Most Extraordinary Minds

HSMAI UAE Celebrates 'Most Extraordinary Minds' in Hospitality in the Middle East


The Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI), which is celebrating 90 years of fueling sales, recognized nine industry innovators as “Most Extraordinary Minds” in Hospitality Sales, Marketing, and Revenue in the Middle East. Award recipients were honored on October 18, 2017 at the second HSMAI Middle East Conference, at Dusit Thani Dubai.

Launched this year by the HSMAI United Arab Emirates chapter, HSMAI UAE’s awards honors outstanding hospitality professionals for their noteworthy accomplishments in sales, marketing, and revenue optimization for hotel, travel, and tourism organizations.

“HSMAI is proud to honor an exceptional group of individuals whose impressive contributions spark creativity in their peers in the hospitality industry,” said Robert A. Gilbert, CHME, CHBA, President & CEO of HSMAI. “Their expertise, highly successful revenue campaigns, and constant innovation in an ever-evolving marketplace has strengthened our industry.”

The HSMAI UAE Most Extraordinary Minds for 2017 are as follows:

  • Seema Pande, Commercial Director, Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates
  • Shasha Yang, Sales Executive, Asia Leisure, Dubai Commercial Cluster, Jumeirah Group
  • Nicolas Durand, Director of Revenue Management Analytics, Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts Management AG
  • Moataz Tawfik, Reservations & Revenue Manager, Al Khoory Atrium Hotel – Al Barsha
  • Sahiti Gaddam, Director of Sales & Marketing, Taj Dubai
  • Madiha Zakir, Assistant Director of Social Media, JW Marriott Marquis Dubai
  • Jessica Edwards, NEST Curator, TRYP by Wyndham Dubai
  • Ava Chunjang, Asset Manager, TFG Asset Management
  • Vincent Li, Complex Director of Revenue, Four Points by Sheraton Sheikh Zayed Road & Downtown Dubai

The recipients were selected by an esteemed panel of judges who came from various fields such as hospitality, entertainment, and academia:

  • Debbie Kristiansen, CEO, Novo Cinemas
  • David Butterton, Senior Lecturer, The Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management
  • Laura Chaibi, Head of Digital Research, MBC
  • Shujaat Yar, Complex General Manager, Four Points by Sheraton Sheikh Zayed Road and Downtown
  • Paul Mulcahy, SVP Commercial, Mövenpick Office Dubai

Honorees were chosen based on recent work meeting the following criteria: creativity and innovation; cutting edge sales or marketing campaigns; triumph in challenging situations; and sales efforts that resulted in dramatic gains.

The Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (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 & their partners with tools, insights, and expertise to fuel sales, inspire marketing, and optimize revenue through programs such as HSMAI ROCETAdrian Awards, and Revenue Optimization Conference. Founded in 1927 and celebrating 90 years in 2017, HSMAI is an individual membership organization comprising more than 7,000 members worldwide, with 40 chapters in the Americas Region. Connect with HSMAI at, and

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