Leading Luxury Hotel General Managers to Participate on Panel at ULTRA Summit

NEW YORK (March 22, 2016) ─ Questex Travel Group today announced the panelists for the always informative crowd pleaser, GM Interactive Panel, an integral session that will take place during the Luxury Travel Advisor’s ULTRA Summit, held May 22–24, 2016, at the luxurious St. Regis Monarch Beach, Dana Point, California. 

Celebrating its fourth year, the event will unite the world’s most elite travel advisors and suppliers for an exclusive discussion about the latest research and trends in ultra-luxury travel.

Moderated by Ruthanne Terrero, founding editorial director of Luxury Travel Advisor and Questex Travel Group vice president, content and editorial director, this panel will feature general managers from three leading properties including the host hotel, to talk consumer travel trends, with a focus on Millennial and family travel. 

Participating panelists will include:
Karen Whitt - Vice President Sales & Marketing, The Hartling Group 
Karen Whitt, formerly General Manager of the Palms Turks and Caicos, and was recently promoted to Vice-President of Sales and Marketing for the Hartling Group, overseeing brand management for The Sands, The Palms and The Shore Club in Turks and Caicos. She has held the role of President of the Turks and Caicos Hotel and Tourism Association from 2008 to 2013, is currently the 2nd Vice-President of the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association, and was awarded “Top General Manager Worldwide” by Luxury Travel Advisor in 2014 at the Awards of Excellence.

Rick Riess - Managing Director, Montage Laguna Beach
Rick Riess, a seasoned hospitality executive with over 35 years of experience, whose prodigious and expansive resume includes serving as Managing Director of Sea Island, a private island luxury destination resort in southern Georgina's Golden Isles. He previously served as President and CEO of the Plumpjack Group in San Francisco, where he oversaw resorts, wineries, restaurants, retail businesses and real estate development. Earlier, Riess served as Chief Operating Officer and founding partner of Auberge Resorts, where he was instrumental in the opening of numerous small luxury hotels, including Napa Valley's Calistoga Rangch; Esperanza in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico; CordeValle in the Silicon Valley, and The Inn at Palmetto Bluff in South Carolina. Riess began his hospitality career with Hyatt Hotels Corporation, where he spent 18 years serving in management positions.

Ian Pullan- General Manager, St. Regis Monarch Beach
Ian Pullan is the General Manager at the St. Regis Monarch Beach, currently overseeing a significant renovation and repositioning of the resort, which is set for relaunch in June 2016. He began his hospitality career in 1990 in the front office with Conrad Hotels in Dublin, Ireland. Since then, Pullan has held a variety of leadership roles for Conrad, Omni, Jurys Doyle Group, and Fairmont Hotels and Resorts with positions in St. Martin, Los Angeles, Dublin, Bermuda, Toronto, Kansas City, Vancouver, B.C., and on the Kohala Coast in Hawaii. Most recently Pullan served as the general manager for the flagship InterContinental Hotel in Boston.
“This is an exceptional panel for our audience, said Terrero. “Their diverse experiences will bring unique insights and tangible application for our advisors to reflect on as they in turn share what their customers are looking for.”

ULTRA Summit brings some of the world’s most prestigious suppliers together with a cross-section of ultra-luxury advisors who drive hundreds of millions in luxury travel revenue annually and represent independent and affiliated agencies with membership in the top consortia, including Virtuoso, Signature Travel Network, Ensemble Travel Group and American Express. 

Intimate one-to-one appointments will be intermixed with lively panels, engaging presentations and elegant networking functions including the prestigious Awards of Excellence. 

For more information, visit www.ltaultrasummit.com.

About Questex Hospitality + Travel
The Questex Hospitality + Travel Group of Questex LLC serves the worldwide hospitality, travel and related industries that together contribute over $6 trillion to the global gross domestic product. Through an innovative platform of targeted solutions, the group serves the sector’s entire ecosystem, from tourism and hotel development and investment to hotel design, purchasing, management and operations.

The Questex Hospitality + Travel Group supports every B2B segment of the industry, from investment and development to management operations, sales and marketing of hospitality and travel products to destination development and marketing, via proven demand generation, learning, loyalty and rewards solutions as well as a network of live events. This division of Questex is aligned around three broad market segments – hospitality, travel and meetings – and supported by its digital media staff.

Additional information is available at questex.com/markets/hospitality-travel.