Meet the 2020 Speakers
We’ve gathered glamping experts from around the world to share their experiences and knowledge on a wide variety of glamping topics to help you with your business.
Sarah Riley is internationally recognized as one of the leading experts in the unique holiday rental and glamping industry. She helps owners set up their dream business from the tiniest seed of an idea by helping them discover the model that fits their lifestyle, to then attracting direct bookings using techniques very few know about in this increasingly competitive industry. All shared through her Inspired Courses platform and podcast, Sarah focuses on inspiring the niche accommodation owner of tomorrow and championing this very special industry.
Ruben is the Co-Founder of GlampingHub and the American Glamping Association. GlampingHub is the largest transactional glamping booking platform with properties listed worldwide. GlampingHub now offers over 35,000 listings with offices in Denver and Seville, Spain.
Ruben completed both his Undergraduate degree and his MBA with a focus in International Business at Regis University. He is an affiliate faculty member at Regis University teaching Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the MBA program. Ruben resides in Colorado with his wife and two daughters
Kathleen Walsh, CEO and Founder of Advanced Outdoor Solutions, has been at the forefront of outdoor hospitality since 2003 when she developed her first multi-million dollar beachfront property. She has since developed and managed over $180 million in RV Park and Campground investments across the country. Kathleen served as Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operations Officer for a large RV development company before branching out on her own. Advanced Outdoor Solutions is a full service management company specifically focused on the outdoor hospitality industry. She is a highly sought-after speaker and thought leader in the industry.
Alyssa is the founder and CEO of Hipcamp, an online platform that brings the sharing economy to one of the planet’s most plentiful resources—land. Hipcamp partners with private landowners to unlock new places for people to camp, increasing access to the outdoors while providing sustainable revenue to protect nature. She has a degree from UCLA in Digital Democracy and her deepest passion is helping shape how the internet impacts our humanity and our planet.
Patrick O’Neill has been operating the Northwest Florida destination resort CAMP GULF for 25+ years. His family purchased the boutique park Twin Lakes Camp Resort in 2013. He is an ARVC Lifetime CPO (Certified Park Operator) with experience renovating both parks from primitive obsoletion to exceptional destinations with choice rankings and amazing customer reviews. Patrick served as the National ARVC Treasurer for 6 years and the Florida ARVC BOD for many years including as Chairman. His goal is to serve others in the industry to help them with their own park endeavors. Patrick and his wife Heather work alongside their proudest accomplishments their 5 children.
Patrick Hardy is CEO of Hytropy.com, the unquestioned leading disaster management company in the outdoor hospitality industry. A Certified Emergency Manager®, Certified Risk Manager® he has extensive experience working with properties from coast-to-coast in the public, private and non-profit sectors from micro-businesses to large multi-site conglomerates.
Mr. Hardy has worked in EMS first response and consulted to the Chief of Staff for the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security in Louisiana. In the summer of 2012, he became the first small business owner ever to be selected as the National Private Sector Representative to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), spending three months in Washington D.C. helping develop a national small business framework.
He has also been a visiting disaster instructor to the National EMS Academy, and wrote the chapters on disaster preparedness, terrorism, and weapons of mass destruction for the new Advanced Emergency Medical Technician Textbook for use in the US National Curriculum.
Eric Stumberg is an entrepreneur with expertise in services and wireless technology. He is the founder and CEO of TengoInternet. TengoInternet designs, builds and support outdoor connectivity solutions -including WiFi – and is dedicated to connecting people for success. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, Tengo is the industry leader, serving the outdoor hospitality industry in the US and Canada with award-winning service for over 18 years, building over 2000+ WiFi networks and serving over 6 million connected devices in 2019.
Prior to founding TengoInternet in 2002, Eric served at Dell Corporation and H.B. Zachry Company, a family-owned global construction company. Eric received his MBA and BBA degrees from The University of Texas at Austin, and currently resides in Austin with his wife Keri and son, Ericson.
Peter Mack is the Founder and CEO of Collective Retreats, the experiential luxury hotel brand that connects guests with places, communities, and themselves through its unique, asset-light business model. Mack started Collective Retreats following his role as Vice President of Product Innovation at Tough Mudder, where he oversaw experience design and product. Prior to Tough Mudder, Mack spent over 10 years at Starwood Hotels & Resorts where he correctly identified that the majority of hotel revenue was spent on property expenses and upkeep, not toward furthering the guest experience. Mack, a graduate of the hospitality school at Cornell University, decided to turn the hotel model upside down and create a new type of retreat that creates as little barrier as possible between each location’s breathtaking landscape and guest accommodations. Collective Retreats is currently operating in Hudson, New York; Hill Country, Texas; Vail, Colorado; and Governors Island, New York.
Long an avid biker, camper, and outdoor enthusiast, Martin Coover leverages an extensive career as Partner for global executive search firm DHR International in his newest venture – scaling the US operations of luxury glamping structure producer, GLAT USA. A leader in the human capital industry for the better part of the last decade, Martin has specialized in the placement of executives across functional areas, usually in high-growth, financially-sponsored organizations, with a particular passion for the burgeoning alternative hospitality industry. In early 2020, Martin combined his personal and professional interests and partnered with a family of boutique hospitality design, furniture, and modular manufacturing companies in Guadalajara, Mexico to form GLAT USA, a custom, high-end, and turnkey vendor for the glamping industry in North America.
Never straying too far from his education roots, Martin also currently serves as a member of the Board of Trustees at dual-language urban elementary school Escuela de Guadalupe, the Corporate Work Study Program Board at low-income high school Arrupe Jesuit, and is a founding member of the Junior Board at the Denver Scholarship Foundation. Prior to moving to Denver, Martin and his wife spent time living and working in the city of Quito, Ecuador. In their spare time, Martin, his wife, and two young daughters enjoy travelling throughout the various countries of Latin America and taking advantage of all the activities the neighboring Rocky Mountains have to offer. Martin earned a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana and counts conversational Spanish among his qualifications and interests.
David Smith is founder and Principal at Seaforth Advisory, an independent consulting firm focused on providing high-quality capital markets advisory services to owners, investors and debt providers in the North American lodging industry. David was previously a Senior Director at Robert Douglas, where he acted on over $1 billion of hotel debt and equity financing assignments, representing leading ownership groups, brands, and management companies in North America, Europe and Australia. David is a graduate of the Master of Management in Hospitality program at Cornell University. He completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Sydney in 2009, and has also studied at the HKUST Business School in Hong Kong. He is a member of the Urban Land Institute and the Cornell Hotel Society, and is an advisor to the American Glamping Association.
Damian Petty is a commercial insurance agent/broker for Leavitt Recreation and Hospitality Insurance. He specializes in anything recreational or hospitality related including, RV parks, campgrounds, resorts, trampoline parks, dude ranches, family entertainment centers, etc. Damian primarily works the western portion of the country and is licensed in over 20 states. He has nearly 20 years of experience in the commercial insurance arena. Damian gained vast experience of the insurance industry by owning his own Allstate Agency for a period. He gained knowledge in life insurance and carried his 6 and 63 licensed for financial planning during this period. Damian was born and raised in Thornton, Colorado, but lives in Puyallup, Washington today. He served on the Spanaway Water Board, and is involved with several associations including, ARVC, CCLOA, COAM, CALARVC, IATP, DRA, CO DRA, and many more. He teaches risk management courses at the ARVC Outdoor Hospitality Education Foundation.
Gary grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa. After qualifying as a Chartered Accountant (CPA equivalent) he founded and built the 500+ store Rage retail chain. Gary sold his share in the company and moved to the USA in 2007. From 2007 to 2010 he was a divisional vice president at The Children’s Place Retail Stores in New Jersey before deciding once again to do something on his own. After moving to Atlanta, Gary founded the VitaFilta water filter and cooler brand. In 2016, he then launched the Bushtec Adventure and Bushtec Safari brands in the USA, in partnership with the South African factory, Canvas and Tent. The company’s incredible success around the world and phenomenal product drove Gary to develop a passion for the unique and exciting luxury tent business. Gary lives in Alpharetta, GA with his wife and three kids, is a sports enthusiast and loves the outdoors.