Scroll Down to Enter into the World of Boutique & Lifestyle

AGENDA – BLLA Leadership Symposium

Please scroll down to view the Wednesday, October 26th UCLA Education Day

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Noon – 5:00 pm BLLA Front Desk Opens & Exhibitor Set-Up

6:00 – 8:30 pm BLLA Board of Directors Dinner at the Luskin Center’s Plateia Restaurant 

Monday, October 24, 2016

7:00 am – 5:00 pm BLLA Front Desk is at Your Service 

8:00 – 10:00 am Feasting Breakfast & Boutique Speed Dating 

10:00 – 10:15 am Welcome by BLLA – Frances Kiradjian, Founder & CEO

10:15 – 10:30 am Welcome by UCLA Extension – Van Anderson, Director, Corporate Education & Custom Programs

10:30 – 10:45 am CBRE/BLLA Financial Report
Boutique definitions were first defined by BLLA through research conducted with 3 global universities and produced via a white paper in 2010. BLLA aligned with CBRE to create an official report which breaks down the various types of hotels as well as how brands and independents are categorized. Special reports will be produced annually and offer trends and benchmarking statistics. Bruce will present an overview of these new programs specifically designed for the boutique lifestyle sector in coordination with BLLA, the only official association to this niche hospitality segment.
Presenter: Bruce Baltin, Partner, CBRE Hotels

10:45 – 11:15 am Hotel Brand Innovation
New boutique brands never cease to amaze us! Take, for instance, Light Human Hotels, a revolutionary group that is all about the experience. “Everything here is designed to generate human interaction, and provide meaningful experiences and entertainment. Our aim is to go far beyond the traditional vision of hotels and develop sustainable ‘places to live’ for the 21st century” The world has definitely realized how influential boutique hotels are-Light Human Hotels definitely has a thing or two to teach the boutique community about what’s coming next!
by Stephanie Ricca, Editor-in-Chief, HotelNewsNow
Light Human Hotels
Jean Pierre Bandeira, CEO
Julien Veyron, President & Co-Founder

11:15 am – Noon Modern Day Wellness
Mind, Body, Spirit and the hospitality connection. As current and new boutique, lifestyle and luxury hotel brands are transitioning their properties towards a more experiential stay to help foster creativity and innovation while stimulating inspiration, they are transforming spaces that nourish the 3 cognitive centers of the whole being – namely, the mind, the body and the spirit. Real life stories and case studies of successful programs will be shared along with lessons learned and expertise needed revealed. How do you market these programs and is there a specific demographic you are targeting? Where and how do you find financing to renovate or build new with this specific purpose in mind? What on-property programs work best and why.
Moderator: Lynn Curry, President & Co-Owner, Resources for Leisure Assets LLC
Alex Glasscock, Founder & CEO, The Ranch (Malibu, 4.0, Sonoma and The Ranch Daily)
Kim Kessler, Director, Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills
Kathleen Shea, CMO, Canyon Ranch
Josh Wyatt, President, Equinox Hotels

Noon – 12:30 pm Interview by Jonathan Falik, CEO, JF Capital Advisors
Robert J. Lowe, Jr.
, Co-CEO of Lowe Enterprises and Chief Executive Officer of Lowe Hospitality Group, the hotel and resort management and development division of Lowe Enterprises. Rob oversees operations of Destination Hotels, Lowe’s hospitality operations company. With 45 independent luxury and upscale hotels and resorts and over 11,000 rooms under management, Destination is one of the largest independent hospitality management companies in the country and the largest manager of independent hotels.

12:30 – 1:15 pm Feasting Lunch & Meet Fellow Boutique Believers
Need a new head-shot?  Complimentary sittings provided by JTANL.  You must register at the Registration desk.

1:15 – 2:00 pm Book Direct – Brands vs. Boutiques:  Building and Retaining Loyal Relationships  
Without having the benefits of large, global loyalty programs, independent boutique hotels have to find new ways to build loyal relationships with their guest audiences. At the same time consumer behavior is shifting in the way the book online – with less and less brand or channel loyalty. What are the proven strategies in the industry to build a loyal customer base? What are the industry leaders doing different? What technologies work and what’s a fad?
Moderator: Adam Wallace, Founder and CEO, Spherical Communications
Benjamin Habbel, Founder, Voyat
Cory Ingram, COO/Principal, Identity Atelier
Jim McPartlin, Executive Trainer, Forbes Travel Guide

2:00 – 2:45 pm Eco & Sustainable Hospitality
Sustainability, by the year 2016, is not a trend, it’s a necessity. We no longer think of caring for the environment or caring for the world as some stereotypical activist – – it’s become a way a life, it’s become a norm. Now that we know this, what next? How do we take sustainability to the next level?
Moderator: Guido Bauer, CEO, Green Globe
David Hertz, Founder & President, David Hertz FAIA
Coni Thornburg, GM, Calistoga Ranch, an Auberge property
Marci Zaroff, Founder, Under the Canopy

2:45 – 3:15 pm Up & Coming Small Boutique Brands
Boutique is obviously here to stay. So, what can we think of next? Meet a panel of small boutique brands that are changing the boutique landscape. What is it that attracts the world to boutique hotels? Well, we know. It’s the uniqueness, it’s the attention to details, it’s the experience. Listen to the future of Boutique.
Moderator: Jamie Sigler, Partner, J Public Relations
Robert Blood, Founder & CEO, Lark Hotels
Craig Greenberg, President, 21C Museum Hotels
Circe Sher, Partner, Piazza Hospitality

3:15 -3:45 pm Mini-Feast
Complimentary head-shots provided by JTANL.  You must register at the Registration desk.

3:45 – 4:30 pm Boutique Nightlife
An important part of being a true boutique hotel includes observing the location of your property and creating the appropriate ambiances. In Los Angeles, for example, where to be seen includes nightlife. For all boutique hotels, no matter what age group they attract, they should always have some sort of nightlife built into their foundation (everyone at any age loves to have fun!) Dream hotels is taking their brand to the West Coast and high expectations are on them because of their success from PHD and the Electric Room in their Downtown Manhattan property. EDITION sparked up London, with Punch Room and New York with Gold Bar, what will they think of for LA? Then we meet Med, who has taken LA by storm with The Spare Room, Winsome, Genghis Cohen and knows the nightlife scene in LA very well. And then there’s David, who is the reason for Death & Co, the very trendy, cool bar in NYC. He’s come to the West to open Normandie Club. Come meet the minds behind successful nightlife projects.
Moderator:  Greg Bradshaw, Principal, Avroko
Med Abrous, Co-Owner, The Spare Room at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel
David Kaplan, Founder & Co-Owner, Proprietors LLC
Michael Lindenbaum, EVP of Ops & Development, Dream Hotel Group
Laura Modica, Director – Nightlife, EDITION Hotels

4:30 – 5:00 pm Why Experience Design Makes ‘Sense’ for Boutique Hotels
The concept of multi-sensory design is nothing new, but the idea of applying this approach to your hotel’s brand message, allows an opportunity to communicate with guests at every moment [and touch point] of their journey. Our five senses—Smell, Sight, Touch, Hearing and Taste, when effectively orchestrated into one thread, become a powerful tool to convey brand value while offering enhanced guest experience before, during and long after checking out.
Moderator: Paula Oblen, CEO, Hotelements
Smell: Neil Harris, CEO, Harris Fragrances
Taste: David Kaplan, Founder & Co-Owner, Proprietors LLC
Touch: Heather Rebuelta, Founder & COO, Slumbr
Sound: Andrew Wintner, Creative Director, Musicstyling
Sight: Brian Hoskins, CEO, Ario Living

Boutique Celebration Party: Part 1 Sponsored by Rottet Studio
We will bus everyone over to the renowned United Talent Agency (UTA) building in Beverly Hills – Designed and Sponsored by Rottet Studio Architecture & Design for cocktails & light supper along with a private movie short. Come meet like-minded thinkers and step inside one of the few places in Beverly Hills where the entertainment elite meet.
United Talent Agency is a premier global talent and literary agency representing many of the world’s most acclaimed figures in every current and emerging area of entertainment and media, including motion pictures, television, music, digital, broadcast news, theatre, video games, books, fine art and live entertainment. A reception and short film will be featured in their state-of-the-art Rottet Studio designed screening room which is widely regarded as ‘the best screening room that exists,’ according to the Los Angeles Times.

5:45 pm First bus departs for the UTA
6:30 – 9:00 pm Networking Reception & Movie Short
8:30 pm First bus departs back to the Luskin Conference Center 

Tuesday, October 25th


7:30 am – 5:00 pm BLLA Front Desk is at Your Service

7:30 – 8:30 am Feasting Breakfast & Boutique Speed Networking
Complimentary head-shots provided by JTANL.  You must register at the Registration desk.

8:30 – 9:15 am 
Larry Broughton, CEO of broughtonHOTELS
Larry is an award-winning entrepreneur & CEO, best-selling author, keynote speaker and mentor. After growing up in a small mill town in rural western New York, he spent eight years traveling the world with the US Army’s elite Special Forces, commonly known as the Green Berets, where he attained the rank of Staff Sergeant. Larry is Founder/CEO of broughtonHOTELS, a leader in the boutique hotel industry; and Co-Founder/CEO of BROUGHTONadvisory, a strategic vision, elite team building, and transformational leadership organization with clients ranging from entrepreneurial start-ups to Turner Broadcasting and The Pentagon.

9:15 – 9:45 am Interview
Jessica Blotter, CEO, Kind Traveler Interviews Raul Leal, CEO, Virgin Hotel Group
Jessica will discuss with Raul how Virgin Hotels is focused on a shared mindset & psycho-graphic vs. a specific age group in winning global citizens through conscious hospitality based on five driving principles. With the announcement of its new Silicon Valley property as well as Palm Springs, there is a lot of buzz going on over at Virgin Hotels right now. How does Virgin Hotel’s commitment to local community impact as staying true to the Virgin way of doing business, a staple in today’s Conscious Hospitality organization?

9:45 – 10:30 am Los Angeles and the Hotel Boom of 2016-2018
Brief Introduction by Grant W. King, Managing Partner, Hollywood International Regional Center
(HIRC finances, develops, and manages properties. Current Hollywood development projects (including Dream, Thompson & Tommie) have a vast need to raise capital amounting to billions of dollars. Alternative sources of capital are essential in reawakening construction. Hear the latest from the group responsible for a big chunk of the Los Angeles Hotel Boom, as an introduction to the following panel below.)
Los Angeles is awash with the excitement of so many boutique & lifestyle brands opening this year & next. It has been a long time coming & the best brands are attracted to what L.A. has to offer. They are coming with their cool sophistication, their ultra-fancy tidbits and their food & beverage social hubs. What is it about the city that attracts developers in our particular niche of the industry? Why are they all coming at this particular time? Is this an indication that the cycle is peaking? What new & exciting elements can we expect to see? Join us as some of the leading boutique & lifestyle brand executives talk about their individual plans for their new Los Angeles properties.
Moderator: Guy Maisnik, Partner & Vice Chairman, JMBM Global Hospitality Group®
Brooke Barrett, CEO, Denihan Hospitality
Trevor Horwell, CEO, Nobu Hospitality
Jay Stein, CEO, Dream Hotel Group
Todd Wynne-Parry, EVP, Two Roads Hospitality

10:30 – 11:15 am Today’s Top Chefs – Driving the Culinary Trends of Tomorrow
Food is the way to the heart and this feeling is very important for Boutique & Lifestyle hotels. As it becomes more and more popular to show off your daily dish on social media, the look of the food has become just as important as the taste. Today’s world consists of sushi burritos, alcoholic popsicles, vegan treats and rainbow bagels and the continued growth for successful food & beverage programs in boutique hotels depends on how relevant they can stay. Listen to “foodie-geniuses” and be inspired!
Moderator: Lynn Saathoff, Executive Chef, Special Projects
Chef Larry Monaco, Cast at Viceroy, Santa Monica
Chef Michael Paley, New Waterloo Hospitality Austin, Texas
Chef Oliver Quignon, Avec Nous at Viceroy L’Ermitage Beverly Hills
Craig Susser, Owner, Craig’s Los Angeles

11:15 am – Noon – On Trend, Social Media
The number one way to stay relevant in today’s world, is to stay relevant on social media. Where to be seen, is one of the key aspects of a successful and relevant boutique hotel. Investing in the right social media employees can make or break a boutique hotel these days. Photos don’t necessarily have to be professional taken as most are taken with the iPhone. Gathering other images and intel from other bloggers, industries and such can be a good idea. Join BLLA in the discussion about which boutiques have done this right, how they were able to gain so many followers and how this translates to ROI. We should have the panel on how boutique hotels and WHY boutique hotels are better on social media.
Moderator:  Stacy Small, CEO, Elite Travel International
Fiona Boyce, Director of Social Media + Brand Content, Two Roads Hospitality
Tricia Rosentreter, Director of Communications, Peninsula Hotels
Kristina Simmons, Head of Commercial Marketing & Business Development, Juicero
Jacqueline Smyth, Sisterhood of the Traveling Mats

Noon – 1:30 pm Feasting Lunch & Meet Fellow Boutique Believers
Complimentary head-shots provided by JTANL.  You must register at the Registration desk.

1:30 – 2:15 pm Creative Boutique Brands
BLLA introduces a new category of boutique, creative boutique. Luxury is not always a key aspect as design, food & beverage, art, location, customer service and the story behind the hotel takes a greater role. Hostels have been reborn as the new, hip hotels. For example, Mama Shelter became an instant sensation when they landed in the U.S. with their Mama Coffee, Mama Skin and Mama Stay…they know how to brand themselves. Then there’s Sydell Group who created the trendy NoMad Hotel in Manhattan where travelers and locals both know that’s the place to be any day or night of the week. And then we have Proper Hotels, who knows how to embody the location into their hotels and even have their own app, Proper App.  Join these leaders in discussing the details of developing, investing and managing these new age boutique hotels.
Moderator:  Vikram Sood, Managing Director, NuPala Hospitality Management & Development
Brian DeLowe, Principal, The Kor Group/Proper Hotels
Ryan C. Totaro, CEO, NYLO Hotels | Luxury Loft Boutique Hotels
Benjamin Trigano, Co-Founder, Mama Shelter

2:15 – 3:15 pm Hospitality Technology –  Opportunities for Boutique Hotels
This panel discussion is tailored towards strategic planning for Hotel Technology in today’s luxury boutique hotel properties with a focus on Customer-facing technology solutions such as keyless guestroom entry, guest experience apps, high speed internet, in-room entertainment, data security and other technologies worthy of consideration. This discussion offers a unique opportunity to gain valuable insights into the challenges and opportunities facing hotel executives today. Hear from top boutique brand IT executives and a counter-point discussion with some of the leading tech companies providing products and services to the industry.
Moderator: Jeremy Rock, Founder & President, RockIT Group
Nizar Allibhoy, CEO, KEYPR
Gustaf Burman, SVP, Information Technology, Montage Hotels & Resorts
Kristie Goshow, SVP, Commercial, Viceroy
T.J. Person, CEO, OpenKey

3:15 – 3:30 pm Association Update – Hear from members of the Boutique & Lifestyle Lodging Association.
Moderator: Rika Lisslo, Vice President – Development & Acquisitions, Dream Hotel Group
Marjorie Feltus Hawkins, Owner & Principal, FH Design
John Keeling, EVP, Valencia Hotel Group
Patrick Mullinix, President, Signature Inn

3:30 – 4:00 pm Capital Markets Snapshot
BLLA Board member and industry leader, Jonathan Falik, will provide a current assessment of the state of the capital markets for boutique and lifestyle hotels. He will provide an update on the type and structure of equity available for investment in and development of boutique and lifestyle hotels. This will be followed by an analysis of debt financing and key terms including construction financing, bank lending, the CMBS market, and specialty finance. He will also provide an assessment of the acquisition landscape – who is buying, who is selling, what are their required returns and financial parameters.

4:00 – 5:00 pm Boutique Minded Restaurants
Sure, these restaurants aren’t in boutique hotels, but they have the same mantras as does our niche of this industry. They put an enormous amount of detail into the design,art, social media, taste of the food, look of the food, drinks, ambiance, location and such (doesn’t this sound very similar as to what boutique hotels do?). These restaurants attract the same type of people and they are built by like-minded people. Come listen to these inspiring restaurateurs and notice the similarities since really, boutique is boutique.
Moderator: Jody Pennette, Principal, cb5 Hospitality Consulting Group
Neal Fraser, Chef/Partner, Vibiana
Cary Moiser, COO, Café Gratitude
Caroline Styne, President, Lucques
Heather Tierney, Founder, Butchers Daughter

6:00 pm
Buses Depart for The Beverly Hills Hotel
9641 Sunset Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90210 / Phone: (310) 276-2251

Boutique & Lifestyle Hospitality Awards Gala Dinner – Black Tie Optional
The Beverly Hills Hotel – Rodeo Ballroom

6:30 – 8:00 pm Cocktail Reception
8:00 – 10:30 pm Gourmet dinner, entertainment & awards to celebrate the Boutique Family!

Wednesday, October 26th


8:00 – 9:00 am Feasting Breakfast & Meet Fellow Boutique Believers
Complimentary head-shots provided by JTANL.  You must register at the Registration desk.

Consecutive Workshops – You can attend them all (Note: the UCLA Extension Education Day is held separately; separate registration required)

9:00 – 10:00 am
Build A Brilliant Brand with Mark Natale, Principal and Founder, Smarthinking Inc.

What’s in a brand, really? Short Answer…EVERYTHING! With competition tightening and an increased cultural demand for more memorable and meaningful experiences, 2017 is the year to focus on the development of your brand. Whether recasting your identity to better attract your target market, developing a new collateral program or adding a brave new outlet at your property, the development of your brand is both an exciting and challenging endeavor.

But before you jump right into designing and creating, this workshop will explore the best first steps when creating or reimagining your brand. By following a thought-based methodology, businesses must carefully evaluate what the current brand is (or is not) and look at what it’s doing for your business. This thoughtful approach is an efficient use of time and money and has staying power!  Join Us. Your story starts here… 

10:00 – 11:00 am
PR, Social Technologies and Story-telling for the Future with Serena Ehrlich, Director Of Social & Evolving Technologies, Business Wire

And once you’ve worked on your story, TELL THE WORLD! Partake in an interactive workshop session outlining the industry changes that have paved the way for the future to be all about news content.

Media channels, social media, algorithms, search and human behavior have all changed significantly and continue to do so at a rapid pace – directly impacting the consumer research and purchase process. As communication professionals in the Travel industry, we must embrace and adapt to these changes to advance both our news and brand marketing programs and our careers. In this tactic-heavy discussion, you will learn everything you need to do to make sure you are leveraging all the tools on hand to be more successful (and more impactful) for you and your company.

Join us for this fun, engaging presentation to learn fresh ways to harness these trends and increase the success of your communications program.

11:00 am – Noon
Protecting Your Brand and Balance Sheet in the Face of Terrorism with Jim Gaubert, Senior Vice President, Property Specialist – Entertainment and Hospitality Practice
 and Kate Templin, Vice President Entertainment & Hospitality Practice | JLT Specialty USA
New York, Boston, Orlando, Paris, Brussels – these cities have many things in common including bustling centers of commerce and tourism.  Tragically, they also have a shared experience of being afflicted by terrorist activity.  The hospitality industry has long been a target in terrorist campaigns and susceptible to direct attacks BUT they are arguably even more vulnerable in the wake of an attack. Safety and security concerns lead travelers to avoid certain areas or simply stay at home.  How your hotel prepares for and reacts to a terrorist event will have a notable impact on how your customers perceive you.  How your hotel implements financial safeguards will have a notable impact to your bottom line. We will explore the direct and indirect effects that a terrorist event can have to your property.  This is not intended to be entirely doom and gloom!  We will also explore the steps that can be taken to protect your guests, protect your balance sheet and limit the financial repercussions of an event.

Noon – 1:00 pm Feasting Lunch To-Go & Networking in the Hotel Front Patio

8:00 am – 5:00 pm Wednesday, October 26th – UCLA EXTENSION Education Day – Optional registration – Breakfast and Lunch provided
Level One – Laureate Room

SPECIAL UCLA EXTENSION EDUCATION DAY – Turning an Asset into a 4 or 5 Star Luxury Boutique Hotel
Industry innovation and customer-driven trends in unique experiences have given rise to the flexibility of creating a variety of new boutique hotel concepts. Today’s sessions will focus on the key considerations in creating a new boutique hotel or revamping an existing property to attract this growing market segment. Four modules will be discussed in an interactive format by faculty and other industry experts. Strategies for acquisitions, raising capital, concept, design, branding, re-positioning, as well as food and beverage will be covered.

Note:  This is an optional registration fee of $500 which is offered during your registration to the BLLA Leadership Symposium. Call 818-883-4363 for assistance. The Workshops offered above on Wednesday morning will be recorded so that Symposium registrants will be able to view the Workshops later.

The day’s curriculum is based on research findings that content should be linked to real life experiences in which knowledge and application are used. CEU credits are available for those participating.

It is expected that registrants to this special day will gain a deeper understanding of the skill-set required to develop, own and manage an upscale, luxury boutique hotel.

The curriculum content includes the following topics which will be taught by specialists and UCLA faculty:

8:15 – 10:00 am – Finance
Presented by: Paul Habibi, Lecturer of Finance and Real Estate at UCLA Anderson Graduate School of Management and Lecturer in Law at UCLA School of Law
The objective of this module is to empower participants with the financial skills necessary to analyze hospitality investments and make capital allocation decisions.  Topics covered include market analysis, due diligence, cash flow analysis, underwriting, valuation and capital/deal structuring. We will combine these tools to perform a sample feasibility analysis, which assesses the risk-adjusted returns of a potential project. We will also discuss the use of financial metrics and ratios used in the hospitality industry, as well as the risks and rewards associated with various types of hotel investments.

10:00 am – Noon – Branding & Re-positioning
Presented by: Margot Black/Principle, Black Ink PR
Become relevant and desired to your consumer base – past, present and future. Creating, sustaining and pivoting your brand when necessary is integral to the success of your hotel and prosperity. Outstanding, powerful branding enables properties to establish a unique and differentiated identity with their audience long before it’s time to buy. Learn how to create, execute and sustain effective and memorable branding (and pivot when needed) that impacts your hotels awareness, loyalty, culture and bottom line all while delighting your customer.

Noon – 1:00 pm – Lunch

1:00 – 3:00 pm – Concept & Design
Presented by: Jacqueline Mcgee, Perkins + Will
Today’s informed traveler is choosing to stay in hotels that offer a unique experience, which is why hotels must now offer differentiators above and beyond the needs of the guest through the overall design as well as the services they provide. To attract guests, hotels must create strong visual identities such as restaurants, bars, and rooftop bars to food and entertainment that draw non-guests to the Hotel. These are reinforced by amenities such as gyms, pool, spa, and rooms to create the perfect sleep experience, which embrace modern technology and sustainability.

3:00 – 5:00 pm – Food & Beverage
Presented by: Dan D’Agostino, Principal, Social Group
Create a winning Food & Beverage program that exceeds your vision.  Whether your goal is to attract an elite clientele or create an amenity for hotel guests, throughout this session you will gain some insight and explore various ways to enhance your F&B program. We’ll review a case study of a boutique hotel that re-purposed one of their underutilized penthouse apartment’s into one of the hottest rooftop lounges in New York City. Their inventive approach increased their hotel occupancy, average room rates, and length of stay.  Their strategic decision had a positive impact on their revenue – directly and indirectly affecting profit margin and the bottom line.

This entire Program is designed for those with demanding schedules and offers the first of planned future continuing education programs with affordable learning.

About BLLA Education
In 2016 an alliance was created with UCLA Extension to develop an executive management development platform that is designed to assist hotel owners and developers who are looking to turn an asset into an upscale or luxury boutique property or for those looking to convert a property from a brand to an independent property. The planned curriculum for the first education day, in conjunction with BLLA’s Leadership Symposium, is based on research findings and linked to real life experiences in which knowledge and application are used. In the future, both an Executive Program as well as programs for hotel staff in all departments, who need a more formalized education, are planned to be designed for those with demanding schedules and the anticipated goals will be to offer flexibility, a continuing boutique hospitality education platform and affordability.

Click Here to Register

Click back to the Symposium overview