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Schedule & Speakers

All programming will be held in Valencia Ballroom unless otherwise noted. 

Tuesday, November 7, 2023
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM ASTA Board of Directors Meeting sponsored by Travelport
Located in Malta A & B.
1:00 PM - 5:00 PM Registration
Come by to check in and get your badge. The ASTA staff is here to answer any questions you might have. Located in the Valencia Foyer.
5:00 PM - 5:30 PM YPS Meet up
Join us in the hotel lobby bar and catch up with members of the ASTA Young Professionals Society.

Not a member yet? Stop by and find out why you should be!
5:30 PM - 7:00 PM Welcome Reception
Join us for appetizers, drinks, networking and fun in the resort's beautiful Olive Grove.
7:30 PM - 9:30 PM ASTA Board of Directors Dinner sponsored by Hyatt
Wednesday, November 8, 2023
7:00 AM - 8:45 AM Corporate Advisory Council (CAC) Meeting
Located in the Mountain View Room
8:00 AM - 9:00 AM Breakfast & Doors Open
Grab breakfast and a seat! Our doors open promptly at 8:00 AM in the Valencia Ballroom.
8:00 AM - 5:15 PM Registration Open
ASTA's registration desk will be open throughout the Summit to assist with any questions you may have. Stop by and see us in the Valencia Foyer.
9:00 AM - 10:15 AM Session I: A State of the (Airline) Union: A Wall Street Analysts' View
In this engaging session, Wall Street analyst, Deutsche Bank Securities Inc’s Managing Director Michael Linenberg, will share his expert insights into the industry's opportunities, challenges, and evolving trends. Get an in-depth understanding of the broader economic and market factors shaping the airline industry's trajectory, predictions and projections for the future of the airline sector, and learn about the key challenges facing airlines today, including sustainability concerns, and consumer demands.

Michael Linenberg, Managing Director, Airline Analyst, Deutsche Bank Securities Inc.

Partner Speakers:
Paul McGannon, Global Account Executive - Travel Industry, Marriott
Jeff Schafer, Regional Sales Director - USA
10:15 AM - 10:40 AM Networking Break
10:45 AM - 12:00 PM Session II: Evolution or Revolution? – Agency Implications and Complications when Travel Suppliers Move into the Retailer Space
In a rapidly shifting travel landscape, the line between travel suppliers and retailers is blurring, raising important questions for travel agencies. Join us for an insightful session with the President of Atmosphere Research, Henry Harteveldt as he delves into the "Evolution or Revolution?" at play when travel suppliers’ step into the retailer arena. We'll uncover the potential implications and complexities this trend introduces for travel agencies, exploring both challenges and opportunities.

Gain a comprehensive understanding of how the evolving relationship between travel suppliers and retailers is reshaping the industry dynamics, discover strategies to adapt and thrive in the face of evolving industry paradigms, including ways to maintain your agency's distinct value proposition, and explore how this shift can offer new avenues for collaboration and partnerships, enabling travel agencies to harness emerging opportunities.

Henry Harteveldt, President & Travel Industry Analyst, Atmosphere Research

Session III: In the Spotlight - Tough Questions for an Industry Stalwart: Collette Vacations with Jaclyn Leibl-Cote

Join us as we put the spotlight on Jaclyn Leibl-Cote, a true industry leader, and engage in a candid conversation. Brace yourself for hard-hitting questions that dive deep into Collette Vacations' journey, industry insights, and the visionary leadership of Jaclyn. Don't miss this opportunity to gain valuable insights and uncover the secrets behind Collette Vacations' enduring success.

i. Jaclyn Leibl-Cote, President & Chief Executive Officer, Collette Vacations
ii. Marc Casto, Chief Executive Officer, Casto Travel Philippines
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM Lunch
1:30 PM - 3:00 PM Session III: Juggling Innovation with Disruption Today and Tomorrow
Terry Jones, Founder of Travelocity and Founding Chairman of Kayak

Partner Speakers:
Hannah Westerdoll, Director of Sales, AmaWaterways
Robert Ford, Regional Vice President, US Sales, AIG Travel
3:00 PM - 3:25 PM Networking Break
3:25 PM - 5:00 PM Session V: Controversial Destinations - To Sell or Not to Sell
As travel advisors, it's our job to help our clients explore the world and experience new cultures. But what do we do when a destination is considered controversial or off-limits to some travelers?
Selling a controversial destination requires tact, sensitivity, and a deep understanding of your clients' needs and interests. During this session, you’ll be able to walk away with
o Successful strategies when promoting a controversial destination
o The importance of transparency and how to communicate about the potential risks and challenges associated with a controversial destination
o Tips and suggestions to find the right balance between respecting your clients' values and aspirations, and challenging them to step outside of their comfort zone and explore new horizons
This educational session welcomes individuals from all backgrounds, including newcomers to the industry, experienced professionals seeking detailed information, as well as seasoned veterans who are looking for fresh, innovative ideas and concepts.

i. Mark Meader, Sr. Vice President, Industry Affairs & Education, ASTA
ii. Amanda Klimak, President & Co-Owner, Largay Travel
iii. Sherry Doung, Executive Director, Maui Visitors, and Convention Bureau
iv. Rhonda Shumway, President, TerraMar Travel

Session VI: Generative AI 201: From Theory to Travel

Building upon the Generative AI overview session at the ASTA Global Convention, explore how this cutting-edge technology can start to be applied within your travel business to enhance customer engagement, optimize operations, and unlock new opportunities for personalization. Get ready to embark on a journey of practical insights and innovative strategies that will revolutionize your travel business!

Sam Hilgendorf, Chief Information Officer, Fox World Travel
6:15 PM - Transfers Depart to Evening Event
Please meet in the Renaissance lobby before 6:15pm for group transfers.
6:30 PM - 9:30 PM Evening Event & Dinner sponsored by Southwest Business & Greater Palm Springs
Closed to the public until November 2022, Desert Island Country Club has a breathtaking lake and mountain backdrop to the championship golf course that celebrates the unusual, the glamorous eccentricities and whimsical indulgence of life less ordinary.

This evening will include a putting competition, dinner, drinks & live entertainment.

This is a themed event! For more information, visit our homepage.
Thursday, November 9, 2023
8:00 AM - 9:00 AM Breakfast & Doors Open
Grab breakfast and a seat! Our doors open promptly at 8:00 AM in the Valencia Ballroom.
8:00 AM - 11:00 AM Registration Open
ASTA's registration desk will be open throughout the Summit to assist with any questions you may have. Stop by and see us in the Valencia Foyer.
9:00 AM - 11:00 AM Session VI: The Latest from Capitol Hill: An Advocacy Update
Join us for the latest insights from Jessica Klement, ASTA's Vice President, Advocacy, as she brings you up to date on the freshest updates from Capitol Hill. Jessie will provide a complete rundown of the ongoing legislative concerns and advocacy campaigns that have a direct impact on the travel advisor industry.

Speaker: Jessie Klement, Vice President, Advocacy, ASTA

Session VIII: NDC Unveiled

From an air travel distribution perspective specific to the agency community, where NDC is today and what to expect going forward in 2024 and beyond.

Speaker: Kathy Morgan, Vice President of Product Management, Customer Experiences, Sabre

Session IX: Sustainability | ASTA Green Partner in Travel Award

Building on the success of the 2022 ASTA Green Partner in Travel Award, we will continue to recognize our industry's commitment to sustainability by focusing on the three pillars of sustainability: economic, environmental, and social. This prestigious award will be made by the ASTA board of directors to a self-nominating ASTA Proud Partner in consideration of their measurable support of one or more of the following criteria. The Proud Partner’s:

• Path to Net Zero
• Carbon Reduction
• Community Impact
• Resource Use
• Over-Consumption and Waste
• Corporate Planning
• Environmental Metrics
• Social Metrics
• Governance Metrics

Speaker: Marc Casto, Chief Executive Officer, Casto Travel Philippines

Partner Speakers:
Leslie Marshall, Business Development Manager, Viking
Matt Kutches, General Manager - Key Accounts NY/East, Delta Air Lines
11:00 AM - 11:25 AM Networking Break
11:25 AM - 12:30 PM Session X: ASTA TRAVEL COURT
You’ll be the judge as we walk through an actual court case, the results of which will help you understand how current laws and policies affect your business and operations.

i. Peter Lobasso, Sr. Vice President & General Counsel, ASTA
ii. Mark Meader, Sr. Vice President, Industry Affairs & Education, ASTA
iii. Elizabeth Henry, Vice President, Finance, ASTA
iv. Hayley Anhalt, Paralegal, ASTA
12:30 PM - 1:30 PM Seated Lunch for All Attendees


Meet our Speakers

Hayley Anhalt
Hayley Anhalt joined ASTA as a paralegal in June 2022. She lives in Stokesdale, North Carolina with her husband, infant daughter, and three dogs. She is attending law school at Elon University School of Law in Greensboro, North Carolina and will graduate in December with her J.D. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, playing sports, and being outdoors.

Janet Bava
Janet Bava joined Windstar Cruises during the summer of 2023 and was most recently the Chief Marketing Officer for AmaWaterways River Cruises and she has spent upwards of 20 years working in the travel industry. As the Vice President of Marketing (The Americas) for Silversea Cruises, she fell in love with small-ship luxury cruising. Graduated from Florida International University with her Marketing and International Business degree, she always dreamed of working for a global brand poised for expansion and that would allow her to focus on bringing people from all over the world closer together. As a member of Chief, she enjoys connecting and supporting women executive leaders and emerging future female leaders in the corporate world.

Marc Casto 
Marc Casto is the CEO of Casto Travel Philippines (CTP) as well as its holding company MVC Solutions (MVC). Marc is assiduously focused upon the strategy, execution, and operations of the company all while ensuring it is in accord with its financial, ethical, and social requirements. He is highly driven and consistently intent upon exceeding growth goals while investing in innovative solutions to propel the industry forwards. As one of the founding members of CTP and MVC, Marc was critical in the formation of the organizations and propelling its early success. Prior to his current role, Marc was the President Leisure Americas for Flight Centre Travel Group [FCTG]. In that capacity he was ultimately responsible for the operations, marketing, product management, and strategic direction for all the Leisure brands in North America. This included the retail focused Liberty Travel and Flight Centre Canada, wholesaler GOGO, youth orientated StudentUniverse, and relevant Independent Brands. Before joining FCTG, Marc was responsible for the operations and direction of Casto Travel, a family company founded in 1974 and fully acquired by Flight Centre Travel Group in February 2019. As a highly engaged person within the industry he has served at an executive level on multiple travel and other industry related boards, including the American Society of Travel Agents (where he recently completed his term as Chairman of the Board), the Corporate Advisory Council, and the Mayor’s Task Force for San Jose Airport. Previously he also served as the Chairman of the Board for the San Jose Visitors and Convention Bureau/ Team San Jose, Chairman of the Board for the Commonwealth Business Travel Group, board positions for Business Travel News, CTAP, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, as well as numerous hotel advisory boards. Marc has been recognized by the Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal and the San Jose Mercury News. In 2016 ASTA honored him as the inaugural recipient of the prestigious Paul M Ruden Award for Industry Champions. In 2014 he was the recipient of the Barbara O’Hara Advocacy Award by ASTA, and the same year as a “Distinguished Citizen” by the Boy Scouts of America. While a native of California he recently moved with his family to Boston. You can generally find him lost in the streets of his new hometown while valiantly hoping to make his upcoming flight out of Logan. For the record, he is still a 49ers fan.

Sherry Doung
Sherry Duong, executive director of the Maui Visitors and Convention Bureau (MVCB), is a 24-year Maui tourism veteran. Duong leads the bureau as it serves as the on-island representatives of Maui Nui - the islands of Maui, Moloka‘i and Lana‘i - on behalf of the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority for visitor industry engagement and visitor education. In addition to U.S. destination marketing, MVCB supports HTA's international partners in Canada, China, Japan, South Korea, Oceania and Europe, and collaborates with the Maui Nui island partners — in government, hospitality, and other industries — and the community to implement the Maui Nui Destination Management Action Plans. Prior to her current role, she served as the MVCB’s director of conventions, meetings and incentives and international sales, and was previously with the Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa.

Robert Ford
Bob is a Travel Industry Executive with over twenty years of experience leading sales organizations to success in the global travel & tourism industry. Bob is privileged to travel this great country teaching and promoting the importance of travel insurance & travel safety. With his energetic personality he offers new ideas, creative solutions, and a fresh Generation X perspective into the ever-changing travel industry he is so passionate about. Day to day, Bob is the captain of a talented group of sales professionals. His leadership style is that of a hands on, accessible, and approachable leader where the team is always first. He has an impressive track record of building & leading multi-functional, multi-geographical teams. His innovative and creative ideas have allowed him to develop industry first products and services as well as strong consumer brands in the travel industry. This has resulted in many years of sales growth and excellence within various channels and organizations. Bob is from the Western Suburbs of Chicago, IL. He studied marketing & law studies at Marquette University. Bob has been with AIG Travel for twelve years as the Regional Vice President of Sales.

Jackie Friedman
Jackie Friedman is the president of Nexion Travel Group, a fully accredited host agency owned by Internova Travel Group. She oversees a team of 50+ employees supporting more than 4,800 independent travel advisors in the US and Canada. Jackie joined the Nexion team in 2004 as VP of Operations. In 2007, she was promoted to President. Prior to joining the Nexion team, Jackie spent 15 years with Sabre, serving in a variety of sales and leadership positions. Jackie started out working as a front-line agent and a travel agency manager in Toronto. Jackie is often asked to participate as a speaker or panelist at industry conferences. She is in her third term on the ASTA Board of Directors and is currently Treasurer. She is also on the Travel Institute Board of Trustees, the CLIA STARBoard, The Professional Association of Travel Hosts (PATH) Board of Directors and numerous supplier advisory boards. Jackie is a recipient of a World Travel & Tourism Council Outstanding Contribution Award (2021), a Travel Weekly Lifetime Achievement Award (2020), and the Barbara O'Hara Award for Advocacy (2015), among other industry honors and achievement awards. 

Henry H. Harteveldt
Henry Harteveldt, one of the travel industry’s most respected analysts, is President of Atmosphere Research Group. Founded by Henry in September 2011, Atmosphere is an independent, objective, and unbiased travel industry strategic market research and advisory firm. Its research focuses on the intersection of travelers, industry commercial functions, and related technologies. Atmosphere’s analysis is based on its proprietary consumer research conducted in 12 countries as well as global research of travel industry suppliers, corporate travel managers, travel agency owners/executives, and technology and other service providers. Prior to starting Atmosphere, Henry spent 11 years at Forrester Research, leading its global travel industry research. Before Forrester, Henry spent more than 15 years in commercial and marketing roles at top-tier travel firms such as Continental Airlines, Fairmont Hotel Management Company, and GetThere. Henry is regularly interviewed about travel-related topics by journalists at leading media such as CBS News, CNBC, Reuters, The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The Times of London, and Handelsblatt. A native New Yorker, Henry is a graduate of the Tulane University School of Business in New Orleans, LA and now lives in San Francisco, CA.

Dave Harvey
Dave Harvey has been with Southwest Airlines since 1999 in various roles across Technology, Corporate Strategy, Commercial Planning, Network Planning, Business Development, Corporate Sales, and currently serves as Vice President Southwest Business & Chief Sales Officer. His Teams are responsible for all aspects of business-to-business selling and service for accounts including Global, National, Federal/State, Higher-Education, Mid-Market, Small Business, and Meetings/Events travel. Additionally, Dave manages all distribution relationships (Global Distribution Systems, Travel Management Companies, Online Booking Tools, and Technology intermediaries) across sales channels. Highlights of his career beyond scaling Southwest Business to better serve businesses include key leadership roles in integrating AirTran, expanding Dallas Love Field routes post Wright Amendment, rapid expansion of our international network including launching Cuba service, developing our Hawaii commercial plan, and transforming go-to-market planning and execution across Commercial Teams. The People of Southwest working together to provide “best service, lowest cost” to more than 130 million Customers annually is his greatest professional motivation.      
Business Travel News (BTN) has three times (2019, 2020, 2021) named Dave among the 25 Most Influential People in Business Travel. He currently serves on multiple boards including the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, the Allied Leadership Council with Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), and the Transportation Advisory Board with the National Defense Transportation Association (NDTA). Dave previously served as a Representative Member of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Advisory Committee on Travel and Tourism Infrastructure (NACTTI) chairing the Solutions to Barriers in Improving Critical Infrastructure (SBICI) Subcommittee.  
He received his BBA from the University of Texas in Austin in Management Information Systems and both his MBA in Operations Management and MS in Organizational Strategy from the University of Texas in Dallas.
Dave lives in Dallas, Texas, with his wife of 23 years, Juleeta. They have five sons (Luke, Ethan, Matthew, Isaac, and Isaiah) that keep Dave active outside Southwest. Juleeta is an educator in Dallas ISD and writer.

Elizabeth Henry
Elizabeth Henry, Vice President of Finance for ASTA is a seasoned financial executive with experience in both corporate and small business ownership.  Prior to coming to ASTA, she worked at a $1B revenue software developer where she oversaw the day-to-day financial activities for the back-office departments of Accounting, Legal, IT, Facilities, HR, and Shared Services as well as developed procedures and delivered training to drive improvements in profitability, efficiency and productivity. She also brings with her years of experience as small business and startup owner in both real estate and auto repair industries. But most importantly, Elizabeth spent 11 years as a front-line reservation agent with United Airlines and is thrilled that her career has returned to the travel industry.

Sam Hilgendorf
Sam Hilgendorf has served as the Chief Information Officer for Fox World Travel since 2018. Sam is responsible for the vision and execution of Fox's technology portfolio, which includes IT, business intelligence, product development, and technology professional services. Under Sam's leadership, Fox has been awarded multiple Gold Magellan awards from Travel Weekly for technology innovations in travel. In 2021, Fox was recognized as a Distinguished Partner for SAP Concur for integration work with the Concur Travel platform. Sam was also recognized as Wisconsin CIO of the Year in 2023. Prior to joining Fox, Sam spent the majority of his career in IT consulting and professional services as a consultant and executive leader. He has helped advance the digitalization of some of the US’s largest organizations. Sam is a graduate of Concordia University Wisconsin with a bachelor's degree in Music, and has performed with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, and the Florentine Opera. Sam and his family reside in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Terry Jones
Best known for founding Travelocity.com and serving as founding Chairman of Kayak.com, Terry Jones has become a powerful voice in the world of entrepreneurship through his numerous speaking engagements and the publication of his book, ON Innovation. His career path has established him as a thought leader on innovation in our increasingly digital world. A graduate of Denison University in Granville, Ohio, Jones, began his career as a travel agent, spent 24 years at American Airlines in marketing and information technology, capping his career as Chief Information Officer of its SABRE division. While at SABRE he led a team of six working on a project that became Travelocity.com. Jones served as CEO of Travelocity for seven years transforming it to a public company with three billion dollars in travel sales. He left Travelocity when the company was taken private and became part of the founding team at Kayak.com, a company that yet again revolutionized how travel was purchased. He served as Chairman of the company from its founding until it was sold to Priceline for $1.8 billion dollars in 2013. Today he is the managing principal of ON Inc. a consultancy he founded to help companies in their transition to the digital economy. He has served on over 20 boards and currently serves on the boards of Amgine, Crytica Security, Sonicwall and Camping and Education Foundation. Terry is the author of the best-selling books, ON Innovation and Disruption OFF and is the holder of several patents.

Zane Kerby
As ASTA’s president and chief executive officer Zane Kerby reports directly to the board of directors on all internal and external ASTA business and is the primary spokesperson for ASTA. Kerby moved to ASTA after a successful career with the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA). Beginning in 2009 he held the position of senior vice president with responsibility for all aspects of GBTA’s global annual convention. Previously he was Deputy Executive Director, Vice President of business development, and held a series of other posts of progressively greater responsibility beginning in August 1999. Kerby earned a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Maryland and a Bachelor of Arts from Brigham Young University. He and his wife have five children and he currently is an assistant coach of a U12 basketball team. Cycling, swimming, and reading are just a few of his favorite activities.

Jessica Klement
Jessica Klement is the Vice President of Advocacy at the American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA) where she advocates for the travel agency community at all levels of government, including federal and state lobbying, grassroots campaigns and the Society’s political action committee (ASTAPAC). Klement started her career on Capitol Hill working for a member of Congress from her home state of Wisconsin. Immediately prior to joining ASTA, Klement was the Staff Vice President of Policy and Programs at the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association (NARFE), where she was responsible for carrying out the legislative, grassroots and political strategies of one of the nation’s largest federal employee and retiree organizations. She also oversaw NARFE’s Federal Benefits Institute, the association’s resource designed to help federal employees and retirees take charge of their benefits and guarantee a secure future. Klement’s policy analysis on federal employee and retiree issues has been featured in The Washington Post, CBS Evening News, NPR, USA Today and the Associated Press. Prior to joining NARFE, Klement served as the Government and Public Affairs Director at the Federal Managers Association, where she worked closely with Congress to advance legislation to strengthen federal employee and retiree pay and benefits. Klement has bachelor’s degrees in Political Science and Finance from Marquette University.

Amanda Klimak
Amanda Klimak has always had a passion for adventure, so a career in the travel
industry was the perfect fit. As the President & Co-Owner of Largay Travel and Please
Go Away fueled by Largay Travel, Amanda has shared her enthusiasm with her team of
over 130 travel specialists, colleagues and independent contractors (fondly referred to
at Largay Travel as Business Partners). Amanda is a Certified Travel Industry Executive and is the former chairperson for the Virtuoso Member Advisory Board and has been on the Virtuoso Technology Committee. Amanda is the current Vice Chair of the ASTA Corporate Advisory Council and loves working on industry advocacy. Amanda believes a passion for travel and innovation, combined with strong relationships, are the key to her and her company's success. She
knows that the best training a travel advisor can receive is first-hand experience and the best thing she can do is share the ideas and concepts she has learned in her over 30+ year career. In more recent years, Amanda has begun sharing her experience and creativity through speaking engagements and the cultivation of training classes and programs. This has allowed her to share her enthusiasm and energy with those around the world and earned her the prestigious “Ruby of Siam” award from Virtuoso. On a side note, Amanda is a nationally ranked pinball player and competes frequently in pinball tournaments around the country.

Matt Kutches
Matt Kutches is the General Manager of Key Accounts NY/East for Delta Air Lines. He is 
responsible for developing business opportunities and overseeing sales and marketing 
initiatives for retail travel management companies based in the East as well as North America 
based franchise and consortia strategic partners. Matt began his career with Delta Air Lines in 2006 and has held multiple roles in Finance, Procurement and Global Sales including, Sales Development, Sales Strategy and currently field 
sales leadership. Matt holds a B.A. in Finance from Michigan State University’s Eli Broad College of Business. Outside of work Matt enjoys spending time with his family in Marietta, GA where he resides with his wife (Gillian), two sons (Charlie & Sam) and daughter (Grace).

Jaclyn Leibl-Cote
Jaclyn Leibl-Cote is Collette's President and CEO. It was Walt Whitman who said “Be curious” – and these words drive her every day. She leads collaborative teams that are constantly curating experiences with the customer in mind – from product evolution to brand positioning and tour delivery. Daily operations, including oversight of Product, Tour Management, Customer Experience, IT, Marketing, and People & Culture teams, fall under her purview as Collette maintains its position as an industry leader. Jaclyn joined Collette in 2005 and has worn a variety of hats: tour guiding; working inside the customer care center, designing US and Australia tours on the product development team, directing global product strategy, and running marketing – while developing a strong customer experience platform to continue evolving the overall experience to meet a modern traveler’s ever-changing expectations. She believes that part of strong leadership is truly understanding every role and how it contributes to the company’s collective goals. As a third-generation member of this family-owned company, it has been her life’s work to see travel dreams come to life. Jaclyn holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from the University of Rhode Island and an MBA from Babson College. She is the Chair of the American Heart Association, an avid supporter of many nonprofit organizations including Go Red for Women Executive Leadership Committee and The URI Arts & Sciences Advisory Council. Her absolute favorite spot: New Zealand. And her favorite role in life: mother of three wonderful children (twins, Dylan and Brody and daughter, Ashley) who also love exploring the world.

Michael Linenberg
Mike joined Deutsche Bank in May 2010 as Managing Director and senior company research analyst to lead coverage of airlines in the Americas and aircraft leasing companies. Prior to joining Deutsche Bank, Mike was at Merrill Lynch where he was Managing Director and Co-Head of Basic Materials and Industrials Research. At Merrill Lynch, Mike’s coverage universe included airlines headquartered throughout the Americas as well as aircraft leasing companies. Mike joined Merrill Lynch in 1992. Prior to his position in Equity Research, Mike worked in Merrill Lynch’s Investment Banking Group in both New York and Los Angeles. Mike received a B.A. in Economics from Pomona College. Mike has been a top-ranked analyst in the Institutional Investor Analyst Survey for 20 years. In 2009, Mike was inducted into the Wall Street Journal Analyst Hall of Fame based on the number of years he was recognized as a top stock-picker. Lastly, he has been recognized numerous times over the years in other well-respected stock selection surveys including Starmine, Financial Times and Forbes.

Peter Lobasso
Peter Lobasso has served as ASTA’s General Counsel since 2015. Prior to joining ASTA, Peter was a Managing Attorney for Berenson LLP, a specialty law firm based in Great Falls, Virginia. In practice for over twenty years, Peter has successfully represented clients in a wide variety of litigated matters before courts and administrative agencies at both the state and federal levels. Peter has also negotiated numerous multi-million dollar transactions on behalf of businesses throughout the country. Practice areas include, among others, corporate law, contracts, employment and labor law, intellectual property, real property, mortgage lending, and bankruptcy. Peter is admitted to the bars of New York, Virginia, and Washington D.C. He received a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Central Florida in Orlando and earned his law degree at Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center on Long Island. 

Leslie Marshall
Leslie Marshall’s career has spanned 40 years in the cruise industry. She has been responsible for recommending innovative and creative ideas to support her travel advisors and agencies in growing their business. She is the Business Development Manager for Viking Cruises, covering So Cal, Las Vegas and Hawaii. Prior to Viking she was with Crystal Cruises and part of Crystal’s original start up sales team with the inaugural of the Crystal Harmony. There she also covered So Cal and Hawaii and started off with the company in the Southwest, based in Texas. She loves to represent Viking and is proud of the recent World’s Best awards by readers of Conde Nast and Travel & Leisure for River, Ocean and Expedition. She says it’s exciting to represent a company that has an excellent brand recognition and a loyal following with both clients and advisors.

Paul McGannon
Originally from Kansas City, MO, Paul now calls Miami, FL home, where he lives with his husband, Augie and dog Mr. Garrison. Paul graduated with a degree in Hotel & Restaurant Administration from The University of Central Missouri. He started his career with Starwood Hotels & Resorts in 2006, and has been with the company, now Marriott International, since then. In his current role, Paul manages Travel Agency partnerships in the Southeast, Mid-Atlantic and Texas. In Paul’s free time, he enjoys gardening, cooking, plane spotting (major AVGEEK) and yoga.

Mark Meader
Mark joined the American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA) in April 2015 and as Senior Vice President Marketing, Industry Affairs & Education has a broad focus on marketing ASTA, its sub-brands, events, products, and services. He also represents the travel agency and consumer communities within all components of the travel industry – travel suppliers, technology providers, coalitions and trade associations, government entities such as the U.S. DOT (U.S. Department of Transportation), and the TSA (Transportation Security Administration) and more. Mark is the driving force behind much of the highly-rated content of ASTA’s annual Global Convention and Premium Business Summits, being responsible for ASTA’s educational efforts, fostering agency growth and learning worldwide. While monitoring industry issues and trends, Mark advocates for promotes and defends the agency community to ensure the agent’s voice is heard clearly and the agent is well represented within all components of the industry. Mark also serves on the Board of Directors of the WTAAA – the World Travel Agents Associations Alliance – where he functions as Vice-Chair – an organization facilitating the exchange of ideas and information to the agency community across the globe. A travel industry veteran with global experience in the agency, GDS, airline and travel association communities, Mark served previously as Vice President, Business Development at the Airlines Reporting Corporation where he led initiatives ranging from corporate strategy, product marketing, partnership development, new business development and sales to corporate communications, marketing programs and brand management. He has firsthand knowledge of the travel industry from his time with the Sabre Corporation where he was a senior executive not only in the U.S. but in both Europe and Asia-Pacific as well. And at United Airlines, Mark worked on various aspects of their merger and integration with Continental Airlines. Mark began his travel industry career as an outside sales agent at a travel agency in the Boston area. Having worked and succeeded for multiple years in many facets of the travel industry, it should come as no surprise that travel is Mark’s passion. When not focused on marketing or the plethora of issues and education facing the agency community and our industry in general, you’ll find him plotting and planning his next travel adventure to a new part of the globe he’s yet to explore. 

Kathy Morgan
Kathy Morgan is a dynamic travel industry executive with over 30 years experience at Sabre. She has held a variety of leadership positions at Sabre in support of the travel agency and supplier communities. In her current role as Vice President of Product Management, Customer Experiences, Kathy is responsible for defining and driving several of Sabre’s transformational product initiatives, including NDC. Kathy has seen first-hand the incredible transformation that has occurred in the retailing, distribution, and fulfillment landscape of the travel industry over the last 3 decades and has been an important part in driving the product evolution needed to help Sabre lead in this space.

Gary Orfield
Gary Orfield is the Director of Tourism Development for Visit Greater Palm Springs. Orfield started his hospitality career in 1989 and has held positions with Hyatt Hotels, Ritz Carlton & Starwood Hotels. In his current role at Visit Greater Palm Springs, Gary is responsible for promoting the destination to the international and domestic travel trade as well as air service development. Orfield is past Chair of Visit California’s International Marketing Committee, an avid golfer and passionate about travel’s benefits to society. From 2001 to 2005, Orfield was 1 of 50 people across the U.S. selected as a Nike Golf Player Staff member to act as a brand ambassador and assist the ‘Just Do It’ brand with grassroots marketing and promotions as it entered the golf market. Gary resides with his wife in La Quinta and is the father of four children, ages 9, 16, 22 and 24. 

Jeff Schafer
Jeff joined the Allianz sales team in 2016 as Regional Sales Director managing five District Directors across the US. With over 33 years in the travel industry, he has extensive experience ranging from travel technology to global distribution. Jeff began his career at American Airlines and from there has held executive level roles at a variety of travel organizations focused on the sale and distribution of travel insurance products in the US and globally. Jeff has a Masters in technology management and is located in Denver, Colorado.

Rhonda Shumway
With nearly three decades of experience in the travel industry, Rhonda has adeptly navigated the ever-evolving landscape of the travel sector. Having served as the SBN Director on the ASTA Board of Directors in recent years, she is eager to continue contributing her valuable insights and perspective to drive the industry forward. Rhonda holds the position of President and Owner at TerraMar Travel, Inc., a Host Agency that was established in southern California in 2000. In this role, she serves as a dedicated mentor to independent contractors and delivers memorable travel experiences to clients. Rhonda's commitment to the betterment of the industry and small business owners drives her to be a vocal advocate for the concerns and needs of the travel advisor community. In her second term as SBN Director, Rhonda has amassed a wealth of experience that includes over a decade as the Inland Empire SBN Chapter Director (formerly NACTA). She has also held positions as Secretary on the SoCAL ASTA Chapter Board and currently serves as Treasurer.

Christopher Wang
Christopher has worn many hats in the world of business travel.  Currently zooming down the fast lane with Avis Budget Group for the past two years as their Greater Los Angeles Area Account Manager- focusing on corporate, media, production and sustainability initiatives.  Christopher will be able to share his insider tips on how to make your road trips smooth as butter, while doing it in a sustainable way.

Having dipped his feet in both airlines and hotel worlds previously, he understands the important and the values of a well-run travel program. Served 6 years as a Board member on Bay Area Business Travel Association and a past prost Committee members in the SoCal area, Christopher offers a unique insight and a blend of experience, to help you navigate the road of success in Business Travel.

Hannah Westerdoll
Hannah started her career in Emergency Management and Disaster Response. As an avid traveler, she knew something was missing from her professional career and finally made the transition to the Travel Industry. Hannah joined AmaWaterways in 2017 as a River Cruise and Group Sales Specialist. From there, she joined to the Sales Department working closely with the Business Development Managers and the National Accounts team. In her current position Hannah works everyday in support of the trade community and finding new ways to support Travel Advisors grow their river cruise business with AmaWaterways.