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2019 Governor's Conference Speakers


SPEAKERS: 2019 New Mexico True Governor's Conference on Hospitality and Tourism


Keynote Speakers

Erica Wheeler

Visitor Experience Specialist, Educator, Songwriter


Monday April 29 | Morning Keynote

Sense of Place, Story and Soulful Tourism

9:30 am - 10:30 am

Visitors today are looking for unique, authentic and meaningful experiences. Explore this trend and gain ideas for powerfully connecting people and place. Erica takes you on a journey through story, song and conversation that evokes your personal sense of place stories and sparks ideas for rethinking what makes a visit to your place a journey worth taking.  See the familiar through fresh eyes. Learn three proven tools for easily creating stories that showcase the deep value a visit to your place has to offer.


Erica Javellana

Employee Relations Manager



Monday April 29 | Lunch Keynote

Culture of Service - The Zappos Story

12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

By developing a company culture and committing to it, you can make a positive change within your organization.  Zappos.com has grown their business because of their unique culture and the service they provide to their customers.  Zappos Insights’ Speaker of The House, Erica Javellana, will share the Zappos core values system, their approach to customer service and employee engagement, and how this Culture of Service can be applied to any industry.


Amanda Powers

Chief Operating Officer

New Mexico United


Monday April 29 | Afternoon Keynote

New Mexico United: Sports Tourism as a Platform for Building Community & Creating Social and Economic Change in New Mexico

3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

This presentation will focus on how the New Mexico United mission translates to driving tourism in ways New Mexicans have never seen before.  New Mexico United intends to use soccer as a platform for elevating New Mexico's profile to a national and even global scale by telling the story of a movement in the making. This Team is helping to re-brand this state as a place of passion, excitement, and winning.


Katrina Cravy

Media Coach, Author


Tuesday April 30 | Morning Keynote

Broadcast your Business: 6 Insider Secrets to Attract the Media and SHINE!

9:00 am - 10:00 am

If you have ever wondered how did "they" get booked on that show? Why did that company get that feature story? Katrina knows. As an Emmy Award-Winning reporter and TV talk show host, she's sharing her must H.A.V.E. formula to make the media call YOU! In our opening keynote for the second day of the conference, you will be able to grab her recipe to spice up your story and have any audience begging for seconds.


Secretary Jen Schroer

Cabinet Secretary - New Mexico Tourism Department


Tuesday April 30 | Lunch Keynote

True-ly a New Day

12:30 pm - 1:30 pm

The newly appointed cabinet secretary of the New Mexico Tourism Department is Jen Schroer, former president of the New Mexico Hospitality Association. In this keynote address, she unpacks the big wins and the challenges of the flagship New Mexico True brand, as well as reaffirming the department’s commitment to serving the hospitality industry of New Mexico.


Information on speakers and panelists will be published when determined.

Breakout Sessions

Hotel and Tourism Sales

All Sales sessions will take place in the Peralta/Lamy Room


Perfect Analytics of a Salesperson's Day

Monday, April 29 | 10:30am - 11:30am

How many calls does it take to generate a tentative?  How many tentatives ultimately become a lead?  This self-analysis evaluation allows each attendee to discover the six critical sales skills and the amount of time required each day to ultimately hit their booking goals.

Steve Steinhart


Steinhart & Associates


Making Effective Presentations

Monday, April 29 | 1:30pm - 2:30pm

Perhaps the most critical of all of selling skills, this session will take an in depth look at the common denominators great hospitality sales people implement into their daily routine to deliver winning presentations.  What are the best techniques utilized in making effective presentations to clients.  The Top Ten traps salespeople fall into will be diagnosed.  This session is based on hundreds of hours of customer focus feedback ascertained from decision making meeting and travel  planners.

Steve Steinhart


Steinhart & Associates


How General Managers and Owners can be more Involved in Direct Sales

Tuesday, April 30 | 10:30am - 11:30am

The day and age of passive participation in the direct sales effort is over.  In today's competitive market, General Managers and Owners must be active in direct sales with customers and need to be more effective than ever in monitoring the sales effort.  This session will focus on programs, techniques and strategies that General Managers and Owners can implement into their daily routines that will enhance their sales productivity.  This session is based on interviews with hundreds of General Managers and Owners who lead by example.

Steve Steinhart


Steinhart & Associates


Customer Service as a Profit Center

Tuesday, April 30 | 2:00pm - 3:00pm

Many lodging businesses look at customer service as an auxiliary element to the overall business operations. Businesses that make customer service a core focus for generating revenue can see more sustained business from incorporating that practice. This session will review the strategy and planning required to incorporate customer service as a revenue center for your business.

Dr. Rob Reider


Reider Associates

Information on speakers and panelists will be published when determined.

Tourism Development

All Tourism Development sessions will take place in the Coronado/Devargas Room


How to Tap the Emerging Opportunity for International Travel through Mexico

Monday, April 29 | 10:30am - 11:30am

With newly acquired flights between the Albuquerque International Sunport and Mexico, along with the current administration's commitment to expanding tourism in Mexico, international tourism development offers great promise for New Mexico in 2019. This session will evaluate the prospects of Mexico as an international market for New Mexico and will review the practices and partnerships you can develop to capitalize on this emerging market.

Yuriria Morales

International Markets and Tourism Director

Albuquerque Hispano Chamber of Commerce

Randy Trask

Executive Director

New Mexico Trade Alliance

Liz Robinson

General Manager

Hotel Chaco

Nyika Allen

Director of Aviation

City of Albuquerque

Norma Ang Sánchez

Mexican Consul



Discovering and Creating Outdoor Adventure Meccas

Monday, April 29 | 1:30pm - 2:30pm

Is your destination an outdoor adventure mecca? If not, would you like it to be? This session will feature a lineup of experts who are developing their local tourism economies through creation and expansion of outdoor adventure experiences. Learn how to capitalize on the possibilities right in your backyard from people who are turning mountains, trails and open spaces into vehicles of economic development.

Jim Glover


Once a Day Marketing

Joshua Arnold

Co-Owner; Maintenance Manager

Routes Bicycle Tours

Peter Mitchell

Community, Business & Rural Development - Santa Fe

New Mexico Economic Development

Suzy Lawrence

Tourism Development Director

New Mexico Tourism Department

Tom Adams


Utah Office of Outdoor Recreation

Tools and Techniques for Estimating Event Attendance

Tuesday, April 30 | 10:30am - 11:30am

Special events are major economic impact drivers for every tourism-based community in New Mexico. In order to measure the impact of your events, you must first determine the number of attendees - which can be as simple as counting every person that enters an event and as complex as extrapolating attendance based on crowd density. In this session we will explore various methodologies for estimating attendance and provide tools and techniques for conducting crowd estimating yourself. This session will include hands-on exercises.

Rachelle Howell

Managing Partner

Southwest Planning & Marketing



Inspiring Rural Travel through Arts & Culture

Tuesday, April 30 | 2:00pm - 3:00pm

New Mexico communities across the state are discovering the powerful draw of authentic arts-related storytelling. Learn how communities around New Mexico are banding together and tapping into their local assets to guide cultural travelers along scenic drives to experience the arts along with great food, interesting lodgings and fun experiences.

Aimee Awonohopay

Public and Industry Relations Director

New Mexico Tourism Department

Jennifer Lazarz

Tourism Director

City of Gallup

Susan Guyette


Santa Fe Planning & Research

Shelley Thompson

Director of Marketing and Outreach

Department of Cultural Affairs

Emerson Vallo

Southwest Region Board Member


Daniel Gutierrez


New Mexico MainStreet


Information on speakers and panelists will be published when determined.

Hotel and Tourism Marketing

All Marketing sessions will take place in the O'Keeffe/Milagro/Kearny Room


How to Activate Repeat Visitors

Monday, April 29 | 10:30am - 11:30am

The repeat visitor is often overlooked as a target for destination marketing. What can destinations do to integrate repeat visitors into their marketing strategy and begin to establish brand loyalty to your destination’s brand with current and future visitors? This session will explore the importance of the repeat visitor, and how directing more of your marketing resources towards repeat visitors can save time and money while retaining and growing visitation.

Kristin McGrath

VP of Convention Sales, Services & Sports

Visit Albuquerque

Ed Pulsifer

Director of Sales

La Fonda on the Plaza

Jordan Guenther

Director of Marketing


Molly Ryckman

VP - Sales and Marketing

Heritage Hotels & Resorts

Justin Huffmon

Director of Tourism

Village of Ruidoso


Can't Touch This: The Power of Email Marketing

Monday, April 29 | 1:30pm - 2:30pm

One of the most resilient  (and often overlooked) marketing efforts is still, you guessed it,  email!  This session will review why emails are so important for your marketing strategy, what you need to be doing to reach your customers and how to measure success. You will leave this session with a manageable list of to-do list and a fool-proof strategy.

Ashley Fathergill


Mint Marketing


How to Defeat the Low Season

Tuesday, April 30 | 10:30am - 11:30am

Successful tourism for many destinations is driven by a particular tourism season. This session will dispel the myths of the “low season” with an overview on how to tell an engaging story of New Mexico and your destination that resonates with your target market.

Heather Arnold


Routes Bicycle Tours

Karina Armijo

Director of Marketing & Tourism

Town of Taos

Jordan Guenther

Director of Marketing


Melvin Juanico


Sky City Cultural Center

Erica Asmus-Otero

Founder & CEO

InPress, LLC

Erin Ladd

Marketing Director

New Mexico Tourism Department


Secrets to Great Video

Tuesday, April 30 | 2:00pm - 3:00pm

Everything and everyone continues to move towards video, so it’s more important now than ever to join the movement! This session will explore the qualities of engaging video content and the scenarios when video is (and isn’t) the right choice for your marketing. This session will also explore the tools, platforms and marketing hacks you can employ to produce engaging video with minimal cost.

Matt Andrew


There They Go Creative

Hillary Federico


There They Go Creative


Information on speakers and panelists will be published when determined.



  • 1420 Carlisle NE, Suite #109                                              Albuquerque, NM 87110
  • Phone: 505.506.8624
  • Mail: info@newmexicohospitality.org