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Speakers 2018-03-05T19:26:33+00:00

Meet Our Speakers

Thursday, May 17
10:20 AM – 12:00 pm

“VR Hot Legal Topics: Trademark Infringement/Excessive Fees/Unfriendly Ordinances”






Daniel Benavides                             Daniel Barsky                                      James Olin
Partner                                                   Partner                                                     CEO
Shutts & Bowen                                    Shutts & Bowen                                      C2G Advisors, LLC

In our rapidly changing and evolving industry OPMA is committed to assuming a leadership role in challenging unfair business practices that adversely impact our member companies. This high level legal session lays out the facts and strategies that OPMA and its members can pursue, both individually and collectively, to proactively address the most critically important legal issues facing our industry and as defined by our membership. Our goal is to move beyond advocacy and to introduce viable solutions and courses of action where we can positively impact future developments…not just simply follow them.

About Daniel Benavides
Daniel F. Benavides is a partner in the Miami office of Shutts & Bowen LLP, where he is a member of the Hospitality and Real Estate Practice Groups.

Daniel’s practice is focused primarily on Florida’s hospitality industry. He advises hotels and restaurants seeking to enter or expand their presence in the Florida market, assisting with purchase contracts, leasing, due diligence, permitting, compliance and other pre-opening legal advice.

Daniel also assists many local hospitality establishments with their day to day, operational legal matters, advising on a wide array of issues such as vendor contracts, sales & marketing agreements, guest relations issues, employment, cybersecurity, ADA and PCI compliance, alcohol & beverage, intellectual property, force majeure issues and litigation.

Among his many hotel-related matters, Daniel served as lead counsel in a landmark arbitration case, following a “midnight raid” termination of a local hotel operator by the owner. The case was widely regarded as one of the most important hospitality-related cases of 2014 and has been discussed at many hospitality industry conferences. As a result of his successful representation of the hotel operator in that case, he was recognized as a finalist for the Daily Business Review’s prestigious “Most Effective Lawyers: Arbitration” award.

About Daniel J. Barsky
Daniel Barsky is a partner in the Miami office of Shutts & Bowen LLP where he is a member of the Intellectual Property Practice Group. He regularly represents clients in intellectual property and commercial litigation matters. Daniel has worked on matters that range from data breach and trade secret theft, to pharmaceutical price fixing, pharmaceutical development, technology patents, and novel issues regarding the short-term rental marketplace. He represents startup and new business ventures and has helped multiple startups develop, protect, grow, and enforce their intellectual property and other business assets. In addition to his litigation and counseling work, Daniel is a registered patent attorney with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and regularly prosecutes patents, trademarks, and copyrights for clients. He is also admitted to practice in Florida and Minnesota.

Daniel has been recognized as a “Rising Star” by Florida Super Lawyers in 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016. He was also one of the recipients of the Daily Business Review’s “On the Rise” award for Professional Excellence in 2017.

Daniel is also an adjunct professor at the University of Miami School of Law where he teaches patent litigation and is the University’s faculty supervisor for the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s Law School Clinic Program.

About James Olin
James Olin is currently CEO of C2G Advisors LLC, a strategic consulting firm specializing in all facets of the hospitality industry, with special emphasis on vacation rental and resort activities. Previously, Olin was Managing Partner of The Sterling Companies LLC, and is the former President and CEO of ResortQuest International (NYSE: RZT), the world’s largest vacation rental property management and resort real estate firm.

Olin is a licensed real estate broker in Florida, Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee, and has been appointed to numerous State level committees and task forces by previous Florida Governors and Secretaries of Commerce. He is a member of both the prestigious Counselors of Real Estate (CRE), and the Council of Real Estate Broker Managers (CRB) – he is one of only 8 persons currently invited to membership in both organizations simultaneously. Olin also has certifications from the National Association of Realtors as a Resort and Second Home Property Specialist (RSPS), and a Senior Real Estate Specialist (SRES). He is also a Certified Negotiations Expert (CNE), and a Fellow with the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors. Olin has been married for over 32 years to his beautiful wife, June, and they have four children and five grandchildren.

Thursday, May 17
1:00 PM – 2:00 PM

“Owners Share Their Perceptions and Expectations of Onsite Property Management Companies”

Moderator: Jim Olin, CEO, C2G Advisors, LLC
Panel Participants TBA.

Who knows better as to what’s on the minds of owners than owners themselves. Our panel, composed of four owners affiliated with different OPMA member properties from around the country, will present their views on the value and benefits, from their perspective, of participating in their property’s onsite rental program. Summit attendees should come prepared to hear new innovative ideas and other takeaways that can further enhance their owner relations and benefits program.

Thursday, May 17
2:05 PM – 3:05 PM

“Presenting Programs and Solutions to Address Your Year-Round Employment Needs”

Moderated by Bill Anderson, VP Western Region, Wyndham Vacation Rentals – North America

Sam Harp, Director of Operations, Provident Hotels and Resorts
Mark Hodgdon, SVP/GM, Sandestin Golf & Beach Resort
Wendy Kallergis, President, Great Miami & Beaches Hotel Association
Jason Lafferty, Director, Dedman School of Hospitality, Florida State University   

One of the most challenging tasks of any property management company is to find and attract qualified front line personnel, especially during peak seasonal vacation periods. Our panel of industry experts will share specific programs and resources they employ that OPMA members can pursue to meet their year-round specific property employment needs.

Thursday, May 17
3:15 PM – 4:15 PM

“The OPMA Team Open Forum. Sharing Best Practices to Drive Direct Bookings”

Moderated by John Dalton, Chief Marketing Strategist, OPMA

Stuart Butler, COO, Fuel Travel
Robin Graf, VP Operations, Castle Hotels and Resorts
Amy Hinote, Founder, VRM Intel
Matt Raab, Director – E Commerce, Sterling Resorts

This session kicks off with a panel sharing the best practices they utilize to increase direct bookings. They will focus on the coordination between the departments, goals, scoreboards and the utilization of media information employed throughout the entire VR community. For the second part of the session, the microphones will be moving from person-to-person in the audience. Come prepared to contribute one direct booking practice utilized in your company as fellow OPMA members provide their best practices. This enables everyone to contribute his/her idea and in return, receive many new approaches to drive additional direct bookings as a team nationwide.

Friday, May 18
8:40 AM – 9:40 AM

“Introducing the OPMA Condo Hotel Academy…Your Resource Dedicated to Ongoing Higher Education and Industry Specific Training”

Jason Lafferty
Director, Dedman School of Hospitality
Florida State University

The OPMA Condo Hotel Academy, with a partnership from leading hospitality professors at the university level, aims to provide quality, industry specific educational training for Condo Hotel executives, mid-managers and supervisors, as well as front line employees and potential employees. Industry specific curricula will be created to maximize the understanding of theory, industry best practices, and task training, and then further complimented with post assessments which will determine the depth of understanding of subject matter. Once the course is completed, the individual will receive an OPMA certification which validates their efforts to the industry, employer, and owners. Certifications range in degree of rigor and title and are all renewable through the OPMA Condo Hotel Academy. OPMA looks to further this initiative to include specializations and certifications, from leading universities, for college credits, as non-degree or continuing education students in the future. This educational and industry specific training initiative further positions OPMA and its members and suppliers, as industry experts in the diverse field of the entire Vacation Rental Management sector.

About Jason Lafferty
Jason Lafferty has degrees in Culinary Arts and Foodservice Management from Johnson and Wales University, a master’s degree in Hospitality Management from the Chaplin School of Hospitality and Tourism at Florida International University and is currently completing his doctorate in Organizational Change and Leadership from the Rossier School of Education, at the University of Southern California. He has over 20 years of experience in foodservice, restaurants, hotels, and resorts, in both operations and food and beverage. He has worked at many award-winning establishments in South Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama, and Florida, including Kiawah Island Resort and Charleston Place Hotel, as well as with Food Network personalities and James Beard award-winning chefs. Previous to this position, he was Program Director for Hospitality Management and Culinary Arts programs at the Art Institute of Indianapolis, Culinard of Virginia College, and as a Clinical Instructor of Hospitality at the University of Mississippi. Research interests include: Advanced Leadership Training Through the Use of Learning Management Systems; Annual Events and Their Impact on Local Tourism, Lodging and Restaurants; and Sustainability in the Hospitality Industry.

Friday, May 18
9:45 AM – 10:45 AM

“Managing the Nationwide OPMA Reservation Sales Team”


John Dalton
Chief Marketing Strategist

It is time to create a nationwide reservations sales program. The program will result in OPMA reservations departments being effectively managed to increase direct sales. The objective is to create a team concept within each department resulting in a standardized nationwide team.

This presentation is a preview of the first training course of The OPMA Condo Hotel Academy. This in-depth presentation will focus on three team positions:

  1. Consultants – Will complete the OPMA Reservation Sales Training program and become OPMA Certified Sales Consultants.
  2. Reservations Management – Will be provided with sales evaluation tools and coaching techniques to provide positive feedback during the evaluations with consultants.
  3. Upper Management – Will be given an innovative incentive program based on the ROI of the reservations department.

Upon completion of this presentation you will be the first to have the tools to immediately implement the program with your reservation department.

About John Dalton
John Dalton has consulted and trained in almost every aspect of the travel industry. He served in the management ranks of TWA for 10 years. After three years at AAA headquarters in the travel division, he went on his own and became a trainer, consultant and negotiator for the entire tourism industry.

Over the years John has consulted to almost every major cruise line, tour operator, car rental firm, travel agency consortium and franchises in the industry. Loews, Marriott, Hyatt, Hilton and Choice are among the many franchise and independent hotel companies, including RCI, for whom John has provided consulting services. He has also developed many training programs for the companies.

John is a frequent speaker at travel industry conferences addressing both corporate and vacation travel. His ability to stay ahead of the trends has helped travel organizations to introduce innovative concepts and to offer differentiation, target marketing and provide value added concepts to better serve their clientele and to increase their profitability.