Speakers

RSF SPEAKERS


David Brillembourg
Founder, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer
Brillembourg Holdings


Kelly Cronin
Director of Revenue Management
Interstate Hotels & Resorts


Charles Ehredt
Co-Founder & CEO
Currency Alliance


Khalid Ladha
Director of Strategic Alliances (UK/EU)
BlockX Labs


Michael Levie
Chief Operations Officer
citizenM


Christian Lunden
Director of Future Business
Nordic Choice Hotels


Michael McCartan
Managing Director - EMEA
Duetto


Adam Rowledge
General Manager
Georgian House


Julien Simon
Principal Evangelist AI/ML EMEA
Amazon Web Services


Michael Struck
Founder & CEO
Ruby Hotels


David Taylor
Chief Commercial Officer
glh Hotels


Sam Weston
Marketing Manager
80 DAYS

Khalid is the Director of Strategic Alliances (UK/EU) at BlockX Labs, a blockchain consulting and development house based in Toronto. With skillful engineering and bleeding-edge solutions architecture, BlockX helps innovative firms ideate and build blockchain-oriented solutions, all the way from PoC testing to full-scale enterprise deployment. Technologies used include Ethereum, Hyperledger, R3 Corda, Azure BaaS and more.

 

In his role Khalid speaks, writes, and evangelizes the potential of these and other distributed-ledger technologies. He is particularly interested in travel x tech blockchain solutions, specifically around the utilization of smart contracts.

Before joining BlockX, Khalid was at Duetto Cloud, helping hotel owners and operators across North America use Duetto’s full product suite to maximize KPI growth. He has also previously worked at Fairmont Hotels and Resorts (FRHI). In addition to his role at BlockX, Khalid is also a Senior Advisor at The Omni Group, a leading hospitality-outsourcing firm in the UK.

Khalid holds a Masters Degree from Cornell University and the School of Hotel Administration. He is passionate about blending public policy and emerging technology to better how both societies and organizations alike operate.

Mr. Brillembourg is a seasoned entrepreneur with more than 20 years’ experience specializing in developing companies that take advantage of market opportunities in emerging technology, demographic and economic macro trends. Since 1999 he has been Founder, Chairman and CEO of Brillembourg Holdings. After spending a decade in tech startups and another decade with various hotel investments, he saw that with his four children becoming full fledge millennials, consumption patterns of the millennial generation were going to fundamentally change the hospitality and technology industry.

Brillembourg, is a holding company focused on the hospitality and technology fields, operates three divisions:

Brillembourg Hospitality: a private equity investor in digital native and millennial hospitality concepts. Brillembourg Ventures: a venture capital investor in hospitality tech and fintech/Blockchain. Brillembourg Capital: an advisory group focused in the convergence of hospitality and technology.

From 2006 to 2016, Brillembourg Hospitality (Bricapital) has acquired, invested and exited hotel properties across six nations, including The Raleigh Hotel in South Beach, sold to SBE; the Isle de France Hotel in Saint Barths, sold to LVMH; Cap Juluca Hotel in Anguilla sold to Belmond Hotels, and One Bal Harbour Hotel, which was sold to individual investors. The existing hotel portfolio includes the Viceroy Hotel Zihuatanejo, Mexico.

Currently, Mr. Brillembourg is launching The Loop Hotels, a new ventured-backed hospitality concept focusing on the needs of millennials for fully experiential travel and an integrated tech experience, that includes actions sports, e-sports and immersive experiences.

From 2001 to 2005, Brillembourg Ventures was a top investor in Emida Technologies, where Mr. Brillembourg was founder and CEO. Emida is a Fintech processor of electronic mobile prepaid topup in Latin America and the Caribbean with operations in 30 countries. In 2007, Emida merged with Debisys to form one of the largest country-footprint prepaid network in the Americas. He has been a member of the Board and shareholder of Emida from 2005 to the present. Currently, taking full advantage of his tech startup background, knowledge of the crypto community, and hotel investing experience, he spent the past few years researching the creation of an upcoming holistic protocol system to assist hotel owners with growth through crypto economic and blockchain models.

In 1995 to 2001, Brillembourg Capital, financed Mr. Brillembourg first company, CycleLogic, Inc., where he was founder and CEO. CycleLogic, the largest provider of mobile Internet outsourcing services for operators throughout Latin America. CycleLogic was acquired in September ‘99 by StarMedia Networks (a NYSE company), the largest Internet media company in the Latin market at the time. He co-managed Starmedia Mobile until it was sold to Bellsouth in 2001. Brillembourg Capital now advises multiple hospitality and tech oriented companies in the Blockchain space.

Mr. Brillembourg is a member of the Babson College Advisory Board at Babson (Wellesley, MA), where he is a Director of the SaludArte Foundation. He graduated Summa Cum Laude from Babson.

Kelly is Group Director of Revenue for Interstate Hotels & Resorts Europe. With 18 years in revenue management, working across different brands and independent properties, Kelly has a wealth of experience in understanding and adapting to the constantly changing technological landscape in hospitality.

Charles (Chuck) Ehredt is a serial entrepreneur and Business Angel Investor currently focused on adding greater value to loyalty programs via a SaaS Partnership Hub (The Global Loyalty Ecosystem). We provide immediate connectivity between loyalty program partners for real time reporting and will bridge partners to Blockchain as the technology matures.

Upon graduating from IHMI, worked for various international hotel chains including Sonesta Hotels and NH Hoteles all over the world. As Vice-President of Operations he managed large portfolios of hotels. Michael also worked for SynXis, where he started and headed the European office. Owning his own hotels and venturing upon a new hotel chain, Michael Levie is currently a partner and CEO of citizenM hotels. It is all about people and caring for them, in combination with creativity.

Michael joined Duetto as Managing Director for Europe, the Middle East and Africa in 2014 to spearhead the rollout of the Revenue Strategy technology company throughout the region. Before joining Duetto, he served as CEO of eRevMax. Michael has an engineering degree from the University of Cape Town and a business degree from the Open University.

Adam has been General Manager of Georgian House since September 2015. Starting his career at Hotel Du Vin in Henley-on-Thames in 2007, Adam then took the position of front of house manager at Hand Picked Hotels’ Nutfield Priory Hotel and Spa before moving to South Lodge Hotel in March 2011. Adam was General Manager at Bannatyne Spa Hotel in Hastings before joining Georgian House.

Outside of the hotel, Adam is a St. Julian Scholar, Guardian Member of industry charity Hospitality Action, Chair of the Sussex Branch of the Institute of Hospitality, member of Institute of Hospitality Supervisory Board, 2012 Acorn Award winner and 2017 British Travel & Hospitality Hall of Fame Young Manager of the Year.

As an Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning Evangelist for EMEA, Julien focuses on helping developers and enterprises bring their ideas to life. He frequently speaks at conferences and he's also actively blogging at https://medium.com/@julsimon.

Prior to joining AWS, Julien served for 10 years as CTO/VP Engineering in top-tier web startups where he led large Software and Ops teams in charge of thousands of servers worldwide. In the process, he fought his way through a wide range of technical, business and procurement issues, which helped him gain a deep understanding of physical infrastructure, its limitations and how cloud computing can help.

Michael Struck, Founder & CEO, successfully established the hotel groups Kameha, Gold Inn and Dormero as an entrepreneur, as well as Cosmopolitan Estates, a real estate developer. Before that, Struck was authorized signatory of the Schörghuber Holding and Managing Director of several corporations of the Schörghuber company group. Particularly, he was responsible for hotel development, real estate and the touristic business of the hotel division of the group (Arabella and ArabellaStarwood Hotels). At the beginning of his career he worked for the Boston Consulting Group advising leading brands on marketing and distribution, and later managing restructurings, mergers and acquisitions. He completed his diploma in business studies and MBA at the University of St. Gallen (HSG), the London School of Economics (LSE) and the University of California Berkeley.

A proven commercial leader with a career embracing national and international markets, from start up to national companies to global matrix brands, working successfully with clients in the UK, Europe, USA, Middle East and Japan. I have a track record of consistently delivering strong results in turbulent markets. I have a proven capacity to shape and lead all elements of commercial performance in all market segments to create outstanding results. I embrace a culture which is results driven, inspires performance and creates excellence through high engagement.

• Team focused, creating a leadership environment that supports confidence, belief, a desire to achieve and high performance.

• Numerate with a good understanding of financial management and a track record of delivering revenues and costs ahead of plan.

• I support the team’s collective thinking to combine longer term strategic planning with tactical execution of new initiatives to enhance revenue performance.

• Deep knowledge of all elements of the commercial triangle: sales, marketing and revenue management.

• A positive negotiator successfully delivering a number of multi-million strategic partnerships.

• I work closely with Operations to develop new initiatives that improve guest feedback and lead to higher guest retention, repeat business and better commercial performance.

• A figurehead for the business, I lead from the front and I am very comfortable in a change management process, whilst maintaining performance and morale throughout.

Sam Weston is Marketing Manager for 80 DAYS, a creative and digital marketing agency, specialising in the luxury travel and hospitality sector. He also created and curates the online hotel and travel marketing community, HotelSpeak.com.

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