Our 2021 Event


Hotelier, Hospitality Entrepreneur, Author, and Speaker

Chip Conley is on a mission. After disrupting the hospitality industry twice, first as the founder of Joie de Vivre Hospitality, the second-largest operator of boutique hotels in the world, and then as Airbnb’s Head of Global Hospitality and Strategy, leading a worldwide revolution in travel, Conley co-founded Modern Elder Academy in January 2018.

Inspired by his experience of intergenerational mentoring as a ‘modern elder’ at Airbnb,...


Chef and Restaurateur

The innovation, passionate advocacy, and leadership of James Beard-nominated Chef Kelly Whitaker is the engine behind Dry Storage. Kelly launched Boulder-based Id Est Hospitality Group in 2005 as a communion of passions: culinary inspiration, care of the guest experience, and greater accessibility to high-quality grains and Colorado ingredients. He and his team at IEHG have received critical acclaim for their restaurants and are also in...


Our 2022 Event

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Bar Manager, Hotel Revival

Anna Welker, Bar Manager at the Hotel Revival and the Creator of the "Zero Proof, Zero Judgement" beverage program for Hyatt.

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CEO, 21c Hotels

Steve Wilson has found success by using his passion and intuition as a guide in preservation, investing, collecting contemporary art and farming. A native Kentuckian, Wilson actively pursues community development projects aimed at revitalizing urban, cultural and architectural landscapes, and offering alternatives to suburban sprawl. Wilson and his wife Laura Lee Brown are the founders and creative force behind 21c Museum...


Bashar Wali is a born leader and a bit of a rebel. Bashar can speak to the ins and outs of the Hospitality Industry because he’s done it all. Most at home on the road, he eats, sleeps and breathes this calling that we call hospitality. Some might say he’s obsessed with hotels. But, it’s really the humans behind them that drive him. Well, that and a vintage Land Rover Defender.


Superintendent/President, Merced Community College District

Dr. Chris Vitelli serves as the Superintendent/President for the Merced Community College District with more than 18 years’ experience in management and administration, including senior administration-level experience serving in various capacities, including Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Chief Student Services Officer (CSSO), Chief Instructional Officer (CIO), and Accreditation Liaison Officer (ALO). Vitelli’s value of...

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owner, Chook Charcoal Chicken

Adam Schlegel is the owner of Chook Charcoal Chicken, in addition to CEO of Cumulus Etc, a consulting company focused on food, beverage, agriculture and sustainability. Initiatives include Chook, Denver Public Market and Snooze an AM Eatery. Adam’s experience spreads across multiple sectors and disciplines in entrepreneurship, management and socially conscious business practices. In 2006, Adam and his brother Jon founded...


founder and executive director, CityUnite

Dave Runyon is the founder and executive director of CityUnite, a role in which he acts as a consultant to faith, business, and government leaders to help them unite around common causes and make a positive impact in their communities. Dave is passionate about following the biblical commandment to love our neighbors and inspiring others to do the same. To that end, he started a neighboring movement in 2010 that has now spread...

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CoFounder, CEO of THE WELL

Rebecca Parekh is the CoFounder and CEO of THE WELL — your one-stop shop for wellness. Prior to founding THE WELL, Rebecca was the COO for Deepak Chopra Radical Well-Being and a Director at Deutsche Bank Securities where she held various positions including Head of Cross Product Sales and Head of the US Private Institutional Client Group. She is on the Board of Directors for Ares Commercial Real Estate Corporation and an...

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Chairman, Sage Hospitality Group

Zachary T. Neumeyer is a businessman and civic leader. He is the Chairman of Sage Hospitality Group and is the Vice Chair of Mobile Accord. He is or has been an investor and board member of companies in the technology, communications, manufacturing, senior housing, banking and service industries. He also works on K-12 education reform in Colorado and nationally.

Zack’s civic focus is ensuring that every child in...

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Alexis Lanman was born and raised in Fort Worth, Texas. Disappointed New Englander parents by choosing cheerleading over orchestra. Had first restaurant job as a hostess at T.G.I.Fridays. Fell in love with hospitality. She attended La Sorbonne for University. Learned French and studied Art History - the first true form of marketing! She moved to the City of Angels from Paris in 2003. Became lead reservationist at a restaurant...


Program Manager, Ready for American Hospitality Program

Jessi Kalambayi is the interim Program manager for the Ready for American Hospitality Program, and case aide for public benefits at the ECDC African Community Center. Jessi graduated with a Bachelor’s of Sciences in Pschology and a minor in Africana studies at the Metropolitan State University of Denver and has worked within the non-profit sector with organizations like the United Nations Association of Boulder county as a...

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Nnadagi Isa is the CEO of The Lor Company, a sustainability lifestyle firm whose mission is to welcome more Black communities into a healthy, sustainable lifestyle through household essentials. The Lor Company has in-house brands such as; Lor Tush, Geekin' Blend Coffee, and more. Nnadagi is a multi-hyphen creator, musician, designer, and marketer, receiving RIAA Certified 2x Platinum plaque from Warner Records.

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LAURA LOUISE GREEN, LPC is a licensed psychotherapist, organizational consultant, and founder of Healthy Pour. After working in the hospitality and drinks industry for two decades, Laura utilizes her knowledge and skills as a trained mental health professional to facilitate training, growth, and healing within the hospitality industry and other creative sectors. After receiving her license to practice as a psychotherapist,...


Founding Partner & CEO

Ken Cruse is Founding Partner & CEO of Alpha Wave Investors and Soul Community Planet. Alpha Wave Investors engages in creative, disciplined value-driven hotel investments. Soul Community Planet provides holistic hospitality based on the values of wellness, kindness and sustainability. Previously, Ken was Chief Executive...


Jen Collins’ breadth of experience encompasses 20 years within the hospitality industry, in addition to various executive roles within real estate, education, wellness and philanthropic organizations. Her positions have included the asset management group at LaSalle Hotel Properties as well as head of hotel asset management at Westbrook Partners. Collins began her career at Tishman Hotel & Realty, a...

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VP of Development and Design

Heather Ciszczon, VP of Development and Design, joined NuovoRE having worked with the team in her previous roles at Two Roads Hospitality and Hyatt. In her twenty-year-plus career, Heather has vigorously led collaborative teams for numerous national award winning hotel, golf club, spa, restaurant, and resort residential projects across the country. Heather’s hospitality career got its start while still in high school as...

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Chief Curator and Co-founder

Molly Casey is the NINE dot ARTS Chief Curator and Co-founder, Molly leads, mentors, and supervises interdisciplinary creative teams through the research, curation, acquisition, and installation of a range of national art experiences. Her leadership and consulting expertise includes working directly with private and public sector clients on everything from curated corporate art collections to robust community art plans....


Chief Development Officer at Urban Villages

Jon Buerge is the Chief Development Officer at Urban Villages, responsible for new company acquisitions, corporate growth, and strategic positioning of all real estate assets. Previously, Jon oversaw real estate and expansion activities for national restaurant chains as Director of Development and Real Estate for CraftWorks Restaurants & Breweries. Jon earned a JD and MBA from the University of Colorado, where he served...

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Jason Bass joined Hotel Revival in 2020 as its first director of culture and impact after having served in a consultant role helping produce events and social impact initiatives since November 2019. As director of culture and impact, Bass builds brand loyalty through engaging the community, guests, neighbors and partners and curating cultural programming and events at the hotel and its food and beverage establishments. In addition, he...

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Silvia Vasquez-Lavado is a humanitarian, adventurous mountaineer, explorer, social entrepreneur, and the author of the critically acclaimed Memoir, "In The Shadow of the Mountain." In 2016, Silvia Vasquez-Lavado became the first Peruvian woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest in Nepal. By 2018, she completed climbing the 7 Summits (otherwise known as the tallest mountain on each continent), becoming the first openly gay woman to do so....