Seminar Presenters

Eastern Seminar: April 7-8, 2014 |  Orlando, Florida
Western Seminar: April 28-29, 2014 | Salt Lake City, Utah


Thank you to our 2014 Regional Seminar Session Presenters

Additional presenters and presenter bios will be posted as information becomes available. Presenters subject to change. 
 

Kyung Bishop
Vice President of Operations, Vacation Rental Pros
Kyung grew up in Seoul Korea, where she attended the University of SangMyung and learned English through classes and video tapes of American movies and television shows. She moved to the United States in 1993.Kyung pursued her real estate broker's license and started Bishop Realty. In 2005, she became the broker of record for Vacation Rental Pros. In 2009, Kyung joined Vacation Rental Pros as Sales Manager and was promoted to VP of Operations and Sales in 2011.
Session: Creating and Maximizing a Laundry/Linen Program (Eastern Seminar)


Kyle Buehner
President and Chief Executive Officer, NAVIS
In 1988, Kyle began working with his father Milton Buehner, founder of what was then Buehner-Fry. In 2006, Kyle purchased the company from the family and outside investors. Kyle previously served on the boards of the Vacation Rental Managers Association and the Corporate Housing Providers Association, and is an active member of Vistage, a worldwide network of CEOs.
Session: For Your Eyes Only – Management Company Owners, Presidents and General Managers (Eastern Seminar | Western Seminar)

Sarah Bradford
President and Owner, Winter Park Lodging Company
Sarah started Winter Park Lodging Company in 2004 when she was dissatisfied with the rental company managing her vacation rental in Winter Park, Colo. Living in Denver at the time and working in a completely different industry, she didn’t know she had just taken the first step to owning the fastest growing vacation rental company today in Winter Park. Eventually, she took on more and more rentals on the side, then she and her husband relocated to Winter Park and opened the doors to the Winter Park office in 2007. Since then, Winter Park Lodging Company has grown to 145 high-end vacation rentals and has 35 employees. The company focuses on a level of customer service unmatched in their area, going above and beyond for every guest.
Sessions: Each Call is Unique: How to Sell to Different Types of Guests (Western Seminar)
Evolution of an Efficient Maintenance Team (Western Seminar)
Overcome the Challenge: Difficult Guests and Owners (Western Seminar)


Dale Brill, Ph.D.
Founder and Obsessive Thinker, Thinkspot
Dale is a proven agent of change, having injected innovation into firms from the earliest start-up phases to the introduction of e-commerce as General Motor’s Dean of e-Commerce and as its Global Business Leader for General Motors-Europe. Prior to launching Thinkspot, Dale served as president of the Florida Chamber Foundation, the public policy research and development division under the umbrella of the Florida Chamber of Commerce. Dale’s experience includes public service as the Director of the Governor’s Office of Tourism, Trade and Economic Development (OTTED) in Florida. His marketing background includes tenure as Chief Marketing Officer for VISIT FLORIDA, the state’s official tourism marketing corporation. He has been recognized by the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI) as one of the Top 25 Most Extraordinary Minds and selected among the inaugural class of Fast Company Magazine’s “Fast 50 Innovators.” He earned his doctorate from the University of Tennessee.
Sessions: Government Influence is Everyone’s Business: Florida as a Case Study We Can All Learn From (Eastern Seminar)
Protecting the Vacation Rental Industry (Eastern Seminar)

Ali Cammelletti
Owner/Consultant, Cammelletti Consulting
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: Likeability= Profitability (Western Seminar)

Michael Chase
President/Founder Chase Marketing/Vacation homeowner in Salt Lake City Utah
Mike Chase is the owner and founder of Chase Marketing, a full-service nationwide advertising, public relations and marketing firm specializing in branding, online, and direct response marketing. Since 2007 he has been the owner of one of the largest vacation rental homes in Utah and has faced challenges from neighbors and local government regarding his vacation rental. He is a vacation rental advocate who assists those trying to change vague, outdated and unfriendly vacation rental laws and ordinances in order to validate homeowner rights.

Sessions: Advancing the Vacation Rental Industry (Western Seminar)

Government's Positive or Negative Influence is Everyone’s Business: Case Studies We Can All Learn From (Western Seminar)

Sharon Clark
Director Partner Success, LiveRez.com
Sharon has more than a decade of experience in the vacation rental management industry. In her role at LiveRez, Sharon conducts knowledge management services with property managers from France to California and facilitates best practices and industry standards that directly impact the growth of those operations. Sharon brings experience from her 15-year career as a property manager and hospitality professional to help bridge the communication between a dynamic software solution and professionals in the field.
Session: Overcome the Challenge: Difficult Guests and Owners (Eastern Seminar | Western Seminar)


Adam Costner
Director of Business Development, Global Resort Homes
Adam has been a member of the Global team since 2010. As the Director of Business Development, Adam is dedicated to delivering a level of excellence in customer service and property management unparalleled in the vacation home industry. Adam is enthusiastic about helping guests and homeowners, but also focuses on providing a high level of quality control for all of Global's vacation homes.  Adam also currently serves as the vice president for the Central Florida Vacation Managers Association (CFVRMA). With more than 12 years of experience in the real estate industry and a diverse background in corporate real estate, property management and customer service, Adam is an integral part of Global's expansion in the industry. 
Session: Overcome the Challenge: Difficult Guests and Owners (Eastern Seminar)

Matt Curtis
Director of Government Relations, HomeAway for Property Managers
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: Advancing the Vacation Rental Industry (Western Seminar)
Government's Positive or Negative Influence is Everyone’s Business: Case Studies We Can All Learn From (Western Seminar)
 
John Dirgo
Owner, Aloha Coast Realty/Hawaii Holiday Vacation Rentals
John grew up in the real estate industry with a real estate broker mother and mortgage banker father. After a professional career that spanned everything from government defense contracting to hospital information systems, he returned to his roots in real estate. He and his partner founded Aloha Coast Realty in 2007. In 2010, Aloha Coast Realty acquired Hawaii Holiday Vacation Rentals, a leading Hawaii vacation rental company. Since then the company has doubled in size. Rarely does a week go by that he and the rest of the crew don't find themselves saying "we should write a book" about all the odd things they encounter in the vacation rental industry.
Sessions: Each Call is Unique: How to Sell to Different Types of Guests (Western Seminar)

Carrie Efird
Co-Owner, Tybee Vacation Rentals
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.
Session: Creating and Maximizing a Laundry/Linen Program (Eastern Seminar)
 
Justin Ford
President, On the Water in Maine
Along with his wife Tiffany, Justin has successfully created and developed five different businesses over the past 10 years. A sailor, Justin started his career in the U.S. Coast Guard. After becoming a civilian again, he gained his captain's license and worked for several influential individuals and corporations, running their yachts. For 11 years, Justin worked for former credit card bank MBNA America, where his role evolved from managing corporate yachts to overseeing systems operations in their credit card collections department. Since jumping into the vacation rental industry, Justin has lead On the Water in Maine to become an industry leader in vacation home management and marketing services in the New England region. Justin also owns and operates Camden Vacation Rentals, Boothbay Vacation Rentals, and Maine Watercraft Rentals. Justin serves as an officer on his local fire department in Rockport, Maine in his spare time.
Session: Overcome the Challenge: Difficult Guests and Owners (Eastern Seminar)

Al Furlone
Property Care Manager, Winter Park Lodging Company
Raised in New Hampshire, Al graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a degree in sociology.  Shortly after, he moved to Colorado to work as the dining manager at a guest ranch outside of Estes Park.  In 2009 he moved to Winter Park where he worked in the hospitality and construction industries.  Since beginning work for WPLC in 2012, he’s helped structure the housekeeping, inspections and maintenance departments to keep up with the growth of the company.
Session: Evolution of an Efficient Maintenance Team (Western Seminar)

Sadie Gaster
Director of Business Development and Operations, Tybee Vacation Rentals
Sadie is the director of business development and operations for Tybee Vacation Rentals, LLC on Tybee Island, Georgia.  She attended Ohio Dominican for business management.  After college Sadie earned a position in the consulting realm where she worked with executives, sales teams, and customer service teams in businesses of all sizes. She has an innate ability to coach and drive performance. In 2009, when cousins Amy Gaster and Carrie Efird asked her to join their team as a project manager, Sadie jumped at the chance. Since joining the company Tybee Vacation Rentals has increased its inventory by 50 percent and expanded into its second market. Today Sadie uses her knowledge and  enthusiasm to continue to grow rental inventory as well as maintain efficient management of properties already on board. 
Session: Evolution of an Efficient Maintenance Team (Eastern Seminar

Ryan Goodman
Chief Marketing Officer, Kokopelli Property Management
Ryan has been in the property management business all his life through the management of family-owned investments.  Ryan’s background is in small business management and entrepreneurship.
Sessions: The Untapped Potential of Maintenance Teams (Eastern Seminar | Western Seminar)
New Revenue: Innovative Revenue Models from the Vacation Rental Industry and Beyond (Eastern Seminar | Western Seminar)
 
Mike Harrington
Chief Executive Officer, Resort Realty
Mike manages nearly 500 properties and is charged with all phases of Resort Realty’s business growth and profitability. Since beginning his career in the real estate and vacation rental management industry, Mike has worked in just about every capacity from rental management, maintenance and housekeeping, to marketing. Since taking over as CEO at Resort Realty in 2007, the company has developed and implemented a variety of Outer Banks homeowner centric programs and offerings to maximize their investment potential. Mike is a two time graduate of East Carolina University, obtaining his MBA with a concentration in development and environmental planning.
Session: Creating and Maximizing a Laundry/Linen Program (Eastern Seminar | Western Seminar)


Paul Hayes
President, Florida Vacation Rental Managers Association
Paul Hayes is currently the President of the Florida Vacation Rental Managers Association (FVRMA) and the President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at Rent Key West Vacations, a position he has held for nearly 14 years. He has also been the Innkeeper at The Mermaid & The Alligator, a popular bed & breakfast in Key West, FL, since 1997. In addition to his Key West businesses and his own Florida vacation rental homes, he also owns and operates a vacation rental home in Costa Rica. He is a licensed Florida REALTOR®. 
Sessions:  Government Influence is Everyone’s Business: Florida as a Case Study We Can All Learn From (Eastern Seminar)
Protecting the Vacation Rental Industry (Eastern Seminar)

Linda Hess
Sales Operations Manager, HomeAway Software
Linda is the business development manager for HomeAway Software for Professionals. She has worked on the software side of the industry for seven years, previously working in a client relations role. Linda is currently based in Boulder, Colo. and was previously a vacation rental manager on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Linda, a past president of the NCVRMA and a former VRMA director, has been in the vacation rental industry for more than 20 years.
Session: The Keys to Recruiting and Retaining Owners for a Successful and Profitable Business (Eastern Seminar | Western Seminar)

 
Jordan Horsley
Director of Business Development, 360 Blue
Jordan began working with 360 Blue's the marketing and business development departments in 2011. In his initial role as director of marketing, Jordan was responsible for reaching prospective homeowners through multiple avenues and quickly demonstrated a knack for effective communication, sales and networking. In 2013, Jordan started on a new path as the director of business development. Under his leadership, 360 Blue has increased gross revenue by more than $2 million in a six month span.  Using his background in marketing and communication, Jordan has helped to develop the strategic direction of 360 Blue and has continued to add value to the company culture and 360 Blue brand.
Session: The Keys to Recruiting and Retaining Owners for a Successful and Profitable Business (Eastern Seminar)
 
David Hutnik
Social Media Director, InterCoastal Net Designs
@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.
Session: Customer Service & Social Media: How Everyone Affects Your Reputation (Eastern Seminar | Western Seminar)
 
Durk Johnson
Chief Operating Officer, Gulf Shores Vacation Rentals
Durk is currently the chief operating officer of Gulf Shores Vacation Rentals in Gulf Shores, Ala. Prior to this role, Durk served as the COO 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:  Housekeeping Ideas for Seasonal, Small Vacation Rental Companies (Western Seminar)
Standard Home Appearance Part 1: Getting Buy-In from Housekeepers, Inspectors and Owners (Western Seminar)
Standard Home Appearance Part 2: Inspections 101 (Western Seminar)

Sue Jones
Founder/ Managing Director, KLS Group
Sue focuses on simplifying human resources management for small business owners in the vacation rental management industry.  Prior to starting her own business, Sue was vice president of human resources at NAVIS.  She brings more than 20 years of professional experience in human resources spanning a variety of industries including food service and hospitality, manufacturing, confection and education. Sue is a veteran of the U.S. Navy and has a bachelor's degree in business management from Lesley University and a master's degree in business administration from Northeastern University.
Sessions: Conducting Interviews with Confidence (Western Seminar)
Managing Employee Performance 24/7/365 (Western Seminar)

Lori Killinger
Attorney/Lobbyist, Lewis, Longman and Walker
An attorney and lobbyist, Lori’s practice focuses on legislative, administrative and governmental representation. She represents clients before the Legislative and Executive Branches of Florida's government, regulatory agencies at the state and local levels, the Florida Cabinet and Legislative and Gubernatorial Commissions. She holds an AV-rating from Martindale-Hubbell, is a Certified Circuit Court Mediator and a founding member and board member of the Florida Association of Professional Lobbyists. She is also a Designated Professional Lobbyist, a certification she received from the Florida Association of Professional Lobbyists. She is also the Past-Chairman of the Florida Construction Coalition and a member of United States District Court, Southern and Middle Districts of Florida.
Session:  Government Influence is Everyone’s Business: Florida as a Case Study We Can All Learn From (Eastern Seminar)

Jennifer Kitts
Vice President and Owner, Carolina Beach Realty
After traveling in the late 90’s with her husband’s NFL career, Jennifer settled down at the beaches near Wilmington, N.C. Seeing a great opportunity, Jennifer and her husband together purchased Carolina Beach Realty from her father in 2004.  At that time, the company largely focused on sales with approximately 27 vacation and long-term rentals and one employee. Today the main focus is property management of both long-term and vacation rentals.  The company has grown tremendously, and has found its niche on the small island of Carolina and Kure Beach. 
Session: Overcome the Challenge: Difficult Guests and Owners (Eastern Seminar)

Cindy Lucero
Senior Vacation Planner, SummitCove Vacation Lodging
Cindy has been a remote agent since 2008, working from her home in Colorado Springs during her entire tenure with SummitCove (which is based in Keystone, Colo.). Prior to this position, Cindy owned a personal vacation condo in Keystone, Colo., so she is familiar with rent-by-owner properties and all aspects of vacation rental management. In addition, she was the assistant to the sales manager for Entertainment Corporation from 2005-2008 and a senior insurance specialist for USAA Insurance from 1989-2002.
Session: Each Call is Unique: How to Sell to Different Types of Guests (Western Seminar)

Andrew McConnell
Co-Founder and CEO, VacationFutures
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 some of their most pressing and complex concerns, first as a Management Consultant at McKinsey & Company, and then as a Director of Managed Services for Axiom Global Inc. Now as Co-Founder and CEO 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.
Session: New Revenue: Innovative Revenue Models from the Vacation Rental Industry and Beyond (Eastern Seminar | Western Seminar)
 
Steve Milo
Owner, Vacation Rental Pros
Steve owns and operates Vacation Rental Pros. He started with his own vacation rental homes and expanded to more than 700 rentals properties in a seven year period. He manages properties in St. Augustine Beach, Venice and Palm Coast, Fla.
Session: Creating and Maximizing a Laundry/Linen Program (Western Seminar)

Mike Ostermiller
Partner, Kyler, Kohler, Ostermiller and Sorenson, LLP (KKOS)

Since joining KKOS in 2002, Mike’s practice has emphasized legislative advocacy, lobbying and local government affairs. Together with Chris Kyler, Mike is now the registered lobbyist and legislative advocate for a wide array of prestigious and diversified clients representing policy areas such as real estate, construction, health care, small businesses, utilities, large corporations, education, construction design, finance, land- use and development, appropriations, land-fill/waste disposal, tax policy and think tanks. Mike has been recognized by Utah Business magazine as one of Utah’s Legal Elite in the areas of government affairs and real estate. 
Sessions: Advancing the Vacation Rental Industry (Western Seminar)
Government's Positive or Negative Influence is Everyone’s Business: Case Studies We Can All Learn From (Western Seminar)

Angela Prather
Vice President of Business Development, OnePoint
Angela is responsible for bringing in new merchant partners to participate in OnePoint's AchieveLinks® business rewards purchasing program and developing plans to ensure success for the program. Angela has extensive experience and success in working with and maximizing supplier partnerships that drive sales and increase revenue, and has managed accounts that grossed more than $50 million in total sales. She most recently served as Associate Vice President of National Contracts and Supplier Management at National Intergovernmental Purchasing Alliance, where she established and implemented high-level contract strategies, developed business alliances and partnering, and source selection procedures and process. She is a founding member of the Central Florida Military Resource and Support, sits on the board of directors for Semper Fi Sisters, and is a member of Institute for Supply Chain Management, National Institute for Governmental Purchasers, and Blue Star Mothers of America.
Session: Where Do You Buy Your Toilet Paper? Turn Purchasing Into Profit (Eastern Seminar | Western Seminar)
 
Joe Refosco
Co-Owner, Taylor-Made Deep Creek Vacations
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.
Sessions: Standard Home Appearance Part 1: Getting Buy-In from Housekeepers, Inspectors and Owners (Eastern Seminar)
Standard Home Appearance Part 2: Inspections 101 (Eastern Seminar)

Maureen Regan
President, Seaside Vacation Rentals
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 (Eastern Seminar)
Speak Up, Part 1: Conquer Your Fear of Public Speaking Once And For All (Eastern Seminar)
Speak Up, Part 2: Effectively Using Visual Aids (Eastern Seminar)
Speak Up, Part 3: Tips for Delivering a Rock-Star Speech (Eastern Seminar)
 
Laura Renner
Founder, Hiring Coach
The mission of the Hiring Coach is to help business owners make smart hiring decisions by making the process easier through creativity, deliberation and consistency. Laura founded Hiring Coach after working in human resources for a government-contractor airline where she was responsible for the recruitment and business partner teams charged with hiring nearly 500 people each year. Laura has worked for nearly fifteen years dealing directly with people, whether in public relations, foreign relations, education or human resources. She graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy with a bachelor's of science in English and a minor in Chinese-Mandarin. She served as a public affairs officer before leaving the Air Force to earn an International MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
Session: Conducting Interviews with Confidence (Eastern Seminar)

Kirstena Rivas
Reservations Agent, Utah Vacation Homes
Kirstena brought years of experience working in call centers representing Comcast, American Express, and other well known brands to Utah Vacation Homes. She quickly applied her phone lead and sales knowledge to reservations sales. She is a NAVIS Certified Power User. She currently converts more than 50% of calls into reservations. In addition, she wears many hats including guest services, home owner/maintenance correspondence, and office management.
Session: Each Call is Unique: How to Sell to Different Types of Guests (Western Seminar)

Dan Rourke
Director of Software Support, HomeAway Software
Dan is a self-professed 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. 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 - 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 (Eastern Seminar | Western Seminar)


Brandon Sauls
President, InterCoastal Net Designs

Brandon Sauls 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. Sauls 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. Sauls 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.
Session: Customer Service & Social Media: How Everyone Affects Your Reputation (Eastern Seminar | Western Seminar)
 
Carole Sharoff
Owner, Atlantic Vacation Homes
Carole Sharoff, the owner of Atlantic Vacation Homes in Gloucester, Massachusetts has been in the vacation rental industry for 30 years and a VRMA member since 1994. She is 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: Overcome the Challenge: Difficult Guests and Owners (Western Seminar)

Sean Sober
Housekeeping Coordinator, Taylor-Made Deep Creek Vacations
Sean has been in the customer service industry for more than twenty years. With his positive outlook and a knack for anticipating guest’s needs, he makes sure each guest has the best possible experience.  Sean began working with Taylor-Made Deep Creek vacations four years ago in the owner relations department before becoming housekeeping coordinator, where he was instrumental in creating a seamless transition while the company grew from 100 to 200 homes.  
Sessions: Standard Home Appearance Part 1: Getting Buy-In from Housekeepers, Inspectors and Owners (Eastern Seminar)
Standard Home Appearance Part 2: Inspections 101 (Eastern Seminar)

Sean Stinson

Director of Communications, Visit Salt Lake
Sean has served as Director of Communications for Visit Salt Lake since 2006. Prior to joining the Salt Lake Convention & Visitors Bureau (SLCVB), Sean spent almost two years with the Economic Development Corporation of Utah, whose mission it is to serve as a catalyst for increased capital investment and quality job growth in Utah. Before EDCUTAH, Stinson logged more than 20 years in the travel and tourism industry, primarily in the Park City area (Park City Ski Area, Deer Valley Resort, Park City Chamber & Visitors Bureau and Premier Resorts). While at the Park City Chamber/Bureau, one of his primary roles was the creation, production and management of the Park City Media Center during the 2002 Olympic Winter Games.
Sessions: Advancing the Vacation Rental Industry (Western Seminar)
Government's Positive or Negative Influence is Everyone’s Business: Case Studies We Can All Learn From (Western Seminar)

Jodi Taylor Refosco
Co-Owner, Taylor-Made Deep Creek Vacations
Along with her brother Chad Taylor and her husband, Joe Refosco, Jodi created Taylor-Made Deep Creek Vacations in the spring of 2008 with one rental home. During that first year, the three company owners did everything from reservations and marketing to snow plowing and housekeeping.  Over the last six years, the company has grown to more than 200 vacation rentals and 75 non-renting properties.  Jodi was awarded the Yound Entrepreneur Award of Garrett County in 2010 by the Chamber of Commerce.  She has spoken at numerous VRMA conferences across the country on a number of topics such as customer service, policies and increasing property repeats. Along with her mother, Linda Taylor, she has facilitated and implemented a number of networking groups of vacation rental managers to increase networking and learning opportunities.  Jodi currently serves on the VRMA Board of Directors, and locally serves on the Board of Directors for Deep Creek Lake Art & Wine and has been recently been nominated to the Board of Directors of the Dove Center.
Session: The Keys to Recruiting and Retaining Owners for a Successful and Profitable Business (Eastern Seminar | Western Seminar)

Ed Ulmer
Chief Executive Officer, Barefoot Technologies

Ed is the owner of Barefoot Technologies along with his partner, Jennifer Li. Prior to his involvement with Barefoot, Ed was executive director of Destination Plymouth (Massachusetts) and the Bar Harbor Area Association, both start-up non-profits that ran the tourism offices for their respective towns. He holds real estate licenses in both New Hampshire and Massachusetts, and currently sits on the Board of Directors for NNEREN, the MLS body for New Hampshire and Vermont. He has participated in many real estate, vacation, seasonal, long term and commercial rental transactions over the past 18 years. He also has served as a tourism consultant and college professor of hospitality and tourism courses.
Session: Speak Up, Part 2: Effectively Using Visual Aids (Eastern SeminarWestern Seminar) 

George Volsky
Industry Consultant, Railey Mountain Lake Vacations
George is one of the industry’s most experienced consultants and analysts, whose educational seminars during the past two decades have focused on evolving industry needs and opportunities. George has consulted for some of the nation’s leading management companies, served as director of research for Escapia and Instant Software, served as the industry consultant for the 2008 PhocusWright study that sized the vacation rental industry and worked two years for HomeAway as community manager.
Session: New Revenue: Innovative Revenue Models from the Vacation Rental Industry and Beyond (Eastern Seminar | Western Seminar)
 
Jamie Wax
Owner, The Hospitality Professional
Jamie has 15 years of varied experience in the vacation rental and resort industries ranging from reservation sales to property management to leadership training. Her expertise, passion and love of sales and thoughtful leadership brought her to the vacation rental industry where she has helped many clients with their revenue and training challenges.
Sessions: Likeability= Profitability (Eastern Seminar)
Managing Employee Performance 24/7/365 (Eastern Seminar)
 
Tristan Webb
Regional Manager, Vacasa
Tristan has been involved with VRMA for nearly a decade, serving on the public relations committee and on the VRMA Board of Directors.
Sessions: Advancing the Vacation Rental Industry (Western Seminar)
Government's Positive or Negative Influence is Everyone’s Business: Case Studies We Can All Learn From (Western Seminar)
Speak Up, Part 1: Conquer Your Fear of Public Speaking Once And For All (Western Seminar)
Speak Up, Part 2: Effectively Using Visual Aids (Western Seminar)
Speak Up, Part 3: Tips for Delivering a Rock-Star Speech (Western Seminar)


Heather Weiermann
Chief Operating Officer, All Star Vacation Homes - San Diego, La Jolla, Del Mar
With more than 14 years of experience as a hospitality professional in vacation rental management and marketing, Heather currently manages 60+ homes in the coastal San Diego communities of La Jolla, Pacific Beach and Mission Beach. Heather is currently working with other VRMA members to build an alliance of vacation rental managers in California. Heather serves on the VRMA Board of Directors and has been involved in numerous other VRMA projects and committees, including serving on the VRMA Ambassador Committee and on the Membership Task Force.

Session: Each Call is Unique: How to Sell to Different Types of Guests (Eastern Seminar)

David Whitehead
Santa Clara City Councilman/Paradise Village at Zion Vacation Rental Resort
David has been a licensed Realtor® since June 2010, and also served as developer for the Rio de Sion subdivision in Virgin, Utah. David is an Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR), Graduate of the Real Estate Institute (GRI) and a member of the Utah Board of Realtors® in Washington, Iron and Wasatch counties. David was recently elected to the Santa Clara City Council, where he advised the city in an endeavor to create sales tax/transient room tax revenue for the city in 2013. In 2014, he began working with Utah’s Best Vacation Homes as lead real estate developer on the Santa Clara City short term rental resort Paradise Village at Zion.
Sessions: Advancing the Vacation Rental Industry (Western Seminar)
Government's Positive or Negative Influence is Everyone’s Business: Case Studies We Can All Learn From (Western Seminar)
 

Brad Winget
Chief Operating Officer, Utah’s Best Vacation Rentals/ Paradise Village at Zione Vacation Rental Resort
Brad is a native of the Salt Lake Valley and has been a licensed real estate broker, entrepreneur and business owner for more than 15 years. In 2013, he began working with Utah Vacation Homes and KKOS Lawyers to revise a short term rental ordinance. In 2014, he began working to develop Paradise Village at Zion, the first purpose-built vacation rental community concept in Utah.

Sessions: Advancing the Vacation Rental Industry (Western Seminar)
Government's Positive or Negative Influence is Everyone’s Business: Case Studies We Can All Learn From (Western Seminar)

Mark Winget
Marketing Director, Utah's Best Vacation Rentals
Mark helped pioneer the founding of Utah's Best Vacation Rentals in 2006 after successfully renting his own home on Craigslist in tough times. He told his inquiring brother about what he was doing to stay afloat and shortly thereafter it became a business. What started with just two rentals has grown to more than 40 homes. A recent expansion revolves around the purpose built vacation home community concept,  the first of its kind in Utah. Mark is a successful entrepreneur and currently serves as Marketing Director while assisting in reservations and guest relations. His creative leveraging of guest services to aide in customer satisfaction and loyalty has saved Utah's Best thousands in refunds and chargebacks, and has preserved a good online reputation. Mark's passion for creating a unique guest experience is built upon his marketing philosophy that the lifetime value of a customer trumps trivial guest dissatisfaction.  His ability to diffuse upset guests with his gifted charm, vivacious personality, and finesse is fun to watch and serves as a huge asset in customer relations.  You may find him hanging out at the local karaoke bar entertaining the locals during VRMA.
Session: Overcome the Challenge: Difficult Guests and Owners (Western Seminar)

Aaron D. Wolowiec, MSA, CAE, CMP, CTA
Event Garde LLC
As the premier source of expert advice and innovative solutions in instructional design and meeting management, Aaron’s consulting firm – Event Garde – is renowned for its creativity and leadership in the field of professional development. Aaron is a certified association executive, a certified meeting professional and a certified tourism ambassador, and has earned a master's degree in administration from Central Michigan University. Aaron maintains a popular association blog at www.aaronwolowiec.com, contributes to a variety of professional development and association publications and mentors a number of emerging professionals.
Session: Breathing Life into Seminar Takeaways: Real World Strategies 
(Eastern Seminar Western Seminar)

Jill Zignego
Owner, Five Star Rentals of Montana
Jill started Five Star Rentals of Montana in 1995 in Whitefish, Mont. to meet the needs of a growing number of vacationers looking for a fresh experience in Glacier Country.  In the nearly 20 years since, she has accommodated travelers from all over the U.S., Canada and many European and Asian countries - all with a unique set of needs and expectations.
Session: Overcome the Challenge: Difficult Guests and Owners (Western Seminar)