Keynote Speaker- coming soon!


Additional Speakers- coming soon!

Keynote Speaker

Keynote Speaker- coming soon!
Additional Speakers- coming soon!

Motivational Humorist, Sales, Leadership and Behavioral Change Specialist

Connie Podesta’s Key Accomplishments Include . . .

Connie Podesta is a game-changing, revenue -building, idea-generating ball of fire whose rare blend of humor, substance, and style have made her one of the most in-demand speakers in the world today. 25 years. Two million people. 1000 organizations. Hall of Fame speaker. Award-winning author.  Seven books. Former Radio/TV personality. Therapist for 30 years. Expert on the psychology of sales, leadership, change, life balance and getting your act together!  Plus (what we all probably could use in today’s crazy world) …a Comedienne.

Degrees and awards aside, audiences love Connie Podesta because she is down-to-earth, interactive, funny, and has a fearless energy that is contagious. She is passionate about helping people succeed and can tackle even the toughest of issues with a rare blend of real-life strategies, no-nonsense personality and laugh-out-loud humor.

More About Speaker, Connie Podesta. . . Having worked with hundreds of corporations nationwide, Connie Podesta has an insider’s knowledge of organizations and uses this unique perspective to create customized presentations on key issues such as personal accountability, communication, life balance, customer service, leadership, sales, team building, change and productivity. Connie has inspired millions of people to do what it takes to increase sales, attract and keep more customers, build longer-lasting, healthier relationships, strengthen their leadership skills and become more profitable, happier and successful that they ever thought possible.

Additional Speakers

Stuart Lloyd Cohen

Chief Motivation Officer · StuartLloydCohen.com

If you can think big, Stuart will help you do big! Meet a master motivator, enter-trainer and serial solopreneur.

Stuart is a motivational voice in entrepreneurship, salesmanship, leadership, and stewardship (personal performance). He elevates success and happiness using fresh perspectives, endearing humor and abounding positive energy.

An accomplished corporate executive turned entrepreneur, he has keynoted and coached internationally since 2007. Real life experiences equip him to share stories and strategies that drive real results.

A 28-year travel industry veteran, Stuart served in leadership positions with World Travel Holdings, Celebrity Cruises and Insight Vacations. His entrepreneurial spirit introduced many cutting-edge business practices and successful brands including Vacation.com, NEST and the Home-Based Success Series.

Stuart is the founder of Resort For a Day™ which he built from the ground-up. World Travel Holdings acquired the business in 2012 and today it is the world’s largest seller of hotel day passes for cruisers.

Stuart is the founder of Group Sales Boot Camp and Group Sales Success Summit, brand leaders in immersive niche training for travel entrepreneurs.

He has produced hundreds of training webinars, videos and continues hosting informative talk shows. He has published two transformational sales booklets.

Active as a mentor and volunteer locally, Stuart is affiliated with the Memphis Coaches Network, Start Co., Advance Memphis, and the Memphis Institute for Leadership Education.

He is a certified integrative health coach (Institute for Integrative Health), plays percussion, runs marathons, practices yoga, loves cooking and embarking on culinary journeys with wife Kimberly. They reside just outside Memphis, TN.

Peter N. Lobasso

Peter N. Lobasso has served as ASTA’s General Counsel since 2015.  A licensed attorney for over twenty years, Peter has successfully represented clients in a wide variety of litigated matters before courts and administrative agencies at both the state and federal level.  Peter has also negotiated numerous multi-million dollar transactions on behalf of businesses throughout the country.  Practice areas include employment and labor law, contracts, intellectual property, real property, mortgage lending, and creditor side bankruptcy, among others.  Peter is a member of the bars of New York, Virginia, and Washington D.C.  He received a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Central Florida in Orlando and earned his law degree at Touro Law Center on Long Island.

Mike Marchev

Since entering the travel industry in 1982 Mike Marchev has been effectively sharing his views and opinions on building successful businesses in a fun and entertaining style. His down-to-earth delivery makes him easy to listen to while his content is both logical and “timely.”

In addition to speaking at corporate events, both in and out of the travel industry, Mike is a prolific writer and has a daily column in Travel Research Online.

His early morning marketing sessions have been a hit at convention for years as he starts each day off on a high note.


Stephani E. D. McDow

Stephani E. D. McDow, ECC-s, TAE is currently the senior director of professional development and membership at Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), the global association for the cruise industry. At CLIA, Stephani strategizes and develops programming while partnering with external content providers and industry partners to enhance upon CLIA’s membership and training program value proposition to its membership community. Stephani engages with key industry leaders on integrating training and promoting agent engagement in support of overall industry growth. She has been an association leader focused on adult learning and professional development, and program management for over 12 years; and has held positions in the nonprofit, private and public sectors spanning nearly 20 years of experience in education, operations, and program management.

Joan Adrian Morgan

Following graduation from Georgetown University with a master’s degree in Latin American Studies, Joan (Joni) was hired by the Central Intelligence Agency to work in the Latin America Division of the Directorate of Operations.  During her 33-year career, she had permanent assignments in eight different countries, including Peru, Russia, Switzerland, Uruguay, Denmark, the United Kingdom, Mexico and Afghanistan, and traveled to Latin American and the Middle East for numerous temporary duties.  She was inducted into the Senior Intelligence Service (SIS) ranks in 2009.   Her final assignment was as Director of the CIA’s mid-career training center, managing the center’s dozens of instructors and programs. She was awarded 17 exceptional performance awards over the years, a meritorious unit citation for her work with the Counterterrorism Division in Afghanistan, and the Career Intelligence Medal on retirement.

Following her retirement from the government, Joni moved to the private sector as the Director of Analytic Personnel with iJET International (WorldAware), managing, mentoring and training over 30 intelligence analysts.  After five years in that role, she was asked to stand-up a training department for the company and served as the Director of Continuous Learning.  Given her experience and expertise, Joni became the company’s representative to present on Female Travel Safety, conducting webinars and workshops for the State Department (OSAC), the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) and numerous international corporations.  She now consults on Female Traveler Safety.

Joni lives in Annapolis, Maryland with her partner, Bill, and enjoys volunteering at the local hospital, exercising, gardening, walking her dog, and paddling with the Annapolis Dragon Boat Club.   She is a NASM certified personal trainer and IPEC professional coach.

Owen Van Syckle

Owen Van Syckle is the Founder and President of The Van Syckle Group, providing “Sales Acceleration”.  We have a track record for accelerating sales in organizations by leading clients through hiring, training, and executing strategies to attain a motivated sales force aligned with your company goals and objectives.  The Van Syckle Group facilitates professional training programs custom designed to foster learning and retention of professional sales skill. These systems and processes combine behavior modifications and improvements in attitudes to achieve maximum sales growth results.

Prior to his current engagements, Owen helped found a regional textile company where he worked as a General Manager/International Director of Sales and Marketing and lead the firm from the start-up stage to a $52 million success story.

Owen has whole-heartedly dedicated the past 18 years to helping clients accelerate sales in their companies.  He is a seasoned sales expert who accelerates sales in organizations through helping companies to select and hire the best sales professionals; apply first-rate selling skills; and develop and execute strategies to attain maximum sales growth.

How do we create a motivated sales force who can execute results?

  • Talent Acceleration: Select and Hire the best talent…reduce turnover…match the right people to the right job…troubleshoot performance… Execute sales results with a motivated sales force
  • Professional Sales Acceleration Training and On-Boarding: Get it to stick. Get it applied. Get RESULTS! Build professional customer-focused selling skills that differentiate your sales team in a competitive market. We ensure they apply new skills on the job to drive and maintain RESULTS!
  • Professional Sales Acceleration Leadership Training: Maintain results, Getting RESULTS requires great leadership.
  • Flexible Delivery Formats: We are flexible in meeting our clients training delivery needs through multiple delivery methods including 100% online e-learning that’s available 24/7 (www.salesaccelerationacademy.com). Our training platforms can be blended, stand alone, or complement one another to provide a highly effective, seamless training solution for all levels of your organization.