Christina Grdovic
Consultant and Advisor
Christina's strong background leading a team of sales and marketing professionals at Food & Wine and Travel + Leisure, has provided an exceptional background to assist brands in the food, beverage and travel industries. She focuses on brand mission, vision and values, brand strategy, partnerships, new revenue streams and building strong teams and cultures. She is presently advising North & Warren, a media start up; the travel brand, Full_Time_Travel; and Farmshelf, indoor farms for restaurants. 
Rob Wilder
Co-Founder ThinkFoodGroup & World Central Kitchen
Recognized as one of the most influential people in food and wine, Christina served as Food & Wine's Publisher for a decade, overseeing all aspects of sales, marketing, and partnerships. Living to travel & loving to eat, she has built strong relationships with restaurant insiders that developed into lasting partnerships.

Beyond taking Food & Wine to digital in an industry where change is a constant, Christina transformed the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen into America’s hottest festival, then parlayed that into a year-round festival arsenal. When approached by Bravo for Top Chef in 2004, she made the bold move of saying “yes” and found ways to make this partnership wildly successful. Christina also spearheaded the innovative Chefs Club restaurant concept with Starwood and launched the FWx site to expand the brand’s reach to millennials.
Fred LeFranc
Fred is the founding and managing partner of RTS. LeFranc’s aptitude in strategic planning, leadership training, and business development has helped numerous companies achieve increased sales and profits. His expertise is in strategic planning, organizational development, executive coaching, performance management, marketing strategy and technology-based systems enhancement.

Mr. LeFranc’s 4 decades of hospitality experience includes stints as COO, CEO board member and President of numerous hospitality and technology brands, including Flat Rock Grille, Ruby’s Diner, Fishbowl Marketing and Louise’s Trattoria. His admirable turnaround for Louise’s, which involved design, concept development, food production, IT systems and operational executions, was chronicled in Inc. Magazine.
Dave Arthurs
Revenue Management Consultant
CTO at OpenCity
Venga Advisors Dave Arthurs (former VP Engineering OpenTable) and Dr. Sherri Kimes (Cornell Hospitality School Professor) are actively looking for Restaurant Revenue Management Projects they can do using the wealth of data available in the Venga data warehouse. If you are interested in further leveraging your investment in Venga to increase revenue, they would like to talk to you.

Dave also joined a startup,, that is providing a turn-key platform for the hospitality industry that unifies guest messaging on one platform. This new platform consolidates messaging with Facebook messenger, google, SMS/texting and chat from your website onto one platform. They are actively looking for early adopters. Please contact him at for more information. 
Lauren Hobbs
Principal at LEH Consulting
Mitch Miller
Vice President of Ocean Prime at Cameron Mitchell Restaurants
Karen Drasler LuKanic
Chief Marketing Officer at The Palm Restaurant
Patrick Doyle
Director of Operations at Gage Hospitality Group
Mark Rupert Read
Director of IT, Firmdale Hotels
Na Lee
Market Research Analyst at Farmers Restaurant Group
Jennifer Leber-Bell
Partner and Executive Vice President of Marketing at Lettuce Entertain You Restaurants
Bryn Jones
VP of Marketing & Retail, St. Elmo Steak House
Whitney Sanchez
Guest Relations at USHG
Rachel Insler
Brand Marketer at Patina Restaurant Group
Elizabeth Geny
Operations Manager at ThinkFoodGroup
Brian Normile
President at BCN Homes
Lauren Keeton
Director of Digital Marketing, Fox Restaurant Concepts
Chris Tracy
President and COO of Chef Geoff's
Dan Vinh
VP Global Brand Management & Marketing, Marriott International
David Chung
Franchisee, Gyu-Kaku
Sherry Amos
Vice President of Corp Marketing Alicart Restaurant Group
Charlee Williamson
Executive Vice President at Ralph Brennan Restaurant Group
Aba Kwawu
President, The Aba Agency
Kathryn Arvis
Director of Marketing at Passion Food Hospitality
Michael Katigbak
Senior Director of Marketing at José Andrés' ThinkFoodGroup
Alex Berentzen
Vice President of Operations at Fox Restaurant Concepts
State of the Restaurant Industry
A forward-looking overview of themes pushing the dial in the restaurant industry, with a special focus on the guest experience.

PR & Social Media Strategy
Overview of how to get the most out of your PR strategy, what to look for when hiring external PR resources, and social media trends to consider moving forward.

Battling the Yelp Effect
Discussion around how negative public feedback impacts every restaurant's bottom line, while also looking at best-practices for addressing this challenge.

Restaurant Technology Landscape
With more vendors entering the market everyday, discussion around the best technology making restaurants more efficient and effective.

Personalizing Guest Engagement
Panel discussion on best practices for using data to power personalized, effective messaging and strategies to achieve the highest possible ROI in 2018.

Identifying Analytics that Matter
Working session to identify the data that is most important to operations & marketing as well as where that data intel is lacking.

with our cosponsor