Speakers

Maximum Occupancy is New Zealand’s premier hotel and accommodation industry conference, designed for and by the hotel industry's leaders. The conference features over 25+ leading industry experts and speakers from around New Zealand, Australia and the globe.

See some of our past keynote speakers and panellists below.

Stephen Hamilton

Director
Horwath HTL

View bio Haley Purdon

Director of Market Management - New Zealand & Pacific Islands
Expedia

Haley Purdon's biography

Director of Market Management - New Zealand & Pacific Islands
Expedia

Haley Purdon leads Expedia Lodging Partner Services in New Zealand and Pacific Islands, responsible for developing the strategies for the Group’s lodging supply business in the region.

With more than 12 years’ experience with Expedia Group, she leads the team to establish and develop strong partner relationships with hotel partners, helping to maximise their exposure to the Group’s 200+ travel booking websites. 

Prior to her role as Director of Market Management, Haley held various roles at the company. She started out as a Senior Market Manager for Orbitz Worldwide, where she was responsible for building a team on the ground, developing the brand awareness and expanding its presence to New Zealand and Pacific Islands region.

Haley brings valued knowledge of the online travel landscape to her role. Her passion for leading and developing people is instrumental to the rapid expansion of the NZPI team over the past four years.

 

View bio Hazel Rigler

Director of Marketing & eCommerce - Australia & New Zealand
Grand Chancellor Hotels

Hazel Rigler's biography

Director of Marketing & eCommerce - Australia & New Zealand
Grand Chancellor Hotels

Hazel Rigler has established a strong career within the Hotel industry, specifically in the complex field of Marketing, Sales and e-Commerce. She has been employed for the past ten years at the Wellington based Head Office for Grand Chancellor Hotels, Australia and New Zealand; a role which she has brought a wealth of international experience and expertise to from her management positions in Dublin and London. Her drive and tenacity has seen her go above and beyond for the company, and her ability to keep the Group ahead of change secured her status as a finalist for the Senior Executive category in the prestigious New Zealand Hotel Industry Awards in 2018.

View bio Les Morgan

Chief Operating Officer
Sudima Hotels/ Hind Management

Les Morgan's biography

Chief Operating Officer
Sudima Hotels/ Hind Management

Les Morgan is the Chief Operating Officer of Sudima Hotels and Hind Management. The Group has an annual turnover in excess of $50m and employs over 450 people. Sudima Hotels is currently is undergoing a significant expansion phase with numerous new Hotels under development, and is contracted to have 1,600+ rooms under management by 2021.

Les recognises that whilst commercial success is a primary function of any business; strong organisational values and community empathy are vital ingredients to a healthy prosperous company. 

Les is a previous recipient of a Westpac Excellence in Leadership Award, was the 2018 Winner of NZ Hotel - Industry Senior Hotel Executive Award and recently received the Tourism Industry Aotearoa, Tourism Industry Champion Award.

Originally from Rotorua, he now resides in Auckland. He holds a Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do and is a Sommelier by trade. His background includes experience in 3 to 5 Star Hotels from boutique to substantial in both the UK and New Zealand with several of the World’s leading Hotel Brands.

 

David Ovendale

CEO
TOP 10 Holiday Parks

View bio Claire Thomson

Account Manager - New Zealand
Google

Claire Thomson's biography

Account Manager - New Zealand
Google

Claire has worked with Google for over seven years, in their Sydney, Toronto and Auckland offices, returning home a few years ago to raise a family in rural Auckland (yes that does still exist). Claire is passionate about sharing how technology can future proof and grow businesses, and especially keen to increase New Zealand's digital literacy.

View bio Timo Nieuwoudt

Senior Account Manager
Booking.com

Timo Nieuwoudt's biography

Senior Account Manager
Booking.com

Timo joined the Booking.com Oceania team in 2015 after a decade of working across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.  He holds a Bachelor of Tourism Management degree, and his experience includes hotels, airlines and online distribution. Timo has a particular interest in how technology is shaping the guest booking experience. 

View bio Adrian Caruso

Founder, Managing Director
Fastrack Group

Adrian Caruso's biography

Founder, Managing Director
Fastrack Group

Adrian is founder and CEO of Australasia's leading travel, tourism and hospitality full-service marketing and communications firm, Fastrack Group.

Adrian is a highly experienced and respected travel, tourism and hospitality digital marketing, media and communications expert with over 25 years in the industry. He is also a management consultant and strategist. 

Sally Attfield

Hotel Sector Manager
Tourism Industry Aotearoa

View bio Paul Hammond

Business Development Manager, Pacific
STR

Paul Hammond's biography

Business Development Manager, Pacific
STR

Paul Hammond is the Business Development Manager, Pacific at STR, a global company who collects performance data from accommodation properties all over the world and provides aggregated reports and insights on market performance for accommodation providers and custom groups, which enables them to make better business decisions. Paul has over 20 years of experience in tourism & hospitality, and previously he worked for almost 10 years in the Online Travel (OTA) industry with global companies Orbitz, part of the Expedia Group, and Booking.com, as well as over 2 years in a major sports project with the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Corporation (GOLDOC) organising committee. Paul has also held several management and sales & marketing roles with numerous Hotels and Hotel Chains internationally and in Australia including Palazzo Versace, Hyatt, and Intercontinental Hotel Group (IHG).

View bio Rodney Williams

Commercial Director
ARMA

Rodney Williams's biography

Commercial Director
ARMA

With over 30 years involvement in commercial aviation, working for both major carriers in Australia - Qantas Airways and Virgin Australia – Rodney has held a number of management roles covering areas such as Loyalty (Frequent Flyer), Alliances, Network Development, Revenue Management (Pricing & Inventory), Corporate Planning, Revenue Planning, Network Planning & Analysis, Route Economics, Resource Planning and Finance and spent three years in the USA as Manager Market Planning The Americas.

View bio Graham Perry

Managing Director, Australasia
Best Western Hotels & Resorts

Graham Perry's biography

Managing Director, Australasia
Best Western Hotels & Resorts

Graham is a seasoned executive leader with experience working across the global travel, tourism, media and hospitality sectors.  The thread that flows through his career is his passion for marketing and the ever-evolving travel distribution and technology landscape.

From 2016 Graham has worked with a number of successful travel start-ups including eRoam who are applying artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to transform travel distribution. He was appointed Managing Director, Australasia for Best Western Hotels & Resorts in May 2018.

View bio Stuart Davidson

Territory Sales Manager
Kentico Software

Stuart Davidson's biography

Territory Sales Manager
Kentico Software

Stuart Davidson is a Territory Sales Manager for Kentico Software, a fully integrated all-in-one ASP.NET CMS, E-commerce and Digital Experience platform. Kentico prides itself on enabling its customers to create cutting-edge and highly personalised digital experiences across web and other digital channels. Kentico is trusted by some of the most recognisable brands in Australia and across the world, including LJ Hooker, Twining’s, ME Bank and Red Cross.

Stuart has a background in Financial Services and has over 6 years experience in the digital space. He has a Bachelor of International Business from LaTrobe University and Master of Diplomacy and Trade from Monash University.

View bio Fabian Bartnick

Vice President of Asia Pacific & Commercials
LodgIQ

Fabian Bartnick's biography

Vice President of Asia Pacific & Commercials
LodgIQ

Fabian is the Vice President of Asia Pacific & Commercials overlooking all aspects and operations within the region as well as the commercial part of LodgIQ. Fabian’s career covers all sides within hospitality including property, regional and corporate level roles as well as consulting and technology vendor roles across 4 continents and 25 countries. Fabian has helped built and apply price optimization, visual analytics and total revenue management tools across the globe and successfully turned around revenue performance in many companies by providing strategic consulting services as well developing powerful revenue analytics solutions that empower the business to maximize its revenue potential. Fabian has been on the Board of Directors for HSMAI South East Asa and currently sits on the HSMAI Advisory Board.

View bio Mauro Risch

Hotel & Resort Photographer
The Hotel Photographer

Mauro Risch's biography

Hotel & Resort Photographer
The Hotel Photographer

Over the last decade, Mauro Risch has become known simply as The Hotel Photographer. With 50 000 followers on Instagram, Mauro Risch enjoys a highly engaged following and one of the most popular hotel and resort photographers on social media. He is trusted by PR and marketing teams, hotel managers and executive brand teams right across the Asia Pacific region. Mauro is the preferred photographer for some of the top operators across the industry, including IHG, Accor, Wyndham, Radisson, Meriton and TFE.

View bio Essen Tsou

Digital Marketing Manager
Fastrack Group

Essen Tsou's biography

Digital Marketing Manager
Fastrack Group

Essen has a wealth of knowledge in digital marketing for the hotel and travel industry. Essen has over 5 years digital marketing experience in the hotel/travel industry, previously working within the Global Marketing Team at Expedia. Essen brings in her expertise across online acquisition channels, including paid media, remarketing and social direct response.

View bio Gerard Smith

Business Development Manager
Fastrack Group

Gerard Smith's biography

Business Development Manager
Fastrack Group

A business development and relationship specialist, Gerard has held senior management roles in some of New Zealand’s leading digital agencies, before returning to Brisbane after 12+ years. More recently Gerard has held senior management roles with some of Australasia's leading digital agencies, where he focussed on building successful commercial partnerships with leading tourism organisations, including Tourism New Zealand, Real Journeys, Skyline Enterprises and Hobbiton, to name a few.

Max
imum
Occup
ancy