2024 Annual Conference & Gala - Save the Date!

November 25-26, 2024

Champion Mill Conference Center & Warehouse Hotel - Hamilton, OH




2023 Annual Conference and Gala - Presented by Morgan Stanley

November 20-21
Hyatt Regency Columbus

2023 Conference Logo_Vertical








A Celebration 130 Years in the Making


And just like that we are looking back on yet another OHLA Annual Conference & Gala in the books. This time honoring our 130th birthday and our many years of continuous operation as YOUR association. However, this year's conference education did not look back, but forward as we pressed on into the Future of Hospitality. With nearly 480 in attendance, connections were made, professional development thrived, and the industry recognized the best of the best once again. 

Monday morning began with a delegation of over 50 hospitality students from across the state networking and learning from one another and our Education & Workforce Committee in their session "Your Story/Your Journey" which helped students work on their elevator pitch. Attendees joined students in the Opening Session: The Lightening Round: The First 90 Days where subject matter experts spoke for seven minutes on their specialty surrounding the hot topic of employee retention. 

In between our captivating breakout sessions this year stood our Exhibitor Experience where more than 25 of our Allied Member & Premier Partner organizations looked to make connections with our attendees. Our partners showed off this year with photo booths, interactive stations, and even a live podcast! If you didn't get to see them all see a complete list of our exhibitors and their contact information here.

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Tuesday picked up right where Monday left off with sessions relating to culture, mindfulness, sustainability, and more thought-provoking topics for attendees to take in. Speakers included Debra Puke, Concord Hospitality; Cat Esperanza, Ceres; and Krista Powers with Potere Coaching. Wrapping up the Conference this year was two-time OHLA speaker Ryan Minton, Best Selling Author of Thanks for Coming In Today, and former Ohio Hotelier. He wowed attendees with impactful ideas, heartfelt stories, and plenty of audience interaction.

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The OHLA Conference would not be complete without the Ohio Stars of the Industry Gala. On November 21 at the Hyatt Regency Columbus, the Stars were out and we celebrated those industry professionals who go above and beyond in their roles. Spending the evening with us was international speaker, Penny Zenker, Focusologist, and our keynote for our Gala Dinner this year. Penny has been featured on TEDx, NBC News, and ESPN among others. She spoke about the importance of Mastering Reset Moments, focusing attention, and realigning our thoughts & actions to what matters most!

Of course, the shining jewel of the evening was our Stars of the Industry Awards presentation. Included were the recognition of our nominees from across the state, the awe-inspiring narratives of our winners, and the celebration that ensued among those in attendance. All of the winning narratives can be found in the Stars of the Industry Awards booklet given out after the event. If you didn't get your copy, request one by emailing emily@ohla.org

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An enormous thank you to the host venue, sponsors, volunteers, and attendees for making this conference possible.


Congratulations to our 2023 Ohio Stars recipients!

Tru by Hilton Huber Heights Dayton
Sedgwick SEL Housekeeper of the Year


Hyatt Regency Columbus
Sedgwick Full-Service Housekeeper of the Year

Aloft Cleveland Beachwood
Upshift Attendant/Host of the Year


Marriott & Residence Inn Columbus OSU
Upshift Server of the Year

Hyatt Place Cleveland/Westlake/Crocker Park
Heartland SEL Front Desk Associate of the Year


InterContinental Cleveland
Heartland Full-Service Front Desk Associate of the Year

Carlisle Inn of Walnut Creek
BMS CAT SEL Engineer of the Year


Cleveland Marriott East
BMS CAT Full-Service Engineer of the Year

Carlisle Inn of Walnut Creek
Heartland Charging Services Jack of All Trades Award


Hilton Garden Inn Cleveland Downtown
Heartland Charging Services Supervisor/Manager of the Year

Hilton Cleveland Downtown
Service Superstar of the Year


SpringHill Suites & TownePlace Suites Columbus Easton Area
HSMAI Ohio Sales Leader of the Year

Courtyard Columbus Easton
ServiceMaster by Neverman SEL General Manager
of the Year


Hyatt Regency Cincinnati
ServiceMaster by Neverman Full-Service General Manager of the Year

ServPro Of NE Columbus Charitable & Community Involvement Award


IGS Energy Hospitality Leadership Team of the Year

Allied Member of the Year


Flats East Bank
Heart of Hospitality Volunteer of the Year

Unique Lodging of Ohio Property of the Year


A lifetime of contributions and achievements


Silent Auction & Lucky Squares nets more than $7,000 for Industry Professional Development

A HUGE thank you to those who participated in our 2023 OHLA Silent Auction & Lucky Squares game benefitting our Education & Training Fund & Hospitality Helping Hands efforts! Your contributions have raised more than $7,000 which will help supplement furthering education for hotel & lodging associates across the state & by providing financial assistance to those who have experienced unexpected challenges and hardships. Look for more opportunities to raise funds for these initiatives throughout the year & remember scholarships are available year round!


OHLA's Membership Committee Gives Back - 750 hygiene kits produced

Ohla Give Back Logo

The OHLA Give Back hosted by OHLA's Membership Committee produced nearly 750 hygiene kits to be distributed across 7 local shelters & missions statewide! Thank you to all who contributed to the cause. 



2023 Schedule, Session Descriptions, Speaker Bios, Exhibitors, Sponsors


Monday, November 20, 2023


Attendee Registration Opens

Outside Fairfield

10:30AM Suggested Arrival
11:00AM - 12:30PM

Opening General Session: Lightening Round - The First 90 Days | Attendee Grab & Go Lunch

Regency Ballroom

12:30PM - 1:30PM

Exhibitor Break 1

1:30 PM - 2:30PM

Breakout Sessions I

  • Resilient Leadership | Delaware CD
  • Under Pressure: Dealing with Conflict and Difficult Guests | Franklin CD
  • Maintaining Excellence: A Panel of Best Practices for Property Upkeep | Fairfield
2:30PM - 3:30PM

Exhibitor Break 2

3:30 PM - 4:30PM

Breakout Sessions II

  • The Journey of the Survivor | Delaware CD
  • Anything But Cookie Cutter - Sales Recommended Franklin CD
  • HELP WANTED! Now what? - ULO Recommended Fairfield
4:45 - 5:30PM ULO & Owner/Management Company Receptions - Invite Only
5:00 - 6:00 PM

Ohio Stars of the Industry Cocktail Reception

Regency Ballroom Foyer

6:00 PM - 9:00PM

Ohio Stars of the Industry Gala

Regency Ballroom


Tuesday, November 21, 2023

7:00AM Information Desk Opens
8:00 - 8:30 AM

Attendee Networking

Regency Ballroom Foyer

8:30 - 9:45AM

General Session: Creating & Sustaining a Winning Culture | Attendee Breakfast

Regency Ballroom

10:00 - 11:00AM

Breakout Sessions III

  • Declutter Your Mind: A Personal Organization Workshop | Delaware CD
  • A Greener Night's Sleep: The Rise of the Sustainable Hotel - Sales Recommended | Franklin CD
  • 360° - Your Communication Strategy - ULO Recommended | Franklin CD
11:15AM - 12:15PM

Breakout Sessions IIII

  • Managing a Cross Generational Workforce | Delaware CD
  • Curating Relationships- Sales Recommended Franklin CD
  • Reading the Crystal Ball: Using Travel Sentiment & Behavior to tell us the way forward. - ULO Recommended | Fairfield
12:30 - 2:30PM

FINALE: Creating a Space to Thrive - Thanks for Coming In Today! | Luncheon / OHLA Annual Meeting

Regency Ballroom


Silent Auction Pickup Begins

Registration outside Fairfield 


2023 Annual Conference & Gala Sessions

LIGHTENING ROUND - The First 90 Days

Resilient Leadership

Under Pressure: Dealing with Conflict and Difficult Guests

Maintaining Excellence: A Panel of Best Practices for Property Upkeep

The Journey of a Survivor

Anything but Cookie Cutter

HSMAI Sales Track

HELP WANTED! Now what?

ULO Track

Creating & Sustaining a Winning Culture

Declutter Your Mind: A Personal Organization Workshop

A Greener Night's Sleep: The Rise of the Sustainable Hotel

HSMAI Sales Track

360° - Your Communication Strategy

ULO Track

Managing a Cross Generational Workforce

Curating Relationships

HSMAI Sales Track

Reading the Crystal Ball: Using Travel Sentiment & Behavior to tell us the way forward

ULO Track

Creating a Space to Thrive - Thanks for Coming in Today!

None at this time.

None at this time.

None at this time.

2023 Annual Conference and Gala Speakers & Special Guests

Heidi Anaya

Trainer, Signature Worldwide

In her role, Heidi has extensive experience training in hotels as well as in the equipment, insurance, casino, financial, and trucking industries. She is certified to teach a wide variety of courses ranging from Sales to Prospecting to Negotiating to Presentation Skills to Customer Service. Prior to joining Signature Worldwide in 2011, Heidi was an integral part of the Signature Canada team for three years where she was the lead trainer for the company. Her career in the hospitality industry has spanned over 30 years and has included roles ranging from Guest Services to Sales & Catering to her final role as Corporate Director of Catering for SilverBirch Hotels & Resorts (Canada). It was that role that cultivated her passion for training as she was responsible for on-boarding all new Sales & Catering personnel across the company. Heidi holds an Associate’s Degree (with Honors) in Hotel & Restaurant Administration from the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology in Calgary, Alberta (Canada). She also holds a Certification in Hospitality Business Acumen from the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI) and is a certified trainer of the course. Heidi lives in Tucson, Arizona with her husband.

Lisa Compton - Martin

Vice President of People Operations, Pyramid Global Hospitality

Lisa currently serves as the Senior Vice President of People Operations, for Pyramid Global Hospitality. She is responsible for the management of critical human resources functions which support the property operations. Additionally, in her role she leads the human resources function for hotel acquisitions and oversees the Talent Acquisition team. Lisa and her team support a portfolio of 200+ hotels which includes Branded hotels as well as the Independent Luxury-Lifestyle locations. Lisa brings over 25 years of experience in human resources and hotel operations to her role. In addition to her roles in Human Resources, she’s held a variety of operations roles in both Marriott and Hilton Branded hotels. Lisa is a graduate of Hollins University with a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and International Relations. She is a member of SHRM and has her SPHR accreditation. Lisa enjoys helping others grow and learn and has served as an Adjunct Professor and guest speaker for several organizations discussing topics related to Customer Service. Lisa is based in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Marie Conley

Senior HR Business Partner, IGS Energy

Marie is an accomplished Senior HR Business Partner with a strong track record of supporting organizations in achieving their goals through strategic talent management. Currently serving as a Senior HRBP at IGS Energy, an energy retailer who is building a sustainable energy future for a healthier planet and just recently re-named Certified by Great Place to Work with 94% of employees saying it’s a great place to work. Here, Marie provides comprehensive talent lifecycle support, coaching, and HR guidance to a diverse range of employees, including Executive Leadership and non-exempt staff. Her expertise is marked by the successful creation and execution of talent strategies, building robust relationships, fostering team development, and employing creative problem solving. In her personal time, Marie has a passion for sustainability at home too, running a small homestead with husband and 3 children.

Monica Davis

Advocate, Survivor Advocacy Outreach Program

Monica Davis works as an Advocate for Survivor Advocacy Outreach Program in Southeastern Ohio. She is an Ohio University alum with a bachelor’s in communication. Monica has worked in direct service for a few years now and enjoy the work I do supporting survivors in our communities. In her personal life she likes to read, do cross stitch and hangout with her cat!

Chelsea Dodson

Advocate, Survivor Advocacy Outreach Program

Chelsea served as a domestic violence and sexual assault advocate with Survivor Advocacy Outreach Program for a year before transferring into a case management role. She is especially focused on educating the general public about human trafficking, stalking, and signs of domestic violence. Originally from Boulder, Colorado, Chelsea has found a new forever home in Athens county working with SAOP and completing a masters in social work.

Cat Esperanza, MPA, SHRM-SCP

HR Business Partner, People & Diversity, Ceres

(she/her) Cat is an HR strategist with a steadfast commitment to breaking and redesigning structures to better support employee belonging, engagement, and wellbeing.  Cat’s career has centered diversity, inclusion, equity, access, and justice in human resources from recruitment and retention to policy and development efforts. As a consultant and strategist, she has collaborated with leaders and organizations across public, corporate, and nonprofit sectors. She holds a bachelor’s degree in organizational communication and a master’s degree in public administration from Ohio University as well as a Senior Certified Professional designation from SHRM.

Cat recently joined Ceres – a nonprofit organization transforming the economy to build a just and sustainable future – as the HR Business Partner for the People and Diversity team. She also serves on the board of directors for the Survivor Advocacy Outreach Program – a regional nonprofit dedicated to the healing and prevention of relational violence in Southeast Ohio. In her free time, you can probably find Cat brainstorming big, nerdy ideas with friends and collaborators over coffee or hiking with her wife and kiddo in beautiful Athens County.

Amir Eylon

President, CEO & Partner, Longwoods International

A 35-year veteran of the Travel & Tourism industry, Amir Eylon is President & CEO of Longwoods International, a premier market research consultancy that specializes in the travel and tourism industry. In this role, he oversees all aspects of daily operations, thought leadership, product & business development, and partnerships for this recognized brand in tourism market research. Amir joined Longwoods international in 2015 from his previous role as Vice President, Partner Engagement with Brand USA, the public-private partnership serving as the destination marketing organization dedicated to increasing international visitation to the US. He led the team responsible for helping to increase its partnership base and focused on exceeding service expectation for those partners. During his tenure, Brand USA grew its base to 475 partners, comprised of destination marketing organizations, state tourism offices, attractions, hotels, travel brands, airlines, and tour operators. Prior to joining Brand USA, Amir served as Director of the Ohio Office of Tourism. He has also served as Executive Vice President of the Ohio Hotel & Lodging Association, Assistant Director of the Ohio Tourism Division, and Sales & Marketing Manager with the Steuben County Conference and Visitors Bureau. 

Theresa Flores

Founder, Save Our Adolescents from Prostitution (SOAP)

Theresa Flores is a social worker, an activist, and an author, but she’s also, a survivor. For her, the fight against human trafficking is personal. Theresa was “normal” teenage girl in a well-to-do white suburban neighborhood, when she became victim to a human trafficking circle at the age of fifteen. Twenty years later, Theresa is speaking out on the reality of human trafficking in the U.S. She is the author of The Slave Across the Street and The Sacred Bath. She has been invited as a guest on several shows including The 700 Club & The Today Show. Theresa was appointed to the Ohio Attorney General’s Human Trafficking Commission in 2009 and has testified before the Ohio House and Senate in support of Human Trafficking legislation, aiding in the success of SB235 being passed into law by former Ohio Governor Strickland in 2010. Theresa has been named one of the top influential women in the Greater Columbus area and was recognized by former Ohio Governor Kasich, receiving the Courage Award for her work in human trafficking. Theresa is a licensed social worker for more than 20 years. She received her Master’s in Counseling Education from the University of Dayton and a Bachelor’s of Social Work from Ball State University.

Kelly Fuller

Vice President Talent & Workforce Development, Columbus Chamber of Commerce

Kelly Fuller has over 25 years in talent and workforce development. Her career began with the launch of the Discover Card, where she served in several learning and development roles. Kelly also has a long career in public education in the career tech space, helping businesses connect to emerging talent from both high school and adult populations. Her current role as VP Talent and Workforce Development at the Columbus Chamber of Commerce allows her to continue connecting businesses to many under represented talent pipelines. She is a Miami Ohio and MVNU grad.

Greg Gallagher

Payroll Territory Sales Manager, Heartland

Greg Gallagher joined the Heartland team at the beginning of 2023. He serves small businesses by providing solutions for Payroll and various HR services, allowing owners to focus on their mission. Additionally, Greg has provided opportunities for business owners to further create efficiencies with introductions to other Heartland services, such as Payments and POS technology. Greg has enjoyed being a sales professional in Central Ohio for the last 15 years, predominantly in the housing industry. In addition to direct sales, Greg also spent significant time in both Sales Management and Training capacities. He has a passion for products and services that promote growth and satisfaction for clients. Greg currently resides in Pickerington with his family and dogs. You can find Greg on the baseball diamond or out on the golf course, watching or playing with his three boys.

Lisa Gutierrez

CEO, Dos Hermanos

In 2012, Lisa Gutierrez left her Cheesecake Factory manager position of 10 years to follow a wild dream of starting a food truck business with her husband. They started with nothing but a borrowed food truck, $2,000 in savings, and a whole lot of ambition. Through these hopes and aspirations, they brought Dos Hermanos Taco Truck to life, bringing Vicente’s family’s authentic Oaxacan-style recipes to their community. This authenticity is what would eventually lead long lines and raving fans to their truck. 11 years later, Dos Hermanos has 4 brick and-mortar locations, mobile food trucks, catering services, and concession stands in both the new Crew Stadium (Lower.com Field) and inside the Greater Columbus Convention Center. Through hard work and strategic connections, Lisa has grown Dos Hermanos to a 7-figure business. Over the years, Lisa’s hard work did not go unrecognized. In 2019, the SBA named Lisa as Minority Owned Small Business Person of the Year. Also, Dos Hermanos was recognized by the ICIC as one of the fastest growing inner-city companies in America in terms of revenue and job creation. As Lisa works to keep her business growing, create new job opportunities for her community, and collaborate with other small businesses, she also finds time to sit on the advisory board for the Women’s Center of Economic Opportunity. 

Greg Johnson

Dual Chief Engineer, SpringHill & TownePlace Suites Easton Area

Gregory Johnson (Greg) enjoys helping people, problem-solving, and strategizing—making hospitality the perfect fit for him. Greg graduated with an Applied Science degree from Vatterott College in 2003. He started his maintenance career in nursing homes (Willow Park and Maple Care) and transitioned to Hospitals (University Hospital and Banner Health). While at Banner Health in AZ, unfortunately, Greg’s mom got sick, so he came back home to help her. In 2007 he began his hospitality journey as a Maintenance Tech at the Embassy Suites by Hilton (downtown Cleveland, OH). Fast forward a few years and he got the opportunity to become Chief Engineer at the Hampton Inn and Suites by Hilton, and later at the Doubletree by Hilton. After getting systems in place, developing new and old staff and getting the building to run smoothly he started looking for the next chapter of his book. In 2013, a former classmate from Vatterott College offered him the role of Building Maintenance Instructor. He went from Greg Chief Engineer to Greg Instructor. A few year later he found his way back into hospitality at the Courtyard by Marriott and in 2018 transitioned into his current role as Dual Chief Engineer at the SpringHill Suites and Townplace Suites Easton Area in Columbus Ohio.

Trina Jones

Senior Administrator, Turning Point House

Trina Jones is a social worker, storyteller, and encourager with a passion for seeing others overcome the barriers they face. Trina seeks to offer solutions through sharing her lived experience in the foster care system and to provide hope for healing and healthy relationships. Trina over the years has had many professional accomplishments that show she continues to grow and develop opportunities for people to live thriving lives. She started her professional career providing direct services to women coming out of trafficking through Safe Harbor House in Springfield Ohio. Trina has unique experience training and vetting foster families to care for those in the system. She has since linked arms with Think Tank Inc and helps co-facilitate trainings around helping people understand the human experience of poverty. Trina has a bachelor’s degree in social work from Liberty University and is the Senior Administrator for Turning Point Home in Columbus Ohio.

Nathanael Kaczor

Sr. SRM, Heartland

Nathanael Kaczor is a distinguished Senior Software Relationship Manager (SRM) at Heartland, who is at the forefront of driving innovative technology in the hospitality industry. With over 6 years of unparalleled experience, Nathanael has established himself as a leader in various aspects of the Hospitality Industry, including Guest Satisfaction, Building Management, Community Management, and Marketing Management. Nathanael’s passion for excellence and unwavering commitment to quality shines through in his work, as he consistently brings care, dedication, and expertise to the partners he collaborates with. His approach mirrors the values of service and compassion, inspired by the teachings of Jesus. Beyond his professional endeavors, Nathanael is deeply involved in community service and actively contributes to society. In his spare time, Nathanael finds joy in leading a young adult Bible study, nurturing a sense of community and spiritual growth among his peers. Additionally, he is actively engaged in various initiatives aimed at serving the kingdom, demonstrating his deep-rooted commitment to making a positive impact in the lives of others.

Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose

Frank LaRose is Ohio’s 51st Secretary of State. In this role, he oversees a statewide constitutional office responsible for administering elections and incorporating new businesses. As the state’s chief elections officer, he has modernized the operation and works to ensure the security, accuracy, and accessibility of Ohio’s voting process. In 2020, he helped guide the state through the unprecedented challenges of a presidential election conducted at the height of a global pandemic, successfully managing the highest voter turnout election in state history. Leading the agency responsible for helping businesses get organized and opened in Ohio, Secretary LaRose assisted job creators in registering more new ventures than at any time in history. He also worked with the General Assembly to enact business modernization and reforms that provide new options for organizing LLCs and improving the office’s electronic filing system for business start-ups. Prior to election to his statewide office, LaRose served as a member of the State Senate, where he was named the Legislator of the Year by the Ohio Association of Election Officials for his efforts to improve Ohio’s election process. A graduate of Copley High School, he served in the United States Army with the 101st Airborne, and as a U.S. Special Forces Green Beret. During his decade in uniform around the globe, LaRose received numerous commendations and honors, including the Bronze Star. He continues to serve as an Army Reservist and helps to support his fellow veterans and advance the cause of patriotism as a member of the VFW and as a local board member for the Green Beret Foundation. LaRose graduated from The Ohio State University.

Monika Lindsay

Regional Director of Operations, Image Hotel Management

Monika Lindsay has served the hotel industry, its guests, and team members for the past 26 years and currently resumes her position as Director of Operations for Image Hotel Management. She is a successful industry leader with a proven track record of building award winning teams through mentoring and coaching. The OHLA Leadership Team of the year award and Marriott Gold awards are a few to mention. She is passionate about impacting and changing lives by creating career opportunities for growth and change, and guiding her team members to personal and professional success.

Brent McMahan

Head of Strategy & Growth, Wrkspot

With over 15 years of experience in sales, Brent brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the table. In a bold move, he started his career by starting his own company. As co-founder, he also held multiple positions, all focused on sales and marketing. After several years, and the sale of his company, Brent moved on to the hospitality tech space. Most recently, he spent the last 8+ years as Enterprise Sales Director for SiteMinder, leading efforts out of North America to drive net new logos and revenue growth. There, Brent earned multiple awards as top revenue producer in the US and globally, playing a key role in the company’s growth leading up to their IPO i 2021. Brent is a born and raised Louisville (KY) native who graduated from the University of Louisville and was a former collegiate athlete at Thomas More. He is also a fitness enthusiast and enjoys a healthy lifestyle, training and participating in almost anything fitness-related, while still occasionally challenging himself on the basketball court.

Charles Ryan Minton

Author; Speaker; Hotelier

Charles Ryan Minton is a Customer & Employee Experience Expert, Keynote Speaker and Best Selling Author. He has represented high profile brands such as Hilton Hotels Worldwide, Marriott International and InterContinental Hotels Group. As a Hotel Executive, Ryan’s ability to assemble dynamic teams, to create environments where employees feel valued and empowered and his capacity to identify inefficiencies led to record breaking revenues, profits and some of the highest recognition in hospitality. Ryan sits on the Newsweek Expert Forum Panel and has been named in the Top 4 on Global Guru’s list of “World’s Best Hospitality Speakers, Trainers and Thought Leaders.” He was just recently named one of the 2023 Top Social Media Influencers in Hospitality by the International Hospitality Institute. Ryan is a graduate of Miami University. He resides in South Florida with his better half Tressa, their son Charlie and their crazy pups Mason and Sasha.

Staci Olney

Vice President National Sales, Red Roof

Staci Olney is the Vice President, National Sales for Red Roof and is responsible for the production, strategy, and deployment of the National and special market Sales Teams, supporting the brand’s nearly 700 hotels. With her primary focus on achieving Red Roof’s annual goals and objectives, Staci’s responsibilities include strategic planning of vertical markets, interacting with the franchise community, and maintaining relationships with top customers. Staci spent 10 years in independent hotel operations prior to joining Accor in 1998 and when Westmont Hospitality Group acquired Red Roof in 2007 she was responsible for implementing the sales program to support the brand. Staci is a member of the Global Business Travel Association, the Ohio Valley Business Travel Association, Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International and the newly formed Ohio Travel and Tourism Committee with the Ohio Chamber of Commerce.

Andrada Paraschiv

Vice President Hospitality, Beekeeper

Andrada Paraschiv is Vice President, Hospitality at Beekeeper, a company that powers hotels with a digital workplace app to drive employee communication, engagement and performance. Previously, Andrada served as Executive Director, Luxury Internal Communications and Engagement at AccorHotels and Executive Director, Communications & Strategy at Fairmont Raffles Hotels International. She holds an MBA from the Wharton School and an MA in International Studies from University of Pennsylvania.

Krista Powers

Author & CEO, Potere Coaching

Krista Powers offers 24 years of experience moving beyond surface solutions and diving into the deep work of innovation and transformation in healthcare, nonprofit, education, and business. In three years of being the CEO and Founder of Potere Coaching, Krista has worked with 12 companies, hosted 3 retreats, facilitated 22 workshops, coached 273 clients, and published her first book and sold 625 books. Krista is dedicated to supporting individuals and organizations with tools to accomplish immediate momentum, enduring success, and extraordinary impact. Krista’s career has offered opportunities in direct service, program development and evaluation, fundraising, and leadership with local, regional, and national audiences. She is a public speaker and coach for teams at the Cincinnati Regional Chamber, Boston Breakthrough Academy and Next Level, a Columbus, Ohio based transformational leadership program. In 2022 her first book, Midlife Calm: An Alternative to Midlife Crisis, was published, accompanied by a song to support the Midlife Calm movement. 

Aaron Primm

Landlord/Tenant Program Manager, Dayton Mediation Center

Aaron began his career with the Center in 2013 as a Volunteer Mediator and joined the staff as Mediation Specialist I in 2014. He is a Certified Transformative Mediator™ with the Institute for the Study of Conflict Transformation. He serves in multiple capacities within the Mediation Center and has expertise in eviction/landlord-tenant mediation, small claims mediation, and group facilitation. Aaron is one of the Center trainers for new volunteer mediators and facilitates ongoing Responding Effectively to Conflict classes for incarcerated people at the Montgomery County Jail. Aaron brings 12 years of professional teaching expertise at the elementary, high school, and college levels. Aaron attended Fisk University, where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Biology.

Debra Punke

Chief Human Resource Officer, Concord Hospitality

Debra Punke is Chief Human Resource Officer (CHRO) for Concord Hospitality out of Raleigh NC. She joined Concord in 1994. She has an extensive background in sales, operations, and HR. In her current role, Debra oversees the company’s people and culture strategies, leads diversity and CSR initiatives. She sits on advisory boards within Marriott, Hyatt, AHLA and chairs SIPO, a peer council. Debra was a long time resident of Columbus Ohio and was a former chair of the OSU Hospitality Advisory council and sat on the CVB Board. She’s hear today to speak about cultivating an award-winning culture. 

Ryne Sanford

Director of Housekeeping

Ryne Sanford started his hotel hospitality career 10 years ago as a Bellmen at the Hilton Columbus Downtown. While working as a Bellmen and earning his Bachelor’s degree in Hospitality from The Ohio State University, he fell in love with the industry. Ryne is now leading the housekeeping department at the 600 room Hilton Cleveland Downtown. Ryne has been a part of a management team which expanded a hotel and renovated the original building of the same hotel. Ryne has been a part of a hotel team that has earned 5 Connie Awards (the highest award granted by Hilton Worldwide) in various roles through his 10 years.

Joe Savarise

President & CEO, OHLA

Joe Savarise comes to OHLA from his role as a Senior Vice President with BIPAC, the Business- Industry Political Action Committee, based in in Washington, DC. Joe joined BIPAC in January 2007. He oversaw a national field team and the deployment of an employer-to-employee communication and education program known as the “Prosperity Project” in states across the nation. Part of his responsibility was providing a direct channel of service and support and communication to member businesses and business organizations throughout the country. He helped grow BIPAC’s state network from just over 20 partners to more than 70 participating state, regional and local business organizations in 45 states, many of them state Chambers or joint Chamber/Manufacturer affiliates. He worked with statewide business organizations each day to help facilitate more effective communications regarding public policy and elections to employees and associates. He also served as a member of the Boards of Directors of the Ohio Prosperity Project and Prosperity Nevada 501(c)(4) entities. With those organizations, he worked with a number of leading business organizations and corporations in each state to help educate employers and employees about the political process and elections. Prior to working with the Prosperity Project, he served as Director of Communications and Public Affairs for the Professional Insurance Agents Association of Ohio. 

Courtney Schmackers

Executive Director, She Has a Name

Courtney graduated from Capital University in 2013 with a degree in Communications, Spanish, and Journalism. As executive director Courtney is responsible for implementing the mission and vision of She Has A Name. Her favorite part of her job is training individuals and organizations in understanding the cause and discovering how they can join the movement in unique and meaningful ways. She has led conversations with JP Morgan Chase’s HABIT team, the sustainability department at Abercrombie & Fitch world headquarters, Nationwide Insurance’s Fraud Awareness Week, and countless other professional spaces around Central Ohio.

Stephanie Sedar

Director of Sales & Marketing, Hotel Oberlin

Stephanie has been with The Hotel at Oberlin since the opening in May 2016. She came with over 35 years of hotel experience in Catering Sales and recently transitioned to the Director of Sales position only one year ago. Stephanie oversees the Catering Department, negotiates group rates, promotes the hotel through social media and other marketing avenues along with being involved with local organizations/groups. In her off time, she loves to travel, be outdoors and spend time with her family

Ankit Shah, M.Ed, MA

Consultant & Trainer, Inclusive Employee Consulting, LLC

Ankit has more than ten years of experience in the DE&I, talent management, career management field within higher education, healthcare, and K-12 settings. He had the privilege of assisting underserved as well as underrepresented populations in his entire professional journey, specifically in the lens of P-20. Now, due to his diverse educational and professional journey, he can use all his experiences to work with the multi-generational professionals to assist with their diverse talent management needs across organizations and industries. Ankit currently serves on the Board of Directors for Central Ohio Diversity Consortium and leads their programming committee for the organization. He also serves on Workforce Development Committee and Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Access Committee at the Columbus Chamber of Commerce. In the past, Ankit served as a Diversity & Inclusion Special Interest Group leader for Central Ohio Association of Talent Development (COATD) and currently serves as a member of the committee. Ankit holds a BS in Early Childhood Education from University of Toledo and a MEd in Higher Education Administration with specialization in Student
Affairs from North Carolina State University. He graduated with his second master’s degree, MA in Workforce Development & Education with specialization in Adult Education & Human Resources Development from The Ohio State University.

David Smith

Account Executive, P&G

David is currently an Account Executive with P&G Professional, with a focus in Ohio and Kentucky. Previously he was a Commercial Manager in Cincinnati for Tennant Company and from 1997 – 2010 David was a Sales Executive for Diversey Inc. Outside of work David enjoys off-roading, golfing, and spending time with his wife, Mari and son, Will.

Ryne Sanford

Director of Housekeeping, Hilton Cleveland Downtown

 Ryne Sanford started his hotel hospitality career 10 years ago as a Bellmen at the Hilton Columbus Downtown. While working as a Bellmen and earning his Bachelor’s degree in Hospitality from The Ohio State University, he fell in love with the industry. Ryne is now leading the housekeeping department at the 600 room Hilton Cleveland Downtown. Ryne has been a part of a manage team which expanded a hotel and renovated the original building of the same hotel. Ryne has been a part of a hotel team that has earned 5 Connie Awards (the highest award granted by Hilton Worldwide) in various roles through his 10 years.

Sarah Voloschuk

Director of Rooms, Hilton Cleveland Downtown

Sarah Voloschuk has been in the hospitality industry for 15 years, starting as a recreation intern at a Westin hotel during a college summer. Since passing out pool towels, she has worked in 6 different hotels, both full and select service, and is currently overseeing the operations of the 600 room Hilton Cleveland Downtown. Sarah has opened 2 hotels, been part of 4 Connie Award (the highest award granted by Hilton Worldwide) winning management teams and was named Manager of the Year in 2017. She is active as President of the Blue Energy committee ensuring the hotels presence in the community, as well as with guests and with team members.

Amy Wald

Founder & President, Greenluxe

Amy Wald stands at the forefront of change as the Founder and President of Greenluxe a full-service Sustainable Hospitality Consultancy. A sought-after speaker and authority in Sustainable Hospitality, her academic credentials span degrees in Sustainable Business and Wildlife Management. Beyond her formal education, she boasts a suite of sustainability certifications, including LEED, WELL, ISSP, and GSTC. She has worked and traveled the globe to uncover the most pioneering sustainable solutions in hospitality and tourism, Amy uniquely blends years of industry experience with a deep-rooted passion for sustainability and nature-based solutions. She excels in guiding hospitality brands to achieve their sustainability aspirations, heighten their market presence, and carve out a competitive advantage. By deeply resonating with a brand’s core values and fusing them with sustainable practices, Amy can enhance brand awareness, foster employee commitment, capture the eco-conscious traveler, reduce costs and lighten a hotels footprint at the same time.

Penny Zenker

Keynote, The Focusologist

Penny Zenker is The Focusologist, an international speaker, business strategy coach, and best-selling author. Before her 31st Birthday, Penny founded, developed, and sold her first multi-million dollar business while living in Zurich, Switzerland. Later at the world’s 4th largest Market Research company, she managed business unit turnarounds and was a Tony Robbins business coach helping entrepreneurs around the world to double their businesses. Penny is one of America’s leading experts in the psychology of productivity to eliminate distraction, perfectionism, and self-sabotage to maximize results in every area of your life. Penny’s book The Productivity Zone was an instant Amazon Best Seller and her TEDx, “The Energy of Thought”, has gained attention around the world with over 1M views. Penny has been featured on NBC News, Forbes, Inc, ESPN, and Wharton Business Radio among others.

Exhibitor Experience Participants


Would you like to exhibit at OHLA's Annual Conference? Email lauren@ohla.org or call 614-461-6462


Exhibitors at the 2023 OHLA Annual Conference & Gala

Conference Exhibitors

Morgan Stanley

Morgan Stanley

James Bishop
(614) 425-5735

Alloy Development Co.

Alloy Development Co.

Amanda Foresee
(513) 284-0020

American Hotel & Lodging Association

American Hotel & Lodging Association

Travis McKie
(804) 661-2067



Andrada Paraschiv
(647) 962-7612



Mike Bowman
(614) 314-8722



Clark Wicks
(614) 906-0166



Amy Wald
(614) 668-6858



Nathanael Kaczor
(419) 706-8522

Heartland Charging Services

Heartland Charging Services

Chad Seslar
(513) 641-1600

Ian Alexander Photography

Ian Alexander Photography

Ian Crumpler
(614) 822-7582

IGS Energy

IGS Energy

Abbie Stair
(740) 704-5469

IMS Barter

IMS Barter

Mark Lindeman
(740) 201-0201 ext. 1815

Innovative Displays

Innovative Displays

Tom Rieker
(614) 563-2857

ITG Networks

ITG Networks

Curt Weingart
(330) 542-9000

Lasting Impressions

Lasting Impressions

Ryan Harmon
(216) 223-4027

LT Harris

LT Harris

Lucas Harris
(330) 904-6902



David Smith
(513) 505-2938

Prestige AV & Creative Services

Prestige AV & Creative Services

Kathryne Gardette
(513) 641-1600

Ronald McDonald House Columbus

Ronald McDonald House Columbus

Ryan Wilkins
(614) 205-9970

ServiceMaster by Neverman

ServiceMaster by Neverman

Zubair Bujazia
(614) 394-2087

ServPRO of Northeast Columbus

ServPRO of Northeast Columbus

Cathy Frederick
(614) 296-6079

Spectrum Enterprise

Spectrum Enterprise

Steve Williams
(310) 904-5241

Standard Textile

Standard Textile

Tom Ernst
(513) 761-9256



Brandon Gill
(574) 532-1838

TransFORM Construction

TransFORM Construction

Joshua Weir
(614) 565-8888



Brent McMahan
(562) 219-4138



2023 OHLA Annual Conference Sponsors -- Thank you for your support!


Morgan Stanley

Bms Cat Logo Encore Logo Heartland
News Article 545324 Ian Alexander Photography1 IGS Energy August 2020
Innovative Displays Lasting Impressions Ogletree Deakins Logo
Sedgwick Neverman Serv Pro Large
Spectrum New Logo Transform3 Upshift Logo





2023 OHLA Conference Registration

Full Conference Registration

Gala Only Registration

Exhibitor Registration | Entities must be OHLA Members to Exhibit

Educator Registration

Student Registration


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