Planning for 2017 Dallas Hotel Conference is underway! Updates for next year's conference will be posted this summer, but in the meantime we invite you to view presentations and photos from previous conferences listed at the bottom of this page.
Monty Bennett is the Founder, Chairman, & Chief Executive Officer of the Ashford Group of Companies (NYSE: AINC, AHT, AHP). Mr. Bennett is a member of the American Hotel & Lodging Association's Industry Real Estate Finance Advisory Council (IREFAC), the Global Advisory Council of HOFTEL, a worldwide hotel ownership group, and is on the Advisory Editorial board for the Global Hotel Network. Mr. Bennett received the Top-Performing CEO Award from HVS for 2011. This award is presented each year to the CEO in the hospitality industry who offers the best value to shareholders based on HVS's pay-for-performance model. Mr. Bennett holds a Master's degree in Business Administration from Cornell's S.C. Johnson Graduate School of Management and received a Bachelor of Science degree with distinction from the School of Hotel Administration also at Cornell. He is a life member of the Cornell Hotel Society.
Sabrina joined Hilton as an eCommerce Manager during the roll out of the EDGE program in March 2012. Throughout her four years she has managed multiple hotel portfolios ranging in variety from Franchise to Owned and Managed properties, and spanning from California to New York. As an eCommerce Manager, Sabrina was responsible for driving Web Direct revenue, which required her to work closely with hotel management to gain an in-depth knowledge of their business mix, their respective markets and their overall needs. She was then able to create a digital strategy unique for each hotel and inclusive of paid and organic support. In August 2015, Sabrina was given the opportunity to lead a team of four eCommerce Managers, covering five states including TX and LA. In June 2016, Sabrina transitioned into the Director of Social Media Planning & Integration role where she leads a team of eight, supporting the hotels with social media best practices and partnering with brands to drive social strategy.
Rob is the Senior Director of Business Development at TrustYou, the world’s largest guest feedback platform on a mission to improve the travel experience from finding the right hotel to having the perfect stay. Rob has a diverse background in hospitality, digital marketing, analytics and cloud-based solutions. He received his BS from Clemson University and brings over 10 years of experience to the hospitality industry. Rob currently oversees the teams responsible for all of TrustYou's current and future enterprise clients throughout the Americas. He helped open TrustYou’s largest American based office in San Diego and has been instrumental in TrustYou’s success. Before relocating to southern California with his wife, Rob worked out of the Washington DC area for Cvent, where he was a very accomplished strategic account executive managing most of Cvent's largest hospitality clients (Hilton, Starwood, IHG, Kimpton and Aimbridge to name a few).
Brian Crawford is the Vice President of Government and Political Affairs for the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AH&LA). He joined the association on February 3, 2014.
In this role, Crawford helps lead the association’s increased advocacy efforts on Capitol Hill and with key administration policymakers, with a focus on workforce, labor and health care issues. He also oversees the association’s political action committee, HotelPAC, helping to grow the PAC and increase AH&LA’s political activities.
Crawford came to AH&LA following eight years in the U.S. House of Representatives, having served the past five as Chief of Staff to U.S. Congressman Tom Rooney (FL-17). As Representative Rooney’s Chief of Staff, he directed all legislative, press, political and operational activities for a staff of 17 in Washington, D.C. and three Florida district offices. He previously served as the Deputy Chief of Staff for Florida Congressman Ric Keller (FL-08).
Tom is an executive vice president in Wells Fargo Commercial Real Estate’s Hospitality Finance Group. The group provides debt products and financial services to leading hotel owners throughout the United States. Its customers include well-capitalized private owners/operators, national real estate funds dedicated to hospitality, public REITs and real estate operating companies. Tom is a division manager and is responsible for the group’s national public company clients as well as its private clients headquartered in the southern US.
Tom joined Wells Fargo in 2014 and has more than 30 years of commercial banking experience, the majority of which has been dedicated to the hotel industry.
Tom has Bachelor of Arts and Master of Business Administration degrees from Baylor University, where he serves on the university’s College of Arts and Science Advisory Board.
Katie Moro joined TravelClick in 2011 and is responsible for the global expansion of TravelClick’s Demand360 product. Katie is a veteran of the hospitality industry and has been involved with the demand initiative since the product’s early days.
Prior to joining TravelClick, Katie was an Account Manager with Rubicon and led a sales team that focused on product growth in major accounts. She has also held roles at Morgans Hotel Group and Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company.
Katie holds a Bachelor’s of Arts from the The University of Georgia.
Cindy Nelson chairs Gardere’s hospitality industry team. She handles sophisticated real estate and financing transactions, often involving iconic properties, and represents owners, REITs, opportunity funds and developers, especially in the hospitality and lodging sector. She has represented clients in the acquisition, disposition, leasing and financing of commercial enterprises both domestic and foreign, including hotels and mixed-use developments, shopping centers, multifamily housing developments, office buildings, industrial properties, unimproved land, and fractional and timeshare properties.
Cindy’s practice includes senior and mezzanine financing services, complex workout and debt restructuring, joint ventures, management agreements, franchise agreements, buying, selling, developing and ground leasing of all types of real estate products. She also assists investors with recapitalization of distressed borrowers and purchasers of troubled assets.
Dan Peek, located in Tampa, is a Senior Managing Director and is the Head of the Hospitality Practice Group of HFF. He is primarily responsible for institutional-grade hotel and resort property transactions throughout North America, Latin America and the Caribbean. During the course of his career, Mr. Peek has completed over $11 billion in investment sale, debt and equity placement transactions.
Mr. Peek joined the firm in October 2007. Prior to HFF, he was a co-founder and Managing Director of Regent Street, an affiliate of The Plasencia Group, Inc. (TPG), a boutique firm specializing in sale, financing and advisory services for distinctive hotels and resorts throughout the Americas. He also served as Senior Vice President at TPG, handling hotel and resort property transactions in the Northeastern, Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern regions. Before TPG, Mr. Peek worked in hotel operations and consulting, including a variety of management positions with Marriott International and Wiengardner & Hammons, and as a consultant with HVS International in New York.