Southern Lodging Summit Memphis

August 29 & 30, 2017

Presented by Pinkowski & Company and MMHLA

2017 Agenda

Presented by:

Pinkowski & Company     MMHLA Metropolitan Memphis Hotel & Lodging Association

Tuesday, August 29th – 11:30 AM – 8:30 PM

Lunch with the Speakers at the RENDEZVOUS

  • (doors open at 11:30am – 1:30pm)
  • Sponsored by

A Special Event at the Guest House at Graceland (1:45pm - 4:30pm)

Hospitality Suite sponsored by MMHLA & TnHTA

Tour the Guesthouse at Graceland,  the new resort hotel property in Memphis designed by Dreamcatcher Hotels. The event will begin in the on-site theater with a brief overview of the project by representatives of Dreamcatcher Hotels along with hotel management including the challenges of working with such iconic subject matter as well as the inspiration behind the interiors from the designers turned developers.

This will be followed by tours of the facility to see what nuances in the design details came out of their research on the King. This will include a peek into the guestrooms and the themed suites conceived under the careful eye of Elvis Presley Enterprises and Priscilla Presley. The groups will split time between tours in the Jungle Room inspired Founder’s Lounge for snacks and drinks.

  • Aron Ramage, AIA – Vice President, Design & Brand Standards, Dreamcatcher Hotels
  • Jessica Elvert – Interior Designer, Dreamcatcher Hotels
  • Keith Hess – Vice President/Managing Director, Guest House at Graceland

Honorary Duck Master March of the Ducks in the Peabody Lobby (4:45pm – 5:15pm)

Our Honorary Duck Master will be Jim Burba, Co-Founder, Burba Hotel Network, LLC 

Cocktail Reception & Dinner at the Peabody (Reception 6:00pm-7:00pm | Dinner 7:00pm – 9:00pm)

  • Cocktail Reception sponsored by InterContinental Hotels Group
  • Dinner sponsored by Davidson Hotels & Resorts / PIVOT


Wednesday, August 30th - 7:15am - 3:20pm  

7:15am -8:30am  Continental Breakfast, Registration & Exhibits (Ballroom A)

Sponsored by US Foods

8:30am - 8:40am Welcome & Introduction

  • Wayne Tabor, President & CEO, Metropolitan Memphis Hotel & Lodging Association (MMHLA)
  • Chuck Pinkowski, Pinkowski & Company

8:40am –9:10am STR Presentation of Industry Trends

"Steady As She Goes” – A look at the current demand and RevPAR environment for the US and Memphis, TN

Sponsored by Looney Ricks Kiss

Jan Freitag, Senior Vice President, Strategic Development, STR

9:10am –9:40am AHLA & Legislative Update

What are the most serious issues impacting the future of our industry? How do we successfully deal with these challenges?

  • Speaker: Kevin Carey, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, AHLA
  • Interviewer:  Greg Adkins, CEO, Tennessee Hotel & Tourism Association (TnHTA)

9:40am –10:40am Presidents Panel

This panel of executives will discuss some of the most contemporary, important and contentious issues including labor, expenses, health care, competition, development, and many others.

Sponsored by Pyramid Hotel Group

Moderator: Isaac Collazo, Vice President of Performance Strategy and Planning, IHG


  • Jagruti Panwala, AAHOA Treasurer/President & CEO, Wealth Protection Strategies
  • Doug Dreher, President & CEO, The Hotel Group Holdings, LLC
  • Mark D. Shalala, Vice President, Upscale Development, Choice Hotels International
  • Andrea FosterSenior VP Development, Marcus Hotels & Resorts

10:40am –11:10am Break

Sponsored by Choice Hotels 

11:10am–11:40am  CBRE (formerly PKF) 2017 Trends

This session will examine recent trends in hotel revenues, expenses, and profits. Special emphasis will be placed on labor costs, commissions, fees, and performance by geography.

Robert Mandelbaum, Director of Research Information Services, CBRE|CBRE Hotels’ Americas Research

11:40am–11:50am  Move to Lunch (Ballroom B)

11:50am-11:55am Castell Project, Inc.,

Peggy Berg, Director

11:55am–12:30pm  Lunch

Sponsored by Hilton

12:30pm–1:05pm  Keynote Speaker

Introduction by John J. Koshivos, Vice President/Managing Director Development SE Region, Hilton

Keynote Speaker: James E. Burba, Co-Founder, Burba Hotel Network, LLC - the worldwide leader in developing and producing more than 100 conferences for the hotel and tourism investment community during the past decade.

1:05pm–1:15pm  Move to Ballroom A

1:15pm–2:15pm  Dual Branding – How Does It Improve Profitability?

A Tale of Dual Brands-What are the benefits and complexities of developing and operating a multi-branded property?  Why are we seeing so many of these projects instead of larger single-brand hotels?  Is the ROI typically better by developing a multi-branded property as compared to a similar sized single branded hotel?

Sponsored by Flintco, LLC

Moderator: David Berins, Managing Partner, Berins & Co., LLC


  • Gary Isenberg, President, LWHA® Asset Management Services
  • Bill Duncan, Global Head, All Suites Brands, Hilton
  • Mehul Patel, Chairman & CEO, NewcrestImage
  • Adam Sherer, Senior Vice President, The Americas / Marriott International, Inc.

2:15pm–3:15pm  Convention Center Hotel Impact on the Market– Does it Lift all Boats or Drain the Swamp?

In many markets the addition of a major – 600 to 1,000 room – convention hotel can add incremental demand to a market, thus adding room nights to existing hotels as opposed to sucking room nights out of the other existing hotels. 

Sponsored by Looney Ricks Kiss

Moderator: Jeff Higley, VP, Digital Media/Director of Communications,


3:15pm–3:25pm  Wrap Up & Closing Remarks

Mitch PatelI left the Southern Lodging Summit with some new and valuable insights that I will be able to apply to my business immediately.  The regional aspect of the conference is of particular value in its relevance to the issues we face developing and operating hotels in the South-East.  Further, the intimate nature of the conference lent itself to more valuable interactions and networking opportunities than I see at larger conferences.  I think this is a great conference and would wholeheartedly recommend it to my peers.

Mitch Patel, President & CEO, Vision Hospitality Group, Inc.

John KoshivosThe Southern Lodging Summit is a great venue in a relaxed environment to meet with owners, developers and management companies to share ideas and discuss trends in our industry.  The panelists are passionate and knowledgeable about their topics And help attendees grasp some intricacies of our business that they may not have thought about.

John Koshivos, VP of Franchise Development, Hilton Hotels

Bobby BowersThe Summit is a great blend of Southern Hospitality and insightful, thought-provoking discussion.  The friendly feel and extensive networking opportunities help make the Southern Lodging Summit unique.  You’ll be glad you came.

Bobby Bowers, Senior VP Operations, STR

Lee DavisThe Southern Lodging Summit afforded me the opportunity to share my experiences as well as learn from the successes of my peers.  I am better informed, but more importantly I am more motivated after attending.

Lee Davis, Earl Swensson Associates

Robert ColeI found the Southern Lodging Summit particularly interesting and helpful due to learning the ‘up to the minute’ industry trends, the diversity of topics and hearing ideas particularly relevant to owners and operators like ourselves.  I found the size of the conference perfect for networking and socializing with colleagues and will definitely make it a point to return and recommend to my peers in the industry.

Robert Cole, President & CEO, Hospitality Ventures Management Group

Greg AdkinsThe Southern Lodging Summit is a great place to learn about new trends and regulation in the lodging business.  The conference is located in a premier southern destination city and provides great networking opportunities with many top level management and ownership groups – I have been attending the conference every year for six years and it’s never disappointing and a lot of fun!

Greg Adkins, CEO, Tennessee Hospitality and Tourism Association

Jim AbrahamsonThe Southern Lodging Summit is always engaging and informative with outstanding panels and speakers. Most of all I enjoy the ability to connect with industry colleagues and leaders from every segment. This year’s Summit was no exception – the format and content was exceptional.

Jim Abrahamson, CEO, Interstate Hotels

Mark HaleyThe Southern Lodging Summit creates a perfect storm, combining multiple big ideas from different directions, all at a scale perfect for networking and collegiality.  A great experience for any hotelier.

Mark Haley, Partner, The Prism Partnership, LLC

Julienne SmithThe Southern Lodging Summit is an intimate gathering of today’s industry experts where current topics can be elaborated upon and discussed in an environment that is easy to navigate.  The Pinkowski team makes sure the conference stays interesting, on point, and entertaining!

Julienne Smith, Senior Vice President Real Estate & Development, Hyatt Hotels

Don FarrellIt is always a great thing for the Memphis business and hospitality community when nationally recognized leaders meet here and can learn more about what is happening on a local, regional and national basis. There is no other forum like it in this area.

Don Farrell, Chief Cultivating Officer – Fresh Revenues

John BeldenThe SLS@Memphis is one of the best-run conferences in our industry and provides attendees with invaluable information pertaining to the region, as well as the industry as a whole.  The intimate setting allows for great collaboration amongst attendees and speakers.  My thanks go out to Chuck and the entire SLS team for holding such a great event in Memphis, a city which has played a historically-relevant role in our industry.

John Belden, CEO – Davidson Hotels

Jim Abrahamson

The Memphis Summit has consistently delivered terrific insights and speakers. I'm proud to be a  partner in 2013 and have enjoyed participating over the years as there is consistently a great turnout of industry leaders and a highly engaging format.

Jim Abrahamson, CEO, Interstate Hotels

Jeffrey. J. GoodA great mid year conference that exemplifies the Southern Hospitality Spirit and Tradition. 

Jeffrey. J. Good, President, Good Hospitality Services Inc./HRC Hotels LLC

Isaac CollazzoSLS@Memphis provides a comfortable setting to meet and hear from both regional and national leaders on issues facing our industry.

Isaac Collazzo, VP Performance Strategy Planning – InterContinental Hotels Group

Jan FreitagChuck and his team continue to attract a top notch line-up of industry veterans and thought leaders. The conference is small enough to allow for lively interaction between audience members but large enough to tackle the issues relevant to the industry today. I am always pleased and honored to participate.

Jan Freitag - STR

Stephanie RiccaI just wanted to say thank you for inviting me to participate in SLS this year. I was so impressed by the conference—the speakers and participants, the way you run it, everything. Now I know why Higley always hogged this conference for himself! 

Stephanie Ricca, Editor In Chief, Hotel Management Magazine

I just wanted to let you know that Memphis really put on a great show this week.  The speakers, facilities, food, and overall hospitality was top notch.  And, I very much enjoyed getting the chance to reconnect with friends. 

Steven Napoli, Director of Business Development, Bohan Advertising

S. Kirk KinsellIt was an excellent conference...really found the panelists and speakers very informative and I learned a bunch to take back to my business and colleagues....this Summit is a don't miss.

S. Kirk Kinsell, President, Panther Ridge Partners, LLC

W. Michael MurphyAwesome. Great content, lots of fun, excellent chow!  Thank you so much for inviting me to speak.

W. Michael Murphy, Head of Lodging and Leisure Capital, First Fidelity Companies

...congratulations on another successful SLS.  I thought it was one of the best one’s I have attended.

Ed Ansbro, Executive Vice President, Fairwood Capital, LLC

Wendy NorrisThe event was wonderful and I was able to take back some items to apply to our hotel group.  Hopefully I was able to provide some items for the rest of the attendees to take back as well. 

Wendy Norris, Corporate Director of Revenue & Ecommerce, Valencia Group

I truly enjoyed the Summit last week. The hospitality found in Tennessee and the professionalism throughout the event were second to none.  I am glad that I had the opportunity to participate and look forward to staying connected to all the great people that I had the pleasure of meeting. 

Ashleigh Mason, Director of Development, GF Management

Ed FullerThe Memphis conference provides a unique view at a growing industry, which is going through a significant change and globalization. The Conference drew an exceptional group of Industry Executives and leaders, whose candor was refreshing

Ed Fuller, President & CEO, Orange County Visitors Association

Shawn McBurney“Every year the Southern Lodging Summit at Memphis proves why it is a must-attend event for hospitality leaders throughout the country.  From the speakers and panels discussing critical issues impacting hoteliers to the personal interaction with industry leaders, the summit was not only valuable, it was a real pleasure.  I’m looking forward to attending next year and encourage anyone who wants to be part of one of the best lodging events in the country to do the same.” 

Shawn McBurney, Senior Vice President of Governmental Affairs, American Hotel & Lodging Association

Mark G. Carrier“The Southern Lodging Summit provided an excellent networking opportunity along with meaningful speakers and content.  The keynote was both moving and impactful.”

Mark G. Carrier, President, B. F. Saul Company Hospitality Group

Trevor Stuart-Hill"Thank you again for the opportunity to address the delegates at the annual lodging summit in August.  I was very impressed with the conference organization and the quality of the programming.  I can certainly see why you have gained such a strong following over the years."

Trevor Stuart-Hill, President, Revenue Matters

Jeff Higley"Chuck, I’m happy to be a part of the conference. I’ve told you before it’s the best conference of its size and the content surpasses many of the big conferences, too."

Jeff Higley – Vice President, Digital Media & Communications, Global

Bob Hunter"Congratulations…and thank you!  Congratulations on your best ever Conference!!  I like the various venues and dress and audiences…I like the size.  The food was outstanding…your menu selections were terrific.  Mike Leven was great.  Mark LaPorte was very strong! "

Bob Hunter, CEO, Hunter Realty

Mike Leven"I loved being there and especially back in the south again.  When I have the privilege of attending such an event I am always impressed. How only in this industry can competitors come together in friendship and desire to learn and improve.  The camaraderie was a thing of beauty and the hospitality was over the top.  Thanks for your kind response to my remarks to a remarkable group."

Mike Leven, President & CEO Las Vegas Sands Corporation

"I want to commend you for the good job you all did putting on the Southern Lodging Summit – 2012.  The people, venue(s), information and networking exemplified the best of Southern Hospitality.  I’ll definitely be back to this great event."

Bruce C. Lowrey, Managing Director RockBridge Capital, LLC

Jerry StaffordThank you all for the opportunity to be a panelist yesterday at the Southern Lodging Summit.  It was a great time of learning and sharing.  I left much more informed than when I arrived.  It was an honor to be a part of such a great collection of industry professionals.

Jerry Stafford, Regional Director of Revenue Management, Davidson Hotels & Resorts

"The Southern Lodging Summit @ Memphis was relevant, concise, on time, and totally worth the time and money spent. I will definitely be back next year. The speakers were great, the topics were the hot issues, and you kept it going. I saw a lot of old friends there and will plan to come earlier Tuesday and socialize now that I know they are coming."

Mike Cowart, Cowart Hospitality Services, LLC

"… I found it to be informative and well attended;…the bright spots - the AHLA Update with Marlene Colucci…..(she)  is a very good speaker and keeps everyone informed;  The Star presentation was informative and impressed me with the data collected on OTA's.  The President's panel…was a great mix of operators, lenders and franchise representatives.  Peter Yesawich was entertaining and informative…a great opportunity to network."

Charles Swan - Consultant

William Edmundson

“The intimate size, quality of content and the southern hospitality make The Southern Lodging Summit @ Memphis one of the best conferences the hospitality industry has to offer. You will learn from some of the best speakers in the industry, hear about topics that matter to you and network with industry peers who come back year after year.” 

William Edmundson, President & CEO, Abby Executive Suites

“The Southern Lodging Summit @ Memphis…a perfectly-timed industry update;….a  short, information-packed schedule (with)  quick networking opportunity in a professional but relaxed setting;…the Presidents’ Panel is one of the most lively and honest forums of its kind;…Luncheon Keynote Speakers have also produced some memorable moments.   I look forward to attending the Summit each year.” 

Denise Carpenter, Vice President - Development, Southeast Region, Hilton Worldwide

Jeff Higley“The Southern Lodging Summit @ Memphis is one of the gems of the hotel conference industry….often overlooked but a great program.  It may not be on your radar but it should be.”

Jeff Higley, Vice President, Digital Media & Communications, Global

"Only the true professionals will survive in the next several years. You will learn from the best (AT THE SOUTHERN LODGING SUMMIT @ MEMPHIS) and you will need it to be successful in the lodging industry going forward" 

Jack DeBoer, CEO, WaterWalk Hotel Apartments

Jerry Daly"The Southern Lodging Summit @ Memphis continues to impress me year after year with its annual roster of top industry speakers and panelists, as well as its insistence on maintaining a forum for meaningful discussion on timely topics that matter to people in the hospitality industry."

Jerry Daly, Chairman, Daly Gray

"I have been attending and participating in  the Southern Lodging Conference for the last 6 years...always a great lineup of speakers addressing timely regional and national industry topics...a terrific venue for  networking purposes. I look forward to attending again this year."

Ed Ansbro, Executive Vice President, Fairwood Capital LLC  

If you want a serious and thoughtful in depth discussion about current topics related to our industry, then this conference (SOUTHERN LODGING SUMMIT @ MEMPHIS) is the place for you.

Laurence Geller, CEO, Geller Investment Co.

Randy SmithThanks again for inviting me to the Southern Lodging Summit.  I continue to find the conference one of the most informative events that I attend. I thought the sessions were outstanding and I thought the one moderated by Isaac was especially interesting.  It's a great mix of local hoteliers and top notch industry executives so attendees gain practical knowledge about property operations and overall industry trends. Well done.

Randy Smith, Chairman/Co-founder, Smith Travel Research

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