Les brings 30+ years of experience as a Fortune 200 IT executive, an entrepreneur, and a creator of several of the travel and entertainment industries’ most game-changing technologies. He’s been lauded by top executives at many of the world’s most respected technology companies including HP, Microsoft, Google, Dell, and Cisco as the best CIO they have ever seen and he’s earned the distinction of a top 50 CIO by CIO Magazine.
After earning his MBA in Internet, Information Technology Strategy from Emory University’s Goizueta Business School, Les joined Holiday Inn Worldwide as their Director of Emerging Technologies where he planned, developed and implemented the hotel industry’s first web-based, Internet travel reservation system for the company in 1994. Les then joined Carlson Wagonlit Travel in 1996 as their Chief Technology Officer where he built the industry’s first Internet-based system for the travel industry. In 1999, Les Co-Founded AgentWare where he designed and developed the first and most comprehensive Meta-Search Engine for the travel industry, and he then licensed it to Kayak.
Over the next 10 years, Les founded and grew two more tech companies – INTENT MediaWorks, a file-sharing content Management & Distribution platform in the entertainment industry, and PLAT4M, where he built highly scalable SaaS applications for the Web 2.0, Media and Travel Industries.
Most recently, in 2013, Les returned to the corporate world as Global CIO & Chief Innovation Officer for the Las Vegas Sands.
Since she was a teenager volunteering at senior-living facilities in Boston, Serena Lipton knew she wanted a career in senior housing. But she had a difficult time finding the college program she believed would educate and prepare her to serve in the senior-living industry. After graduating from Boston University School of Hospitality Administration and working as an analyst for JLL’s Senior Housing Valuation Advisory, Lipton finally found what she was looking for. This fall she enrolled in BU’s Master of Management in Hospitality with a new concentration in senior living. She and other students are on the cusp of what BUSHA believes is a massive shift in how Americans view aging and where opportunities lie for the hospitality industry.
Rainer Jenss of Nyack, New York, founded the Family Travel Association seven years ago to help parents and caregivers introduce children to the world through travel, whether that’s a yearlong trip around the world that Jenss and his family took or a weekend getaway to a nearby destination. To help the travel industry gauge what parents want when they take their kids on vacation, FTA conducts an annual study. The U.S. Family Travel Survey 2021 reveals the shift in mindset the COVID-19 pandemic has created in families planning a trip over the next 12 months. Hoteliers use can use the information to generate business and boost their strategies to recover and sustain business now and other the coming months.