Speakers

Galveston Tourism Summit offers attendees the opportunity to learn, be inspired and get industry insights through a variety of diverse speakers and guests.

See below for more details about this year's Galveston Tourism Summit lineup of speakers.

Rich Redmond

Rich Redmond has been the touring/recording drummer with multi-platinum country rocker Jason Aldean for over two decades. With Aldean, Rich has recorded 30 #1 hits and plays to millions of fans per year in iconic venues around the globe. Rich has also performed with: Garth Brooks, Ludacris, Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Bryan Adams, Bob Seger, Chris Cornell, Joe Perry, Jewel, Miranda Lambert, Luke Bryan, Keith Urban, and many other top performers. Rich has appeared on Saturday Night Live, The Voice, American Idol, The Grammy Awards, The Tonight Show, Good Morning America, Ellen, The CMA Awards, ACM Awards, CMT Awards, etc. Rich was voted “Country Drummer of the Year” many years in a row by Modern Drummer magazine and DRUM! Magazine voted Rich one of the “Top 60 Rock Drummers of All Time.” Rich is also a busy speaker, host, educator, author and actor.

Jessica Serna

Jessica Serna is the woman behind MyCurlyAdventures, a Texas-based travel brand that inspires people to find magic in the every day and encourages people to live a travel lifestyle even with a 9-5 through looking for local getaways. She takes readers on adventures throughout her state and beyond with her husband and showcases how sometimes you "travel the world" without having to travel far. Through these trips, she shares married life, managing curly hair, and the excitement of making every moment magical. She has published a magazine to share these adventures and also travels across Texas to speak about travel on local TV.

Cindy Novotny

Cindy Novotny has been branded the “Radical Mentor” by thousands of executives around the world for her straightforward, no-nonsense approach to leadership. Cindy is recognized by the Association of Talent Development as one of the nine most powerful and innovative speakers and has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Training Magazine, Successful Meetings, and broadcast live on the BBC. Cindy spans the globe speaking to vast audiences that range from line employees to top executives. She has also shared the stage with global leaders such as former New York Mayor, Rudy Giuliani. Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International recognized Cindy as one of the Top 25 Most Extraordinary Minds in Sales & Marketing. The Award is given for the most innovation, vision and achievement in the hospitality, travel and tourism industry. Energy, passion, and drive guarantee Cindy’s message will captivate each person in her audience. Her targeted message and popularity have no boundaries as she addresses groups around the world. Her charismatic, humorous, no-nonsense approach, combined with in-depth knowledge, bring an audience alive with reality-based skills and cutting-edge training technology. As the author of the book “LIVING WITH NO BALANCE…And Loving It!” Cindy challenges people to feel good about trying to do it all and living in a less-than-balanced world. Her message applies to anyone interested in having a fulfilling life. A true “road warrior,” she travels almost 50 weeks per year delivering her message to diverse groups of people and industries worldwide. Cindy began her company, Master Connection Associates, in 1989. MCA is a premier international consulting and training organization that specializes in service delivery, sales and leadership performance. MCA’s work contributed to client success including The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company earning an unprecedented two Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Awards!

Steven J. Baines

Steven J. Baines is an organizational and leadership development, image consultant, trainer, and executive coach. He helps individuals and organizations define themselves through their appearance, behavior, and communication. His career has been spent on improving organizations through education, training, leadership development, diversity, equity, and inclusion programs, and volunteering for worthy causes. Steven J. Baines

Alex Thomas

Alex Thomas is a Jackson, Mississippi native that has worked diligently in the field of marketing as a leader in the tourism industry for over 20 years. Thomas is the former President and CEO of Blue South Entertainment, LLC, a Southern-based entertainment agency providing professional services through talent booking, artist management, consulting and event planning. Before joining Visit Galveston as the Product Development Manager, Alex served as the Music Development Program Director for the Mississippi Development Authority, Division of Tourism, where his focus was to promote the beauty of Mississippi’s history and distinctive culture of musical genres through driving and walking trails.

Susan Keeble

Susan Keeble has a passion for people and enjoys building community by connecting and collaborating with others in both her career and volunteer work. She is honored to have been involved in the development of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Plan for the Park Board of Trustees in Galveston and is part of the team ensuring the implementation is strategic and sustainable. As a human resources professional, she is excited to serve employees by helping them grow in their careers and have the right tools in place to help them succeed. Before joining the Park Board, Susan spent 30+ years leading teams in healthcare and governmental human resources.

Hannah Walker

Hannah Walker has been actively coordinating and coaching adapted sports and fitness programs for over 14 years. She has a Bachelor's Degree in Science majoring in Kinesiology with a minor in Nutrition and a Master's Degree in Science in Recreation Therapy. After graduate school. she moved on to run adapted sports programs for the City of Pasadena; Texas, and from there to work for the City of Houston Adaptive Recreation Division. She then moved to Honolulu. Hawaii to create and facilitate adap­tive sports and fitness and recreation therapy programs for the Naval Health Clinic at Pearl Harbor. She was in Hawaii nearly 4 years programming for wounded, ill and injured Navy and Marine service members. Over the past six years she has been in Houston serving as the Recreation Facility Manager for the Metropolitan Multiservice Center at West Gray, a recreation center under the Houston Parks and Recreation Department's Adaptive Division. It is the only recreation center of its kind in the United States. All programs are focused on physical disability sports and fitness and are free. Since the closure of West Gray because of COVID, she has created a mobile fitness program, with a partnership between HPARD-Adaptive Division and Houston METROlift to transport staff and equipment to West Gray participants homes, businesses, and other outdoor spaces large enough for a small fitness class. The pandemic has not stopped the passion to provide adaptive opportunities.

Joe Veneto

Joe Veneto is the Chief Experience Officer at Veneto Collaboratory, a management consulting and training company in Greater Boston. He collaborates with Destination Marketing Organizations, Hospitality Companies, Travel Attractions and Service-related companies to create results that generate economic development, drive customer engagement and loyalty. Since 1996, Joe has provided consulting services and presented content-rich keynotes and presentations to hundreds of Destinations and Travel Organizations. His areas of specialty include experience design and development, consumer product/vacation packaging, sales development and customer service. He created the Experience Formula™, a comprehensive process that enables Destinations, Travel Attractions, Retail stores/groups and Service-related organizations to design, develop and deliver unforgettable customer experiences. The formula provides tools and techniques to engineer unique, engaging and innovative experiences that turn customers into an organization’s brand ambassadors. As a result of Joe’s Experiential development work in 2012, he launched the Experience Lab™, an annual event that immerses participants in the strategies, content and techniques of the design and development of unforgettable customer experiences. Joe is a highly respected thought leader and speaker on tourism trends, hospitality topics and customer experience. He presents programs annually at Tourism Industry Conferences, State and Provincial Conferences, to National Associations, Corporations and regional Tourism groups. His thought-provoking, content-rich programs provide business insights as well as innovative ideas that make him one of the Industry’s most requested experts on tourism product development and Experiential Tourism.

Dr. Jill Siler

Dr. Jill Siler served as the Superintendent of Gunter ISD for nearly ten years and now serves as the Deputy Executive Director for Professional Learning for the Texas Association of School Administrators (TASA). Jill has been serving as an educator for 25 years, beginning her career as a high school social studies teacher and coach before she became a campus and district leader. Jill has a passion for impacting others and has been a frequent speaker to teachers and leaders alike. Jill’s first book, Thrive Through the Five, was released in 2020, and focuses on how to thrive through the most challenging seasons.

Rey Medellin

Rey Medellin is a Resilience Specialist. Rey’s resilience knowledge extends from the U.S Army Resilience Master Training Course, Why Try Resilience program and many years of experience teaching adolescents and adults resilience skills. As a Social Worker by trade, Rey understands the importance of working with vulnerable populations and at-risk individuals. Growing up in poverty and serving in the military instilled in him the knowledge and duty to serve said populations. Rey believes that resilience is not something you have or don’t have but rather something you develop over time. Rey earned a Bachelor’s of Integrated Studies with an emphasis in Child and Family Studies, Communication, and Military Science and a minor in Social Work from Weber State University. Shortly after he pursued a Master’s of Social Work from Boston University, conferring in 2018. In the U.S Army Reserves, he is a Master Resilience Trainer responsible for the moral and emotional well-being of his organization. Rey has provided resilience training across many different platforms within a business as well as educational settings. He has worked as a Child Protective Service Investigator and in a pediatric mental health ward. As a resilience expert, Rey understands that these skills have to be strengthened at school, in the workplace, and at home.

Clayton Kolavo

Clayton Kolavo is the Digital Content Strategist for Visit Galveston, with the primary responsibility of overseeing the management and maintenance of VisitGalveston.com. This includes ensuring that consumers have informational, entertaining and up-to-date content that promotes Galveston as a premier vacation destination and an ideal location to hold meetings and events. Additionally, Clayton provides assistance to local businesses on how to best utilize partner benefits available through Visit Galveston.

Bryson Frazier

Bryson Frazier is an accounting, finance, budgeting, and auditing professional originally form the Albuquerque, NM area. He spent 11 years in state government, most recently as the State Property Tax Director for the New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department, before making the move to local government. Mr. Frazier served as the Deputy Finance Director for the City of Rio Rancho, NM for 2 years before moving to Galveston, TX, where he serves at the Chief Financial Officer of the Galveston Park Board of Trustees. Mr. Frazier is a Certified Fraud Examiner and a Certified Tourism Ambassador.

Erika Breaux

As the founder of the Manasa Movement, it is my calling to cultivate healing for people from all walks of life. This includes finding balance from within through the power of the interrelationship between one’s physical health and the state of one’s mind or spirit. I am honored to teach you today, let us leap into a state of mindful movement and begin enriching the connection to your Self.

Scott Moon

Scott Moon is a marketing and advertising professional successful at analyzing sales and marketing data to develop and improve marketing strategies for marketing partners. Mr. Moon’s first experience with media and marketing came at a young age when he took his first job in the 7th grade as a paperboy delivering the Washington Post. He delivered the Post for three years before moving to Texas. Moon studied marketing and advertising at Texas Tech University, where he also worked as an advertising representative for the student newspaper, The Daily Toreador. After graduating college, he worked for some of the state’s largest newspapers, including the Dallas Morning News and the Austin-American Statesman. Always a fan of the beach and water, Mr. Moon moved to Galveston where he served as the advertising director for The Daily News and has spent the past 10 years in the hospitality and tourism digital world.

Sydney Macapagal

As a pre-teen, I loved getting on MySpace and Facebook, little did I know that social media would soon run the world. Yet, when I graduated from Texas A&M University in 2017, I did not think a career could revolve around social media. I found a love for videography and storytelling through my internship at KBTX News 3, but it wasn’t until one of my first jobs for a start-up organization that I had the opportunity to brand and create a whole social media initiative. Since then, creating visual experiences through content has been my passion. Being behind the phone to capture people doing what they love keeps me motivated as social media continues to be an integral part of everyday life.