HOTCO 2022 Distinguished Speakers
FOUNDER & CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, ENERGY & ENVIRONMENT ALLIANCE
Ufi Ibrahim is Founder and Chief Executive of the Energy and Environment Alliance (EEA), a global coalition of hotel investors, asset owners and asset managers working to transition the industry to Net Zero Carbon and ESG stewardship in a robust, timely and profitable way.
Previously, as Chief Executive of the British Hospitality Association (BHA) 2010 to 2018, Ufi reshaped and reformed the organisation from the ground up, achieving significant financial and commercial success. She led the BHA merger with the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers, creating UK Hospitality to wield powerful commercial and political influence. Ufi also shaped the UK Tourism Industry Group, a government-led Advisory Board for the industry, and delivered ground-breaking campaigns, such as the Big Hospitality Conservation, which engaged over 4,000 businesses and government to create 67,000 new jobs and apprenticeships for young people, under 25, across the UK.
At the World Travel & Tourism Council, where Ufi was Chief Operating Officer between 2000 and 2010, she supervised the formulation of the International Competitiveness Monitor for Travel and Tourism. This defined a benchmark for policy makers and is now operated by the World Economic Forum. Under the auspices of the WTTC and UNFCCC in 2009 Ufi led the industry’s first global commitment to cut carbon emissions by 50% by 2035. Ufi is also a Commissioner of the Food Farming and Countryside Commission, overseeing executive and legislative issues affecting the future of UK food, farming and the countryside.
MANAGING DIRECTOR, HR GROUP
Since 2004 Ruslan Husry has been successfully working as an investor, managing director and manager of various hotel and real estate projects. Since 2008 he has been working as an entrepreneur as well as the founder and managing director of the HR Group.
Throughout his academic career, he gained the titles Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and Master of Law (LLM). His entrepreneurial success is based on many years of experience as a company consultant, investor and manager for internationally acting companies as well as his work for various investor groups within Germany. With the acquisition of Markgraf Hotel in Leipzig in 2008, he began creating the HR Group as one of the leading hotel investment and operating companies in Central Europe.
FOUNDER & MANAGING DIRECTOR, NOORWOOD GROUP; MEMBER OF GLOBAL ADVISORY BOARD MILLENNIUM ASSOCIATES AG
Hussain Al Alawi is an International Partner and Advisor board member of MilleniumAssociates, an international M&A and corporate finance advisory firm headquartered in Zurich and London. As the firm’s lead advisor in the Arabian Gulf, Hussain supports entrepreneurial and corporate clients, connecting investors with opportunities in European and global markets.
Hussain has spent the last 15 years working with family businesses and investors across the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region. He provides strategic business advice, support, market and sector analysis, and access to multiple alternative investment products including landmark real estate, technology and private equity investments.
Born into a family known for their financial and business acumen and with forebears including a former Minister of Finance, Hussain is an extremely well-networked individual with close ties to sovereign wealth funds, banks and financial institutions, corporates, family offices, executive circles and very- and ultra-high net worth individuals throughout the GCC. Based on his long-standing relationships, timely counsel and solid investment track record, Hussain has become a trusted advisor to a wide category of regional investors. His domain strengths include general management, investment management, M&A, deal sourcing, structuring and capital raising.
Hussain is also founder and managing director of Noorwood Group, a private independent investment advisory headquartered in Bahrain that provides bespoke investment consulting services to a small number of private families in the Gulf. Under his leadership, the firm has guided investment decisions on major transactions valued in excess of US$1 Billion.
JOURNALIST & CONSULTANT
Macy Marvel is a Geneva-based journalist/consultant and is a frequent presenter at international hospitality and tourism industry conferences. For 20 years, he was professor of economics at the Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL), the world's oldest and largest hotel management school. He has also authored dozens of hotel industry studies for Mintel International in London, as well as numerous journalistic articles for HospitalityInside.com. and industry reports for Hotel Analyst.
Mr. Marvel has also performed hotel valuations and market studies for EHL Advisory services, the consulting division of the Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne.
SENIOR DIRECTOR, HORWATH HTL SPAIN & ANDORRA
Philip is a hospitality and real estate specialist with over 35 years’ experience in professional business advisory services and general management in a wide range of independently-managed and publicly-listed international companies.
Comprehensive experience of all aspects of hotel and resort development and operations over a period of more than 30 years, with particular focus on residential business models and mixed-use developments, managing projects and cross-functional international teams during development, start up and operational launch.
Directly involved in the development of luxury branded residences involving brands such as Mandarin Oriental, Aman, Four Seasons, Fairmont, Jumeirah and Armani.
20 years’ international consulting experience of hotel valuations and feasibility studies, operator search, asset management and strategic business planning to owners, lenders and operators across Europe as well as in Africa, the Middle East and the Caribbean.
Creator and Lecturer for Hotel Budgeting & Forecasting Module of Online MBA at Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne.
Combines the highest standards of objective business analysis with an inspirational level of innovation and creativity.
MANAGING PARTNER, ARBIREO CAPITAL & VALUE ONE HOSPITALITY
Prior to founding SERVUS International In 1997 in Istanbul Theodor occupied a series of executive positions in hotels in Europe, Eastern Europe and Asia Pacific (including General Manager, Rooms Division Manager and Maitre d’hotel).
SERVUS assisted private and institutional investors, governmental bodies and hotel operators with new investments as well as existing hotels, resorts and leisure facilities.
From 2007 – 2018 Theodor acted as External Advisor Asset Manager and Senior Hotel Investment Manager for Union Investment Real Estate, one of the largest European Institutional Hotel Investors implementing Asset Management Strategies across the portfolio and overseeing and executing transactions in excess of € 2,0 Billion across Europe and the USA.
In January 2019 Theodor has taken on the role of Managing Partner in Arbireo Hospitality Invest with the focus on acquiring and repositioning Hotel Assets for its pool of investors. Theodor is also Managing Partner in Value One Hospitality a development and management platform that presently develops hotels in Europe.
Theodor is Co-founder and President Emeritus of HAMA Europe, the pre-eminent organization of professionals responsible for proactively increasing asset values on behalf of hotel owners worldwide. Presently he serves as Director on the Supervisory Board.
Theodor has co-authored two industry books, is regularly invited as a guest lecturer and participates on different advisory boards.
PARTNER, BEST HOSPITALITY SOLUTIONS
- Hospitality leadership & human resources management expert with 20+ years of experience in the Croatian and regional hospitality industry. With an extensive hotel background (from bell captain to the President of the board) in 4 & 5 stars hotels both on the seaside & inland; leading in different ownership environments (banks, private owners, funds, managed by management company ....)
- Founder of Queo Consulting, boutique company specialised in HR in hospitality and founder and Managing Partner of Best Hospitality Solutions; regional white-label management leader with more than 100 successful projects in the region.
- Lecturer at prominent Croatian Faculties in the field of tourism addressing topics of human resources & destination management. Led more than 100 in-house workshops on leadership, soft skills, and human resources.
- M.Sc at the Faculty for hospitality and tourism Opatija ( Croatia) in the field of human resources, and PH.D. Student at the Kinesiology Faculty Zagreb (Croatia)
- Specialist in human resources restructuring and development, hotel turnaround strategies and on-site implementation; development of destination concepts, and networking of tourism stakeholders.
HEAD DEVELOPMENT NORTHERN EUROPE, IHG HOTELS & RESORTS
Miguel currently holds the position of Head Development Northern Europe responsible for developing IHG’s brands in DACH, Nordics and Eastern Europe, including Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Lichtenstein, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, The Netherlands, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and Romania. Working collaboratively with development partners is key to his success, whilst delivering value for both franchised and managed hotels.
With IHG since 2015, Miguel is responsible for the signing of over 35 new deals, the majority across Poland and Eastern Europe and more recently in the Nordics.
He works across the entire IHG brand portfolio including luxury and is specialized in diverse upscale and mainstream brands.
Prior to joining IHG, Miguel co-founded the Polish Hotel Company which was responsible for the rollout of some of IHG’s most well-known brands in Poland, such as the Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express and Crowne Plaza. Miguel oversaw amongst others the Holiday Inn Express Warsaw Airport from its conceptual design, financing, coordination with IHG and construction surveying, right through to its pre-opening and management.
Miguel has extensive international experience in hotel management and development and has been involved in over 20 projects in Europe, including Portugal, Spain and Poland.
Miguel also worked as a Senior Consultant at an international hotel & asset management company based in Portugal where he was involved on various projects under local and international brands.
AREA VICE PRESIDENT EASTERN EUROPE, MARRIOTT INTERNATIONAL, INC.
Pankaj Birla is Area Vice President for Eastern Europe is responsible for managing operations for luxury (Bvlgari, Ritz Carlton, St, Regis, Luxury Collection & JW Marriott) premium (Marriott, Sheraton, Westin, Le Meridien, Autograph) and select brands (Courtyard, Four Points by Sheraton, Moxy, Marriott Executive Apartments). His area starts in Prague and ends in Novosibirsk East to West and from St. Petersburg to Tel Aviv North to South. He has currently has 49 hotels spread across 13 countries with another 10 in the pipeline to open in the next 24 months.
Pankaj has an experience of over 25 years of working for Marriott International. He has had broad experience in operations finance, corporate support, above property roles and General Manager. He has worked in the United States, Asia and Europe. He has been in the role of Area Vice President for Eastern Europe since March 2017.
Pankaj resides in Oberursel, Germany which is a suburb of Frankfurt.
INTERNATIONAL HOSPITALITY LAWYER, SCOTTS FZ LLE
Scott Antel is a highly respected emerging markets hotels&hospitality lawyer with 25+ years’ experience advising both owners/developers and, less frequently, international operators in the Middle East, Russia/CIS, Africa, Turkey, Eastern Europe, and the Caribbean on hotel&resort, branded residential and mixed-use developments.
A former senior partner in DLA Piper and BCLP, Scott regularly advises clients on all aspects of hotel & resort, branded residence and mixed-use development as well as on related operational matters, including litigation.
He has acted on hundreds of hotel projects including numerous landmark projects such as Sochi 2014, Blue Amber Zanzibar Resort in Zanzibar, Grand Hotel Europe and Astoria Hotel in St Petersburg, the Ritz Carlton and Mandarin Oriental in Moscow, Sochi 2014 Olympic Village hotels, Four Seasons, Mandarin Oriental and Chedi hotels in Oman, JW Marriott and W Yas Island in the UAE, Sofitel and Hyatt in Cyprus and many others projects in numerous locations, including Moscow, St Petersburg, Sochi, Almaty, Istanbul, Bodrum, London, Muscat, Zanzibar, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Jeddah, Makkah, Riyadh, Tehran, Muscat, Limassol, Crete, Montenegro, Vietnam and ten African countries. He also works in the franchise sector advising hotels, restaurants and retail clients and on the structuring and set up of inbound franchise investment in numerous other sectors.
Scott is recommended as a "Leading Adviser" and "go-to" hospitality lawyer by Chambers Europe and Legal 500 legal directories and listed in Best Lawyers. He serves on the Advisory Board of the Russian Hotel Investment Forum and is a regular speaker at the event, as well the Berlin IHIF, UAE AHIC and ALIS (US) hotel conferences. Scott is a regularly published thought leader and frequently quoted on hospitality-related legal and commercial topics and a regular speaker at industry events and conferences.
Scott was the recipient of the Russia/CIS Hotel Investment Forum 2012 “Lifetime Achievement Award” for his contribution in developing the hotel industry in emerging markets, the only lawyer or consultant to ever receive this prestigious award. In 2011 he was elected a member of the International Society of Hospitality Consultants (ISHC).
GLOBAL CHAIRMAN, HORWATH HTL
John Fareed, MSc CHME ISHC, is Global Chairman for Horwath HTL. He leads the global brand and oversees the firm’s US offices in Beverly Hills, CA, Denver, CO, New York, NY, Norfolk, VA, Orlando, FL, Miami, FL, and Mexico City, Mexico.
Over the past twenty-five years, Fareed’s consulting clients have included Fortune 500 companies, national brands, lenders, developers, REITs, management companies, investors, owners, attorneys, and insurers. He is an internationally recognized authority in the hotel, tourism, and leisure (HTL) field. He has spoken on the topic at industry events in Australia, Brazil, Croatia, Egypt, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, and across the US, Canada, and Caribbean.
Fareed has appeared as an HTL industry expert on national television programs including ABC News, CNN, and Fox News Network, in publications such as the New York Times, USA Today, and The Wall Street Journal, and has had articles published in numerous trade journals. Additionally, he has provided HTL industry-focused, expert witness and litigation support services.
Fareed holds two postgraduates, including a Master of Science degree from the Dublin Institute of Technology's School of Hospitality Management and Tourism in Dublin, Ireland, and a Hotel Real Estate Investments and Asset Management Certificate from Cornell University. He possesses professional designations from the prestigious International Society of Hospitality Consultants (ISHC) and the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI). HSMAI recognized Fareed as one of the "Top 25 Extraordinary Minds in Sales and Marketing." He is Chair Emeritus of both ISHC and the Board of Trustees for HSMAI’s International Foundation.
VICE PRESIDENT BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT, RADISSON HOTEL GROUP
In the region since 1995, David Jenkins joined the Radisson Hotel Group in 2015 as Vice President Business Development covering Eastern Europe, Russia, Baltics, CIS, Ukraine, Georgia and Israel. This followed on from a 10-year period as one of the most respected hotel consultants in the Russian market with JLL, Cushman & Wakefield, DTZ and Horwath. Prior to consulting, David spent 8 years with Interstate in Moscow working in operations for the 3 Marriott properties. David has a degree in Hospitality Management and now has almost 30 years of experience in the industry from operations, consulting and development.
In recent years David has signed multiple hotel agreements in Bulgaria, Croatia, Serbia, Hungary,
Georgia, Ukraine, Russia, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania amongst others.
Thomas Emanuel is a Director at STR. He is based in London and leads a team focused on driving business with Industry Partners.
He has spent his entire career in the hotel industry, beginning in 2000 with Miki Travel, before joining Hyatt Hotel & Resorts, where he gained experience in corporate sales at both the worldwide sales office and at the property level. Thomas then led the corporate sales function for Hazlitt’s Hotels, a group of independent boutique hotels in London.
In 2006, Thomas joined the Deloitte HotelBenchmark team, where he was responsible for creating and leading the department’s business development function. He held this role until the formation of STR in March 2008, and has since focused on overseeing STR’s rapid expansion outside North America. Throughout his time with STR, Thomas has gained a wealth of experience working with hotels, investors, developers, consultants, banks, governments, destination management companies and many others.
Thomas has been a guest lecturer at Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne, and been invited and participated in the OECD's high-level meetings on tourism policies.
Traveling extensively, Thomas has worked in over 45 countries across 6 continents and regularly speaks at major hospitality conferences around the world. He is also frequently interviewed for his insights on the hotel industry by news outlets including CNN, Bloomberg, CNBC, as well as various tourism and hospitality publications.
DIRECTOR OF HOTELS & TOURISM, ERSTE GROUP BANK AG
Heribert has more than 15 years of experience in the European hotel industry working in hotel financing, asset and investment management. In his current role as Director of Hotels&Tourism at Erste Group Bank AG in Vienna, he is responsible for real estate financings of hotels, tourism infrastructure and mixed-use projects in Central and Eastern Europe. Previously, Heribert was a Director with Hamilton Hotel Partners in London and Managing Director of Horwath HTL in Austria.
Prior to that, he worked for Internos Global Investors in London (now Principal Real Estate Europe) where he was responsible for the asset management of the group’s entire hotel portfolio. Heribert holds an MBA from CEU in Budapest and graduated from Hawaii Pacific University with a BSc in Travel Industry Management. He also studied at the University of Vienna and NYU Stern School of Business in New York.
OWNER, HOTEL ANALYST; MANAGING DIRECTOR, ZEROTWOZERO
Andrew Sangster launched Hotel Analyst almost 20 years ago and it has grown into a publishing business that now encompasses a paid subscription service for hotel investors, a reports division and events.
More information on these services can be found at www.hotelanalyst.co.uk and see www.op-re.com for the latest event for investors across the operational real estate sector, the Operational Real Estate Festival.
Andrew has been a journalist for his entire career, starting out on trade press titles before joining the national press and a brief spell at the BBC. He launched his own business focused on providing high-level information on a subscription basis after despairing at the quality of what the old business model of selling advertising space was producing.
Andrew holds a BSc in economics and a MA in journalism. He lives in Cambridge with his wife and three children.
DIRECTOR, HORWATH HTL HUNGARY
Attila joined Horwath HTL Hungary in 2012. Since his arrival, he has taken part in the concept development of various tourist attractions and hotels, prepared market and financial feasibility studies, and hotel valuations in Hungary, Russia and numerous CIS countries. He is also the author of industry articles covering key tourism trends in Hungary and CEE. Attila has hotel operations background through various positions held from F&B to revenue management, in Switzerland, the UK and Hungary. He is a graduate of IBS Budapest with First Class Honours in Travel & Tourism Management.
MANAGING DIRECTOR, OBERBANK HUNGARY
Mr. Szenkurök graduated from Vienna University of Business Administration (WU-Wien) and is a postgraduate at the Danube University in Krems in Austria.
He is working in the financial service industry sector for more than 25 years. For 20 years he was operating in various management functions and supervisory boards positions in the CEE region.
Since 2012 he is heading the constantly expanding Oberbank Hungary and Slovakia. Oberbank has a strong focus and competence in hotel & tourism finance.
CEO, HUNGEXPO; PRESIDENT, MARESZ; CO-OWNER, ACCENT HOTEL MANAGEMENT
Since 2009, Gabor Ganczer is the CEO of Hungexpo Budapest Congress and Exhibition Center, the market leader event venue in Hungary and Eastern Europe.
For more than 10 years he is the president of the Federation of Hungarian Event Organizers and Suppliers.
Prior to Hungexpo, Gabor was fully committed to tourism and hospitality. Starting with various support functions within the Accor hotel chain, enabled him to grow into the positions of sales and marketing director and deputy GM with the strongest professional background and knowledge. With a decade of successful experience in the hotel sector, he is also the co-owner of Accent Hotel Management since 2007, which has management partnerships with 25 high-end hotels in Hungary and in Austria providing a full range of hotel consulting and operating services.
CHAIRMAN & CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, WING; CHAIRMAN OF THE SUPERVISORY BOARD, ECHO INVESTMENT
Noah Steinberg is the chairman and chief executive officer of WING and the chairman of the supervisory board of Echo Investment. WING is a leading real estate developer and one of the largest privately held real estate companies in Hungary. WING is also the majority owner of Echo Investment, the market leading Polish residential developer. Noah Steinberg has worked in Hungary since 1990. In his current position since 1999, he was responsible for establishing WING and oversees the company's investment and development businesses, its office, retail, industrial, hotel and residential projects. He is also the Chairman of RICS in Hungary. Mr. Steinberg is a graduate of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University (BA), and the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna in Austria (MA). He speaks French, German, Spanish, Hungarian and English.
MEMBER OF MANAGEMENT BOARD & CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER, WARIMPEX FINANZ- UND BETEILIGUNGS AG
Daniel Folian joined the company Warimpex Finanz- und Beteiligungs AG in 2006. Since January 2018 he is a member of the management board and CFO.
He studied business administration at Vienna University of Economics and Business, and completed his studies in accounting by earning a doctorate in 2008. Over the course of his career, he has worked at companies including OBl Bau- und Heimwerkermärkte GmbH and PwC Pricewaterhouse Coopers GmbH.
During his time with Warimpex, Mr. Folian also served as a member of the supervisory board of Vienna International (Vienna House) for five years.
GLOBAL BUSINESS DIRECTOR, HORWATH HTL
James Chappell, Global Business Director - Horwath HTL. Originally from the world of advertising, James started in the hotel business in the best possible way, by accident, and has never left. James did a three-year management trainee course at the famous boutique hotel, Lydmar, in Stockholm before leaving to join consulting firm Overlook Hospitality Management. James was Managing Director of The Bench for 5 years before becoming Managing Director of STR Global. A regular speaker at conferences and on TV (CNN, BBC) and others talking about the industry.
Jean Paul is a board level executive with 18 years’ experience in senior business and operational management roles for Hilton Worldwide in Europe, Middle East and Africa. Jean-Paul has deep expertise in all aspects of operations, strategy, business management and corporate development within the hotel industry. He has extensive expertise in owner/operator, management, franchise and lease business models. He has directly led and managed the pre-opening, opening, take-over and integration of hotels and chains, negotiation of hotel agreements, post-acquisition integration, and preparing hotel chains for disposal.
Throughout his career Jean-Paul has shown demonstrable success in improving business performance through operational optimisation, and through the restructuring and development of brands and regions. He has extensive market and distribution knowledge of Europe, the Middle East and Africa. He has lived and worked in the UK, Sweden, Germany, Switzerland, Hungary, Turkey, Israel, Egypt, UAE, Bahrain.
After 41 years with Hilton Worldwide Jean-Paul retired in 2011. A Swiss national, he now lives in Switzerland and is involved in various short term consultancy assignments in the hospitality industry. For three years he was the general business consultant (part time) for a Swiss uniform design and manufacturing company (SME). He is on the board of Hunguest Hotels in Hungary and sits on the advisory board of HOTCO by Horwath HTL. He has acted as an independent industry expert witness in two arbitration cases and advised on a third one. He also lectures on operational management at EU approved industry courses.
CHIEF COMMERCIAL OFFICER, R8 TECHNOLOGIES
Klaus Ek, Chief Commercial Officer of R8 Technologies, former CEO of Sokos Hotels in Estonia and one of the very first clients of R8tech, has diversified experience of leading international and sustainability-driven hotels. Klaus and his field teams already in 20 countries support commercial building owners and operators reach their ESG targets with the help of AI-driven SaaS called R8 Digital Operator.
HEAD OF RESEARCH, HUNGARIAN TOURISM AGENCY
Adam Czelleng has three years of experience in investment banking and six as a modelling and big data advisor, consulting for numerous companies and institutions on macroeconomic and data modelling. Most recently, Adam has been leading the Research and Analysis Team at the Hungarian Tourism Agency, as part of which he has been responsible for the strategic Data-Driven Sector Management project. He holds a PhD in economics and is a regular guest on podcasts and at conferences.
CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER, HOTSTATS
Michael is the Chief Operating Officer at Hotstats. Hotstats provide monthly P&L benchmarking & market Insight for the hotel industry. Collecting monthly detailed financial data from hotels worldwide from over 100 brands and independent hotels, Hotstats provide over 550 different KPIs covering all operating revenues, payroll, expenses, cost of sales and ultimately departmental and total hotel profitability.
Prior to joining Hotstats, Michael held multiple operational & financial roles at hotel and corporate level, over 16 years and is a regular guest lecturer at universities & hotel schools around the world.
Martin is a Co-Founder of Apaleo, the cloud platform that empowers hoteliers to deliver digital experiences. He is equipped with a technology background and initially helped software companies of all sizes to develop pricing strategies. Before founding Apaleo in 2017, he built different marketplace and B2B companies.
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, DREAMLAND HOLDING
Róbert Véscey is the CEO of Dreamland Holding, a Hungarian real estate development group, focusing on resorts and related assets in the tourism sector. He is in charge of all aspects of four greenfield resort developments across various key tourist destinations in Hungary. Since 1995, he has been involved in many project developments. During his career Robert has worked in senior decision making roles at financial corporations and overseen M&A deals in diverse industry sectors across Hungary. Robert has built significant experience in working with tenants, hotel management companies, owner-operated schemes under hotel franchises. Robert has also sourced, secured and negotiated long term financing with Hungarian and international banks and financial institutions for hotel and resort real estate projects, acquisitions and executed deals in other sectors.
DIRECTOR OF GLOBAL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT, ALLIANTS
Kevin Edwards is the Director of Global Business Development at Alliants and helps hotel investors and operators reduce technology costs while creating efficient operating platforms. Kevin has a deep knowledge of technology and business consulting to enable him to develop strategies that create the right customer experience and the business behind it to execute them.
Kevin joined Alliants from PnK People where he served as Managing Director. Prior to PnK, Kevin founded the Hospitality consulting firm, Avenue9 where he worked across many leading hospitality brands. Kevin exited the business after a successful sale to JLL, the fortune 500 real estate firm.
Kevin has led the technical disciplines for a multitude of large-scale private equity-backed hotel portfolio transactions.
SENIOR DIRECTOR SEE INTERNATIONAL HOTEL DEVELOPMENT, MARRIOTT INTERNATIONAL
Silvija Lovreta holds the position of Senior Development Director with Marriott International, responsible for growing the company’s multi-brand portfolio across the region of South Eastern Europe. Prior to joining Marriott International development team in Europe, Silvija advised a significant number of renowned companies within the industry as a Managing Partner with Horwath HTL, particularly focused on emerging markets within South Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa. Silvija holds a Master of Science degree in Economics of Tourism at Bocconi University and is a member of Cornell Hotel Society.
TOURISM & GUEST EXPERIENCE SPECIALIST, LIGET BUDAPEST
László Puczkó has been the Tourism & Guest Experience Advisor to the Liget Budapest project since 2015.
László has been working in the field of travel, hospitality, leisure for 25+ years. László is an experience engineer, strategist, mentor and trainer, and wellbeing intelligence expert. He has gained experiences in private as well as in public sector environments. He is an economist and art & design manager, and holds master degrees, a PhD, and is a Certified Management Consultant. He is the past president of the Association of Tourism Consultants (Hungary). László has been speaking, lecturing and running tailor-made trainings and masterclasses in over 40 countries all around the world. He has been actively involved both in industry as well as academic arenas and authored numerous industry reports & studies, specialist books and publications.
CHIEF FINANCIAL DIRECTOR, POLSKI HOLDING HOTELOWY
Paulina Mazurkiewicz-Kurek graduated the University of Economics in Poznań and ESCP Paris and has
ACCA qualifications. Paulina started her professional career in the Accor Group in Paris in the
Treasury and Internal Audit Department. Then she joined Accor Polska, participating in many
corporate projects, including implementation of brands chain in Polish and Lithuanian markets,
innovative structures for financing investments (real estate leaseback) and structuring the Accor-
Orbis transaction. In 2004, Paulina joined Orbis SA, where she introduced internal control procedures
and operational audits in Accor and Orbis hotels and subsidiaries. In 2007-2013, as a member of the
management board for financial matters in Orbis Transport, she implemented the de-investment
strategy of the Capital Group consisting of 5 companies.
Member of the Supervisory Boards of Orbis Transport, Orbis Travel, Capital Park, PKS Gdańsk. Since
2017, she has been the Finance Director at Polski Holding Hotelowy (formerly Chopin Airport
Development). In PHH group there are currently 54 hotels, which makes it the second largest hotel
company in the country and the first with exclusively Polish capital. At the beginning of the crisis
related to the coronavirus pandemic, in 2020 she joined the work of the advisory team at the
Ministry of Development, as well as a consultative function for the Ministry of Finance, in some
issues related to the tourism market, which were included in the anti-crisis and financial shield
proposals, as well as in solutions proposed by the Ministry of Finance.
PARTNER DEVELOPMENT MANAGER, DANFOSS FIRE SAFETY A/S
Márton is Partner Development Engineer for CEE countries. He is conducting trainings for designers and new business partners, and develop business by reaching out to fire safety companies and investors.
Márton represents Danfoss Fire Safety, the global leader in the sales, development, production, and service of fire protection systems, under the brand name SEM-SAFE®.
During the conference Márton will deliver a presentation on the use of high-pressure water mist for hotel buildings covering topics such as:
- advantages and disadvantages of available fire safety technology
- How to protect all fire risk area in a hotel building with a high-pressure water mist system
- Example of worldwide projects that benefit from a high-pressure water mist installation
OWNER, RAMOT & CO INVESTMENT HOUSE; PARTNER, R&R HOSPITALITY INVESTMENTS
As the owner of Ramot & Co investment House and partner at R&R Hospitality Investments, specializing in the International Hospitality market, Arik offers full support in all business, legal, financial and strategic aspects of international hospitality transactions.
Arik Ramot possesses vast experience in hotel related transactions across Europe, the U.S. and Israel, having a long history working with investors, developers, owners, management companies and financing entities.
DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR, THE EMBASSIES OF GOOD LIVING AG
Lukas started his career as an apprentice (hotel specialist) at the Park Hyatt Hamburg in 2006,
followed by studies at the IUBH Bad Honnef / Bonn, ICMS Sydney (“International Hospitality
Management”) and a traineeship at PKF hotelexperts Vienna.
After serving several years as Managing Partner at CENTINAL real estate GmbH, with focus on
hospitality projects, Lukas joined 25hours Hotels as a Development Director in 2019, responsible for
the European expansion of the German hotel brand. Since March 2021, he is in charge of all real
estate development activities of THE EMBASSIES.
PRESIDENT & EDITOR, GOSTELOW MEDIA GLOBAL
DEPUTY MANAGING DIRECTOR FOR STRATEGY, ACCENT HQ
Peter Kerek joined the independent Hungarian hotel management group, Accent Hotels, when it was founded in 2007 and he is now one of the top managers of the company. He assisted the management of the newly established company along their first journey to fill a gap on the Hungarian market providing professional hotel management services to independently owned hotels. After supervising the first few business opportunities of hotel management and consultancy, Peter started his new assignment as Accent’s project manager. Later, after the acquisition of the first hotels, he became responsible for coordinating the sales and marketing activities of the portfolio as Director of Sales and Marketing. In 2012, 5 years after its foundation, Accent was already operating more than 1000 keys in a diverse portfolio of 3 to 5-star properties including city hotels and wellness resorts across the country. Since 2017 he has become responsible for the strategic development of Accent Hotels with keeping the sales and marketing department in his focus but extending his activities into project development roles and became deputy managing director at the group. The hotel group is continuously expanding its portfolio both in Hungary and Austria, and Peter is becoming increasingly involved in these development tasks.
MANAGING PARTNER, HORWATH HTL
Blake fell into the hospitality industry in 1993, by accident, began professionally in 1994 and has never looked back since. Starting, like many, the old fashioned way, from basic positions in different departments, learning and practicing all there is to know about the hotel and hospitality industry. His first 12 years was working for Radisson Hotels, in Europe, Scandinavia and Eastern Europe.
He started his first company back in 2005, HM Hotels Ltd, consulting, creating and managing great hotels. His passion is to do just that, create and manage great hotels and hospitality industries.
Blake’s also Managing Editor and Founder of Hotel Report, a multi-lingual hotel journal that focuses on providing quality information and analytics to the hotel and hospitality industry. He believes that people with skills and knowledge can make anything possible.
PRESIDENT & MANAGING DIRECTOR, PURO HOTEL DEVELOPMENT
Przemysław Wieczorek MRICS, President and Managing Director of Puro Hotel Development responsible for real estate, development, and financing within Puro investment activities. Present in the company since beginning. Przemysław has over 15 year experience in real estate sector both residential and commercial, specializing in financing, market analysis and acquisitions. Puro is a Polish lifestyle hotel brand present in Warsaw, Cracow, Wrocław, Gdańsk, Poznań and Łódź. Puro prepares and develops new hotels in Budapest, Warsaw, Wrocław and Katowice. Puro acts as investor, developer and operator.
Barbara is the leader of the Global Incentive Services Group in Hungary and Partner in the Indirect Taxes team. She joined the Tax and Legal Department of PricewaterhouseCoopers Budapest in 2008. She is a member of PwC’s Global and Hungarian ESG platform and leads the ESG services within the Tax and Legal Department of PwC Hungary.
Before joining PwC Barbara gained three years’ work experience in the Ministry for National Economy and ITDH (the predecessor of HIPA, responsible for VIP cash subsidies), where she was dealing with subsidy issues of multinational companies.
Barbara has strong contacts with the relevant authorities, including the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Innovation and Technology, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, HIPA, the State Aid Monitoring Office, and the Hungarian Intellectual Property Office.
She gained special knowledge on the field of tourism via projects performed together with the Hungarian Tourism Agency and the Hungarian Hotel & Restaurant Association as well as has a master’s degree in law from Eötvös Lóránd University of Legal Sciences and an Economics degree from Széchenyi István University. In addition, Barbara is a certified tax advisor and a member of the Hungarian Association of International Companies.
SUSTAINABILITY ADVISOR & OWNER, SLEEPWELL AB
Jan Peter "JP" Bergkvist, sustainability professional, inspiring speaker, writer & senior advisor at SleepWell AB, has been active in the field of Sustainable Business at an executive level in the hospitality industry, since the early nineties. 15 years in Scandic Hotels with 9 years in an executive management position, including 4 years with Hilton International in the role of Global Director of Environmental Sustainability.
Since 2009 when Mr. Bergkvist stepped back from his position as Vice President Sustainable Business at Scandic, he is working as senior sustainability advisor in his own business SleepWell AB.
In 2010 he published the book Sustainability in Practice followed by the Swedish guide book to ISO 20121 in 2012 and in 2014 Spela Roll (It matters!) the official handbook in sustainability for the Swedish hospitality industry. In 2016 he published as co-author The Textile Challenge, the story of Sweden Textile Water Initiative where he was running the secretariat for seven years.
Mr. Bergkvist is vice-chair of the board of Ecolabelling Sweden (a state-owned enterprise in charge of the Nordic Swan and EU Flower eco-labels in Sweden) and co-opted member of the board of SIWI, Stockholm International Water Institute. He also serves as chairman of the Stockholm Water Prize Founders Council and the NGO Swedish Performing Artists for the Environment. He is a member of several sustainability award juries across Europe and a recurring guest author for Hotelexecutive.com in the US, the hotel industry's leading online business resource.
REGIONAL DIRECTOR HUNGARY & SLOVAKIA, CPI HOTELS
István Nagy-Szász, the Regional Director Hungary & Slovakia at CPI Hotels, started at CPI Hotels in 2010 where he initially managed two hotels, since then his responsibilities have expanded considerably, currently he is supervising 5 hotels in Hungary & Slovakia and 2 ongoing hotel developments in Budapest. This entails the responsibility for driving hotel’s operating performance, asset management and company management for CPI Hotels in Hungary and Slovakia, planning the annual budget and the forecast quarterly of the hotels, overseeing the reconstruction of 2 hotels in Budapest (Mérleg project) from the hotel operational point of view with a close cooperation with CPI Pg Hungary, responsible for design and implementation of hotel’s CAPEX in the region, preparing the business plans and feasibility studies for new hotel projects, representing CPI Hotels and being actively involved in hotel’s acquisition process as well as overseeing operational takeovers and re-brandings of the properties.
In addition, István was the Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Hungarian Hotel Association from 2018-2021 as well as the co-editor of a Hungarian podcast broadcast “Dunakavicsok” (the podcast deals with the tourism of the future, the world of new tourism, mainly about current topics related to tourism in Austria and Hungary, as well as in the Danube region).
FOUNDER, HOSPITALITY PROJECTS
Mr. Valeri Chekheria has gained 22 years of managerial experience at various local and International organizations including Parliament of Georgia, Ministry of Finance of Georgia, Ministry of Economy of Georgia, Permanent Mission of Georgia to the United Nations, Human Rights Watch, and Adjara Group Hospitality. He graduated from Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University with a master’s degree in law (2000-2004) and Columbia University in the City of New York with a master’s degree in Public Administration (2007-2009).
In 1999 Mr. Chekheria established an NGO “Student Self-Development Association,” which consisted of more than 1000 students from various universities in Georgia. During 2002-2003 he served as a Consultant/Lawyer at the Budget and Finance Committee of the Parliament of Georgia. From 2003 to 2004 he held various positions at the Law Department of the Ministry of Finance of Georgia prior to becoming Head of the Department. During 2004-2005, Mr. Chekheria served as Chief of Staff to the Minister of Economy of Georgia, before being appointed as Chief of Staff to the Minister of Finance of Georgia in 2006. He remained in the position until late 2007, while being actively involved in staff management and training, liberalization process of the Georgian tax system, relations with donor organizations, facilitation of the country’s first sovereign rating, and reform of the Georgian revenue system. During 2009-2010, Mr. Chekheria advised the Permanent Representative of Georgia to the United Nations, while also working as a Research Assistant of Human Rights Watch at Columbia University.
At the end of 2011, Mr. Chekheria was offered a position of CEO at Adjara Group hospitality - the holding company that currently owns and manages Holiday Inn Tbilisi, Rooms Kazbegi and Rooms Tbilisi Hotel, Lolita Restaurant, Rooms Bakuriani, Stamba Hotel and Fabrika Hostel. Upon return to Georgia, he facilitated rapid transformation and growth of Adjara Group Hospitality. In 2012, Mr. Chekheria initiated creation of the first ever Georgian brand hotel chain “Rooms Hotels'. In the beginning of 2020 Adjara Group Academy was established. As a result Adjara Group became the largest and the most rapidly growing holding company in the Georgian hospitality industry with the upcoming Rooms Abastumani Hotel and the largest agricultural project in Georgia Udabno, including Rooms Udabno Hotel. In 2020 Mr. Chekheria became Chairman of the Board of Directors at Adjara Group Holding.
In 2021 Mr. Chekheria left the group and founded Hospitality and Agricultural consultancy group, Hospitality Projects. In 2021 Co-founded Apolitical Academy Caucasus. From November 2021 Partner and Strategic Projects Director at Slow Group (Berlin, Germany)
From 2021 till January 2022 Mr. Chekheria was an Advisor to the Minister, at the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia.
Mr. Chekheria was elected as a Chairman of the UN Global Compact (Georgian Network) during 2016-2018. Since, 2017 he is as a Member of the Board of Directors at McLain Association for Children as well as an Advisory Committee member at Europe Foundation. From 2018 Young Global leader, from World Economic Forum.
VICE PRESIDENT & HEAD OF LUXURY DEVELOPMENT NORTHERN EUROPE, ACCOR
Maria is a hospitality and real estate professional with over 15 years of experience. With a strong international background gained through working in hotel development, feasibility and asset management encompassing North America, LATAM, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. She leads Accor’s luxury brand development in Europe. Prior to joining Accor in July 2021, Maria spent time in the serviced apartment sector and was a founding member of the Hyatt’s development team and responsible for fulfilling Hyatt's development strategy in Western Europe.
MANAGING DIRECTOR, HORWATH HTL HUNGARY
Marius is passionate about the world of investments centred around hotels, resorts, themed attractions and culinary experiences. He has been involved in hundreds of projects from the Americas through Europe to the Middle East and Asia. The real estate cycle has re-focussed Marius’ activity to hotel transactions, acquisition due diligence, branding and concept development in the CEE, Caucasus and beyond. Marius launched the first Hotel Investment Platform (HIP) in 2020.
MANAGING PARTNER, DVM GROUP
Tibor Massányi is the Managing Partner of DVM Group and the primary manager of the design, architectural visualization, project management, environmental consulting and marketing communications departments.
DVM group is a leading player and reliable partner for hotel design&build projects in Budapest. They are responsible for the complete renovation of the iconic Drechsler Palace and the transformation of the W Hotel Budapest, the works of the St. Regis Hotel in Klotild Palace, the construction of the Intercity Hotel Budapest, the renovation of the rooms and public areas of the Radisson Blu Béke Hotel and the skybar of the Hilton Hotel Budapest with its unique panoramic view.
TRANSACTION DIRECTOR, INDOTEK GROUP
Krisztián Hornok has been the Transaction Director of Indotek Group since 2014, before that he held senior positions at various service companies. He was the Managing Director of real estate consulting company DTZ in Hungary for four years and a Member of the Board of RICS Hungary for seven years. In his current position, he is primarily responsible for Indotek's acquisition activities, he executes high-value real transactions both at home and abroad on behalf of one of the most active investment companies in the country.
VICE PRESIDENT DEVELOPMENT EUROPE, WYNDHAM HOTELS & RESORTS
As Regional Vice President Development for Europe at Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, Christian Michel is responsible for leading the company’s growth strategy and execution in the region.
Joining the company as Director of Development for Eastern Europe in 2004, Christian’s remit has expanded to more markets over the years, more recently to cover the whole European region. A 30-year industry veteran, Christian served in various General Manager positions for recognised hotel brands in different countries, including Ramada by Wyndham, Swiss Inn and Mövenpick Hotels.
Christian is a native Swiss and has lived and worked in the UAE, Egypt and Switzerland, he speaks French, English, and German. He holds a bachelor's degree in Catering Trade from the Hotel School in Lausanne, as well as a Swiss Confederation Certificate of Marketing.
Christian started his career as a professional chef for The Gstaad Palace and food remains one of his biggest passions, along with traveling.
ECOSTRUXURE BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT & SALES DIRECTOR, SCHNEIDER ELECTRIC
Dániel Racsek joined Schneider Electric Zrt. team shortly after graduating in economics, so he has been working for the success of Schneider Electric, the leader in digital transformation of energy management and automation for more than 10 years. He is committed to the belief that more efficient operation and more conscious management are the key to sustainability and security of energy supply.
As EcoStruxure Business Development and Sales Director for Schneider Electric, he and his team are working on pioneering solutions such as self-learning intelligence-based automated energy consulting services.
With a focus on the hotel sector, he has also set up a dedicated technical and project support team to develop building automation solutions, even tailored to specific needs, that not only operate efficiently but also enhance guest experience.
In this field, Schneider Electric already has several references in Hungary, combining both the technical needs of multinational hotel chains and specific solutions developed with Hungarian suppliers for Hungarian needs.
This enables these hotel chains to offer their guests the highest possible quality of guest experience, whilst meeting the forward-looking expectations of their own investors and taking into consideration ESG aspects at the same time.
MANAGING DIRECTOR, IR HOTELS & RESORTS
Ilan Rudich is a veteran hotelier with over 40 years’ experience within the international hospitality industry. Currently he is managing director of IR Hotels & Resorts – IRH&R and resides in Monaco.
His highly experienced team of principals and senior executives from the leisure, travel and hotel industries plus locally based operational experts. Services include acquisitions and new developments; especially resorts and tourist attractions.
The co-ordination and negotiation with consortiums of investors and in many cases, the acquisition as an investor, including the due diligence and all other professionally related matters. Specialised consultancy work and ventures with new investors, professional operators, architects, etc., dependent upon the requirements of each project. He has long-standing professional relationships with banks and international finance houses for new projects or the refinancing of existing hotels.
Specialising in sale and lease-back arrangements, Mr. Rudich has established excellent business relationships with core international private investors, banks, hotel companies and investment fund houses.
Projects are worldwide and include: Europe (incl. CIS countries) Africa, Middle East and the Americas. Currently IRH&R are supervising a hotel operation in Monaco.
SENIOR MACROECONOMIC ANALYST, CONCORDE SECURITIES LTD.
Sandor received his MSc in Finance at the Budapest University of Economics. Between 2000 and 2008 he produced investment strategies as fixed income analyst at DZ Bank CEE Research supporting institutional investors in the regional government bond markets. In the next 12 years he was working as senior macroeconomic analyst at CIB Bank. He received the Consensus Economics Forecast Accuracy Award for his GDP and CPI forecasts in 2013 and 2016. He joined Concorde Securities Ltd. in August 2020 and has been working as senior macroeconomic analyst of the research team since then.
FOUNDER, JAPANESE INITIATIVE LTD.
Kemmi started his career as a venture capitalist based in Tokyo in 1991 working in a Japanese semi-governmental institute and left as a portfolio manager of 100 million USD Asian VC & PE fund raised from PGGM. In 2001 he established his own advisory firm based in Budapest for GHG emission reduction investment which was facilitated to achieve the emission reduction target under Kyoto Protocol which was a predecessor of the Paris Protocol. Since then the firm has been working for large scale investment of renewable energy generation/net zero fuel and energy efficiency improvement, with services of capital/fund raising, technology transfer, structuring carbon emission credits deal. He himself was an advisor to ca.1-billion USD bilateral emission trading transactions for Japanese government to CEE counterparts, and is advisor to banks, asset managers, energy utilities, manufacturers of decarbonization technologies including hydrogen-based fuel cell, perovskite solar cell, and a Zero Emission Building construction company.
HOTEL DEVELOPMENT & BRAND STRATEGIST, VALUE ONE
Liliane is Development and Brand strategist at Value One Hospitality, part of the Value One group. She is responsible for brand strategy and business development for Value One‘s newly created hotel brand, AWA Hotels. AWA Hotels is a ESG and sustainability focussed lifestyle brand, with developments throughout Europe in the pipeline. Liliane is also the creative mind behind concepts for all new developments.
Prior to joining Value One, Liliane co-founded and managed HOTCO. Liliane has a passion for people, sustainability and travelling, and has lived and worked in Switzerland, Austria, Japan, Bolivia and Hungary.
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER & OWNER, MELLOW MOOD HOTELS
Sameer Hamdan, hotel industry professional and co-owner of the Mellow Mood Hotels group, founded in 1996. Mellow Mood Hotels currently operates and owns 10 hotels in Budapest and is one of the leading operators in the Hungarian capital, with three, four and five star categories. Sameer also has relevant real estate development and investment experiences not only in the hospitality industry.
CHIEF DEVELOPMENT OFFICER & MEMBER OF MANAGEMENT BOARD, KEMPINSKI SA
As Chief Development Officer and Member of the Management Board of Kempinski
Hotels SA, Christophe Piffaretti is responsible for strategically expanding the constellation of Kempinski properties around the globe.
In his role, Christophe focuses the growth of the company's footprint in current and new markets and supports the real-estate development plans. He also oversees Technical Services & Design of new build and conversion hotel projects before the pre-opening phase.
Christophe brings with him more than 25 years of a luxury hotel, real estate and development experience in international markets. He joined Kempinski Hotels from his position of leading two real estate investment funds for Credit Suisse Asset Management, where he was responsible for the strategy, development, operations and performance of a portfolio of over 150 properties in Switzerland with a total value of CHF 3.9 billion, including several hotels as well as senior living, campus and residential properties. Previously he held senior development roles with Fairmont Raffles Hotels International, Residencium and La Perla International Living.
HEAD OF DEPARTMENT FOR REAL ESTATE FINANCING, HYPO NOE LANDESBANK FÜR NIEDEROESTERREICH UND WIEN BANK AG
Péter is a trained economist by background having graduated in Budapest in 1988. He holds an MPhil degree in Land Economy from the University of Cambridge and a joint MSc degree in Real Estate from the Budapest Technical University and the Nottingham Trent University. He started his career more than 30 years ago and gained a wealth of experience in the field of property agency, development, valuation and investment & banking with local and international firms such as Price Waterhouse, Kuwait Petroleum, Jones Lang Wootton and Eurohypo. He is currently Head of Department for Real Estate Financing at HYPO NOE Landesbank für Niederoesterreich und Wien Bank AG.
Péter has been a member of RICS since 1999 and served as Chairman of RICS Hungary for six years and was also a member of the RICS Europe board for six years. He has completed his 6-year term on the Board of RICS Austria.
SENIOR SALES EXECUTIVE, DATASITE
Mihai Tuca is the Senior Sales Executive at Datasite, working for the company since April 2020. He is currently supporting Private Equity Firms, Investment Banks, Law Firms, and Corporations across Central and Eastern Europe facilitating their due diligence experience within the entire M&A lifecycle.
Previously, he mainly worked in the financial market, as a Financial Advisor for Equity Invest SA. He graduated from the Romanian-American University in Bucharest as well as the Romanian Diplomatic Institute.
GENERAL MANAGER, KEMPINSKI HOTEL CORVINUS BUDAPEST
In September 2014 Stephan Interthal returned as General Manager to Kempinski Hotel Corvinus Budapest, where he had held the same position from 1997 until 2004. At the time, he implemented a comprehensive refurbishment project and orchestrated ambitious renovation works to overhaul all of the rooms and suites, the spa and the restaurant.
Before his second Budapest appointment, Mr Interthal was in charge of Hotel Baltschug Kempinski Moscow from July 2013, where he oversaw the final stages of an EUR 20 Mio renovation project as well as the repositioning of the hotel. Prior to Moscow, he spent three-and-a-half years as Managing Director of the Kempinski Hotel Beijing Lufthansa, Kempinski’s flagship property in China.
During his second tenure at Kempinski Hotel Corvinus Budapest, he opened ÉS Deli, a New York-style takeaway coffee shop in the Lobby. He oversaw the redesign of the entire event floor, and as a result, a truly innovative and Budapest’s most state-of-the-art event venue was created under the new brand name of “Ten Rooms” in April 2017. At the beginning of 2018, he launched the renovation of the guest floors, which was finished in Spring 2021, introducing new premium room and suite categories. Under his leadership, the hotel’s restructured catering service “The Kitchen Caters” has reached record revenues and is perceived as the most exclusive caterer in Budapest.
Stephan Interthal is a graduate of the Cornell University, and received his European Business MBA from Reims Management School in 2000. A true passionate hotelier with senior management experience at Kempinski finest properties, including the Kempinski Vier Jahreszeiten Munich and the legendary Hotel Adlon Kempinski Berlin, Mr Interthal offers a wealth of experience from four decades in the hospitality industry. Throughout his remarkable career, he has consistently advocated providing customers with impeccable service that exceeds expectations.
Mr Interthal is a member of the Board of Deutscher Wirtschaftsclub in Hungary.
Under his management, Kempinski Hotel Corvinus Budapest received several prestigious awards, and Mr Interthal was named Hotelier of the Year by Best of Budapest & Hungary in 2018. He was nominated and finalist for the category Best Hotelier by Worldwide Hospitality Awards in 2018. In 2021, he was listed among the 50 top influential persons in tourism in Hungary.
A German national, Mr Interthal speaks fluent English in addition to his mother tongue, and he is conversant in French. His passions in life are fine dining, wine and hospitality. His hobbies include golf, football and travel.
FOUNDING PARTNER, EMERGING EUROPE
Andrew Wrobel is the Founding Partner of Emerging Europe, a London-based growth hub, and the leader of the Tech Emerging Europe Advocates community, a part of the Global Tech Advocates network.
Trained as a journalist, he specialises in site selection, foreign direct investment, sourcing, technology and innovation, nation branding, and cross-cultural communications.
Andrew runs Emerging Europe’s research and consultancy teams and co-authors the organisation’s flagship annual reports: the Future of IT, the Investment Promotion Report, the Business-Friendly City Perception Index.
He is a juror at various international business-related competitions, a location promotion trainer and a media commentator. He has authored and contributed to a number of international business, investment and trade-related publications.
FOUNDER & CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, PROPERTY FORUM
Csanád is the founder of Property Forum with more than 15 years’ experience in the industry. Property Forum is a leading event hub of the CEE real estate industry with conferences, business breakfasts and workshops in London, Vienna, Warsaw, Bucharest, Budapest, Belgrade, Bratislava and Prague. Csanád strongly believes the principles that made his conferences successful: the format, the quality of content, the commitment to seek out the most interesting and most inspiring speakers in the industry and let them share their knowledge and passion. Csanád holds an economics Master’s degree from Radboud University Nijmegen (the Netherlands).
CHIEF DEVELOPMENT OFFICER EUROPE, MIDDLE EAST & AFRICA, MARRIOTT INTERNATIONAL
In his capacity of Chief Development Officer, Jerome oversees the expansion of Marriott International across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Based in Zurich, Jerome leads a team of development experts committed to growing Marriott International’s footprint and further strengthening the company’s position as the world’s largest travel company.
Previously, Jerome was leading the Middle East & Africa development team and was in charge of the expansion of the branded residences business line of Marriott International across all brands in the Middle East and Africa. His extensive network and solid market reputation built over more than a decade spent in the region have enabled Jerome to bring some of the company’s most iconic brands to the continent, including Edition and Bulgari Hotels & Resorts, as well as expand the midscale and full-service brands in underprovided submarkets.
Prior to joining Marriott International, Jerome has advised international clients in successfully conducting hotel transactions both in Europe and the Middle East, having been a senior member of the Capital Markets team of Jones Lang Lasalle in Dubai and previously in Paris.
Jerome holds a BSc in Finance from INSEEC Paris and an MBA from ESSEC Paris in Hospitality Management.