Kaye Chon, PhD
A former hotel manager and tourism industry consultant, Professor Kaye Chon (PhD, CHE, FIH) is Dean, Chair Professor and Walter Kwok Foundation Professor in International Hospitality Management of the School of Hotel and Tourism Management at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University.
Dean Chon is a graduate of the University of Maryland (AA), Georgia State University (BSc), University of Nevada, Las Vegas (MSc), and Virginia Tech (PhD).
Under Dean Chon’s leadership, the School has arisen as one of the world’s leading institutions in hospitality and tourism management. The School is rated No. 1 in the world in the Hospitality and Tourism Management category according to Shanghai Ranking’s Global Ranking of Academic Subjects 2017, placed No. 1 in the world in the Hospitality, Leisure, Sport & Tourism subject area by the CWUR Rankings by Subject 2017 and ranked among the top 3 Hospitality and Leisure Management institutions globally in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2017.
A frequent speaker at international conferences, Dean Chon has published over 200 papers in international journals and professional publications and has authored or edited ten books. One of his co-authored books, Welcome to Hospitality: An Introduction has been adopted as a textbook in more than 100 hospitality education programmes world-wide. He is currently the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Travel & Tourism Marketing and the Asia Pacific Journal of Tourism Research. In 2011, he received the Ulysses Prize from the UNWTO for his lifetime contribution to knowledge creation and innovation in tourism.
He has been listed in Who’s Who In The World.
Daniel Chun, BS
Daniel Chun is the Hawai‘i director of sales, community and public relations for Alaska Airlines. He leads the airline’s sales, marketing and community outreach efforts throughout the state of Hawai‘i. Chun has over 15 years of experience in Hawai‘i’s tourism industry, starting at the Hawai‘i Visitors and Convention Bureau, where he helped to develop international travel to the Islands. Chun then served for seven years as the special assistant to the State of Hawai‘i’s governor-appointed tourism liaison, where he coordinated with government agencies and the visitor industry on tourism-related matters. Prior to joining Alaska, Chun was the executive director of the Honolulu Gay & Lesbian Cultural Foundation, an umbrella organization for the Honolulu Rainbow Film Festival.
Born and raised in Honolulu, Hawai‘i, Chun is a graduate of the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, with a Bachelor of Science degree in travel industry management. He studied commercial aviation and obtained his private pilot license from Honolulu Community College and the University of North Dakota. He currently serves on the boards of Make-A-Wish Hawai‘i, Hawai‘i Lodging & Tourism Association, Diamond Head Theatre, University of Hawai‘i Alumni Association, TIM International and the Honolulu Gay & Lesbian Cultural Foundation, and is a member of Sales & Marketing Executives of Honolulu, Hawai‘i Society of Business Professionals, Chamber of Commerce of Hawai‘i Young Professionals and the Hawai‘i Venture Capital Association. Chun was named as one of the Pacific Business News’ “Forty Under 40” Class of 2014, “20 for the Next 20” by Hawai‘i Business Magazine in 2016, the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa School of Travel Industry Management Alumni Hall of Honor 2016 award recipient, and a member of the Pacific Century Fellows Class of 2018.
Jennifer Chun, MPS
Jennifer Chun has served as the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority’s Director of Tourism Research since December 1, 2017. Chun joined HTA in 2014 as Tourism Research Manager. She has analyzed tourism data in Hawai‘i for more than 20 years.
Chun leads HTA’s Tourism Research Division, which provides strategic analytical information about Hawai‘i tourism and conducts special research that supports the state’s marketing and product development efforts, planning by industry partners, and policy making.
Chun also serves as Chair of the Pacific Asia Travel Association’s Hawai‘i Chapter, is the 2018 President of Skål International Hawai‘i, and is Treasurer of the Travel & Tourism Research Association’s Hawai‘i Chapter. A 1988 Kamehameha Schools graduate, Chun earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Asian Studies from Dartmouth College and a Masters of Professional Studies in Destination Hospitality Management from Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration.
Daniel Fesenmaier, PhD
Dr. Daniel Fesenmaier received his PhD in geography from Canada’s University of Western Ontario. He has taught at the University of Oklahoma, Texas A&M University, Indiana University, the University of Illinois and Temple University. Dr. Fesenmaier is author of a number of articles dealing with tourism marketing, advertising evaluation and information technology. He has co-authored a book and a monograph and co-edited five books focusing various aspects of tourism marketing, information technology and development. Dr. Fesenmaier is co-founding editor of Tourism Analysis; past Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Information Technology and Tourism,and is Editor of the Foundations in Tourism Research Series in the Journal of Travel Research.
He is a Fellow, International Academy for the Study of Tourism; an adjunct Professor, Modul University – Vienna; and Co-founder, Tourism Education Futures Initiative. Dr. Fesenmaier’s leadership has been recognized whereby he has received many awards for excellence in research and teaching including the Travel and Tourism Research Association (TTRA) Lifetime Achievement Award (2013), the Hannes Werthner Tourism and Technology Lifetime Achievement Award (2013), The Michael D. Olsen Research Award from the University of Delaware (2010) and the Medal of Exceptional Scholarly Achievement (CPTHL, 2007).
Mari Kam, MMH
Mari Kam is the Complex Director of Online Marketing for the Marriott International Kyo-ya Hotels and Resorts owned Waikiki hotels. In her current role, she leads the complex’s Online Marketing department, which drives the property online marketing strategy and initiatives for the Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort, The Westin Moana Surfrider, the Sheraton Waikiki and the Sheraton Princess Kaiulani.
Kam has extensive experience in digital and online marketing with expertise in Social Media Marketing, Web Site Design, Content Marketing, Email Marketing, SEO and PPC and Display Advertising. Previously, she worked for Hotels & Resorts of Halekulani where she helped establish the digital presence for Halekulani and Waikiki Parc Hotels.
Kam currently serves as the Chapter VP of Communications and Marketing for Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International Hawaii and sits on the board for the Cornell Hotel Society Hawaii chapter. She has also recently served on the Honolulu Museum of Art’s ARTafterDARK Advisory Council and volunteered her time to assist American Heart Association and Organization of Women Leaders. Kam holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business, a Bachelor of Arts degree in English, Creative Writing and a minor in Asian Studies from the University of Redlands. She also holds a Master of Management in Hospitality from Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration.
Juanita Liu, PhD
Juanita C. Liu is Professor Emerita of the University of Hawaiʻi School of Travel Industry Management (TIM). From 2008 to 2013, she served as Interim Dean and Director for the Center for Tourism Policy Studies. Previous executive positions held were Interim Associate Dean and Assistant to the Senior Vice Chancellor/Executive VP. In July 2013 the TIM School was selected as a top 20 tourism education program in the nation by TheBestSchools.org.
She was a board member of Pacific Asia Tourism Association and the Hawaiʻi Lodging Tourism Association. As a former Board Member of the Hawaiʻi Visitors Bureau and Chair of the Education and Research Committees, she helped developed projects to advance the visitor data programs. She was elected 45th President of the Western Regional Science Association and was inducted as a fellow of the prestigious International Academy for the Study of Tourism, consisting of the top 75 tourism scholars in the world. Her article, Resident Attitude towards Tourism in Hawaiʻi. is 14th most cited in the top three tourism journals for a 12-year period.
Robert is currently a Market Manager for Airbnb in Hawaiʻi. He attended the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa and has been working in the Hawaiʻi tourism industry for 30 years. Employed by various tour wholesalers, tour operators and hotel companies in reservations, sales, and marketing positions, the last 10 years has been focused on strategic business development through online travel distribution. He has had unique opportunities working with major online travel agents like Expedia, opening the permanent Honolulu office and overseeing the Hawaiʻi team for Booking.com, and is now the first Market Manager based locally in Hawaiʻi for Airbnb.
Robert currently serves as an Executive Committee Member for the PATA Hawaiʻi Chapter (Pacific Asia Travel Association). Recently on the Marketing Committee for the Alzheimer’s Association’s Aloha Chapter, he has also volunteered with other organizations like ClimbHi’s LEI (Lead, Expose, Inspire), Special Olympics thru HBTA, and the Booking Cares Volunteer Programme with a sustainable and cultural focus for Papahana Kuaola, Paepae O Heʻeia, Pouhala Marsh Wildlife Sanctuary and the Mauna Kea Reforestation Project.
Kevin Sahara is the Director, Market Management with Expedia Lodging Partner Services based in Waikīkī. Prior to joining Expedia, Kevin was the Revenue Manager at The Royal Hawaiian, A Luxury Collection Resort where he was named Revenue Management Leader of the Year with Starwood Hotels & Resorts North America Division for hotels 250 – 550 Rooms. Kevin is a graduate of The Kamehameha Schools Kapālama Campus and holds a Bachelors of Business Administration in Marketing and Management Information Systems from the Shidler College of Business at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa.
Amit Sharma, PhD
Dr. Amit Sharma is a Professor of Hospitality Management at the Pennsylvania State University where he also served as a Director of Food Decisions Research Laboratory, and Teaching and Learning with Technology Affiliate Faculty. Dr. Sharma has shown leadership in numerous international organizations. He is currently serving as a President of the International Council on Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Education (ICHRIE) where he previously served as a Vice President, Research Reports President, and ICHRIE Penn State Research Reports Vice President.
His research focuses on two issues: first, cost-benefit, and economics of food decisions, and the economic role of hospitality and tourism activity. His research in investigating the economics of food decisions involves the causes and consequences of food choices, particularly within food service environments. In particular, research projects focus on the economics of local food systems, food safety, and healthy eating among children, food spending among families, and food supply chain analysis. Food Decision Research Laboratory facilitates such inquiries. He is also interested in the ethical aspects of food access for children in schools.
Pauline Sheldon, PhD
Pauline J. Sheldon is Professor Emerita at the University of Hawaii’s School of Travel Industry Management where she also served as Interim Dean for four years. Her research covers sustainable tourism, information technology, wellness tourism, corporate social responsibility, and knowledge management in tourism. She holds a PhD in Economics, a Masters in Business Administration, and a Bachelors degree in Mathematics. She has published over seventy journal articles and seven books, and most recently is co-author of the book, Social Entrepreneurship and Tourism: Philosophy and Practice published by Springer. Together with Daniel Fesenmaier she is co-editor of a Springer book series entitled Tourism on the Verge which publishes volumes on the cutting edge of tourism.
She served as the first woman President and also Chair of the Board of the International Academy for the Study of Tourism. In 2008 she was awarded the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Ulysses prize for her contributions to knowledge in sustainable tourism. In 2009 she was recognized with the InternationalTravel and Tourism Research Association Lifetime Achievement Award. She also received the Hannes Werthner Lifetime Achievement Award for her contributions to the field of Tourism Information Technology in 2014.
Dr. Sheldon has shown leadership in numerous international organizations. She co-founded and co-directed the Tourism Education Futures Initiative (TEFI) with Dr. Daniel Fesenmaier – a network focusing on future issues in tourism education. She chaired the BEST Education Network – an international consortium of educators committed to the development and dissemination of knowledge on sustainable tourism and currently serves on its international advisory board. She also co-founded TRINET (Tourism Research Information Network) which is an international tourism researchers’ electronic bulletin board with over 3,000 subscribers worldwide. She has worked extensively at the international level with organizations such as the United Nations World Tourism Organization, APEC International Center for Sustainable Tourism, and the World Bank, and at the local level as a Board member of the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau, and as a member of the Strategic Planning Committee of the Hawaii Tourism Authority. She is also a teacher for the Art of Living Foundation.
Daniel Spencer, PhD
Dan Spencer is a Professor in the School of Travel Industry Management. Previously he held posts at Black Hills State University as an Associate Professor of Tourism and Hospitality Management and at Michigan State University as a Senior Research Associate with the Travel, Tourism, and Recreation Resource Center.
He specializes in tourism policy, planning, management, and marketing, and has particular expertise in survey research and visitor industry informatics and data analytics. The results of his applied and methodological inquiries have appeared in the Journal of Travel Research, Tourism Management, the Journal of Leisure Research, and other serials.
His client list includes the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority; Hawai‘i Sea Grant; the South Dakota Office of Tourism; the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks; the Sisseton-Wahpeton Sioux Tribe; Black Hills Community Economic Development; Travel Michigan; the Michigan Department of Transportation; the Upper Peninsula Travel and Recreation Association; and other entities.
He has received an Excellence in Teaching Award from the School of Travel Industry Management and a State Award of Meritorious Service from Epsilon Sigma Phi, the national honorary fraternity of Extension professionals.