Young Travel Leaders Conference


Young Travel Leaders Conference

December 8th, 2014

at The Palazzo® Las Vegas

Young Travel Leaders Conference (YTLC), held in conjunction with Luxury Travel Exchange International (LTX), brings together the future leaders of the travel industry for a day of networking and education. This unique event is designed exclusively for young professionals within the travel and tourism industry. The first and leading forum dedicated to young travel leaders regardless of affiliation or geographic location, YTLC participants leave with newly sharped skills and ideas to implement into their business plan the very next day. The relationships developed during YTLC continue to strengthen throughout the week as participants attend LTX together and foster career growth and lifelong industry partnerships.



Registration Sponsored By:


Attend Young Travel Leaders Conference to network and learn from your industry-leading speakers and your fellow peers in the industry. You will participate in a day-long event full of dynamic networking and exclusive educational programming geared toward today's young travel professional.

Guided by a Steering Committee of the travel industry's brightest young leaders, the program covers hard-hitting topics not found at any other industry event that are directly pertinent to your business. You will build lasting relationships in a relaxed atmosphere and walk away with concrete strategies to leverage your unique positioning in the industry toward the success of your business.


YTLC fosters an environment where young business leaders can learn from each other's experiences, share industry knowledge, and develop their careers with their fellow millennial peers.

Participation is open to young travel professionals representing travel agency owners, travel consultants, travel suppliers, and industry partners.

Steering Committee

The Steering Committee develops the entire conference program for YTLC in order to deliver education that is relevant and hard-hitting to topics most pertinent to millennial travel advisors. Comprised of leaders from across the industry, they represent consortia and independent agencies, owner/managers, and front-line advisors.

2014 Steering Committee

  • Andrey Zakharenko, owner and founder, Russian Connections, San Francisco, Ca.
  • Ryan Mielke, manager, Regency Travel, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
  • DeAnne Petriz, director, leisure travel, Cl Travel, Virginia Beach, Va.
  • Heather Christopher, manager, Classic Travel at Tacketts Mill, Woodbridge, Va.
  • Daniela Harrison, travel consultant, Avenues of the World Travel, Flagstaff, Ariz.
  • Bernadette Sperraza, leisure travel enthusiast, The World Awaits Travel, Brooklyn, NY.
  • Katelyn O'Shaughnessy, luxury travel planner, TravelStore, Brentwood, Calif.
  • Caroline Bracewell, Atlanta-based luxury consultant, Easy Escapes Travel, New York, NY.


YTLC 2014 Event Schedule
8:00AM - 8:30AM Registration & Badge Pick-up -- In Zeno 4610 in The Palazzo
8:45AM - 9:00AM Welcome by Joe Pike, Senior Editor, Travel Agent; Contributing Editor, Luxury Travel Advisor, Chair, Steering Committee for Young Travel Leaders Conference
9:00AM - 9:30AM Town Hall Meeting led by Joe Pike
9:45AM - 11:00AM Business Card Speed Dating: Your Chance to Meet Everyone in the Room
11:15AM - 12:00PM

Panel #1: Knowledge Is Power: Industry Check-In

Kathy Sudeikis, Vice President, Corporate Relations, Acendas 
Meredith Hill, Founder & President, Global Institute for Travel Entrepreneurs 
David M. Rubin, CEO, Travel Consultant & General Counsel, David Travel
Daniela Harrison, Avenues of The World Travel 
Heather Christopher, Classic Travel.

This panel will enable agents to glean insider knowledge and perspectives regarding the evolving state of the travel industry. The panel will include trends that are in the forefront of every travel advisor's mind. Themes to be included:

- Growing your travel business while being mindful of overextending yourself and your resources

- The pros and cons of niche and specialization in the evolving travel industry

- Insights into the hottest emerging travel destinations

12:10PM - 12:50PM

Panel #2: Cashing In On The Industry & Maximizing Your Profits: Money Makes The World Go 'Round

Kier Matthews, Vice President, Sales, Europe Express 
Katelyn O'Shaughnessy, CEO & Founder, TripScope

This panel will home in on the nitty-gritty of capitalizing financially within the travel industry. Themes to be included:

- The ABCs of Freelancing: A How-To Guide

- To Fee or Not to Fee: The Pros & Cons

- Movin' On Up: Negotiating Your Contract & Best Business Practices

1:00PM - 2:00PM Networking Lunch
2:15PM - 3:15PM

Panel #3: Consortia 4-1-1: How To Use Your Resources

Alex Busilacchi, Western US Sales Manager, 
David Goodman, Director, Digital Marketing & Data Analysis, Signature Travel Network
Wendy Burk, CEO, Cadence Travel
Andrey Zakharenko, Owner & Founder, Russian Connections

This panel will provide agents a look into the benefits of joining a consortium to grow your travel business. This reverse style panel will engage influential members of leading consortia who will each give a brief summary of the benefits of their respective consortium, why they joined, how to decide which consortium is the best fit, and how to maximize the resources available to you.

3:30PM - 4:45PM

Panel #4: Brand Damage Control In The Digital Space: Media Beast: How To Avoid Putting Your Foot in Your Mouth

Isaac Cymrot, Vice President, Industry Relations, Travel Insured International, Inc. 
Keith Salwoski, Executive Director of Public Relations, The Venetian | The Palazzo

This panel will examine the challenges facing the next generation of travel leaders in the digital-social sphere. This panel with utilize a "problem and solution" format and address the areas of social media control, managing client relationships, how to interact with the media, and how to maintain your brand image.

6:30PM - 9:00PM Closing reception at Gilley's in partnership with the Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority!

2014 Sponsors



Advisors: Are you ready to take over the travel industry? Are you looking to take your business to the next level? Join the revolution by attending YTLC on December 8th, 2014. Registration will open August 2014.

Suppliers & Industry Partners: Ready to become a part of the millennial revolution? Supplier positions are very limited and first come, first serve. Contact your sales representative today to learn about guaranteed participation as a official event sponsor.

News & Contact


General Inquiries & Advisors:
Olivia Soriano
Assistant Manager
212.895.8283 |

Sponsorship Information: 

Asia, Caribbean, Europe, Latin America, Mexico, Middle East and South Pacific
Caren Cotto
Business Development Manager
386.397.7612 |
Africa, Canada and Western United States
Ellen Evers
Business Development Manager
609.614.0325 | 

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Monday, December 8, 2014 - 08:00