TABLE OF CONTENTS VRWS SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
RITZ-CARLTON CONFERENCE MAP
INTRODUCING THE VRWS KEYNOTE SPEAKERS
BREAKOUT SESSIONS: DESCRIPTIONS BY TIME
VRWS SESSION SPEAKERS
Monday, February 18th 11:00 6:00
Registration at Ritz-Carlton Library Across from Hotel Desk and Courtyard
Tuesday, February 19th 7:45 9:00 9:00 10:00 11:15 12:15 1:15 2:00 2:30
9:45 10:00 10:00 11:15 12:15 1:00 2:00 3:30 3:45
Laundry Tour, Starr Textile Services (Prearranged) Registration, Second Level Foyer Optional Vision Boarding Welcome and HomeAway Chief Product Officer Tina Weyand French Quarter Brunch, Sponsored by Kigo, a RealPage Company Breakouts Breakouts Royal High Tea, Sponsored by HomeAway Software Authenticity in Branding: Highclere Castle Lady Carnarvon, Highclere Castle, the Real Downton Abbey Breakouts Mardi Gras Cocktail Party at Red Fish Grill, Sponsored by Red Sky Travel Insurance
Wednesday, February 20th 8:00 8:00 9:00
9:15 9:00 10:00
10:15 11:15 12:00 12:30 1:00 2:00 2:30 3:25 4:15
11:00 12:00 1:00 1:00 2:00 2:30 3:15 4:10 5:00
Breakfast, Sponsored by Streamline Vacation Rental Software Optional Vision Boarding Leading with Purpose, Leslie Preston, Founder and Managing Director, Bachcare Breakouts Breakouts Canal Street Lunch, Sponsored by CBIZ Inaugural VRWS Pioneer Awards Creative Living Beyond Fear: Traveling with Curiosity, Elizabeth Gilbert Big Magic Break, Sponsored by Breezeway Breakouts Breakouts Mary Lynn Clark, President, Wyndham Vacation Rentals
Lafayette West Boardroom
Lafayette BALLROOM Maison
Baronne St. Charles Carondelet
PREARRANGED LAUNDRY TOUR STARR TEXTILES SERVICES (MEET IN RITZ-CARLTON VALET AREA)
REGISTRATION OPEN (SECOND LEVEL FOYER)
OPTIONAL VISION BOARDING WITH LISA LELAS (ORLEANS)
WELCOME AND TINA WEYAND, HOMEAWAY (GRAND BALLROOM)
FRENCH QUARTER BRUNCH, SPONSORED BY KIGO (GRAND BALLROOM)
Inside Look at Multi-Destination PMs: TurnKey, Vacasa, Vtrips
Where Google is Heading with Vacation Rentals with Susan Blizzard
Executive Interviews: HomeAway Chief Product Officer Tina Weyand and VRMA President Jodi Refosco
Why Women are the Best Negotiators with Kristen Prinz
Building a Company that Celebrates Diversity with Carole Sharoff and Michelle Williams
Distribution Channels 201: 3rd Party, Website, and Voice with Michelle Marquis
Executive Interviews: TurnKey Vacation Rentals Chief Financial Officer Jen Ford and Vacasa Chief Legal Officer Lisa Jurinka
Workforce Development in 2019 and Beyond with Sue Jones
ROYAL HIGH TEA, SPONSORED BY HOMEAWAY SOFTWARE (GRAND BALLROOM)
AUTHENTICITY IN BRANDING: HIGHCLERE CASTLE LADY CARNARVON, HIGHCLERE CASTLE, THE REAL DOWNTON ABBEY (GRAND BALLROOM)
2019 U.S. Vacation Rental Industry Trends with HomeAway with Susan Tormollen and Guests
Applying “The 5 Love Languages” to Customer Service with Tyann Marcink, Heather Bayer, and Jessica Vozel
Managing over 1000 Homes in a Regional Market with Sun Realty’s Ali Breaux and Meyer Vacation Rentals’s Michelle Hodges, moderated by Amy Hinote
SWOT Analysis Workshop: Identifying Your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats with Michelle Marquis
REGISTRATION OPEN (SECOND LEVEL FOYER)
EMPOWERMENT BREAKFAST, SPONSORED BY STREAMLINE (GRAND BALLROOM)
OPTIONAL VISION BOARDING WITH LISA LELAS (BARONNE)
LEADING WITH PURPOSE, LESLIE PRESTON, FOUNDER AND MANAGING DIRECTOR, BACHCARE (GRAND BALLROOM)
MARDI GRAS COCKTAIL PARTY AT RED FISH GRILL, SPONSORED BY RED SKY TRAVEL INSURANCE
Lessons in Leadership from VRMA: From Individual to Industry with Jodi Refosco, Melaney Robbins, Carole Sharoff, moderated by Susan Blizzard
Conflict Management: Are You Asking the Right Question(s)? With Dore Jean
Executive Interviews: Yapstone VP of Product Man- How to Start a Podcast and agement Kasturi Mudulodu, Get Ears on Your Business and NAVIS VP of Product with Heather Bayer Amber Leto
Becoming an Influencer: Leveraging Thought Leadership and Finding Your Voice with Panel
Creating Market Leadership through Inventory Acquisition and Owner Relations with Jodi Refosco
Executive Interviews: Ascent Processing Founder and President Regina Ebert
CANAL STREET LUNCH AND PIONEER AWARD CEREMONY, SPONSORED BY CBIZ (GRAND BALLROOM)
CREATIVE LIVING BEYOND FEAR: TRAVELING WITH CURIOSITY, ELIZABETH GILBERT, AUTHOR EAT PRAY LOVE AND BIG MAGIC
Using People Analytics to Make Decisions Based on Facts and Figures with Sue Jones
BIG MAGIC RECEPTION, SPONSORED BY BREEZEWAY (FOYER)
Your Seat at the Table: Engage in Your Community with Debbie Sloane Smith, Michelle Acquavella, Amy Gaster, Moderated by Claire Reiswerg
Interior Design for Vacation Rentals with Carrie Efird and Kimberly White, moderated by Jennifer Frankenstein
The Three E’s of a Powerful Book Direct Strategy: Envy + Empathy + Easy with Amber Leto (NAVIS)
Working with Family with Teresa Woods, Melaney Robbins, Claire Reiswerg, moderated by Whitney Sloane Sauls
The 2019 Regulatory Environment: A Conversation with Industry Advocates with Denise Holtz, Jennifer Frankenstein, moderated by Greg Holcomb
The Law of Attraction Workshop with Dore Jean
MARY LYNN CLARK, PRESIDENT, WYNDHAM VACATION RENTALS
The Power of Giving: Using Your Vacation Rental Business to Affect Change in Your World and Strengthen Your Business with Angela Leone
How to Grow Your Business in a Sustainable Way (Rented. com)
Company Culture: Technology, Autonomy, and Accountability Not Sold Separately with Hannah Zarley (Kigo)
Establishing Trust in Your Vacation Rental Marketplace with Kasturi Mudulodu (Yapstone)
Girl, Update Your Website with Vanessa Humes
Travel Insurance and Disaster Management with Laird Sager (Red Sky)
Elevating the Vacation Rental Industry with Property Standards: 10 Standards Each Vacation Rental Home Should Meet with Tammi Sims (Properly)
How to Win at the Vacation Rental Investing Game with Erica Muller (Vrolio)
Change Management: Transitioning and Delegating through Stages of Growth with Michelle Acquavella and Heidi Stuber
Trust Accounting Fundamentals: Not just for North Carolina VRMs with Betsy Taylor (Streamline)
From One Woman to the Team: Growing Your Business with Time, Tech, and the Power of Women with Charla Clifford
The Advantages of Diversifying Your Online Distribution with Christa Levesque, Melissa Kivett, Lorena Bourg (Booking.com)
ROI Rescue: Measure and Scale Your Marketing with Jodi Bourne
Are Limited Distribution and Fragmented Tech Slowing Your Growth? Learn How to Leverage New and Existing Technology to Grow Your Business with Grant Fawcett, Vincenzo Angelo Dicarlo, Josh Parry (CiiRUS)
Funding Options: Finding Resources to Build a New Idea with Jen Ford, Vanessa de Souza Lage, Christine Saba, Lisa Jurinka, moderated by Amy Hinote
A new solution for no chargebacks in 2019, 26% more revenue, and happier guests: ASCENTPay has arrived! With Dawn Yeskulski
Case Study: How a Destin, FL customer reduced their dependency on the OTAs by 52% in only 8 months with Ann Marie Houlihan (Q4Launch)
Bed Bugs, Block Parties, and Broken Bones: Safeguard Your Business from the Unexpected! With Tony Melillo, Megan Ueland (CBIZ)
So Much Data, So Little Time: 4 Easy Ways to Make Data Driven Decisions to Grow Your Business in 2019 with Jinnie Templin, Brynn Flaherty, Kara Kacmarcik, Alisa Holmes (Bluetent)
Heartfelt Leadership with Heather Weiermann
Managing Environmental Challenges and Disasters from Red Tide to Fires to Hurricanes with Judith Lee
2020 Owner Communications and Property Care: Explore the Possibilities with Koryn Okey (Breezeway)
Badass Revenue Management: Itâ€™s About Time! Desiree Garcia, Meaghan Moylan, Heather Richer, moderated by Key Data
Successfully Navigating the Purchase and Sale Process with Ben Edwards (Weatherby Consulting)
Live Startup Pitch for Venture Capital with Amy Hinote and Sascha Hausmann
Marketing Your Vacation Rental on Hotel Sites with Kate Barnes (Rentals United)
LADY CARNARVON, HIGHCLERE CASTLE
ady Carnarvon, 8th Countess of Carnarvon is no ordinary peer. Born Fiona Aitken, she has already had a colorful career encompassing a number of positions and professions. She is married to George Herbert, 8th Earl of Carnarvon; thus making her the 8th Countess. A former auditor at Coopers & Lybrand, Lady Carnarvon is perfectly suited to running affairs at Highclere Castle, where she and her husband reside. Lady Carnarvon also runs her own fashion label, Azur, which operated in the States from 1995 to 2004. Her guardianship of the estate extends to its grounds and gardens, events and the Egyptian Exhibition—around which she and her husband regularly take visitors.
Lady Carnarvon has also written two books on the most famous character in her lineage – the 5th Earl of Carnarvon who discovered King Tutankhamun’s tomb with Howard Carter in 1922. The first book, Carnarvon & Carter, examines the illustrious duo, their early work together and the extraordinary tale of their relationship and search for the hallowed tomb. The second, Egypt at Highclere: The Discovery of Tutankhamun, details the discovery itself and is an accompaniment to the Egyptian Exhibition at Highclere. Quotes, original photographs and her written account using the Highclere archives offers a valuable insight into the discovery, and a beginners’ guide to ancient Egyptian culture, art and religion. Lord Julian Fellowes is the writer and creator of Downton Abbey, the award-winning television drama series from 2010 to 2015 and upcoming movie set to be released in 2019. He was moved by the remarkable life of a woman who inspired Downton Abbey’s Cora Crawley. Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey, written by Lady Carnarvon, tells the story behind the real-life inspiration and setting for Downton Abbey, Highclere Castle, and the life of one of its most famous inhabitants, Lady Almina, the 5th Countess of Carnarvon. Drawing on a rich store of materials from the archives of Highclere Castle, including diaries, letters, and photographs, the current chatelaine of Highclere Castle, Lady Carnarvon, has written a transporting story of this fabled home on the brink of war. Much like her dramatic counterpart Cora Crawley, Lady Almina was the daughter of a wealthy industrialist, Alfred de Rothschild, who married his daughter off at a young age, her dowry serving as the crucial link in the effort to preserve the Earl of Carnarvon’s ancestral home. Unlike Cora, however, Lady Almina was half-French, Jewish, and illegitimate. She would spend the whole of her life devoted to her husband, their home, and her country. Throwing open the doors of Highclere Castle to tend to the wounded of World War I, Lady Almina distinguished herself as a brave and remarkable woman. This rich tale contrasts the splendor of Edwardian life in a great house against the backdrop of the First World War and offers an inspiring and revealing picture of the woman at the center of the history of Highclere Castle.
lizabeth Gilbert’s memoir Eat Pray Love has been called “a generation’s instruction manual” by The Toronto Sun. Exploding onto the scene in 2006, the bestseller famously chronicled the year Gilbert spent traveling the world after a shattering divorce. Translated into more than 30 languages, Eat Pray Love has sold over ten million copies worldwide. The book—which The New York Times Book Review says is “fueled by a mix of intelligence, wit, and colloquial exuberance that is close to irresistible”—catapulted its author from respected but little-recognized writer to a woman Oprah Winfrey has called a “rock star author.” Educated at New York University, Elizabeth Gilbert hails from an ascetic childhood in rural Connecticut. Fearless reporting skills and an abiding appreciation for working-class values have colored her writing from the beginning. Meanwhile, a persistent longing to understand the world and her place in it have made her not merely a writer but an explorer. Gilbert worked in a Philadelphia diner, on a western ranch, and in a New York City bar to scrape together the funds to travel: “to create experiences to write about, gather landscapes and voices.” Gilbert’s writing was published in Harper’s Bazaar, Spin, and The New York Times Magazine. Her work in Spin caught the attention of editors at GQ, and she became a stalwart at that publication, producing vivid, provocative pieces that soon grew into books and even a film: 2000’s Coyote Ugly. Gilbert was a finalist for the National Magazine Award, and her work was anthologized in Best American Writing 2001. “I think my gift, far beyond whatever gifts that I have as a writer, my gift as a human is that I can make friends with people very quickly. Everything I learned about being a journalist I learned by being a bartender. The most exquisite lesson of all is that people will tell you anything. Want to. There’s no question you can’t ask if your intention is not hostile. And it’s not like entrapment; it’s more like a gorgeous revelation. People want to tell the story that they have.” —Elizabeth Gilbert With Eat Pray Love, Gilbert attracted an adoring international audience. Thanks to its courage and humor, Eat Pray Love became the kind of book that people keep on their nightstands for years, pages flagged and passages highlighted. In 2010, Eat Pray Love was made into a feature film starring Julia Roberts and Javier Bardem—an experience Gilbert has called “surreal,” “amazing,” and “touching.” In the decade since Eat Pray Love, people around the world have sought Gilbert’s advice on how to lead a bold and inspired life, and she has dedicated herself to exploring the mysteries of courage and creativity. Out of this period of introspection comes Gilbert’s brilliant nonfiction treatise, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear. In this book, she digs deep into her own generative process to share her wisdom and unique perspective on creativity.
TINA WEYAND, CHIEF PRODUCT OFFICER Tina Weyand is HomeAway’s chief product officer, responsible for the product and design behind HomeAway’s global sites. An expert in digital media and marketplaces, Weyand joined HomeAway in 2016 after spending almost two decades in Los Angeles and Silicon Valley, where she held leadership roles at Yahoo!, Ask.com, Demand Media, IAC Publishing Labs and more. While at Yahoo!, Weyand led several global product teams focused on search and display marketplaces. At IAC Publishing, Ask.com, and Demand Media, Weyand helped the companies explore innovative approaches to content strategy and monetization. Weyand graduated magna cum laude from the University of California, Los Angeles with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy. She resides in Austin.
LESLIE PRESTON, FOUNDER AND MANAGING DIRECTOR, BACHCARE Leslie Preston founded Bachcare in 2003 after finding there were no professional management services or national, branded organizations in New Zealand to manage her holiday home, or “bach,” in Hahei. Today, Bachcare is Australasia’s largest full-service property management company with 2,000 homes and 150 locations served. Leslie has always driven her company with a strong sense of vision and purpose, and she has her sights set on 10,000 properties. Originally from New York, Preston moved to NZ 25 years ago with her kiwi husband, Stefan, whom she met at Stanford University Graduate School of Business.
MARY LYNN CLARK, WYNDHAM VACATION RENTALS Mary Lynn Clark is the president of Wyndham Vacation Rentals, the largest professional manager of vacation rental properties in North America. As part of the Wyndham Destinations family of brands, Wyndham Vacation Rentals provides access to nearly 10,000 vacation rentals in the U.S. and Canada ranging from beachfront condos to slopeside lodges. With more than 25 years of experience in the hospitality industry, Clark is responsible for leading and growing the company’s rental business. She oversees a portfolio of distinctive vacation rental properties, which include such well-known brands as ResortQuest by Wyndham Vacation Rentals, Kaiser Realty by Wyndham Vacation Rentals, Oceana Resorts by Wyndham Vacation Rentals, Vacation Palm Springs and Hatteras Realty. Prior to her appointment in September 2014, Clark held a 26-year tenure with Marriott Vacations Worldwide and Marriott International. Most recently, she served as the senior vice president of global product & customer development for Marriott Vacations Worldwide. In this role, she led the strategic direction for multiple brands within the company while overseeing global business innovations, product offerings and customer development. Clark joined Marriott in 1988 and began her career with the organization in finance. Over the years, she held various business executive roles in the areas of strategic planning, business and product development, brand and change management, e-Commerce, sales, and marketing. Her previous positions include vice president of marketing, sales and service for the Ritz-Carlton Destination Club and Marriott Vacation Club International—Asia Pacific. She also served as the vice president of e-Commerce & global servicing for the Ritz-Carlton Destination Club and Marriott Vacation Club International, assuming global responsibility for service operations in the U.S., Europe, Middle East, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean.
BREAKOUT DESCRIPTIONS BY TIME
TUESDAY, FEB 19TH 12:15 PM — 1:00 PM
We will host executives at three of the largest vacation rental management companies in North America for a deep-dive discussion and Q&A about the current state and trajectory of the vacation rental industry.
utilize your business to effect change all around you. In this session, participants will be encouraged to assess their company’s giving statement and be challenged to create a three-tier business giving plan of their own. Participants will learn the business benefits of giving back and will be presented with several real-life giving examples and one company’s story of doubling their giving, their sales continued to increase by 25% year over year! Whether you’re interested in learning how to create your giving plan or you want to share your giving experiences, come join us for an inspiring session with a bunch of world changers!
WHERE GOOGLE IS HEADING WITH VACATION RENTALS
HOW TO GROW YOUR BUSINESS IN A SUSTAINABLE WAY
INSIDE LOOK AT MULTI-DESTINATION PROPERTY MANAGERS Presenters: Panel, Jen Ford (TurnKey), Kyung Bishop-Milo (VTrips), Lisa Jurinka (Vacasa), moderated by Amy Hinote (VRM Intel) Room: Lafayette West
Presenter: Susan Blizzard (Blizzard Internet Marketing and Red Awning) Room: Lafayette East Google Hotel Ads are ads on Google Maps for hotels, along with their rates and availability. Google is actively working on showing bookable vacation rentals as well and is testing this in some markets. Learn how these ads work and stay on top of this rapidly changing area of Google.
EXECUTIVE INTERVIEWS Skift’s Deana Ting interviews HomeAway Chief Product Officer Tina Weyand and VRMA President Jodi Refosco Room: Audubon (First Level)
WHY WOMEN ARE THE BEST NEGOTIATORS Presenter: Kristen Prinz (The Prinz Law Firm, P.C.) Room: La Salle Women negotiate every day with their families, their vendors, and their employers. Yet, there continues to be a misconception that men are better negotiators. Being underestimated is an asset. This session discusses how implicit biases can be leveraged in negotiations, how women can apply different strategies to negotiations, and how planning can make all the difference. You will get negotiation tips you can use immediately.
THE POWER OF GIVING: USING YOUR VACATION RENTAL BUSINESS TO AFFECT CHANGE IN YOUR WORLD AND STRENGTHEN YOUR BUSINESS Presenter: Angela Leone (Coconut Condos) Room: Acadia Have you been considering how you could use your business to change your local community, your country, or even the world? Come join other like-minded vacation rental managers to discuss and learn how you can
Presenters: Talia Lockard and Amber Knight (Rented.com) Room: Vermilion With all of the venture capital funding flowing into the industry, it is easy to get caught up on the number of homes you manage as the only guiding light. This session will help you focus on what growth strategy makes the most sense for your business and your goals including how to make the most of your current inventory, how to better control the guest experience for your homes by bringing on the right inventory under the right conditions, and addressing if, when, and what kind of acquisitions, partnerships, and/or mergers make the most sense for your business.
ESTABLISHING TRUST IN YOUR VACATION RENTAL MARKETPLACE Presenter: Kasturi Mudulodu (Yapstone) Room: Orleans Trust is an age-old convention that has been present in every successful transaction since the dawn of time. In the early days of civilization when humans used the barter system, each party needed to trust that the other party would deliver their end of the bargain. The vacation rentals industry today is no different, but the stakes are a whole lot higher with buyers and sellers transacting thousands of dollars online and letting strangers into their homes! Sharing economy platforms exist to connect an individual buyer and individual seller, but more importantly, to establish a vital layer of trust between the two parties. This is done by using the many facets of financial technology. In this session, Yapstone’s VP of Product Management, Kasturi Mudulodu, will discuss key practices for establishing trust in the marketplace and what vacation rental businesses can do to stay on the leading edge of security.
COMPANY CULTURE: TECHNOLOGY, AUTONOMY, AND ACCOUNTABILITY NOT SOLD SEPARATELY Presenter: Hannah Zarley (Kigo, a RealPage Company) Room: Evangeline
Corporate culture is a house, and communication is the key to the front door and all the rooms inside. Leaders set the tone for outstanding guest experiences, but everyone is responsible for executing this vision. Learn how to better empower employees to practice the art of hospitality. By investing in your staff and technology, you can create a company culture that supports meaningful relationships and unforgettable stays for each guest who walks through your doors.
compete in an ever-changing, growing industry. Packed with what Vanessa’s learned from working within the hotel industry and her experience marketing vacation rental companies, Vanessa is going to turn your marketing ideas upside down and inspire you to keep on hustling.
HOW TO WIN AT THE VACATION RENTAL INVESTING GAME Presenter: Erica Muller (Vrolio) Room: Orleans
1:15 PM — 2:00 PM BUILDING A COMPANY THAT CELEBRATES DIVERSITY Presenters: Carole Sharoff and Michelle Williams (Atlantic Vacation Homes) Room: Lafayette West This session will examine growing a diverse business from within and will also look at the role of diversity in the greater ecosystem of your business: in your customer base, supplier base, and throughout the industry.
The real estate landscape is evolving for both buyers and sellers of vacation rentals. Vacation rentals going mainstream has opened the niche up for traditional real estate investors to cross over into vacation rental investing. What does this mean for the owner? How can they be better prepared for this new wave of vacation rental investors? This session will teach you exactly what today’s vacation rental investor’s expectations are, how to negotiate with them, and most importantly, how to build the value of your income-producing asset.
TRAVEL INSURANCE AND DISASTER MANAGEMENT DISTRIBUTION CHANNELS 201: 3RD PARTY, WEBSITE, AND VOICE Presenter: Michelle Marquis (Lexicon Travel Technologies) Room: Lafayette East Distribution strategies are complicated, especially for those who are new to the vacation industry. With the rapid industry growth and the introduction of OTAs, we often think back to the good ole’ simple days. Michelle Marquis will be introducing the bigger picture behind distribution strategies and where in the world we are today with our technology.
EXECUTIVE INTERVIEWS Skift’s Deana Ting interviews TurnKeyVacation Rentals Chief Financial Officer Jen Ford and Vacasa Chief Legal Officer Lisa Jurinka Room: Audubon (First Level)
Presenter: Laird Sager (Red Sky Travel Insurance) Room: Vermilion Reflections from Hurricanes Florence and Michael: The three largest catastrophic events in the world in 2018 were Camp Fire, Hurricane Michael and Hurricane Florence. Laird Sager will review the many valuable lessons learned; regulatory reviews, policy language and limits, credit card chargebacks, insurance practices of OTAs, promotional “best practices,” online reservation communications and information, re-entry, insured guest confusion and misunderstanding, and VRMC confusion and misunderstanding.
ELEVATING THE VACATION RENTAL INDUSTRY WITH PROPERTY STANDARDS: 10 STANDARDS EACH VACATION RENTAL HOME SHOULD MEET Presenter: Tammi Sims (Properly)
WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT IN 2019 AND BEYOND Presenter: Sue Jones (HR4VR) Room: La Salle The composition of workforce is changing dramatically. During this session we will discuss key workforce trends expected to dominate workplaces by 2020 and what property managers should be focusing on to ensure that they create compelling employee experiences.
GIRL, UPDATE YOUR WEBSITE
Room: Evangeline As part of the vacation rental industry, we get to offer the best accommodation product to guests and travelers—a home. It is predicted that by 2020, VR will overtake hotels in traveler stay share. But read any article coaching travelers through making the choice between a vacation rental and a hotel and the risks of choosing a VR will undoubtedly be mentioned. So what’s the risk? Quality and standards. Travelers book vacation rentals with some degree of uncertainty, crossing their fingers and hoping their choice will fulfill their hopes and vision of their stay. As an industry, we have work to do to create and uphold basic standards so travelers can book with confidence, and so our industry reputation is restored and excels.
Presenter: Vanessa Humes (ICND) Room: Acadia With a fun twist on Rachel Hollis’s “Girl, Wash Your Face,” Vanessa Humes of ICND will discuss the industry’s biggest marketing myths. Some common misconceptions to be addressed include, “you can’t compete with the OTAs, you’re not big enough, you’re not innovative enough, and you don’t know how to differentiate.” It’s time to shed some light on what you can do to
4:00 PM — 4:45 PM THE ADVANTAGES OF DIVERSIFYING YOUR ONLINE DISTRIBUTION Presenters: Christa Levesque, Melissa Kivett, Lorena Bourg (Booking.com)
Room: Acadia Are you looking for ways to diversify your online distribution? Or simply unsure about the advantages of using other channels to maximize your potential? Then this session is for you! Find out how the use of the right distribution channels can improve your brand recognition internationally and further your reach by attaining guests from all over the world. Join us during this session to discover as well how the use of technology can help you to decrease the risk of overbookings, optimize occupancy, increase revenue, and boost your business. Are you ready to take the leap?
2019 U.S. VACATION RENTAL INDUSTRY TRENDS
SWOT ANALYSIS WORKSHOP: IDENTIFYING YOUR STRENGTHS, WEAKNESSES, OPPORTUNITIES, AND THREATS Presenter: Michelle Marquis Room: La Salle SWOT Analysis, Really? Isn’t there a better tool? The homework is done. No, there is not a better tool. Generally, the problems with doing SWOT analyses are that the time is not dedicated or taken to really do this well, companies do not have a facilitator, and there is not someone responsible to follow up. After this session, you will leave with the tools to effectively conduct a SWOT of your organization, department, or even a big life decision.
Presenters: Susan Tormollen (HomeAway Software), Alisa Holmes (Bluetent), Koryn Okey (Breezeway), Kara Edman (PointCentral), Christine Saba (NoiseAware), Jillian Delaney (dormakaba), Vanessa Humes (ICND), Susan Blizzard (Blizzard Internet Marketing/RedAwning)
CHANGE MANAGEMENT: TRANSITIONING AND DELEGATING THROUGH STAGES OF GROWTH
Room: Lafayette West
Presenters: Michelle Acquavella and Heidi Stuber (Sea to Sky Rentals)
As vacation rentals reach a wider audience, rising traveler expectations are inevitable. But U.S. property managers who build trust, prioritize experiences, promote safety, operate efficiently, and adopt new technology have a real opportunity to both meet and exceed these expectations. Join HomeAway Software and many leading technology providers as they discuss key themes and actionable strategies vacation rental managers can use. All work session participants will receive a copy of the recently released 2019 Vacation Rental Industry Trends Report
APPLYING “THE 5 LOVE LANGUAGES” TO CUSTOMER SERVICE Presenters: Tyann Marcink (VR Mastered), Heather Bayer (Cottage Blogger, VRSS, Vacation Rental Formula), and Jessica Vozel (Guesthook) Room: Lafayette East
Room: Acadia Our industry is growing and changing quickly, and vacation rental managers need to be strategic about who leads their business during a time of change. Learn to identify when it’s time to step out of running your business day-to-day, strategies for hiring the right leader, and how to transition leadership and decision making to a trusted manager. Sea to Sky is a case study on leadership changes that spurred dramatic growth. Over the last three years, Sea to Sky has tripled in size and operational leadership has been passed from Michelle, the company’s founder and owner, to Heidi, the strategic director, and as the company has continued to grow, to the general manager, Louisa Cranston. If you want to work less, make more money, and have the flexibility to focus on what you love, join us and make a plan to enjoy the benefits of being a business owner without all the headaches.
There is a lot of talk about the “guest experience.” But what does this really mean? Is it about having the best equipped homes with ultra-fast WiFi? Is it about having a personal check-in process and being instantly accessible? Is it about offering concierge services? Is it about comfortable beds? Is it about shiny new technology? We’ll explain what “guest experience” actually means and how you can deliver the best experience based on your unique business in an efficient way. We’ll draw inspiration from Gary Chapman’s book “The Five Love Languages” and adapt this to explain the relationship between property managers and their guests. In this session, attendees will learn what “guest experience” means and be given a framework for creating their own unique guest experience process. Attendees will learn how to create a guest experience process that can be executed efficiently and profitably, rather than eating their profit margins.
TRUST ACCOUNTING FUNDAMENTALS: NOT JUST FOR NORTH CAROLINA VRMS
MANAGING OVER 1000 HOMES IN A REGIONAL MARKET Presenters: Sun Realty President Ali Breaux and Meyer Vacation Rentals President Michelle Hodges, moderated by Amy Hinote
FROM ONE WOMAN TO THE TEAM: GROWING YOUR BUSINESS WITH TIME, TECH, AND THE POWER OF WOMEN
Room: Audubon (First Level)
Presenter: Charla Clifford (Rockies Rentals)
Hear from presidents of two of the largest in-market vacation rental management companies in North America, as we discuss changes in the industry, managing over 1,000 homes in-market, OTA independence, competing with new business models, workforce development, working in the community, and what industry observers and analysts miss in covering vacation rental management.
Join Charla Clifford for practical tips on making the journey from an overworked, underpaid, exhausted “One Woman Show,” to an efficient, profitable, joyful “All Woman Crew.” Charla’s journey included leveraging her time with virtual assistants and technology, a keen eye on building a company that did not require her physical presence, and creating an environment
Presenter: Betsy Taylor (Streamline) Room: Vermilion This workshop will explore how using the trust accounting method and reporting will help you keep your company trust account in balance regardless of your state reporting requirements. All money that is collected and disbursed through your account should be able to be tracked through your software system from deposit to paying out the owner. We will examine the reports that Streamline StreamTrust provides to keep you in balance and compliance.
specifically designed for women. If you are looking for more time, more joy, and more space in your work life, this is the session for you. Attendees will leave with an action plan to start their own journey towards growing their vacation rental business.
blueprint for setting up and publishing your show together with a complete list of resources. And, we’ll have a lot of fun doing it!
ROI RESCUE: MEASURE AND SCALE YOUR MARKETING Presenter: Jodi Bourne (Vacation Rental Marketing Consultant) Room: Acadia
WEDNESDAY, FEB 20TH 10:15 AM — 11:00 AM LESSONS IN LEADERSHIP FROM VRMA BOARD MEMBERS: FROM INDIVIDUAL TO INDUSTRY Presenters: Jodi Taylor Refosco, Carole Sharoff, Melaney Robbins, moderated by Susan Blizzard
Data and measurement tools, oh my! What a SUPER FUN presentation topic! But if you are using social media, online advertising, blogging or search engine marketing to bring traffic to your website and eyes to your listings, you have to know how to measure the success of what you, your team or your contractors are doing. In ROI Rescue, Jodi Bourne will show you free and simple tools you can use to measure SEO, social media, and advertising strategies as well as provide you with key metrics that help keep everyone on your team accountable for real results, not vanity metrics, so you can scale your marketing. And, as usual, Jodi promises a really fun time!
Room: Lafayette West Members of the Vacation Rental Management Association (VRMA) Board of Directors will share their experiences and lessons regarding leadership, from running successful companies to running the industry’s largest trade association. Attendees will learn from these vacation rental management leaders, what success and leadership mean to them, and lessons they’ve learned along the way, as well as how others can and should get involved with pushing this great industry forward. The group will also discuss the latest industry trends and how VRMA is focused on diversity, inclusion, and safety for all members and conference attendees.
CONFLICT MANAGEMENT: ARE YOU ASKING THE RIGHT QUESTION(S)? Presenter: Dore Jean (KAIZEN) Room: Lafayette East Managing conflict is inevitable, so what if your go-to approach was systematic, highly effective and teachable? What if one simple question could change everything? In this session, Dore Jean will share a 4-step process including this life-changing question.
EXECUTIVE INTERVIEWS Skift’s Deana Ting interviews Yapstone VP of Product Management Kasturi Mudulodu, and NAVIS VP of Product Amber Leto Room: Audubon (First Level)
HOW TO START A PODCAST AND GET EARS ON YOUR BUSINESS Presenter: Heather Bayer (Cottage Blogger, VRSS, Vacation Rental Formula) Room: La Salle Travelers look for locations before they decide on accommodation, so getting your brand in front of them long before they head to Airbnb or HomeAway is the key to direct bookings. Learn how to create, structure, launch and market your own podcast that promotes your location and attracts new visitors who will also hear about your business. You’ll come away with a
A NEW SOLUTION FOR NO CHARGEBACKS IN 2019, 26% MORE REVENUE, AND HAPPIER GUESTS: ASCENTPAY HAS ARRIVED! Presenter: Dawn Yeskulsky (Ascent) Room: Orleans A new solution for NO chargebacks in 2019, 26% more revenue, and happier guests: ASCENTPay has arrived! ASCENTPay is finally here! Join our session and be the first to jump in on the details of this new game-changing service that will pay you 100% of the full reservation amount on the day of booking, can bring you 26% more revenue, guarantee no chargebacks, and no fraud, all while providing your guests with a cost-effective payment plan. Did we mention with NO risk to you? Dive right into the details of the payment solution we have been working on! We will also live stream this new product launch on the Women’s Summit Facebook page, in case you cannot attend in person. We want to help increase your revenue in 2019 and beyond.
ARE LIMITED DISTRIBUTION AND FRAGMENTED TECH SLOWING YOUR GROWTH? LEARN HOW TO LEVERAGE NEW AND EXISTING TECHNOLOGY TO GROW YOUR BUSINESS Presenters: Grant Fawcett, Vincenzo Angelo Dicarlo, Josh Parry (CiiRUS) Room: Vermilion This session will explore how antiquated distribution technology may be affecting your ability to attract eyeballs to your listings. We’ll focus on how new technology in the channel management space is helping VRMs gain more coverage and earn more profitable bookings. We’ll also discuss how simply cleaning up your systems and evaluating fragmented technology can make a big difference to the bottom line.
FUNDING OPTIONS: FINDING RESOURCES TO BUILD A NEW IDEA Presenters: Jen Ford (TurnKey Vacation Rentals), Vanessa de Souza Lage (Rentals United), Christine Saba (NoiseAware), Lisa Jurinka (Vacasa) Room: Evangeline
The vacation rental industry is witnessing an enormous injection of capital from angel investors, venture capitalists, and private equity firms; and this panel is comprised of women who are no strangers to raising funds. Join us as we discuss types of funding options, when outside funding is right for you, and tips for raising funds for your next venture.
11:15 AM — 12:00 PM BECOMING AN INFLUENCER: LEVERAGING THOUGHT LEADERSHIP AND FINDING YOUR VOICE
CASE STUDY: HOW A DESTIN, FL CUSTOMER REDUCED THEIR DEPENDENCY ON THE OTAS BY 52% IN ONLY 8 MONTHS Presenter: Ann Marie Houlihan, Q4 Launch Room: Acadia Let us introduce you to our customer “Your Friend at the Beach.” In December of 2017, they decided to invest in a plan to reduce dependency on the OTAs. We’ll share the strategies we employed to achieve this goal and also to increase direct bookings by 121 percent and overall revenue by 21.44 percent! You’ll walk away with actionable plans you can put in place right away!
Presenters: Debi Hertert (Host2Host), Vanessa de Souza Lage (VR Tech and Rentals United), Heather Bayer (Cottage Blogger), Annie Switzer (Say No to VRBO Service Fee), moderated by Amy Hinote (VRM Intel)
BED BUGS, BLOCK PARTIES, AND BROKEN BONES: SAFEGUARD YOUR BUSINESS FROM THE UNEXPECTED!
Room: Lafayette West
Presenters: Tony Melillo, Megan Ueland (CBIZ)
There is a lot of talk about thought leadership and becoming an influencer, so we reached out to women who are leading the way as influencers among vacation rental owners and managers. We will interview these superstars, hear about their path to success, and discuss how to use your knowledge to become a thought leader in your market and in the industry.
CREATING MARKET LEADERSHIP THROUGH INVENTORY ACQUISITION AND OWNER RELATIONS Presenter: Jodi Refosco (Taylor-Made Deep Creek Vacations) Room: Lafayette East How do you get on the path to market leadership? Jodi Refosco, owner of Taylor-Made Deep Creek Vacations & Sales, shares best practices for owner acquisition and developing sustainable relationships. From the basics of building a strong brand to strategies for lead generation, attendees will get actionable tips to grow their inventory and position themselves as the experts in their area. From there, the session will cover ways to retain and engage existing owners for long-lasting partnerships.
EXECUTIVE INTERVIEWS Rentals United’s Chief Marketing Officer Vanessa De Souza Lage and Ascent Processing Founder and President Regina Ebert Room: Audubon (First Level)
USING PEOPLE ANALYTICS TO MAKE DECISIONS BASED ON FACTS AND FIGURES
Understanding the insurance landscape and determining the correct type of coverage for your property and business can be complicated. The vacation rental insurance experts at CBIZ are here to clear up the confusion about the right commercial coverage for you and your clients. They will walk through the differences between the insurance options available in the marketplace and reveal the most important components to consider when making your decision.
SO MUCH DATA, SO LITTLE TIME: 4 EASY WAYS TO MAKE DATA DRIVEN DECISIONS TO GROW YOUR BUSINESS IN 2019 Presenters: Jinnie Templin, Brynn Flaherty, Kara Kacmarcik, Alisa Holmes (Bluetent) Room: Evangeline Join us for an interactive discussion with Bluetent’s panel of digital marketing experts to learn how you can take advantage of the data available at your fingertips including website analytics, reservation data and more to make better decisions that deliver a consistent and measurable ROI, ensuring sustainable long-term growth for your business this year!
2:30 PM — 3:15 PM YOUR SEAT AT THE TABLE: ENGAGE IN YOUR COMMUNITY
Presenter: Sue Jones (HR4VR)
Presenters: Debbie Sloane Smith (Mayor, Ocean Isle Beach and Sloane Realty), Michelle Acquavella (Sea to Sky), Amy Gaster (Tybee Vacation Rentals), Moderated by Claire Reiswerg (Sand ‘N Sea)
Room: La Salle
Room: Lafayette West
People analytics is a data-driven approach to managing people at work that helps business leaders make objective decisions about their people based on data analysis versus traditional decision-making methods dependent on personal relationships, experience and “gut” instinct. People Analytics provide you with the same kind of predictive insight and data analysis that you rely on when you make business decisions based on your profit and loss statements and industry analytics. Attend this roundtable and learn how applying people analytics to make soft-skill decisions regarding your people-related issues is both a competitive advantage and key strategy for your business.
Getting to know or participating with your tourism board, city council, planning commission, chamber of commerce, city/county/state government affairs advocate, county and state legislators, HOAs, neighborhood organizations, and local professional and charitable organizations all are great ways to ensure that you and your business are recognized as committed, contributing members of your community. Getting involved on the local level differentiates your vacation rental company from the national mega-managers. It also ensures that you have a seat at the table and are helping lead the conversation on vacation rentals and other local issues. This panel of
experienced “participating” vacation rental company owners will discuss how to find opportunities which will make a difference in your community and your business.
MARKETING YOUR VACATION RENTAL ON HOTEL SITES
INTERIOR DESIGN FOR VACATION RENTALS
Navigating the complex world of vacation rental advertising is not an easy task! Learn from the OTA experts at Rentals United how to best publish your rentals on hotel sites such as Booking.com, Expedia, Agoda, and more. Find out how to make the most out of price groups and advanced availability strategies, and learn about costs, cancellations, and payments. Advertising on hotel sites is a must today. Don’t miss out on this tipspacked workshop!
Kimberly White (Vacasa), Carrie Efird (Tybee Vacation Rentals), moderated by Jennifer Frankenstein (FVRMA and Great Ocean Condos) Room: Lafayette East Purpose-built design is a hot topic in the industry right now, but we don’t spend a lot of time on purpose-built interior design for vacation rentals. What furniture and accessories should and should not be in the home? How should we talk to homeowners about upgrading and making changes? What interior design changes can increase revenue? And is there a way to monetize your design services?
Presenter: Kate Barnes (Rentals United) Room: Orleans
ROUNDTABLE: MANAGING ENVIRONMENTAL CHALLENGES AND DISASTERS FROM RED TIDE TO FIRES TO HURRICANES Presenter: Judith Lee-Hemstreet (Sun Palace Vacations) Room: Vermilion
EXECUTIVE INTERVIEWS Skift’s Deana Ting interviews Wyndham Vacation Rentals President Mary Lynn Clark and Booking.com’s Christa Levesque, North America Manager, Homes Room: Audubon (First Level)
THE THREE E’S OF A POWERFUL BOOK DIRECT STRATEGY: ENVY + EMPATHY + EASE Presenter: Amber Leto (NAVIS)
This session will address the process of dealing with various environmental challenges and disaster scenarios which could have a serious economic impact on your business and, in some cases, destroy it entirely. This year we all watched the devastating impact of Hurricane Florence on the East Coast and Michael in the Panhandle. Red Tide was rampant on the Gulf Coast for over two months. Millions of tourist dollars were lost and the media did its part to keep people away. This was on top of the three major hurricanes in 2017. We will cover plans of action in place, cooperative networking with other VRMs, guest and owner relations before, during and after, combating negative media, financial preparedness, refunds to guests, and future marketing strategies.
Room: La Salle Now, more than ever, it is critical for vacation rental managers to have a robust book direct marketing campaign. This session will explore the cognitive and emotional journey of travelers and homeowners when they are making a buying decision to help you build powerful campaigns across your email, social and digital channels. From analyzing your budget, choosing the right channels, building evoking campaigns, and measuring performance, this session will leave you with a recipe to drive more profitable direct bookings.
HEARTFELT LEADERSHIP Presenter: Heather Weiermann (Vacation Rental Coach) Room: Acadia Learn how to take control of your business climate and create a culture of awareness, collaboration, and revenue generation. The best leaders live and lead from the heart. The values and principles that guide our lives and shape our ability to lead others are far more important than our title, our revenue management skills, or impressive degrees. You’ve likely seen leadership at its best—and worst. While leadership comes more easily to some than others, that doesn’t mean those skills can’t—and shouldn’t —be learned and fine-tuned. We will discuss how being intentional about the relationships you create will keep team members engaged, committed to more than just accomplishing their “job,” and working as a team while staying focused on achieving the company goals. We will discuss strategies you can implement immediately that will allow you to create healthy relationships, accelerate business profits, enjoy work, reduce stress, and create a constructive and supportive company culture.
2020 OWNER COMMUNICATIONS AND PROPERTY CARE: EXPLORE THE POSSIBILITIES Presenter: Koryn Okey (Breezeway) Room: Evangeline Customer expectations are rising, concierge demands are increasing, and owners expect more transparency and detail about how their property is maintained. These changes within hospitality are putting pressure on the operational role of property managers, and make it critical to develop an airtight property care program. In this session, we’ll dissect the components of a great property care program, and explain how a proactive process can enable your teams to deliver superior property care, drive time and cost savings, and fuel business growth.
3:25 PM — 4:10 PM WORKING WITH FAMILY Presenters: Teresa Woods (Up North Vacation Rentals), Melaney Robbins (Oak Island Accommodations), Claire Reiswerg (Sand ‘N Sea), moderated by Whitney Sloane Sauls (Sloane Realty) Room: Lafayette West Working with family has both benefits and challenges. Join us as this panel discusses defining roles, succession planning, dealing with conflict, and bringing in a new generation.
THE 2019 REGULATORY ENVIRONMENT: A CONVERSATION WITH INDUSTRY ADVOCATES Presenters: Denise Holtz (South Carolina VRMA, Luxury Simplified), Jennifer Frankenstein (Florida VRMA, Great Ocean Condos), moderated by Greg Holcomb (VRMA) Room: Lafayette East From Paris to Des Moines, policymakers continue to grapple with managing short-term rentals. This growing regulatory concern has added a new responsibility to vacation rental managers: being advocates! Learn about the most recent 2019 proposed laws, trends at the local and state level, and how to organize fellow industry colleagues from two leading industry advocates in the ongoing struggle to defend vacation homes.
ing your business for sale, and successfully exiting the business. VRMs will learn key takeaways to create a sustainable business, increase profit, and maximize the sale of your business.
LIVE STARTUP PITCH FOR VENTURE CAPITAL Presenters: Amy Hinote (VRM Intel) and Sascha Hausmann (HOWZAT Partners) Room: Evangeline Giving a startup pitch for investors can be intimidating. Here is your chance to see what one looks like Iive! Watch VRM Intel’s Amy Hinote pitch venture capitalist Sascha Hausmann from HOWZAT partners with her new business idea, and hear the tough questions typically asked by investors.
THE LAW OF ATTRACTION WORKSHOP Presenter: Dore Jean (KAIZEN) Room: La Salle Each and every component of your life’s experience is drawn to you by the powerful Law of Attraction. Simply put, what you think about, comes about. But what is happening to the things you dream of? Better relationships, more business success, personal health? How can you attract these dreams into reality? Esther and Jerry Hicks, authors of the best-selling book Ask and It is Given, offer perceptions and processes to achieve all you may desire. (You do not need to be familiar with the book to get value from this session). Dore Jean will share several key paradigms and processes like understanding how to utilize the Emotional Guidance Scale and Stepping Beyond Belief (an NLP process) to release blocks to receiving what you truly desire and better align yourself with this natural law.
BADASS REVENUE MANAGEMENT: IT’S ABOUT TIME! Presenters: Desiree Garcia (Streamline), Meaghan Moylan (360 Blue), Heather Richer (RedAwning) moderated by Key Data Room: Acadia Hear from three of the leading voices and practitioners helping to shape the growing science of revenue management in the vacation rental space. Desiree leads the team providing revenue management consulting for dozens of Streamline clients, helping them analyze their data to make better strategic and pricing decisions. Meaghan leads 360 Blue’s revenue team and has responsibility for driving over $60MM in revenue annually while working closely with the Key Data team to refine their revenue management metrics and tools. Finally, Heather leads marketing for RedAwning and brings to the space deep experience from years leading revenue teams for hotels, including Kimpton. These experts will discuss how the landscaping is changing, how new tools are making it easier, and review what you need to be focused on in 2019 to keep up with a quickly evolving and increasingly important part of running your vacation rental company.
SUCCESSFULLY NAVIGATING THE PURCHASE AND SALE PROCESS Presenter: Ben Edwards (Weatherby Consulting) Room: Vermilion A vacation rental manager’s guide to building a profitable business, prepar-
GENERAL SESSION SPEAKERS MICHELLE ACQUAVELLA
pert property management combined with excellent customer service, communication, and trust.
As the owner and founder of Sea to Sky Rentals, Seattle’s oldest vacation rental company, Michelle Acquavella is known for her guest-centric philosophy, strong business acumen, and warm, friendly demeanor. A leader in the industry, both locally and across the nation, she has paved the way for Pacific Northwest vacation rentals. In addition to growing a niche business and co-founding the NWVRP (formerly the Vacation Rental Managers Association of Washington), Michelle has established herself as a rental rights advocate in the city of Seattle. In 2007 and again in 2016, Michelle challenged the city’s proposed ban on shortterm vacation rentals. If allowed to go into effect, the law would have taken away a Seattle visitor’s right to choose between a hotel or vacation rental. In 2016, Sea to Sky Rentals officially acquired Mysty Mountain Properties and added 30+ boutique cabin rentals in the North Cascades near beautiful Stevens Pass! Michelle is a single mom to two teenage daughters and considers herself an advocate to elevate women in our industry!
SEA TO SKY RENTALS
RENTALS UNITED Kate started off working within London’s luxury residential property market in 2010. Upon discovering her passion for the design and architectural industry, she began working for one of the leading architectural agencies who worked on a number of hotel projects including Ace Hotel in London and At Six in Stockholm. Deciding to relocate to sunnier locations, Kate moved to Barcelona in 2016. She found herself back in the property rental sector, only now for the vacation rental industry, working for PapayaPods. Here, she worked closely with the CEO, focusing on investments and fundraising. At the start of 2017, she joined Rentals United as a sales executive, focused on the North and Latin American market. Kate really enjoys working in the fast-paced tech sector and the intersection between technology and our everyday lives.
VACATION RENTAL FORMULA, VACATION RENTAL SUCCESS PODCAST, VACATION RENTAL SUCCESS SUMMIT Heather Bayer has been fully immersed in the short-term rental industry for over 25 years, first as an owner of multiple properties in the UK and Canada, and for the last 15 years as CEO of one of Ontario’s leading property management companies. She co-founded Vacation Rental Formula (formerly Cottage Blogger) where she contributes training materials that support independent owners and managers. She’s also the voice behind the Vacation Rental Success podcast – with 270 episodes of interviews, owner and manager features, and her own musings on this great business.
KYUNG BISHOP VTRIPS
Kyung has been a respected short-term vacation rental company and real estate leader for 20 years, handling sales, customer service, operations, and HR. Before Vtrips, Kyung spent 10 years in real estate sales and rentals. Over the course of these two decades, Kyung has developed a true understanding of the vacation rental industry — ex-
BLIZZARD INTERNET MARKETING, A RED AWNING GROUP COMPANY Susan Blizzard has operated Blizzard Internet Marketing, a provider of online marketing solutions for vacation rental management companies, for 20 years. After earning her MBA, she worked with middle market and startup companies on Wall Street until she started her own company. The Blizzard team provides a full suite of online marketing services, including websites with reservation engines that connect to popular vacation rental management software programs. Also, Blizzard is wellknown for its Blizzard University Workshop classes, taught specifically to VRMs. Susan has a BA from Duke University and an MBA from Columbia University. She enjoys tennis, skiing, and spending time with her two kids in her Rocky Mountain home.
LORENA BOURG BOOKING.COM
Lorena is a connectivity program manager for Connected Homes at Booking.com. She is based in Amsterdam where she works with the different regions in establishing synergies to better serve vacation rental properties through good quality connections with the company’s platform. Lorena is a computer scientist who was born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and has lived in ShangHai, Madrid, and, since last year, Amsterdam, joining different IT companies until she found her home in the connectivity track of Booking.com.
VACATION RENTAL MARKETING CONSULTANT Jodi Bourne is a digital marketer, web designer, and content creator with a passion for sharing destinations that make the world an amazing place to live. As the owner of a small consulting and web design company near Austin, Texas, Jodi has combined her marketing, writing, and web design experience with her love of tourism to help vacation rental owners market their destinations, attract better guests, and put more heads in beds. Learn more about Jodi at jodibourne.com.
ALI BREAUX SUN REALTY
Ali Breaux is president of Sun Realty of Nags Head, Inc., a family-owned and operated vacation rental and real estate sales company founded in 1980 by her father, Paul Breaux. Sun Realty operates seven offices in the Outer Banks of NC and represents properties from the Virginia-bordering 4WD beaches of Carova down to Hatteras Island. Though Sun Realty began as a modest real estate sales and vacation rental company, it has expanded those services to now include long term rentals, full-service general maintenance, linens, and HVAC. Sun utilizes in-house support services including marketing, web, graphic design, and IT. Ali began her career with Sun as a reservationist in their Central Reservations Department in the early 1990s. Since then, Ali has worked her
SPEAKER BIOS way through most every department in the company, from sales admin/assistant and long term and vacation rentals inventory acquisition to marketing assistant, marketing director/VP. In October 2007, Paul turned the reigns over to Ali and she assumed the role of president. Her experience with all facets of the company gave her the expertise to lead the company through much growth and success over the past decade. In addition to her duties at Sun Realty, Ali has served as board chair of the Outer Banks Chamber of Commerce, president of North Banks Rotary, and the Outer Banks Association of REALTORS. She currently serves as the grievance committee chair for the Outer Banks Association of REALTORS, property management division chair for the NC Association of REALTORS, and a member of the Dare County Board of Directors for TowneBank. Ali and her husband Peter reside on historic Roanoke Island and share a home with their 16 rescue cats.
MELANIE BROWN KEY DATA
Melanie Brown is the head data and GIS analyst for Key Data, the leading analytics and benchmarking company for vacation rental managers. Melanie is a newcomer to the vacation rental industry but has a strong background in data-driven decision making. She is excited to help property managers and destinations around the world better understand their data. Melanie lives in Atlanta, Georgia, and enjoys working out, hiking, and cooking.
Charla is a long-time entrepreneur, problem solver, and seeker of pure joy. She started making her own money at age 5. The spirit that drove her to that early business success has never stopped. Charla currently runs a boutique vacation rental management company in Canada, while helping people learn to successfully manage their own vacation rentals and their life. The driving force behind her unending commitment to living life better is a personal mission statement, written while touring Nicaragua: “Build a company that does not require my physical presence.” When it comes to traveling more, stressing less, and living a simpler life, Charla is your pal and confidante.
VANESSA DE SOUZA LAGE RENTALS UNITED
In the vacation rental industry since 2004, Vanessa started off as an agent with her own global website that at one point had 8000 online bookable rentals. After a short aside in fashion tech, she came back to the travel tech industry and in 2015 co-founded Rentals United, a channel manager for vacation rentals. Today Vanessa acts as the chief marketing director at Rentals United. Having gone through the hardships of setting up and marketing a number of online businesses, Vanessa is very much driven by supporting the myriad of innovative start-ups in the industry. As a result, she founded the VrTech events where tech companies meet property managers to further innovation in the industry. She also founded the only industry-recognized Vacation Rental Tech Competition celebrating and rewarding the start-ups of tomorrow. Often labelled an “influencer” in the industry, Vanessa speaks at travel events around the world.
VINNY DICARLO CiiRUS
As chief strategy officer, Vinny works to create strategic partnerships and forwards business planning and growth opportunities. His focus is on
day-to-day management of operations teams, which gives him a strong understanding of what property management companies need most to enable their staff to be successful. His days are normally spent holding KPI meetings with management teams at CiiRUS, meeting with strategic partners, and researching new areas of business for the company.
ASCENT PROCESSING, INC. Regina Ebert, founder and CEO of Ascent Processing, has been working in the payment processing industry, specializing in vacation rentals/ lodging, for more than 23 years. Throughout that time, Regina has been consulting clients, industry associations, and banks about the challenges the vacation rental/lodging Industry faces when accepting payments, and the solutions available to minimize risks and costs. Prior to her role as founder of Ascent, Regina worked for a privately-owned payment processor, Bancard. She began as the president’s assistant, growing into an outside sales consultant, and ultimately holding the position of sales manager, with several district managers, regional managers, and a host of independent salespeople reporting to her. She has regularly spoken at industry events across the country throughout her career. Her expertise includes interchange, technology, and regulations, specifically focusing on their impacts to the vacation rental/lodging industry.
POINTCENTRAL Kara Edman is a product manager at PointCentral with a focus on the short-term rental industry. She leads the development of new software integrations and features for PointCentral’s enterprise smart-home solution. She previously worked for Alarm.com, PointCentral’s parent company, in their Management Development Program. Kara graduated with an engineering degree from Dartmouth College.
WEATHERBY CONSULTING Ben and Weatherby Consulting provides transaction advisory, consulting and asset management services with proven success in creating opportunities and solutions in the vacation rental industry. They deliver high-impact results, provide partner-level attention and implement tailored solutions to address each of their client’s unique goals and objectives.
TYBEE VACATION RENTALS Carrie Efird co-founded Tybee Vacation Rentals (TVR) along with her sister, Amy Gaster, in the fall of 2000. As a small, family business with a handful of properties and no employees, TVR has grown over the last 19 years to be the largest, most well-respected vacation rental company on Tybee Island and in the Savannah area. Carrie’s previous experience in residential construction and design led her to form Tybee Vacation Rentals Design Services program in 2009; Her team focuses on upgrading furnishings and amenities, staging, and remodeling, to create a more marketable, successful, and higher-quality vacation rental property.
GRANT FAWCETT CiiRUS
Grant Fawcett is the national sales manager for CiiRUS Vacation Rental Software since 2016. Grant’s claim to fame is his boots-on-the-ground mentality, building relationships with property managers across the Americas. Despite leading a sales team, Grant’s untraditional “listen
more” and “talk less” approach has helped him develop a comprehensive understanding of a VRM’s ardent requirements. Grant has been instrumental in bringing CiiRUS’s extremely successful business out of Florida and across to the West Coast, Hawaii and everything in between. You’ll almost certainly find him handing out “Welcome” pineapples at industry events. Grant is based out of CiiRUS’s Laguna Beach office. Both of his children are in college which allows him to enjoy extensive travel, skiing, fly fishing, hiking and exploring new foods.
BRYNN FLAHERTY BLUETENT
Brynn joined the Bluetent team in 2010 as a content writer, and she soon fell in love with digital marketing and the goal of staying at the forefront of this ever-evolving industry. As director of marketing services for Bluetent, Brynn loves being able to work with a diverse team of account managers and specialists to help lead Bluetent’s clients to digital success. She is particularly interested in the power of content marketing and SEO, but helping clients achieve business goals online in any capacity is rewarding and exciting.
JEN FORD TURNKEY
Jen is responsible for leading TurnKey’s finance, business intelligence, and human resources organizations, supporting the company’s continued success in capitalizing on the fast-growing, $100+ billion global vacation rental industry. Before joining TurnKey, Jen served as vice president of finance for Snap Kitchen and as senior director of investor relations at HomeAway, Inc., where she led the global investor relations program. During her tenure at HomeAway, the company successfully completed an IPO, raised over $750M in equity and debt, made several acquisitions, and ultimately was acquired by Expedia, Inc.
JENNIFER FRANKENSTEIN GREAT OCEAN CONDOS
Jennifer purchased her dream condo in New Smyrna Beach, Florida, in 2006. Soon after, she grew the property’s annual rental income 100 percent by applying her own business and travel experience, and eventually taking over its management. Today, she’s grown that business to GreatOceanCondos.com, the largest vacation rental management company in the area with almost 275 properties in the New Smyrna Beach and Greater Daytona area. Jennifer is an active member of the Florida VRMA and national VRMA, serving as Florida VRMA’s president last year. She also speaks at conferences and has been a member of the Visit Florida Industry Relations committee, the Florida VRMA conference planning committee, and the national VRMA conference planning and education committees, as well as an ambassador for the national VRMA.
DESIREE GARCIA STREAMLINE VRS
Desiree brings revenue management to the vacation rental industry! Leading the revenue management division at Streamline VRS, Desiree, a Johnson & Wales graduate, has watched the evolution of revenue management through the hospitality industry and emerging into the arena of vacation rentals and alternative housing. As a worldwide consultant, Desiree’s experience from limited service hotels to European castles and over a decade of revenue management analytics has helped her create award-winning marketing campaigns and develop innovative designs in software for revenue managers. Helping companies grow to establish guest standards, rules and guidelines, operating procedures, and maximizing sales and marketing opportunities is what drives Desiree
SPEAKER BIOS to expand to the vacation rental space. Desiree continues to expand her vision to cultivate industry-wide standards where revenue management takes its place among the most valuable positions in the industry.
TYBEE VACATION RENTALS Amy Gaster lives on Tybee Island, Georgia, and is the president and co-owner of Tybee Vacation Rentals (TVR). TVR was founded in 2000 by Amy Gaster and Carrie Efird, two sisters who grew up on Tybee and in Savannah. As of 2019, TVR manages over 300 properties, 9000 reservations annually, and has over 80 year-round employees. The company mission simply put is “Happy Guests, Happy Owners, Happy Employees.” Amy has a degree in English Literature from Armstrong State University (now Georgia Southern University) and has been distinguished as a Notable Alumni. Amy has served on the Visit Tybee Board since 2003. Amy and Carrie founded TIARA (Tybee Island Association of Rental Agents) in 2006 to identify key issues affecting the local vacation rental industry and to be pro-active in resolving those concerns with the city and community. Amy has chaired the STVR committee formed by the City of Tybee, served on the VRMA public relations committee, and also served on the VRMA government relations committee, participating on conference panels discussing proactive solutions managers can take to counteract the rising threats of rental restrictions in local communities. Before starting TVR, Amy worked for the Savannah Symphony Orchestra for eight years while she attended college. Amy enjoys travel, French wine, learning, music, dancing, sunsets, warm weather, and spending time with friends and colleagues.
JUDITH LEE-HEMSTREET SUN PALACE VACATIONS
Judith is the founder and co-owner of Sun Palace Vacations on Fort Myers Beach, FL along with her husband, Ron Hemstreet. Originally trained as a theater and television designer, they started their company back in 2004 after purchasing several vacation homes. Her desire for high quality product, strong management, and proactive marketing has grown the company from six to over 100 properties. Judith has served on the board of directors of FVRMA, served as convention chair, and this year was recognized and awarded for her outstanding contribution to the vacation rental industry.
HOST2HOST.ORG Debi Hertert is founder and chair of Host2Host.org, a non-profit organization for short-term rental hosts located in Portland, Oregon. Host2Host offers education, advocacy and community to our growing number of hosts and is recognized by the local city council and tourism board. Debi also manages her own two properties and is the voice of the podcast “Hosting Your Home.”
MEYER VACATION RENTALS Michelle Hodges grew up in the real estate industry, recognizing and understanding tourism trends at an early age. She has extensive knowledge of the industry as well as a keen understanding of the challenges faced by vacation rental property owners and guests. Michelle is also a seasoned traveler, having visited more than 20 countries, and has gained a thorough understanding of guests’ needs and changing expectations through the years. Michelle worked at Meyer Vacation Rentals as a summer intern throughout high school and then attended Rollins College in Winter Park, FL, graduating with a major
SPEAKER BIOS in international relations and a minor in Latin American and Caribbean affairs. Her hospitality experience and degree, fueled by her passion for travel and tourism, enabled her work experience to include Walt Disney World Resorts and the Orlando/Orange County Convention and Visitors Bureau before returning home to the Alabama Gulf Coast. Michelle has also sat on more than a dozen boards, committees, and initiatives, always effecting change at every level of her community, market, and industry.
ALISA HOLMES BLUETENT
After graduating from American University, Alisa started her career as the web master for Broadcasting & Cable Magazine, a national publication serving the media industry. She then moved to The Radio Television News Directors Association serving as web master and marketing assistant. Since that time, Alisa has helped develop several hundred websites for a variety of markets ranging from media publications, disaster relief organizations, vacation rental management, and real estate firms. For the last 16 years, she has used her diverse background in web development, marketing, and customer service to help vacation rental managers plan their digital strategy.
SOUTH CAROLINA VRMA, LUXURY SIMPLIFIED Denise has been a Realtor in the Charleston market for nearly five years. She began by managing vacation rentals for Luxury Simplified and learned the difficulties of navigating through the City of Charleston’s policies on short-term rentals and local lawmakers’ unfavorable attitude towards the industry. She realized it’s truly a lack of knowledge and education, so she decided to do something about it and started a grassroots group of homeowners and property managers that shared experiences of local laws and rules and the joys and successes of operating short-term rentals. From there, they created the South Carolina Vacation Rental Managers Association with the mission to make restrictive regulations for short term rentals a thing of the past.
GREG HOLCOMB VRMA
Greg is the government relations manager for VRMA. From the city hall to the halls of Congress, Greg has developed a unique background in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. This includes holding elected office, managing government relations, organizing political campaigns, fundraising for nonprofits and managing government offices. His extensive background has provided him with knowledge across policy areas, skillful development and implementation of strategic communications, and the creation of lasting collaborations and partnerships. With the VRMA, he identifies, analyzes, and prioritizes key policy issues and impactful legislation; engaged vacation rental industry executives and business leaders to develop the association’s first policy position statements and advocacy program; leads engagement with external stakeholders and policymakers, including other international trade associations and corporate government affairs teams; and represents the association across industry groups, trade associations and in educational conferences, in the U.S. and Europe, where briefing business leaders and policy experts succinctly and relevant to the audience.
ANNE MARIE HOULIHAN Q4LAUNCH
Ann Marie is the director of sales and marketing for Q4Launch. Her career began in consumer packaged goods back in 1990 for brands like
Gatorade, Dove, Suave and Philips Electronics. In those positions, she successfully implemented strategies in branding, business development, sports marketing, and consumer promotion. It comes down to understanding your target audience and implementing with excellence! She has been dedicated to the hospitality industry and supporting vacation rental management companies for the past four years. She is proud of her company’s commitment to driving results and growing revenue. Ann Marie loves working in the hospitality space and the proof is in her passport! Her love for travel has brought her to 35 states and left her passport with precious few blank pages for new stamps!
VANESSA HUMES ICND
Vanessa Humes is the Sales & Marketing Director (aka Master of the Universe – really, it’s listed on their website) at InterCoastal Net Designs (ICND). When she’s not working on building new relationships and strengthening existing ones, she’s working with the team to make ICND the best it can be. She’s spent the last ten years of her professional career in the vacation rental industry, but prior worked with major hotel brands in Myrtle Beach. Her passion has been, and always will be, to get more direct bookings for her clients and share successful tactics that can be implemented into any marketing plan. If you want to find Vanessa and her colleague, April Burns, find the music and drinks. They will be the ones starting the party and looking for more people to add to the fun.
DORE JEAN KAIZEN
Dore Jean is master certified as an NLP trainer and practitioner and a certified FranklinCovey facilitator. As a speaker and trainer for over 25 years, Dore is continually praised for her relevant and timely information presented in an interactive and engaging atmosphere. She has an impressive record working with vacation rental management, real estate firms, and other companies to improve their guest service, increase productivity, and build a foundation for greater trust within the organization. Her ability to connect and her willingness to “seek first to understand, then to be understood” makes her a valuable resource for companies of all sizes. Dore believes every day counts!
SUE JONES HR4VR
Sue Jones, owner of HR4VR, is passionate about creating human resource programs and services that are strategic in scope and consistent with the goals and objectives of vacation rental clients. Sue’s innovative approach to HR and extensive experience encompasses businesses of all sizes in multiple industries. When addressing the needs of her clients, Sue is especially skilled at transferring her knowledge, skills and abilities across business channels in a personable manner. Sue is a veteran of the U.S. Navy, holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Northeastern University, and is both SHRM-SCP and SPHR certified.
LISA JURINKA VACASA
Lisa Jurinka joined Vacasa as the company’s first chief legal officer. Lisa oversees global legal affairs for Vacasa, helping the company scale effectively. Bringing expertise in IPO readiness, strategic transactions and mergers, and acquisitions, she has built her career providing legal guidance for high-growth technology companies. Lisa began her legal career at Sullivan & Cromwell LLP and has a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School.
KARA KACMARCIK BLUETENT
Kara has over 19 years of marketing and operational experience within the vacation rental industry. Having insight and experience with property management systems, lead tracking tools, and all things marketing, Kara works with Bluetent’s large clients to integrate these diverse components so they all work together. Kara coordinates multi-channel strategies that leverage each client’s unique voice and message, helping them increase website traffic and strengthen brand loyalty.
MELISSA KIVETT BOOKING.COM
Melissa is Booking.com’s connectivity area manager Americas. Melissa started her career in finance but quickly moved over to hospitality, working for Starwood and Hilton brands. Her passion for making the guest experience a truly unforgettable one brought her to Booking. com, where she helped oversee the expansion of the Southeast U.S. markets and opened multiple offices across this region. She now spearheads the connectivity team for the Americas and is looking forward to continuing to bridge the gap to help guest experience the world.
LISA LELAS SPEAKS As an entrepreneur in business and in the arts, Lisa shares her unique tips for success through her bestselling books, magazine and newspaper columns, speaking presentations, workshops, webinars, and live retreats. Lisa has successfully melded her various fields of expertise into one business arena: As a goal strategist, Lisa assists with personal and business productivity via organizational leadership, strategic planning meetings, marketing, and unique time management and space organizing principles, bucket list goal setting via vision boards and law of attraction strategies, book coaching via effective writing and publishing strategies and post-publication media bookings (see Lisa’s Bestseller Bootcamp writing workshops), and performance skills through drama and presentation coaching. As a former NYC casting director, let Lisa help cast you in the life role you were meant to live! Lisa’s mission is to get your life or business “un-stuck” and ignite your passion, inspire you to reach your goals, and motivate you to keep moving forward!
COCONUT CONDOS Angela Leone is the owner and CEO of Coconut Condos, a vacation rental management company on the beautiful island of Maui founded in 2011. She and her team manage 60 vacation rentals across West Maui. After spending ten years as a bilingual speech pathologist working with children in California, Hawaii, and Colorado, Leone has brought her passion for making a difference in the world to the core of Coconut Condos and thrives on using her business to effect change in her community and her world. She loves reading, writing, traveling, surfing, and spending days at the beach with her husband, two sons and their dog, Wrigley.
CHRISTA LEVESQUE BOOKING.COM
As Booking.com’s NORAM booking home manager, Christa is responsible for the partner facing organization and growth for homes, apartments, and other unique accommodations at Booking.com for North America. Christa graduated from Florida State University in 2001 and
SPEAKER BIOS found her way to Booking.com in 2008. Christa’s love and passion for travel has allowed her to be a part of an organization with a mission that empowers people to experience the world.
TALIA LOCKARD RENTED.COM
Talia has worked in the vacation rental industry over the last seven years. She began her career at HomeAway, fulfilling all levels of sales positions, until she was promoted to property management team lead. Here she led the pilot program converting the sales team from transactional to consultative services. Her success led HomeAway to promote Talia to manager of the owner team where she again transitioned this core team from transactional to consultative sales. She most recently joined Rented, applying this skill set. She works directly with property managers throughout the US, guiding them on the power of Rented Capital, where they can offer owners guaranteed income.
TYANN MARCINK VR MASTERED
My favorite adventures took me down the face of a slippery cliff off the Na Pali Coast in Kauai and into a secret cave with 20 sleeping sea turtles, dangled my feet from the edge of the Waimea Canyon, and kayaked into the bioluminescence in Grand Cayman. I am co-creator of VR Mastered vacation rental boot camp for hosts and the worldwide community ambassador for Touch Stay digital welcome books. I also teach in the vacation rental niche to photographers and create smart marketing content for owners and managers through my Natty Media brand. My passion for photography and the vacation rental industry truly makes my eyes sparkle, and I love speaking on photography and the guest experience at vacation rental conferences. Follow my adventures, photography tips, and vacation rental insights on my social media @ tyannmarcink.
MICHELLE MARQUIS LEXICON TRAVEL
Michelle’s 27 years in hospitality and her experience in the DMO, hotel, resort, and vacation rental industries gives her a unique perspective on how to effect growth. She has consulted with hundreds of hospitality teams to unite sales, marketing, eCommerce/distribution, revenue management, and branding toward one goal. Michelle’s passion is developing people, processes, and systems geared to drive revenue and profit, and she enjoys sharing her strategies and ideas with peers. She has presented at Cornell University and several events including HSMAI, VRMA, The Digital Strategy Conference, RezFest, Revenue Optimization Conference, Preferred Hotels & Resorts, Google Travel Summit, and VRM Intel Live! to name a few.
TONY MELILLO CBIZ
Tony Melillo is the Sales Manager at the CBIZ Vacation Rental Insurance Program. He has over five years managing the day-to-day sales operations. When he is not busy educating the country on why a specialized insurance policy is necessary when running a vacation rental business, he finds himself spending time with his family in lovely Bozeman, MT.
MEAGHAN MOYLAN 360 BLUE
Meaghan is currently the director of revenue at 360 Blue where she runs a team managing a portfolio of 570 luxury properties that generate
SPEAKER BIOS in excess of $60 million annually. After graduating from Florida State University with a degree in Political Science, Meaghan joined 360 Blue’s reservation team, and quickly rose through the ranks to manage revenue company wide. Meaghan has been integrally involved in shaping the Key Data product to meet the needs of today’s revenue managers, and she recently achieved her certification in Hotel Revenue Management from Cornell University. In her spare time, she can be found reading a good book with her two rescue dogs.
KASTURI MUDULODU YAPSTONE
Kasturi Mudulodu is responsible for Yapstone’s Core Payments product strategy and roadmap, with a focus on the company’s fraud and risk management capabilities. She comes to Yapstone with over a decade of experience in the payments industry. Most recently, Kasturi served as VP of product management and global risk for Vantiv, where she led a cross-functional team in the build of a brand-new product – PayFac, a payment processing platform for small merchants. Under Kasturi’s guidance, PayFac became Vantiv’s largest organically grown business with annual growth rates in the triple digits. Prior to Vantiv, Kasturi led software engineering at Litle & Co., an enterprise CNP processor acquired by Vantiv. Kasturi holds Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Computer Science from Northeastern University.
ERICA MULLER VROLIO
Erica Muller is the founder and CEO of Vrolio, a vacation rental real estate marketplace and networking platform, and co-founder of the Certified Vacation Rental Agent network, vacation rental sales training for real estate agents. She started out in the vacation rental investment niche in 2008 in Orlando, Florida, and founded The Flamingo Group, a boutique real estate group catering to vacation rental investors from all over the world. Erica has sold over $36 million in strictly vacation rental sales and consulted and worked with upwards of 300 vacation rental investors. She has made it her sole purpose to bridge the gap in the vacation rental and real estate worlds and hopes to accomplish this with Vrolio. Outside of her real estate, tech, and educational ventures, she is also a real estate investor holding a private portfolio of over 18 properties in Florida and Georgia.
KORYN OKEY BREEZEWAY
Koryn Okey is dedicated to creating long-lasting relationships with her clients and driving awareness to the vacation rental industry. In 2017, she joined the Breezeway team as VP of sales to introduce their property care and operations software to help property managers improve back-office operations. Koryn got her start in VR in 2008 at FlipKey, as part of the team who brought guest reviews to the industry. While Koryn calls Boston home, if she’s not at a VR conference or visiting clients in-market, you can often find her on the beaches of St. John or enjoying a nice glass of wine in Napa.
JOSH PARRY CiiRUS
Son of the co-founder of CiiRUS, Josh has been immersed in the vacation rental marketing and tech space from a young age. As chief communications officer, he hosts daily tech consultations with vacation rental managers around the world, from coast-to-coast, in the US to Australia and everywhere in between. He has developed an expert understanding of the most discerning VRM’s ever-changing needs, and
seeks to guide them towards growth through platform adoption. In his time outside of work, Josh is an avid academic, continuing higher education at UCF in Orlando. He most enjoys spending time and reenergizing with his wife and three fur-children.
THE PRINZ LAW FIRM Kristen Prinz is an employment lawyer, business counselor, and founder of the Prinz Law Firm. She helps protect businesses from liability in recruiting, hiring, onboarding, assessing, and separating employees. She has litigated employment law matters before state and federal courts and agencies including the Illinois Department of Human Rights and the Cook County Human Rights Commission. She’s involved with many professional and philanthropic organizations, including the YWCA, the National Sleep Foundation, The International Women’s Forum, and the Economic Club of Chicago. Kristen has been recognized as “One of the Most Influential Women Lawyers” by Crain’s Chicago Business.
SAND ‘N SEA PROPERTIES Claire Reiswerg moved back to Texas in 2003, relocating from Los Angeles where she had worked as a television producer for over 25 years. She joined Sand ‘N Sea Properties, her family’s real estate and vacation rental company, in 2004. Today, Claire is a co-owner of the company along with her mother, Bert, and her sister, Anne. She oversees administration, marketing and technology, reservation sales, real estate sales, and community relations and advocacy. Claire has participated in many boards and committees over the years, and currently she is president and founder of GARM (Galveston Association of Rental Managers); board member, GHLA (Galveston Hotel & Lodging Association); and member of the TDAC (Tourism Development Advisory Committee), the Galveston Island Visitor Assessment Committee, and the VRMA Government Affairs Committee. Past community involvement includes: founder and member, Beach Maintenance Advisory Committee; member/co-chair, VRMA Leadership Development Committee; board member, Galveston Chamber of Commerce. In addition, Claire was instrumental in the passage of Galveston’s vacation rental ordinance, which is viewed as a model for many communities.
TAYLOR-MADE DEEP CREEK VACATIONS With a 20-year background in the vacation rental industry, Jodi has experience in almost every facet of the business. Along with her husband, Joe, and her brother, Chad Taylor, she owns Taylor-Made Deep Creek Vacations & Sales. Over the past decade, they have grown their portfolio of homes to include more than 400 vacation rentals and 125 non-renting homes. She oversees the reservations, owner relations, and marketing teams and on-boards all new homeowners. Currently, Jodi is the president of the VRMA board of directors. She also served one year as president-elect and three years as secretary. Her commitment to the association and the industry is evident through her work as chair of the education committee, participation in the membership committee, and active involvement as a presenter. When she is not in the office, you can find her enjoying the outdoors with family and friends or volunteering with local charities that are close to her heart.
REDAWNING GROUP Heather is the chief marketing officer at RedAwning. Her specialties include revenue management, GDS and CRS, and online marketing. Richer
is the former vice president of revenue management and distribution at the first boutique hotel and restaurant company in the United States, the award-winning Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants. She joined RedAwning’s executive team in leading RedAwning through rapid international and national expansion of its property portfolio, and continuing RedAwning’s drive to bring the trust, ease and convenience of hotel-style booking and services to the largest single network of vacation homes and apartments worldwide. In addition to serving on the HSMAI revenue management advisory board, she also holds her Master’s Degree in Tourism Administration from the George Washington University School of Business.
OAK ISLAND ACCOMMODATIONS Melaney is vice president of Oak Island Accommodations and oversees its marketing department. Oak Island Accommodations is a family run vacation rental company with over 550 properties oceanfront to soundside, and the company is celebrating over 25 years in business. Melaney also the VRM director on the VRMA board of directors.
CHRISTINE SABA NOISEAWARE
Christine Saba is head of growth at NoiseAware, currently leading all customer experience initiatives and operations with her growing team. Christine has always been passionate about experiences and travel which first brought her into the vacation rental industry. She started her own vacation rental company, LuxeBae, back in 2015, and later met the founders of NoiseAware. She has worked for only startups her entire career helping take an idea and shape it into a trusted brand for consumers. Christine holds a Bachelor’s Degree in marketing from James Madison University. She currently lives in Dallas, Texas, and outside of work or discovering the next best place to travel, you’ll find her boxing.
RED SKY TRAVEL INSURANCE Laird Sager is a 40-year resident of the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Laird has spent his entire working career in the Outer Banks vacation rental industry as a banker, a real estate broker and developer, a general contractor, and an insurance provider. Laird and his team just celebrated their 10th anniversary as travel insurance providers to the vacation rental industry in 2018.
WHITNEY SLOANE SAULS
SLOANE REALTY VACATIONS Whitney is the general manager of Sloane Realty Vacations. Sloane Realty Vacations prides itself on being a third-generation family business that has been the leader of real estate in the South Brunswick Islands for 50 years. Started by George A. Sloane II and VRWS pioneer award winner Rae Sloane Cox in 1955 and followed by their children George “Tripp” A. Sloane III and Debbie Sloane Smith, Sloane Realty Vacations now manages over 500 vacation rental homes, condos, and golf villas on Ocean Isle Beach and surrounding golf courses. In 2009, Sloane Realty Vacations opened its doors on Sunset Beach, NC and now manages vacation homes on Sunset Beach, NC. Whitney has worked with the company since 2001. She holds a degree in business administration and hospitality from the College of Charleston.
CAROLE SHAROFF Atlantic Vacation Homes
Carole Sharoff is a woman who likes to make connections. Almost thirty-five years ago, Carole owned an antiques shop in the Lanesville
SPEAKER BIOS neighborhood of Gloucester and sometimes visitors would stop in for a chat and ask if she knew of any summer homes for rent in the area. Usually, she did. And from there she built a fledgling small business called Atlantic Vacation Homes. With a large inventory of properties between Plum Island and Beverly, MA, Atlantic Vacation Homes is now part of the booming vacation rental industry, connecting visitors to the Cape Ann and the North Shore from all over the globe. Atlantic Vacation Homes operates today as a division of AVH Realty, Inc., a residential real estate brokerage.
TAMMI SIMS PROPERLY
Tammi’s introduction to vacation rentals came at the tender age of five while she watched in wonder as her grandparents operated a small lakeside resort in Prairie Lake, Wisconsin. Years later, Tammi entered the vacation rental industry as a short-term rental host and her career took a sharp detour head first into VR. She is passionate about hospitality and building a community of owners, managers, and service providers that collectively work to provide transformative hospitality and memorable guest experiences—every time. She believes this starts with a foundation of a love of the industry, impeccable operating processes and the best people to make it happen. In addition to being a full-time vacation rental owner and operator, Tammi is the VP of customer at Properly—a game changing two-inone solution for managing housekeeping/maintenance operations offering owners and property managers both software and a marketplace of experienced hospitality service providers. Tammi has had the privilege of being an industry speaker with engagements, including a keynote at Airbnb Open in Los Angeles to an audience of over 1,000, Vacation Rental Success Summit, Vacation Rental World Summit, and VRMA. Tammi has also been a guest on industry webinars and podcasts.
DEBBIE SLOANE SMITH
SLOANE REALTY VACATIONS Debbie’s parents began Sloane Realty, a real estate and vacation rental company, in 1955. After attending UNC Chapel Hill, Debbie returned to Ocean Isle Beach in 1972 and began her career. Today, Debbie and her brother, Tripp Sloane, co-own and operate Sloane Realty Vacations, Coldwell Banker Sloane Realty, Ocean Isle Inn, and Jinks Creek Waterfront Grille. In 1983, Debbie was elected as a town commissioner for the town of Ocean Isle Beach, NC. Debbie served for 18 years as a town commissioner. In 2003, Debbie was elected mayor of Ocean Isle Beach and continues to serve as Mayor for the past 15 years. Debbie has devoted much of her mayoral reign to coastal preservation. She has been instrumental in the lobbying and legalization of terminal groins in NC and has served as past chair of NC Beach, Inlet and Waterway Association and currently serves on the NC Coastal Resources Advisory Council. Debbie has also been actively involved in her community serving as: - Past vice president South Brunswick Island Chamber of Commerce - Past trustee of Brunswick Hospital - Distinguished Woman of the Year Hope Harbor - Served the Brunswick County Tourism Authority - Founding director and secretary of the North Carolina Vacation Rental Managers Association
SPEAKER BIOS HEIDI STUBER
SEA TO SKY RENTALS Heidi is the strategic director at Sea to Sky Rentals in Seattle, Washington, where she oversees strategic planning, team management, finance, and acquisitions. She has over 15 years’ experience in business leadership with a focus on organizational change, as well as an MBA from Seattle University. Heidi is passionate about building sustained growth and profitability by empowering shared leadership with a team of smart, capable people. She is also quite proud of her extensive collection of spreadsheets. Outside of work, you can find Heidi writing about redheads and raising awareness about neurodiversity.
SAY NO TO VRBO SERVICE FEE Annie is a vacation rental owner with properties in Bethany Beach, Delaware, and Chincoteague Island, Virginia. She is the co-admin of Say No to VRBO Service Fee Facebook group and sits on the AVROA (Association of Vacation Rental Operators and Affiliates) board of directors, chairman membership, and marketing committee. She has spent 13 years in the vacation rental business. Prior to starting her vacation rental business, she worked in employee benefits consulting as a retirement plans actuary for 14 years. Her degree is in mathematics. She loves the vacation rental business because she can use her finance background as well as her client relationship skills from consulting. She lives in Bethesda, Maryland, with her family. Her hobbies include spending time with her two daughters, travel, running, refinishing/restoring furniture, classical piano, and art.
STREAMLINE VRS Betsy joined Streamline VRS in 2017 as strategic client liaison and trust account specialist. Starting her career as a property manager on the Outer Banks in the early ‘80s, she worked for several very large and respected companies and was involved in multiple community organizations. Chosen to be a committee member by Emmett Smith of the NCREC, she worked with local leaders to help write the legislation for the NCREC trust guidelines for vacation rentals. Changing direction in 2003, she went to work for Instant Software where she used her extensive knowledge of the vacation industry to focus on installation and training for the PropertyPlus software. She continued this with the HomeAway acquisition focusing on moving PropertyPlus customers to V12. Being a former user of PropertyPlus and industry knowledge of working with these customers for over 14 years gives her a unique skill set to confidently move customers through the implementation and training process. A regular speaker and trainer at Rezfest for the past 13 years, she loves the relationships she has built over her career and most enjoys working with her clients.
editor for a number of travel trade publications for more than a decade, including Successful Meetings, Incentive, Travel Agent, Luxury Travel Advisor, and TravelAge West. Her writing has earned her a number of awards, including accolades from the Jesse H. Neal Awards, Azbees, FOLIO: Eddie Awards, and the North American Travel Journalists Association. In 2017, she wrote a comprehensive 60,000-word oral history of boutique hotels for Skift. She is a graduate of UCLA, with a degree in American Literature & Culture.
SUSAN TORMOLLEN HOMEAWAY
Susan believes marketing magic happens at the crossroads of thoughtful branding, passion for customers, great product development, and data-driven decision making. With over two decades guiding technology companies in business and marketing strategy, Susan is most proud of being a leader at growing companies, both small and large, that bravely introduce innovative solutions and make the world more interesting. Susan is a thinker, a builder, and a serial marketer. She fell in love with the travel industry shortly after joining HomeAway Software in 2016 as director of marketing. When Susan isn’t brainstorming entrepreneurial ideas, she is enthusiastically planning an upcoming vacation, perfecting the perfect grilling technique, or preparing for her upcoming “empty nest.”
MEGAN UELAND CBIZ
Megan Ueland is an insurance sales professional with CBIZ Insurance Services, Inc. She has specialized in the vacation rental insurance industry since 2012. Over the past seven years she has educated and helped thousands of clients in the process of securing the correct coverage for their short-term rental businesses. When she isn’t in the office, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two small children, adventuring in the great outdoors of Montana.
JESSICA VOZEL GUEST HOOK
Jessica is a copywriting and content strategist who has worked specifically in the vacation rental industry for the last five years (and worked in academia before that). She is a partner at The Distinguished Guest and co-founder at Guest Hook, where she develops brand/content strategy and copywriting for vacation rental owners, managers and industry vendors.
VACATION RENTAL COACH
With degrees in Communication Arts and Emergent Digital Practices, Jinnie has worked in many areas of the digital world including project management, web design and development, content marketing, SEO, social, email, and overall digital strategy. Jinnie loves sharing her passion for digital technology with every client she has the opportunity to work with.
Heather is a business transformation consultant, focused on helping vacation rental managers develop a strong and productive team, build and improve business processes, manage change, align service areas, build capabilities, and improve operations. With a passion for hospitality and the vacation rental industry, Heather works with vacation rental managers as a mentor, helping them take their business to the next level. Heather owned and operated Southern California Vacation Rentals, one of San Diego’s leading vacation rental companies, for over 14 years before selling the business and transitioning ownership in 2014.
Deanna Ting is the Senior Hospitality Editor at Skift—the travel industry’s leading intelligence platform. Prior to joining Skift, she has been an
Kimberly White joined Vacasa in December 2010 as employee number three. Since then, Kimberly has held numerous positions at the compa-
JINNIE TEMPLIN BLUETENT
ny and has been an integral player in building the Vacasa business. She received her B.A. in Interior Design from the Art Institute of Portland, and her design expertise has become an integral part of Vacasa’s home onboarding and home renovation processes. Kimberly now oversees the recently launched Vacasa’s interior design program. She received Portland Business Journal’s prestigious 40 Under 40 award in 2015.
ATLANTIC VACATION HOMES Michelle Williams is the general manager of Atlantic Vacation Homes in Gloucester, Massachusetts. Michelle joined the vacation rental industry in 2015 after spending nearly two decades as a digital consultant, specializing in user experience strategy and design. She is currently on the board of directors of the Vacation Rental Housekeeping Professionals and also sits on the board of Discover Gloucester, a regional destination marketing organization. Michelle holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Yale University.
VISIT UP NORTH VACATION RENTALS Teresa Woods started in the vacation rental business at 15 cleaning and taking reservations for the family business, Harris Properties. After going to college and then managing a miniature golf course and game room in Florida for seven years, she moved back to Michigan. In 1992, she started in real estate. In 1995 she joined the family business as a manager, and in 2005, she became the owner and changed the name to Visit Up North Vacation Rentals. Teresa has been a member of the VRMA since 1996 and missed only two national conferences due to the birth of her two sons in March and April. She is served on the governmental affairs committee for the last three years and is also been on several local panels for government issues on vacation rentals in both Leland and county and Traverse City. Her company is the largest in the area and very well respected as they care about the community they are in as well as the people in it.
ASCENT PROCESSING Dawn Yeskulsky is vice president for Ascent Processing Inc. Ascent Processing is a woman-owned fintech company that has been focused on the lodging and vacation rental industries for more than 20 years. Her 20+ year career within the lodging and VR industry started immediately after college with Paragon Group Properties in Tampa, Florida, where she ended up managing over 200 units in the Tampa Bay area. In 1996, Dawn left Paragon Group and spent the next 14 years as director of sales and marketing for vacation rental software provider, Rental Network Software Corp. In 2010, she joined Ascent and has served as director of sales and business development and now as vice president-business development and partner programming, where she heads up the growth and expansion path for Ascent. Dawn also serves as the only woman on the board of directors and as treasurer for the national OPMA (Onsite Property Managers Assoc.) Her expansive technical background, coupled with her lodging and payments experience, make her a called-upon industry speaker and educator who can be found lecturing on various lodging, security and payments topics throughout the year. She resides in San Clemente, California, with her husband, 12-year-old twin girls, and 7-year-old son.
KIGO, A REALPAGE COMPANY Hannah Zarley is the VP of Operations for Kigo, the trusted global platform for vacation rental managers and a division of RealPage, Inc.
SPEAKER BIOS Hannah is charged with optimizing business efficiency and driving new operational excellence initiatives for all Kigo products and services. Under her leadership the operations team will primarily focus on margin expansion, scalability, and improving internal/external communications globally. In her previous role as VP of product management, Hannah oversaw product development and strategic vision for Kigo products. Prior to that Hannah served as senior product manager for RealPage’s Contact Center solution, where she managed the complete product lifecycle. Hannah combines ten years of experience in the multifamily and vacation rental space, pushing the products and the business to new heights. Hannah consistently strives for excellence in all aspects of her career and is a proven thought leader in the space.
AMBER LETO NAVIS
The combination of a rapidly evolving marketplace and a growing list of innovative solutions mandates someone watch our roadmap closely. Understanding market and use trends, identifying and prioritizing product requirements, and defining the user experience are the responsibility of Amber and her team of Product Managers. Before joining NAVIS, Amber held executive leadership positions at The St. Joe Company, Wyndham Vacation Rentals, Instant Software (now HomeAway), and was the co-creator of TravelStorm. She also brings valuable hands-on experience, having served as Director of Rental Management for Seascape Resorts where she was directly responsible for the Resort Vacation Rental Division.
VACATION RENTAL SOFTWARE
Offer your guests the most comprehensive destination specific travel insurance available in the Vacation Rental Management Industry.
866.549.5283 redskyinsurance.com Coverage is underwritten by Arch Insurance Company (a Missouri corporation, NAIC #11150) with executive offices located in New York, NY. Not all insurance products or coverage are available in all jurisdictions. Coverage is subject to actual policy language.