BTIA’s Marketing Summit 2012 Panelists and Speakers

 

Panel 1 — Content Marketing

A compelling web site means content-rich pages. The best sites combine text based content, photographs, videos, and other valuable information that search engines find and index and that people share.  How do you create content that will be valuable for your visitors and help make the sale?

Moderator: Javier Gutierrez – Management, Black Rock Lodge

His affinity to being around people and the outdoors, nature and the environment has led him to a great career as a tour guide for many years.  He is certified as a trainer and has worked extensively for the BTB and other private entities in Hospitality Training, PR Training, Tour Guide Certification, BMP’s Training/Consultation and Cultural Tourism Training.

He has also worked with the local media, representing the Cayo District for sports and events of national interest.  Presently he is working in Management for Black Rock Jungle Lodge in the Cayo District.

Confirmed Panelists:

 1.       Lucy Fleming – Founding Owner and General Manager, The Lodge at Chaa Creek

Lucy Fleming arrived in Belize in 1977 and along with her husband Mick became a pioneer farmer in the Macal River Valley of the Cayo District. They opened Belize’s first eco-lodge, Chaa Creek, in 1981 at a room rate of $8:00 Belize dollars per person. From a very humble beginning of dirt floors and stick walls, Chaa Creek has evolved into an inspiring 365 acre nature reserve that houses an award winning Lodge, adventure center, spa, organic farm, river camp, natural history museum, and butterfly breeding facility.

Miles of trails support experiential exploration with trained naturalist guides by foot or by utilizing the centers horses and mountain bikes. Chaa Creek now employs more than 130 staff from neighboring communities.

Aside from co managing the reserve with her husband while raising their two children and fostering seven, Lucy has served on many community, government and non government boards over the last three decades. She was president of the Belize Hotel Association in 2002 and 2003 and also served two terms as president of the Belize Tourism Industry Association in 2005 and 2006.

From her number of years in the industry plus her active involvement in local tourism organizations such as the Belize Tourism Board, the Marketing Advisory Committee, and the National Crime Control Council, as well her community work with Chaa Creek’s Scholarship Program, Summer Teachers Institute and Eco-kids Camp, Lucy has gained many skills and a vintage store of knowledge in her adopted home.

 2.       Demian Solano – Managing Director, Idealab Studios

Demian Solano was born in Mexico City in 1975 where he lived until the age of ten. Throughout the years, he had visited over 27 countries and lived in Austria, Venezuela and Zimbabwe before coming to Belize in 1995, his now permanent home.

His creative background, together with his appreciation for technology led to the founding of IdeaLab Studios, now Belize’s premier full-service advertising agency.  Over the years, photography has also become his passion and has driven him to travel extensively throughout Belize documenting the country’s natural charm and beauty on film.

Demian in partnership with the Belize Tourism Industry Association is now the Publisher Destination Belize Magazine, the #1 Belize collateral piece distributed worldwide.

 3.       Alyssa Carnegie – Director of Marketing, BTB

Mrs. Alyssa R. Carnegie is the current Director of Marketing at the Belize Tourism Board, formerly the Director of the Government of Belize’s Press Office. Her areas of expertise are in international trade, development and finance with a strong background in communications, media and public relations, project-process development and strategic thinking. She holds a Masters Degree in International Political Economy and a Bachelors Degree in International Studies.

Mrs. Carnegie has worked within the private sector environment at the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry as Project Coordinator and within the NGO community at the National AIDS Commission Secretariat as Programs and Communications Officer. She has also ventured in the private sector as a Reporter/ Journalist for Channel 5 – Great Belize Productions and Marketing Officer at INTELCO.

 4.       Fred Ziegler – Digital Development Director

Fred manages a team of digital artists and programmers who translate digital strategy into real work across multiple online channels. An art lover, lifelong guitarist and onetime tour guide for the Smithsonian’s mummy exhibit, Fred has a unique and diverse background. How it all fits into his current role as one of BVK’s interactive gurus is anyone’s guess. But suffice it to say he’s a rock star at it. Fred has over 15 years of experience in the field and has managed a broad range of interactive training and marketing programs for clients such as Abbott Laboratories, Baxter International, Omron, Pfizer, Mission Hospital, DeVry, Lee County Convention & Visitors Bureau and The Maine Office of Tourism.

His programs span multiple industries — from innovative user interfaces for tourism sites that allow visitors to explore a destination, to an online university website that supports a range of devices and browsers, to surgical simulations. Chances are, he has a few interesting interactive ideas for you. Fortunately, none involving mummies.

Panel 2 — Real-Time Marketing and PR

The Internet fundamentally changes the timescales on which we do business, compressing time and imparting a competitive advantage to the quick. Real-time marketing and public relations is when organizations respond to events as they occur.  Yet most organizations only work in “campaign planning mode” by creating strategies for the future and forgetting about today.  In every market, there is room for smart organizations to seize market share and improve profits by providing a product or service or communications initiative at speed. How do you develop a culture of instant engagement so you can grow your business now?

Moderator: Marleni Cuellar – TV news Anchor – Channel 5 Belize

Marleni Cuellar is the co-host of the popular morning show, Open Your Eyes and the daily nighttime news anchor for Great Belize Television, known locally as Channel 5. She debuted as anchor in 2006 and expanded her role on local television programming as co-host of Open Your Eyes since the show’s premiere in 2008. In her role as host and special correspondent for the station, she has covered several major national and international events and interviewed officials of various levels.

Before the start of her career in television, Marleni worked with several local and international non-governmental organizations, including UNICEF and the National Committee for Families and Children; working primarily in public education and advocacy of various youth and children issues.
 

Confirmed Panelists:

 1.       Dr. Dionne Miranda Chamberlain – General Manager Customer Service, Belize Telemedia Limited

Dr. Dionne Chamberlain Miranda is the General Manager of Customer Services at Belize Telemedia Ltd as well as a business consultant and managing partner in a successful bilingual consulting firm known as “Chamberlain Consulting”. Her areas of expertise are Motivation, Entrepreneurship, and European Market access, Sales Management & Strategy, Marketing, Customer Service and Project Management. She holds a PhD in Business Administration and a Masters Degree in Global Management. She has also completed a number of specialized training programs including Leadership at the Centre for Applied Sciences in Geneva Switzerland.

Dr. Chamberlain has worked within the public sector in Investment Promotion at Beltraide and is a member of the Belize Tourism Board. In addition, she has also worked within the NGO environment at the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Youth Business Trust Belize, served as the Immediate Past President of the Belize Tourism Industry Association and represents Belize as the Immediate Past BTIA President to the Federation of Central American Chambers of Tourism (FEDECATUR).

2.       Yanick Dalhouse  – Vice President Brand Strategy – BVK/Mecca

Yanick joined BVK in 2007 with several years of public relations experience at agencies in both Milwaukee and Chicago. Prior to transitioning to the agency side, she was a reporter and field anchor for seven years at television stations in both Milwaukee and Fargo, North Dakota and worked in Washington DC as a field producer for the Tribune Broadcasting White House Bureau. Yanick brings a significant amount of media expertise to BVK.

She has lead marketing efforts for a diverse array of businesses and clients including tourism, government, retail, sports, restaurants and consumer goods. These include: the Couples Resorts Group in Jamaica, The Excellence Resorts Group in Mexico and the Dominican Republic, the Wisconsin Department of Tourism, the Ministry of Tourism for the Dominican Republic, Walmart.com, Sam’s Club and most recently, she has served as the Director of Marketing and Industry Relations for the Belize Tourism Board.

 3.       Valerie Woods – Country Manager, CHUKKA Belize

Valerie Woods is the Country Manager for CHUKKA tours for its Belize Operation.  CHUKKA has tour operations in Jamaica, Belize and Turks and Caicos.  In Belize, CHUKKA specializes in offering nature adventure tours such as cave tubing, ziplining, cave exploration, rappelling, airboat rides and Maya temple adventure treks.

 Valerie Woods holds a MA in Tourism Administration from George Washington University, Washington, D.C. and a BSc in Business Administration from Le Moyne College in Syracuse, NY.

After working for a couple years in Sales & Marketing at the Radisson Fort George Hotel in Belize, from 1996 to 1999 Ms. Woods worked at the Belize Tourism Board where she held positions of Director of Marketing, Deputy Director and Director of Tourism during her tenure. After 1999, she took up the position of the manager of the country’s only national conservation trust fund, the Protected Areas Conservation Trust (PACT) where she remained until 2005 when she took a break from full employment with the birth of her 2nd child.  Prior to commencing full time employment with CHUKKA, Ms. Woods worked as a marketing and management consultant and a destination wedding planner in Belize Weddings & Events. Ms. Woods currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA).


4.      
Shephard Doniger – Public Relations Strategist, JG Blackbook of Travel

Shepard “Shep” Doniger is a specialist in communications strategy, crisis communications and the development of go-to-market integrated campaigns. His diverse background, ranging from traditional PR agency roles to more than a decade as a political media consultant, makes him an informed and innovative voice on JG Black Book of Travel’s PR team.

While his experience is varied, from the political arena to serving as Global Director of Public Affairs at IBM Corporation, his drive to help individuals and organizations achieve their communications and marketing objectives is singular. He is also well-versed in the travel and tourism industry, being a co-owner of a NY-based travel agency for more than 20 years (it is now a member of Tzell Travel Group), and he led PR efforts for a number of destination and travel accounts throughout his career.

Shep is also an award-winning documentary film writer and producer and has helped produce several hundred political commercials for television as well as twice as many radio spots.

Panel 3 — Social Media Marketing

Facebook, Twitter, blogs, TripAdvisor, and many other social networking sites are changing the way people find products and services online. What are the best ways to engage with audiences and drive business via social networks?

Moderator: Indira Craig – Country Manager, United Airlines / TV News Anchor (Channel 7)

Ms. Indira Craig is the Belize Country Manager and CTO Supervisor for the U.S. company “United Airlines” formerly known as Continental Airlines. She has been in the media for over 25 years working in radio, production and television as the face of Channel 7 News for the past 17 years.

As a self made and hard working leader in the media and corporate arena of the Airline Industry, Ms. Craig also finds time in her busy schedule to be the Director of Toys for Tots, a local charitable organization which has worked on many ventures focused on underprivileged children over the years.

Confirmed Panelists:

1.       Richard Beane – Owner, Belize Internet Marketing & Web design

Richard Beane has an MBA from Northwestern and dozens of years of expertise in the IT field.  After working as a consultant for many different organizations and companies, Richard and his family decided to move to Belize permanently in 2005.

In 2006 Richard and his wife, Heitha, founded Belize Internet Marketing & Website Design (www.BelizeIM.com) which is now responsible for the online presence of many of the top resorts in Belize.  In addition to search engine optimization and other marketing strategies, Richard and his team effectively run and maintain social media campaigns for these clients. Some of the marketing tools he specializes in include Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Pinterest, blogging, Google +, and Tripadvisor.

Richard loves turning marketing from an art into a science. He is dedicated to staying on top of the trends and making sure that his clients are pursuing every lead generation possibility available to them. He has conducted online marketing workshops for the BTIA and BTB and conducted many training workshops.

 2.       Fred Ziegler – Digital Development Director

Fred manages a team of digital artists and programmers who translate digital strategy into real work across multiple online channels. An art lover, lifelong guitarist and onetime tour guide for the Smithsonian’s mummy exhibit, Fred has a unique and diverse background. How it all fits into his current role as one of BVK’s interactive gurus is anyone’s guess. But suffice it to say he’s a rock star at it. Fred has over 15 years of experience in the field and has managed a broad range of interactive training and marketing programs for clients such as Abbott Laboratories, Baxter International, Omron, Pfizer, Mission Hospital, DeVry, Lee County Convention & Visitors Bureau and The Maine Office of Tourism.

His programs span multiple industries — from innovative user interfaces for tourism sites that allow visitors to explore a destination, to an online university website that supports a range of devices and browsers, to surgical simulations. Chances are, he has a few interesting interactive ideas for you. Fortunately, none involving mummies.

 3.       Dorian Nunez – Editor / Owner, Ambergristoday.com

Dorian Nuñez is the owner and editor of Ambergris Today, which is the first and only newspaper in Belize to have fully integrated itself to solely online publishing; extensively promoting content through the use of social media. After printing a weekly publication for 13 years, Ambergris Today now boasts digital daily news, information, picture galleries and videos on San Pedro, Ambergris Caye and Belize.

Dorian received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Journalism, Mass Communications and Public Relations at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas, USA. He is a member of the International Costa Maya Festival Committee in San Pedro, which helps promote the Mundo Maya culture within Belize and countries from around the region. Dorian’s articles and photographs have been published in international publications and he has collaborated with numerous travel writers and bloggers on social media and Belize tourism projects.

 4.       Jim Scott – CEO, Radisson Hotel & Marina

James Scott, known as Jim to most,  was raised in the sticks of rural northern Michigan.   After a completing university at Northern Michigan University he moved to Belize to serve as a Peace Corps volunteer in 1987.  After completing the 2 yrs 1 month and 14 days of service to both the Belize Government and U.S., Jim moved into the private sector ranks and a newly blossoming Tourism Industry.   In the last 20 + years he has worked as a tour guide, manager, administrator and developer in San Pedro, Placencia, Cayo, the Toledo district and Belize City.

In 1998 Jim successfully completed the PDP program at Cornell University for Hotel Financial Management and later becoming a Certified Hotel Administrator (CHA) through the American Hotel and Lodging Association.  He is long time member of Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA) and the Belize Hotel Association (BHA).   Jim has sat on numerous boards including BHA, the Belize Chamber of Commerce, Belize Hotels Ltd.,  and the Belize Tourism Board.  He currently is the President of BTIA.  As an active member of the Rotary Club of Belize Jim stays busy with national programs for the under privileged.

 Jim has been married to Deborha Scott since 1990 and they have 2 children, Alina and Allister, both in high school.  Adventure has been no stranger to his life style since he has paddled most navigable water ways in Belize, sailed fished and dove north to south of the coast and hiked biked and ran the terrestrial jungles and road ways through out Belize.    Participation in notable national events like the La Ruta Maya Canoe Race, Holy Saturday Cross Country bike race and was the first person in Belize history to run up and down Vitoria’s Peak in one day with a long time tour guide friend, Joe Garel.

5.       Erin De Santiago – Publisher/Editor-in-Chief, No Checked Bags

Erin De Santiago is a travel writer, photographer and blogger and is the Belize Regional Membership Coordinator for the International Food, Wine & Travel Writers Association (IFWTWA). She runs her own travel blogs and is a staff blogger for renowned sites like TravBuddy and Art of Backpacking. She also writes about Belize travel for Examiner.com and has been featured in many publications including BootsnAll, AOL/Gadling, CBS, CNNGo, and more.

Erin has traveled to over 40 countries on five continents, working with many tourism boards and companies including the recent cutting edge blogging and social media project with the Emilia Romagna Tourism Board in Italy. Visit www.erindesantiago.com for more information on her published works.