDME) since May 2010, Chris has also been a member of and served on the leadership boards of numerous other national, regional, state, and local trade associations and organizations. The list includes the U.S. Travel Association; U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board (to the Secretary of Commerce); Travel and Tourism Advisory Council (to the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, Miami Branch); Association of Travel Marketing Executives; Southeast Tourism Society; and Skål.

Additionally, Chris is a trustee and a member of the Executive Committee for the Federal City Council, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to the improvement of the District of Columbia. Chris earned a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from the University of Florida in 1980. He and his wife, Susan, have two grown sons, Christopher and James.

Dylan Thuras
Co-Founder Atlas Obscura
Dylan Thuras
Jon Tesser
VP, Research & Insights NYC & Company
Jon Tesser

Jon Tesser is currently the Vice President of Research and Insights for NYC & Company, New York City’s official tourism, marketing and partnership organization. He has over 15 years of experience in using data to provide strategic insights for businesses, including ABC Television, BET Networks, and New York Magazine. Additionally, he has provided product marketing and sales support for the analytics disciplines at technology companies such as Sprinklr and Sizmek. He received an MBA from Baruch and an undergraduate degree in psychology and music from Tufts University.

Mike Testa
President & CEO Visit Sacramento
Mike Testa

Mike Testa is the President and CEO of Visit Sacramento, leading a talented team that’s dedicated to promoting Sacramento as an attractive travel destination, while enhancing Sacramento’s image as a dynamic place to live and work.

 

Through Mike’s vision, community collaboration and consistent innovation, Sacramento’s identity has evolved from a sleepy Gold Rush town to a relevant food destination, recognized nationally as America’s Farm-to-Fork Capital. Mike’s ability to see Sacramento’s heritage and reimagine its identity as a food and agriculture leader has brought millions of dollars in both revenue to local businesses and earned media exposure for the City & County.

President & CEO Destinations International
Don Welsh
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