Washington, D.C. (July 31, 2019) The Washington, D.C. chapter of the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International invited hospitality professionals from throughout the metropolitan area to attend its annual State of the Industry program on Thursday, August, 22, at the MGM National Harbor hotel in Oxon Hill, Maryland.

The program, designed to help area hospitality sales, marketing, and revenue-management professionals prepare their plans and budgets for 2020, will feature Elliott Ferguson II, president & CEO, Destination DC, Robert Gilbert, president & CEO, Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International, John Hach, senior hotel industry analyst & advisor, TravelClick, and Jennifer Hill, vice president, client engagement, Kalibri Labs.

The State of the Industry event will be hosted by MGM National Harbor and cosponsored by Travel Click and Cornell Hotel Society. Registration and a networking reception will begin at 3:00 p.m. The cost is $75 for HSMAI members and $100 for nonmembers. Click HERE to register.

“Our panelists will present the facts, figures, and insights that hospitality professionals need to prepare plans and budgets for 2020,” said Ellen Wilson, managing director, HSMAI Washington D.C. chapter. “The State of the Industry is our most popular program of the year. I encourage all area hospitality executives to join us for this valuable event.”

About the panel:

Elliott Ferguson II
President & CEO, Destination DC

Elliott Ferguson serves as president and CEO of Destination DC, the official destination marketing organization for Washington, D.C.

A 30-year veteran of the travel and hospitality industry, Ferguson leads Destination DC’s efforts to generate economic opportunity for the District through meetings and tourism, overseeing the organization’s convention and tourism sales, marketing, finance, and business development operations.

Ferguson began his tenure with Destination DC in 2001 as the vice president of convention sales, became senior vice president sales and services in 2005 and has served as president and CEO since 2009. Prior to working at Destination DC, he served as director of sales and vice president of sales at the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau. He has also served as director of sales for the Savannah, Georgia Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Ferguson currently serves as national chair of the board of directors for the U.S. Travel Association, where he guides the board and association’s efforts to advance policies that facilitate more international and domestic travel. He also serves on the board of directors for the following organizations: Advisory Board of the Smithsonian National Zoo; DC Jazz Festival; Ryan Kerrigan “Blitz for the Better” Foundation and the United Way of the National Capital Area. He represents Destination DC as part of the Hospitality Alliance of Washington, D.C.

He received a Bachelor of Arts in Marketing and Business Administration from Savannah State University. His many industry memberships include Professional Conference Management Association, International Association of Exhibition Executives, Destinations International, National Coalition of Black Meeting Planners, Meeting Professionals International and American Society of Association Executives.

In 2017, Ferguson was awarded HSMAI’s Top 25 Extraordinary Minds in Hospitality Sales, Marketing, and Revenue Optimization.

Robert Gilbert
President & CEO, Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International

As president & CEO of the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International, Robert Gilbert has guided the organization through a dynamic and exciting period of change as the 7,000-plus-member organization has been re-established globally to grow the revenue for hotels through sales, marketing, and revenue optimization.

During Gilbert’s tenure, HSMAI has achieved tremendous success with a number of initiatives ranging from the development of expert communities in the areas of digital marketing, resort marketing, and revenue management; the development of HSMAI University’s webinars and certification programs; and global expansion through the formation of HSMAI Global and regional development in Europe, Asia Pacific and the Middle East.

Gilbert earned a Bachelor of Science degree at Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration, Ithaca, New York. He has been a member of HSMAI since joining the student chapter at Cornell.

He is a frequent guest lecturer at Cornell, past chair of the Events Industry Council and has served on the American Hotel & Lodging Association board and Travel and Tourism Coalition of the U.S. Travel Association. He also serves on several hospitality advisory boards and hotel management school advisory boards.

John Hach
Senior Hotel Industry Analyst & Advisor, TravelClick

John Hach, TravelClick’s senior hotel industry analyst and advisor, joined the company in 2004 and has over 38 years of e-commerce marketing experience in the travel industry.

He is a regular industry speaker whose insights and perspectives have been featured on CNN, CNBC, Bloomberg and in The New York Times.

Hach is a graduate of Chicago State University and has served as a guest lecturer and advisor at Roosevelt University, Chicago, Boston University and Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration, Ithaca, New York. He was chairman of the Florida Commission on Tourism and executive director of the California Tourism Industry Association.

Jennifer Hill
Vice President of Client Solutions, Kalibri Labs

Jennifer’s specialty is revenue management, using a profit-based model of successful collaboration with all disciplines to achieve optimal performance. In her role as Vice President of Client Solutions, she relies on this experience to help clients identify and solve strategic business priorities. Jennifer is responsible for partnering with our clients to tailor plans for adoption and the effective utilization of our products to achieve growth in profit contribution for their hotels.

Prior to joining Kalibri Labs, Jennifer worked with several third party management companies, and has nearly two decades of experience in operations and revenue strategy at branded and independent hotels in major markets. She is a member of HSMAI’s Revenue Optimization Advisory Board, and has served on the HSMAI Washington DC Chapter Advisory Board since 2015. In 2017, HSMAI recognized Jennifer as one of the Top 25 Minds in Sales, Marketing, and Revenue Optimization, and awarded her the Revenue Management Professional of the Year award in 2014.

Jennifer holds a BA in American History from Mercer University, and earned HSMAI’s Certified Revenue Management Executive designation, (CRME).