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Hospitality Experience

22nd Annual Hospitality Symposium Speakers

The Yin and Yang of Social Media and Hospitality


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Michael Tchong   Michael Tchong

Throughout his career Michael Tchong has ridden the latest waves, including desktop publishing, personal information management, internet research and online marketing.

A change management consultant, Michael motivates and inspires audiences by exploring innovative products and services that successfully leverage emerging trends.

Michael is the author of Social Engagement Marketing, which provides an easy-to-navigate overview of the rapidly changing world of social media.

Craig Harrison    Craig Harrison, Expressions of Excellence

At eleven years old Craig Harrison went door-to-door in Berkeley selling Used Jokes. He has sold everything from jewelry to joke-books to biscuits-in-a-basket since.  As a professional speaker and founder of Expressions of Excellence!™, Craig deploys "The Tao of Networking" to help others succeed. Whether helping professionals craft elevator speeches, or using storytelling to sell or take the chill out of cold calls, clients including Hilton Hotels, SGMP, MPI and NACE, all excel. He is the author of five books and three tips booklets. His elevator speeches booklet has even inspired a week’s worth of panels in the comic strip Sally Forth


Michelle Millar   Michelle Millar Ph.D., , Assistant Professor, University of San Francisco

Michelle is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Hospitality Management at the University of San Francisco. Her research areas include consumer behavior, in particular the wants and desires of travelers when selecting accommodations or tourism destinations, and why they make the decisions they do.  Michelle is also interested in how hotels relate to and work within the environment, and how we can make companies more environmentally friendly.   Her research has been published in the Cornell Hospitality Quarterly, Journal of Travel Research, Journal of Hospitality Marketing and Management, and Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Education.  She has also presented her research at hospitality conferences throughout the world, and is a contributing writer for the Hotel Business Review. 


Panel Discussion - To Use Social Media or Not, That is the Question

JP Allen   J.P. Allen, Ph.D., Associate Professor, University of San Francisco

J.P. Allen is an Associate Professor of Information Systems at the School of Management, University of San Francisco.  J.P. studies how digital technology is transforming business, particularly in the areas of online/internet business and open technology.  He's currently the web editor for the International Journal of Electronic Commerce, and an editorial board member of the Journal of Information Technology.  J.P. grew up flying on his parents' Saudi Arabian Airlines employee passes, and recently completed a 14-month, 20-nation round-the-world trip with only carry-on luggage.

Lucas Schumacher   Lucas Schumacher, Online Marketing Manager, Fairmont

Lucas Schumacher currently serves as Online Marketing Manager at The Fairmont San Francisco & Fairmont Newport Beach.  In addition to managing paid and organic search marketing efforts, he is also responsible for social media marketing.  This includes strategy and execution of social media efforts.  He earned his MBA in Marketing from University of San Francisco. 

Michelle Heston
  Michelle Heston, Regional Director PR, Fairmont Hotels and Resorts

Michelle Heston currently serves as the Regional Director of Public Relations for Fairmont Hotels & Resorts.  In this role she oversees the marketing communication and public relations efforts for eight luxury holdings in the western US and Hawaii.  In addition to media outreach, advertising and brand communication activities, she is responsible for exploring, cultivating and leveraging cross marketing relationships for the brand. She proudly spearheads Fairmont's “green” marketing efforts.  

She has earned an MBA and regularly lectures  in the areas of marketing, public relations, advertising and social media.

Tim Stannard   Tim Stannard, Founding Partner, Bacchus Management

As the Founding Partner of Bacchus Management Group, Tim Stannard oversees a collection of thriving restaurants, including the Michelin-starred restaurants Spruce in San Francisco and The Village Pub in Woodside; Café des Amis in San Francisco; Mayfield Bakery & Cafe in Palo Alto, and four Pizza Antica locations (Lafayette, Mill Valley, San Jose, Santa Monica). In 2008, he launched Roast Coffee Company, an artisanal coffee roasting company offering single origin and estate coffee beans from around the globe. . 

A long-time proponent of the local food movement, Stannard’s restaurants take their food philosophy one step further through a partnership with SMIP Ranch, located in the hills above Woodside. Approximately 80 percent of Bacchus’ restaurant produce comes directly from five acres of the ranch’s land, all of which is grown without the use of synthetic pesticides, herbicides, or fertilizers.  

Dan Rosenbaum   Dan Rosenbaum, Manager, Visitor Experience Marketing, San Francisco Travel

Well before social media was coined, Dan Rosenbaum was in charge of many social media pages for brands in the music, TV and Movie industries. Since moving to San Francisco over a year ago, Dan has been working for San Francisco Travel as the Manager of  Visitor Experience Marketing. In this role he is in charge of the San Francisco Facebook page and the OnlyInSF Twitter page, which hopefully many of you are following. On the weekends, you can find Dan exploring all of San Francisco on his road bike or checking out many of the great restaurants, bars and public spaces that make up the city.

Andrew Freeman   Andrew Freeman, President, Andrew Freeman & Co.

Andrew Freeman leads a talented team of creative professionals at Andrew Freeman & Co., a high-energy hospitality consulting agency with offices in San Francisco and New York. Prior to opening his consultancy in 2005, he worked at legendary New York venues, including Windows on the World, where he was Vice President of Public Relations and Marketing, and the Russian Tea Room, where he opened the Cabaret. He spent six years as Vice President of Public Relations for the Rainbow Room, working with restaurant legend Joe Baum. Andrew left New York to become Director of Restaurant Marketing for Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants in San Francisco. Promoted to Vice President of Public Relations and Strategic Partnerships, he launched more than 40 hotels and restaurants as well as the global brand during his 10 years there. Now, with his own company, Andrew is proud to have had the opportunity to work with: Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants, David Burke Restaurants, the Golden Gate Restaurant Association/SF Chefs, the French Culinary Institute, Marriott Hotels International, Wente Vineyards, the Palm Restaurant Group, Domaine Chandon, Magnolia Bakery and top hotels and restaurants around the country. Andrew was selected in 2010 by Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International as one of the Top 25 Most Extraordinary Minds in Sales and Marketing.


Panel Discussion:  Social Media and Hospitality:  BFFs?

Sun-Young Park   Sun-Young Park, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, University of San Francisco

Sun-Young Park is an Assistant Professor at the School of Management of University of San Francisco. She conducts research and teaches courses on sustainable business models and strategic service management and marketing.

She taught at University of Hawaii at Manoa and Texas A&M University. While pursuing her Ph.D., she produced reports that evaluated the Texas State agencies' marketing programs including tourism marketing. She was a management consultant at a multinational firm, working with various firms and national government agencies in Asia Pacific and the U.S. on strategy, knowledge management, and national/regional tourism destination marketing.

Jim Abrams   Jim Abrams, Member Legal Advisor for the California Hotel & Lodging Association

Mr. Abrams served as the President and CEO of the California Hotel & Lodging Association from January 1, 1991, through December 31, 2008.  Prior to that, he was engaged in the private practice of law in San Francisco for 20 years, and he was legal counsel to the Association for much of that time.

He has also represented numerous owners and operators of hotels, inns, and other lodging establishments of all types on a wide variety of legal, governmental, and operational issues.  He is the author of the book Laws Pertaining to the California Innkeeper (3rd rev. ed., 2002), which is published by the California Hotel & Lodging Association.

Richard Waters   Richard D. Waters, Ph.D. - Assistant Professor, University of San Francisco

Richard D. Waters (Ph.D., University of Florida) is an Assistant Professor in the School of Management at the University of San Francisco, where he teaches marketing and public relations, fundraising, and nonprofit organization management. His research interests include relationship management between organizations and stakeholders and the use of Web 2.0 technologies by nonprofit organizations. He is a former fundraising practitioner and current consultant to Fortune 500 and Philanthropy 400 organizations throughout the United States. In addition to serving on the editorial board of four strategic communication research journals, he is the Associate Editor of Case Studies in Strategic Communication.  He has published more than 45 research articles and book chapters on nonprofit management and public relations topics.

Rebecca Meissner   Rebecca Meissner - Director of Product, BranchOut

Rebecca is the Head of Product at BranchOut, the largest professional network on Facebook. At BranchOut, Rebecca leads both the Facebook consumer product, as well as all enterprise offerings, including RecruiterConnect, CareerConnect, and Social Jobs. She brings recruiting, HR, sales, and Facebook platform experience to the product and team. She also manages the team's HR and recruiting efforts.  Prior to joining BranchOut, Rebecca worked as a Product Manager for Disney Interactive Media Group, as an HR Business Partner for Playdom, and as a headhunter for a number of VCs, private equity firms, and investment banks in San Francisco. She studied and earned her degree from Boston University and the University of California - Berkeley, where she was a member of a two time national championship winning women's crew team.

Steve McElfresh Main   Stephen B. McElfresh, Ph.D., SPHR, Principal and Founder, HR Futures

The Principal and founder of HR Futures®, Dr. Stephen McElfresh, was previously the President and CEO of Saratoga Institute. Through HR Futures, Dr. McElfresh provides executive coaching, strategy planning, HR programs and keynote presentations to executive, industry and professional groups. He is certified by SHRM as a Senior Human Resource Professional (SPHR), was a charter member of the SHRM national panel for Human Capital Measurement and HR Metrics, and is a member of the Investor Metrics Workgroup of SHRM.

Dr. McElfresh has taught at the Boston College School of Management and the University of Massachusetts and has served on the Boards of Directors or Advisory Boards of Palo Alto University, Forensic Expert Witness Association, and the Bay Area Organizational Development Network. Dr. McElfresh earned a Ph.D. in organizational psychology from Boston College and a JD from the Santa Clara University School of Law.