Full Agenda from the 2017 Conference



8:00 am - 5:00 pm Registration Desk Open
Located at the Event Entrance to the Luskin Conference Center. From the front lobby, walk to the back of the building. 
Note: if you are coming in from the Lot 8 parking area, there is a walkway directly to the Event Entrance.

8:00 am - 8:30 am BLLA Coffee Club

But first, coffee! Come get your caffeine fix before we hear from our stellar line up of presenters.
Located at the rear of the Foyer next to the Centennial Ballroom.

8:30 - 9:30 am Breakfast
Served in the Foyer next to the Centennial Ballroom. You can sit inside the Ballroom, stand at the high boy tables in the Foyer or sit outside and enjoy the sunshine (hopefully!).

9:30 - 9:40 am Opening Remarks with Frances Kiradjian, Founder & CEO, BLLA

Centennial Ballroom

9:40 – 10:10 am Keynote: Bill Walshe, CEO, Viceroy Hotel Group

Through his years of experience leading the luxury hospitality sector, Bill has developed a professional philosophy that is a cornerstone in his recipe for success. As CEO of multiple luxury brands, he has been able to pinpoint practices that earn properties international recognition and 5-star ratings. We’re honored to have Mr. Walshe share some of his invaluable knowledge.

Centennial Ballroom

10:10 – 10:30 am Influencer Intensive Workshop with Celine Bossart, Creator, The Staycationers and will be interviewed by Emilie Davidson Hoyt, Founder & President, LATHER

A Taste the Style Original Series, The Staycationers is the leading blog for the boutique hotel world. As a top influencer, Celine will give insight into impactful ways to ensure guests have the best boutique experience possible. From personalized welcome letters to funding extracurriculars, this girl knows all the tricks.

10:30 – 10:45 am Spotlight on Hannah Payne, Founder, Luba and will be interviewed by Marjorie Feltus Hawkins, Owner & Principal, FH Design

Hannah Payne created Luba, her grandmother’s namesake, in an effort to clothe fashionable women while giving back to her demographic. By recognizing the importance of giving back, Hannah has been able to create a boutique brand fashion that is communal, creative and most importantly, conscious. She joins us to discuss her journey and philanthropic business approach.

Centennial Ballroom

10:45 – 11:00 am Spotlight on John Sofio, President & Founder, Built, Inc. and will be interviewed by Krista Simmons, Jouranlist

John Sofio is an award-winning designer known for his “modern organic touch with a soulful design process”. He spends his time transforming spaces into art. One of the most important aspects of providing a boutique experience is the emphasis on design and John dominates design.  

Centennial Ballroom

11:00 am – 11:30 am Morning Break 

Foyer next to Centennial Ballroom

11:30 am – 12:10 pm Dr. Daniel Langer presents The Future of Luxury 

The comfort zone, while familiar, stifles creative progress. What was novel and innovative yesterday will be passé tomorrow. This holds true for an industry as dynamic as ours. In order to exceed the expectations of your customers in the world of luxury, you must always be one step ahead. Daniel will speak on Innovating Hospitality Beyond The Comfort Zone: Why Good Is Not Good Enough Anymore.

Centennial Ballroom 

12:10 pm – 12:30 pm The Hollywood Phenomenon with Grant King, Managing Partner, Relevant Group and will be interviewed by Andrew Fay, President, The Gettys Group

Hollywood, California. For some a playground, for others, a dream. For the last twenty years, Grant King has played a huge part in developing this iconic city into the powerhouse of productivity it is today. He is known for specializing in building high return, highly branded, one-of-a-kind lifestyle developments. We’re delighted to have him share his expertise.

Centennial Ballroom

12:30 pm – 2:00 pm Lunch  

Served buffet style in the Foyer next to Centennial Ballroom.

2:00 pm – 2:30 pm Boutique Tech Update with Cameron Urban, Founder & CEO, Roxy and Oleg Kaganovich, CEO, Wyndow & Carrie Ell, Advisor, Voyat, will be interviewed by Ellis Connolly, Vice President of Hospitality, The Rainmaker Group

Embracing new technologies is crucial to meeting the expectations of today’s consumer. From mobile solutions to virtual reality marketing programs, it is important to understand what these technological innovations can do for a business, whether it’s a hotel, a restaurant, a bar, retail boutique.

Centennial Ballroom

2:30 pm – 2:50 pm Spotlight on Jonas Tahlin, CEO, Absolut Elyx and will be interviewed by Celine Bossart, Creator, The Staycationers

Elyx, inspired by the boutique lifestyle, isn’t your grandfather’s vodka. Jonas and the creatives at Absolut have taken the allure of young Hollywood, coupled it with a philanthropic business model, and married them in one smooth, sophisticated spirit. He joins us to shed more light on how Absolut Elyx is disrupting the status quo.

Centennial Ballroom

2:50 pm – 3:10 pm Spotlight on Rosie O'Neill, Co-Founder, Sugarfina and will be interviewed by Ariela Kiradjian, Co-Founder, Stay Boutique

3:10 pm - 3:40 pm Afternoon Break 

Foyer next to Centennial Ballroom.

3:40 pm – 4:00 pm Spotlight on John Terzian, Co-Founder, h.wood Group and will be interviewed by Eliza Krpoyan

John is the mastermind behind some of LA’s most exclusive restaurants and bars. Loved by movers, shakers, and pop culture icons, the Group team are experts at creating personalized experiences for high profile clientele.

Centennial Ballroom

4:00 pm – 4:20 pm Collaboration Breeds Creativity (Especially at Coachella) with Ryan Bukstein, Vice President of Brand, Ace Hotels & Travis A. McMichael III, Head of Brand Marketing U.S, B&O PLAY by Bang & Olufsen

Collaboration is a beautiful, beautiful thing. Because of collaboration, you can sync Spotify playlists to your Uber, buy designer labels at your local H&M and even pay your friends back through Snapchat. Avoiding the beaten path often opens the door to markets left untapped by convention. Ryan and Travis have developed two independent lifestyle brands and joined them to create one well-oiled machine. By tapping into the commonality in their respective markets, the pair put on one of the most buzzed about parties at this year’s installment of Coachella Music and Arts Festival. They join us to delve deeper into the possibilities.

Centennial Ballroom

4:20 - 4:50 pm Spotlight on sbe with Sam Nazarian, Founder & CEO, sbe and Daniel del Olmo, CEO, Disruptive Restaurant Group & Umami Burger and will be interviewed by Jody Pennette, Founder & CEO, cb5 Hospitality Consulting

Sbe’s ability to curate inspired hotel design, groundbreaking dining and white hot bars is exponentially ignited when they link them together in major markets setting the tone for what essentially becomes the art of hospitality entertainment. Sam’s team reads like a who’s who as he has the gift of identifying great talent and celebrating the creative process with keen understanding and verve.

Broadening the sbe universe includes inventing, collaborating and participating with cutting edge new ideas as well as several established brands. The recently formed Disruptive Restaurant Group at sbe is under the direction of Dan del Olmo who is spearheading the evolution of new ideas in modern dining.

Centennial Ballroom

6:30 pm – 9:00 pm Stay Boutique Cocktail Party

Luskin Conference Rooftop - located on the Centennial Terrace on Level Three
You can walk up using the stairs from the Ballroom/Registration area or take the elevators.


7:30 am - 8:00 am Boutique Meditation Hosted by LATHER

Meet on the Rooftop (Centennial Terrace on Level Three) - Join us and relax while our Yoga Instructor guides you through the most calming, natural way to start the morning. Our aromatherapy blends and morning tea will have you alert and ready to hear from our second round of all-star speakers.
Stop, Breathe & Think will offer a guided mindful breathing meditation to help you feel centered and meet the day with resilience and a positive attitude. The meditation will include a personal check-in as well as a simple technique to support positive interactions throughout the day.

8:30 am -5:00 pm Registration Desk Open
Located at the Event Entrance to the Luskin Conference Center. From the front lobby, walk to the back of the building.
Note: if you are coming in from the Lot 8 parking area, there is a walkway directly to the Event Entrance.

8:30 am – 9:00 am BLLA Coffee Club

But first, coffee! Come get your caffeine fix before we hear from our stellar line up of presenters.
Located at the rear of the Foyer next to the Centennial Ballroom.

9:00 am – 10:00 am Breakfast

Served in the Foyer next to the Centennial Ballroom. You can sit inside the Ballroom, stand at the high boy tables in the Foyer or sit outside and enjoy the sunshine (again, hopefully!).

10:00 am – 10:45 am The Global Snapshot of the World (by today's most experienced travelers) Gabriel Haigazian, Vice President, Creative Travel Group, Stacy Small, Founder & CEO, Elite Travel International & Nicholas Kontis, Circle the Planet, will be interviewed by Alexandra Cheney

Thanks to technology, the world is “smaller” than ever. With the advent of social media, demand for personalized experiences and memories is at an all-time high. Travel facing businesses like airlines and hotels must continually evolve to keep up with this shift. Gabriel and Chad are not only travel industry insiders but are expert travelers themselves. They join us to talk travel trends, and how to cater to the most worldly of guests.

Centennial Ballroom

10:45 - 11:00 am Spotlight on Bernard Schwartz, Co-Founder, APICIIChef Casey Lane & Christian Schultz, Design Director/Partner, Studio Collective, will be interviewed by Jessica Blotter, Co-Founder & CEO, Kind Traveler

Bernard will share his many collaborations and special projects that take F&B to a whole other level in today's boutique, lifestyle and luxury hotels. APICII is a hospitality company that develops, owns and operates a collection of restaurants, bars, private clubs, event and entertainment venues. The organization bring decades of hospitality experience as owners, operators and developers of successful food, beverage and entertainment venues in United States, Mexico, and The Middle East.

Centennial Ballroom

11:00 am – 11:30 am Morning Break

Served in the Foyer next to the Centennial Ballroom. You can sit inside the Ballroom, stand at the high boy tables in the Foyer or sit outside and enjoy the sunshine (hopefully!).

11:30 am – 11:50 am Spotlight on Simone de La Rue, Founder, Body by Simone (bbs) and will be interviewed by Sarah Evans, Partner, J Public Relations

Championed by health-conscious celebs, Simone De La Rue has established herself as a force in the fitness world. With multiple locations throughout California and NY and a star-studded rolodex of clients, Simone has ushered in the boutique fitness era. The maven joins us to discuss why cookie-cutter mega gyms are so 2016.

Centennial Ballroom

11:50 am – 12:10 pm Spotlight on Colby Barr, Co-Founder, Verve Coffee Roasters and will be interviewed by Greg Sato, Founder, Finery

We live in the age of instant gratification, which is great news for caffeine addicts. On every corner, there’s a “bean” or a “bucks” where you can get your fix. But what we’ve gained in convenience we’ve sacrificed in experience. Verve is here to breathe community back into coffee. Involving themselves in every step of the production process, Verve has curated not only a brand but an experience that is personal, ethical and sustainable. Colby Barr joins us to discuss how to curate cool, and the pending boutique coffee boom.

Centennial Ballroom

12:10 pm – 12:30 pm Boutique at it's Finest with Tim Alpe, COO, Ovolo Hotels and will be interviewed by Sarah Evans, Partner, J Public Relations

Centennial Ballroom

12:30 pm – 12:50 pm What is Stay Boutique? Presented by Ariela Kiradjian, Co-Founder, Stay Boutique

Centennial Ballroom

12:50 pm - 2:20 pm Lunch

Served buffet style in the Foyer next to Centennial Ballroom.

2:20 pm – 2:40 pm Spotlight on Sue Walter, CEO, The Hospital Club and will be interviewed by Amy Jakubowski, Managing Director LA, Wilson Associates 

The members-only club loved by creative Londoners is coming to LA! They have everything you could want in a club: amazing food & drinks, working spaces, hotel rooms, a screening room and even a live performance center. Sue will be discussing why members-only clubs have grown so popular, how a touch of London will do well in Los Angeles and how The Hospital Club provides a boutique experience.

Centennial Ballroom

2:40 pm – 3:00 pm The Retail Revolution with David Fishbein, Principal, Runyon Group and will be interviewed by Paula Oblen, Founder, Hotelements

Malls centered around shopping are dead, and in their wake, lifestyle centric malls are thriving.  David is one of the minds behind Culver City's Platform, Venice's Abbot Kinney and DTLA's Row. He will be discussing the re-birth of shopping centers and the future of the boutique shopping experience.

Centennial Ballroom

3:00 pm – 3:20 pm Spotlight on Jeremy Fall, Founder, Nighthawk: Breakfast Bar, Tinfoil & Easy's, will be interviewed by Eliza Krpoyan

A quick google search will tell you all about Jeremy Fall’s history as a restaurateur, event producer, nightclub proprietor, a social media maven and an editor-in-chief. You might also notice he’s managed to make his impact on the hospitality industry at the impressive age of just 27 years… He joins us to provide insights on his success.

Centennial Ballroom

3:20 pm – 3:50 pm Collaborations are Golden with Kevin Osterhaus, President, SIXTY Hotels & Riley Eggers, Executive Producer, Pineapple Creative and will be interviewed by Kim Kessler, Principal, KIPR Global

Riley Eggars and Kevin Osterhaus know a thing or two about collaboration. Riley’s prowess in video production paired with the sleek and sexy backdrop that is the SIXTY Hotel make for the most captivating marketing you’ve probably seen thus far. They join us to give their take on why unconventional approaches to branding work so well in the world of boutique.

Centennial Ballroom

3:50 - 4:10 pm Female Empowerment with Edie Rodriguez, Former CEO, Crystal Cruises and will be interviewed by Frances Kiradjian, Founder & CEO, BLLA

Centennial Ballroom

6:00 - 8:00 pm Stay Boutique's White-Attire Party Cocktail Reception

Held in the Foyer of the Centennial Ballroom

8:00 - 10:00 pm Stay Boutique Awards Dinner

Centennial Ballroom - Open seating


7:30 am - 8:15 am Breakfast - held in the Plateia Restaurant next to the Lobby. Open seating. Collect your breakfast ticket outside of the Laureate Room, also next to the Lobby area.



Held in the Laureate Room, next to the Lobby area.

8:15 am - 8:50 am Boutique Bootcamp
 Finding Capital for Boutique Hotels with JF Capital Advisors
Jonathan Falik, Founder & Chief Executive Officer

RevPAR growth has slowed and capital is available but investor underwriting is increasingly conservative.  Learn what you need to know to navigate the current landscape and achieve success in capital raising.

In this Workshop, you'll learn: 

  • Who is providing debt capital and on what terms
  • Who is providing equity capital and on what terms
  • What are the unique challenges for boutique hotel owners and developers in securing financing
  • How to get prepared for an efficient and successful capital raise

8:50 - 9:25 am Merchant Services with Susan Rue, Security Consultant, Elavon
EMV and Data Security:  Protecting your property from losses

Did you know the average total cost of a data breach for a U.S. business is $7.35 million?1 Data breaches cost companies an average of $225 per compromised record, and with the average data breach affecting over 22,000 records it is explicitly important that hotel operators understand the importance of payment security.

Attend our workshop to learn from a security expert about:

·         Trends in data security breaches

·         The central role of EMV

·         Solutions available to help mitigate risk

9:25 am - 10:00 am Boutique Bootcamp
Branding in this Century with Ideawork Studios
Jay Schwartz

We start trends, chase new technology, and learn from each new challenge. Whether you are a single property, a small group of hotels or a larger brand, making your brand valuable gives you an upper edge in pricing your rooms/offerings and creating real demand.

In this Workshop, we will cover the A to Z of Marketing, Branding and Design to help you win over consumers and rise to the top of the heap.

10:00 - 10:15 am Break

Held outside the Laureate Room in the Refreshment Hub

10:15 am - 10:50 am Boutique Bootcamp
Dynamic technology platform for loss control with Suitelife Insurance & Safety Tag
John Welty, Practice Leader, Venture Insurance Programs
Jim Kelly, Product Strategy & Operations, Safety Tag

Dynamic technology platform for loss control, Safety Tag provides a dynamic mobile platform to employers responsible for teams of employees. 

Problems Safety Tag Solves:

  • Improves Manual Inspection Tasks
  •  Improves Drawn-out Incident Process
  •  Eliminates Lag-Time in Incident Reporting

10:50 - 11:25 pm  Boutique Bootcamp
Accounting Best Practices with Jennifer Hogencamp, Partner, BlumShapiro

Working Title:  Why Aren’t I Making More Money- Best practices to Get You There!

Topics to include:

  • Understanding Financial Statements Will Make You Richer
  • How Your Money is Walking Out the Door
  • Look Back to Look Forward (Budgeting & Forecasting)

People, People, People

    11:25 am - Noon  Boutique Bootcamp
    SEO & Digital Marketing with Janet Bartoli, Founder, Java Kai Digital

    Working Title: How Should the Hotelier Think About Digital Marketing in 2018?

    Description: Your travelers are expecting more from your online experience, learn what you need to know to keep up with Google, and provide your guests with a personalized digital experience through simple optimization techniques that will build loyalty and book more rooms. 

    In this Workshop, you'll learn: 

    • How to build customer loyalty through personalization & engaging content
    • How to think strategically about Google's latest search engine changes & adopt a search friendly mobile website 
    • The need to form a cohesive digital marketing strategy that will enable greater internal efficiencies within
    •  your digital marketing teams

    Noon - 12:10 pm Boutique Bootcamp Prize Drawing

    2 Free Registrations to The Boutique Hotel Investment Conference. $1,695 Value each.
    Note: you must be present to win.

    12:10 pm  Departures

    Au revoir - until we meet again!