HSMAI Washington Chapter

HSMAI DC’s May Event to Address the Rise of Artificial Intelligence


More than 150 hotel owners and hospitality professionals from major lodging brands and management companies are expected to participate in the Hospitality Tech Meetup this month in Bethesda, Maryland, an event that will explore 'The Rise of Artificial Intelligence in the Hospitality Industry.'

The May 22 event, sponsored by The Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International’s Washington, D.C., chapter, Excella Consulting and the American Hotel & Lodging Association, is open to all hospitality professionals and will be held at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Bethesda-Washington DC, 8120 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda. 

Registration and a networking reception will begin at 5 p.m., followed by the program from 6 to 7:30 p.m. To register, click HERE.

Panelists from HSMAI Washington Chapter's May meeting

The panel discussion will feature Phil Koserowski, vice president, interactive marketing for The Leading Hotels of the World; Raj Singh, product design expert, public speaker and chief executive officer of Go Moment; Shaun Smithson, senior vice president of operations for B.F Saul Hospitality Group; Jon Wardman, vice president, CRM, loyalty and partnerships for Hilton; Vivian Rosenthal, founder and chief executive officer of Snaps; and Rob Buehler, regional director of sales for Savioke. 

“From Siri to Alexa, artificial intelligence is changing our world,” said Josh Galun, commercial sector lead for Excella Consulting. “Hospitality companies are experimenting with machine learning for personalization, ‘chatbots’ for customer service and robots for room service. Our experts will explore how effective these technologies are, how easily they can they be implemented and how to use them without trading hospitality for algorithms.” 

Jennifer Hill, regional director of revenue & distribution for Highgate and chair of the HSMAI Washington DC Chapter advisory board, said the presentation is a “testimony to the collaboration of three great organizations: Excella Consulting, AHLA and HSMAI Washington DC Chapter.” 

About the Panelists

Phil Koserowski was appointed vice president of interactive marketing for The Leading Hotels of the World, Ltd. in September 2011 and is responsible for online advertising, web content, eCRM and mobile and emerging platform development. 

He brings more than 19 years’ experience in interactive marketing to his current role. Prior to joining Leading Hotels of the World, he was a partner and interactive marketing director for Ogilvy & Mather and vice president, interactive marketing, for Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC, where he was responsible for building the Interactive Marketing department for the global luxury real estate franchise network. 

He earned his bachelor’s degree in marketing and computer applications at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana. 

Raj Singh is a product design expert, public speaker and chief executive officer of Go Moment, a company working to create a billion unforgettable experiences. Go Moment's Ivy is the world's leading customer service automation platform for hotels. 

Singh brings cross-discipline design, technology and marketing experience from hundreds of large-scale technology projects for leading brands, including Virgin, Lady Gaga and HEB Grocery Company. Blending his deep expertise in user experience design and market research, he works alongside hospitality leaders to address the industry's needs using next-generation technologies, including artificial Intelligence, machine learning and labor automation. In partnership with IBM Watson, Go Moment's Ivy platform automates up to 80 percent of guest communication over text and other messaging channels. 

Shaun Smithson, senior vice president of operations for B.F Saul Hospitality Group, is responsible for operation, guest services, purchasing and associate development across a 20-hotel portfolio. 

He previously served Sodexo USA as project director of global offer development and marketing, with a focus on global marketing, training and business strategy supporting the Americas.  At Choice Hotels International, he was senior director of product development and design, and senior director of brand strategy.  At Hilton, where he was senior director, hotel performance support, for the Hilton Garden Inn brand. Smithson’s early career was focused on operations within the hospitality industry in roles from executive chef to general manager. 

Smithson received his culinary training through the Disney Culinary Apprenticeship at Walt Disney World. He earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration at Empire State College, Saratoga Springs, New York, and master’s in global business management at the Thunderbird School of Global Management, Glendale, Arizona.  He holds seats on the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors for the Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce and is a member of the Thunderbird Executive Leadership Council. He is an adjunct professor of food and beverage management at George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia. 

Jon Wardman, vice president of CRM, loyalty and partnerships for Hilton, graduated from the University of Wales in the United Kingdom with a law degree and spent almost 20 years in the airline and hotel industries.  He was technical account manager for Sabre Airline Solutions, performing scoping studies, system and data design and implementation projects for numerous global airline revenue management systems.  Wardman joined Hilton in 2006 to lead the implementation of revenue management technology and processes across the company’s portfolio of hotel brands.  Most recently, he took over Hilton’s CRM responsibilities to bring a data-driven, analytical approach to email marketing and expand personalization across the customer journey in all customer touch points. 

Vivian Rosenthal is founder and chief executive officer of Snaps, the largest SaaS platform connecting millennials to brands in the mobile messaging space, and an award-winning designer and an entrepreneur. Crain’s New York Business featured her on its June 2014 cover, and the Wall Street Journal selected Snaps as one of the top 25 startups in the U.S. Creativity Magazine named her one of its top 50 Global Creatives. 

Rosenthal has addressed numerous conferences on the intersection of design, advertising and technology. She won the Microsoft Storytelling Award for the U.S. in the brand category and is a two time TEDx speaker. 

She was selected as one of the five women CEOs for the L’Oréal Next Awards, honoring women in technology and advertising, and appeared on ABC-TV’s Good Morning America with Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook chief operating officer, to promote women leaders and entrepreneurs. She also has appeared on Bloomberg TV and been featured in Fast Company, Wired, Adweek and numerous other publications. 

Rob Buehler, regional director of sales for Savioke, brings his 20 years of sales experience to help organizations leverage new and innovative technologies to improve their businesses. He was involved in the early stage of mobile applications, machine-to-machine wireless – “the Internet of Things” − and now robotics. 

Buehler works with hotel owners and managers to delight guests and increase staff productivity with Relay, an autonomous delivery robot that is designed to work safely and reliably in complex human environments. 

About HSMAI Washington DC Chapter 

HSMAI Washington DC Chapter is an affiliate of the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International, an individual membership organization based in McLean, Virginia, composed of more than 7,000 members worldwide, with 40 chapters in the Americas Region. HSMAI is committed to growing business for hotels and their partners and is the industry's leading advocate for intelligent, sustainable hotel revenue growth. The association provides hotel professionals and their partners with tools, insights and expertise to fuel sales, inspire marketing and optimize revenue through programs including the Adrian Awards and Revenue Optimization Conference. Click here to join HSMAI. For more information, go to www.hsmaidc.org

About Excella Consulting 

Excella Consulting, based in Arlington, Virginia, is a leading provider of Agile software development and data and analytics solutions to clients in the federal, commercial and nonprofit sectors. Since 2002, Excella has provided innovative solutions to Washington, D.C.’s leading organizations, including Marriott International, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Census Bureau, CustomInk and the National Rural Electric Cooperative. 

About the American Hotel & Lodging Association 

Serving the hospitality industry for more than a century, the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) is the largest national association solely representing all segments of the 8 million jobs the U.S. lodging industry supports, including hotel owners, REITs, chains, franchisees, management companies, independent properties, bed and breakfasts, state hotel associations and industry suppliers. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., AHLA focuses on strategic advocacy, communications support and educational resources for an industry that advances long-term career opportunities for employees, invests in local communities across the country and hosts more than one billion guests’ stays in American hotels every year. AHLA proudly represents a dynamic hotel industry of more than 54,000 properties that supports $1.1 trillion in U.S. sales and generates nearly $170 billion in taxes to local, state and federal governments. Learn more at www.AHLA.com.


Rich Roberts

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