Simon Lehmann is a world leading expert and opinion leader in the online travel industry. He began his global business career in the logistics and supply chain industry. Afterward, Lehmann moved into the world of airlines and ground handling before ending up in the travel industry.
Lehmann’s main area of focus has been in the private accommodation and vacation rental space. He served as CEO to one of the world’s largest vacation rental companies and was a board member of HomeAway. He holds a BBA from the GSBA, Zurich, with a focus on sales and marketing. Before founding his consulting company, Lehmann served as the CEO to the world’s most respected online travel research and conference company, Phocuswright. In addition to his corporate career, he became a serial angel investor in various online travel startups with an emphasis on short-term rentals and online travel. Lehmann continues to sit on a number of boards in various industries. Some of his passions include inspiring and leading teams and developing and executing strategies which he has translated into public speaking. Lehmann presents for digital travel, vacation rental, and network conferences all around the world. As a public speaker, Lehmann is highly-regarded, vibrant, emotional and authentic, and his wealth of know-how has allowed him to wrap his speaking content with the experiences he has made throughout his career.
John is the Co-founder and Executive Chairman of TurnKey Vacation Rentals. He is a travel and technology professional with experience at HomeAway, BedandBreakfast.com, Expedia, Hotwire, Accenture, KLM and Northwest Airlines.
Ben Edwards is the President of Weatherby Consulting, a company which 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.
As a respected and innovative industry leader, Ben Edwards has been positively affecting the real estate and vacation rental industries for more than 19 years. From managing small resorts, to financial and operational auditing, to opening large scale resort developments, Edwards’s unique background provides a multi-level approach to consulting, transaction and advisory services.
Based in Palo Alto, CA, Tregaron Capital is a private equity firm investing equity and mezzanine debt out of a $100 million fund. Tregaron specializes in partnering owners and executives of small to mid-sized companies looking to further scale their businesses. JR is the founder of Tregaron and serves as a Managing Director of the firm. He has been performing successful buyouts for nearly 20 years, as both an executive and investor. While in his twenties, he led the buy-out of a group of East Coast wholesale, retail and real estate companies. Over 10 years, he grew the companies to over $80 million in revenue and 300 employees and successfully exited through a strategic sale.
As an investor, JR focuses on buyouts and growth opportunities. Before founding Tregaron, he invested actively as both a venture capital and private equity investor focused on niche companies in a variety of industries. JR, a native of West Virginia received a BSE in Electrical Engineering from Duke University with Phi Beta Kappa, summa cum laude honors and Distinction and an MBA from Harvard Business School. He currently serves on the Duke University Pratt School of Engineering Board of Visitors.
Jim is CEO of C2G Advisors, LLC, a strategic consulting firm specializing in all facets of the hospitality industry, with special emphasis on short-term rentals and resort activities, he has been a leader in the hospitality, resort real estate, and development industries since the 1980s. The company also has a robust M&A operation, and has been responsible for more M&A deals within the vacation rental industry than anyone else in history. Jim provides litigation consulting in the areas of hospitality and business economic loss.
Previously, Jim was Managing Partner of The Sterling Companies, LLC, the President and CEO of ResortQuest International, and the President and CEO of Abbott Resorts and Abbott Realty.
Prior to joining Abbott Resorts, he served in various capacities within the tourism and economic development fields in Florida, beginning with the Florida Department of Commerce. Jim is a licensed real estate broker in Florida, Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee, and has been appointed to numerous State level committees and task forces by previous Florida Governors and Secretaries of Commerce. Jim is a member of both the prestigious Counselors of Real Estate (CRE), and the Council of Real Estate Broker Managers (CRB) – he is one of only 8 persons currently invited to membership in both organizations simultaneously. Jim also has certifications from the National Association of Realtors as a Resort and Second Home Property Specialist (RSPS), and a Senior Real Estate Specialist (SRES). He is also a Certified Negotiations Expert (CNE), and a Fellow with the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors. Jim currently sits on the Board of Directors of Key Data Dashboard, and Board of Advisors for Host Compliance. Olin is a former Research and Statistics Instructor at the University of Phoenix, and holds a Masters Degree from Florida State University. He is also a founding Board Member of the Onsite Property Managers Association (OPMA) and is a frequent speaker at the Vacation Rental Managers Association (VRMA) National Conference.
Co-Founder, Padre Escapes
Jeremy is one of the four original pioneers of Padre Escapes. He is the primary contact for property owners, he also handles marketing, technology, data management, and works closely with the rest of the team on day-to-day operations.
Jeremy is a native of the Corpus Christi area. In 2004 he attained his degree in Marketing from Texas A&M University at Corpus Christi. He lives on North Padre Island with his wife Lauren and their two kids, Cooper (6) and McKinley (3). Jeremy and his family have a passion for the outdoors, in the slower season you’ll usually find them fishing, surfing, hiking, or camping.
Alisa Justice is a Senior Sales Executive at Bluetent with more than 16 years of experience in the vacation rental industry. Alisa began her career in the vacation rental industry in 2004 with Visual Data Systems (VDS), an agency focused on online marketing strategies and website development. She’s spent the last five years with Bluetent, using the breadth of her experience to help vacation rental managers make thoughtful decisions for their business. Alisa works to help vacation rental brands of all sizes achieve their goals. From zero properties to 30,000 properties, she helps design the right game plan for any business.
Clark Twiddy is the Director of Twiddy & Company on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Twiddy & Company is a second-generation family business specializing in hospitality and tourism.
President, Benchmark Management LLC
Jeff Thompson is the President and majority owner of Benchmark Management LLC, a Florida vacation rental and property management business focused on Highway 30A. After vacationing in the Florida Panhandle for years, he retired to the area in 2016. It was during this relocation process and looking at properties that the real estate bug bit him. In April 2017 after 12 months of “retirement”, Jeff acquired his first vacation rental business – managing 35 units. Most recently Benchmark Management has acquired Garrett Realty Services, a property management company with a rich history in NW Florida. Benchmark is now home to over 430 units and 40 employees.
Prior to Jeff’s move to Florida and entry into the vacation rental management business, Jeff served for 13 years in various executive leadership roles at Berry Global, a large, international packaging manufacturer headquartered in Evansville, Indiana. Jeff most recently served as the EVP of Berry’s international division, and prior to that role, served as that Chief Legal Officer, General Counsel and Secretary of the company. In these roles, Jeff was instrumental in the company’s emergence as one of the world’s largest packaging companies, growing from $500 million to more than $12 billion in revenue today.
Mike is the Founder and CEO at Carolina Retreats Vacation Rentals. Carolina Retreats is a specialty lodging and vacation rental management company headquartered in Wilmington,NC. Through their local brands and affiliates, they provide unrivaled service by utilizing high-tech tools, modern online marketing, and an unparalleled team to deliver one-of-a-kind vacations. Their singular focus is creating unforgettable, authentic experiences for valued guests, and protecting their owner client’s hard-earned assets while maximizing their income and occupancy potential.
Jeremiah Gall is a serial entrepreneur with a history of delivering great products to vacation rental managers over the past thirteen years. In 2006, Jeremy founded FlipKey.com, and grew the guest-review platform into one of the world’s largest vacation rental businesses before TripAdvisor’s acquisition in 2013. Jeremy is currently the Founder & CEO of Breezeway, a property operations & messaging platform that helps property managers automate their operations and service interactions. Jeremy has shared in-depth analysis of the vacation rental market on national travel shows and publications, and is a regular presenter at VRMA conferences, MIT, and Boston College.
Sarah Bradford owns Winter Park Lodging Company and Steamboat Lodging Company with her husband, Chris. Both companies focus on higher-end luxury vacation rentals, and they are currently updating several to bring them out of 1999. Sarah also is the cohost of the popular professional vacation rental podcast, ÒSea to Ski with Sarah and T,Ó along with Tim Cafferty, owner of Outer Banks Blue and Sandbridge Blue.
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 in Hahei. Today, Bachcare is Australasia 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.
Tim Cafferty is the Owner and President of Outer Banks Blue Realty Services. He was born and raised in the hospitality and vacation rental industry starting his first job in 1970 carrying linens to the cars of incoming guests each weekend for his familyÕs business. Tim got his Masters in Journalism at UNC-Chapel Hill, returned to the Outer Banks, and began working again with his family at their vacation rental management firm. Tim learned all the aspects of the real estate business including sales, property management, and vacation rentals while he began his path as a REALTOR(R) and decided to open his own company in 2005.
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 guestsÕ 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 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.
Pete Smith is a 16 year veteran and thought leader of the Short Term / Vacation Rental Industry in Australia. Pete has taken an Technology-led approach to building his business which operates primarily in the Wine Country 2hrs North of Sydney, Australia. Pete has been a Board member and significant contributor to ASTRA (Australian Short Term Rental Association) which is the VRMA equivalent Down Under, and he has had a lead position in Short Term Letting Legislation development in his hometown state in NSW. Consequently Pete has been asked to speak in several conferences including Rezfest and VRMA International Conference.
Quirin Schwaighofer is the Co-CEO & Co-Founder of Australia’s short term rental innovator MadeComfy. Since its launch in 2015, MadeComfy transformed into a fast-growing and multi-award-winning disrupter of the Real Estate and Hospitality market and became an official partner of Airbnb in 2019. MadeComfy manages selected properties on the short-term rental market under the MadeComfy brand, enabling property owners to generate a 40% higher rental return. The end-to-end management service includes everything from furnishing & styling, revenue management, 24/7 guest management, housekeeping and maintenance. Guests booking MadeComfy seek a living experience in quirky, self-contained properties with a high level of service, comfort and convenience. Prior to MadeComfy, Quirin co-founded tech startup HiKey Resources to develop a mobile workforce management solution tailored to the harsh requirements of businesses operating in the Mining and Construction Industries. HiKey operates in Germany, Australia and Chile. In his spare time, Quirin loves adventurous travel and supporting his daughters to chase their dreams…
David Angotti is a serial entrepreneur who founded and exited an EdTech startup, consulted with Fortune 100 brands, wrote for Search Engine Journal, and recently sold one of the fastest growing property management brands in the country. He is laser-focused on developing SmokyMountains.com into the premier niche listing site in the country.
David’s primary strengths include business development, branding, high-level marketing, search engine optimization, and public relations. In addition to his business background, he was a commercial pilot and is certified to fly the fastest passenger jet in the world.
Heather has been fully immersed in the vacation rental business since buying her first rental cottage in Ontario in 1998, although she had been a property investor for some years before that. At that time she ran her own management training company in UK and directed the marketing and communications division. Before that, she had a flourishing psychotherapy and hypnosis practiceÉÉitÕs what you might call a diverse career
Brooke Pfautz is one of the industry’s foremost experts in growing vacation rental inventory. He got his start in the industry 12 years ago when he founded Vantage Resort Realty in Ocean City, MD and took an idea on a napkin to more than 500 properties in just five years. After a successful exit, he went on to grow inventory for other major vacation rental brands as a chief business development officer in Orlando, FL. Most recently, as an executive at a leading vacation rental software company, he saw first-hand through MasterMind groups that he launched and facilitated what worked and what didn’t for the 20 largest and most successful companies on the platform. Today, Brooke runs Vintory, the only outsourced business development agency in the vacation rental industry dedicated entirely to helping professional property managers add new homes to their programs.
CJ has more than years of hospitality experience with a wold-class hotel and resort management group. Having achieved many accolades and the distinction of being Employee of the Year at a leading executive business class hotel in in north Atlanta, CJ understands the value of service. He has more than 15 years of rental property management experience after taking over managing his family’s real estate holdings form his father. CJ is an avid outdoor adventurer and first experienced Blue Ridge and the North Georgia mountains as a teenager fishing, rafting, hiking, and mountain biking.
Matt Landau is a vacation rental enthusiast who, after exploring Central America, accidentally fell into the vacation rental industry when he purchased Los Cuatro Tulipanes, the oldest existing luxury rentals in Casco Viejo. Matt is the founder of VRMB, a free resource that documents the industry’s best practices to close the learning gap between newcomers and the buggest brands in vacation rentals.
President/CEO Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism
After serving as president/CEO of the Alabama Gulf Coast Area Chamber of Commerce from 1988 to 1993, Herb played a key role in the establishment of the Alabama Gulf Coast Convention and Visitors Bureau, which is now known as Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism. He has led this organization as president/CEO since 1993.
The tourism and hospitality industry honored his work in 2000 by inducting him into the Alabama Hospitality Hall of Fame. In 2001 and 2019, he was named the Alabama’s Tourism Promoter of the Year and in 2005, Herb was honored as Alabama’s Tourism Executive of the Year. Herb currently serves on the board of directors of the Coastal Alabama Business Chamber, the South Baldwin Chamber of Commerce, the Battleship USS Alabama Commission and the Erie Hall Meyer Charitable Fund.
He is a graduate of Livingston University (now known as the University of West Alabama), where he was an All-American defensive lineman on the 1971 NAIA National Championship team coached by the legendary Mickey Andrews. After graduation, Herb was signed as a free agent by the Atlanta Falcons.
Herb and his staff at the C.V.B. have been instrumental in the development and leadership of the Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Sports Commission. Working together with representatives of the cities of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, the Coastal Alabama Business Chamber and the Gulf Shores High School, the Sports Commission has been highly successful in attracting hundreds of sporting events, including numerous conference and national collegiate championships, as well as many state high school and national youth sports championships. These events have given the youth of Baldwin County the opportunity to witness up close and personal what it takes to become a champion, not only in sports, but in life.
A native of South Alabama, Herb and his wife Bessie have lived in the Gulf Shores area since 1978.
After 15 years in the world of advertising working with companies like American Express and IBM and another 15 as a senior marketing and strategy leader for the largest foodservice management company in the world, Jim and his partner Jerry Underhill founded Best Beach Getaways, a vacation rental management company located on the Gulf Coast of Florida. In a little over 12 years, the company has grown to managing nearly 400 vacation rental properties in five gulf coast destinations.
Amber Carpenter has been part of the vacation rental industry since 2003. With an early start in the operations and owner relations side of the business, she has spent most of her career on the technology side of the industry. In the last decade, Amber built and sold a web marketing company to Instant Software (now HomeAway Software), she was the VP of eCommerce for Wyndham Vacation Rentals, the Chief Marketing Officer of The St. Joe Company, and most recently was the VP of Product for NAVIS before transitioning back to consulting with global hospitality software teams and tech-enabled vacation rental companies in early 2019.
Brandon is the Owner of InterCoastal Net Designs (ICND) in Wilmington, NC. ICND is an award-winning web development and digital marketing team that specializes in vacation rentals and real estate companies. Since 1999, ICND has been offering a wide array of web related services, including web design, development, business automation tools, and full service digital marketing.
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 10 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.
Jason is currently the CEO of Key Data, a business intelligence and benchmarking dashboard used by over 400 of the leading vacation rental companies and resorts around the world. Jason is also an owner of 360 Blue, which manages over 600 luxury homes in the Florida Panhandle and Colorado, and a co-founder of The Sonder Project, an international non-profit whose mission is to strengthen communities through food security, clean water, and education. Previously, Jason was the co-founder and CEO of Glad to Have You (acquired by HomeAway), a luxury real estate developer, and a software attorney.
Cliff Johnson is the Chief Commercial Officer at Rented.com where he leads the growth and revenue management teams by helping property managers optimize the revenue of the homes in their existing portfolio and execute on a sustainable growth strategy. Before joining Rented.com, Cliff served as the Co-Founder of Vacasa for almost a decade. He oversaw the expansion of the company’s portfolio as the COO and later served as the Head of International as they grew to become the largest vacation rental manager in the United States and expanded to 16 countries. In addition to his role at Rented.com, Cliff is an active attorney licensed in Colorado and California and he serves as a board member for Eugene-based nonprofit MAPLE Microdevelopment. He is also an advisor to TripGrid, VirtualKEY, Vector Travel and Dweller – all startups within the travel and housing space and he is an avid promoter of socially conscious businesses and innovation in travel.
Amy Hinote is the founder and editor-in-chief of VRM Intel Magazine, which provides news, information and resources for the professionally managed vacation rental industry.
With a background in finance and over 14 years in the vacation rental industry, Hinote has worked with property management companies, technology companies, intermediaries and investors, and provides insider information about the growing vacation rental industry. She also founded the data company, now known as Key Data Dashboard, which provides aggregated market intelligence and reporting for vacation rental managers. Hinote resides between Alabama’s Gulf Coast and Evanston, Illinois.
Andrew McConnell is the Founder and CEO of Rented.com, the world’s largest Full-Service Revenue Manager for professional vacation rental companies. Rented.com’s Revenue Management Service is far more than a technology. It provides local managers with a dedicated team of full-time revenue managers enabled and enhanced by Rented.com’s best in class data and technology. Rented.com does not give you suggestions; we deliver bottom-line results.
Andrew holds degrees from Harvard College, Harvard Law School, and Cambridge University, and has worked with some of the world’s largest public and private entities as a management consultant at McKinsey & Co., and as a Director, Solutions Design at Axiom Global, Inc. In addition to speaking and writing about vacation rentals and the sharing economy, Andrew also contributes more general business insights and advice to publications like Forbes, Inc.com, and Huffington Post, and serves on the non-profit Boards of Sheltering Arms, Georgia’s oldest charity, and Atlanta’s Entrepreneurs’ Organization.
Anurag Verma co-founded PriceLabs five years ago to bring revenue management automation prevalent in airlines and hotels into the vacation and short-term rental industry. He has spent six years designing and improving revenue management algorithms and systems at United Airlines in Chicago while working closely with revenue managers and data scientists within the company. He has a PhD in Operations Research, and loves all things numbers.
April has a passion for hospitality. As a Senior Account Executive at ICND, she gets to work with her passion while helping vacation rental companies develop conversion focused websites and digital marketing presence. April has been working in the hospitality industry for over 25 years. Her experience includes presenting on a variety of topics at many national shows, she was also integral in creating and presenting curriculum for hotel schools around the world and has been known to emcee a few events. When April isn’t working closely with her clients she is serving as ICND’s Director of Fun, running team building activities, kickball tournaments, Chili cook offs and more for our team.
Brett Parry is the Chief Product Officer for Streamline.For more than a decade, Streamline has worked tirelessly to simplify the vacation rental management process. Streamline’s quality suite of programs has made it easier than ever before to manage a large volume of properties by providing property managers with every function they may need.
After time in the finance, development and the hotel industries, Brian has spent the last decade managing and caring for resort and vacation properties. His company, Royal Destinations, has a passion for innovation and (attempting to) do each and every task the best way it can be done.
Edward Ulmer is the CEO of Barefoot Technologies. With a 96% client retention rate the consultative ERP rental system and company has strived to be the most innovative and cutting-edge system in the industry with many firsts to their name. Prior to his involvement with Barefoot, Ed was executive director of Destination Plymouth MA, and the Bar Harbor Area Association, both start up non-profits that ran the tourism offices for their respective towns. He also was the marketing director of a Pyramid Mall property and that is where he was introduced to the world of real estate and rentals. He has his real estate license in both NH and Massachusetts, and currently sits on the Board of Directors for NNEREN, the MLS body for NH and VT and on the executive Board for the Capitol Board of Realtors. He has participated in many real estate sales transactions and vacation, seasonal, long term and commercial rental transactions in the 20 years he has held his licenses. Finally he has acted as a tourism consultant including the set up of a Duck Boat business, adjunct professor of hospitality and tourism courses at Quincy College as well as taught seminars on revenue and asset management, social media, guerrilla marketing, segmentation and of course tourism for multiple chambers of commerce, VRMA and other tourism groups.
Heather, CMO at RedAwning, specializes in Revenue Management strategy and systems, GDS and CRS, and Online Marketing, website, mobile, and overall digital distribution as it relates to channel optimization.
James Vernon Skinner graduated Perquimans County High School in Hertford, NC and then spent 17 years in the United States Navy. He has been married for 30 years to Rosetta Skinner, and is a father of two and grandfather of one. He has been the Housekeeping Manager at Brindley Beach Vacations & Sales since 2012 and has worked in the housekeeping and laundry departments since 1996. He won the title of Executive Housekeeper of the Year for the organization VRHP (Vacation Rental Housekeeping Professionals) in 2013, and he has spoken & presented at many events across the nation. Currently he leads and directs 150+ housekeeping crews, and assists in running the laundry operations for 500+ rental homes. In 8 years of running the housekeeping department he has never had to advertise for hiring employees. James is the author of several books, including Clean House and holds a patent for a cleaning glove removal tab.
Jinnie, Digital Marketing Specialist for Bluetent, helps vacation rental property managers optimize their revenue through Bluetent’s industry leading products and services. With experience in website marketing and management, SEO & SEM, social marketing, email marketing, project management, and customer service, Jinnie helps Bluetent’s clients develop and implement effective digital strategies to maximize their business’s digital success.
John Madewell is the Owner/President of Auntie Belham’s Cabin Rentals, Inc. a Pigeon Forge based property management company that has been managing properties in the Smoky Mountain Region since 1994.
Prior to taking ownership of Auntie Belhams in 2009, John worked for a global manufacturing company holding several roles from Director of Manufacturing and lastly Director of Sales and Marketing for their North American Operations. While there, John facilitated the start-up of manufacturing plants in Dimona, Israel as well as 2 sites in the U.S. as well as structured a technical Sales and Marketing Team to help position the company for the changing global marketplace.
Since joining Auntie Belhams in 2009, John has helped the company navigate and grow through the economic downturn and the ever-changing landscape of the Vacation Rental Management business that the Smoky Mountain Region is currently experiencing.
Justin is Director of Safety & Certification Programs at Breezeway; where he is helping property managers and owners maintain the safety of vacation rental properties. An international vacation rental safety expert, Justin was the first to elevate awareness of safety in vacation rentals. Prior to Breezeway, Justin co-founded On the Water in Maine in 2006 and grew the company into the highest-grossing vacation rental company in New England. A former member of the US Coast Guard and Rockport Fire Department, Justin travels worldwide to share his industry expertise.
Authority in marketing, human behavior & potential, business, teleology, axiology, & technology. You may have seen me on Inc. 5000, Huffington Post, Business insider or other media channels. I live to help people & businesses grow.
I’m Justin Jones, the CEO & Founder of Internet Marketing Expert Group and various other companies. I imagine a world where, every day, people wake up and live an inspired life and not just exist. A world where people think for themselves, a world where people constantly become a better version of themselves every single day and live in their telos.
I have devoted my life to the study of human behavior, technology, marketing, challenging the status quo and inspiring others to give up fear and excuses to be who they really want to be.
I am best known for marketing, work ethic and thinking differently. I am also super fascinated by leaders of today and the past who have made great impacts on society. I am dedicated to lifelong study, personal achievement, constant growth and inspiring others to take action to get what they actually want.
I love to travel and explore the world and I’m also a big fan of goats.
Ken Wampler joined the Newman-Dailey team in 2009 to head up Business Development as well as assist with the Association Management efforts. With a results-focused management career, Ken has used his 40 years experience, leading successful start-up, turnaround and high-growth club and resort operations.
His areas of experience include: Luxury Resort Vacation Management, Multiple Owner Associations including Master Associations, Private and Semi-Private Golf & Tennis Clubs, Full Service Hotel Operations, Boutique Lodging Operations, 5-Bell Marina Operations, Multi-Facet Sales & Marketing Campaigns, Strategic Planning & Forecasting, Budgeting & Financial Accountability programming, Management Information Systems, Recreational Programming and White-Glove Customer Service Operational Implementation.
In addition to his extensive experience, Ken also holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Maine, as well as a Masters in Business Administration from the University of North Florida. He has been a licensed Community Association Manager since 2004, an active member in the local Community Association Institute, Walton County Build Program. In addition, Ken has long standing involvement with the Destin Chamber of Commerce, having served as Vice Chairman, Communications and Marketing and as the Chairman of the Board. Currently, Ken serves on the Board of Directors for the Okaloosa Tourist Development Council and the City of Destin Short Term Rental Taskforce.
Koryn Okey is dedicated to creating long-lasting relationships with her clients and driving awareness to the vacation rental industry. Since 2017, she has served as VP of Sales at Breezeway pioneering their property care and operations software, which help property managers improve back-office operations and turn days. Koryn got her start in Vacation Rentals 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 an industry 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 Valley.
With 15 years of operational management experience, 5 of those being in the hospitality industry, Leslie works closely with our Senior Leadership Team and all departmental managers to ensure daily operating processes and procedures are the most efficient and satisfactory for our guests and our owners. She works hard to come up with new policies and procedures to help all of our departments – in both Tennessee and Georgia – work together as a team and strive for Operational Excellence.
Leslie holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from Kennesaw State University and is married with a beautiful daughter. She loves spending time with her family, serving in her local church, and fishing and kayaking – or whatever keeps her in the outdoors!
Lynell Eaddy is the president and co-founder of LSI, a groundbreaking software company that has been creating custom solutions for all aspects of property management for more than 15 years. Before establishing her own company, Lynell had an extensive background working with Fortune 500 companies with specializations in software development, testing, and management, and she has also been involved in a family-run vacation rental management company for more than 20 years. Lynell holds degrees in Computer Engineering and Political Science, is a licensed North Carolina Real Estate Broker, and is active in property management-oriented organizations, including the Vacation Rental Management Association (VRMA.)
Lyse Perrigo, Business Development Sr. Associate at STR, is responsible for growing and educating the lodging industry with a focus on development and strategy for short-term rentals, hostels, and serviced apartments. She is dedicated to helping the ever-changing hospitality industry understand the importance of how revenue management can assist with strategic and operational decisions. Prior to joining STR in 2015, she spent several years driving successful sales and revenue management campaigns with IHG. Lyse is based in STR’s North American headquarters located in Nashville, TN.
Mr. Loney was hired by Xplorie in May 2015. He is responsible for the team development, venture capital partners, operations, and strategic growth of Xplorie. Under Mr. Loney’s leadership, Xplorie has nearly tripled in size since 2015. Mr. Loney served as the CEO from 2009-2014 for ACG Pizza Partners, a subsidiary of Atlanta based private equity firm, Argonne Capital. Under Mr. Loney’s leadership, ACG nearly doubled its total unit count in less than four years, resulting in an approximate 51% increase to store-level profitability. He also served as Sr. Vice President & General Counsel for Homegrown Industries of Georgia, franchisor of the nationally acclaimed Mellow Mushroom franchise. Mr. Loney has a B.S from Iowa State University and J.D. from the University of Iowa College of Law.
Micah Berg is the “Servant-in-Chief” (CEO) and Founder of RealJoy Vacations in Destin, Florida, (www.realjoy.com) which also owns a subsidiary brand, Resort Rentals in St Petersburg, FL (www.resortrentals.us). Micah brings a mixture of military and financial management industry experience to the RealJoy Vacations executive team. Micah took over a failing vacation management company in early 2009, with only 20 units, and has very quickly transformed it into one of the leading companies in the industry with over 700 units under management as of November 2019. Micah also recently founded and is the CEO of Vacation Rental University (www.thevru.com), which aims to educate the vacation rental and short-term rental space to a high level of competency. The ultimate goal is to solidify Vacation Rentals as an official “industry” by having an end-to-end education platform available to get started in the business or follow through to mastery. His co-founders are Jim Olin and Michael Friedman, who both have multiple decades of experience in the Vacation Rental industry. The blood, sweat, and tears of their combined years have gone into over 350 video lessons as well as all of the forms, templates, and tools required to properly manage a vacation rental business. Micah is also a content provider and author for Agora Financial and has a book coming out in 2020.
Being so involved in a rapidly growing and very competitive industry, Micah understands the value of pioneering new ideas and utilizing a mixture of education, data, and technology in order to stay a step ahead of the competition. In addition to VRU, Micah used this experience to develop a vacation rental operational management software, which was ultimately sold to the Kigo business unit of RealPage (RP) in 2015 and has become Kigo Operations Management (KOM). Micah started his professional career as a financial advisor for Merrill Lynch in Atlanta, Georgia and moved to Destin, Florida to assist in opening a new branch. During his years with Merrill Lynch, Micah was recognized multiple times for superior performance and production and was part of a team that was fiduciary managers of over $450 million dollars of investment assets for their clients.
Prior to his career in the financial industry, Micah was a sergeant in the United States Marine Corps and served our country in Operation Iraqi Freedom I and III with the 13th and 15th Marine Expeditionary Units (SOC) out of Camp Pendleton, California. During his service in OIF III, Micah was recognized for the superior performance of his duties and leadership by receiving a Navy and Marine CorpsAchievement Medal. After ending his active service with the Marine Corps, he became the commandant of the Marine Corps League – Emerald Coast Detachment 915 for 3 years and continues to be active in philanthropy and the community of Marines today. Micah is a licensed real estate agent in Florida and received several licenses and designations during his career including:
Series 7– General Securities Representative
Series 66 – Securities Law
Life, Health, Variable Annuity, and Long-Term Care Insurance
Designated as an “Advisor for Alternative Investment Classes” to institutions and individuals
Michelle Marquis is a leader in innovation, strategy, and best practices surrounding the vacation rental industry. She has been instrumental in successfully building other innovative technology-related businesses in this industry for well over a decade. She’s also a frequent speaker at industry events such as the Google Travel Conference, HSMAI, VRMA and Preferred Hotel Group. Michelle loves traveling/exploring, big red wines, and being surrounded by family and friends.
Ned has been building websites and custom internet solutions since Netscape Navigator 1.0 hit the stage in 1995. He has worked with Bluetent as a consultant and strategic partner since 2003, and as CTO since 2013. As a longtime resident of the Roaring Fork Valley and the resort areas of Aspen and Snowmass, Ned brings first-hand experience of the vacation rental, recreation, and travel industries to crafting digital marketing and eCommerce solutions for online travel distribution and sales. When not staring intently at lines of code, or pushing a pixel from here to there, Ned spends his time living the good life in the Colorado Rockies, building a family, pursuing health and wellbeing, and looking for any possible excuse to spend more time skiing, hiking, biking, running, laughing, camping, playing, and anything else that doesn’t sound like “work”.
Dewey “Parker” Destin is a sixth-generation native of Okaloosa County and a lifelong resident of Destin. Parker grew up commercial fishing and operating restaurants with his family before earning a business degree from the University of Tampa in 2007, and a law degree in 2012 from Florida Coastal University.
Parker lives in Destin with his wife, Tarra. He currently owns and operates Dewey Destin’s Seafood Restaurant in Navarre, as well as a food truck.
Public service has always been a part of life in the Destin family. Parker’s father, Dewey Destin, is a founding member of the Destin City Council where he served for 25 years, 1984-2010.
Following in the footsteps of his parents, Parker is a member of the Destin City Council, a gubernatorial appointee to the Mid-Bay Bridge Authority, and member of the Northwest Florida Regional Transportation Planning Organization, among other things. He is also active in local environmental organizations as a member of the Emerald Coast Reef Association.
Parker has blocked irresponsible development, successfully fought to lower the bridge toll for daily commuters using the Mid-Bay Bridge, and led a grassroots initiative to keep curbside recycling and stop the county from dumping recyclables in a landfill.
He has sought transparency in government by creating more elected oversight of development and refusing to bend under the pressure of special interest.
Scott is a founder and partner at Bluetent. After starting his career in the roaring late 90s with an internet startup, he moved to create a digital marketing company with a focus on consistent service and content management tools. Bluetent has evolved to have an even better focus on cutting edge technology platforms, built to give customers the highest ROI in the business. Bluetent has grown to include over 80 great professionals. Peter loves to spend time with his wife Holly, daughter Stella and son Fisher. In addition to playing and coaching hockey, Peter loves to golf, fish, raft, camp, and ski.
Ralf Garrison is a destination travel industry veteran recognized as a thought leader and innovator. He is also a serial entrepreneur of various travel-related businesses that he has founded over the years.
Garrison creates a confluence of his research-analytics and storytelling in relation to destination resort communities and their tourism-dependent businesses. He enjoys helping those who are doing good work by reconciling the opportunities and challenges of resort town communities and their constituents. Garrison’s presentation style has been described as “a natural storyteller” who is “witty” and “sometimes irreverent, but rarely boring”.
Robin Craigen co-founded Moving Mountains with his wife and CFO, Heather, over 20 years ago. They pioneered their business to Ômove mountainsÕ for guests offering high-end vacation rental homes packaged with luxury services like personal chef & private vehicle services and grew to be the dominant player for the luxury market in Steamboat Springs, CO. In 2019 they expanded into Beaver Creek and Vail and today represent over 100 properties in these three markets. Robin is Vice-Chair of the Steamboat Lodging Association and is a contributor to VRM industry forums and podcasts sharing experience gained from a lifetime of work in the travel sector.
Ryan is the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer at TNS. Ryan has been a leader, product visionary, and innovator in the hospitality industry for over 20 years. Today, TravelNet Solutions serves more than 2,000 hospitality companies to solve their most difficult technology and workflow challenges.
Ryan Saylor is a Revenue Manager at Beyond Pricing, the world’s first dynamic pricing platform for the vacation rental industry. Prior to joining Beyond Pricing, Ryan spent time in hotel revenue management after obtaining a degree from Purdue University in Hospitality & Tourism Management. His previous experience includes independent and branded hotel revenue management, as well as hotel digital marketing, web development, and strategic planning.
Sarah Franzen is the Director of Revenue Management for Natural Retreats, a leading luxury vacation rental management company in the US. She is a member of the VRMA and is honored to serve on the organization’s Education Committee. Prior to joining Natural Retreats, Sarah spent a decade in hotel sales and revenue management, working primarily with Hilton and Marriott brands. She holds degrees from the University of Minnesota (B.M., B.S.), San Jose State University (M.Mus.), and the University of Georgia (M.B.A.).
Sarah is an admitted nerd with a penchant for Excel and a proclivity for (color-coded) data analysis. In her spare time, she enjoys making music, reading classic literature, and eating copious amounts of snack food. She and her husband are empty-nesters and make their home in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Scott Breon is Vacasa’s head of revenue, overseeing revenue management and marketing for more than 14,000 properties worldwide. With the goal to drive the highest financial returns for homeowners and a seamless experience for guests, Scott manages the full revenue lifecycle from marketing to booking. This also includes dynamic pricing, as well as channel management with top OTAs such as Airbnb, Booking.com, and Vrbo. After joining Vacasa in 2013, Scott led the development of the company’s proprietary dynamic pricing algorithm that sets rates based on demand for each of Vacasa’s unique properties.
Stevan Henning is an Account Manager with PointCentral, the industry leader in providing smart home and property automation solutions to vacation rental managers. With over 10 years of account management experience, Stevan brings a consultative approach to business and is eager to provide property managers with the best tools to ensure their success. Prior to joining PointCentral, he worked in the soccer industry for 12 years, focusing on account management, sales, and managing a sales team. Stevan loves to travel and is an avid student of musicology in his spare time.
Steve Milo is the Founder and CEO of VTrips, a growing and innovative property management and rental reservation platform that leverages a proprietary technology system to maximize occupancy, revenue growth, and profitability. VTrips manages 2,000 exclusive vacation rental properties in traditional resort destinations ranging from Florida to Hawaii. Steve is a recognized thought leader regarding the evolution of the highly fragmented vacation rental industry, and he is a regular keynote speaker at leading conferences in North America and Europe.
After thirty years of forming and growing many different businesses, I have now come to the conclusion that my successes and failures hinged on the same thing.
Identifying, hiring and engaging people.
When they were the right people in the right roles, fully engaged, we were extremely successful. When they were not, no strategic plan or amazing vision mattered. We simply could not execute to the level required.
Laveer & Company was formed in early 2017 to help companies identify, hire and engage the right people for the right seats. We assist in increasing applicant flow for open positions. We recruit for hard to find roles. We offer behavioral profiling and cognitive testing as certified partners with the Predictive Index.
The best teams win.
If you are looking to grow your team,
I would invite you to reach out so we can learn how we can help you identify, hire and inspire the best.
If you are an individual in the vacation rental (VR) space considering a move, please let us know. We have many great clients looking for experienced VR professionals.
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 US Navy, holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Northeastern University and is both SHRM-SCP and SPHR certified.
Raised in the vacation rental industry since youth, working from laundry to front desk, Tiffany Edwards has a unique perspective on vacation rental industry. Despite her deep seeded roots to the industry, Tiffany followed a path to government relations.
Tiffany has experience in many facets of the political arena. She worked for a political consulting firm, InsiderAdvantage, based in Atlanta Georgia. She has worked with former Senate President Don Gaetz and on the special election campaign for former Speaker John Thrasher in Jacksonville, Florida.
While still in college Tiffany worked for top ranked Georgia lobbying firm, GeorgiaLink Public Affairs Group. Following graduation, she became the Legislative and Campaign Contributions Coordinator for the firm, making her one of the youngest lobbyists in the state.
Marriage to a twenty-year vacation rental industry veteran brought her down to Southwest Florida where she worked as a Legislative Assistant for former Senate Majority Leader and current Florida Senate Rules Chair Lizbeth Benacquisto. Tiffany oversaw all community outreach including special events and constituent programs.
Tiffany currently is the President of Coletta Consulting, which focuses primarily on Vacation Rental Advocacy and fundraising efforts. She has worked with Newman-Dailey Resort Properties and other Property Managers to organize legislative efforts in the Destin area. Her clients include Vacation Rental Management Association (VRMA) where she provides consulting, strategic efforts and fundraising for Advocacy and Governmental Relations. In her first year Tiffany’s involvement led the association to raise more than $100,000 for Advocacy efforts.
Tiffany and her husband own and operate Sanctuary Vacation Rentals with more than 100 properties located in Monterey County, California and Newman-Dailey Long-Term Properties serving nearly 500 long-term homeowners along the Emerald Coast of Northwest Florida. Currently, Tiffany serves on the Ascension Sacred Heart Hospital Emerald Coast Foundation Board as well as the Hope Medical Clinic Board. In her six years returning home to Destin she has raised close to $500,000 for local charities.
Tom is Chief Revenue Officer for AirDNA and a serial traveler whose business career has taken him from London to Osaka to Munich to Chicago to Seoul to New York to Los Angeles. Tom pioneers AirDNA analytics around the world, sharing the insights that big data on short-term rentals can bring to the travel, hospitality and PropTech industries. He has spoken at ITB Berlin, BAML Travel and Tech Conference, VR Technology in Barcelona, and the Rainmaker Summit in Miami, and has been interviewed for countless publications including the Financial Times, TechCrunch, and CBC.
Before AirDNA, Tom worked a series of other web-businesses, as well as working in Global Strategy Group at Samsung. Before taking his MBA from the Kellogg School of Management, Tom worked in Corporate Finance at KPMG.
When Travis moved to Charlottesville in 2000, he found a perfect marriage for his passion for buildings, music, and art. An architect-at-heart without the ability to draw, he found himself drawn to the historic homes in Charlottesville and the Blue Ridge with no way to work with them. Solution: Stay Charlottesville. Travis continues to bring that same passion with him to Stay Charlottesville every day. True to his fun, competitive nature, he will one day open a 28-room boutique inn, right next to business partner’s 24 room hotel. A tourism and hospitality professional, he loves nothing more than showcasing Charlottesville by introducing guests to the finest homes of this area as well as the other best in class tourism partners.
Experiential marketer that employs integrated marketing and CRM methods to create a bond with the customer. Adds value through customer analysis, identifying and refining products and market approaches. Leisure travel subject matter expert and also proficient in targeting group travel decision maker.
Specialties: Brand Strategy; Strategic Planning; Team Building; Agency/Vendor Management; Budget Development & Management; Cost Containment; Continuous Improvement Process; New Product Concepts & Launches; Effective advertising placement; Press Relations; Collateral, Web, email Development; Customer Relationship Management; Trendspotting; Sales & Tradeshow Support; Results Tracking; Franchisee Support; Integrated Marketing; Social Media