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Visit SLO CAL Destination Summit

In the framework of the National Travel & Tourism Week, Visit SLO CAL hosts our annual Destination Summit. Join us as we highlight the accomplishments of the past year and outline the major initiatives for the year ahead. Hear from industry leaders during educational sessions that will help build your business for tomorrow as we grow our destination together.
This year, the Destination Summit will be hosted at the Embassy Suites in San Luis Obispo on May 9th, 2019 from 11:00 am to 4:30 pm. 

Click here to get your tickets, today!

Destination Summit web flyer

Keynote Speakers

Chuck Davison, President & CEO
The Path Forward: Tourism in SLO CAL Today, Tomorrow and Into the Future - Chuck Davison, President & CEO, Visit SLO CAL

Chuck Davison serves as President & CEO of Visit SLO CAL , a role he eagerly accepted in April of 2015. Chuck led the research, groundwork, approval and implementation process for San Luis Obispo County’s first countywide Tourism Marketing District, which was established in 2015, increasing the district budget by 400%. Chuck’s passion, drive and results-oriented approach has steered several key initiatives in the first two years of Visit SLO CAL’s Tourism Marketing District. Under Chuck’s leadership, the organization has developed and launched a new brand, expanded into international markets and increased air service development with the addition of new regional flights for the first time in 10-years, positioning the organization for success in the years to come

Chris Fair
Destination Management Strategy: The Big Reveal - Chris Fair, President, Resonance Consultancy 

A futurist, marketing strategist and facilitator, Chris holds a master's degree in Studies of the Future and has married his marketing expertise with futures methodologies to help a wide variety of clients envision and create destination management strategies, plans and marketing strategies that shape the future of places around the world. As President of Resonance Consultancy, Chris leads a team that has completed more than 100 visioning, strategy, planning and branding projects for cities and communities around the world. 

Chris is the vice-chairman of the Urban Land Institute’s Travel Experience & Trends Council, a member of the Project for Public Spaces Leadership Council and an adjunct instructor in Placemaking at New York University. Chris frequently speaks on tourism and travel trends to organizations such as Destinations International, the Urban Land Institute, Association of Travel Marketing Executives and at many provincial, state and international tourism conferences around the world.


Educational Sessions

Session #1: Even You Can Understand the Politics of Travel

Barb Newton, President & CEO of CalTravel will demystify the politics of tourism with an overview of this statewide advocacy organization, outline key bills facing the travel industry and discussion on how you can engage with CalTravel's efforts.

Barb Newton - Guest Speaker
Barb Newton, President & CEO, California Travel Association 

California Travel Association (CalTravel) is the influential, unified voice of the travel and tourism industry in California. As President and CEO, Newton is responsible for leading the organization to protect and advance travel and tourism’s interests through advocacy, collaboration, and education. Prior to joining CalTravel, she was President of Sunset Publishing, a diversified publishing company based on the leading media brand in the West. She came to Sunset from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where she was President of Reiman Media Group, a Midwestern lifestyle media company that included an international tours company and travel magazine. She began her career at Rodale, Inc., where she rose to SVP Managing Director of Women’s Heath Worldwide. Newton has also consulted on strategic planning and business development for clients such as National Geographic, AAA, General Mills, Time Inc., Rodale Inc. and Reader’s Digest. Newton serves on the boards of U.S. Travel, Education Week, CSU Hospitality and Tourism Alliance, and the Cal Poly RPTA Advisory Board.

Session #2: You Are SLO CAL: Get (Even More) SLO CAL Connected

You may know that Visit SLO CAL is marketing and managing the destination, but do you know how you can benefit from their efforts? The leadership team will uncover more about what they are working on for the coming fiscal year and share the ways you can get involved to grow your business through storytelling, promotion, trade sales and industry initiatives.

Michael Wambolt
Michael Wambolt, Director of Travel Trade, Visit SLO CAL

Michael joined the Visit SLO CAL team in 2015.  Prior to working at Visit SLO CAL Michael was the Director of Sales at The SeaCrest OceanFront Hotel and the SpringHill Suites by Marriott in Atascadero.  Michael and his wife live in Arroyo Grande, during their free time they can be found getting lost on SLO CAL’s trails and backcountry roads.

Brook Burnham
Brooke Burnham, Vice President of Marketing, Visit SLO CAL

Brooke has been in her role at Visit SLO CAL since December, 2016, and she has worked in tourism, hospitality and destination marketing for over 20 years. Brooke lives in San Luis Obispo with her two boys and loves exploring the tide-pools with them in her free time.


Derek Kirk
Derek Kirk, Director of Community Engagement & Advocacy, Visit SLO CAL 

Derek joined Visit SLO CAL in March to lead the new Partnership & Advocacy department. He brings experience working in local communities across California in education, economic development and political action. Derek and his wife live in Atascadero and enjoy sitting on the patio at Oso Libre Winery any chance they get.

Session 3: Turn Customers into Advocates: Crafting a Remarkable Guest Experience

How do you create an immersive, memorable and sharable guest experience? Get inspired by a panel of experience industry professionals will share their work and case studies, as well as best practices, to set you on the right path for turning customers into powerful brand ambassadors.

Marina Terteryan
Marina Terteryan, Founder, The Why Lab

Marina Terteryan is a human-centered designer and innovation strategist with a specialty in service design and experience design. She is the founder of The Why Lab, a global innovation agency based in Los Angeles, which helps businesses and organizations ranging from Fortune 500s to social enterprises understand, serve, and delight their customers. As an advocate for design, she hosts the world’s first service design podcast called Why Service Design Thinking, which is streamed in 120+ countries. She holds a Master’s degree in Global Strategic Design Management from Parsons Paris. Marina believes that the world would be a better place if everyone worked by the principles of human-centered design, lived by the principles of jazz improvisation, and used ergonomic standing desks.

Anthony Rocco
Anthony Rocco, Designer & Strategist, Tournesol 

Anthony Rocco creates experiences for others to develop new ways of thinking, feeling, and being. Before joining Tournesol as an experienced designer & strategist, he co-founded the immersive design firm Foma Labs in his continued pursuit to lead innovation around how people share fundamental and universal embodied human experiences. 

With Foma, he created immersive C-level customer experiences, off-sites & celebrations, interactive marketing campaigns, and gamified retail environments for companies such as Google, PepsiCo, and HackerOne. Prior to that, he wandered Paris, Berlin, and Manila working in independent film, and the performing arts. Rocco has an undergrad degree from the Tisch Film School at NYU.

Joanna Nastos
Joanna Antigone Nastos, Freelancer 

Joanna Antigone Nastos was born and raised in the metropolis of Athens, Greece. After earning her BA in Art History, Nastos found herself in rock and roll where she learned about all areas of experience design and how it translates to live music shows. Since moving to the Bay Area in 2012, she has explored the definition of what an event is and how individuals can collectively push the envelope to create the most unique and memorable experiences for each audience member. Her creativity is geared towards people who have no idea what experience designers do and how crazy they must be to choose such a life. 

From all aspects of idea creation, location scouting, entertainment, hospitality, and overall inventiveness, to manifesting and executing an event in a sustainable fashion and focused on safety, it could be said that Nastos has seen a lot (but definitely not all) and probably nothing scares her. She has also had more conversations than could be imagined about where she could rig an aerialist, whether or not horses need to wear diapers and if bath bombs will stain porcelain tubs. Ask her anything, she has stories and she tells them really well! Although the NDA's she has signed won’t allow her to tell you whodunit...

Andrew LacanientaAndrew Lacanienta, Assistant Professor, Cal Poly Department of Experience Industry Management

As an experienced design scholar and creative director, Andrew Lacanienta is disrupting the way we think about the word “experience”. Currently, Andrew works as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Experience Industry Management at Cal Poly where he researches the intricacies of designing memorable experiences and applies experience design theory to the classroom as a way to design engaging educational experiences for his students.  Andrew is a Utah native and loves the outdoors. He enjoys cycling into work each day, brewing his own kombucha, and painting during his free time.

  More information to come. 

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