Our Honorable Speakers - 2022

Cuthbert is a seasoned Tourism Executive and has held leadership positions within International and Regional Organizations. His mandate at the African Tourism Board is to leverage strategic relationships in the industry and beyond to unify Africa’s efforts in positioning herself as a Tourism destination powerhouse. In recognition to his contribution to promoting and restoring Africa’s tourism Post Covid 19,Cuthbert has recently been adorned with the coveted “Heroes of Tourism” Award; an award given by Tourism Experts and endorsed by Global Tourism Security Expert, Peter Tarlow. Cuthbert has had the honor to share his knowledge in the tourism industry as a Guest Speaker at various Local, Regional & International Conferences. A passionate humanitarian, Cuthbert is involved in several community development initiatives in his personal capacity, and enjoys music and a spot of gardening during his free time.

Cuthbert Ncube

Executive Chairman
African Tourism Board

Trevor Ward is a specialist consultant in the hospitality and real estate industries. From the late 1980s he has specialised in the provision of advisory services to clients in developing countries, and for almost 20 years has been based in Nigeria, advising clients there and throughout the whole African continent. His international experience includes advising clients on hotel and other types of development in more than 90 countries in Africa, Europe, North and South America, the Caribbean and Asia. With a special focus on Africa, where he has worked on no fewer than 40 countries so far, he is working with many of the international hotel and real estate groups, and investors, who are seeking a presence there, and with existing players. He is regarded as one of the foremost experts on the hotel industry in Africa, and is engaged primarily in development consultancy, ranging from investment appraisals to operator selection, asset management, valuations and agency.

Trevor J Ward

Owner
W Hospitality Group

Ben Martin has a considerable catalogue of experience as a consultant focusing on real estate economics, with a particular emphasis on resorts, residential, leisure and mixed-use development. He has completed projects across a broad range of countries in Europe, Central Asia, the Middle East and Africa and his clients have included government organisations, leisure and entertainment providers, property development companies, financial institutions, development corporations and local authorities. Mr Martin is involved at all stages of the study process, from preliminary site reviews to the design and development of tailor-made financial models that reflect the recommended development programme for the project. Having gained more than 25yrs of experience as a consultant in this sector, he now plays a key role in the management of project research and economic appraisal within the Hospitality Advisory Group at HKS Inc.

Ben Martin

Global Director of Hospitality Advisory Services
HKS

An accomplished, business savvy Group Chief Information Officer of a luxury group of hotels leading a team of 25 people internationally. Endowed with a strong track record in successfully developing and implementing innovative business solutions in hospitality and banking, he is currently advising the board of directors on the current trend of technology, safeguarding IT governance while leading key technological decisions for the group. An experienced leader and a valuable colleague, leading, building and participating in high performing multi-disciplinary teams. Occasional speaker at Hospitality and Technology conferences worldwide. Finalist at the SuperNova Awards, by Constellation Research, for successfully introducing disruptive technologies in the company.

Roshan Koonja

Chief Information Officer
Constance Hotels

Roberto, an Italian national and alumnus of Cornell School of Hotel Administration, has three decades of experience in the hospitality industry in operations, asset management, pre-opening and opening, re-branding and development. His career has taken him on key assignments of progressively increased responsibility with a variety of hospitality groups such as InterContinental Hotels, Hilton International, Sun International, Sun Resorts, Kerzner International, SuperClubs, Meritus Hotels & Resorts, Grace Hotels, Latitude Hotels and Cygnett Hotels & Resorts across Europe, Middle East, Indian Ocean, Caribbean, Southeast Asia, China, North, Central and Latin America, Africa and India. Currently based in Bangkok, Roberto is responsible for leading Cygnett Hotels & Resorts’ business development and operations in Asia and Africa.

Roberto Pelliccia

Vice President – Development & Operations – Asia | Africa
Cygnett Hotels & Resorts

Eric has been involved in the hospitality industry since 2000 enjoying a successful global sales and management career spanning Guestroom Telephones & HSIA at TELEDEX, Operational Software at FCS, Revenue Management at Duetto, and Guest Facing technologies at NEVOTEK. In 2020 Eric decided the time was right to set up his own business with a focus on Recruitment and Consultancy in the Hospitality Vertical, “This was something I felt was missing – a single resource for employers to find experienced candidates, and a single place for candidates looking for these roles.

Eric Rogers

Principal
Eric Rogers Global Hospitality & Technology Services

Out-of-the-box technology strategist with a 360° background of the hospitality sector in EMEA & North America and a more recent involvement in the blockchain world, Guilain Denisselle has over 30 years’ experience of hospitality operations, sales, marketing, distribution and technology. Over his consulting activities, he has helped numerous hotel groups, technology vendors and investment funds grow their business. He founded www.tendancehotellerie.fr in 2009, a French speaking webzine dedicated to the hospitality community. Over his volunteer engagements, he has contributed to hotel technology evangelization for more than 15 years.

Guilain Denisselle

Founder
TendanceHotellerie.fr

Highly motivated, hands-on hotels management, professional bringing more than 27 years’ experience of successfully developing top-notch new hotel properties; provides the highest quality of customer satisfaction and delivers first-rate business and operations management. Demonstrates the ability to exceed profit targets, cost effectively develop new projects, quickly turnaround existing properties, effectively and positively manages and motivates culturally diversified staff, maximizes productivity and efficiently controls costs. Keeps good relationship with Hotels owners and develops transparency in handling them. Leads with Vision and implement with strategy seeking productivity and profitability at high levels.

Kamel Senhadji

Chief Operating Officer
Azalai Hotels

Ambitious Regional Director of IT and hands-on IT Manager with 15+ years of experience working with the latest technologies, within large worldwide corporate information systems structures. Multi-disciplined and conversant with all aspects of design, delivery, co-ordination, estimation and management of assigned projects. Works well under pressure and dedicated to providing maximum efficiency on tight budgets, using company’s assets to their fullest. A committed team player with an excellent commercial approach and problem-solving skills. Experienced with $ 2m+ budgets, strict timelines, works within process limitations.

Abbas EL Shabasy

Corporate Director of Information Technology
SUNRISE Resorts & Cruises

Leed Hospitality was created by Mrs Laetitia GNASSINGBE, a worldwide renowned expert in the hotel and tourism industry. She fluently speaks four different languages ​​(French, English, Spanish and German) and is currently based in Alsace on the Switzerland border. Graduated from the Saint Quentin en Yvelines Hotel and Tourism School, having 19 years of experience internationally at all levels in her field. She is an expert in Management, marketing, operation, concept creations, and hotels renovation. Laetita has been hotel Manager at several hotels in Africa and Switzerland. She is Azalai hotels Group Board Member. Her company Leed Hospitality operates in Togo, Côte d'Ivoire, Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea. The company provide Hotel Management Consulting, trainings, recruitment and Management contracts to hotels.

Laetitia Ndjeng Nyop

CEO & Founder
Leed Hospitality

CD is an Executive, Business and Life Coach that, after a 22-year hospitality career has turned his passion into his purpose and launched 34 Coaching, his Neuro-Science based coaching venture. CD spent his hospitality career around the world working with The Ritz-Carlton, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, Marriott Hotels, Tsogo Sun and the Emirates Group, specializing in opening flagship properties and helping to organize events such as the Dubai Rugby Sevens. With the extreme pressure in hospitality, CD used his coaching techniques to bring out the full potential in his staff and groomed them for future leadership positions utilizing various Neuroscience techniques. CD has a full-time coaching practice and is an International Coaching Federation certified coach. He partners with executives, entrepreneurs and forward thinkers to achieve goals and bring about positive behavioral change.

CD Kotze

Founder – 34 Coaching
South Africa

Pieter Jordaan is the Chief Technology Officer for TUI Group and is responsible for technology strategy, transformation, platform design and innovation across all of TUI Group, it’s holiday products and the groups technology platforms. Pieter has over 20 year’s experience in IT leadership and transformation ranging from Financial Services, Insurance, Logistics and Travel. He is experienced in Global Transformation programs especially with regards to cloud adoption, digitalisation and industry disruption relating to AI.

Pieter Jordaan

Group Chief Technology Officer
TUI Group

As a green global citizen; Mohammad, Chaired the WorldGBC MENA Network and the Jordan Green Building Council. He served as a Senior Adviser at the USAID Energy Sector Capacity Building Program and as the Environment, Water and Energy Sector Lead at the USAID Jordan Economic Development Program. Mohammad, was appointed as an adviser to the Board of Trustees at the Princess Sumaya University for Technology, founded the Queen Rania Center for Entrepreneurship and worked on developing the concept behind El Hassan Science City. He also worked at the Jordan Investment Board and served as a consultant for UNDP, UNIDO, and USAID 's AMIR Program. He was appointed as a regional advisor to OECD' s MENA Investment Program, chaired UNEP - SBCI's Advocacy Committee and was a founding board member at Al Shajarah NGO. Mohammad also co founded Ahel Al Balad, which is a non-political grassroots' movement that aims at spreading positivity in community through volunteering.

Mohammad Asfour

Head, MENA & Africa Regional Networks
World Green Building Council

A seasoned hotelier, a trailblazer in hospitality. Ajay has played an integral part in the phenomenal growth story of Sarovar Hotels since its early inception to 90 hotels now. An alumni of Cornell- Essec, France, and product of Oberoi School of Hotel Management. He has worked extensively in France, Scotland, Australia, Africa and India. His work Mantra- Sincerity and hard work will always give results. He became the “CEO of the year” at the Hotelier India Awards 2017

Ajay Bakaya

Managing Director
Sarovar Hotels

For more than 6 years Daniel has been involved in the hospitality industry working in different departments, in 2019 he appointed as General Manager of Addis Ababa Hotel Owners Association working hard to develop the hospitality and tourism sector in the Ethiopia.

Daniel Berehanu

General Manager
Addis Ababa Hotel Owners Association

Harish Chandra is the Head of IT (CTO) at Sarovar Hotels. He has more than 25 years of experience across multiple industries, including hospitality, aviation, IT & telecom. In hospitality, he has worked with international and Indian hotel brands, such as InterContinental Hotels Group, Hyatt Hotels & Resorts, Le Royal Meridien and The Park Hotels. He has also been with Oracle Hospitality, Air Sahara and Avaya GlobalConnect

Harish Chandra

CTO
Sarovar Hotels Pvt. Ltd.

Alessandro is a strong leader, great communicator and negotiator with an analytical approach. As global COO of febc international – international consultancy company specialized in the FF&E and OS&E procurement – he is responsible for leading all global efforts across global offices implementing daily operations, aligned with the company’s strategies and policies. His individual role is to maintain control of diverse business operations. Driving supply analysis, drafting operational strategies, setting suppliers identification, sourcing execution (‘tendering’), negotiating contracts. Alessandro is the company second in command and he is responsible for the efficiency of business.

Alessandro Maria Tedesco

Chief Operating Officer
FEBC International - a global hospitality procurement management company

Experienced Chief Executive Officer with a demonstrated history of working in the leisure, travel & tourism industry. Sherin Francis is skilled in Negotiation, Customer Service, Business Development, Marketing Strategy, and Public Speaking. A strong business development professional with an MSC Finance focused in Finance and Financial Management Services from the University of London. Her first degree is in economics. Prior to joining the Seychelles Tourism Board, Mrs Francis has also headed the Seychelles Investment Board for four years whereby she has been instrumental in broadening the marketing arm of the board and raised Seychelles’ profile internationally as an investment destination. During her tenure at the Tourism Board, a position which she is still currently serving, together with her team, she has been instrumental in championing the digital revolution in marketing at the board amongst other achievements. She believes in the power of teamwork.

SHERIN FRANCIS

CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
SEYCHELLES TOURISM BOARD

Interior architect, known for designing hospitality spaces, offices and commercial facilities. For many years, he has been designing interiors for brands such as Novotel, Mercure, Hilton, MGallery and ibis Styles, but also for boutique hotels and restaurants or dynamic startups, such as intive and Codelab. Winner, together with the design team, of the International Property Award 2016/2017, the International Property Award 2019/2020, the Silver Medal A’Design Award, the Honorable Mention IDA Award and other awards, distinctions and nominations. Speaker at many hospitality and design/ interior furnishings conferences and events, including Warsaw Home fair, Lodz Design Festival, 4 Design Days, Hotel Trends Poland & CEE, Meeting Hotel. Active Instagram user, on which he reports his travels, design inspirations, shows interesting public interiors and the daily work of MIXD.

Piotr Kalinowski

CEO and creative director
MIXD studio

Dominique Dmytryszyn, a French native, joined Hilton Worldwide in 1980. With a solid background in Food & Beverage areas, accounting, finance and sales, Dominique has held several management positions within Hilton Worldwide.He started expatriation in London and Australia where he held key positions at Hilton on Park Lane hotel and Hilton Melbourne respectively. In 1996, he became Manager of Noga Hilton Cannes (France); in 1999 General Manager of Hilton Paris Charles de Gaulle airport (France) and four years later, he was transferred to the Hilton Strasbourg (France). In 2007, he took over the general management of the Hilton Evians-Les-Bains. Dominique Dmytryszyn has taken over from Gisela Münchgesang as fourth General Manager of the Hilton Mauritius Resort & Spa on 2nd April 2012. Should his busy schedule allow it, he spends his free time golfing, playing tennis and discovering the local countryside. He speaks English and French fluently.

Dominique Dmytryszyn

General Manager
Hilton Resort & Spa Al Houara Tanger

Projects manager with a demonstrated experience of working in environmental development, she reinforced her engineering and technical skills with a master in Interdisciplinary Design for the Built Environment from the University of Cambridge. Wiam developed her national and international professional network through her involvement in the Morocco Green Building Council since 2015. Today she is the only female president within the World GBC network and continues to support developers of all types of projects through her daily work at Alto Eko. She has a diversified portfolio of projects from high-rise offices to housing, hotels and palaces as well as the largest university campus in Morocco. Wiam is delivering consultancy to her clients through the various professional accreditation she holds, among which HQE, LEED, WELL, Edge and BREEAM.

Wiam Samir

Projects Manager
Alto Eko
Former President
Morocco Green Building Council

A man of engagement and experience, Laurent was one of the founders of the European Youth Parliament France (PEJ-France). After graduating from HEC Paris in 2001, he became the Head of development and communication of HEC Entrepreneurs, before going on to join Accor in 2004 to work on the strategic repositioning of the Sofitel brand. At the age of 43, he has accumulated close to 20 years of experience in the world of hotels.

Laurent Delporte

Founder
DELPORTE Hospitality

Samantha Annandale, Regional Operations Director for the leading African Hotel Group, ONOMO Hotels, one of the hotel chains with the strongest pipeline development on the African continent, which operates 21 hotels in 12 African countries. With ONOMO Hotels and its ongoing expansion within Africa they are fast on track to be the Pan African hotel group of choice for travellers and investors who create hotels in the heart of Africa by putting Africa at the heart of its hotels. With 27 years of hospitality experience in various hospitality models, Samantha has been the forefront of leading innovation and trends within various projects including leadership in sustainable hospitality and tourism. Following a career through some of the world leading hotel groups to date, private owned international investments portfolio’s, and now the international Pan African hotel group, ONOMO, she has been a keynote speaker on various international stakeholder platforms globally as ambassador for her much loved industry sector.

Samantha Annandale

Regional Operations Director
ONOMO Hotels

Dr Ioannis PAPPAS, CEO & Co-Founder of GREEN EVOLUTION SA, is Director for Mediterranean Region of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC). He is a Mechanical Engineer, with PhD in Applied Mechanics, with over 29 years experience in several fields of science, focusing in Sustainability for Tourism, Energy and Environmental Efficiency in Infrastructure and Buildings, Advising in standardization of companies and technological implementation of climate adaptation and mitigation methodologies. He is Lead GSTC Assessor for Destinations, Auditor / Assessor for Sustainable Tourism Certification Standards, focusing in Hotels, Tour Operators and Destinations, and Lead Trainer for GSTC in South East Europe Region. Finally, he is the head expert of GSTC team on the Collaboration Contract between GSTC & the Greek Ministry of Tourism on the implementation of Sustainability into the new National Tourism Strategy.

Ioannis Pappas

Director Mediterranean Region
Global Sustainable Tourism Council

Jean Byamugisha is the first female CEO as well as the youngest CEO in the history of Uganda Hotel Owners Association, the only trade association for the Hotel Sector in Uganda. With over 600 member hotels, UHOA is the biggest as well as one of the oldest private sector Associations in Uganda’s tourism sector.. She has also been recognized as one of the 20 Best performing CEOs in Uganda in a survey carried out in December 2018. She was voted among the top 100 women in Tourism in Africa in 2017 as well as one of Uganda’s Top 40 CEO’s under 40 in 2018.

Jean Byamugisha

Executive Director
Uganda Hotel Owners Association

Enver’s current focus as CEO of Cape Town Tourism is to work alongside his team and the stakeholders of Cape Town Tourism (including more than 1000 signed-up members), and use innovation and agility to work towards recovery of the destination during the global COVID-19 pandemic. He is passionate about Cape Town, not only because it is his home town, but because of its blend of natural beauty, rich history and diverse cultures. His vision is to peel back the layers that make Cape Town what it is today - a thriving metropolis at the tipping point of the African continent, recognized as a global challenger through tourism.

Enver Duminy

Chief Executive Officer
Cape Town Tourism

Hospitality & Travel professional Dolores Semeraro is a digital marketing expert, keynote speaker, and travel recovery strategist. With a background in Marketing Communication and Chinese Business Development, her career expands over several sectors including trading, marketing, and hospitality. Dolores is a Digital Marketing Certified Trainer and she is passionate about helping her clients develop the leadership strategies they need to restore travel confidence and win their customers back. Dolores is a hospitality expert who delivers high-energy keynotes presentations that open the audience’s perception of what matters most to today’s travel consumers.

Dolores Semeraro

Hospitality Speaker & Travel Strategist
Dolores Semeraro

A HR professional with 12 years of experience, mostly in luxury brands in Hospitality. Thinking of ‘talent’ and ‘culture’, Mbithe comes to mind as a true believer and advocate of both-placing passionate and talented people forward and providing them with the tools, guidance and momentum to drive a company’s vision forward. A super Transformer for the Accor Brand in the MEA region, Mbithe puts people first and cultivates a culture of inclusivity, collaboration and accountability. She holds an Executive MBA and Bachelor of Commerce. She is a member of SHRM(US), Institute of Human Resources(Kenya), represents Fairmont Hotels at the Kenya Association of Hotel Keepers and Caterers(KAHC) and sits in the Joint Industrial Council which handles Industry grievances.

Mbithe Wambua

Group Director - Talent & Culture
Fairmont Hotels and Resorts

Lee Zama is the current CEO of the Federated Hospitality Association of South Africa (FEDHASA) where she joined in March 2019. Lee has over 25 years working experience across different industries, such as the services sectors and the hospitality and food businesses, where she covered a variety of leadership roles in sales management and operations, national key account management and general management. Prior to joining FEDHASA, Lee was the founder and owner of Hygcare a technology supplier to the pest hygiene and operations, Regional Business Manager for Rentokil Initial, Group Director Sales at Bidvest Prestige, National Sales and Marketing Manager for RoyalSechaba Catering Services. In early day days Lee also co-owned and managed a 38 suite hotel in Sandton. Board Member of the TBCSA (Tourism Business Council SA) and the TGCSA (Tourism Grading Council SA)

Lee Zama

CEO - FEDHASA
BOARD MEMBER - The Tourism Grading
Council of South Africa

An Engineer with a range of skills and abilities gained from a wider experience in the Hospitality industries, Service industry and Manufacturing FCMG industry and academic studies. Seeking a challenging career position in Engineering and Executive management with opportunity for growth, use of initiative, conversion of management policies into work plan for effective strategy in achieving organizational goal. My managerial experience and training in the field of Engineering were acquired in Canada, Holland, Ghana and presently in Nigeria.

Engr. Dr. Felix A. A. Elerunndu

Chief Engineer - Park Inn by Radisson
Nigeria

Waleed Salhieh is the Senior Regional Sales Manager at Hoist Group. I have over 17 years of experience in the hospitality technology segment. I regularly engage with hotels of all sizes helping them leverage tech to outsmart their competitors.

Waleed Salhieh

Sr. Regional Sales Manager MENA
Hoist Group

A Visionary leader, with valuable experience gained over 30 years in the hospitality industry. Has managed hotels in the luxury, leisure, games and resorts space. Has a Executive MBA from York St. John’s University, UK and is Hospitality graduate from IHM Bangalore, India with post-graduation in hotel management from ITC Welcomgroup School of Hotel Management, New Delhi. Has experience of Group roles and managed Starwood’s Luxury collections hotels, Sheraton and other brands. With immense knowledge in re-branding and renovating hotels, pre-opening/ greenfield projects, has the ability to motivate a workforce and have in-depth understanding of a multi-faceted business operation. Effective management and delegation, communication and negotiation, PR and presentation skills, Strong financial acumen, planning and forecasting, in depth knowledge of markets and changing business environments, complex problem solving, effective decision making are other strong traits.

Kuljit S Rekhi

Group Director of Operations
Sarova Hotels

Mr Nduku has designed and implemented a range of projects from Offices, Educational Facilities, Health Facilities, Warehouse and Factories to Personal Homes.
Under the leadership of Mr. Nduku, NN Architects has grown into a well-known architectural firm in the Eastern Cape and Western Cape, with head office in East London and a branch in Mthatha and one in Cape Town. NN Architects has covered a number of different projects; small and large

Ntsindiso Charles Nduku

Founder - N N Architect
President of South African Council for the Architectural Profession

C.S. Ramachandran (Ram) serves as Vice President, Hotel Revenue Optimization for South Asia, Middle East, Africa & Australasia for Preferred Hotels & Resorts. In this role, he helps the hotels maximize the effectiveness of their online distribution channels and optimize revenue through better revenue strategies. Ram has over 22 years of rich expertise in hotel management, the majority of which has been dedicated to revenue management and digital marketing. He also is a member of the Revenue Management Advisory board for HSMAI Asia Pacific.

CS Ramachandran

V.P Hotel Revenue Optimization South Asia, Middle East, Africa & Australasia
Preferred Hotels

I worked extensively in the Online & Digital Market for 12 years, until making a change into Hotel Management. My vast experience in managing hotels in Africa combined with my knowledge of the human mind led me to create my global career in the hospitality industry by working at Booking.com which now led me to lead the hotels in Africa for Marriott International.

Badroeneesa Majiet

Online Distribution Manager Africa
Marriott International

Essam El Hawary is the Head of Sales for Sub-Sharan Africa, he drives the Network Infrastructure sales all-over the Middle East & Africa region at Hoist Group and he has over 23 years of experience in the hospitality technology space. He regularly engages with hotels of all sizes helping them leverage technology to outsmart their competitors. Essam has a wide range of network solution experience gained during his career path in different sides of business round table (Customer, Vendor and Service Provider) he utilizes this experience delivering the best fit solution for his clients.

Essam El Hawary

Head of Sales Sub-Saharan Africa & Network Solutions
Hoist Group

With over 15 years of experience in the hospitality industry across different countries, Nathan currently leads a team that is responsible for building and maintaining Cvent partnerships across APAC, Middle East and Africa. Daily work engulfs him in strategizing, analyzing reports, training and mentoring. He has conducted over 100 seminars for events and hospitality professionals, and has represented Cvent in multiple trade shows across various continents. Apart from being at Work, Nathan enjoys travelling, driving and playing squash.

Nathan Sharma

Senior Manager, Sales
Cvent

Grace is currently Director of Human Resources with 30 years Senior Management experience with the Tourism and Hospitality Industry. She brings expert knowledge, skills and guidance to the industry to achieve goals and success. She specialises in hospitality workforce strategies: Staff Retention or Re-structuring which is much needed during post COVID 19 new Normal working environments. She has held different positions as General Manager, Human Resources, Food and Beverage, Rooms (Operations), Procurement and many more. Grace provides excellent training services for the Hospitality industry, recruitment and retention of staff.

Grace Acheampong

Director of Human Resources
Accra Marriott Hotel

Krista obtained a Bachelor of Hospitality at Leeuwarden Hotelschool in The Netherlands, after discovering a love for hospitality as a waitress in her teens. Having gained valuable experience in London, including at the legendary Dorchester, Krista re-located to South Africa, first joining the team at Kievitskroon Country Estate before moving to Azura Retreats, looking after Sales and Marketing for 8 years. Krista joined the team at the award-winning Saxon in 2019.

“I have always enjoyed working in Hospitality, there is nothing better than knowing that you are working towards the guest having the best possible experience at your hotel.”

Krista North

Director of Sales and Marketing
Saxon Hotel, Villas and Spa