HSMAI Top 25


The HSMAI Top 25 Americas awards recognize leaders in sales, marketing, revenue optimization and distribution of hospitality, travel, and tourism organizations for their accomplishments in the preceding 18 months. Selected by a panel of senior industry executives, “Top 25” awardees are high achievers who stand out through their creativity and innovation, cutting-edge campaigns and programs, triumph in challenging situations and efforts that resulted in dramatic gains.

Nominations for the Top 25 are reviewed by a panel of industry experts selected by HSMAI from among its membership and/or Board of Directors. HSMAI selects judges who have demonstrated exceptional leadership ability and have outstanding knowledge of the hospitality industry. Judges are held to the highest standards of integrity and commitment to honoring those individuals that have shown extraordinary leadership in our industry over the last 18 months. The entire judging process adheres firmly to these guiding principles and judges must recuse themselves from scoring any nomination that may present a conflict of interest. Nominations are scored on a scale of 1-10 for the results of their leadership for specific sales, marketing, and revenue management initiatives.

Nominations are now closed for 2023. Honorees will be spotlighted at the Adrian Awards Celebration, February 13, 2024, at the New York Marriott Marquis.

The 2022 HSMAI Top 25 Extraordinary Minds:

  • Hege V. Barnes – Managing Director, Innovation Norway
  • Susan Barr – Vice President One Yield, Marriott International
  • Paul Beirnes – Executive Director, Naples, Marco Island, and the Everglades CVB
  • Shane Brossard – Chief Marketing Officer, Wisconsin Department of Tourism
  • Natasha Caputo – Director, Westchester County Tourism & Film
  • Shelley Airhart Cooper – Deputy Director of Marketing, Colorado Tourism Office
  • Dax Cross – CEO, Revenue Analytics
  • Michael Curran, CHDM – Vice President of eCommerce Strategy, Aimbridge Hospitality
  • Cristina DiStefano, CHDM – Director of Enterprise Marketing, Oneida Nation Enterprises
  • Laurie Garzon – Director of Sales and Marketing, Wailea Beach Resort – Marriott, Maui
  • Richard Geiger – President, Visit Winston-Salem
  • Kristi Gole – Executive Vice President, Global Hotel Alliance
  • Michael Klein – Vice President of Global Revenue Management, Hyatt Hotels Corporation
  • Melissa Kouvelas – Senior Director of Worldwide Sales, BWH Hotel Group
  • Sabrina Lillew – Vice President of Loyalty Programs and Partnerships, North and Central America, Accor
  • Yola Marshall – Vice President America Sales, IHG Hotels & Resorts
  • Kevin McAteer – Senior Vice President of Marketing and Sales, Concord Hospitality
  • Monika Morrobel, CHDM, CRME – Senior Corporate Director of Commercial Strategy, Kessler Collection
  • Todd O’Leary – Vice President of Marketing and Communications, Sonoma County Tourism
  • Edelyn Parker-Frye – Director of Brand Events, Communications and Partnerships, Red Roof
  • Linda Parker Sanpei – Founder & CEO, Parker Sanpei
  • Brent Shiratori – Vice President of Global Brand, Outrigger Resorts and Hotels
  • Stephanie Smith, CHDM – CEO & Digital Matriarch, Cogwheel Marketing
  • Joe Spirito – Vice President of Global Digital & Marketing Operations, Preferred Travel Group
  • Gillian Ware – National Sales Director, San Diego Tourism Authority

HSMAI’s 2022 Top 25 Extraordinary Minds not only adapted to the post-COVID travel environment but anticipated and capitalized on the market shifts—some of them almost imperceptible—accompanying the pandemic. Individually, the Top 25 are leaders, mentors, and role models; collectively, they are the engine driving the industry’s recovery and the foundation for its future success.

“The 2022 ‘Top 25’ celebrates the innovators in our industry, and marks the 20th anniversary of Top 25 recognition” said Robert A. Gilbert, CHME, CHBA, president and CEO of HSMAI. “During a year when the travel and hospitality industry rebounded sharply and faced unprecedented challenges, these extraordinary professionals ‘rewrote the book’ and forged new paths to success in commercial strategy. Their exemplary performance will set new standards for others to follow.”

These 25 professionals were celebrated February 23, 2023, at the JW Marriott LA Live in Los Angeles in conjunction with the annual Adrian Awards Celebration.

HSMAI Top 25 Extraordinary Minds Special Report: Lessons in Leadership, Creativity, and Innovation