Send Me on Vacation, Inc.
Las Vegas, Nevada (USA)
Mrs. Backus is the founder and President of Send Me On Vacation, Inc., a 501(c)(3) charity that sends breast cancer survivors from multiple countries on healing vacations to restore their body, mind and spirit. Her career in the travel and tourism industry started in 1976 after she completed her Bachelor of Science degree from Illinois State University. Her past positions include, Director of U.S. Sales Club Med, Director of Sales Travel Guard, Director of Sales CSA Travel Protection, Vice President of International Cruise Exchange and Vice President of VacationGuard, Inc. In addition, she has served as Co-President of Women in the Industry. Mrs. Backus was recognized as Philanthropist of the Year in 2018 by Perspectives Magazine and was recently recognized as one of the top 100 women in Las Vegas. Mrs. Backus currently resides in multiple cities in the U.S. and travels extensively throughout the world.
Founder and CEO
Austin, Texas (USA)
Today's strategic risks and threats facing our water supply involve multiple factors and a complex system of stakeholders. Jonathan will provide frameworks and examples which better prepare the security & tourism industries for the events that have the highest negative impact. He'll also discuss modern solutions which mitigate, manage, and recover from significant water-related events.
Jonathan Ballesteros is the founder and CEO of Geyser Technologies. He is the inventor of numerous advanced water technologies that prepare today's defense, security, and tourism industries. Jonathan designed devices and trained physicians in neurovascular intervention and arthroscopic procedures. He is a certified yacht master and organized multiple sailing expeditions through remote regions. Jonathan has a master's in business administration from the University of Texas and degrees in industrial engineering, aerospace engineering, and mathematics from Texas A&M University.
Royee Beary, Col.
Chief Executive Officer
More Than Security, Ltd.
Lessons learned from the second Lebanon war in 2006, was a game changer with regard to Israel's home front and it's abilities to cope with emergency situations. Since that war, Israel's Defense Force (IDF) and Home Front Command (HFC) units have made significant improvements in the preparation and management of emergency events. Using the case study of operation: "Protective Edge" took place in the summer of 2014,Col. (Res.) Beary will discuss the different phases of disaster management based on those lessons learned during the 2006 Lebanon War.Col. RET. Beary is a leading authority in border protection and emergency management. He served more than 28 years in the IDF in command positions. He established and commanded the Arava Brigade and the Eilat Brigade, while formulating operational concepts in the defense of borders and facilities.In his last position, he commanded the Southern Command of the Home Front Command during executing Tzuk Eitan, and led the deployment and functioning of the civilian area (local authorities, government ministries, national strategic infrastructures), routine and emergency.
Gloria I. Chavez
Chief Patrol Agent
El Centro Sector
Imperial, California (USA)
Chief Chavez will highlight how the United States Border Patrol fits into the larger Customs and Border Protection and Department of Homeland Security missions. This will be demonstrated by providing a brief history of the United States Border Patrol and how we have adapted to changing trends and challenges throughout inception. Chief Chavez will then show how the United States Border Patrol work toward border security through the integration of technology and manpower to tackle today’s challenges and threats.
Chief Chavez became the Chief Patrol Agent of El Centro Sector on April 1, 2018. She is a member of the Senior Executive Service and has a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice Administration, magna cum laude, from Columbia Southern University. Chief Chavez holds a Master of Arts degree in Security Studies from the Naval Postgraduate School. She is a graduate of the Senior Executive Fellows Program at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
Chief Chavez began her career with U.S. Border Patrol on May 14, 1995. Her first duty assignment as a Border Patrol agent was at the Imperial Beach Station in the San Diego Sector. In 2002, she promoted to Supervisory Border Patrol Agent at the Imperial Beach Station. In 2005, she promoted to Assistant Chief at U.S. Border Patrol Headquarters in Washington, D.C., assigned to the Office of Strategic Policy, Planning and Analysis and the Special Operations Division-Foreign Operations Branch.
In 2007, Chief Chavez returned to the field as an Assistant Chief Patrol Agent in the San Diego Sector, where she had oversight of administrative programs and station operations. She later transferred as the Patrol Agent in Charge of the Chula Vista Station in San Diego Sector. In 2010, she promoted to Chief Patrol Agent of Spokane Sector on the U.S/Canada border. In 2015, she promoted to the Senior Executive Service as of Deputy Chief for Operations under the Law Enforcement Operations Directorate at U.S. Border Patrol Headquarters in Washington D.C.
Throughout her 22-year U.S. Border Patrol career, Chief Chavez has participated in numerous temporary enforcement and administrative assignments in the field and headquarters environment. In 2016 and 2017, she served as the CBP Commander for the CBP Migration Crisis Team where she monitored and addressed the day-to-day operational requirements and challenges for the CBP enterprise. In recognition of her efforts, she was presented with the 2017 DHS Secretary - Silver Medal Award.
Founder and CEO
Banyan Risk Group
Charleston, South Carolina
David Dezso is the founder and CEO of Banyan Risk Group. He founded Banyan in order to empower our clients to make better decisions at the crucial intersection of business opportunity and risk.
Prior to forming Banyan, David spent three years as an executive in the oil and gas industry, holding roles as both Director of Operations and Sales for a publicly traded company. Here David encountered how the business decision making process could be paralyzed by a lack of critical information at key moments.
David also served 10 years in U.S. Army Special Operations community as a Green Beret and Intelligence Officer focused on counter terrorism. His operational experiences have taken him around the world to include: Latin America, Europe, North and East Africa, the Middle East, Asia and the Caucuses.
David is a devout continuous learner having earned an MBA from Rice University, JD from South Texas College of Law and a BS from The Citadel as well certificates from Harvard Law School and the Buckley School.
This diverse collection of experiences motivates David to lead Banyan to be the
premier global risk firm in the U.S.
Founder and CEO
People Formula, LLC
Washington, D.C. (USA)
Robin's presentation will focus on the art of inter-agency cooperation and dialogue by focusing on the specific language needed to align goals and priorities and inspire trust.
Robin is a 1992 graduate from the United States Naval Academy and former Marine Corps Officer. Entering service as a Special Agent with the FBI in 1997, Robin worked counterintelligence throughout his career, serving in New York City, Norfolk Virginia, Richmond Virginia, FBI Headquarters and Quantico Virginia, where he both taught counterintelligence interviewing, recruitment techniques and operations as well as taking over as chief of the CI Behavioral Analysis Program. Robin began writing and publishing about his unique style of developing rapport and trust and has published numerous articles and books on the subject. His most recent book, "The Code of Trust: An American Counterintelligence Experts Five Rules to Lead and Succeed" outlines the very specific actions needed to inspire trust and cooperation in all situations.
Stein Mitchell Beato &
Washington D.C. (USA)
Terror attacks have struck many popular tourist destinations over the last decade. Studies demonstrate that fear of terrorist attacks causes travelers to stay home. Terrorists rely on major financial institutions to facilitate funding for their activities. We will explore how billions of dollars moves though legitimate organizations into the hands of terrorists and state sponsors of terror and what can be done to prevent it.
Rory Kelly is the Chief Investigator at Stein Mitchell Beato & Missner LLP. Stein Mitchell is a top tier commercial litigation firm based in Washington, D.C. with a 50-year history of high-profile investigations including Watergate, Iran Contra, WorldCom, Monica Lewinsky, Hurricane Katrina, and the terrorist bombing of the La Belle discotheque in Berlin, Germany. Mr. Kelly’s investigations focus on pharmaceutical and financial fraud. His investigations have led to the recovery of more than $650,000,000 in civil and criminal fines and asset forfeitures.
Rory began his career as an investigator at the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia, (“PDS”), where he performed defense investigations in felony cases. Stein Mitchell recruited Rory in 2007 to join the Firm’s growing practice focus.
For the past twelve years, Rory has conducted large-scale, global investigations in
conjunction with numerous Federal and State regulatory and enforcement agencies, including the Department of Justice, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Food and Drug Administration, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Internal Revenue Service, the Federal Energy and Regulatory Commission, and a multitude of State Attorneys General Offices. These investigations have included pharmaceutical fraud, financial fraud, and terrorism funding networks. In his role as Chief Investigator at Stein Mitchell, Rory has been on the forefront of identifying the actors and methods used to move billions of dollars to state sponsors of terrorism and terrorist organizations.
CEO and Founder
Knowledge & Intelligence
Program Professionals (KIPP)
Long Beach, California, USA
From a tourism security perspective, it is a challenge to effectively compare, assess and prioritize resources for risks we face, whether it is dealing with terrorism, crime, natural disasters or man-made hazards. More difficult is weighing the risk of crime and terrorism, but then to do so with floods, earthquakes or major industrial accidents. However, there is a way to effectively embrace these elements to accomplish this vital mission and do so in organizations that may have a wide variety of expertise, opinions and levels of concern.
This is a dynamic three (3) hour seminar workshop that examines various risk criteria tied to threats and hazards, then leverages a time-proven process of collaborative assessment using a “subjective objective” approach to identify and rank them.
Former United States President Eisenhower once said, “In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.”
In this workshop, you may discover that the process of getting to the assessment is as much or more valuable than the final assessment itself. Whether this is a component of a larger strategic planning process or to more operationally focus security, safety and emergency preparedness efforts and resources, this methodology has been used by a wide variety of public and private sector organizations around the world going back decades. It is a benchmark methodology to effectively and efficiently conduct a comparative risk assessment process - easy to learn, easy to apply and always worth far more than the time involved.
Hal Kempfer is the CEO and Founder of KIPP, Knowledge and Intelligence Program Professionals Inc. in Long Beach, California. Hal is a senior instructor and course developer for a variety of other courses, workshops, seminars and Homeland Security exercises going back over 15 years.
Widely held as a seasoned instructor in areas of homeland security, terrorism and intelligence, Hal and his firm have supported such notable organizations as the Naval Postgraduate School, U.S. Pacific Command’s Joint Task Force Homeland Defense, the National Guard’s National Inter-agency Civil-Military Institute or Joint Inter-agency Training Center – West. He has been involved in terrorism issues in the military and civilian sectors for almost a quarter century.
A military veteran of Operation’s Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom, Cuba-Haiti Crisis of ’94, Desert Shield/Storm, the Cold War and the “War on Drugs,” he is a retired Marine Reserve Lt. Colonel with multiple tours involving multi-jurisdictional and inter-agency intelligence operations and support, particularly tied to threats posed by transnational networked organizations like modern terrorists.
A former Director of Intelligence (G/J-2) for the 1st Marine Expeditionary Brigade and CENTCOM’s Combined/Joint Task Force Consequence Management, he was also a former Director of a joint/inter-agency fusion center (the JRIC) at Camp Pendleton, California, and former senior analyst, regional coordinator/executive officer for military intelligence support to the Los Angeles High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA). A former Director of Intelligence (G/J-2) for the 1st Marine Expeditionary Brigade and CENTCOM’s Combined/Joint Task Force Consequence Management, he was also a former Director of a joint/inter-agency fusion center (the JRIC) at Camp Pendleton, California, and former senior analyst, regional coordinator/executive officer for military intelligence support to the Los Angeles High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA).
Hal is a regularly featured expert on KABC-7 television news in Southern California, i24 cable news network nationally and National Public Radio on military affairs, intelligence and terrorism, and is a frequent speaker, panelist or facilitator for topically related events in Southern California and around the world.
He holds a Master’s degree from Thunderbird School of Global Management, a Bachelor’s degree from Willamette University, and is a graduate of the Army’s Command and General Staff College, the Marine Corps’ Amphibious Warfare School and he has completed all academic curriculum of the Air War College, holding military officer specialties in intelligence, amphibious reconnaissance, infantry and engineering.
Foreign Service Officer
Overseas Citizens Services
American Citizen Services and
Bureau of Consular Affairs
Washington, D.C. (USA)
This presentation will discuss consular safety and security messaging including Travel Advisories and Alerts. Mr. Finch will cover the role of Overseas Citizen Services, protecting U.S. Citizens traveling and residing abroad. Also, he will provide information and best practices to ensure a safe travel for citizens.
Joshua Finch is a Foreign Service Officer with the U.S. Department of State, currently serving as a Country Officer in the Bureau of Consular Affairs, Office of American Citizens Services and Crisis Management. Joshua provides policy guidance to a number of U.S. embassies and consulates on how to assist U.S. citizens traveling or residing overseas, including but not limited to: citizenship documentation, victim assistance, crisis contingency planning, security threat assessments, and response coordination to both natural and man-made disasters.
Joshua most recently served abroad as the Consular Section Chief at the U.S. Consulate General in Perth, Australia. He has also served in the Bureau of Consular Affairs, Office of Visa Services in Washington, D.C., and at the U.S. Embassies in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Jakarta, Indonesia. Prior to joining the Foreign Service, Joshua served as the U.S. Consular Agent in Bali, Indonesia. He studied at the Colorado College, the University of Wyoming, and the Indonesian State College of the Arts in Denpasar, Indonesia and speaks Spanish and Indonesian.
Reno Police Department
Reno, Nevada, USA
Lt. Robinson along with Dr. Peter E. Tarlow with this 2-day certification program. Together, they will lay the groundwork for security and tourism industry professionals to explore innovative research on new methods and strategies for ensuring the security and safety of tourists within their destination. Through this course, participating law enforcement personnel may be inspired to take an active role in aiding the economic development of their city. The course will focus on such topics as visitor protection, cultural tourism and security services.
Lieutenant Joe Robinson is a 17 year veteran of the Reno Police Department. His father worked for the Reno Police Department for over 30 years and retired as the Deputy Chief of the Reno Police Department which is the same rank his older brother currently holds.
During the course of his career, Robinson has worked several assignments including Patrol, SWAT, Street Crimes, Robbery/Homicide, Traffic and Special Events.
Special Events was where Robinson found his niche and developed a passion for Tourism Oriented Policing. Robinson not only changed the way officers deployed during Special Events, but he also changed the style in which they deployed from an enforcement model to a tourism-oriented model. The City of Reno and the Reno Police Department experienced great success during the over 200 Special Events the City of Reno plays host to every year as a result of his changes.
In 2015, Robinson was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant and was immediately asked to re-brand the Downtown Enforcement Team and create a full-time Tourism Oriented Policing Unit. In October 2016, the Reno Police Department deployed it’s first full-time Tourism Oriented Policing Unit called the Downtown Walking Team.
Founder and CEO
Tenas Consulting, Public Affairs &
Houston, Texas (USA)
Ivan Sánchez will explore one of modern tourism’s greatest challenges and opportunities. Social media not only has a great influence on our political and business world but also on tourism and tourism security. Sánchez will outline where we are headed in the world of social media, and the ways that social media has changed the face of traditional tourism security. What new challenges and tools must the tourism security professional need and have to face and how do tourism professionals prepare to work in a cyber oriented world in which reputations and careers can be built or destroyed with a few strokes on a keyboard.
Mr. Sanchez is a Political Scientist, Social Media Influencer and Entrepreneur in Houston, Texas. He is the Founder and CEO of Avant Consulting, a social media marketing and political consulting company that is changing landscape of Houston. With his own 3 online businesses companies and high profile clients such as some of the largest Real Estate Lenders and Political Candidates, Ivan has mounted over 10 million impressions in just a few months.
Ivan additionally works with Sanmore Investments, LLC and Gold Quest Group, two of the of biggest Commercial Real Estate wholesaling and commercial lending companies in Houston.In 2018 at 30 years old, Ivan launched a campaign for Texas’ Congressional District 7, the wealthiest district in the United States, but fell short by a couple thousand votes. Prior to that, Sanchez worked as a Senior Congressional Liaison and Field Representative in the 18th Congressional District of Texas for 5 years, where he specialized in Department of Defense, Immigration, State Department, Education and Labor Department issues.
Sanchez was the youngest appointee by a Houston Mayor to serve in the Mayors Advisory Board, and was additionally appointed to multiple committees for the Harris County Sheriff Office. He additionally serves in several board as Target Hunger, Alianza Latina International, the UHD Executive, and others. He was appointed to serve as Chairman of the 2016 International Parliament of Education where he lead 36 countries into a ground-breaking summit. Sanchez is also an elected Precinct Chair for the Harris County Democratic Party in Precinct #0567.
Ivan is the Founder and current Board Chairman of Houston Millennials, a 501(c)(3) non-profit with over 4,500 members. It's mission is to place ambitious millennials into positions of influence, leadership, and economic power in the public and private sectors. He is also a graduate from 5 chamber of commerce and political leadership institutes across Houston.He is a recipient of many honors including, but not limited to; congratulatory remarks from President Barrack H. Obama for Civic Engagement, and a United States Congressional Proclamation. In addition, he was awarded the Commander's Award by the United States Marine Corps. He was recognized by the Texas Legislature, the City of Houston for civic initiatives, and the National Hispanic Professional Organization as the “Millennial of the Year”.
Ivan graduated from the University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) as the Student Body President where he found “Walk 2 Vote”: a voter’s initiative that mixed hip-hop and politics that increased voter participation at the University of Houston Downtown by 65%--compared to all the other universities in the Nation at 5-15% (TUFT University). The White House, the City of Houston, and Mi Famillia Vota recognized Ivan for his civic leadership and for his trailblazing efforts.
Ivan was born in a hostile environment. Following death threats in Colombia, his mother, an accomplished attorney, immigrated with her children to the United States. Although she was successful in her quest, her life was lost to cancer the year Sanchez graduated from High School. The tragedy left Sanchez nearly homeless and disoriented; however, in a daring attempt to dream for a different future he propelled himself into what he saw was the clearest means for success: schoolwork.Eleven (11) years ago, Ivan was pushing shopping carts at Krogers. Today, he is pushing politicians and businesses to their best potential.
Peter E. Tarlow, Ph.D.
President and CEO
Tourism & More, Inc.
College Station, Texas (USA)
Looking forward to new challenges in tourism security, Dr. Peter Tarlow will look at some of the new trends in tourism security and safety and how they differ from the past. He will allow tourism practitioners and specialists to plan for the future and to avoid errors of the past. The section will also provide an overview of the state of tourism in the world, what places are considered to be safe and which tourism locales have to face new or ongoing challenges.
Dr. Peter E. Tarlow is a world-renowned speaker and expert specializing in the impact of crime and terrorism in the tourism industry, event and tourism risk management, and economic development. Since 1990, Tarlow has been teaching courses on tourism, crime and terrorism to police forces and security and tourism professionals throughout the world.
Tarlow earned his Ph.D. in sociology from Texas A&M University. He also holds degrees in History, Spanish and Hebrew Literature, and Psychotherapy. In 1996, Tarlow became Hoover Dam's consultant for tourism development and security. In 1998, Tarlow's role at the Bureau of Reclamation expanded. He was asked to develop a tourism security program for all Bureau of Reclamation properties and visitor's centers. In 1999, United States Customs Service asked Tarlow to work with its agents in the area of customer service, cultural awareness, and custom's impact within the tourism and visitor industry.
In 2000, Tarlow, due to inter-agency cooperation on the part of the Bureau of Reclamation, helped to prepare security and FBI agents for the Salt Lake City 2002 Winter Olympic Games. He also lectured for the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games. Tarlow has worked with police departments from the state of Rio de Janeiro for the 2014 World Cup Games and 2016 Olympic Games.
Tarlow is a founder and president of Tourism & More Inc. (T&M). He is a past president of the Texas Chapter of the Travel and Tourism Research Association (TTRA). Tarlow is a member of the International Editorial Boards of "Turizam" published in Zagreb, Croatia, "Anatolia: International Journal of Tourism and Hospitality Research," published in Turkey, "Turismo: Visão e Ação" published in Brazil, and "Estudios y Perspectivas en Turismo," published in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Founder & CEO
Escalante MediaManagement, LLC.
Las Vegas, Nevada
Stacey Escalante is the founder and CEO of Escalante Media Management, a boutique public relations firm. She also consults for corporations by supplementing their public relations divisions, assisting with media training and emceeing special events. Escalante’s former and current client list includes MGM Resorts International, Dignity Health (St. Rose Hospitals), Valley Electric Association, Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority, Safe Nest, Desert Perinatal Associates, Troy Watson M.D. (Desert Orthopaedic Center), Real Results Fitness, Downtown Runners, and Facebook for Parents author, Linda Fogg Phillips. She is on the planning committee for the MGM Resorts International Women’s Leadership Conference.
Stacey graduated from UCLA. She spent over two decades in broadcast journalism. She spent 10 years as a reporter at KVBC-TV (NBC Las Vegas) and has lived in Southern Nevada since 1997.
As a Stage 3 melanoma survivor, Stacey is on a mission to save lives by educating others about skin cancer. She’s on the Board of Directors for the Nevada Cancer Coalition. She travels to Washington D.C. to lobby on behalf of the American Cancer Society's Cancer Action Network (ACSCAN). She volunteers as media chair for ACSCAN. When the Nevada Legislature is in session she promotes the importance of keeping cancer in the spotlight. In 2013, her testimony was pivotal in passing Senate Bill 267 which prohibits anyone under 18 from using tanning beds.
In July 2014, she was invited by the U.S. Acting Surgeon General to participate in a call to action focused on skin cancer prevention and education. Stacey shared her survivor story at The National Press Club and her story was featured on NBC Nightly News, on NBC affiliates around the country, on the Associated Press wire and in hundreds of newspapers across the United States from Alaska to Florida, and in both Europe and Asia.
An inspired speaker and author, Stacey’s passion and informed perspective make her a sought-after lecturer on health and wellness, oncology from a patient’s viewpoint, and prevention and education at medical conferences. She also teaches breakout sessions on how to develop relationships with the media and delivering a clear message.
Stacey believes her most important job is raising her two kids. Stacey loves to run. She has completed seven marathons and several RAGNAR road and trail relays.
International Tourism Safety Association
and Vice President of Customer Safety,
Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority
Las Vegas, Nevada (USA)
Raymond P. Suppe is the vice president of customer safety for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA). He is responsible for the safety and security of the 3.2 million square foot Las Vegas Convention Center and its sister venue, Cashman Center, consisting of 100,000 square feet of exhibit space and a 9,200-seat outdoor sports stadium.
He joined Security of the LVCVA in October 1992, held various staff and management positions within the department, and was promoted to Director of Security in 2005 and Senior Director of Security in 2014. Suppe oversees the operating functions and professional conduct and training programs for over 200 employees within Customer Safety’s three sections of Security, Traffic and Fire Prevention. He is also responsible for one sub-section – Safety.
Suppe serves as the liaison between the LVCVA and related public agencies such as the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, FBI, Clark County Fire Department, and Department of Homeland Security.
Prior to joining the LVCVA, Suppe served in the United States Army. His current affiliations include President of the International Tourism Safety Association, Executive Board Secretary for the Las Vegas Security Chiefs’ Association, and member of the American Society of Industrial Security (ASIS) and the International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM).
ABOUT THE LVCVA
The LVCVA is charged with marketing Southern Nevada as a tourism and convention destination worldwide, and also with operating the Las Vegas Convention Center and Cashman Center. With approximately 150,255 hotel rooms in Las Vegas alone and nearly 11 million square feet of meeting and exhibit space citywide, the LVCVA's mission centers on attracting ever-increasing numbers of leisure and business visitors to the area.
In addition to above room rates, there is a daily resort fee in the amount of $35.00 plus, any applicable Clark County sales taxes There are two ways to book your room reservations:
(1) It is highly recommended you use the following weblink to book your room reservations: https://book.passkey.com/go/SFITS9
(2) If you prefer to phone in your room reservation, you will be charged a processing fee of $15.00 per reservation. If you wish to continue with this method, please reference the 26th International Tourism Security Conference or our group code: SFITS9