SPEAKERS

One of the cornerstones of The Travel Industry Hub is to allow a platform for people to speak. We do that via our industry events in our space, and currently during COVID-19 in an online format via our informal Survive & Revive series. 

Below are the contact details and bios of the people we're proud to have worked with. 
 

 
IMG_20170325_115711_925_edited_edited.jp

RICHARD TAYLOR

Co-Founder, The Travel Industry Hub

I'm Richard, and I'm running the Survive & Revive series of webinars during COVID-19. It's been conceived to support industry individuals and companies through this period and the ensuing fallout, and I host and facilitate the discussions until we can find someone more polished. 

 

When things return to some kind of normal we aim for TTIH to become a real world hub for the industry. I'll manage the space, where we envision industry people and companies working together in an environments that also holds meetings, great events and more.

 

A slightly more formal version of my history is available on our About Us page.

Lauren Anderson.JPG

LAUREN ANDERSON

Sales & Networking Manager, World Resorts of Distinction

Lauren has dedicated her career to a variety of roles across the tourism industry working for Tourism Australia, Top Deck, Flight Centre and The Travel Corporation.

Now working for World Resorts of Distinction, Lauren has found the perfect intersection of her passions - sustainability and travel.

Lauren is a passionate eco advocate having completed her Graduate Certificate in Sustainable Tourism Management in 2019 and is never seen without a keep-cup.

Sarah Arane Quark Expeditions 2.jpg

SARAH ARANE

Sales and Marketing Manager, Quark Expeditions

Sarah Arane is currently the Sales and Marketing Manager for Quark Expeditions in Asia Pacific, having been in the travel industry for 8 years (since 2012) across a variety of roles.

 

A travel addict, she has visited all 7 continents, and the next item on the list is everywhere!

 

Sarah graduated from the University of Technology Sydney in 2011 with a Bachelor of Environmental Science majoring in Marine Biology. A chance trip to explore Africa led to a slight diversion to the travel industry as a travel consultant at Flight Centre in Sydney.

 

From there she has also held roles as Business Development Manager at Cover-More Travel Insurance and Wendy Wu Tours. Before joining Quark Expeditions in 2019, spending 18 months in the Travelzoo Australian office as a Sales Manager.

 

Starting at Quark Expeditions in 2019 she has been incredibly lucky to visit Svalbard in the Arctic, and the Antarctic Peninsula and finally getting to work in a role supporting both her passion for travel, and also protecting the environment.

unnamed_edited.jpg

SCOTT BARBER

Former Managing Director Australia & New Zealand, Travelport, and current MBA student

Scott's was Travelport’s Managing Director for the Pacific region until December 2019 when he commenced studying for his MBA full time at the University of Technology Sydney.

At Travelport, a global B2B travel technology organisation, he was responsible for growing Travelport’s footprint in the region, which includes driving revenue, securing new business and identifying key strategic opportunities. His previous roles included APAC Strategy Director, Global Head of Optimization and Global Account Manager.

Scott is passionate about the travel industry having worked across numerous sectors including aviation, hospitality, wholesale and travel-technology. He is a firm believer in creating a vision, then building a strategy, communicating it and critically executing on it.

 

Originally from the UK, Scott has been based in APAC for 12 years, including living in Singapore, and Sydney.

amy.jpg

AMY BINGHAM

Co-Founder, Itchy Feet Digital

Amy Bingham is a Video Marketer, Producer and Founder of Itchy Feet Digital, an agency specialising in video strategy, marketing and training.  She’s worked with a range of clients from big brand names to small startups you’ve not (yet) heard of, creating successful video strategies and campaigns.

 

Amy’s background in journalism and production for television and video means she not only brings a wealth of experience in storytelling and publishing, but practical and technical skills about the video making process.

 

She's a passionate digital video educator empowering business owners and marketers to create their own video content to grow their businesses.

Jorge Fernandez_Centred.jpg

JORGE FERNANDEZ

Founder & Principle, Applied Sense

Jorge brings with him over 36 years’ experience building and growing businesses in the Travel Industry and beyond.

 

He spends much of his time now coaching and mentoring SME business owners and senior executive staff, facilitating business performance and leadership peer groups. Through Applied Sense he has been providing thought leadership and advisory services for over 10 years directly to business leaders and company boards.

Jorge’s wide range of experience and exposure to most sectors in our travel industry gives him a wide and professionally intimate perspective to the many challenges our business leaders face.

Roheena Gidwani.JPG

ROHEENA GIDWANI

Managing Director ANZ - Airline Rep Services

Roheena has been a part of the Tourism & Aviation industry for over 23 years.  

 

Well respected with a strong network of industry connections, Roheena’s international career graph has led her through different roles in the industry. A graduate with a number of IATA-UFTAA Professional Diplomas under her belt, she was Sales Manager for Kenya Airways in India.

In 2015, she migrated to Australia and has since created a place for herself in the Australia/New Zealand travel industry space. She has been twice nominated for Women in Travel Awards in Australia in November 2016

& 2017 (Travel Weekly).

Vara%20Glover_edited.jpg

VARA GLOVER

Founder/Managing Director at mind-coach.com.au

Vara’s history spanned a 15-year career in sales, management and leadership in the travel industry before becoming a psychotherapist and hypnotherapist. The Travel Industry Mind Coach was founded by Vara to help people in travel and tourism cope with the ambiguous nature of the industry.

Using a psychoanalytical approach, Vara designs bespoke development programs for business leaders and managers, and also helps consultants, managers, owners and senior leaders manage stress.

Wendy Harch Headshot.jpg

WENDY HARCH

Chief Commercial Officer - Travel At 60

Wendy has enjoyed a long career in the tourism and travel industry, with over 25 years’ experience in a variety of senior private sector and government roles. 

With a background encompassing international sales and marketing, inbound marketing, wholesale, retail, product development, pricing and strategic planning, Wendy’s current role as the inaugural Chief Commercial Officer at Travel at 60 has seen the start-up travel company expand significantly in its first eighteen months of operation.

Wendy brings this broad perspective to the Travel at 60 business, having previously managed thirteen international offices and an annual global budget of $15 million at Tourism and Events Queensland.  She was also previously responsible for all marketing and strategy at AAT Kings, Australia’s largest tour operator, and at Fantasea Cruising, which was recently purchased by NRMA.

Jes Lillis AAT Kings.jpg

JES LILLIS

Sales Manager NSW, AAT Kings

Jes joined the Travel Industry in 2013, starting in Reservations for Insight Vacations (The Travel Corporation - TTC). In 2016 Jes was able to take a role in the UK with the Insight Vacations Travel Experiences (Product) team working on adjusting existing and creating new travel experiences and itineraries.

Jes has always been a passionate advocate for her two favourite countries, Australia & New Zealand, and after living and travelling abroad for 2 years, Jes’ return to Australia inspired her to direct her focus to her own backyard.

In August 2019, Jes joined the AAT Kings & Inspiring Journeys family as a Sales Manager looking after the NSW North territory and is absolutely in her element. Her bubbly nature and seemingly boundless energy only add to her passion for talking about how Australia & New Zealand are incredible travel destinations and why everyone should look a little closer to home for their next adventure.

Michelle Lester-Smith ZOOM.jpg

MICHELLE LESTER-SMITH

Tourism Product Expert / Presenter, The Travel Industry Hub

Michelle has been in the Travel and Tourism Industry in product and strategy roles for almost 15 years with different companies including AOT, APT, G Adventures, the very remote Wrightsair and William Creek Hotel and an overseas stint working with a wholesaler.  She strongly believes product is the foundation and is the key to success within a business, particularly in Tourism.

 

Passionate about Australia and New Zealand, Michelle has strategically developed product within some of the most remote locations, as well as the most unusual.  Michelle’s dedication for tourism and travel for our “own backyard” and the industry is key to her drive and enthusiasm.

 

Along with domestic tourism, Michelle has travelled extensively around the world including 18 months around Iceland, and North and South America.

Walt Pic.jpg

WALTER NAND

Co-Founder, Ride The World Motorcycle Tours

One of the best known faces within Australia's travel industry, Walter has represented companies such as APT, Excite Holidays, MSC Cruises and Avalon Waterways as a Business Development Manager.   

More recently, Walter has co-founded Ride The World Motorcycle Tours, combining his his two great passions of travel and motorcyling. 

Walter is a strong advocate for the discussion of men's mental health in the industry, and with TTIH is organising events for this in November 2020. 

SN Headshot Office Cropped.jpg

SCOTT NORRISH

CEO, Maxim Advisors

Scott is a rare breed when it comes to business and personal financial advice.

 

As a Chartered Accountant with over 20 years experience and a licenced financial adviser, he brings a unique blend of practical and understandable analysis and advice to the table to assist his clients, across all aspects of their financial lives.

Scott is the CEO of Maxim Advisors which was founded in 1997, currently employing over 40 team members and comprising a niche accounting and business advisory practice, with the expertise of a private wealth financial advice business operating under its own financial services licence, to provide a seamless and comprehensive advisory experience to their clientele.

Lisa%20Pagotto%20HeadshotsV2_edited.jpg

LISA PAGOTTO

Founder and Director, Crooked Compass

Lisa has lived and breathed the travel industry since 2003. Excelling in all facets of the industry from product development, price contracting and negotiations, heading up several sales, marketing and strategic teams across Asia Pacific as well as creating and establishing a touring brand.

 

The time naturally came when Lisa was ready to create her own brand, built around her unique style of travel. Lisa’s genre of travel is focused on the more unique, remote, lesser known and untouched destinations as well as looking for fresh ways to explore old haunts.

Lisa's efforts in the experiential travel space, have directly influenced the development of the experiential travel movement – a true maverick whose commitment, curiosity and daring sets new standards for the industry at large.

Bruce Piper.jpg

BRUCE PIPER

Publisher

Bruce Piper is the publisher of Australia's leading B2B travel trade publications including Travel Daily, Cruise Weekly, travelBulletin and Business Events News.

 

The portfolio includes digital and print, and this year Travel Daily celebrates its 26th birthday.

 

The publications are avidly read by people at all levels of the travel industry, from consultants right through to CEOs and the team pride themselves on accurate, timely and relevant reporting.

Andrea Plawutsky resized.jpg

ANDREA PLAWUTSKY

Director, Amplify Me

Andrea has been a travel & tourism communications and PR consultant for over twenty years, working broadly across many facets of the industry, including regional and national tourism boards, accommodation providers, airlines, attractions, technology and insurance companies.

In 2010 Andrea found Amplify Me, which provides services and solutions that help ‘amplify’ businesses, including China ready programs that maximise clients’ inbound China markets and Corporate Communications services.

Satu.JPG

SATU RAUNOLA-SPENCER

Business Development Travel (Tech) | Strategic Advice Start-ups | Nordic Know-How for Business

Satu Raunola-Spencer is Director of Business Development, APAC for AirHelp, the world’s largest organisation specialising in air passenger rights. Satu is also Director and Board Member of Sydney-based tech start-up Vloggi, the world’s first collaborative video production platform.  She is also a Director at management consultancy Kipina Pty Ltd.

Previously, Satu managed her own travel marketing and PR consultancy, Finnesse Communications Pty Ltd for 10 years. She then joined Amadeus IT Pacific as Marketing Manager for 6 years.

 

Satu has extensive hospitality, travel and destination sales and marketing experience in Europe, Asia, the US, and Australia. She is very passionate about her Nordic background which gives her niche expertise in most things Nordic. Satu is soon to launch her own NordicInsights podcast.

Melissa%20Schembri%20Pic_edited.jpg

MELISSA SCHEMBRI

Talent Management Expert

Melissa has more than 20 years experience in the travel industry, beginning life as a travel consultant at Harvey World Travel. A passion for people led her into the recruitment industry in 2001, and today she is one of the most respected and experienced figures in travel and tourism placement as Executive Director at C&M Recruitment.

With a natural ability to share knowledge, Melissa has also taught Travel and Tourism at TAFE colleges  in New South Wales as well as conceiving our 'Survive and Revive' series of webinars for the industry during COVID-19. 

Charlie web.jpg

CHARLIE TREVENA

Web Facilitator and Founder of Destination Webinars

Charlie is a freelance tourism marketer who has hosted over 300 live webinars on behalf of Destination Canada’s Canada Specialist Program. She is passionate about destination and product education and believes (now more than ever) webinars are important in keeping the industry connected.

As well as offering pre-recorded and live webinar facilitation services, Charlie is building an online library of on-demand, bite-sized webinar updates for the AU/NZ travel industry at www.destinationwebinars.com.au (coming soon).

Over 20+ years in tourism Charlie has worked in the UK and across Europe, spent 7 years in New Zealand, and has called Fremantle, WA home for the past 9 years. Whether it’s at the beach or the mountains, Charlie is happiest on active adventures. She met her husband on the ski slopes of France and they have two young daughters.

Cheryl.jpg

CHERYL

VARGAS VENEGAS

Corporate Travel Consultant

Cheryl is a multi-skilled corporate travel consultant, with over 10+ years industry experience in the industry at companies such as American Express, Jetset Travelworld Group, BCD Travel and Serco. She has worked in various sectors such as airlines, consolidatton, as a travel arranger and as an implant. 

After resigning from her previous role and her new one put on hold due to COVID-19, Cheryl has found herself in 'limbo' since March 2020. Cheryl is now in limbo as she waits for more certainty. While she waits though, Cheryl has a plan to keep all affected agents skilled in order to hit the ground running when industry is ready.

Jarrod Zurvas Quark Expeditions2.jpg

JARROD ZURVAS

Director of Sales Asia Pacific, Quark Expeditions

In 2018, Jarrod came onboard (no pun intended) with Quark Expeditions as the Regional Sales Director Asia Pacific, based in Melbourne.

Jarrod is a sales and marketing professional with over 10 years of experience across a number of channels including, Travel/Tourism and FMCG markets.

Jarrod has been in the travel industry for over a decade and wouldn’t swap it for anything. Growing up in a small town in North Queensland on sugar cane farm, he is a keen sportsmen and still passionate about rugby today.

Jarrod’s other passion is travel—having travelled to over 70 different countries and counting—with many stories to tell. His most memorable experience is riding a Mokoro through Botswana’s Okavango Delta, and spending his honeymoon hiking and trekking in the Lofoten islands Norway

Aaron-Zoanetti-800.jpg

AARON ZOANETTI

Head of Travel and Events, Pointon Partners Lawyers

Aaron is a lawyer with deep connections to our industry, combining his real-world commercial know-how with his broad international legal experience as Head of Travel and Events at Pointon Partners Lawyers, in Melbourne. 

He is also the founder of Green & Gold Army, a tour operator specialising in football tours around the world, and advises the Council of Australian Tour Operators (CATO) 

 

BLOG

ABOUT THE TRAVEL INDUSTRY HUB

The Travel Industry Hub is a flexible coworking space for travel and tourism professionals in Sydney, Australia. With coworking desks, meeting room hire, event and training spaces and private offices, The Travel Industry Hub has a solution for a business of any size.

  • White Facebook Icon
  • White Instagram Icon
  • White LinkedIn Icon
linkedin-button.jpg

SYDNEY, Australia
Level 3, 104 Mount St North Sydney

TEL: +61 431 876 065

EMAIL: admin@thetravelindustryhub.com

© 2020 by The Travel Industry Hub