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2019 Speakers

Greg Duff

Greg Duff
Principal and Chair
Hospitality Travel & Tourism practice group Garvey Schubert Barer

Speaker: A Focus on Privacy - CA Consumer Privacy Act & GDPR

Greg Duff founded and chairs GSB's national Hospitality, Travel & Tourism group. His practice largely focuses on operations - oriented matters faced by hospitality industry members, including sales and marketing, distribution and e-commerce, procurement and technology. Greg also serves as counsel and legal advisor to many of the hospitality industry's associations and trade groups, including AH&LA, HFTP and HSMAI.

Mark Haley

Mark Haley, CHTP+
Co-Founder & Partner
Prism Hospitality Consulting

Speaker: Connectivity Survey Results

Mark G. Haley, CHTP+ is co-founder and Partner of Prism Hospitality Consulting, LLC, a professional services firm serving the global hospitality industry based in Boston, MA.  Prism Hospitality Consulting offers proven expertise in all aspects of hospitality technology and strategy consulting.  Mark frequently speaks at industry events and contributes articles to a range of lodging and technology publications.  Mark also plays a leadership role in the industry as Past President of the New England Hospitality Finance and Technology Professionals and Past Chair of the AH&LA Technology Committee. 
Prior to founding Prism, Mark founded and led High Touch Technologies, a consulting firm.  Prior to 1997, Mark was with ITT Sheraton for 15 years in a broad range of positions of increasing responsibility at every level in the organization, beginning as a Guest Service Agent.  In his last role at Sheraton, he served as Director of Property Technology, responsible for the alignment of business and technology strategies.    
Mark lives in Bradford, MA with his wife Julie and two children.  He holds degrees from the University of Virginia and the University of Denver School of Hotel & Restaurant Management.

Martha Heller

Martha Heller
Heller Search

Martha Heller is one of the most widely followed voices on the role of the CIO. She has been a contributor since 1999 and was founder of the CIO Executive Council, IDG’s professional organization for CIOs.
Martha has written two books on IT leadership: The CIO Paradox: Battling the Contradictions of IT Leadership (2012) and Be the Business: CIOs in the New Era of IT (2016)
Martha is CEO of Heller Search Associates, an executive recruiting firm that specializes in IT leadership positions nationwide across all industries.
Through all of these platforms, Martha has built a large, intellectually engaged network of IT executives, many of whom contribute to her widely read e-newsletter, “The Heller Report.” Target Research recently named Martha as a top influencer of U.S.-based CIOs.

Chris Hemmeter

Chris Hemmeter
Managing Director
Thayer Partners

Speaker: VC View of the World

Chris has spent his entire professional life in and around startups and high-growth businesses in travel, hospitality and technology having founded six companies during his 30 years in business.  Today he is a co-founder and Managing Director of Thayer Ventures, a venture capital firm investing in emerging technology companies in the travel and transportation space.  Immediately Prior to Thayer Ventures, Chris was founder and President of iCare Marketing (sold to Sysco Foodservice Corporation in 2012) and founder and CEO of Dynamic Payment Ventures (sold to Elavon, a subsidiary of US Bank in 2007).  
Prior to that, Chris was founder and CEO of CriticalArc Technologies, a supply-chain software provider to the foodservice industry, founder of E&O Kitchen and Bar, a casual dining restaurant based in San Francisco, founder of The Hemmeter Collection, a direct response retailer and founder of Hemmeter Publishing, a publisher and distributor of travel books and content. 

Upon graduating from Cornell University in 1986, Chris joined Hemmeter Investment Company, a real estate developer of destination-resort properties.  Founded by his father in 1962, the Hemmeter organization developed major destination resort hotels in Hawaii and operated several related hospitality and travel businesses in the foodservice, gaming, retail and aviation sectors.
Chris received his undergraduate degree magna cum laude from Cornell University and his graduate degree from Harvard Business School in 1995, where he was recognized as a Baker Scholar for his academic achievement.

Fern Kanter

Fern Kanter
Managing Director

Speaker: Women in Executive Roles

Fern Kanter is Managing Director with CHMWarnick. She is also on the Board of Castell Project, Inc. which is dedicated to seeing women in more than 1 of every 3 seats in all levels and fields of hospitality industry leadership.

A non-profit, Castell provides leadership development to enable companies to bring women up, produces the annual statistical report “Women in Hospitality Industry Leadership”, delivers Castell@College on campuses, and showcases women on the podium.

Bill Oates

Bill Oates
Public & Private Sector CIO
Cybersecurity Faculty at Boston College
Board Member

Speaker: Life After Hotels

Bill Oates has had a long career leading organizations in the private, public and non-profit sectors. Most recently, Bill Oates served as the Vice President and General Manager of Perkins Solutions, the innovation and technology division of the Perkins School for the Blind. Perkins is located in Bill’s hometown of Watertown, Mass., and is the oldest school for the blind in the United States. During Bill’s tenure, Perkins was awarded its first Innovation Challenge grant, launched the Perkins Access digital accessibility consulting practice and delivered Perkins’ first mobile navigation app, BlindWays, in September of 2016. 
Prior to his Perkins role, Bill served as a local and state government CIO for nearly 10 years. In 2006, he was named the City of Boston’s first cabinet level CIO by Boston’s Mayor Thomas M. Menino. Boston took the lead in engaging citizens through innovative, technology enabled products and services. The city released the “first in the nation” Citizens Connect mobile application suite; sponsored the inaugural cohort of Code for America fellows in Boston and launched the Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics – a globally recognized model for innovation and public sector agility. 
In January 2014, Oates took the role of Commonwealth Chief Information Officer of Massachusetts. 
Before his government roles, Oates spent more than 20 years in the private sector, serving as the Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer at Starwood Hotels and Resorts.
Oates is an attorney and member of the Massachusetts Bar. He received his JD from Suffolk University Law School in Boston and was awarded his LL.M in Global Technology Law in 2005. He currently is a member of the faculty at Boston College, teaching in its MS Program in Cybersecurity Policy and Governance.

Jeremy Rock

Jeremy Rock
RockIT Group

Moderator: Annual Interactive Roundtable

With more than two decades of industry experience, he brings extensive knowledge in all areas of Telecommunications, Low Voltage and Systems Applications and Implementation. Mr. Rock has successfully provided consulting services on numerous projects of all types, including some of the largest and most prestigious resort and hotel properties in the United States and abroad. Mr. Rock possesses a comprehensive skill set with vast knowledge of many critical systems and applications.

Prior to founding the RockIT Group, he was the Director of MIS with Sunstone Hotels in San Clemente, CA where he was responsible for overseeing the Information Systems and Telecommunications for a portfolio of over 60 multi-branded and independent hotels as well as their Corporate Office.

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