Ted's Technology Summit 2022
Challenging times call for smarter options
Can technology be the answer to return to profitability
Friday February 11, 2022
Ballroom, The Fullerton Hotel, Martin Place, Sydney, Australia and Online
Ted’s Technology Summit is once again bringing to Sydney exceptional international Keynote speakers that are leaders in their field.
International Keynote speaker
Chief Technology Officer - Accor
Floor Bleeker holds a Bachelor degree in Hotel Administration from Hotelschool The Hague, Netherlands and an MBA from the University of Colorado, USA. He has over two decades of multinational experience in the hospitality industry, and a substantial background in IT leadership, strategy development and execution, business analysis and application development. In all his roles, Floor has prioritized team leadership and performance management as fundamental to delivering on the ambitious demands of the industry.
Prior to joining Accor, Floor was the CIO of Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts. In this role he was responsible for IT strategy, program development and implementation across the Group. Taking on the position during a period of substantial challenge, he successfully led the IT function through the changes required to update legacy systems to meet the demands of a rapidly developing hospitality market. This included steering the organization through the adoption of Cloud services, and establishing Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts as global pioneers in hospitality Cloud technology.
When Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts joined the Accor Group in November 2018, Floor was appointed CIO for the Middle East & Africa and strategic IT programs across the Group.
Floor joined the Group’s Executive Committee upon his appointment as Group Chief Technology Officer in November 2020.
International Opening Address
President and CEO of the American Hotel & Lodging Association
Chip Rogers has been President and CEO of the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) since the start of 2019, leading America’s only national association dedicated to serving the interests of the entire hotel and lodging industry.
In his role as President & CEO, Chip has led the AHLA team and the lodging industry to achieve tangible results for AHLA members. Subsequently, he has received numerous awards and has been recognized as one of the 25 most influential by Business Travel News, as one of the most influential people in Washington D.C. by Washingtonian magazine, Top 50 Most Influential Leaders in Hospitality, USA, and Global by Hospitality Index, and twice as a top lobbyist by the Hill newspaper.
Prior to joining the hospitality industry, Chip served in the Georgia General Assembly. He was elected to office six times and was unanimously elected twice to serve as Senate majority leader.
Chip earned his undergraduate degree from Georgia Tech and his MBA from Georgia State.
Future Horizons in Hospitality Digital Technology
Global Director of Travel, Transportation & Hospitality for Microsoft
Shane O’Flaherty is the Global Director of Travel, Transportation & Hospitality for Microsoft and is focused on leading the hotel, airline, cruise and logistics industry in driving innovation that will enhance the customer and employee journey, while driving increased productivity and cost compression with the use of Microsoft’s technology and its eco-system of travel solution partners.
Prior to joining Microsoft, Shane held many senior executive positions including CEO & President at Forbes Travel Guide (formerly Mobil Travel Guide). At Forbes Travel Guide, Shane successfully modernized the hotel, restaurant and spa Five Star ratings system that defines the global consumer experience and spearheaded its global expansion around the world. In addition, he created and grew Forbes Travel Guide Consulting Services into the leading, global provider of customer experience measurement and training for the top hospitality brands in the world.
Shane has spoken at many industry and client conferences globally and also appeared on Today Show, Fox and Friends, Bloomberg, Channel NewsAsia and quoted in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA TODAY and many other global publications, highlighting the travel and hospitality space.
Professor Peter O’Connor
Dr. Peter O’Connor is Professor of Strategic Management at University of South Australia Business School. His primary research, teaching and consulting interests focus on the use of technology in online retailing and marketing. In addition to authoring two leading textbooks, Peter has published research-based articles in leading academic journals including the Journal of Marketing, Harvard Business Review, Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, Tourism Management, the Cornell Quarterly and the International Journal of Hospitality Management, amongst others.
Prior to joining the Uni SA, Peter founded the Chair in Digital Disruption, sponsored by BNP Paribas, at Essec Business School in Paris France. He taught, and held a number of senior administrative positions, at Essec for over 25 years, serving as both Director of MBA Programs and Dean of Academic Programs at various stages. In addition, he has regularly taught executive education seminars at London Business School; held visiting positions at both the Johnson Graduate Business School and the School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University; as well as worked in a variety of positions in industry in both Europe and the USA. In 2015, he launched Essec’s first MOOC (Massive Online Open Course) on hotel distribution with Coursera, which currently has over 15,000 active learners.
Peter is regularly quoted by the international press and consulted by investment companies and private equity firms on developments in the online marketplace. In addition to his duties at UniSA, Peter also works with internet analyst firm Phocuswright Inc. as a senior analyst. In this capacity he has worked with a large variety of leading travel companies across the globe, helping shape their distribution and online marketing strategies.
Ted’s Technology Summit would not be complete without our Leader’s panel and this year, we are thrilled to be hosting a wide ranging discussion on the very hot topic in the industry.
Moderated by Patrick Imbardelli, Chairman of Next Story Group, our panellists include Simon McGrath AM, CEO of Accor Pacific, Dr Jerry Schwartz, Managing Director of Schwartz Hotels and Jan Smits, Co-Chief Executive of Pro Invest Group.
A. Patrick Imbardelli
Chairman, Board of Directors, Next Story Group
Patrick Imbardelli became Chairman of Next Story Group’s Board of Directors in 2019, after three years as non-executive Director and Advisor to Next Story Group. He also runs a private investment company and serves as an advisor to organisations in the US and Asia. Patrick’s hospitality career spans more than 30 years which saw him delivering outstanding achievements at IHG, Hilton and Pan Pacific Hotels Group. He has a Master of Finance (Honours) from Baruch College – The City University of New York and is a member of Beta Gamma Sigma. He is also a member of the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO), as well a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) and the Singapore Institute of Directors (SID).
Simon McGrath AM
CEO, Accor Pacific
Simon McGrath AM is the Chief Executive Officer for Accor Pacific, responsible for over 397 hotels, 62,276 rooms and 18,000 employees in the region.
Simon is a Director of AAPC Limited, Allegiance, Accor Vacation Club and Reef Casino Trust. He also holds positions on the following industry Boards:
- Deputy Chairman, Tourism and Transport Forum (TTF)
- Deputy President, Accommodation Association of Australia (AAoA)
Outside of tourism and hospitality, Simon holds the position of Independent Director of GenesisCare (leading healthcare company).
Simon has played a major advocacy role in advancing Indigenous employment in hospitality and wider economic employment. He has also championed and taken a lead role to greatly improve gender diversity in the tourism sector.
Simon has been recognised for his contribution to the hospitality industry with numerous awards however most recently Simon was recognized in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List as a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in June 2019 for his significant work in promoting Australian tourism on the world stage.
Dr Jerry Schwartz
Managing Director, Schwartz Hotels
Dr Jerry Schwartz took over the family business from his parents, Dr Bela and Eve Schwartz, who created a substantial property business after emigrating from Hungary following the War. His father, Dr Bela Schwartz, was a trained dentist, and Jerry’s mother, Eve, was a dental assistant.
Jerry followed in his parents’ medical footsteps, graduating as a doctor, while also becoming fully involved in the property side of the family business.
Today, Schwartz Family Company is the largest privately owned hotel group in Australia with 15 hotels and over 4000 rooms, comprising Rydges World Square, Rydges Central Sydney, Hotel Ibis World Square, Hotel Ibis King Street Wharf, Fairmont Resort Blue Mountains, Mercure Hotel Sydney, Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour, Four Points by Sheraton at Central Park, Rydges Newcastle, Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley, Novotel Newcastle, Mercure Hotel Canberra, The Victoria Hotel Melbourne, Hilton Surfers Paradise and Paradise Resort Gold Coast.
In addition, Dr Schwartz owns Sydney Brewery, the Hunter Valley Conference & Events Centre (the largest purpose-built meetings and functions venue in NSW outside Sydney) and Blue Sky Airlines, which operates charter services between Sydney, Newcastle and Hunter Valley.
The Schwartz Family Company employs over 2200 people.
Dr Schwartz continues to practice as a surgeon in his Medical Centre at Matraville, Sydney, and is active in a wide variety of charitable causes.
Co-Chief Executive, Pro Invest Group
Jan Smits is the Co-Chief Executive Officer and on the Boards of several Pro-invest Australian trustee holding and operating entities. Jan has significant experience in leadership and executive oversight, with a proven track record in strategy development and execution, building culture and consensus across large, diverse teams, operationalising and transforming businesses, and leveraging strong financial acumen and market knowledge to effectively raise and deploy capital to stimulate business growth. A 35-year industry expert, Jan was most recently the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) for Asia, Middle East and Africa’s region, responsible for the growth and operations of 300 hotels and resorts in close to 50 countries operating under six globally renowned brands. During his tenure, Jan led a 60,000-strong workforce, launched several brands and created new business models to grow the region into a US$4 billion business. Jan’s knowledge of the hospitality industry spans across multiple functions, including operations, human resources, branding, marketing and risk management. A highly empathetic leader, Jan is recognised for his passion for coaching and mentoring, having worked in culturally diverse and emerging markets for the last three decades, Jan has developed a deep commitment to social responsibility and inclusion, and passionately champions localisation in leadership.
Further, Jan is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and is part of the Advisory Board for the National University of Singapore.