South Carolina State Parks Marketing Coordinator
Mikaela Groomes is the Marketing Coordinator for South Carolina State Parks. She spends her days inspiring the online community to "Come Out and Play!" Mikaela holds an Interdisciplinary Studies degree from Coastal Carolina University with a concentration in wildlife conservation. Before transitioning to marketing, she worked in the outdoor recreation and education.
Tourism Marketing Coordinator, Discover South Carolina
Bria Barton is the tourism marketing coordinator for Discover South Carolina. She previously worked as a travel and tourism reporter for Forum Communications in Bemidji, Minnesota. While there, the Minnesota Newspaper Association awarded her the Dave Pyle New Journalist Award, as well as awards for her sports feature writing, investigative reporting and column writing. She holds a degree from the University of South Carolina in journalism with a concentration in hotel, restaurant and tourism management.
Renowned Cybercrime and Fraud Prevention Expert, Bestselling Author and Subject of Catch Me If You Can
For more than 40 years Frank Abagnale has served as a globally recognized expert on the latest issues in fraud, identity theft, forgery and cyber security. After his early life portrayed in the hit movie Catch Me If You Can, Frank has worked relentlessly to protect individuals and organizations from scam artists and cyber criminals. He’s long worked with the FBI and has helped more than 14,000 financial institutions, corporations and other government agencies around the world implement fraud prevention. A best-selling author of five books, Frank shares guidance from his latest, Scam Me If You Can: Simple Strategies to Outsmart Today’s Ripoff Artists, showing audiences how to spot potential fraud and stop scam artists in their tracks.
Ink. (Hemispheres Magazine, Business Traveler)
Celia Almeida is the digital director for the U.S. publications at international travel media and technology company, Ink. She oversees digital content for United’s Hemispheres and the newly relaunched Business Traveler. Her work has been published in Billboard, Consequence, Paper, Rolling Stone, and more.
Digital Engagement Manager, Discover South Carolina
Devyn Whitmire is the Digital Engagement Manager for Discover South Carolina. She spends her days creating and sharing content to build an online community of travelers who aspire to discover her home state. Her favorite things include listening to audiobooks, trying new restaurants, and baking for her friends and family. Having grown up in the Upstate, vacationed each year on the coast, and currently residing in the midlands with her husband and children, Devyn is a true South Carolina local. But she’s a firm believer that there’s always something new to Discover in the Palmetto State, even for someone like herself.
Kerry Sanders has been NBC’s Miami-based correspondent since 1996, covering breaking news and feature stories. He contributes regularly to “NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt,” “Today” and MSNBC. And most recently - the NBC Nightly News Kids edition. From plane crashes, like ValuJet that went down into the Everglades to swimming with bull sharks during a live report, he's usually on-the-scene of a breaking news story. He led NBC News coverage of the Surfside condo collapse and was a key reporter for the high schooling in Parkland. Kerry is perhaps best known for the moments after Hurricane Irma where he came upon two beached dolphins. In live reports that went viral, Kerry rescued a baby dolphin and then 20 minutes later, he enlisted 8 bystanders to rescue yet another full-grown dolphin that was also beached. Sanders has more than 40 years of experience providing in-the-field reports during hurricanes. He has covered more than 100 named storms including Andrew & Hugo. Kerry was a member of the NBC Nightly News reporting team awarded a Peabody, an Emmy and the RTNDA Edward R Murrow Award for coverage of Hurricane Katrina. And again, lead our Edward R Murrow award winning coverage during the 2017 attack at the airport in Fort Lauderdale. In 2011, he received the Society of Professional Journalists Bronze Medal for his weeks of reporting on the 33 Chileans trapped deep in a copper mine. A clip of his report was included in the Hollywood Movie "The 33." Sanders was part of the NBC News team awarded a 2011 first place National Headliner Award went for his reporting from Haiti’s 2010 earthquake. He was also part of the Emmy winning NBC News team honored for its 2009 national election meltdown coverage. In 2000, Sanders won the Overseas Press Club Award for his coverage in Kosovo. During the Iraq war, Sanders embedded with the U.S. Marine Corps and reported on various battles, including the harsh 11-day conflict in Nasiriyah. In 1994, Sanders was recognized with the Columbia DuPont award for his reporting from Haiti as a military coup rocked the country. Sanders shared another Columbia DuPont award for his coverage of the widespread devastation of Hurricane Andrew in 1992. He also received the RTNDA Edward R. Murrow Award and the George Foster Peabody Award for coverage of Hurricane Andrew and the aftermath of the storm. Sanders graduated cum laude from the University of South Florida with a Liberal Arts degree.
Nan Marchand Beauvois
Senior Vice President, Membership and Industry Relations; General Manager, ESTO and Meetings Mean Business
Nan Marchand Beauvois is U.S. Travel Association’s senior vice president of membership and industry relations, overseeing the National Council of State Tourism Directors, the National Council of Attractions and Experiences, the Destinations Council and the Meetings Mean Business Coalition. She is also general manager for U.S. Travel’s Educational Seminar for Tourism Organizations (ESTO). Prior to joining U.S. Travel, Marchand Beauvois was the executive director of the Pasadena Convention & Visitors Bureau, where she worked to brand the city as a year-round business and leisure destination, beyond the Rose Parade and Rose Bowl, in the competitive Los Angeles market. She concurrently led an aggressive sales program for the city’s expanding convention center. Marchand Beauvois has lent her skills to industry associations and has served as a member of U.S. Travel’s IPW Planning Committee, the California Travel & Tourism Commission International Marketing Advisory Committee, the National Tour Associations Marketing Committee, the TTRA board and the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board Marketing Committee. She was also a long-term board member of CalTravel, where she served as chair in 2000-01, and was recently recognized as one of Successful Meetings’ 25 Most Influential People in the Meetings Industry Marchand Beauvois studied political science/international relations and romance languages at the University of California at Los Angeles.
Sports, Events & Tourism Association, Executive Director
Jennifer Stoll attended Colorado Mesa University (formerly Mesa State College) where she obtained an undergraduate degree in human performance and wellness with an emphasis in sport and fitness management. She served as an intern for the United States Air Force Academy following graduation before pursuing her master’s degree in sport administration from the University of Louisville. While at Louisville, Jennifer gained experience in collegiate athletics at the Division I, II and III levels. Upon graduation from Louisville, the PGA of America hired Jennifer for the 2008 Ryder Cup at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville. During the event, Jennifer was responsible for coordinating operational aspects of the event’s 3,600 volunteers, player and official transportation, 50 committee chairs in addition to a variety of tournament related items. Following the successful execution of the Ryder Cup, Jennifer moved to Colorado to conduct planning for the 2010 Senior PGA Championship. While in Colorado, Jennifer gained valuable nonprofit management experience with a large, Denver-based nonprofit, 9Health Fair. In 2013, after her tenure at 9Health Fair, Colorado Mesa University, her alma mater, hired Jennifer to start a sports commission in the Grand Junction area. The only known sports commission to evolve out of an institution of higher education, Jennifer has since grown the commission from concept to implementation consisting of establishing the Greater Grand Junction Sports Commission (GGJSC) from the ground up, in collaboration with the university and surrounding public agencies.
Happiness Expert, Venture Capitalist & Successful Tech Entrepreneur, Founder of Happier
A successful entrepreneur and venture capitalist, Nataly found that after reaching the highest levels of corporate America, she still wasn’t happy. Chasing achievement left her proud but unfulfilled, so she became inspired to figure out how to live a fuller, happier life. In the process, she found the answers each person and organization needs to unlock their maximum potential, making them more productive and innovative.
Freelance Travel Writer, Thrillist, Matador Network, The Daily Meal, Mashed, Fifty Grande
Matt Meltzer is a freelance writer, former Miami Editor, and a travel staffer for Thrillist and Matador Network. He holds a Masters in Journalism from UF and a Bachelors in Business Administration from University of Miami. He's a past contributor to Cosmopolitan magazine, and currently teaches Writing for the Digital Age at the University of Miami. He's also won a Lowell Thomas award and TJA Gold award. Prior to all this, he ran the dorms for the Miami City Ballet School, served six years in the United States Marine Corps, and was a judge in the Miss Florida America system. He currently lives in Miami in an apartment he never sees.