HD Summit is the industry’s only networking conference focused on ideas outside hospitality, because everyone needs new sources of inspiration. This invite-only event is designed to sharpen executive leadership skills and to provide the big ideas needed to stay ahead of the competition.
“Take risks in your life in the pursuit of your dreams.”
Adrian Ballinger is a world-class mountaineer and business leader. As founder and head guide of the internationally acclaimed Alpenglow Expeditions, Adrian envisioned a more holistic climbing experience for his clients than the status quo. His vision, with a focus on small groups and client education, continues to change the way big mountains are climbed.
What started in 2004 with three trips on one continent with one lead guide has grown into a thriving company, expanding tenfold in 10 years—while setting new industry standards and expectations. Adrian believes running a business is a lot like climbing a mountain, and attributes his company’s success to his extensive mountaineering experiences.
First and foremost a professional athlete, Adrian is the only American to ski 8,000-meter peaks; the first person to ski Manaslu, the world’s eighth-tallest mountain; the first person to summit three 8,000-meter peaks in three weeks (Everest twice and Lhotse once), and the only American guide to earn AMGA and IFMGA certifications. He has achieved over 10 8,000-meter summits, including six summits of Everest. He shares his powerful experiences and lessons learned on strategy, preparation, decision-making, and teamwork.
Christopher Rockwell Bent
“Everyone is creative.”
From doodling at the dinner table to mowing lawns and building companies, Chris Bent has always had a bias toward action and a desire to be creating. This energy earned him an early ADHD diagnosis but the problem really began when he got his first corporate job and he lost all outlets for creative expression. Feeling unengaged and empty as a cog in the corporate machine, he began researching if this were the inevitable destiny of every adult as they work toward retirement [it’s not!] and what could be done about it [a lot!].
With beige cubicles as the battleground, he set to work building tools to tap the most valuable resource of teams—their ideas—and create an environment of psychological safety for creativity and collective intelligence to thrive. He founded and launched Piccles, a collaborative coloring application created to lower anxiety, relieve boredom, and foster connection by engaging people in the cathartic act of coloring.
A prize winner in the annual MIT Creative Arts Competition, Piccles relies on the idea that everyone is creative, and that creativity just needs to be awakened and exercised. Through anonymous drawing, Piccles promotes collab in virtual icebreakers, teambuilding, and experiential workshops for businesses, organizations, and groups—including the world’s first collaborative drawing experiment.
“You say more than you think.”
New York Times bestselling author Janine Driver spent nearly two decades as a federal law enforcement officer with the Department of Justice, trained as a lie detection expert for the ATF, FBI, and CIA. She now shares her invaluable lessons in people-reading to help humans look at the world in a different way, ultimately boosting confidence, credibility, and control.
Her books, You Say More Than You Think: A 7-Day Plan For Using The New Body Language To Get What You Want and You Can’t Lie to Me: The Revolutionary Program To Supercharge Your Inner Lie Detector And Get To The Truth, explore the essential knowledge and tools that brilliantly illuminate communication and ultimately improve lives.
In her talks and educational training sessions, Janine demonstrates the importance of decoding body language, helping people become happier and more powerful. She uncovers the biggest communication challenges your most difficult customers, employees, family, and friends bring to the table; reveals how five simple words can get you what you want; shares how to ask powerful questions and build rapport—and even how to spot con-artists. Known as the “Lyin’ Tamer”, Janine is a frequent and popular guest on talk shows, including The Today Show.
“Our greatest value is not in us as individuals, but our collective mindset.”
A classical violinist turned composer, Kai Kight shares music as a metaphor to inspire individuals and organizations toward paths of imagination and fulfillment—to compose unique ideas in a world that typically celebrates conformity. Kai is inspired by his mother who, when diagnosed with cancer, revealed regrets of not bringing her ideas to the world. And he is on a mission to spark a shift in global mindset toward ingenuity as the norm, not the exception.
From his studies at Stanford University’s design and engineering program, the d. School, Kai developed a fascination with leaders, artists, and companies who dare to be different. As both a Mayfield Fellow and Kleiner Perkins Design Fellow, Kai has proven himself as a leader among the next generation of innovative and entrepreneurial talent.
He has performed his original music for thousands at venues from the White House to the Great Wall of China. He has presented his talks to world-class organizations including The Walt Disney Company, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and the Seattle Seahawks.
Bruce is a recognized expert in lodging market intelligence and development trends, with in-depth knowledge of global markets and brands. Since 1995 he has collaborated with most of LE’s global client base and has helped them develop sales strategies and market penetration programs necessary for their success.
Bruce identifies new construction and product replacement opportunities for vendors looking to increase their product distribution in the lodging industry and improve their market share, and new construction and potential brand conversion opportunities for franchise companies looking to accelerate their brand growth.
Bruce is a featured speaker on global real estate trends at several industry conferences worldwide, including the Annual Lodging Conference in Phoenix, AZ, the International Hotel Investment Forum in Berlin, Germany, and the NYU Investment Conference in New York. In the past year alone he has appeared as an industry expert on six different development and real estate panels, in four different regions of the world. In addition, he has served on the Allied Member Executive Committee within the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) and is a member of America’s Lodging Investment Summit (ALIS) committee where he plays a role in the selection of the “Development Project of the Year” award singling out the most outstanding achievement in hotel construction and design in the country.
“Because I said I would.”
Alex Sheen knows a single promise can change a life forever. He founded because I said I would, an international social movement and nonprofit dedicated to the betterment of humanity through promises made and kept. Sparked by a tragedy in his life, Alex created a concept called the Promise Card and mailed them by request at no cost to their recipients. Since 2012, nearly 12 million Promise Cards have been distributed in more than 153 countries, changing lives around the world.
His work and passion have shaped his unique perspective on accountability, commitment, and self-control developed from his responsibilities in leading a global effort dedicated to keeping promises, along with his personal experience in fulfilling his own promises. In his book, Because I Said I Would, Alex shares a unique compilation of heartwarming, humorous, tragic, and inspirational stories—an often-raw look at the importance of promises.
A dedicated volunteer, Alex directs 100 percent of his speaking fees to charity. His author’s proceeds benefit because I said I would, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization bettering humanity through chapters of volunteers, character education in schools, accountability programs, and awareness campaigns with global reach.
HD Summit is an invite-only leadership forum. You must have a special code to register. Codes are provided in your individual event invitation.
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