BDwest Conference Sessions Announced: A Visual and Educational Feast Awaits Attendees

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Leading women power players keep it real in a lively panel discussion, while owners and developers provide hard and fast feedback at the Owners’ Grill and much more as conference sessions take the stage during the inaugural Boutique Design West (BDwest) trade fair, staging April 4-5 at the San Diego Convention Center, San Diego, CA.

ISHP/BD Owners' Grill session at 2012 BDNY

ISHP/BD Owners' Grill session at 2012 BDNY

We are proud to offer such a high-caliber conference program.

Educational content, learning sessions and accreditation opportunities abound at BDwest, Hospitality Media Group’s (HMG) newest trade fair entry, which stages April 4-5, 2013 at the San Diego Convention Center, according to Michelle Finn, President of HMG.

“We are proud to offer a high-caliber conference program, which includes a stellar speaker roster, multiple sessions that will keep attendees on, or ahead of, the trend as well as insights from owners and developers--and even some strong voices from the fashion industry,” said Finn.

At BDwest, all education and conference sessions will take place on the trade fair floor, providing attendees quick access to the sessions and making it easy for attendees to move effortlessly from visiting exhibitors to taking in important sessions.

During Power Players: Women Leaders in Hospitality Panel Discussion, some of hospitality’s women thought leaders will discuss their secrets of success as well as their outlooks of what’s ahead for the industry and the challenges and opportunities of diversity in the workplace, and what will be the next hot design trend. Panelists include: Maki Nakamura Bara, president and co-founder, Chartres Lodging Group; Julie Frank, director of design, Le Meridian Hotels; Lori Horvath, vp, U.S. Project and Development Services, Jones Lang LaSalle; Rebecca Jones, founder and principal, RD Jones & Associates; Nancy Johnson, executive vice president, development, midscale brands, Americas, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group; Trisha Poole, president, Design Poole, Inc.; incoming NEWH president; Lauren Rottet, founder and principal, Rottet Studio; Randy Rubin, co-owner, Crypton, Inc.; Lisa Simeone, a founder and principal, Simeone Deary Design Group; Lisa Villareal, president, Lily Jack. The Women In Lodging (WIL) and NEWH are sponsoring this power-packed session.

The challenges of developing under-utilized and vacant spaces and the process involved in transforming them into beautiful resorts and entertainment destinations are discussed during Chula Vista Bayfront: The Neighborhood of the Future. This is a CEU course, pending accreditation. Attendees will get an insiders’ view of the design opportunities and challenges involved in transforming 556 acres of under-utilized and vacant spaces in Chula and on Port tidelands (located just seven miles outside of San Diego) into a world-class destination with hotels, restaurants, entertainment, parks and an improved marina. This project is one of the largest mixed-use developments in the United States. Panelists will include Allison Rolfe, director of planning, Pacifica Companies; the real estate developer/investor for the project; and the local authorities involved in the master plan.

An industry favorite, the ISHP/BD Owners' Grill session promises a lively discussion, which addresses the state of the hospitality industry, trends, growth opportunities and design from the owner’s perspectives. This panel will be moderated by Lori Patten, ISHP president and principal of Patten Purchasing as well as Neil Locke, ISHP member and principal of Neil Locke & Associates.

Everyone is interested in branding, from design firms to manufacturers and their distributors. Your brand is you, your personality, your values and vision. Brand Central is a compelling CEU course, pending accreditation, that will bring designers and operators from the world’s biggest hotel chain together to discuss the changing role of design in building brand identity. Panelists include: Tom Horwitz, senior vp & partner, FRCH Design Worldwide; Dawn Koenig, vp, brand performance support, Homewood Suites by Hilton; Barbara Best-Santos, sr. associate/NW hospitality practice area leader, Gensler.

A fun and rather quizzical session led by Alan Benjamin will Test Your Hospitality IQ. Hospitality professionals share their hospitality IQ in a jeopardy- like game setting. You’ll gain insight from hospitality owners and brands in this fast-paced session on “everything hospitality.” Attendees will be selected at random and paired with a panelist for cash prizes!

BDwest is sponsored by Boutique Design magazine and in association with NEWH, WIL, BLLA, ISHP and AH&LA. More session information is available on the BDwest website,

HMG is a privately held media company serving the global hospitality industry and specializing in trade fairs, conferences and event management and development.

Events included in the HMG portfolio are: BDwest; BDNY; Boutique Design Forums; Boutique 18 awards and event; show management of IHMRS, including the Gold Key Award and event.

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Phoebe Stein
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