General Sessions during the MTS Forum are highly anticipated. The thought leadership from industry leaders and travel experts is unmatched.
Wednesday March 29
General Session I
8:45 AM – 10:45 AM
Presented by Kelly VanderBeek
From rope tows to world cup podiums, then motherhood to Olympic primetime, Kelly VanderBeek's journey has been an unlikely success. Breaking down her 13 years as an Olympic Downhiller and broadcaster who’s helped cover 4 Olympic Games and Rogers Cup Tennis Tournaments, Kelly talks of her incredible journey through relatable moments. Kelly’s stories ring of simple truths, delivered with powerful emotion. At MTS, Kelly’s keynote will help bring clarity to your ‘Unique Moments'.
Breaking Trail: Who Will Lead Tomorrow's Mountain Industry?
The mountain industry has survived and thrived for decades in the United States. However, the industry is facing a new set of challenges in an increasingly complex world. How will it continue to thrive? Well, as leadership guru Marshall Goldsmith famously said,"What got you here won't get you there." Cultivating new leaders is critical to the long-term viability of the industry. Who will replace the trailblazers who founded this industry? How do we leverage our culture, passion,and heritage to attract the talent to become the next trailblazers?
This General Session, followed by an action planning workshop after lunch, is designed to align the brightest minds on the changes required to sustain the mountain industry's unique culture and business success while opening opportunities for fresh perspectives and new leadership.
- Deanne Buck, Executive Director, Camber Outdoors
- Melissa Maher, Senior Vice President,Global Partner Group, Expedia
- Michael Colburn, Vice President, Sales, Marketing and Communications, Stowe Mountain Resort
- Olivia Rowan, Publisher, Ski Area Management Magazine
Moderated by Paul Thallner, Partner, Great Places to Work
The Privilege to Inspire
General Session II
11:00 AM-12:45 PM
Travel Industry Trends – What’s New… What’s Next
Expedia is the largest travel company in the world based on annual travel sales. In this session we hear from Melissa Maher, Expedia’s Senior Vice President, Global Partner Group in a one-on-one interview with Douglas Quinby, Vice President Research, Phocuswright.
More people are leaving their country to travel than ever before. The impacts on our business are enormous. Growth in North America and Europe is stagnant and dependent on developing markets in Latin America, Asia (especially China), Eastern Europe and the Middle East. Each market is unique. If you want to earn a piece of this pie, this session helps push the conversation forward.
Moderated by Kelly VanderBeek.
Presenters include Simon Hudson, Director and Endowed Chair, Center of Economic Excellence in Tourism and Economic Development, College of Hospitality, University of South Carolina. Author, Winter Sport Tourism, and Kristy Kavanaugh, Managing Director, Global Sales, Aspen Skiing Company.
Back for the third year, Ignite MTS features five young stars presenting the millennial point of view. The Ignite Format requires each presentation to be exactly 5 minutes using 20 PowerPoint slides that auto advance every 15 seconds. Want to know what millennials really think and how you can’t generalize this generation? Check out Ignite MTS.
Henrik Lampert, Editor-in-Chief, Freeskier Magazine, Presents “Ordinary boss, no more”
By embracing and creating opportunities to make extraordinary happenings of otherwise ordinary circumstances, you have the power to inspire and energize your entire organization. Empowering your teammates to rise above the call of duty is as simple as going back to the basics.
Steve Lepper, Vice President, Business Development, TripHero, Presents “The Life of a Millennial Entrepreneur in a Mountain Town”
Starting a company in the mountains has different challenges than a typical startup, but we do it because we are compelled to live this life in the mountains. I am here to share my story with people who share the same enthusiasm for the outdoors as we do (that’s YOU!).
Stephen Remillard, National Sales Manager, Mammoth Mountain Ski Area, Presents “We've always done it that way”
Our industry has been slow to evolve, too often you hear answers like "we've always done it that way" to questions challenging the status quo. I want to change that.
Stephanie Sferrazza, Associate Market Manager, Canada East - Niagara Region, Halifax, Oakville-Burlington, Presents “The Power of the Millennial Woman”
The millennial woman is well-connected, well-educated and looking for her next adventure. By putting a focus on the unique needs of this group; destinations and hotels will benefit significantly.
General Session III
Our version of TED Talks. Each year we pick a theme and find five unique and awesome presenters. This year’s theme is GROWTH. Our experts each provide their point of view on this theme in 10-12 minute talk. Do not miss this session.
MTS Talks Presenters include:
- Erik Blachford, Venture Partner, Technology Crossover Ventures
- Deanne Buck, Executive Director, Camber Outdoors
- Kim Locke, Vice President, Strategy and Corporate Affairs, Lake Louise Ski Resort
- Matt Mosteller, Sr. Vice President, Marketing and Resort Experience, Resort of the Canadian Rockies
- Nick Sargent, President, CEO, SIA
Thursday March 30
General session IV
8:45 AM - 10:30 AM
The Future is Now!
It’s time to look to the future, and the future is now for Machine Based Learning, Chat Bots, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and more. MTS presents an expert in each field who illustrates why you need to get on these bandwagons now. This is not hype, these are the “next big things”.
- Rob Torres, Managing Director, Travel, Google
- Mike Slone, Chief Experience Officer, Travelaer
- Peng Shao, Founder, CEO, GooglePal
- Christine Warner, Head of Travel, Facebook
Moderated by Erik Blachford, Venture Partner, Technology Crossover Ventures
Presented by Amy Purdy
We couldn’t be more pleased with our final keynote speaker. Amy Purdy’s TED talk was chosen by the TED organization out of hundreds to be featured on the homepage of TED.com and they distribute her talk to new TED speakers as the #1 recommended sample presentation. It has been viewed millions of times. Amy is a world champion snowboarder and finalist on Dancing With the Stars. She has toured with Oprah Winfrey. Like past MTS keynoters, Amy will make you laugh and make you cry as we wrap up the MTS Forum with another standing ovation.
* (All content is preliminary and subject to change)