Session Presenters

2014 Annual Conference
October 26 - 29, 2014
Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina
San Diego, California



Annual Conference Session Presenters

Amy Africa
Eight by Eight | Chief Executive Officer
Back at VRMA's Annual Conference by popular demand, Amy has been at the forefront of web usability studies, web design improvement and successful e-commerce for more than 15 years. Amy has been widely published in industry magazines and has been featured at conferences around the globe. Her depth of knowledge, backed by intensive field testing and web studies, has earned her the reputation of a voice to be heard on Internet topics ranging from site improvement, traffic building and analytics to mobile and email marketing.
Session: New Hats: 12+ Things You Simply Must Know About Your Brain and How It Buys

Alan Andersen
Director of Operations | Seattle Oasis Vacation Rentals

Alan is passionate about training and equipping people in order to help them flourish and experience life-giving transformation. He has lived in both the not-for-profit world as well as the private sector. He focuses on building from the natural strength of teams and organizations by cultivating genuine trust between all groups involved. Alan has effectively and efficiently analyzed critical business requirements, determining growth opportunities and helped lead positive change. Of the many roles that Alan has worked in over the past decade, one of the most prominent is that of Director of Training and Coaching for a service-based franchise business. In that role, he focused on taking small service businesses from launch to leader within their respective contexts in more than 165 communities across the U.S. and Canada. Currently, Alan is the Director of Operations for Seattle Oasis Vacation Rentals in Seattle, Washington. Seattle Oasis was recently voted the #1 Vacation Rental in Washington by Best Northwest Escapes. 
Session: What? How? Why? Which Question Are You Starting With?

Alex Aydin
BookingPal | Chief Executive Officer
Alex is a serial entrepreneur and senior technology executive with more than twenty years of experience. A dynamic leader and resourceful thinker, Alex has developed an expertise in successfully managing the operations throughout each phase of a company’s life cycle.  In 1987, Alex co-founded Procom Technology (NASDAQ: PRCM), an embedded operating systems developer. Alex led the expansion of Procom’s operations for 16 years, taking the company public and eventually selling to Sun Microsystems (NASDAQ:SUNW). Alex was also the founder of Pacific Horizon Communities, a builder of new home communities, and the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Home America Lending.
Session: Third Party Channels: An Introduction

Matt Bare
Q4Launch | Founder
Matt resides in Charleston, South Carolina, the home of hospitality. He travels extensively for work, pleasure and mission work and brings a unique perspective to destination marketing.  He has been doing Internet marketing since Al Gore first claimed to have invented it. He was deploying social media and content marketing strategies back when social media was just a bunch of forums.  With a love for travel and comedy, he always keeps things fun and entertaining and believes that if you can't have fun doing it, then it’s not worth doing.
Session: The One Page Marketing Plan Guaranteed to Increase Your Bookings

Susan Blizzard
Blizzard Internet Marketing | Chief Executive Officer
Susan has operated Blizzard Internet Marketing, a provider of online marketing solutions for hospitality companies, for 17 years. After earning her MBA from Columbia University, she worked with middle market and startup companies on Wall Street until she started her own company. The Blizzard team designs websites with reservation engines that connect to popular vacation rental management software programs and provides a full suite of online marketing services and classes specifically designed for the hospitality industry.
Session: Are You Missing The Mobile Boat?

Eric Breon
Vacasa | Chief Executive Officer
Under Eric’s tenure, Vacasa has built custom property management software, organically added more than 800 vacation rentals in over 30 destinations and completed six acquisitions.  Immediately prior to Vacasa, Eric was the co-founder and president of Oregon Green Solutions, an energy efficiency retrofitting company.  Eric's prior experience also includes managing strategy and analysis at Genesis Financial Solutions and Capital One and analyzing startups as an analyst and associate at Highway 12 Ventures.
Session: Recruiting New Homes and New Homeowners: Best Practices and Pitfalls

Kyle Buehner
NAVIS | President and Chief Executive Officer
Kyle has been with NAVIS since its inception in 1986 when he began working with his father Milton Buehner, founder of what was then called Buehner-Fry.  In 2006, Kyle purchased the company from his family and outside investors. He has invested more than 25 years developing the business. As a former VRMA board member and one of the first supplier partners to VRMA members, Kyle is an advocate for the vacation rental industry's top issues and concerns.
Sessions: Connecting with Other Owners & Senior Leaders: For Owners, Presidents & GMs (Less than 175 Units)--Part 1; Connecting with Other Owners & Senior Leaders: For Owners, Presidents & GMs (Less than 175 Units)--Part 2; Connecting With Other Owners & Senior Leaders; For Management Company Owners, Presidents & GMs (with 176 units or more)--Part 1; Connecting With Other Owners & Senior Leaders; For Management Company Owners, Presidents & GMs (with 176 units or more)--Part 2

Ali Cammelletti
Cammelletti Consulting | Owner/Consultant
Ali has more than 25 years of experience in the hospitality industry.  She has served in many capacities within the industry, from a front-line restaurant and lodging employee to owner of a successful event planning business for eight years. Ali also served as a part-time instructor in the hospitality program at Central Oregon Community College for eight years, teaching customer service, event planning, retail management and lodging management. Ali has been independently consulting with businesses on customer service including phone skills, front-line customer service, sales and leadership techniques for more than 14 years. Most recently she was a business consultant for a software company that helped resorts and lodging establishments drive revenue.  In addition to consulting, Ali currently teaches information technology systems, hotel and lodging operations and hospitality technology systems for Le Cordon Bleu’s hotel and restaurant management program.
Session: Winning with Difficult Customers

Brise Carpenter
NAVIS | Client Success Manager
With significant business experience in both the insurance and financial industries, Brise has acted as a business operations consultant, while also managing client relationships, overseeing business consultants and customer service representatives. During his time at NAVIS Brise has successfully coached and consulted 5-Star, 5-Diamond hotels and resorts, as well as a professionally managed vacation rental management companies. Over the past 3 years he has been responsible for helping his clients drive millions of dollars in additional incremental revenue.  He now leads and coaches the client advocate team at NAVIS to ensure client success through the use of NAVIS’s diverse suite of products and services. Brise is also passionate about providing coaching around organizational leadership, team building and marketing, and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Business Management and Organizational Leadership from George Fox University and a Masters of Business Administration from Concordia University.
Session: Reservation Agent Accountability & Coaching to Increase Productivity

Tim Choate, Inc. | Chief Executive Officer
Tim is a leading Internet innovator who has a 20 year online background. Tim has successfully developed three startup companies including the pioneer in electronic software distribution, Online Interactive Inc. (sold to MicroWarehouse), the pioneer in online direct marketing (Aptimus, Inc., NASDAQ traded then sold to University of Phoenix), and now in the vacation rental industry.  As Tim worked for Prodigy Services prior to the rollout of the consumer Internet, he has watched and helped drive many industry changes in his decades online.
Session: 5 Major Trends Changing the Vacation Rental Industry

Matt Curtis
HomeAway | Director of Government Relations
Matt works to establish best practices for the vacation rental industry, including government relations. Matt’s past roles include serving on a number of political campaigns, holding high-level positions for various local and state public figures and working as a publicist for 20th Century-Fox and a variety of independent film projects. Matt serves on the U.S. Conference of Mayors Business Council, where he developed a policy on vacation rentals that was adopted in June 2012. He has previously served on the Urban Policy Advisory Board at Harvard’s Kennedy School, as well as on the Boards of Meals on Wheels, Austin Pets Alive, Students of the World, Heritage Society of Austin and EPIC-Hill Country Conservancy.
Sessions: Government Affairs; Town Hall with the VRMA Board

Cori Davies
Resort Realty | Marketing Director
As marketing director for Resort Realty on the Outer Banks, Cori is responsible for the ongoing growth and continued success of the brand awareness of Resort Realty and all related companies.
Session: Buying or Selling a Business: What's the Big Deal?

John DiJulius
The DiJulius Group | President
John R. DiJulius III is considered the authority on world-class customer service and is the author of three books on customer experience. He is the president of The DiJulius Group, a customer service consulting firm that works with companies like Starbucks, Chick-fil-A, The Ritz-Carlton, Nestle, PwC, Lexus, and many more. John is also the founder and owner of John Robert’s Spa, named one of the Top 20 Salons in America.
Sessions: Creating a Customer Service Revolution; Make Price Irrelevant

Darik Eaton

Founder and Owner | Seattle Oasis Vacation Rentals
Darik oversees the day to day "on the business" processes and marketing. Graduating with honors from Claremont College with degrees in both Economics and Psychology, he has been well-suited for the growing VR segment. In addition to the passion he has for Seattle Oasis and its team, his first love is his growing family. 
Session: What? How? Why? Which Question Are You Starting With?

Ben Edwards
Weatherby Consulting LLC/ Newman-Dailey Resort Properties, Inc.| President/Vice President of Business Development
As a respected and innovative industry leader, Ben has been positively affecting the real estate and vacation rental industries for more than 15 years. From managing small resorts, to financial and operational auditing, to opening large scale resort developments, Ben’s unique background provides a multi-level approach to consulting, transaction and advisory services.  In addition to his roles with Weatherby Consulting and Newman-Dailey, Ben currently serves as president of the Vacation Rental Managers Association. Ben previously has served on the HomeAway Advisory Board Committee, the Board of the Florida Vacation Rental Managers Association and as an advisory board member for Vacation Rental Expo, the industry’s first consumer-based tradeshow.
Sessions: What Every Vacation Rental Manager Needs to Know About Financial Management for Your Business; Dissecting the Deal: A Guide to Buying and Selling Vacation Rental Companies; Third Party Channels: Why They Are Important; Financial Management and Budgeting; Buying or Selling a Business: What's the Big Deal?; Town Hall with the VRMA Board of Directors

Carrie Efird
Tybee Vacation Rentals | Co-Owner
Carrie co-founded Tybee Vacation Rentals (TVR) with her sister, Amy Gaster, in the fall of 2000 as a small, family business with a handful of properties and no employees. Since then, TVR has grown to be one of the largest, most well-respected professional vacation rental companies on Tybee Island.
Sessions: Creating a Successful Laundry and Linen Program; What’s the Best Approach for Staffing Housekeeping and Maintenance Positions?

Brandon Ezra
Grand Welcome | Chief Executive Officer
Brandon is a successful pioneer in the vacation rental industry.  In 2007, he developed, launched and managed, the first independent condo-hotel management company.  After achieving rapid success, was acquired within a year of its launch. Brandon has also acquired Mammoth Property Reservations, a vacation rental and management company located in Mammoth Lakes, California.
Sessions: Recruiting New Homes and New Homeowners: Best Practices and Pitfalls; The Pros and Cons of Distribution Sites

Valerie Finlay
Island Realty | Systems Coordinator
Valerie brings her vast knowledge of customer booking behavior to play in her current role in the marketing department, meticulously managing back-end systems and reporting. Valerie created the guest loyalty report for Island Realty and utilizes the data to develop segments to be used for marketing efforts and tracks their success. Specializing in software engagement, distribution and online marketing, she comprehensively enhances campaign outreach.
Session: Unearthing and Utilizing Loyalty Data

Bill Fonvielle
Atlantic Vacation Homes and Performance Measurement Associates
Bill is well acquainted with the vacation rental management industry and is a spouse of a VRMA board member.  He is also a globally recognized authority on data-gathering methodologies, performance measurement and business scorecards.  He is a founding partner in Promising Outcomes, LLP, a UK consultancy based on his intellectual property, and principal of Performance Measurement Associates.   Additionally, Bill is a Realtor® and a director of AVH Realty, Inc. and Atlantic Vacation Homes, and is a City Councilor in Gloucester, Massachusetts.  Bill is the author of a business book and nearly three dozen published articles on business topics, and has been a major contributor to another half dozen best-seller business books.  He holds a MBA from the Yale University School of Management.
Session: The Expectations Map: Lessons From a National Survey Examining Vacation Rental Guests’ Expectations

Bill Furlong
HomeAway Software | Vice President
Bill served as chief executive officer and president of Escapia, Inc. Prior to this role, Bill was chief operating officer of AdXpose, Inc. (also known as Widgetbucks Inc.) and was responsible for the company’s sales and marketing, finance, human resources and customer service departments, plus all day-to-day operations. Bill also previously served as vice president of sales and marketing at Cranium, Inc.,  where he was responsible for driving its revenue goals and domestic brand development. In this role, he expanded retail distribution from three accounts to all major toy retailers in the country, helping Cranium become the first company to win the toy industry Game of the Year for three consecutive years. Prior to Cranium, Bill served as president and chief executive officer of Mountain Travel Sobek. He also served in several group and product unit management positions at Microsoft working on Expedia, CarPoint, HomeAdvisor and Sidewalk. Prior to Microsoft, he served in key marketing positions at Time Warner and as a financial analyst for Morgan Stanley’s Hong Kong office. Bill holds an MBA from Harvard University and a B.A. from Dartmouth College.
Sessions: 3rd party Channels: How to Set Them Up; Insights on Driving Inquiry Conversion from Third Party Listing Sites

Lyndsey Garza

Owner | Pointe West Properties
Lyndsey expanded her vacation real estate brokerage by offering vacation property management to Galveston Island, Texas in early 2012. Pointe West Properties provides its guests with a true Galveston experience and personal customer service. The company grew from three properties to 50 quickly as Galveston has emerged as a top vacation spots for Houston families. The team’s hands-on approach has allowed the company to create lasting relationships with its guests. Lyndsey holds a bachelor’s degree in marine biology from Texas A&M University along with a Texas real estate broker license. She is an active member of VRMA’s communications and public relations committees. Lyndsey is also part of Houston Association of REALTORS, the Texas Association of REALTORS, and the Public Relations Society of America. 
Sessions: Closing Bookings Over the Phone: 7 Traits Shared by the World’s Greatest Reservationists; The Untapped Potential of Maintenance Teams

Jon Goldman
Brand Launcher | Chief Executive Officer
Jon is a marketing expert and personal development coach, and chief executive officer of the business strategy firm Brand Launcher. He is a dynamic speaker who has presented at numerous conventions, conferences and expos. Jon has worked with clients including Haagen-Dazs and National Geographic, and his campaigns have been featured in BusinessWeek and The Wall Street Journal. He is the author of two works on business and marketing topics, including one that has been translated into Japanese.
Session: Marketing to Multiple Generations: Boomers, Xers and Yers
Nicole Greener
East West Resorts | Director of Human Resources
Nicole is director of human resources for East West Resorts’ Vail Valley and Denver operations.  Nicole is responsible for aligning the human resources function with the overall strategy, vision and goals of the organization.  She provides leadership and oversight for the company’s employees in the areas of talent selection and acquisition, performance management, employee engagement, training and development, employee relations, organizational development and compensation administration, among others.    Prior to joining East West Resorts, Nicole held the post of international staffing manager for Vail Resorts, Inc. while concurrently managing the human resources function for Beaver Creek Resort.  Nicole began her career in human resources in 2000 with Vail Resorts, Inc. as a training and development manager, serving Vail and Beaver Creek Resorts by providing employee development and leadership training to more than 5,000 resort and hospitality associates.
Session: Using Employee Feedback to Boost Employee, Homeowner and Guest Loyalty

Nicole Guevarra
Visual Data Systems | Online Marketing Consultant
Since joining the Visual Data Systems team, Nicole has enjoyed building client relationships and offering unique solutions to maximize online marketing efforts. Her desire to help clients improve website usability and design results from a combination of analytical and creative approaches. Nicole is particularly fond of maintaining awareness in the always changing social media realm while also staying ahead of the intricacies of search engine optimization.
Sessions: Top Ten Ways To Use Social Media for Your Vacation Rental Business; Using Email Marketing To Manage The Guest Lifecycle

Alan Hammond
Holiday Vacation Rentals, Inns and Resorts | Managing Partner
Alan joined VRMA in 2005 and credits the association for helping his company develop professional standards in vacation rental management. HVR was among the first professional management companies in Michigan to rate properties and offer any day check in, travel and property damage insurance and online bookings, and has achieved the Michigan Green Lodging Certification designation. Alan is also active in the hotel and resort industry providing advisory, acquisition and disposition services, and is the past managing director of the Coldwell Banker Commercial Hospitality Group.
Session: Town Hall with the VRMA Board of Directors

Scott Hannah
Guest Research, Inc. | President
Scott is president of Guest Research, Inc., a Denver-based hospitality industry research firm.  Guest Research provides vacation rental management companies with satisfaction and loyalty measurement systems for guests, homeowners and employees.  The research is 100% based on the Net Promoter Score.  Prior to founding Guest Research, Inc., Scott served for six years as president of AspenCrest Hospitality, a marketing and marketing research company and, prior to that, served as senior vice president of sales and marketing for AIRCOA Hospitality Services and chief operating officer of Sceptre Hospitality Resources.  Scott also served as vice president of marketing for Los Angeles-based Sitmar Cruises, later acquired by Princess Cruises.  After graduating from Northwestern University with an MBA in marketing and finance, Scott began his career with Carnation Company (later acquired by Nestle), serving as a brand manager and group brand manager.
Session: Using Employee Feedback to Boost Employee, Homeowner and Guest Loyalty

Mike Harrington
Resort Realty of the Outer Banks | Chief Executive Officer
A VRMA member since 2006, Mike has served on VRMA’s Conference Planning Committee since 2011 and also served on the Certificated Vacation Rental Manager Committee. Mike is currently vice president for the North Carolina Vacation Rental Managers Association and the Vacation Rental Managers Association and previously served on the Board of Directors for the Outer Banks Association of REALTORS.
Session: Town Hall with the VRMA Board of Directors

Linda Hess
HomeAway Software | Sales Operations Manager
Linda is currently the sales operations manager for HomeAway Software.  She has worked with property managers on the software side of the industry for seven years.  Now based in Denver,  Colorado, Linda  was previously a vacation rental manager on the Outer Banks of North Carolina.  Linda is a past president of the NCVRMA and a former VRMA board member, and has been in the vacation rental industry for more than 20 years.
Session: The Keys to Owner Retention: Tools, Technology and TLC

Amy Hinote
VRMIntel| Founder and Owner of VRMIntel
Presenter information coming soon.
Sessions: Third Party Channels: An Introduction; DIY Marketing Plan Workshop

Lee Hughes
CSA Travel Protection | Vice President of Sales
With more than 30 years in the travel industry, Lee brings a significant and diverse travel background to travel insurance. He spent 10 years at United Airlines in sales and management positions on the West Coast. In the sales division, his time was devoted exclusively to incentive and group affinity charter sales. Entering the travel insurance industry in 1982, Lee focused his extensive experience on developing new and underserved markets. He personally developed CSA’s landmark series of travel insurance products for the resort, hospitality and incentive travel industries. At CSA, Lee has direct responsibility for business development within the property management, timeshare and retail divisions. He earned a bachelor’s degree in business and mass communications and an MBA in organizational development. In addition, he received a Standard Life Teaching Credential for elementary, secondary and junior college education. He is a member of ASTA and SKAL.
Session: Town Hall with the VRMA Board of Directors

Tyler Hurst | Director of Sales and Marketing

Since joining in 2008, Tyler has played a vital role in the company’s dramatic growth, spearheading sales efforts that have made the company the fastest-growing software provider in the industry for the past five years. Tyler and the team at regularly work with the company’s partners to help them streamline their operations and increase their bookings.
Session: Closing Bookings Over the Phone: 7 Traits Shared by the World’s Greatest Reservationists

David Hutnik
InterCoastal Net Designs | Social Media Director
@DavidHutnik (on Twitter), Indiana born and raised, grew up with a passion for business. After graduating from a nationally-ranked business program in 2008, he moved to North Carolina where a career in social media was born. He managed a social media department with a large company for four years before breaking out into a role that allowed him to work personally with small companies developing their social media presence. The challenges, the successes and maneuvering the ever-changing landscape of social media quickly became a clear route for David to find his way into a perfect position with @InterCoastal Net Designs. Launching a new social marketing division gave David a chance to work closely with the vacation rental industry and clients along the east coast. In a short time period he’s grown thousands of Facebook Likes and Twitter Followers for social media clients and converted these fans to thousands of dollars of revenue.
Sessions: Elements of a Perfect Website; Your Complete 2015 Online Marketing Strategy

Cliff Johnson
Vacasa | Chief Operating Officer/Co-Founder
Cliff is the chief operating officer and co-founder at Vacasa, a Portland-based vacation rental property management company that has grown from managing one home in 2009 to more than 1,000 today.  Prior to Vacasa, Cliff worked as an attorney in Colorado, Arizona and California. Cliff obtained his J.D. from Boston University and his B.A. from Drury University in Springfield, Missouri.
Session: A Guide To Helping Your Owners Navigate the Legal Implications of Owning a Vacation Rental

Durk Johnson
Vacasa | Director of Housekeeping
Prior to his current role as director of housekeeping for Vacasa, Durk served as chief operating officer of Gulf Shores Vacation Rentals in Gulf Shores, Alabama. Prior to this role, Durk served as the chief operating officer of Meyer Services where he worked to diversify the services offered to property owners and unify back-of-the-house operations. Prior to this role, Durk was the senior guest sales manager for Meyer Vacation Rentals, where he was responsible for implementing a search tool to assist sales agents to find the best vacation property for potential guests, and for raising the morale of the sales team. Durk previously served as director of operations for Deer Valley Lodging in Park City, Utah, where he oversaw housekeeping, maintenance, front desk, bell staff and skier shuttle. He has also served as a consultant on housekeeping efficiency and cleaning standards. Durk currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Vacation Rental Housekeeping Professionals (VRHP) Association.
Sessions: Fundamentals of Housekeeping; Managing Piece Rates; What’s the Best Approach for Staffing Housekeeping and Maintenance Positions?

Sue Jones
KLS Group | Managing Director
Sue is the founder and managing director of the KLS Group, a business that focuses on simplifying human resources management for small business owners in the vacation rental industry. Sue founded the KLS Group 2 1/2 years ago in Bend, Oregon. She brings more than 20 years of professional experience in human resources management in food service and hospitality, manufacturing, confection and education to the VR industry. Sue is a veteran of the U.S. Navy and has a master’s degree in business administration.  
Sessions: Hiring for Success:  Hiring People Isn’t Just Happenstance; Independent Contractor or Employee? Exempt or Nonexempt? Is My Business at Risk?; What’s the best approach for staffing housekeeping and maintenance positions?

Doug Kennedy
Kennedy Training Network | President
Doug is the lodging industry’s leading expert in reservations sales training techniques, having conducted training for top tier companies across all market segments.  His monthly sales training articles inspire readers worldwide.  He is a dynamic and engaging presenter who has presented at VRMA conferences from 1996 – 2004, and he packed the rooms for four sessions during his last presentations at the 2009 conference.
Sessions: Reservations Sales Training Tactics, Circa 2015; Reservations Sales QUEST Training

Tom Leddy
Leddy Associates, Inc. | President
Tom is president of Leddy Associates Inc.,  a full-service consulting practice specializing in the vacation rental industry. In this role, Tom provides consulting services aimed at improving profitability, achieving greater financial and market awareness, and taking advantage of industry best practices. From 2004 through 2007, Tom was executive vice president at Instant Software. In 1998, Tom participated in a consolidation initial public offering that created ResortQuest International, the first public company in the vacation rental industry. Tom was also a co-founder and president of First Resort Software (FRS). Founded in 1985, FRS became a leader in providing technology solutions for the vacation rental industry.
Sessions: Don't Invest In Technology That You Don't Invest In!; 5 Steps To Upgrading Your Old and Tired Reservation System

Bill LeMasters

Executive Officer | Hummingbird Cabins
Bill got his start in the rental housing business as a youth doing maintenance, painting and yard maintenance for his family's apartment properties in southern California. After graduating from Baylor University with a degree with honors from the Hankamer School of Business with majors in Finance, Real Estate and Management, Bill was hired by Banc Texas Dallas as a management trainee and worked his way up to assitant vice president in the real estate lending division. Bill then partnered with his family to grow the family property business, Albritton Properties in Dallas, Texas. During his time with Albritton Properties, the company grew from two apartment properties and a small office building to more than 15 apartment properties as well as commercial properties including industrial, office warehouse, retail centers and vacation rentals. In 2000, Bill formed the real estate brokerage partnership, Ltd., (now Rio Ruidoso Company, ltd.) and in 2002, he formed Hummingbird Cabins, a property management partnership which now manages approximately 100 properties. 
Session: What’s the Best Approach for Staffing Housekeeping and Maintenance Positions?

Jean-Pierre Mampaey
Maxxton | Chief Executive Officer
Jean-Pierre serves as owner and consultant at Maxxton, a  leading company for reservation systems for the resort market.
Session: Third Party Channels : An Introduction

Michelle Marquis
NAVIS | Vice President, Marketing & Strategic Initiatives
Michelle is a seasoned industry veteran leading NAVIS’ explosive growth in hospitality over the past seven years. Michelle is responsible for all sales, marketing and business development at NAVIS, and her thought leadership in service/sales best practices is credited with helping NAVIS’ 370+ lodging clients improve service levels and capture hundreds of millions in incremental revenue. Prior to joining NAVIS, Michelle held leadership roles as a hotelier, a convention and visitors’ bureau president, and a hospitality marketing consultant. She is an energetic and personable speaker, having shared her unique hospitality perspectives and insights with global audiences.
Sessions: Insights on Driving Inquiry Conversion from Third Party Listing Sites; Marketing Executive Discussion Forum

Andrew McConnell
Vacation Futures | Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer
After receiving degrees from Harvard College, Harvard Law School and Cambridge University, Andrew spent the next six years working with some of the world's largest companies, and even governments, to deconstruct and solve of their most pressing and complex concerns, first as a management consultant and McKinsey & Company and then as director of managed services for Axiom Global Inc.  Now as co-founder and chief executive officer of VacationFutures he is excited to apply all he has learned to the vacation rental industry in order to create a better experience for all involved.
Sessions: Making More From Less: Increasing Revenues and Margins on the Properties You Manage; Recruiting New Homes and New Homeowners: Best Practices and Pitfalls

Cara Middleton
Freshwater Vacation Rentals | Owner/President
A free spirit her whole life, Cara became a vacation rental property manager in 2008 after spending three years as a co-owner of two unique properties, a private island and a historic lodge, all of which were 7-9 hours away from her home base and full-time job as a high school teacher. In 2012, she became a full-time property manager and today now remotely manages 28 properties throughout Michigan. She has traveled through 21 countries spanning four continents and loves the adventure of life.
Sessions: Remote Property Management: It IS Possible! ; From Lemons to Lemonade: How to Turn Negative Reviews Into Returning Guests

Steve Milo
Vacation Rental Pros | Managing Director, Founder and Owner
Steve is the founder, owner and managing director of Vacation Rental Pros Property Management LLC with 825 properties under management and locations in Ponte Vedra, St Augustine, Palm Coast, Orlando, Ft. Myers, Siesta Key and Venice, Florida. Steve is a graduate of the University of Virginia, McIntire School of Commerce and held several senior level executive ecommerce and internet marketing positions before forming Vacation Rental Pros in 2006. Vacation Rental Pros has been recognized three years in a row as one of the top fifty fastest growing companies in North East Florida by the Jacksonville Business Journal.  
Sessions: Vacation Rental Analytics for Marketing, Competitiveness and Operational Excellence; Third Party Channels: How to Set Them Up; Third Party Channels: Why They Are Important; The Pros and Cons of Distribution Sites; Town Hall with the VRMA Board of Directors

Sara Moore
All Star Vacation Homes | Chief Marketing Officer
With more than 15 years of marketing and public relations experience, Sara directs all aspects of marketing, advertising and public relations for All Star Vacation Homes. She has served on the boards of CFVRMA and FVRMA and chairs VRMA's public relations committee.
Session: Public Relations 101: Putting PR To Work For Your Company

Colin Morrison
NAVIS | Solutions Engineer
Colin brings more than 20 years of experience in the service and hospitality industries to his NAVIS clients. He has served in many capacities within the industry, from front-line employee to senior management positions. Since joining NAVIS in 2007, he has successfully coached many of his clients in reservation sales best practices, allowing each of them to earn hundreds of thousands of dollars of additional rental revenue and marketing savings.
Session: Driving New Revenue Through Agent Incentives

Conrad O’Connell
InterCoastal Net Designs | SEO Manager
Conrad  is a native of Massachusetts and moved to sunny South Carolina in 2007. After graduating from North Myrtle Beach High School, Conrad studied marketing at Coastal Carolina University. During his college career, he was attracted to technology and the web and used his degree to find the perfect work that combined his marketing knowledge and his passion. Since joining ICND, Conrad has taken on full-service Internet marketing for dozens of clients in the vacation rental industry with stellar results. With a keen eye for all avenues of intelligent web design, conversion rate optimization, content marketing, pay-per-click and much more, Conrad is a fantastic resource for all things growth.
Sessions: Elements of a Perfect Website; Your Complete 2015 Online Marketing Strategy

Koryn Okey
FlipKey | Director of Global Accounts
Since joining FlipKey in 2008, Koryn has worked directly with more than 500 property management companies representing more than 80,000 properties globally. As the director of global accounts, Koryn oversees FlipKey's account management team, which works one-on-one with property management companies to help them optimize property listings to be most successful on FlipKey and TripAdvisor.
Session: Learn from the Pros: How to Successfully Harness the Power of Guest Reviews

Jim Olin
C2G Advisors, LLC | President and Chief Executive Officer
Jim has been involved in some of the most complex and intricate business acquisitions and business restructurings, from both a Wall Street “public” company scale to small private companies. Jim has also served as a litigation consultant on one of the largest class action settlements in U.S. history.
Sessions: Dissecting the Deal: A Guide to Buying and Selling Vacation Rental Companies; Buying or Selling a Business: What's the Big Deal?

Evan Osborn
Vacasa | Southern California Regional Manager/General Counsel
Evan worked as an attorney in the Bay Area for six years prior to joining Vacasa in March 2014. Evan now works with owners in Southern California to get their homes ready for rental and assists Vacasa with any legal issues that come up.  Evan obtained his J.D. from Boston University and his bachelor's degree from Duke University.
Session: A Guide To Helping Your Owners Navigate the Legal Implications of Owning a Vacation Rental

Darren Pettyjohn
CBIZ Insurance Services | Sales Manager
Darren has been in the insurance business for 15 years with a focus on specialty insurance. Since joining CBIZ, Darren has led the team to provide custom insurance solutions for the vacation rental industry.  CBIZ is currently the largest insurer of vacation homes in the U.S and writes more than 400 new polices per month.
Session: What’s Your Liability?


Joe Refosco
Taylor-Made Deep Creek Vacations | Co-Owner
Growing up in the mountains of Maryland and around the Deep Creek Lake area, Joe always knew that the area offered an abundance of opportunities for both locals and guests. Joe began his 25-year career in customer service/hospitality as a manager and owner of several prosperous dining establishments. This career led him into the vacation rental industry, and thus helping bring guests to Deep Creek Lake. One of Joe’s first milestones was opening and operating a laundry service that serviced more than 450 vacation rental and property service homes. In 2008, Joe partnered with his wife, Jodi, and brother in-law, Chad Taylor, to open Taylor-Made Deep Creek Vacations. Currently, Joe oversees all operations of property service and the 40 employees throughout the laundry, housekeeping, maintenance, pools/hot tubs, lawn care and snow plow departments. Joe is also president of Vacation Rental Housekeeping Professionals, a non-profit organization that focuses on improving all aspects of maintenance and housekeeping issues.
Session: Standard Home Experience: An Inspector's Role

Maureen Regan
Seaside Vacation Rentals | Owner
Maureen has been involved in the vacation rental business since 1983. She and her daughter, Jennifer Thibodeau, own Seaside Vacation Rentals, a well-recognized and award-winning business in southern Maine. Maureen holds dual master’s degrees from Vermont College and a B.A. from the University of Maine.  Maureen currently serves as secretary for the Vacation Rental Managers Association and has served as chair of the board of the Greater York Region Chamber of Commerce, on the board of the Maine Beaches Association and as a gubernatorial appointee to the Maine Tourism Commission. Maureen was also a founding member of the Maine Vacation Rental Professionals Association and New England Vacation Rental Professionals.
Sessions: Housekeeping Ideas for Seasonal, Small Vacation Rental Companies; Town Hall with the VRMA Board of Directors

Matthew Renner | Vice President of Business Development
Matthew has a diverse background in hospitality and digital marketing, including experience working with resorts, hotels, vacation rental management companies, specialty lodging marketing, advertising, analytics, business development and more.  Matthew has a passion for sales and marketing and using his vast knowledge of digital marketing to improve hospitality company performance.
Session: Digital Attribution in a Multi-Device World
Melaney Robbins
Oak Island Accommodations | Co-Owner /Vice President
Melaney started her career in the vacation rental industry more than 20 years ago, beginning as a file clerk, housekeeper and guest services representative at Oak Island Accommodations, her family’s business that manages more than 600 vacation rentals in southeastern North Carolina. With a B.A. in communication studies, Melaney was integral in the creation of OIA’s marketing department, which she now oversees. She received her real estate license in 2000 and now serves on the boards of both the Brunswick County Tourism and Development Authority and the Southport Oak Island Area Chamber of Commerce. Her involvement in almost every facet of OIA’s operations allows her to share valuable insights on how property managers can retain homeowners, build long lasting relationships and deal with difficult situations. 
Session: The Keys to Owner Retention: Tools, Technology and TLC

Diana Romeo
MMGY Global | Public Relations Account Executive
Diana has more than five years of public relations experience and is currently an account executive with renowned travel PR firm MMGY Global, based in the company’s New York office. Immersed in the lifestyle and beauty media relations world early on, she has since transitioned within the last year to the travel and tourism space, representing a range of clients including the VRMA, hotels, resorts, attractions, museums and destinations throughout the U.S.
Session: Public Relations 101: Putting PR To Work For Your Company

Dan Rourke
HomeAway | Senior Director - Software Support
Dan is a customer service geek. After a career in software development and management at IBM, Dan had his first assignment in customer support and has stayed with that ever since. Dan loves being at the point of intersection of product potential and real world implementation success. You can find him on Twitter and on his blog sharing and thinking about the latest ideas and trends.  Prior to HomeAway Software, Dan was vice president of global customer support and training at Cadence Design Systems and had several customer support planning and strategy positions at IBM.
Session: Delivering World Class Customer Service

Brandon Sauls
InterCoastal Net Designs | President
Brandon  founded InterCoastal Net Designs (ICND) in 1999 with a bold vision and passion for technology. Brandon, a University of South Carolina graduate, began the company as the sole entrepreneur in Charleston, S.C. While ICND specializes in everything website design and online marketing related, Brandon found a true niche in the vacation rental industry early on when he developed one of his first websites for Sloane Realty Vacations. Brandon  and the entire InterCoastal Net Designs team has been working hard ever since to educate themselves on the vacation rental industry, allowing the company to provide customized solutions and superior service for each and every client. Today, Brandon still serves as the President of ICND and the company continues to successfully grow at a rapid pace. He  is a member of the VRMA Communications Committee and stays involved locally with the chamber of commerce. In 2013, Brandon was featured by a local magazine as one of top 10 young area professionals proving to be an innovator in the community.
Sessions: Elements of a Perfect Website; Your Complete 2015 Online Marketing Strategy

Peter Scott
Blue Tent | President
Peter is a founder of and partner in Blue Tent Marketing. After starting his Internet career in the roaring late 90’s with a  startup, he moved to create an Internet marketing company with a focus on consistent service and content management tools. Blue Tent has grown to include more than 30 great professionals and  celebrated its 10 year anniversary in 2012.
Session: Third Party Channels: How to Set Them Up

Carole Sharoff
Atlantic Vacation Homes/AVH Realty | President
Carole has been in the vacation rental industry for 30 years and has been a VRMA member since 1994. In addition to her role as a current board member for the VRMA, she was a founding member of the New England VRMA and now serves as chair. Carole is heavily involved in her local community, currently serving on the Professional Standards Committee for the North Shore Association of Realtors and on the Boards of Directors for the Gloucester Rotary Club and Discover Gloucester. In addition to numerous other community leadership roles, Carole has served as chair of the Cape Ann Business Referral Group and as chair of the Tourist Committee for the Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce.
Session: Town Hall with the VRMA Board of Directors

Brian Sharples
HomeAway | President and Chief Executive Officer
Brian co-founded HomeAway with Carl Shepherd in February 2005. Since then, he has raised nearly $405 million in private funding and acquired 17 websites to create the world's leading online marketplace of vacation rentals. Brian is the former president and chief executive officer of IntelliQuest Information Group, a supplier of marketing data and research to Fortune 500 technology companies.  While there, he pioneered the development of subscription-based statistical research services and electronic survey systems.  He also completed two successful public offerings and the subsequent sale of IntelliQuest. An expert in technology brand strategy, Brian has counseled several leading companies, including Apple, Microsoft and Dell.  He also created the IntelliQuest Brand Tech Forum Conference, which became an industry-leading symposium, and served as a consultant at Bain & Company early in his career. He earned a bachelor’s degree in math and economics from Colby College and a master’s degree from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Brian also serves on the board of directors for RetailMeNot, Inc. and KLRU, and formerly served on the board of directors for KAYAK.
Session: E-commerce: Third-Party Distribution and the Industry’s Path to Greatness

Lance Stitcher
Vantage Resort Realty | General Manager
Lance has been in the hospitality industry for 25 years. He is currently the general manager of Vantage Resort Realty, a renowned provider of luxury vacation rentals along the Atlantic Coast.  Lance holds a bachelor’s degree in business management from Salisbury University, along with real estate licenses in Maryland and Delaware.  He is an active member of the Vacation Rental Managers Association, Coastal Association of Realtors, Maryland Association of Realtors and National Association of Realtors. Prior to joining the Vantage team, Lance had spent more than 20 years in the country club and golf industries managing multiple golf courses as an active Class A PGA Professional.  Lance’s entrepreneurial spirit prompted him to own and operate a professional golf shop, as well as move away from the golf courses into an operations and ultimately general manager role in one of the largest planned golf and boating communities in the mid-Atlantic.
Session: Recruiting New Homes and New Homeowners: Best Practices and Pitfalls

Heidi Stuber
Sea to Sky Rentals | Business Director
Heidi is the business director for Sea to Sky Rentals in Seattle, Washington. Sea to Sky Rentals is Seattle’s largest vacation rental management company and has been an industry leader for over 11 years. Heidi has ten years of experience in small business management. She has led two business turnarounds, managed well over 100 employees, and supported tens of thousands of customers. Heidi has a MBA from Seattle University with a focus on leadership development. Heidi works to build effective teams by communicating openly and directly, empowering shared leadership and solving problems creatively. She is passionate about developing operational efficiencies, moving organizations forward and getting people involved in the process. Her approach to leadership is to unite a clear vision of the future with innovation, respect and accountability. She is committed to her staff, her customers and her owners. Her favorite business maxim is from Henry Ford, “If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.”
Session: Navigating Growth Points: How One Company Scaled Back to Make It Big

Jodi Taylor-Refosco
Taylor-Made Deep Creek Vacations | Co-Owner
Jodi has worked in the vacation rental industry for more than 15 years, focusing on reservations,  customer service, marketing and owner relations. She has been active in VRMA for more than 10 years and has spoken at numerous conferences on topics ranging from customer service, to increasing property repeats, to designing new profitable services. She currently owns Taylor-Made Deep Creek Vacations with her husband, Joe, and brother, Chad. They manage over 175 properties and 75 non-renting properties.
Sessions: The Keys to Owner Retention: Tools, Technology and TLC; The Pros and Cons of Distribution Sites; Recruiting New Homes and New Homeowners: Best Practices and Pitfalls; Town Hall with the VRMA Board

Emily Thompson

Senior Online Marketing Consultant | Visual Data Systems
Emily is the senior level marketing consultant at Visual Data Systems. She specializes in creating cohesive marketing strategies focused around client initiatives. She is very passionate about all things online marketing: Analytics, SEO, PPC, e-mail marketing, social media marketing, local search, online reputation management, and best of all, how these fuse together to benefit vacation rental managers. Her primary interests lie in evaluating search algorithm changes, e-commerce data analysis and paid advertising. Emily enjoys the challenge of exceeding client expectations and staying on the cutting edge of online marketing and how it relates to the hospitality industry.  
Session: Using Email Marketing To Manage The Guest Lifecycle

Lynn Thurston
Finger Lakes Premier Properties | President
Lynn has worked in the formal and informal vacation rental industry for 20 years in Canada, the U.S., Asia, Africa and Central America. She has worked internationally on tourism policy and employment creation in what is now being termed the shared economy. She has a degree in environmental studies, along with a Ph.D. and master’s degree in urban and regional planning and an MBA. She is a licensed real estate broker and holds both green and second home designations. At Finger Lakes Premier Properties she oversees 235 vacation rentals spread over 4,000 square miles on six lakes. Lynn also oversees a franchise hotel. Through Cornell University she is currently studying revenue management with a keen interest in its application to the vacation rental industry. She loves data, big and small, and enjoys sharing research findings with others.
Sessions: Vacation Rental Analytics for Marketing, Competitiveness and Operational Excellence; The Pros and Cons of Distribution Sites

George Volsky
Railey Mountain Lake Vacations | Industry Consultant
George is one of the industry's most experienced consultants and analysts. His educational seminars over the past two decades have focused on evolving industry needs and opportunities. George has consulted from of the nation's leading management companies, served as director of research and analysis for Escapia and Instant Software, served as the industry consultant for the 2008 PhocusWright study that sized the vacation rental industry, and worked for two years for HomeAway as community manager. 
Session: Making More From Less: Increasing Revenues and Margins on the Properties You Manage; Revenue Fundamentals; Third Party Channels: Why They Are Important

Tristan Webb
Vacasa | Regional Manager
Tristan is a regional manager for Vacasa in Salt Lake City and Park City, Utah.  He has been involved with VRMA for more than a decade and currently serves on the Board of Directors. He has also been an active participant of various government, technology, website, and marketing committees with Ski Utah, Visit Salt Lake, Park City Area Lodging Association, Park City Chamber and Utah Tourism Industry Coalition.
Session: Town Hall with the VRMA Board of Directors

Julia Lane Willis
Island Realty | Marketing Manager
With seven years of experience in marketing specialized in the travel and leisure, hospitality, attraction, festival and corporate event sectors, Julia Lane develops and implements revenue maximizing campaigns that result in superior destination experiences. Her philosophy is to provide the traveler or attendee a satisfied end-user experience through superb customer service. Marketing is the how and why customers engage with a brand and in the VRM industry it is critical to spark brand engagement by identifying and communicating with loyal guests.  At Island Realty, Julia Lane leads the marketing team, which acts as an agency for the business with operations comprised of creative and marketing strategy, web design and function, revenue management, ecommerce, public relations, online channel and content management, internal advertising and concierge services.
Session: Unearthing and Utilizing Loyalty Data

Kirby Winfield
Dwellable | Chief Executive Officer
Kirby is a veteran digital media executive, investor and advisor. Kirby is currently chief executive officer at the #1 rated mobile vacation rental app, Dwellable. Kirby was most recently the senior vice president, corporate development, for comScore (SCOR). Prior to comScore, Kirby served as president and chief executive officer of AdXpose, which created the "viewable ad impression" metric and was acquired by comScore in August 2011. Before AdXpose, he operated Ascend Solutions, a consultancy to startups and venture capital firms. Additionally, Kirby was on the founding team and served as general manager of publishing and content for Marchex (MCHX), and prior to that, was responsible for all corporate, brand, and product marketing at Go2Net (GNET). Kirby was also a board member of SharperAgent, LLC, which was acquired by Market Leader (LEDR) in 2011, and invests in and advises a number of online media startups.  Kirby speaks regularly at industry events, and was recently a recipient of the Puget Sound Business Journal’s “40 Under 40” award. He is a board member at Special Olympics of Washington, and is an active supporter of the Global Down Syndrome Foundation.
Session: Break Away from Listing Site Conglomerates

Scott Wolf
CBIZ Insurance Services | President
Scott is president of the CBIZ Property and Casualty Insurance Program Division. He has 20+ years of insurance experience with an expertise in niche businesses. In 2005, he developed the vacation rental insurance program which is now the largest insurer of vacation rental properties in the United States. In addition to vacation rentals, Scott manages several other insurance programs including inns, wineries and outdoor recreation.
Session: What’s Your Liability?