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Michael O'Hare

Managing Director, Horwath HTL Hungary & Russia

Michael Johnston

Chief Executive Officer, Regional Hotel Chain LLC

Vladimir Ilichev

Development Director - Russia & CIS, Hilton Worldwide

Vladimir Poddubko

Head of Hospitality Department, A.N.D. Corporation

Jonathan Worsley

Chairman, Bench Events, Board Director, STR

Alexander Skoblo

Partner, Head of European Hotel & Leisure Practice, Dentons

Michael Collini

Vice President Development – Turkey, Russia and Eastern Europe, Hilton Worldwide

Daniel Thorniley

President, DT-Global Business Consulting GmbH

Scott Antel

Hospitality and Leisure Partner, Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP

Philippe Bone

Head of Development Russia, Ukraine, Georgia & CIS, AccorHotels

Alexander Kaltykov

Chief Executive Officer, Osnova Group

Vadim Prasov

Managing Partner, Alliance Hotel Management

Dimitry Tetiouchev

Partner, Hospitality Industry Leader in the CIS, EY

Andrey Yakunin

Co-Founding Partner, VIY Management LLP

Aron Libinson

Associate Vice President Operations and Development Russia & CIS, IHG

Petr Chitipakhovyan

President, CH-Group

Thomas Emanuel

Director of Business Development, STR

Imad Barrakad

Chairman & CEO, Moroccan Agency for Tourism Development (SMIT)

Anatoly Kondratenko

Senior Director, Acquisitions & Development, Russia, CIS & Baltics, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc.

Marina Usenko

Independent Hotel Advisor

David Jenkins

Vice President Business Development Russia, CIS & Baltics, The Rezidor Hotel Group

Cuneyt Baltaoglu

Managing Director, Akfen REIT

Tatiana Veller

National Director, Head of Hotel & Hospitality Group Russia & CIS, JLL

Press Release

25 Sep 2008

Industry Leaders Scheduled to Share Their Sentiments Relating to Hotel Investment in Russia & CIS Conference (RHIC)

More than 60 speakers are the cornerstone of the upcoming Russia & CIS Hotel Investment Conference (RHIC) scheduled for 21-22 October 2008 at Ritz-Carlton in Moscow. RHIC is a one-of-a-kind networking event focused around an high-powered conference programme for hotel investors, developers, operators and consultants and investment professionals interested in doing business in Russia and CIS countries. Following is session commentary from a prestigous sampling of the programme's speakers: :

Speaker: Howard J. Wolff, Senior Vice President, WATG
Session: Turning Troubling Trends Into Opportunities -- Hotel Planning, Design & Development

"Hotel development is a risky business," says Wolff. "Nine out of ten projects will never make it from conception to completion. This presentation will offer tips and tools to deal with dangerous development trends and will suggest how hoteliers can create a sustainable competitive advantage for their properties."

Moderator: Scott Antel, Partner, DLA Piper Russia
Session: How to Negotiate A Management Contract And Still Be Friends Afterwards

"A hotel management contract is a bit like a marriage contract. It's a long term commitment which requires from the outset fairness to both parties and an openness and a fair level of trust. Better to have a ceremony/negotiation civil than to start the journey out bickering," says Antel. "It is important to start out the relationship on an open and positive note and keep that relationship going. In Russia, you have got to show the value you bring and be open about what you do on a daily basis and the contract should reflect that commitment. This session's panelists will share their experience and knowledge in this area."

Moderator: Simon Hudspeth, Director-Head of International Hotel Advisory Services, Christie + Co
Session: The Rise of Hotel Chains From Russia & CIS - How Competitive Will They Be?

"This timely panel session will explore the benefits to customers and investors of 'domestic' brands and hotel chains in comparison with the offer provided by the 'global' chains," says Hudspeth. "This panel has leaders from Heliopark Group, a ' domestic' Russian hotel developer/owner/operator, and the 'global' chains Hyatt and Accor Hospitality. One of the main topics for debate will be how the 'national/domestic/regional' hotel chains and brands should best position themselves against the 'international/global' brands. Other main topics include how do hotel customers choose between them and how do hotel developers/owners/investors choose between them on a project by project basis."

Panelist: Jennifer Fox, Chief Operating Officer, InterContinental Hotels Group
Session: What Are the Opportunities and Risk to Develop and Operate Luxury Hotels In Russia & CIS?

"Quality is not an option in today's luxury market. It's no longer a differentiator - its a hygiene factor. Luxury guests are sophisticated global travellers and their expectations are rightly so, very high. And quality must be inherent in everything you do from the point of reservation to check out. It is imperative you consider every interaction. If you can not deliver a quality guest experience today, you can not compete on any level. Luxury developers need to be aware of this from the very start."

Moderator: Davor G. Gjivoje, Chairman of Networld, Inc.
Session: Inbound and Outbound Investment Opportunities

"My esteemed panel of industry leaders and I will discuss not only the most attractive areas for investment but how to simplify the investment process and overcome obstacles so the process is safe, smooth and successful," said Gjivoje.  Panelists include professionals from HVS Hodges Ward Elliott, Azimut Hotels Company, International Hotel Investments and JSC Zheldoripoteka.

To access a full list of participating speakers and review the conference program in detail, please visit:

The Russia & CIS Hotel Investment Conference will run from October 21-22, 2008 at the Ritz-Carlton, Moscow, and is jointly organised by Bench Events and Questex Media Group, Inc.