Roger Brooks International
Over the past 35 years, Roger Brooks and his team have assisted more than 1,500 communities and travel-industry organizations around the world with their branding, product development, and marketing efforts.
In the private sector, Roger has worked with businesses including attractions, destination resorts, lodging facilities, retailers, tour operators, and guide services.
As one of the most recognized and frequently quoted experts in the travel industry, Roger has appeared on every major television network and has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and in dozens of other media outlets.
A Certified Speaking Professional, Roger’s enthusiasm inspires and empowers audiences to achieve their highest aspirations. He is extraordinarily dynamic and also very funny, combining humorous video clips and fascinating real-life stories, while providing steps, rules and ingredients –bottom line solutions – that every audience member can implement today to make a positive difference tomorrow.
Roger began his career in the concert industry providing tour management services for international recording artists including The Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, Chicago, Earth Wind and Fire, and others, culminating in the famous Saturday Night Fever Tour with the Bee Gees.
His adventure working with communities and travel-related organizations began in 1981, and he spent the first ten years assisting in the development and marketing of acclaimed destination resorts including Whistler Resort in British Columbia; Harbour Town on HiltonHead Island, South Carolina; Sunriver Resort in Central Oregon, and several others, before working with local, state, and national governments and non-profit agencies. His passion is to make a difference in people’s lives by helping their communities become better places for people to live, work and visit.
A former board member of the U.S. Travel Association, and author of the popular book “Your Town: An Amazing Destination - The 25 Immutable Rules of Successful Tourism,” Roger has become one of the world’s most popular keynote speakers and authorities in the travel industry.
It’s not surprising that Roger’s personal motto is Ralph Waldo Emerson’s statement: “Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.”
In her 20 years of experience as the Administrator of the Wisconsin Bed & Breakfast Association (WBBA), Kris developed skills and attributes to manage an association during both lean and robust economic times, and periods of growth and maturity. WBBA is recognized throughout the B&B innkeeping industry as the B&B association to imitate. Just as innkeepers strive to exceed guest expectations, it’s been her priority to deliver outstanding service to the association and personal attention to the members. Kris began her work as the PAII Executive Director in March 2015.
PAII, with a membership of innkeepers, aspiring innkeepers, interim innkeepers, industry consultants and vendor partners, presents an annual conference and trade show, with the next event in March 2017, in St Charles, Missouri. Members look to PAII as the indispensable source of information year 'round on innkeeping trends, products, and services, which are conveniently delivered by e-publications and webinars.
Working independently or with members, volunteers, committees, and a Board of Directors are association management essentials that Kris brings to PAII. Her membership in ASAE (American Society of Association Executives) and the Wisconsin affiliate provided education on association management best practices. Kris’ record of developing and delivering opportunities and programs of value to innkeepers, vendors, and aspiring innkeepers is balanced with fiscal responsibility.
In 1987, Kris and Randy (spouse) opened the first B&B in Merrill (located in central Wisconsin) and they enjoyed innkeeping for 10 years. Upon immediately joining the new state B&B association, Kris volunteered to serve on the newly formed Standards Committee, charged with developing the inspection program. A few years later she became the Membership Coordinator and with the rapid growth of the membership, the association leaders identified the need for a director to manage the association; Kris was hired in 1995. Within 2 years she encountered a WI law that prohibited any additions to an historic B&B – her home - which required her to surrender her B&B license in order to construct an addition to house an office. And, eventually, that law was eliminated by her and the association’s legislative efforts.
When out of the office, Kris is an avid X-C skier, and is of the opinion that Wisconsin winters are not long enough. Other seasons find her on Craftsman/Frank Lloyd Wright architectural & design excursions, biking, shooting pistol and shotgun sports, and teaching / coaching Women & Youth shooting programs.
Rosen College of Hospitality Management
Located just minutes from some of the world’s top-rated attractions, resorts, restaurants, and convention spaces, the UCF Rosen College of Hospitality Management provides students with an unrivaled opportunity to learn and work in the industry’s leading market. Situated in the heart of hospitality, Rosen College also looks like it belongs in a world-class destination: our 159,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art, Mediterranean resort-style campus is the largest facility ever built for hospitality management education.
Rosen College is committed to providing an environment where the diverse backgrounds of students and faculty enrich learning and fostering applied research and active service to the University, alumni and community. In addition to learning from our faculty of internationally-recognized experts, students benefit from our unparalleled industry partnerships that provide access to guest speakers, internships, memberships, scholarships, and networking opportunities that help stimulate successful careers in this exciting and booming industry.
Head of Industry Relations
Janice is a 12 year veteran of the B&B industry. She started with BedandBreakfast.com in 2002 and was part of the team that moved the company to Austin Texas. She has worked with thousands of properties around the world helping them market their properties through BedandBreakfast.com and their own websites.
In 2011 she opened the first international office for the company in Marseille, France and worked in growing the international exposure for the industry. She had the pleasure of managing a 12 room inn and event center in Central Vermont in Aug 2012-May 2014. This experience has given her a unique perspective and greater appreciation for the industry and the amazing Innkeepers who are a part of it! Her passion and dedication for the growth of the industry, along with her love of Innkeepers, brought her back to BedandBreakfast.com in May of 2014.
White Stone Marketing
Scott attended Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and majored in Agricultural Business and Marketing. However, his passion for marketing was kindled long before when in high school, his teacher decided he was going to do an impromptu marketing speech if he hoped to pass the class. He rose to the occasion and aced the class and the test! To this day, his love for teaching, public speaking and marketing has served this great industry and has helped thousands of innkeepers over the last two decades turn their inns into more profitable ventures. Scott has initiated many firsts in this industry – he founded the first internet marketing agency solely dedicated to bed and breakfast inns; he created the original e-commerce tracking code so that innkeepers could track a reservation dollar back to its original source, and his vision for excellence has produced some of the best design work in our niche industry. Scott first began working in the independent lodging industry in 1994 when he and his wife, Allison, took over the Oregon Bed and Breakfast Directory – a cooperative marketing project that produced a printed guidebook featuring 300 bed and breakfasts inns throughout the state of Oregon. Only months after assuming ownership of the publication, the world wide web hit and Scott realized that his printed guidebook could become an online directory. Without delay, he launched one of the first online bed and breakfast guides in the summer of 1995. The directory morphed into including surrounding states and became known as the Border to Border Bed and Breakfast Directory. Shortly thereafter, Scott took the directory nationwide and created BBExplorer, canvassing the entire nation. To coincide with their dedication to the development of the lodging directory, Scott and Allison launched an internet marketing agency which met the emerging digital marketing needs of individual innkeepers who advertised in the directory. Thus, Scott began hand coding simple websites using html in the early days of 1995 and created some of the very first bed and breakfast inn websites, which miraculously enough, can still be found on the web. Today, Scott has spoken to thousands of innkeepers all over the nation at various national conferences. His expertise is freely shared to this industry he has grown to love. In 2014, he launched HMS – Hospitality Marketing Services, along with Acorn Internet Services to provide on-going education and development to innkeepers worldwide.
Wynn J. Salisch, CHS, ETA CPP, is the Founder and Principal of Casablanca Ventures LLC and one of the only payments professionals with over 45 years of hands-on hospitality and payments industry experience. He’s run everything from luxury resort hotel and conference center, exclusive private club, and food & beverage operations worldwide. A graduate of The School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University, Wynn’s been awarded the Electronic Transaction Association’s Certified Payments Professional designation (earned by less than 1% of the payments industry) and is a Partner on the U.S. Secret Service Electronic Crimes Task Force. He’s also a member of PAII, AIHP, CABBI, CH&LA, Select Registry, New England Inns & Resorts Association, Southern Innkeepers Association, the Cornell Hotel Society, and the Board of Directors of the New York chapter of the Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals.
Heather Turner a.k.a. Forfeng is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and has spent more than 20 years in the restaurant business. She trained under one of the PBS Series “Great Chefs of America,” Chef Yves Labbe at 4-Star acclaimed restaurant, Le Cheval D’or, and has been the Executive Chef at Bellini’s Restaurant, The Cliff House at Stowe Mt. Resort and Harvest Market in Northern Vermont and at The Olde Inn on Cape Cod. She has worked in marketing for the last 14 years working primarily with the innkeeping industry. She writes a hospitality blog at http://forfengdesigns.com/chef-forfengs-blog/ and is a member of Toastmasters International, as well as being a keynote and educational speaker at associations and conferences around the United States.
Acorn Internet Services
Together Lisa and her husband Mark have over 40 years of combined experience that can be put to work for you. In 1996, after almost a decade of solely working in the corporate world of software development and design, they moved to Colorado Springs to open a bed and breakfast. While doing software support and development for their bed and breakfast and local bed and breakfast organization’s website, the need for a quality and results based solution for the online marketing needs of others became glaringly apparent. Thus, In March of 2002, Acorn Internet Services, Inc. was formed. Today Acorn Internet Services is one of the largest providers to the Bed and Breakfast and Lodging industry. The team currently consists of 30 team members, providing services to over 600 clients.
Owner and Founder
Victorian House Scones
aka ‘The Sconelady’ is the owner and founder of Victorian House Scones. A biologist by profession, she is a self-taught baker—and many years ago became slightly obsessed with creating the perfect scone. Along the way, many squirrels were fed, as well as her kids and any of their friends that happened to be hanging out at the house while she was baking.
In 2003, with the encouragement of family and friends, she decided to test the waters and see if other people might be interested in her scones. She figured out how to take her recipes into mixes, and thus Victorian House Scones came to be. Ten plus years later all our mixes are still created by hand and by us. We promise that each mix delivers true ‘baked from scratch’ flavor and quality—while giving you complete control over all perishable add-ins.
Tim Piper brings over 30 years of hospitality experience to our team. From golf, skiing, conferences, food & beverage, weddings and events, Tim has a wide range of hospitality marketing and operations experience. In the past he was also a partner in a highly successful 12 room Inn in Vermont for 11 years. Tim uses his experience to help current and future Innkeepers to make "right choices".
Group General Manager
Stay Idyllwild Group of inns
Marc R Kassouf --- Owner & Group General Manager of Quiet Creek Inn and Strawberry Creek Inn located in southern California’s mountaintop community of Idyllwild, Marc Kassouf is the current Vice-Chair of CABBI, the California Association of Boutique and Breakfast Inns, the state's premier boutique and B&B trade association.
No stranger to the travel & hospitality industries, Marc & his partner owned a travel agency and award-winning online travel magazine. In a past life, Marc worked as a systems and business operations consultant for almost two decades. He’s consulted with big banks, automakers, and has opened two five star resorts where he helped manage a staff of thirty technology professionals and installed dozens of systems. Over his career, Marc has presented workshops and spoken at several trade shows, including past CABBI InnSpire, PAII InnKeeping, North American Travel Journalist’s’ Association, and multiple Los Angeles Times Travel Show and travel trade shows.
Heide Bredfeldt has been assisting current and future Innkeepers for over thirty years, with her spouse and business partner, Bill Oates. Heide’s background as a psychotherapist and former Innkeeper, provide her with insight and understanding of the personal side of Innkeeping. Heide has a gift of matching the right buyer with the right Inn and her knowledge of what guests want and expect is a resource to new Innkeepers. Problem solving and personal issues in a family business such as Innkeeping is also a specialty of Heide’s. Whether you are considering Innkeeping as a possible next career, or you are already an Innkeeper, Heide is always available to talk.
Chairman of the Board
John is currently the Chairman, CEO, and Managing Member of the Finneran Family LLC whose principal operations include investments in Real Estate and Marketable Securities. Among the Group’s holdings include the Caldwell House Bed and Breakfast - a multi-award winning fourteen room Inn located near the USMA at West Point.
Prior to forming the Finneran Family LLC, John was the Senior VP and CFO for The Edison Mission Group (1999 - 2011) (“EMG”) the unregulated power generation, energy trading, and Investment business of Edison International (“EIX”).
John previously was SVP of Finance and Treasurer of Richfood Holdings (1998-1999), a Fortune 500 food retail and wholesale distribution company that merged with Supervalu.
Before that, he served as CFO and Treasurer of Dominion Energy (1995 – 1998) and VP & Treasurer of Potomac Capital Investment Corporation (1986 -1995) where he managed a $2 billion fixed income portfolio.
Earlier experience included positions at the accounting firms Price Waterhouse and KPMG. He is a CPA.
John earned a BBA from Siena College; an MA in accounting/tax from George Washington University; and did post-graduate studies in finance at George Mason University. He has served as a lecturer of finance at Georgetown University. Before that, he was an adjunct professor of accounting at Northern Virginia College.
John serves on the Board of Advisors at his alma mater – Siena College, and is a Director of Medicus in Christi, a charitable organization founded to provide medical care to impoverished peoples of the Third World. In addition, John serves on the Board of Directors of the national Bed and Breakfast Association (Professional Association of Innkeepers), is President of the NYS Bed and Breakfast Association (ESBBA), and is a Board member of the Hudson Valley Lodging Association. He also serves on the Board of the Blooming Grove/Washingtonville and Cornwall Chambers of Commerce.
John and his wife of nearly 32 years, Dena, have five grown children. In his spare time, John likes to golf, read, workout, and maintain the grounds of their Inn.
Hospitality Properties for Sale
Patricia Detwiler is a professional Hospitality Consultant & Real Estate Broker with 30 plus years of professional expertise in hospitality, creative design, Bed and Breakfasts concerns, management, business development, operation logistics, marketing, website development & financial analysis.
I meet so many people who tell me they always wanted to have a Bed and Breakfast. Some think of it as a retirement business, some just love hospitality and don't know where to start and some think of it as a way to own a beautiful home and have guest revenue help cover the costs. Either way, it's a business to operate.
I created my first Bed and Breakfast as a way to keep a real estate asset. It was the best decision I ever made. My background in construction and finance, along with my ability to host large parties and events at my home (20 acres of property), and my cooking expertise combined to make me a successful bed and breakfast owner. My first bed and breakfast was so successful, I quickly launched into my second location in our downtown area of Main Street.
Hospitality and Tea
Rebecca Ruth Whisnant of Hospitality and Tea began Interim Innkeeping as an Independent Contractor in August 2007. She credits Bed and Breakfast Alabama with her formal training and “being a Southern Girl” as her informal training.
Rebecca has been a member of Interim Innkeepers Network for 10 years and has served on their board of directors six of those years. She welcomes your inn-sitting questions during the conference or via e-mail.
The B&B Team
Rick, as former owner of Captain Fairfield Inn in Kennebunkport, Maine, brings a wealth of innkeeping experience to the team. Rick’s consulting background and his corporate career in marketing and brand development make him a great asset to our clients. His former service on PAII’s Advisory Council allows him to offer insights that benefit the industry. Rick is a regular speaker at Innkeeping conferences nationwide. His office is in Kennebunk, Maine.
The B&B Team
Peter Scherman has been an exclusive inn broker and consultant since 1993, gaining a reputation for knowledge, forward thinking, and honesty. He has been involved in dozens of inn sales over the years and has guided many current and future innkeepers to successful careers in the Innkeeping industry. An Ethics instructor and past leader in the REALTOR® organization, he places high importance on the values embedded in long term business and personal relationships. His office is located in historic Scottsville, Virginia.
Oscar H. Hanson House Bed and Breakfast
Duke Mihajlovic is co-owner of the Oscar H. Hanson House B&B, dba Hanson House Weddings. Duke and his wife, Mary Jane, opened the inn in 2005 with the intent to create the experience of European hospitality they grew up with. Oddly, when they opened, they had never stayed at a B&B, but created the inn how they thought one should be run.
Duke has been interested in photography for the last 35 years. He initially worked as a freelance wedding photographer with film and medium format cameras such as Hasselblad and Mamiya 645. Today’s social environments have made it important to photographically chronical the inn, its surroundings and its food. Duke has put together some very simple tips that innkeepers can do using their cell phones take good food pictures.
Commercial Capital Network, LLC
Rick Newman launched Commercial Capital Network, LLC in 2004, offering consulting services to aspiring innkeepers who wish to purchase “The Inn of their dreams” and innkeepers who seek to re-finance or re-structure debt obligations.
Rick’s connection to the hospitality industry has its roots in his family’s 30-year ownership of a twenty-eight-room inn in New Hope, Pennsylvania.
Rick began his career in 1976 with Chicago Title Insurance Company in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, where he was charged with developing relationships with attorneys and realtors. In 1979 he was offered his first start up challenge, opening Fidelity Abstract’s new Atlantic County operations in Linwood, New Jersey.
In 1985, Rick re-connected with his first mentor in the title business to form Guardian Title Agency of Princeton. Within six months the company was profitable, forging relationships with many of the area’s most respected attorneys and real estate developers. While managing sales, marketing and operations for Guardian, Rick and his attorney developed a groundbreaking strategy to create an affiliated business relationship structure to successfully navigate the regulations of HUD and the Department of Banking and Insurance in New Jersey. His licensing concept ultimately was used for the formation of Weichert Title Agency, an affiliated business of Weichert Realtors, which he founded in 1990.
He served as Vice President of Guardian Title Agency of Mercer County Inc. and President of Weichert Title concurrently until 1996 when he merged his interest in Guardian Title with New Jersey Title Insurance Company (NJT) and simultaneously sold his interest in Weichert Title Agency. Established in 1887, NJT was New Jersey’s oldest title insurer and a most respected institution in the state. As Executive Vice President and member its board of directors, Rick headed sales and marketing and was responsible for redirecting the core business strategy of the the company from 109 years of direct operations to an agency oriented structure. To implement this new plan he identified and negotiated the sale and merger of the company’s New Jersey branch operations with four of the state’s most prominent title agencies.
In 1997, Rick sourced an opportunity to acquire the popular title production software company WinTitle and initiated an acquisition by the stockholders of NJT. This software was used as the platform for the development of Snap Close, which provides information services to the title insurance and mortgage industries.
Following the sale of his interest in New Jersey Title Insurance Company in 2000 and a brief two-year retirement, Rick joined his friend and founder of InterBay Funding, LLC in Fort Washington, Pennsylvania. As the company’s first Regional Manager, he was responsible for its wholesale broker relationships in New Jersey. Newman’s entrepreneurial drive could not be quieted for long however, so with the blessing of the senior management of InterBay, he left the company in 2004 to form Commercial Capital Network (CCN) as a correspondent to InterBay Funding and Silver Hill Financial— companies owned by Bayview Financial of Miami, Florida. As a correspondent to the Bayview Companies, CCN was empowered to offer nationwide access to commercial mortgage loan programs that accommodated the unique financial needs of inns, bed and breakfast and hotel properties.
To this day, Commercial Capital Network exclusively serves this niche market, consulting with owners of inns, bed & breakfasts, and hotels throughout the US. In 2007 he introduced an innovative program to the hospitality industry, which liberates the use of retirement assets for the purchase of an inn, without incurring penalties or tax liabilities. This program has helped many clients over the years fund a more significant down payment and ultimately has increased the purchasing power of his clients. His testimonials pay tribute to his client-centric approach to lending and the lasting relationships he has developed with his valued clients.
The Tea House Times, LLC
Gail Gastelu is owner/publisher of The Tea House Times, producer of Tea Course and Tea Course Fast Track, co-owner of Tea Etiquette Certified and Culinary Tea Course and a frequent presenter at tea and/or coffee shows nationwide. Connecting businesses and consumers since 2003, her passion and drive is to help tea businesses grow by providing many services beneficial to the tea industry. The publication, news, education, hosted blogs, special features, and resources may be found by visiting TheTeaHouseTimes.com website. Gail recently created the nationwide #DrinkTea Campaign with the Tea Council of the USA and Tea Association of Canada. Gail currently serves on the Tea Association of the USA's Specialty Tea Institute Advisory Board and over the years has been an officer or advisory board member to several associations, trade shows, and organizations.
Matt Bare resides in Charleston, SC, the home of hospitality! He travels extensively for work, pleasure and mission work and brings a unique perspective to destination marketing. He has been doing "internet marketing" since Al Gore was first claiming to have invented it. He was deploying social media and content marketing strategies back when "social media" was just a bunch of forums.
With a love for travel and comedy he always keeps things fun and entertaining and believes if you can't have fun doing it, then it’s not worth doing.
Oscar H. Hanson House Bed and Breakfast
Mary Jane (MJ) Mihajlovic is co-owner of the Oscar H. Hanson House B&B, dba Hanson House Weddings. MJ and her husband, Duke, opened the inn in 2005 with the intent to create the experience of European hospitality they grew up with. Oddly, when they opened, they had never stayed at a B&B, but created the inn how they thought one should be run.
At the end of 2006, MJ’s world was turned on its axis when she found she had a severe intolerance to gluten. And so, started the road to understanding alternative flours, cross contamination and rescue meds. Trips need to be carefully planned. Their inn is listed in a UW Health pamphlet on Celiac’s Disease as a safe place to travel. MJ and Duke also work with travelers with other dietary issues such as corn and potato.