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Speakers

 

 

William Forrester

2180 Ballarto Rd

Cardinia, 3978.

 

0417 690 533

bill_forrester@bigpond.com

Personal Summary

A creative and energetic finance executive who, with 25 years experience in both the private and public sectors, can demonstrably improve an organisation's performance through the provision of strategic leadership and sound financial management that focuses on market position, cost reduction and improved profitability. A demonstrated ability to lead multi disciplined teams to solve complex technical and financial issues in order to ensure that organisations remain viable and vibrant in an ever increasingly competitive world.

 

Thriving in an ever-changing environment, extensive experience in stakeholder relations and high level negotiations to allow organisations to achieve their strategic objectives in innovative and cost-effective ways. A proven ability to create a learning culture within an organisation by providing vision and leadership to allow individual members of teams to perform to the best of their ability. A leader who is always available for advice or help.

 

A business focussed professional who has a fundamental belief that if organisations are to continue to prosper in an ever increasingly uncertain world sound business fundamentals coupled with innovation are the keys.

 

Tertiary Education:-

·         Bachelor of Commerce - University of Melbourne (1977 - 1979.)

 

Further Education:-

·         Leadership Consortium – Leadership Development Program (April 1996)

·         Mt Eliza Business School – Strategic Leadership Program (February 1998)

·         Australian Institute of Company Directors – Company Directors Course (June 2003)

 

 

Career Summary

 

Harvey World Travel (July 2004 – Current)

·         Owner/Manager Harvey World Travel (Dandenong),  (Frankston) and (Dromana)

 

Melbourne Water (November, 2000 – August, 2003)

·         Group Manager Resources and the Environment (February 2003 – August 2003)

·         Chief Finance Officer (November, 2000 – January, 2003)

 

RACV (June, 1993 – November, 2000)

·         Chief Manager Shared Services. (November 1999 – November 2000)

·         Chief Manager Asset Management.  (April 1997 - November 1999)

·         Membership Manager. (October 1995  - April 1997)

·         Business Adviser - Member Services Division. (August 1994 - October 1995)

·         Group Management Accountant (June 1993 - August 1994)

·         Harvey World Travel (July 2004 – Current)

 

Owner/Manager Harvey World Travel Dandenong, Frankston and Dromana

In July 2004 I purchased 2 Harvey World Travel franchised outlets, Dromana was added in August 2006. All three outlets were in a run down state and the aim was to rebuild and expand the agencies, and in particular change the product mix from a predominance of point to point airfares to higher value holiday packages and corporate travel.

 

Key Achievements to date:

  • Increase in total turnover of $1 million
  • Restructuring of the sales teams and sales culture to reflect a value add approach
  • Refocussing marketing spend to concentrate on target market segments.
  • Forging key alliances with Frankston Arts Centre, Drum Theatre Dandenong, the Dandenong Basketball Association and the Greater Dandenong Chamber of Commerce.
  • Forge closer relations with existing customers through, film nights, functions, photo competitions, regular newsletters and escorted group tours.
     

 

Angelina I. T. Kiser, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor; Management Coordinator

University of the Incarnate Word

 

Dr. Angelina Kiser is an Assistant Professor and Department Chair for Management and Information Systems in the HEB School of Business and Administration at the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio, TX, USA. She is also a senior fellow with the Center for Medical Tourism. She teaches management courses to undergraduate students and works closely with the information technology professors to integrate the two fields. She has traveled extensively with both professors and students and has had the opportunity to investigate diversity issues among various cultures. She has explored the varying ethical attitudes with regards to gender, age, disability status, and ethnicity. She has various academic journal publications and presented at academic conferences in areas related to technology ethics, business ethics, and diversity.  


 

Liz Hamill Scott 

 

The author of the upcoming book The Imperfect Traveler’s Guide to Traveling with Pain (Hunt Press, 2011), Moon California (Avalon Travel Publishing, 2009), and the writer of the blog Travels With Pain, Liz Hamill is a leading expert on travel with hidden disabilities. A native of the Silicon Valley, Liz gave up a lucrative but dull career in high tech to become a broke-but-happy travel and food writer. She looks forward to expanding The Imperfect Traveler brand and helping people with hidden disabilities of all kinds get out and explore the world.    


 

Debra Ruh, CEO and Founder

TecAccess

 

Debra Ruh is the founder and CEO of TecAccess, the leading provider of accessible Information & Communication Technologies (ICT) for the world’s largest and fastest growing minority group – People with Disabilities, Baby Boomers, and Veterans with Disabilities.   

 

Debra created TecAccess in 2001. She has grown the organization into a profitable multi-million dollar company and it is the most awarded provider of professional ICT (Internet, Communication and Technology) accessibility testing, training, and remediation. Known for creating targeted and cost effective solutions that impact an organization’s bottom line, TecAccess has proven a measurable business value of reaching this untapped demographic.  By making your business vehicles fully accessible and usable to all (including websites, social media, telecommunications, hardware, software, eLearning, HR Online systems, kiosks, Point of Sale and other technology), TecAccess effectively turns what could potentially be a legal pitfall into a marketplace advantage.    

 

As a unique differentiator, Debra utilizes a one-of-a-kind telecommuting model that allows the world’s highest skilled technologists, many of whom happen to also have disabilities, to work from their homes, rehab facilities, and hospital rooms.  TecAccess has over 50 associates with disabilities, and is also a leading employer of veterans with disabilities and baby boomers.  This award-winning team of technology experts is known worldwide for using their firsthand experience of having a disability to in turn help large corporations around the world better understand this population and therefore reach a new and growing audience that includes people of various ability levels and age-related challenges.

 

Since the company’s inception in 2001, TecAccess’ suite of services have ensured that clients in government, education and industry meet their accessibility, while simultaneously maximizing their ROI and becoming socially responsible corporate leaders.  As a result, TecAccess’ partners continuously realize the business advantage of reaching and better serving people with disabilities. Debra Ruh and TecAccess do this by leading by example, as demonstrated by TecAccess’ own international success and growing corporate client list that is driven by the world’s best Information and Communication Technology (ICT) leaders, with and without disabilities.

 

To further promote accessibility and universal design worldwide, Debra Ruh serves on the steering committee, and is chair the Employability and Technology Group, at G3ict, the Global Initiative for Inclusive Information and Communication Technologies, a flagship advocacy initiative of UN-GAID, the United Nations Global Alliance for ICT and Development.  Additionally, Debra serves on the RI Global Board invited to participate by U.N. Ambassador Gallegos of Ecuador, a global network of people with disabilities, service providers, researchers, government agencies and advocates promoting and implementing the rights and inclusion of people with disabilities.  Selected as the only US represented on the Australian Government Expert Reference Group.

 

As a highly sought after international keynote speaker, Debra speaks all over the world on topics such as accessible Information and Communication Technology (ICT), social media accessibility, emergency preparedness for people with disabilities and diversity Initiatives.  Her presentations have been enjoyed by members of the European Union; accessibility leaders at the Shafallah Forum 2009 in Doha, Qatar; the International Forum on Disability Management in Berlin, Germany; and at the ITU Asia-Pacific Regional Forum on Mainstreaming ICT Accessibility for Persons with Disabilities in Bangkok, Thailand.

 

In the United States, Debra Ruh also travels the country on her professional speaking circuit. Additionally, she has been appointed to the Olmstead Board and Veteran Employment Board by Virginia Governor Tim Kaine, and she serves proudly as an officer and board member of the US Business Leadership Network (USBLN), CEO Council, and the Parent Educational Advocacy Training Center (PEATC) Advisory Panel.    

 

Debra has won many awards, and has been featured in numerous national media campaigns, for her efforts including:  Dell Computer’s “Take Your Own Path” 2009 and 2010 campaign (TV, Radio, Print, Web), American Express Open 2009 campaign, 2009 VMFA Muse Award, Federal Computer Week’s 2008 “Fed Top 100 Award,” ANCOR Foundation’s 2008 Community Builder Award,  Dell’s 2008 “Innovative Business” Award, 2007 Enterprising Women Magazine’s Advocacy Award,  Northrop Grumman’s 2007 Community Support Award,  2007 Wells Fargo/NAWBO “Trailblazer” Award,  2006 Women in Technology (WIT) Leadership Award,  2005 Rising Star award by the National Association of Women Business Owners,  2005 Social Responsibility Award by the America-China Foundation, 2005 SBA Small Business Person of the Year for Region III, and was picked as one of the “Most Powerful Women in IT” by Virginia Business Magazine.

 

TecAccess has also been awarded the prestigious US Department of Labor (NFI) Presidential New Freedom Initiative Award, Virginia Business Magazine’s - 2008 “Small Business Success Story of the Year” Award, Virginia Venture Forum’s 2007 “Top 10 Companies to Watch” and Growth Companies to Watch Award, 2006 Virginia Board for People with Disabilities Achievement Award, and the 2005 Lighthouse International Employer of the Year. 

 

Debra has authored many articles for national publications and is a major supporter for the rights of people and veterans with disabilities. TecAccess has been featured on CNN, NPR, CBS, ABC, NBC and in Fortune MagazineUS News & World Report, America’s Best, and Washington Technology.

 

 


BRANDON M. MACSATA


Brandon Macsata serves as Managing Partner of The Macsata-Kornegay Group, Inc. (TMKG) – a national political and fundraising consulting firm specializing in grassroots campaigns, media messaging and fundraising. He is widely recognized for his ability to connect national, state and local stakeholders interested in influencing public opinion and public policy at the national and state levels. Macsata has extensive experience working with political candidates, national and statewide trade associations, issue-advocacy groups and other corporate entities.
TMKG provides a wide array of professional consultation on public policy, communications, marketing strategies and media relations. The firm also offers grassroots advocacy training to better engage organizations in the legislative process. Starting in January 2005, TMKG also broadened its fundraising activities for political candidates, political action committees, trade associations and non-profits.
In November 2009, Macsata was acknowledged by HIV-Plus Magazine to be among the “Top 25 LGBT Leaders Fighting HIV/AIDS”. First diagnosed as HIV-positive in March 2002, Macsata has dedicated much of his professional and personal life advocating for persons living with HIV/AIDS. He currently serves as CEO of the ADAP Advocacy Association (aaa+), a national non-profit organization working to improve the AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) – a position he has held since July 2007. From November 2003 to March 2006, he authored a weekly news column on national HIV-related stories for The Weekly News in Miami, Florida.
Macsata also serves as Executive Director of the Association for Airline Passenger Rights (AAPR). In his capacity, he has been interviewed by CNN, Fox News, Reader’s Digest, USA Today, TIME Magazine, Los Angeles Times and the Washington Post, just to name a few, calling attention to the need for the airlines to improve their customer service and overall quality.
Since December 2009, Macsata has also served as the General Consultant to the New York City Business Leadership Network (NYCBLN); in that capacity he has helped with the NYCBLN’s branding, marketing and communication strategies, as well as position the organization among the leading business-to-business voices in New York City.
Macsata has authored numerous “Op-Ed” pieces for The Daily Caller, a national conservation online publication.
In his current capacity as TMKG’s Managing Partner, Macsata has represented the Florida Association of Rehabilitation Facilities, RESPECT of Florida, ARC Broward, Disability Service Providers of America (DSPA), ACCSES-DSPA Alliance (now ‘ACCSES’), CCDH (formerly Community Committee for the Developmentally Handicapped), Brevard Achievement Center, UCP of East-Central Florida/WORC, MACtown, Title II Community AIDS National Network (TIICANN), One Percent Coalition, United States International Council on Disabilities (USICD), Illinois Association of Rehabilitation Facilities, US Business Leadership Network (USBLN®), NISH, American Network of Community Options & Resources (ANCOR) and the WE Movement.
Among his notable achievements are orchestrating RESPECT of Florida’s statewide town hall meeting campaign that culminated in the Florida Legislature approving a Resolution of Support for the program in 2005; helping the Illinois Association of Rehabilitation Facilities to design a statewide advocacy campaign called ONE ILLINOIS to raise awareness about Illinoisans living with disabilities in 2006; coordinating the complete overhaul of the US Business Leadership Network’s branding and fundraising strategies from 2007-2009; and establishing a strong social media presence for the WE Movement in 2010.
At the age of 27, Macsata was the youngest Executive Director of a national trade association in Washington, DC; he managed the American Congress of Community Support & Employment Services (ACCSES) from 2000-2003, representing the interests of community, non-profit agencies providing supports and services to persons with disabilities.
Prior to moving to Washington, DC in 2000, he opened a 100-bed assisted living care facility in Wilmington, North Carolina. Serving as the facility’s assistant administrator, Macsata worked closely with community leaders and state agencies to advocate for seniors.
Macsata has advised candidates for political office, and has also run for office himself at the local and national levels. In 1995, he was just 79 votes short of beating a 22-year incumbent and becoming the youngest person ever elected in the State of North Carolina. In 2000, he formed an exploratory committee to run for the U.S. House of Representatives before ultimately deciding against running for that office. He is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, where he graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts in political science. In April 2009, UNCW awarded Macsata – and his business partner – the Political Science Department’s “Outstanding Political Science Graduate” award in recognition for their accomplishments.
He has been a featured speaker at conventions held by the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance (NAAFA), Federal AIDS Policy Partnership (FAPP), Inter-National Association of Business, Industry & Rehabilitation (I-NABIR), PROVAIL – Life Opportunities for People with Disabilities, Florida Association of Rehabilitation Facilities (FARF), NISH, Greater Miami Jewish Federation and Jewish Community Services of South Florida.

 


Sheri Soltes

Texas Hearing & Service Dogs

Founder and President

4803 Rutherglen, Austin, Texas 78749

(512) 891-9090 (o); (512) 680-4009 (m)

sheri@servicedogs.org

Sheri Soltes founded Texas Hearing & Service Dogs  in 1988 on the concept of using dogs rescued from animal shelters.  An honors graduate from both the University of Texas School of Law and the University of Texas Plan II Honors undergraduate program, she left her law practice to devote her full time to building THSD.  Under her guidance, THSD leads the industry combining the use of all rescue dogs with positive reinforcement training methodology. 

Sheri and THSD have mentored assistance dog programs around the world including Australia, Japan, Spain and Chile.  She has been a featured speaker at many conferences and institutions including

        The Association of Behavior Analysis

        Asociación Española de Perros de Asistencia, Madrid, Spain (2000, 2001, 2003)

        International Marine Animal Trainers Association, Mexico

        National Coalition of Councils for Developmental Disabilities

        Animal Behavior Management Alliance (2004; Keynote Presentation 2005)

        Fundación Bocalán del Perro de Ayuda Social, Barcelona, Spain (2006)

        Carabineros de Chile Escuela de Suboficiales Curso de Adiestramiento Perros Policiales,  Santiago, Chile (2006)   

Sheri’s articles on the legal rights of Assistance Dog users have been published by Assistance Dogs International, the International Association of Assistance Dog Partners and Leader Dogs for the Blind.  She drafted the 1995 revisions for Texas' Assistance Dog accessibility statute.

 Sheri served two 3 year terms on the Board of Directors of Assistance Dogs International, the most recent as Vice President.  ADI is the coalition of training organizations for Guide, Hearing, Service and Seizure Dogs.  She also served as ADI Conference Chair from 1999-2002.

 She assisted the Austin Police Department in creating its Search and Rescue Dog program.  THSD donated the first SAR dog and provided the initial training.  K9 “Austin” was named “Search and Rescue Dog of the Year” by the American Kennel Club.

 THSD Service Dog “Honor” was named Ralston Purina’s “Hero Dog of the Year 2000” for saving her wheelchair-bound partner’s life, including pushing an emergency button for 911 and barking into the phone. Honor had been scheduled to be euthanized in 3 days when THSD adopted her from the shelter. 

THSD won The Austin Chronicle’s Critic’s Choice for “Mightiest Dogs on Earth” received in October 2005.  THSD’s Mighty Texas Dog Walk also has won two Guinness World Records for “Largest Dog Walk”. (1999, 2002) 

In 2006, the Austin Mayor’s Committee for People with Disabilities voted to award its Chairman’s Commendation to Texas Hearing and Service Dogs. Sheri hosts Café Woof on FOX-TV in Austin. It is a monthly pet training segment, which debuted in June 2007.


Adriane Berg 

 

Adriane Berg is the CEO of Generation Bold and the Publisher of Ageless Traveler, consultants to the travel industry on what attracts and retains the boomer and older adult traveler. She has consulted with China, Malaysia, Portugal and other tourist boards, as well as numerous hotels and vendors to the hospitality industry. Generation Bold does deep industry research ion healthy travel, travel amenities, itineraries, soft adventure, girl friend tours, voluntourism, life long learning and how to reach the boomer, senior markets. Ms. Berg was named the leader in TANGETIAL MARKETING by Selling to Senior Magazine on her consultative work in reaching caregivers to promote intergenerational travel. Ms. Berg is an international speak on tourism and the boomer and older adult, and presenter at TRANSFORM, the first conference created by Hotel World Network on that market. She is author of 13 books and co-founder ofwww.BoomerAuthorityRadioNetwork.com


                                           George N. Vella

                                                      Head of Sales North America

                                                  122 East 42nd Street, Suite 2000 

                                                        New York, N.Y. 10168-0072

                                           Tel: +1 (212) 661-7200 Fax: +1 (212) 661-7174                   

                                                      george.vella@germany.travel    

                                                               www.germany.travel 

 

1987 – 1992:         Worked in the Diplomatic service at the Permanent Mission of Malta to the U.N. in N.Y. 

                              and responsible of the promotion of Trade and Tourism to Malta 

1992 – 1995:        Malta National Tourist Office – Director North America.  

1995 – 1998:         Air Malta plc  - Vice President North America 

1998 – Present:     German National Tourist Office - Head of Sales North America


 Debra Kerper

 

Debra Kerper received her travel training at Coastline Community College where she was the recipient of the TATE AWARD for outstanding academic performance and goals in the travel industry.  Her desire to pursue a career in Travel for the Disabled came from her personal experience as a physically challenged traveler.  Debra has been living with Lupus since the age of 20, spent six years full time in a wheelchair as the result of a bone infection in her legs and became a below knee amputee at the age of 29.  She has undergone over 30 surgeries and has spent much time using a wheelchair as well as enjoying long periods of good health and short distance walking.  She has a very keen understanding of medical ailments and disabling conditions resulting from excessive time spent in hospitals and outpatient rehab facilities.  Debra travels extensively with a wheelchair and/or a scooter and has learned how to MINIMIZE THE FRUSTRATIONS while MAXIMIZING THE ENJOYMENT of visiting new and exciting destinations.  She has visited more than 30 countries and has been on over 75 cruises.  She is able to share her knowledge and expertise with other disabled persons as well as those who simply want to travel at a more leisurely pace.  She possesses very strong interpersonal skills and a love of helping people. 


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