KEYNOTE SPEAKER
Berkeley Young President
Young Strategies

Berkeley Young is President of Young Strategies, a Charlotte, NC based company conducting customized research and planning for destination marketing organizations. Young’s hands-on experience running a CVB/DMO and managing a golf resort community gives him a unique edge when analyzing research data. Berkeley has conducted comprehensive research studies with destinations of all sizes in 27 states and currently working with destinations in Texas, Mississippi, New York, California, North Carolina, Florida and Louisiana. Berkeley is obsessed with understanding the behavior of travelers and how they make their destination decisions. Taking that research into a comprehensive plan to unify a destination’s leaders is his favorite part of client work. He is a highly rated speaker in the travel industry and is known for his clever approach when explaining even the most complicated data and trends.

Featured General Session Speaker
Nancy Friedman President
Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training

Nancy Friedman, the Telephone Doctor, is one of America’s most sought after speakers on sales, customer service and communication skills. In between the humor, laughter and fun are well-oiled tools that have been proven to help thousands of companies. Selected as one of meeting planner’s favorite speakers by Meetings & Convention Magazine, Nancy brings a wealth of information to help your business. Nancy has appeared on Oprah, Fox News, CNN and every morning show on all networks. She has spoken on programs with Colin Powell, Lou Holtz, Bill Walsh, Pete Rose, Bobby Knight, Tom Peters and Ken Blanchard, among many other prominent speakers and has been selected as one of the 25 Most Influential Business Women in St. Louis. A featured speaker at conferences all over the country, her articles have run in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today and dozens of other papers in the U.S . She is the author of nine books on customer service. You’ll walk out with real world information and take a ways you can use today and forever! 

Featured General Session Speaker
Matthew MacLaren, Esq.
Senior Vice President, Member Relations
American Hotel & Lodging Association

Mr. MacLaren is Senior Vice President of Member Relations for the American Hotel & Lodging Association. He oversees membership, partnerships, partner state association relationships, and research. Since joining the AHLA in 2014, MacLaren has helped increase partnership revenue and grow membership to an all-time high of over 23,500 lodging properties representing over half the hotel rooms in the United States. Prior to working for AHLA, MacLaren was the President and CEO of the Ohio Hotel & Lodging Association. Under his leadership OH&LA reached record membership levels and won several ISHAE awards including best government affairs program (2005 & 2010). MacLaren is a graduate of The Ohio State University where he studied political science and business, and a graduate of Capital University Law School. MacLaren received his license to practice law in Ohio in May 2006.

Kris Ullmer
Executive Director
Professional Association of Innkeepers International

In her 20 years of experience as the Administrator of the Wisconsin Bed & Breakfast Association (WBBA), Kris developed skills and attributes to manage an association during both lean and robust economic times, and periods of growth and maturity. WBBA is recognized throughout the B&B innkeeping industry as the B&B association to imitate. Just as innkeepers strive to exceed guest expectations, it’s been her priority to deliver outstanding service to the association and personal attention to the members. Kris began her work as the PAII Executive Director in March 2015.

Janice Hurley Hollis
Head of Industry Relations
BedandBreakfast.com

Janice is a 12 year veteran of the B&B industry. She started with BedandBreakfast.com in 2002 and was part of the team that moved the company to Austin Texas. She has worked with thousands of properties around the world helping them market their properties through BedandBreakfast.com and their own websites. In 2011 she opened the first international office for the company in Marseille, France and worked in growing the international exposure for the industry. She had the pleasure of managing a 12 room inn and event center in Central Vermont in Aug 2012-May 2014. This experience has given her a unique perspective and greater appreciation for the industry and the amazing Innkeepers who are a part of it! Her passion and dedication for the growth of the industry, along with her love of Innkeepers, brought her back to BedandBreakfast.com in May of 2014.

Tim Wilson
Director
BedandBreakfast.com Diamond Collection

Tim joined BedandBreakfast.com in October 1999. During his nearly 15 years with the company, he’s held many roles including managing the BedandBreakfast.com Online Reservations program where he helped connect thousands of B&Bs to many of the largest online travel sites including Expedia, hotels.com, Travelocity and Priceline. From there, he took on the role of Membership Sales Director overseeing all membership sales responsibilities for North, Central and South America. Currently, Tim manages the BedandBreakfast.com Diamond Collection which is their inspection-based, premier membership option that includes 500 B&Bs and Inns in the US and Canada. He has attended and presented at countless local, state, regional and national B&B conferences over the years, and takes great pride in having helped thousands of innkeepers grow their businesses.

Patricia Detwiler
Executive Director, Florida Bed & Breakfast Inns Professional
Consultant, Bed and Breakfast Consultant Service
Realtor, Keller Williams Wellington

Patricia Detwiler is a professional Realtor and Consultant with 30 plus years of professional expertise in commercial and residential construction, renovation & development, hospitality, creative design, Bed and Breakfasts concerns, management, business development, operation logistics, marketing, website development and financial analysis.

Heide Bredfeldt
Owner, Inn Consulting Partners
Board of Directors, Vermont Inn and Bed & Breakfast Association

Heide Bredfeldt of Inn Partners has been assisting current and future Innkeepers for over thirty years, with her spouse and business partner, Bill Oates. Heide’s background as a psychotherapist and former Innkeeper, provide her with insight and understanding of the personal side of Innkeeping. Heide has a gift of matching the right buyer with the right Inn and her knowledge of what guests want and expect is a resource to new Innkeepers. Problem solving and personal issues in a family business such as Innkeeping is also a specialty of Heide’s. Whether you are considering Innkeeping as a possible next career, or you are already an Innkeeper, Heide is always available to talk.

Marc Kassouf
Owner, Quiet Creek Inn
CEO & Owner, PRIDE Travel
Governing Council, California Association of Boutique & Breakfast Inns

Marc owns and manages boutique travel businesses in southern California. Most prominent is the acquisition, re-branding and relaunching of Quiet Creek Inn in Idyllwild, acquired on the verge of foreclosure and resuscitated back to profitability, increased ADR and occupancy in less than six months through several strategic upgrades and improvements. These dramatic improvement in profitability and viability have been sustained, with continued growth in second and third year Year-Over-Year metrics.

Debbie Anderson
Owner & Managing Member
Victorian House Scones, LLC

Debbie Anderson aka ‘The Sconelady’ is the owner and founder of Victorian House Scones. A biologist by profession, she is a self-taught baker—and many years ago became slightly obsessed with creating the perfect scone. Along the way, many squirrels were fed, as well as her kids and any of their friends that happened to be hanging out at the house while she was baking.   In 2003, with the encouragement of family and friends, she decided to test the waters and see if other people might be interested in her scones. She figured out how to take her recipes into mixes, and thus Victorian House Scones came to be. 

Tim Piper
Associate, Inn Consulting Partners
President, Vermont Inn and Bed & Breakfast Association

Tim brings over 30 years of hospitality experience to our team.  Mr. Piper has helped to found three organizations in Vermont… Vermont Chapter of the Hotel and Marketing Association, The Vermont Association of Wedding Professionals (founding President) and founding board member of VIBBA (of which he is the current President).  From golf, skiing, conferences, food & beverage, weddings and events, Tim has a wide range of hospitality marketing and operations experience. In the past he was a partner in a very successful 12 room Inn in Vermont, for 11 years. Tim uses his experience to help current and future Innkeepers to make “right choices”.  

Lisa Kolb
President
Acorn Internet Services

From working in a top 10 banking software company in Atlanta, Georgia, doing software development, installation, customer support and quality assurance to working for MCI/WCOM in Colorado Springs, Colorado, together Lisa and her husband Mark, have over 40 years of combined experience.  In 1996, after almost a decade of solely working in the corporate world of software development and design, Mark and Lisa moved to Colorado Springs to open a Bed and Breakfast.  While doing software support and development for their bed and breakfast and a local bed and breakfast organization’s web site, the need for a low-cost quality solution for the online marketing needs of other small businesses became glaringly apparent.  In January of 2002, Mark and Lisa formed Acorn Internet Services, Inc.  Acorn IS is currently providing service for hundreds of satisfied web site clients, and they are proud to say their customer base is growing daily. Currently, Mark provides support for the Acorn web server maintenance, database design for large customers, web server security and technology research, and Lisa oversees the day-to-day operations including weekly webinars, Acorn University and On-Site Guest Speaking.

Rebecca Whisnant
Interim Innkeepers Network

Interim Innkeepers perform similar duties that are part of the daily routine for owner-innkeepers themselves. They may include full or continental breakfast menu planning, shopping, preparation, service and clean-up; guest hosting; afternoon tea, snacks or evening wine & dessert service; answering of telephones, fax transmissions, regular and email response; check-in and check-out procedures; daily inquiries and reservations; bookkeeping, banking and other financial responsibilities; supervising room attendants or optional housekeeping; pet, plant and garden care; building security and maintenance. Interim Innkeepers provide full surrogate innkeeper service while you are away.  Rebecca is a treasure trove of knowledge through all her experiences.

Heather Turner
Chief Logroller, Forfeng Designs
Marketing Director, Professional Association of Innkeepers International

Heather Turner a.k.a. Forfeng is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and has spent over 20 years in the restaurant business. She trained under one of the PBS Series “Great Chefs of America”, Chef Yves Labbe at 4 Star acclaimed restaurant, Le Cheval D’or and has been the Executive Chef at Bellini’s Restaurant, The Cliff House at Stowe Mt. Resort and Harvest Market in Northern Vermont and at The Olde Inn on Cape Cod. In 2003 she started her own business which combines hospitality consulting with marketing for a variety of businesses. She writes a hospitality blog at https://chefforfeng.wordpress.com and is a member of Toastmasters International as well as being a keynote and educational speaker at associations and conferences around the United States.

Mitchell J. Pies
Owner
Mitchell J Pies Insurance Company

Mitch Pies owns and operates the Mitchell J Pies Insurance Company in Ballwin, Missouri, specializing in serving owners in the Lodge, Bed and Breakfast, and Resort industry. Mitch was born and raised in Rochester, New York, earning his Bachelor of Science degree in Education and Master of Arts in College Student Personnel at Bowling Green State University in Ohio. As an admissions counselor at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, Mitch traveled and recruited students from all around the country and became intrigued with the hospitality industry. After holding several positions in the college admissions field, including Associate Vice President of Enrollment Management at St. Louis University, Mitch decided to pursue his dream of entrepreneurship and opened the Mitchell J. Pies Insurance Agency in 1998.  

Marie Lanier
Founder
MarieLanier.com

Marie has been called “inspirational,” and described as “energetic, tenacious and never gives up” in the bed and breakfast industry. Marie and her family specialize in the promotion of bed and breakfast properties around the world, from forward thinking programs to SELL MORE rooms, to marketing initiatives and business plans to increase the overall success and joy of a B&B business. Marie and the Lanier Family are undeniably America’s most recognized experts on bed and breakfasts. Marie’s non-for-profit leadership activities extend to President for Toastmasters as a certified Advanced Speaker, Board member for the General Federated Women’s Club, and Spanish speaking Micro-Business Lender for families in 3rd world countries.   Marie’s undergraduate education in hospitality management, and honors MBA, ensure a high level of expertise and the implementation of current best practices, all grounded in a lifetime of experience serving the B&B industry.

Matt Bare
Founder
Q4 Launch

Matt has created an inbound marketing company that helps businesses and organizations get found online and convert online traffic into leads and sales. His company offers various levels of inbound marketing service packages to generate leads and ROI for their clients.

Alla Gonzalez
Partner Content Specialist
Booking.com

Alla has provided content solutions for partners at Booking.com for more than 3 years.  A native of Russia, Alla headed Booking.com’s partner content department in the BRUC Division — Baltics, Russia, Ukraine, CIS — before moving to America.  She is now responsible for content in South Central United States. Alla is also a huge photography buff.  The adage that a picture is worth a thousand words is especially true when guests browse partner properties, so picking the right photo is key to conversion.

Richard Aday
CEO & Principle Engineer
ThinkReservations

Identifying the tools that small lodging was using versus what was possible, Richard utilized his extensive background in working at companies like Amazon.com, Microsoft and IBM, to help the small lodging industry improve their business by taking advantage of technology.  What Richard loves about our industry: “My favorite thing about the B&B community are the people I get to interact with, followed closely by the wonderful breakfasts I’ve enjoyed. The industry is a collection of very interesting people — no two innkeepers are the same. Everyone has a story, and they will easily share it.”

Ben Lloyd
VP of Strategy & Customer Success
Odysys

Ben leverages his extensive search engine marketing experience to build a world-class SEO & inbound marketing platform for Odysys’ customers. Prior to Odysys, Ben founded Portland search engine marketing agency Amplify Interactive in 2003, which was sold to Add3 of Seattle in 2013. Ben is a co-founder of Search Engine Marketing Professionals of Portland and has served on the board in a number of roles including President since the group’s inception in 2006. Ben has spoken at a multitude of digital marketing conferences and local area business seminars on digital marketing.

Maria Coder & Jay Hassler
Co-Founders
Bed & Brunch PR

Maria Coder is a reporter turned publicist and the co-founder of Bed & Brunch PR, a boutique public relations firm that creates strategic media campaigns, from scratch, for bed and breakfasts, inns, boutique hotels, and others. Maria has appeared on The TODAY Show and other television and radio programs. She’s positioned clients in a wide range of media, including The New York Times, USA Today, Travel + Leisure, and countless print, digital, and broadcast outlets. Together, she and Jay Hassler, have launched various national media campaigns, like Back Inn Business, which helped turn the negative chatter about Hurricane Sandy into positive press for the affected inns; Super Bowl getaways, highlighting to sports fans that B&Bs could be value-packed options for the big game; and countless initiatives tailored specifically to getting independent properties into the media spotlight.

Melody Landis
Regional Sales Representative
Gilchrist & Soames

Melody is a Regional Sales Representative at Gilchrist & Soames, purveyor of luxurious & eco-friendly hotel amenities.  She specializes in B&B’s, Inns, Ranches and Boutique Hotels,  offering unique collections with distinctive style.  Melody conducted and oversaw all personal communication with the consumer clients for Gilchrist & Soames, supported the executive team with inside sales and special projects, trained team members on hotelier division processes and product knowledge, aided in the management of company social media, and acted as a liaison between multiple departments.

Jeffrey Vanzant
Demand Analyst
innRoad

Jeffery’s experience with Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), a hotel software solution that seamlessly integrates property management, global distribution, bookings and marketing–all on a single, easy-to-use platform designed exclusively for independent hoteliers, small hotel chains and hotel management companies, has helped him and innRoad become one of the most recognizable names in the hospitality industry.

Leighton Collis
Chief Executive Officer
Bespoke

Leighton helps fix broken hotels and failing marketing plans, consulting with developers, owners and asset managers to launch, re-launch and grow boutique hotels and inns, resorts and master plan communities. His team programs extraordinary brand experiences for the world’s most affluent travelers. He is an expert in emerging technology to create predictive bookings and sales through programmatic marketing.

Stephani Pollack
Co-Founder
Build Digital Marketing

Stefani Pollack’s blog, Cupcake Project, began in 2007 as a way of documenting her quest to master the cupcake in time to bake hundreds of cupcakes for a friend’s wedding.  Since then, her recipes have been featured regularly in Huffington Post and Buzzfeed, she’s been a contributor for Parade Magazine, Paula Deen, and Chowhound, and she freelances for magazines like Fine Cooking and AllRecipes.  As readers have moved from blogs to Facebook and then to Instagram, Stefani has made Instagram a top business priority.  Over the past year, she has grown her Instagram account from under 20,000 followers to over 200,000 followers.  Stefani has a background in corporate training and she’s passionate about teaching others to use Instagram to achieve their business goals.

Scott Thomas
Co-Founder
Build Digital Marketing

Scott Thomas started GrillinFools.com in 2008 as a means to write off meat, charcoal and the occasional grill.  What started as a tax shelter and a hobby has grown into a business, one greatly aided by the power of social media.  Scott spent many years trying to master Facebook and Twitter, but didn’t get very far as a late adopter.  It wasn’t until Instagram came around that he found his groove and he spent close to two years eating, sleeping, and breathing that platform.  Despite being a late adopter yet again, he was able to crush Instagram.  In the first six months of 2016, he gained more than 100,000 organic, authentic followers.

Great Plains ADA Center

Established in 1991, the Great Plains ADA Center serves individuals, families and entities of Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska. They combine expertise on ADA federal guidelines with years of hands-on experience to provide technical assistance, training, and products that are effective and user-friendly.  Their staff receive continual training and updates on all areas of the ADA and related disability laws from key agencies involved in the ADA including the U.S. Access Board, the U.S Department of Justice, and the EEOC; giving us the depth and breadth of knowledge required to provide an array of comprehensive services tailored to meet your specific needs.

Gina Paladini
Marketing and Company Director
Tomahawk Tourism Marketing

Gina has been an active participant in the New Zealand and US tourism industry for over 20 years. As an American that moved to New Zealand, Gina became the country’s first an inbound tourism agency to understand and exploit the internet to market New Zealand directly to the independent traveler. Her agency specialized in owner operated accommodations, B&B’s, Inns and small resorts. Using that experience, in 2003 she co-founded ResBook, which has become one of Australasia’s largest providers of real-time, online reservation systems. For the last ten years, Gina has consulted and assisted over 700 owner-operated accommodations to grow their business. Gina is not only one of the Directors of Tomahawk NZ and Tomahawk US, she is also a sought after keynote speaker in the tourism industry and a contributing member of the Tourism Industry Blog, Tourism Business Magazine, founding member of T.E.N (The E tourism Network), and mentor in the Young Tourism Organization. When not talking tourism, Gina can be found cooking up a storm (her Italian/San Franciscan roots), walking her Border Collie “Tana” or contributing her time and effort to SPCA in the US, New Zealand and Fiji.

Mary White Founder & CEO BnBFinder.com
Mary White is the CEO & Founder of BnBFinder.com and the author of Running a Bed & Breakfast For Dummies. A former securities broker, she decided to embark on a new venture – internet marketing – nearly 20 years ago and developed a user-friendly website that places B&Bs and inns on a competitive level with larger hotels and resorts. Today, BnBFinder.com earns the industry’s highest rankings, provides compelling content for guests, as well as marketing and public relations opportunities for innkeepers across North America. Mary has been named a bed and breakfast industry leader by Innkeeping Quarterly magazine and is the recipient of the Professional Association of Innkeepers International’s Award of Merit.

Donna Haliback
Vice President, Business Development Officer
CapitalSoure a Division of Pacific Western Bank

Donna Haiback, Vice President Business Development Officer of the SBA Division of CapitalSource, has over 24 years’ experience lending to small businesses through the SBA Loan Programs. Prior to being in Sales, Donna was a credit underwriter. Her strong credit background enables her to structure loans to best suit clients financing needs. CapitalSource offers a variety of financing options including: construction financing to renovate or add on to an existing building; expansion financing to purchase another location; or refinancing debt to maximize cash flow.

John Batt
Sr. Vice President and Director of Sales
CapitalSoure a Division of Pacific Western Bank

Donna Haiback, Vice President Business Development Officer of the SBA Division of CapitalSource, has over 24 years’ experience lending to small businesses through the SBA Loan Programs. Prior to being in Sales, Donna was a credit underwriter. Her strong credit background enables her to structure loans to best suit clients financing needs. CapitalSource offers a variety of financing options including: construction financing to renovate or add on to an existing building; expansion financing to purchase another location; or refinancing debt to maximize cash flow.