General Sessions during the MTS Forum are highly anticipated. The thought leadership from industry leaders and travel experts is unmatched.


General session I
8:30am - 10:00am


Keynote: leading change

Our industry is steeped in a rich history and tradition. However, we still must grow, evolve and innovate. One of the greatest leadership challenges is sitting with the tension of trying to preserve our traditions yet still changing and innovating. In order for our industry to thrive we must be willing to challenge the status quo, be guest-centric, try new ideas, and even fail at times. The path forward requires courage, and how we collectively lead will shape the future of our industry.
Presented by:
Kirsten Lynch, CMO, Vail Resorts

Bright Shiny Objects

New technology makes it easier every day to show off your destination. Presenting: Live Streaming for Events and Eyeballs; The Sales Power of Virtual Reality and Google's Street View for the Slopes
Presenters include:
Justin Soffer, VP Marketing, Travelzoo
Sven Tresp, Global Program Manager, Streetview, Google

John Urdi, Executive Director, Mammoth Lakes Tourism

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GENeral session II
10:15AM - 12:00PM


A strategic and tactical view of the past, present, and future of the mountain industry

Andy has seen more than most throughout his 30 year career in the ski industry. Andy has worked as a senior executive for multiple resort operating companies and international holding companies where he has been involved in a number of transactions within the ski resort space. Andy started as an intern in Steamboat, where he raised his family, and now leads Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows in Lake Tahoe California. Andy is a community leader and executive who was involved in the concept and development of The Mountain Collective product and was deeply engaged in the development of the Alterra Mountain Company.
Presented by: 
Andy Wirth, President and COO, Squaw Valley Holdings 

The Integration of Sales and Marketing

At many companies, sales and marketing are not in perfect synch. Marketing is responsible for the brand and bringing in prospects, and sales is responsible for closing that business, both B2B and B2C. Industry leaders define and debate the critical integration of these departments, inherent challenges and proposed solutions.
Presenters include:
Ian Arthur, CMO, Boyne Resorts
Dan Sherman, CMO,
Tina Sampson, Vice President of Sales, Vail Resorts
Bob Stinchcomb, Senior Vice President, Sales, Alterra Mountain Company
Moderated by: Bruce Rosard, Forum Producer, Mountain Travel Symposium, European Mountain Travel Summit


General session III
3:30PM - 5:15PM



The theme for this year's MTS talks is partnerships. 
Presented by: 
Giancarlo CescattiDirettore Commerciale, Marketing & Comunicazione, Azienda per il Turismo Madonna di Campiglio Pinzolo Val Rendena and President, Consorzio Skirama Dolomiti Adamello Brenta
Michelle Good, Founder, MTBparks
Steve Nilsen, Lifestyle Marketing Manager, Pabst Brewing Company
Douglas Quinby, SVP Research, Phocuswright
Nick Sargent, President, SIA



General session IV
8:30AM - 10:30AM



Ignite MTS presentations this year are multi-generational views about the mountain travel industry. There will be presentations from each of three generations - Boomers, GenX and GenY/Millennials. The Ignite MTS Format requires each presentation to be exactly 5 minutes using 20 PowerPoint slides that auto advance every 15 seconds. They are a highlight of the Forum every year!
Presenters include:
Ben Bates, Commercial Excellence Manager,
Jill Coyle, Account Manager, Hill Aevium
Trevor Crist, CEO, Inntopia

Pamela Graves-Longley, Director of Business Development/Mountain, RedAwning
John O'Neill, Market Associate, Expedia
Jessica Payne, Sales and Marketing Coordinator, Hotel Azure

Keynote: Wild Places 

A wilderness writer and adventure photographer, Bruce is recognized for connecting wild places with contemporary issues. With journeys spanning more than 80 countries and 2000 days, Bruce’s accomplishments include the first modern crossing of Arabia’s Empty Quarter by camel, a raft descent of Ethiopia’s Blue Nile Gorge, sea kayak traverse of Borneo’s northern coast, and a coast-to-coast Icelandic trek.
Presented by:
Bruce Kirkby, Acclaimed Explorer, Writer, Photographer