Speakers

Ariana Pernice

Ariana Pernice

Vice President | Hilton Head Island-Bluffton Chamber of Commerce, Visitor & Convention Bureau

Joy Raintree

Joy Raintree

South Carolina State Parks Regional Chief, Sandhills Region

A native of Virginia, Joy Raintree came to the SC Park Service in October 2002 with a Master’s Degree in Public History from N.C. State University. She began work as the Park Interpreter of Redcliffe Plantation State Historic Site and moved into the role of Park Manager at Redcliffe in November 2004. In May 2018, after 16 years of living on park, Joy moved into the Regional Chief role overseeing 14 parks in the Sandhills Region of the state. Joy has made a career of customer service and resource management and enjoys highlighting the unique cultural and natural resources in South Carolina State Parks!

Gwen Davenport

Gwen Davenport

SC State Park Service Sales & Marketing Manager

Gwen is the SC State Park Sales & Marketing Manager at SCPRT and oversees the advertising, social media, website and other promotions for all of South Carolina’s state parks. Collectively, state parks are one of the largest tourism attractions in the state, hosting millions of visitors each year from the Blue Ridge to the Atlantic. Gwen has served at SCPRT for 24 years in various capacities, and loves nothing more than promoting the special places and people that make up our state parks.

Jon Schmieder

Jon Schmieder

Founder and CEO of Huddle Up Group, LLC

Jon has over 25 years of direct experience in the sports tourism industry having held senior leadership roles with three different sports commissions; Phoenix, Tulsa, and Denver. Schmieder brings a wealth of experience in sports tourism and economic development having also served in lead staff positions for the Senior Olympic Games and Pop Warner Football and Cheerleading.

Kim Palmer

Kim Palmer

Destination Optimization Program Director for Miles Partnership

Kim leads the Destination Optimization team at Miles and has helped guide the development and industry awareness for this program since its launch in 2017. Her 25 years at Miles have included being the company’s Director of SEO, helping to establish the resort and hospitality division and launching some of the industry’s first destination websites in the late 90’s. Outside of the office, she shares her love of travel and exploration with her family, subjecting them to long hikes for the sake of epic views or hidden waterfalls.

Kelly Barbrey

Kelly Barbrey

VP of Marketing & Communications | Experience Columbia SC

Sarita Maybin

Sarita Maybin

International Speaker, TEDx speaker and Author

Sarita Maybin shows her audiences how to transform uncomfortable conversations into constructive communication. With real stories, real solutions and a relatable presence, Sarita breaks down barriers to reveal how to work together better. Sarita has made it her mission to inspire others to embrace positivity, even amid the challenges of our ever-changing high-tech times. In her 20+ years as an international speaker and communication expert, Sarita has spoken in all 50 states, 10 countries—including Iceland—and on the prestigious TEDx stage.

Stuart Butler

Stuart Butler

Chief Marketing Officer | Visit Myrtle Beach

Heather McGowan

Heather McGowan

Heather McGowan, Future-of-Work Strategist

Future-of-work strategist Heather E. McGowan helps leaders prepare their people and organizations for the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The Third Industrial Revolution was marked by computerization and automation of physical labor, laying the foundation for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which will be notable for the rapid advancement of technology tools into the domain of human knowledge work. In this world, humans must continuously learn and adapt, and with this transition comes information overload. Heather gives lucidity to this topic through her illuminating graphic frameworks and powerful metaphors, all backed by deep research. In 2017, LinkedIn ranked her as its number one global voice for education. Pulitzer Prize–winning NYT columnist Thomas Friedman frequently quotes Heather in his books and columns and describes her as “the oasis” when it comes to insights into the future of work. Heather’s sessions help employees and leaders alike prepare for and adapt to jobs that do not yet exist.

Devon Harris

Devon Harris

SC Welcome Center Program Manager

Devon oversees South Carolina’s nine state welcome center complexes, including staffing, facilities, grounds, custodial services, improvements and programming. As the first impression, or “front porch” of the Palmetto State, the welcome centers offer visitors a place to rest while nationally certified travel professionals provide literature and quality guest and concierge services. She manages three new facilities, six more that are over 40 years old and I supervise 70+ staff who personally assist 2.5 million+ guests annually. Every day brings a new challenge and the primary skill required in her position is the ability to problem solve, quickly. When not dealing with immediate needs, her passion for training, customer service, and process improvement, pairs with a solution-driven management style to result in efficient operations, expertly trained staff and a big dose of southern hospitality for every guest that walks through the door.

Catherine Dority

Catherine Dority

Director of Marketing | Explore Charleston