Speakers - 2018 EDGE · Affiliate
Power Speakers who offer travel professionals inspiration, ideas, strategies, tactics, tips and techniques to grown your business.
TRAVEL LEADERS NETWORK’S ANNUAL CONFERENCE SPEAKERSPOWER SPEAKERS STUART L. COHEN President & Chief Motivational Officer, SLC ETC CORP, Master Motivator, SHERRIE & CHARLIE FUNK President and Co-Owner (Sherrie), Chief Executive Officer and Co-Owner (Charlie) , Just Cruisin’ Plus, MIKE MARCHEV President, HeadFirstSales, Sales and Marketing, LARRY MERSEREAU, CTC President, PromoPower, LLC, Effective Growth Strategies, RICH KIZER & GEORGANNE BENDER Speaker, Author & Consultant, KIZER & BENDER Speaking!
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CEO, Zappos.com

In 1999, at the age of 24, Tony Hsieh (pronounced Shay) sold LinkExchange, the company he co-founded, to Microsoft for $265 million. He then joined Zappos as an advisor and investor, and eventually became CEO, where he helped Zappos grow from almost no sales in 1999 to the multi-billion dollar company it is today. Back in 2009, the company was acquired by Amazon in a deal valued at $1.2 billion on the day of closing. Tony has remained as CEO of Zappos, which operates independently of Amazon, and continues to help build Zappos as a company dedicated to customer service, company culture, and community.

Tony’s book, “Delivering Happiness”, was published in 2010, and outlines his path from starting a worm farm to life at Zappos. Tony shows how a very different kind of corporate culture is a powerful model for achieving success and happiness. “Delivering Happiness”, debuted at #1 on the New York Times Bestseller list.

In addition to his responsibilities as CEO of Zappos.com, Tony helped start Downtown Project (www.downtownproject.com), a group committed to helping transform downtown Las Vegas into the most community-focused large city in the world. This transformation includes the relocation of the Zappos offices from Henderson, Nevada to what was the old City Hall in downtown Las Vegas.

Tony currently lives in an Airstream on half a city block right in the middle of downtown Vegas, with his dog Blizzy and two pet alpacas who enjoy hanging out by the campfires every night.

Power Speaker

Stuart L. Cohen

President & Chief Motivation Officer, StuartLoydCohen.com

If you can think big, Stuart will help you do big! Meet a master motivator who inspires success and happiness through fresh perspectives, endearing humor and abounding energy. Stuart is a passionate expert in the fields of entrepreneurship, sales, leadership, loyalty and personal performance. Drawing upon experiences as an accomplished corporate executive turned successful solopreneur, he coaches and speaks internationally since 2007.

A 28-year travel industry veteran, Stuart served in leadership positions with World Travel Holdings, Celebrity Cruises and Insight Vacations. His entrepreneurial spirit introduced many cutting-edge business practices and successful brands including Vacation.com, NEST and the Home Based Success Series. Stuart founded ResortForaDay.com (2007), today the world’s largest online seller of hotel day passes, which he built and bootstrapped from the ground up. The company was acquired by World Travel Holdings (2012). Group Boot Camp is Stuart’s online sales program built to help travel professionals. He has produced hundreds of training webinars, videos and continues hosting informative talk shows and has published two inspiring sales booklets.

Active as a mentor and volunteer locally, Stuart is affiliated with the Memphis Coaches Network (memphiscoachesnetwork.com), Start Co. (neverstop.co), Advance Memphis (advancememphis.com), and the Memphis Institute for Leadership Education (mileprogram.com). He is a certified integrative health coach (Institute for Integrative Health), plays percussion, runs marathons, practices yoga, loves cooking and embarking on culinary journeys with wife Kimberly. They reside just outside Memphis, TN.

Power Speakers

Sherrie & Charlie Funk

President and Co-Owner (Sherrie), Chief Executive Officer and Co-Owner (Charlie) , Just Cruisin’ Plus

Sherrie and Charlie Funk are the owners of Just Cruisin’ Plus in Brentwood, TN.  Sherrie started the company as Pacesetter Tours, Inc. from their home in 1981.  She changed the direction of the company in 1988 to become Tennessee’s first cruise-only agency, and in two years became a full-service agency.  Her extensive background in sales and marketing in the hospitality industry including positions in hotel sales, as Vice President of Gray Line Tours Nashville and in marketing with the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development made owning and operating a travel agency an easy transition.  Sherrie was instrumental in starting Nashville Women in Travel as well as the Nashville Chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners. She currently serves on the Travel Leaders Network International Advisory Board.

Charlie earned his chemical engineering degree from North Carolina State University (and, yes, he was a rocket scientist).  He worked in research and development in solid propellant rocket design, synthetic fiber, project management, sales, marketing and general management.  Charlie came into Just Cruisin’ Plus full-time in 1993.  He is the Past President of the Nashville Chapter of SKAL, past Advisory Board member for CruiseLink and Vacation.com.  He also writes a monthly column for Travel Weekly.

Charlie and Sherrie have co-authored three books specifically for the Travel Agency community.  They are actively involved in Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools’ Academies of Nashville and administer a travel agent Facebook forum (Travel Agency Best Practices) which has over 7600 members.  Charlie and Sherrie’s highest achievement was being inducted into C.L.I.A.’s Hall of Fame in 2012.

Power Speaker

Mike Marchev

President, HeadFirstSales

Like you, sales and marketing expert and business author Mike Marchev has seen the word “sales” bandied about in numerous ways over the years. Is it a “gift-for-gab” with a knack for “closing, up-selling and overcoming customer objections?” Does personality with a flair for fashion spell selling ability? Flamboyancy? Resiliency? A “rejection-proof” facade? Is it all about finding the buyer’s “hot-button and then punching those very same buttons?” Or, does the role of sales take on a different meaning today?

With over three decades of selling experience, teaching, speaking, and more importantly, real-life, in-the-trenches business experience, Mike’s view is radically different. He believes that sales is a moment-to-moment personal connection and not about title, tenure or position. Sales is everyone’s responsibility… every day. It’s how we conduct ourselves daily and how we position ourselves as expert problem solvers. Mike, sometimes referred to as a “Thought Stimulator” for his ability to introduce new ideas, is known for his practical, street-savvy delivery. His fusion of real-life stories and his conversational presentation style connect with his audience on an intimate, intense and individual level.

Unlike many of today’s speakers who attempt to leverage a single negative experience or accomplishment into a meaningful message, Mike has chosen to take a circuitous route through his career thereby building up an arsenal of true-life examples which are both appreciated and easily identified with. (The fact that he is a single-engine airplane pilot, an ocean going sailing captain, a certified Ironman Triathlete and a fun-loving business practitioner tends to lend interest to his many humorous but meaningful business messages and personal lessons.)

From University Teaching Experience to International Sales Management; from Entrepreneur to Professional Speaker, Mike has developed the skill to connect with audiences on all levels in ways that induce a real and genuine behavior change. The author of the popular sales book Become The Exception and founder of the “More-On” Business Development Series, Mike continues to share his provocative insights with online e-zines, blogs and industry business magazines. His clients include: AmaWaterways, Vacation.com, Travel Leaders, Travel Savers, Carlson Wagonlit, Uniglobe, Travel Research Online, MAST, National Business Travel Association, Meeting Planners International, ASTA, HERTZ, AT&T, Johnson & Johnson, Siemens, Sysco Foods, Wells Fargo Bank, Toyota, Pitney Bowes, Merck, Nextel, Los Alamos National Labs, The Washington Post and American Express to name a few.

Prior to his speaking career, Mike sold electronic components for a large New Jersey based manufacturing organization leading to international sales experience. Before heading down the entrepreneurial path on his own, Mike worked for the highly respected Maritz Company, a successful motivation and communications company headquartered in St. Louis. Mike earned his Masters Degree in Marketing from Fairleigh Dickinson University after graduating from the University of Massachusetts with a B.A. in History.

As the president and founder of HeadFirstSales Mike spends the majority of his working hours sharing proven sales methods to proactive entrepreneurs. The travel and hospitality industry has been his primary focus for the past thirty years.

Power Speaker

Larry Mersereau, CTC

President, PromoPower, LLC

Smart business owners, marketers and sales professionals know who to turn to for the ideas and insights they need to grow their sales and profits; Larry Mersereau, CTC. Niched as a differentiation specialist, he is the author of four books on the topic and a professional speaker who addresses dozens of audiences, in a broad range of industries every year. He’s the only speaker who shares the simple, doable… effective growth strategies and tactics that made his books so popular and have helped so many businesses and individuals succeed.

Power Speakers

Rich KIZER & Georganne BENDER

Speaker, Author & Consultant, KIZER & BENDER Speaking!

Rich Kizer and Georganne Bender are professional speakers, authors and consultants whose client list reads like a “Who’s Who” in business. Companies depend upon them for timely advice on consumers and the changing retail market place.

KIZER & BENDER are contributors to MSNBC’s television program Your Business. They made Meetings & Conventions Magazine’s list of Meeting Planners Favorite Keynote Speakers, have been named two of Retailing’s Most Influential People, are included in the Top 40 Omnichannel Retail Influencers, and the Top 50 Retail Influencers since 2015. Their Retail Adventures blog was named the Top Retail Blog by PR Newswire Media and is consistently listed among top retail and small business blogs. KIZER & BENDER are partners and emcees for the popular Independent Retailer Conference. In 2017 they served as official correspondents for the National Retail Federation’s Shop.org digital retail and ecommerce event.

Rich and Georganne are experts on generational diversity, consumer trends, marketing and promotion, and everything retail. They are widely referred to as consumer anthropologists because they stalk and study that most elusive of mammals: today’s consumer. The result of their research is literally straight from the customers’ mouth: solid ground level intelligence you can use to better serve your own customers.

KIZER & BENDER’s observations are widely featured in the medias, including the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun Times, Las Vegas Review Journal, NBC, CBS, ABC, WGN, MSNBC, National Public Radio (NPR), The Voice of America, AARP, Deseret News, The Washington Post, and the National Retail Federation. Their books Visual Merchandising & Store Design: How to Set Your Sales Floor to Sell, BRANDING! and Jingle Bells, Christmas Sells: Events, Promotions & Tips for the Holiday Season! They have helped thousands of retailers improve their bottom line. Their magazine column, Georganne & Rich on the Road, is a two-time winner of the American Society of Business Publication Editors (ASBPE) Award of Excellence.

KIZER & BENDER are married – just not to each other! 2018 marks their 28th year as a speaking team. Their presentations blend brilliant content with colorful examples, humor, and insight. You’ll learn while you laugh! And you’ll come away with inspiration, ideas, strategies, tactics, tips and techniques you can use the second you return to your business!