2018 TSO SYMPOSIUM
April 8 & 9
Ashland Hills Hotel & Suites
Thank you to all sponsors and speakers and attendees for another successful Symposium in Ashland this week!
We will post speaker presentations on this page as soon as we have them all uploaded for your reference.
A true social entrepreneur, Lou Radja continues to work tirelessly to improve the lives of many across the globe. A recognized and award winning Motivational Speaker and founder of Lou Radja Enterprises, Mr. Radja’s message of personal growth, leadership, diversity and service inspires audiences to Be More and Give More. As Founder and Executive Director of EduCongo, a U.S. based nonprofit organization, Lou’s energy is devoted to generating awareness and support to provide quality education for over 2,000 underprivileged children in the Congo. Lou is a member and Past President of the Portland Pearl Rotary Club, an active member of the World Affairs Council of Oregon. Lou and his wife Stacy are proud parents of two boys, Yenga and Senda.
Todd was appointed Executive Director of the Oregon Tourism Commission (dba Travel Oregon) in June 1996 and was named Chief Executive Officer in September 2004.
Under Todd’s leadership, the tourism industry in Oregon has flourished into a $11.3 billion industry that employs more than 109,000 Oregonians. In 2003 he helped lead an effort to establish dedicated and stable funding for the Commission. This funding has been crucial in Travel Oregon’s ability to grow the state’s tourism industry through strengthening its base of international markets; leadership in sustainable tourism initiatives; and award - winning publications, niche-oriented websites and advertising campaigns.
Travel Oregon has garnered 20 Mercury Awards during Todd’s tenure, including two top awards for Best Overall State Marketing Program in 2010 and 2013. Todd was also honored by the NCSTD as the State Tourism Director of the Year in 2006.
Todd is a past Chair of the U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board (USTTAB), a position he was appointed to in January 2012 after being initially appointed to the Board in 2010. Todd continues to serve on the USTTAB, having been appointed to a fourth term by US Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker.
Todd Montgomery has over 23 years of hospitality management experience. During this time he has specialized in pricing and revenue management and has worked with leading hotels, airlines, cruise lines, rental cars, restaurants, gaming and condominiums. Montgomery has over 10 years of teaching experience in higher education as well.
He started his career with Hyatt Hotels and later joined Starwood Hotels as the Corporate Director of Revenue Management for Asia/Pacific. In 2006, he joined one of the largest pricing and analytics software companies in the world, PROS Pricing, as a Sr. Consultant & Director of Asia/Pacific. During this time he led the design and implementation for several multimillion-dollar revenue management initiatives. In 2012, Montgomery joined Oregon State University as an Executive in Residence and Instructor. In 2016, Montgomery was appointed as the Robin and Curt Baney Endowed Faculty Scholar. He continues to work closely with industry.
Montgomery’s research interests include building a sustainable labor force in the service industry and the impact of service automation technology on customer service and employee satisfaction.
Benjamin Powers is the founder, president and CEO of Visiting Media, a technology and virtual media production company specializing in the development of digital marketing applications and production of 360˚ video, 3D modeling, aerial video, and 360˚ photography. Powers most recently developed and launched TrueTour™, a universal virtual brochure application, which currently has over 4 million users around the globe and won the Travel Portland award for innovation. Founder of Powers Studios, the largest photography studio on the west coast and recipient of Oregon’s Best Photography Studio by Oregon Bride Magazine four consecutive years, Powers is recognized as an expert on utilizing modern media as a sales tool, and is a regular keynote speaker for a variety of cross-industry events.
Ben studied business and economics at Santa Clara University before becoming a serial entrepreneur and returning to his home town of Carlton, Oregon to start a family, buy a network of private event facilities, and found Aileron Hill Vineyard, providing superior quality wine to local enthusiasts.
Ben currently enjoys life with his wife, Laurel, two children, Max and Lillian, and their two dogs on Aileron Hill Vineyard.
Sarahanne Driggs connects exceptional people and brands to achieve visionary goals. As the Special Events Program Officer for the Asante Foundation, she manages the vital relationships among wineries, media outlets, volunteers, and influencers that create the Oregon Wine Experience®. In 2014 the Asante Foundation partnered with the local wine industry to present the Oregon Wine Experience® and it has become the region's premier wine and culinary destination event, with every dollar raised benefiting children's and community health. Her professional experience includes nearly two decades of experience in membership, media, and culture serving organizations like the National Press Club, the Utah Symphony and the Utah Opera. Sarahanne is a Chicago native, a graduate of the University of Oregon, and an avid fan of Oregon wines, the Oregon Ducks and the Chicago Cubs.
Drew Honzel has called Klamath Falls home for over 30 years. After retiring from the Forest Projects Industry he spends a considerable amount of time developing and promoting Klamath’s outdoor recreation through his volunteer activities. Drew is one of the founding members of Klamath Trails Alliance, a non-profit organized in 2012. He enjoys trail running, mountain biking, road biking, backcountry skiing and everything in between.
Pete is originally from Vermont but has spent time living in Colorado, Wyoming, South America, and on the West Coast. He has been a guide for over 20 years and has run rivers all over the United States – including the Upper Tuolumne (Cherry Creek) in California, considered the toughest regularly-run commercial trip in North America – as well as rivers in Nepal, India, Costa Rica, Panama, Argentina, and Chile. He is a board member for the Oregon Guides and Outfitters Association, the Save the Wild Rogue Campaign, the Rogue Outfitters Association, and works closely with the Southern Oregon University Outdoor Adventure Leadership Program as well as with environmental groups that work towards the protection of wild rivers. Besides boating he is an avid back-country skier, boarder, runner, and general outdoor adventurer. He believes in environmental stewardship through advocacy by experience. That getting a wide variety of people out into wild places and showing the places in a way that they understand and that they appreciate (and that is really fun!) creates advocates that love and will want to protect them.
Gabriel Howe is executive director of Siskiyou Mountain Club. He enjoys hard work and play in the Oregon backwoods.
Jenifer is co-founder and owner of ROE! – Real Oregon Experience and Crater Lake Zipline. She and her husband Darren operate the adventure companies from their home in Klamath Falls. ROE!, in operation since 1984, offers fly fishing, bird hunting and kayaking tours throughout Southern Oregon. Crater Lake Zipline opened in 2015 making history as the first ever Zipline Canopy tour on a US National Forest. The couple will add Sasquatch Hollow Kid’s Zipline Adventure in May of 2018.
Jenifer grew up in the kitchen and laundry room of a small, family-run hotel and restaurant. She learned to be an entrepreneur before she knew how to spell it and as an adult ran fast and far away from all things small business to earn a degree in International Relations. She worked in marketing and publishing in London before returning to Southern Oregon in 1996 to rediscover her roots as an entrepreneur. She says she has a longstanding love affair with Southern Oregon and finds developing and marketing adventure tourism here a natural for her life and all that she admires about the region.
Richard is the current Director of Digital Strategy for Travel Portland and has spent the last nineteen years managing digital initiatives for a major university, a Fortune 500 company and a global non-profit, before working his way up to the tourism industry. With a degree from the London School of Economics he spends too much time worrying about why our numbers are up, rather than celebrating the fact that our numbers are, in fact, up. He is vaguely nostalgic for the times when he got to write code all day instead of trying to convince other people to write code all day. In his spare time, Richard is a keen photographer and parent and produces the popular local blog, “Things to do in Portland with Children” http://www.thingstodoinportland.org
Gary is ODOT’s the Public Affairs Specialist in the Rogue Valley. He’s been with ODOT for 17 years as a communication and outreach resource on projects in development and construction, as well as operations and incidents, in Jackson and Josephine Counties.
Before joining ODOT, Gary was in various television news positions in Oregon for 23 years.
Gary is a native Oregonian who was raised in Corvallis, and to the chagrin of his brother and sisters - all Beavers, graduated with a journalism degree from the University of Oregon in Eugene.