Partnerships drive success
Cindy Johnson is the President of Global Hospitality Connections bringing over 35 years of luxury Human Resources hospitality experience at the property level. Cindy’s expertise is in creating domestic and international talent strategies, benefits and rewards systems, service standards and processes, training, as well as developing mentorship and coaching programs for executive and leadership teams. After working internationally in both Germany and Switzerland, Cindy returned to the United States where she worked for a group of twelve boutique resorts for over 10 years as the Director of Human Resources. Following that, she began work as the Vice President of Human Resources for the iconic, 5-star, 5-diamond, The Broadmoor Resort.
Food & Beverage
He was awarded the Culinary Institute of America Gold Medal as well as the Royal Academy of Spanish Gastronomy and both named him Universal Ambassador. Salazar is currently the Executive Vice President of E-Spain, a company he co-founded in 2017; an international multidisciplinary company that specializes in the creation of international culinary competitions and culinary internships in the best restaurants in Spain.
Fernando is also the co-creator of The World Tapas Competition as well as the International Black Truffle Competition, both which are typically held in Spain.
Architecture & Design
Jim Schultenover has had an expansive career as CMO and President with various public and private companies. With sixteen of those years dedicated to sales, marketing and revenue management, he achieved sustainable, profitable growth results in all positions. His focus continues to focus on sales and marketing strategies and revenue management and channel maximization for Independent properties and emerging companies.
He provides solutions to align today’s environment with sustainable and profitable demand. Before starting his own business, Jim was President of multiple luxury hotel membership companies, including Krisam Group and Associated Luxury Hotels International (ALHI), in the MICE market and CMO for mostly luxury and boutique companies that included Ian Shrager Hotels and Ritz-Carlton Hotels worldwide.
Beverage & Mixology
Kim Haasarud is a nationally recognized mixologist and beverage consultant, working with hundreds of liquor brands, restaurants, and hotels across the country in helping to create successful cocktail and bar programs. Her expertise and skills include bar design consultation, drink development, training, trend analysis, to-go programs and menu design. In addition to consulting with groups such as PF Chang’s, Omni Hotels, Aimbridge Hospitality and Darden Restaurants, she has worked with dozens of beverage and alcohol brands.
Kim has been a judge on Iron Chef America, as well as doing guest appearances on the “The Today Show” and CBS’ “Early Morning Show.” Kim is the author of the best-selling “101…” cocktail series with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Most recently, she was elected as President of the United States Bartenders Guild.
Michael Teplin is a strategic financial leader who has been a hospitality CFO five times where he developed portfolios, people, profits, brands and owner’s equity at hotel, food and beverage, and nightlife companies. Teplin most recently was the Chief Financial Officer of Selina Holdings SE, one of the world’s fastest-growing hospitality brands that provides guests at their 80 locations on three continents a unique experience combining boutique hotel rooms, co-working space, and hostels to seamlessly travel and study/work abroad.
Finance & Accounting
Neil Grammer, CPA, is the Executive Managing Member of Grammer & Associates, which provides accounting, audit, and advisory services to hospitality, healthcare, and not-for-profit organizations. With over 30 years total experience and 17 in hospitality with Interstate Hotels & Resorts and Marriott International, Neil is well versed in business process design, enterprise risk management, internal control design, IT security, privacy, fraud prevention, corporate investigations, and corporate compliance.
Before forming Grammer & Associates, Neil was the Senior Vice President of Audit and Compliance for Interstate Hotels and Resorts, one of the world’s largest independent hotel management companies. Outside of work, Neil currently serves as Chair of the HSCSN Health Plan (a managed care health plan for children with special needs in Washington DC) and Vice-Chair of the HSC Health Care System.
Norman Van Aken
Norman Van Aken is a chef, author, teacher and is best known for introducing “fusion” into the lexicon of global cookery. He is also known as “the founding father of New World Cuisine” – a celebration of Latin, Caribbean, Asian, American, and African flavors, thus pioneering a new, visionary way of cooking in America. He is the only Floridian Chef inducted into the prestigious James Beard Foundation’s list of “Who’s Who in American Food and Beverage.”
He has immortalized his cooking career, by authoring six cookbooks and a memoir. He was inducted into the 2016 Menu Masters Hall of Fame and is a James Beard semi-finalist for “Best Chef in America” and his namesake restaurant NORMAN’S, in Coral Gables, was a finalist for “Outstanding Restaurant in America”. He has also appeared on CNN’s “Parts Unknown” with Anthony Bourdain and “Jimmy Kimmel Live”.
Paige Duke is the founder of Duke Consulting, LLC after a 30-year career in sales and marketing, destination marketing company and conference services. While her main goal is to get results, she finds the most excellent satisfaction in providing resources, positively influencing the sales culture, and providing a roadmap to execute to the teams she advises. Her expertise includes distressed asset sales support, productivity evaluations and sales deployment assessments.
Duke previously was a ground floor Director at a privately owned destination management company, and while at the company grew revenues and opened offices to become the second largest DMC in the State of Hawaii. Afterwards, she climbed the ranks throughout the Islands to become the Complex Director of Sales and Marketing for four Starwood Hotels in Waikiki and later area roles with Marriott and HEI Hotels & Resorts, working with all levels of ownership and property executives.