SPEAKERS

Join visionaries and leaders from the world’s most disruptive brands

We believe that to inspire future trends in travel, we need to look beyond what’s happening right now and think about what’s going to happen next. That’s why we invite creative thinkers from around the globe and across industries to share their insights, challenging you to think differently and open your eyes to new perspectives.

2019 LINE-UP

Get acquainted with the trailblazers set to share their ideas this year, and sign up to our newsletter for all the latest Ministry updates.

Harsha Chanrai

Founder and CEO, Saira Hospitality

Harsha Chanrai

Founder and CEO, Saira Hospitality

From a young age, Harsha Chanrai was strongly influenced by her father’s philanthropic work in primary health care, eye-care, and safe water projects in Nigeria and India, in addition to his work with Mother Teresa. Seeking a way to merge her passion for hospitality with her deeply rooted dedication to philanthropy, Harsha enrolled in the MMH graduate program at Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration, where she began developing the concept for Saira Hospitality.

Saira partners with luxury and lifestyle hotels, creating bespoke pop-up schools to educate and empower local communities for employment in hospitality. Saira creates meaningful partnerships between luxury hotels and the communities they inhabit and offers hotel partners community diplomacy, higher retention and local talent.

Today Saira has graduated 175 Saira students with 100% ROI to participating hotel partners, including Virgin Limited Edition, Rosewood Hotels, Autograph Collection, Bunkhouse Hotels and Costa Palmas Beach Club (managed by Four Seasons Hotels). Saira’s pop-ups have taken Harsha to Los Angeles, Mexico and the British Virgin Islands over the last three years. From her upbringing in London to her career with Six Senses, Fullerton Hotel and Aman Resort across Asia, Harsha brings a global eye for education and hospitality to her work around the world.

Speaking on:

Embracing the new consumer definition of ‘local’

Talk

Nick Ford-Young

Head of Studio, Studio Black Tomato

Nick Ford-Young

Head of Studio, Studio Black Tomato

Nick Ford-Young is Head of Studio Black Tomato, the brand strategy and content creation agency borne out of the Black Tomato luxury travel group.

Nick has extensive brand consultancy and creative content experience working with prestigious luxury and lifestyle brands such as Cadillac, One & Only, Clinique, Diageo, American Airlines and Barclays Wealth.

Having also previously run his own enterprise business Nick’s experience on both sides of the fence puts him in a great position to understand brands’ short and long term strategic needs.

Speaking on:

Hannah Bronfman

Director of Sustainability & Impact, SH Hotels & Resorts

Hannah Bronfman

Director of Sustainability & Impact, SH Hotels & Resorts

Hannah Bronfman is the Director of Impact and Sustainability for SH Group. Hannah has over 10 years of experience as a sustainability and green building expert, including a background in program implementation and communications with a special focus on corporate real estate and hospitality. She has worked with organizations to incorporate sustainability across their business practices, from corporate-level initiatives and policies to building-portfolio management.

In her role, Hannah works with our property and corporate teams to enhance our sustainability strategy, implement new programs, and ensure that our sustainable business and building strategies bolster the 1 Hotels brand.

Hannah joined SH Group from WSP USA (formerly YR&G) where she was the Director of the Corporate Sustainability Team. Key clients included Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Tishman Speyer, The Dust Organization, and the US Green Building Council. Prior to WSP, Hannah held technical positions within MEP engineering firms, working specifically on green building design and operations of buildings. Hannah is currently an adjunct faculty member at Columbia University teaching courses on sustainable construction management.

Hannah holds a bachelor’s degree in General Science and Geography from the University of Oregon. Additionally, she studied visual communications at the Pacific Northwest College of Arts.

Speaking on:

USING SUSTAINABILITY AND CREATIVITY TO BUILD A BETTER BUSINESS

Panel

Tom Marchant

Co-Founder, Black Tomato

Tom Marchant

Co-Founder, Black Tomato

Tom Marchant is an entrepreneur known for launching some of the fastest growing, award-winning brands in the luxury travel and lifestyle sector. He is owner and co-founder of The Black Tomato Group, parent company of the travel brands Black Tomato and Epic Tomato, along with incentive agency The Black Tomato Agency and Studio Black Tomato, the award-winning content and strategy agency. As co-founder, Tom leads the group’s business development, marketing and creative strategies.

Black Tomato has grown to be recognized as the leading authority in the world on luxury travel and caters to a global list of discerning clients. Unearthing clients’ passions and making these a reality is paramount to Black Tomato’s core and have inspired Tom, his partners and their team to create ground-breaking products such as 'Blink', pop-up luxury accommodations in remote areas, lauded in Bloomberg as “the coolest thing to hit the travel world.”

Tom regularly writes and speaks on trends and the future of the luxury travel and lifestyle industries at conferences and on broadcast segments around the world and has been named young entrepreneur of the year by the British Travel Industry Hall of Fame. Tom and Black Tomato have been identified in the media by publications such as Vogue, The NY Times, Conde Nast Traveller, Forbes and the FT as leaders in shaping the future of the luxury travel and lifestyle industries. Tom is a former member of Travel and Leisure's Advisory board and sits as a member of AFAR media's advisory board. In 2018 Conde Nast Traveller named him as one of the 50 people in the world changing the way you travel.

Tom is a columnist for Harper’s Bazaar and Inc Magazine and in 2018 was selected to join the American Express Platinum Collective, an exclusive advisory board comprised of industry leaders tasked to inspire and inform the continued development of access and experiences for card members, providing a fresh perspective and creative guidance to the storied brand.

Speaking on:

From transformation to self-actualisation: exploring a new notion of luxury

Panel

Stacy Shoemaker

Vice President, Hospitality Design

Stacy Shoemaker

Vice President, Hospitality Design

Stacy Shoemaker Rauen is a well-respected and talented editor and writer, and is the editor in chief of Hospitality Design (HD) magazine, the leading publication for the industry, as well as vice president of the Hospitality Design (HD) Group, driving the strategic direction and programming for the overall brand. Owned and operated by Emerald Expositions, the HD Group includes Hospitality Design magazine, HD Expo, HD Summit, HD NextGen Forum, HD Awards, HD Platinum Circle Awards Gala, HD CitySCENE, HD SiteSeeing, and the soon-to-launch HD Elevate. Shoemaker Rauen also oversees Contract and the magazine’s multiple events.

Rauen—who has been with the magazine for 16 years—is a noted speaker at industry events, and as an avid tracker of trends, places, projects, and people, she puts together panels at HD's conferences, and has been quoted in various respected media outlets including CNBC and the Washington Post. She holds two degrees from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism, including a master's in magazine journalism.

Speaking on:

Embracing the new consumer definition of ‘local’

Panel

Ben Pundole

VP of Brand Experience, EDITION Hotels

Ben Pundole

VP of Brand Experience, EDITION Hotels

Present VP of Brand Experience for EDITION hotels and founding editor of the insider travel site AHotelLife.com, Ben Pundole is redefining modern luxury as a practice rather than a package. Pundole’s dynamic career as a hotelier, editor and tastemaker began at London’s infamous Groucho club, where at age 19 he dedicated himself to learning through elegant observation, to become an authority in the hospitality world. After graduating to the Met bar where he continued to impress influencers in fashion, music and film, Pundole began an 11-year stretch working closely with Ian Schrager and Morgans Hotel Group as Vice President of Entertainment.

Now, Pundole is back in Schrager’s orbit with EDITION hotels. But in addition to curating memorable celebrations that launch hotels into the jet set’s creative consciousness, Pundole is focused on his passion project, AHotelLife.com, in which a select group of writers share personal hotel tips and traveler reflections that are that buzz with style and abandon. The site understands that, for the audience interested in undone beauty and life-logging memories, a house boat in the Rockaways can be as much a destination as a palace on a lake in Switzerland; thoughtful touches and heightened storytelling are the new scale for luxury, not cost. And yet, before launching the site, Pundole had no experience as a journalist.

A self-described 40-year-old Millennial, Pundole’s vision is experiential. He meditates. He Instagrams. He works to “face stagnation head on,” by taking inspiring adventure missions, like a solo jaunt to burning man and treks out to Bushwick to attend Cityfox raves, and allowing experience to shape his fluid taste.

Speaking on:

Using sustainability and creativity to build a better business

Panel

David Bowd

Co-Founder, Salt Hotels

David Bowd

Co-Founder, Salt Hotels

Starting as a Bellman, David has worked up the ranks for Hilton & Marriott before taking his first General Management position in 2001 for Thistle Hotels. David then joined Ian Schrager as GM for St Martins Lane Hotel and soon after to Regional Vice President overseeing both London Hotels and the planned European expansion. After 6 very successful years, David moved stateside to become Senior Vice President of Operations for Morgans Hotel Group overseeing the operations for 11 properties located in London, Los Angeles, Miami, San Francisco, and New York. In 2009 David re-joined Ian Schrager as Managing Director where he assisted in the creation and opening of the new PUBLIC brand. David joined Andre Balazs in 2011 as Chief Operating Officer for both the Luxury Collection and the Standard Brand, in this role David oversaw the opening of the much acclaimed Chiltern Firehouse in London.

In 2013 David founded Salt Hotels with partner Kevin O’Shea which owns and operates 4 hotels in NY, NJ & Cape Cod with 3 under development in New York, London, and Asbury Park NJ.

David is a founder and principal of DDK the Management company in partnership with Williams Sonoma to create west elm Hotels launching in 2019.

Speaking on:

Embracing the new consumer definition of ‘local’

Panel

Markus Schreyer

VP Brand, Design Hotels

Markus Schreyer

VP Brand, Design Hotels

Markus Schreyer is part of the senior leadership team at Design Hotels, a handpicked collection of over 300 design-driven luxury hotels across the globe.

As Vice President, The Americas, he is responsible for developing the collection’s hotel portfolio, the business support of all member hotels, media and other potential partners, as well as expanding and building brand awareness and reach in North and South America.

Speaking on:

Artechulating the future of hospitality: Solving for community through technology

Panel

Olivia Squire

Editor, SUITCASE Magazine

Olivia Squire

Editor, SUITCASE Magazine

Olivia is the Editor of SUITCASE Magazine, a quarterly print publication dedicated to exploring the culture of travel through immersive storytelling and ultimately change the way people travel. Prior to this she led the editorial strategy at Beyond Luxury Media, a company that creates marketplaces for the high-end travel industry (including LE Miami), where she edited several magazines and blogs, developed brand campaigns and authored travel trend reports.

Speaking on:

From transformation to self-actualisation: exploring a new notion of luxury

Panel

Ana Andjelic

Forbes CMO Next, Brand Growth Leader, Doctor of Sociology

Ana Andjelic

Forbes CMO Next, Brand Growth Leader, Doctor of Sociology

Ana Andjelic is a strategist, writer and doctor of sociology. She is obsessed with how technology changes the relationship between people and brands. Ana’s job is to help luxury, fashion and lifestyle companies transform into modern businesses. Her approach is best described as design thinking meets modern marketing meets technology, and she uses it in everything from advising MIT Media Lab students on how to launch their ideas into the real world to figuring out top luxury brands’ strategy to observing the counterfeit scene on Canal Street. Ana works with global brands across the US, Europe and Asia and often speaks at the international conferences. Her achievements include Luxury Women to Watch 2016, The Guardian’s Top Ten​ Digital Strategists to Watch, as well as critical business and brand impact for clients.

Speaking on:

Why hospitality is the retail industry’s next frontier

Panel

PAST SPEAKERS

Seth Godin

Author, Entrepreneur

Amy Farley

Senior Editor, Fast Company

Tom London

Tech Magician & Hacker, Tom London

Sarah Owen

Senior Editor, Digital Media & Marketing, WGSN

Dror Benshetrit

Founder / Principal, Studio Dror, Inc.

Bette Ann Schlossberg

Director of Influencer Marketing, Lyft

Dan Clay

Partner, Innovation, Lippincott

Michael Papadeas

Global Partnerships, Frieze

Marcela Sapone

CEO, Hello Alfred