Nominations Open for HSMAI 2020 Top 25 and Lifetime Achievement Honors

The Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association (HSMAI) Americas is now accepting nominations for its Lifetime Achievement and Top 25 Extraordinary Minds in Sales, Marketing, and Revenue Optimization honors. HSMAI will recognize honorees during the HSMAI Adrian Awards Dinner in conjunction with the HSMAI Marketing Strategy Conference and other HSMAI Marketing Week events in 2021. Nominations are open until December 1, 2020.

HSMAI Lifetime Achievement Awards

HSMAI’s Albert E. Koehl Award for Lifetime Achievement in Hospitality Marketing and Winthrop W. Grice Award for Lifetime Achievement in Hospitality Public Relations recognize hospitality professionals who have dedicated their careers to the hospitality and travel industry. These leaders continually strive for the betterment of the hospitality industry in a lasting way, over an extended period.

Submit nominations for these awards by visiting HSMAI Lifetime Awards. The HSMAI Lifetime Awards Committee, which comprises previous recipients, will review all nominations and select this year’s winners.

Last year, Leland “Lee” Pillsbury, managing director of Thayer Ventures, was honored with the Albert E. Koehl Award. Bjorn Hanson. Ph.D., executive vice president of the entity that owns The Pierre hotel in New York and director of Summit Hotel Properties, received the Winthrop W. Grice Award.

“Over the past year, we have relied heavily on seasoned hospitality leaders to navigate a new and challenging landscape due to the pandemic,” said Robert A. Gilbert, CHME, CHBA, president and CEO of HSMAI. “On behalf of the HSMAI Lifetime Awards Committee, I encourage hospitality professionals from all areas to nominate experienced tourism professionals who have made tremendous contributions to our industry.”

HSMAI Top 25 Extraordinary Minds Honors

In addition to the Lifetime Achievement awards, HSMAI is accepting nominations for its Top 25 Extraordinary Minds in Hospitality Sales, Marketing, and Revenue Optimization program. These awards honor exceptional sales and marketing leaders of hospitality, travel, and tourism organizations for their achievements in the preceding 18 months.

A diverse panel of experienced industry executives selects the Top 25 based on the creativity and innovation of their cutting-edge sales or marketing campaigns and their ability to overcome challenging situations.

“Now more than ever, top-performing hospitality leaders deserve to be recognized for their achievements and dedication to the industry,” Gilbert said. “HSMAI’s Top 25 award recipients represent what it means to be a resilient and resourceful leader in hospitality and tourism.”

The following comprise the 2019 Top 25 Extraordinary Minds:

  • Tammie Carlisle, Head of Hospitality, Milestone Inc.
  • Leah Chandler, Chief Marketing Officer, Discover Puerto Rico
  • Alex Ferdinand, Senior Director, Worldwide Sales, Best Western Hotels & Resorts
  • Christen Garb, Vice President, Revenue Management-Americas, Hyatt Hotels & Resorts
  • Thomas Garzilli, Chief Marketing Officer, Brand USA
  • Valerie Gavin, Vice President, Hotel Sales & Marketing, North & Central America, Accor
  • Lisa Giamo, Vice President, Sales & Marketing, OTO Development
  • Kristie Goshow, Chief Marketing Officer, Preferred Hotels & Resorts
  • Lauren Grech, CEO, LLG & Adjunct Professor, New York University
  • Linda Gulrajani, Vice President, Revenue Strategy & Distribution, Marcus Hotels & Resorts
  • Patrick Harrison, Chief Marketing Officer, Visit Tampa Bay
  • Matt Jones, Head of Analytics, Travel, Google
  • Jonathan Kaplan, Vice President, Global Sales Strategy, IHG Hotels & Resorts
  • Nancy Kern, Vice President of Marketing, Coral Tree Hospitality
  • Jayna Leach, Vice President of Marketing, Visit Panama City Beach
  • Caroline MacDonald, Vice President, Global Sales & Marketing, Rosewood Hotel Group
  • Rene Mack, President, Percepture
  • Starla Middlebrooks, Director, eCommerce Services, Marriott International
  • Frank Passanante, Senior Vice President, Hilton Worldwide Sales Americas, Hilton Worldwide
  • Derek Price, Director of Business Development, North America, Expedia Group Media Solutions
  • Karin Salinas, Senior Vice President of Marketing, Baha Mar
  • Monica Salter, Vice President of Corporate Communications, Outrigger Hospitality Group
  • Phil Yi, Vice President, Marketing, Omni Hotels & Resorts
  • Tony Yousfi, Vice President, Sales, MGM Resorts International
  • Lou Zameryka, Director, Global Chains,

The HSMAI Top 25 and Lifetime Awards are part of the 2020 HSMAI Adrian Awards. The 64th Annual Adrian Awards focuses on the best practices, innovation, and community shown in hospitality campaigns and coronavirus crisis responses. This year, HSMAI has redesigned the Adrian Awards to reflect the current travel landscape and streamlined entry, lowered costs, as well as set a later submission deadline to allow recognition of more great work.

The celebration of Adrian Award recipients, Lifetime Achievement winners, and Top 25 honorees will take place at the HSMAI Adrian Awards Dinner on Tuesday, March 30, 2021, in conjunction with the HSMAI Marketing Strategy Conference and other HSMAI Marketing Week events at The Diplomat, Hollywood, Florida. Details will be available soon.

Become an Adrian Awards partner by contacting Elise Rhinehart at

To receive more information on the Top 25, contact Stacy Gleason at For more information on the Adrian Awards competition, please contact Ellen Wilson at or visit the Adrian Awards.

The Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) is committed to growing business for hotels and their partners and is the industry’s leading advocate for intelligent, sustainable hotel revenue growth. The association provides hotel professionals and their partners with tools, insights, and expertise to fuel sales, inspire marketing, and optimize revenue through programs such as the Marketing Strategy Conference, Adrian Awards, and HSMAI ROC. Founded in 1927, HSMAI is a membership organization comprising more than 5,000 members worldwide, with 40 chapters in the Americas Region. Connect with HSMAI at, HSMAI Facebook, HSMAI Twitter, HSMAI YouTube, and HSMAI Instagram.