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Speakers and Agenda Set for the 9th Annual Southern Lodging @ Memphis
Conference, August 23 & 24, 2011 in Memphis, Tennessee

MEMPHIS, Tenn., August 1, 2011—Officials of the Southern Lodging Summit @ Memphis, an annual gathering of hoteliers specializing in development and operations in the southern United States, today announced it will host its ninth annual conference August 23-24 at the Memphis Cook Convention Center.  The day-and-a-half conference will kick off with the organization’s signature luncheon event that provides conference-goers with an opportunity to network and interact with the roster of industry notables scheduled as speakers.

“While the industry has seen growth in occupancy and to a lesser degree rate since last year’s conference, savvy owners and operators still realize the importance of face-to-face networking, the sharing of ideas and best practices and learning what their peers are experiencing,” said Chuck Pinkowski, president of Pinkowski & Company and conference co-founder.  “The Southern Lodging Summit @ Memphis provides the perfect forum that allows attendees, including owners, operators, lenders and developers, to do just that.”

To open the conference on Tuesday, August 23, participants are invited to a “Lunch with the Speakers” at the renowned Rendezvous Restaurant.  The intimate setting provides an opportunity for attendees to interact one-on-one with the scheduled speakers.  Later in the day, conference-goers are invited to attend an evening cocktail reception and dinner at the world famous Peabody Hotel.  The event supports the Political Action Committees for the Metropolitan Memphis Hotel & Lodging Association (MMH&LA) and the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA).  The evening event has limited seating, so registrants are encouraged to RSVP early.

Following a continental breakfast at the Memphis Cook Convention Center on Wednesday, August 24, the conference begins in earnest with Governor Bill Haslam and Mayor A.C. Wharton invited to speak on the importance of tourism to the state and the region.  Next, Marlene Colucci, executive vice president for public policy, will present AH&LA’s latest legislative update.  Randy Smith from Smith Travel Research will follow, providing an overview of the hospitality industry at both the national and local Memphis market levels.

The President’s Panel, moderated by Isaac Collazo, vice president of performance strategy and planning for Intercontinental Hotels, will launch the mid-morning portion of the conference.  This year’s participating industry leaders include Jerry Cataldo, Hostmark Hospitality; Chad Crandell, Capital Hotel Management; Warren Fields, Pyramid Advisors; and David Pepper, Choice Hotels International.

Peter Yesawich, chair and CEO of YPartnership, will give luncheon keynote speech.  His presentation, “Emerging Lifestyle and Travel Trends: Implications for the US Lodging Industry,” is a provocative presentation that will provide attendees with an overview of the latest from the highly acclaimed YPartnership Portrait of American Travelers™, a national survey of the travel habits, preferences and intentions of Americans.

For the second year in a row, the conference will conclude with a special panel focusing on Social Media/eCommerce.  Hosted by Jeff Higley, editorial director of and STR Global, this year’s panel, “Social Media 2.0,” will build upon last year’s foundation.  Panel participants include Ted Raynor, attorney, Burch Porter & Johnson; Chris Jackson, vice president, GCommerce; Justin Holmerud, field marketing social media, mobile & video, Starwood Hotels & Resorts; Sandee Swearingen, regional sales director, TIG Global/MICROS e-Commerce Services; Jerry Stafford, regional director of revenue management, Davidson Hotels & Resorts.

The conference will wrap with closing remarks by the general manager of the Elvis Presley Heartbreak Hotel and current president of MMHLA, Mary Calorio, followed by a $1,000 cash giveaway event sponsored by Elvis Presley Enterprises.

Celebrating its 9th year, the Southern Lodging Summit @Memphis was co-founded by the Metropolitan Memphis Hotel & Lodging Association and Pinkowski & Company, an independent hotel industry consulting firm headquartered in Memphis.  The hospitality industry event brings together hotel professionals who target the southern and mid-south region of the United States for development and operations.  The annual event draws a diverse group of owners, operators, sales executives, financial institutions, architects, attorneys, and hotel company representatives.



Chris Daly, media
(703) 435-6293


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Also See: Recap: Eighth Annual Southern Lodging Summit @ Memphis / September 2010

hotel SystemsPro Takes Social Media Leadership Position at Southern Lodging Summit; hotel SystemsPro Senior Director of eMarketing and eSales to Provide Social Media Guidance to Operators During eCommerce Panel / August 2010

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