October 30, 2020

NYU School of Professional Studies Jonathan M. Tisch Center of Hospitality to Present Virtual Version of the NYU International Hospitality Industry Investment Conference Through a Series of Online Webinars Held November 6-12

Panelists including CEOs from Accor, BWH, Hilton, Hyatt, IHG, and Marriott among other top hospitality brands, will share their perspectives on the state of the industry as well as the challenging outlook ahead posed by the global pandemic

NEW YORK, October 30, 2020 The Annual NYU International Hospitality Industry Investment Conference, hosted by the NYU School of Professional Studies (NYU SPS) Jonathan M. Tisch Center of Hospitality, is always a highly anticipated event that convenes thought leaders from across the US and around the globe. This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and to ensure the health and safety of participants, the event will take place as an online webinar series from November 6-12, 2020.

The virtual conference will feature a stellar lineup of industry executives who will provide timely and thought-provoking content on the future of hospitality, travel, and tourism during these tumultuous times. Attendance is free of charge to members of the hospitality and tourism sector, as well as to members of the press. Please register here.

“Thanks to the participation of our industry partners, this webinar series will bring the world-renowned NYU Hospitality Conference to an even larger audience, providing the latest information on trends and forecasts from the best in the business,” noted Nicolas Graf, associate dean of the NYU SPS Tisch Center of Hospitality. There has never been a more critical time for our industry to convene and to share knowledge and ideas that can serve to benefit us all.”



The webinar series will kick off on Friday, November 6, at 11:00 a.m., with “The CEOs Check In: The New Norm/An Industry Update,” which will be moderated by Kelly Evans, anchor, The Exchange, and co-anchor, Power Lunch, CNBC. It will feature top CEOs who will provide deeply informative insights on their own business operations as well as their perspectives on what lies ahead.

The all-star lineup includes:

  • Keith Barr, Chief Executive Officer, InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG)
  • Sébastien M. Bazin, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Accor
  • Mark S. Hoplamazian, President and Chief Executive Officer, Hyatt Hotels CorporationDavid Kong, President and Chief Executive Officer, BWH Hotel Group
  • Christopher J. Nassetta, President and Chief Executive Officer, Hilton
  • Arne M. Sorenson, President and Chief Executive Officer, Marriott International, Inc.
On Monday,  November 9, at 2:00 p.m., Jonathan M. Tisch, chairman and CEO of Loews Hotels & Co. and co-chairman of the board of Loews Corporation, will moderate a discussion on “Policy Matters: What Lodging Needs to Know Now About Public Policy,” which will focus on the economic and societal stresses of the global pandemic and will underscore the ways in which public policy directly impacts the lodging and travel industries—from immigration, labor, and workplace safety to basic travel, mobility, and hygiene. Participants will learn about the hot-button policy issues from the individuals who are not only leading the national dialogue, but who also are leading the organizations that most directly influence Washington. Panelists include:
  • Roger Dow, President and Chief Executive Officer, U.S. Travel Association
  • Andy Ingraham, President, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, National Association of Black Hotel Owners, Operators & Developers (NABHOOD)
  • Chip Rogers, President and Chief Executive Officer, AHLA
  • Cecil P. Staton, President and Chief Executive Officer, AAHOA
On Tuesday, November 10, at 1:00 p.m., Rick Ross, chair, Global Hotels and Leisure, Dentons, will moderate a discussion titled “CEOs’ Think Tank: Challenges and Opportunities Lodging Brands Face Now, and How Strong Leaders Are Addressing Both. The panel will explore the unprecedented pressures that this year has brought and how leading industry brands have adapted. Senior executives will share what is being done, what is being learned, and what we can expect next. Panelists include:
  • Geoff Ballotti, President and Chief Executive Officer, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts
  • Federico J. González, President and Chief Executive Officer, Radisson Hospitality AB; Chairman, Global Steering Committee, Radisson Hotel Group
  • Bruce Haase, President and Chief Executive Officer, Extended Stay America
  • Patrick Pacious, President and Chief Executive Officer, Choice Hotels International

At 2:00 p.m., Sean Hennessey, clinical assistant professor, NYU School of Professional Studies, Jonathan M. Tisch Center of Hospitality, will moderate a panel discussion titled “Operational Excellence,” which will focus on the ways changing travel and transportation patterns, the use of big data, new technology, changes in the labor force, and the exigencies of the current crisis are all spelling out a new future for hotel operations. He will interview:

  • Jenny Lucas, Senior Vice President, Operations & Learning, Loews Hotels & Co.
  • Jay Stein, Chief Executive Officer, Dream Hotel Group
On Wednesday, November 11, at 1:00 p.m. webinar attendees will gain insights into the latest deals and industry trends during “Financially Speaking: IREFAC Insiders.” Many IREFAC participant firms provide funding that enables deals to come to fruition. This session affords an “inside look” at an IREFAC meeting. The segment will be co-moderated by Jon E. Bortz, chairman and chief executive officer, Pebblebrook Hotel Trust and Michael Murphy, head of lodging and leisure capital, First Fidelity Companies. Panelists are:
  • Mark W. Elliott, President, Hodges Ward Elliott
  • Kevin J. Jacobs, Chief Financial Officer and President, Global Development, Hilton
  • Christopher J. Jordan, Executive Vice President, Wells Fargo
  • Michael G. Medzigian, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Watermark Lodging Trust, Inc.
  • Gilda Perez-Alvarado, Chief Executive Officer, JLL Hotels & Hospitality Group

The IREFAC Award will be presented to Christopher J. Nassetta, president and chief executive officer, Hilton by Laurence S. Geller, chairman, Geller Capital and Michael Murphy, head of lodging and leisure capital, First Fidelity Companies

At 2:00 p.m., Jeffrey A. Horwitz, senior partner, Proskauer, will moderate a discussion titled “The Money Machine: Debt and Equity Leaders Share Perspectives on What Everyone Wants to Know - Where is the Money Now, and How Do You Get Some?” The conversation will focus on the four-way intersection between the hotel capital stack, brand, operations, and guest experience, which has always been complex and is even more so now. Panelist will provide insights on navigating it during these challenging times—where you can go, where should you stop, and where must you proceed with caution.
Hear from:

  • Michael D. Bluhm, Managing Director, Global Head of Gaming & Lodging, Morgan Stanley-Investment Banking
  • Sean M. Dell’Orto, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Park Hotels & Resorts
  • R. Tyler Morse, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, MCR
  • Dilip Petigara, Chief Executive Officer, Access Point Financial
  • Mitesh Shah, Chief Executive Officer and Senior Managing Principal, Noble Investment


On Thursday, November 12 at 1:00 p.m., Jeffrey Weinstein, editor in chief, HOTELS, will moderate the panel titled “The Future of Events and Travel: Are We There Yet?” which will focus on new technologies and players in the travel field and how they are changing, and will change, the industry now and in the future. Panelists are:

  • David Adler, Founder and Chairman, BizBash Media
  • Caryn Seidman-Becker, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, CLEAR
  • Fred Dixon, President and Chief Executive Officer, NYC & Company
  • Ariane Gorin, President, Expedia Business Services

At 2:00 p.m., Robert M. Mandelbaum, Director of Research Information Services, CBRE Hotels will moderate “Statistically Speaking: Keep Calm and Do the Math,” which will focus on the numbers behind 2020 and what history tells us we can expect next. Panelists weighing in are:

  • Amanda Hite, President and Chief Executive Officer, STR
  • Stephen Rushmore, Jr., President and Chief Executive Officer, HVS

To RSVP for the event, please register here.

Members of the press, also kindly let us know if you will be covering the event by emailing Alka Gupta at aag13@nyu.edu or Michael DeMeo at michael.demeo@nyu.edu.

About the NYU SPS Jonathan M. Tisch Center of Hospitality
The NYU School of Professional Studies Jonathan M. Tisch Center of Hospitality, now celebrating 25 years of academic excellence, is a leading center for the study of hospitality, travel, and tourism. Founded in 1995, the Tisch Center was established in response to the growing need for hospitality and tourism undergraduate and graduate education. Its cutting-edge curricula attract bright, motivated students who seek to become leaders in their fields.

Through its undergraduate degree in hotel and tourism management, its graduate degrees in hospitality industry studies, tourism management, and event management; a plethora of Professional Pathways programs; and its world-renowned hospitality investment conference, students gain the knowledge and the skill sets that enable them to manage change, to communicate, to thrive in complex work environments, and to advance the businesses of hospitality, travel, and tourism. For more information about the NYU SPS Jonathan M. Tisch Center of Hospitality, visit sps.nyu.edu/tisch.

The NYU School of Professional Studies – Celebrating More Than 85 Years of Excellence in Applied Professional Education

For over 85 years, the NYU School of Professional Studies (NYU SPS) has been a deeply respected institution of higher education that is grounded in applied learning. From its early years, training returning World War II veterans to fulfill the nation’s urgent need for skilled technical workers, it has evolved into a professional education powerhouse that offers 20 graduate degrees, 13 bachelor’s degrees for traditional and post-traditional students, four associate’s degrees, and a plethora of non-degree courses and credentials.

NYU SPS is a thought leader, and serves as an incubator for new ideas in industries that are constantly changing, including real estate, real estate development, and construction management; hospitality, tourism, travel, and event management; global affairs and global security, conflict, and cybercrime; global sport and sports business; publishing; marketing; public relations; project management; executive coaching and organizational consulting, human resource management and development, and human capital analytics and technology; management and systems; translation; and professional writing. It is focused on building skills that open doors to opportunities in emerging fields and global markets. NYU SPS faculty members are leading experts in their areas of discipline, with a hands-on approach that encourages students to push beyond their limits and to break new ground.

Home to some of the largest and most prestigious industry conferences in the world, including the Schack Institute of Real Estate’s Capital Markets Conference, REIT Symposium, and National Symposium of Women in Real Estate; and the Jonathan M. Tisch Center of Hospitality’s International Hospitality Industry Investment Conference, the School’s invaluable connections to industry leaders is a truly distinguishing factor in the education that it provides. Through career development services and resources provided by the NYU Wasserman Center for Career Development at NYU SPS, guest lecturers, site visits, participation in numerous conferences and events, and Global Field Intensives, students benefit from an NYU education that will set them apart. In addition, they have the opportunity to learn from and network with more than 30,000 NYU SPS alumni who live, work, and contribute to innovation in industry around the world. To learn more about NYU SPS visit: sps.nyu.edu.

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