In 1997, Steve launched a travel agency specializing in German-speaking tours within Australia. After handling many requests from his German clients for rental cars, he decided to build a website to sell car hire via the internet. Before long the car hire side of the business took off.
Between 1999 and 2005, Steve started a number of car hire businesses in Australia, the UK, NZ and the USA. These included RentNewCars.com.au, CarHire.com.au, and VroomVroomVroom.com. Steve says that everything he has learned -- and earned! -- from those businesses has gone into developing the Oodles.com business model and brand.
Steve is a graduate of Queensland University of Technology, Australia. He holds a Bachelor of Business Degree, with majors in International Business and German; he is also a qualified travel agent. He is fluent in German, and lived in Europe for a number of years before embarking on his e-travel career.
Director of Digital Services Aust.
James began his career in 1999 in London working with the Online Travel Corporation (OTC), which now forms part of the Lastminute/Travelocity group. James was responsible for the creation of content for online media partners such as Expedia and The Times.
OTC floated on the UK's AIM stock exchange in 2000 and in 2001 James returned to Australia to join the management team of OTC's Australian start-up.
James moved to Travelscene American Express in 2004 where he was responsible for developing and implementing airline database and retail booking engine technology, a new EDM platform and retail franchise technology solutions.
Travelscene was acquired by Stella Travel in 2006 whereupon James was appointed as General Manager, Global Online with responsibility for the group's retail online platforms in all markets. During this time James led successful launches of new brands, sites, and booking engines in the USA, UK, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.
James Gaskell joined Initiative in 2008 as Director of Digital Services.
Director of Revenue Management, CRME
Bruno Kim is the Director of Revenue Management at Four Seasons Hotel Sydney – managing and implementing the most effective strategies to increase revenue. He forms part of a team of Revenue Directors appointed from within the company to develop and implement the Revenue Management guidelines for Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts, providing ongoing support and training to regional Four Seasons properties. A graduate of Hotel Management School Les Roches in Switzerland, Bruno's career in hospitality began with Four Seasons over thirteen years ago, the past seven years of which specialising in the field of Reservations & Revenue Management in various roles at Four Seasons Vancouver, BC and Santa Barbara, CA.
Managing Director Australia & NZ
Adrian is Managing Director of Booking.com in Australia and New Zealand, and opened an office for the company in Sydney in 2008 to support local hotels and affiliates.
Prior to this, Adrian was Chief Financial Officer of Booking.com (formed from the merger of Active Hotels and Bookings, both acquired by Priceline.com in 2004/05), the European market leader for online accommodation.
Head of Global Partner Distribution
Raphael leads the distribution strategy for HotelClub, the hotel arm of Orbitz Worldwide. Raphael is in charge of strategic alliances and tactical initiatives with affiliates, technology intermediaries and travel agencies worldwide.
Previous to joining Orbitz, Raphael was marketing manager at Club Med Australia in charge of driving the brand's evolution and marketing strategy development of the world's pioneer of all-inclusive holidays.
Raphael started his carrier in France where he was responsible for online marketing as part of the founding team of PriceMinister.com, the first European website to bring together individuals and professionals who sell and buy new, used or collectable products at fixed prices.
Raphael holds a Masters in Marketing and a Masters of Politics from Paris Sorbonne University.
Head of Direct Channels & Qantas.com
John Lonergan is the Head of qantas.com and Direct Channels for Qantas Airways. qantas.com is Australia's most popular travel site, and operates in six languages in over 30 countries world wide. Qantas also has call centres in Australia, NZ, Asia and Europe.
John has an MBA majoring in International Business and a Graduate Diploma in IT. He has worked in travel for the last 15 years.
Michael joined CumminsNitro in December 2005 as a member of the senior management team charged with developing an integrated offer for the agency. With a reputation as one of Australia's top direct marketers and a pioneer of the digital marketing Michael spent his first 15 months with the Melbourne agency establishing a team and a process for integration.
In that time he has was responsible for expanding the breath of the agency's service offering to cover direct and digital marketing, plus helped develop an agency philosophy and culture to support this.
Prior to CumminsNitro. Michael spent eight years as the Managing Director of leading direct and digital marketing agency -Clemenger Proximity. Michael's expertise as an advertising all-rounder and business builder was recognised in 2002 when he was appointed to the Board of Directors of Melbourne's largest advertising agency Clemenger BBDO.
After 6 years at Procter & Gamble and eBay, Scot Ennis co-founded Switched on Media, a rapidly growing SEO and Social Media agency based in Sydney. Years later, Switched on Media now helps clients like Canon, ABC news, Thomson Reuters, Paypal, Sanity Music and a range of Travel, Financial and Automotive clients approach Search Engine Marketing and Social Media in the right way. Scot is passionate about travel and social media.
His expertise in the online space has been greatly sought after by both private enterprise and the public sector. He was the senior consultant behind some of Australia's first corporate websites including the RACV and the 1995 TV Week Logie Awards. In 1996 he was the project lead on Australia's first commercial VoIP project and consulted on a number of other leading edge projects.
In 1998 he formed Stew Art Media to focus on the emerging area of rich media on the Internet. He subsequently consulted to national broadcasters in Pakistan, Malaysia, Fiji, Sri Lanka and Brunei on streaming media.
Stew Art Media is now an Australian leader in Search Engine Optimisation having optimised over 100 sites in a variety of sectors. Jim has given over 50 public speaking presentations on SEO & new media developments including NetWorld Interop, Mobile Content World & the Search Engine Room Conference.
Scotty Iseri is the creator of the web series “Scotty Got An Office Job”. Hailed by tubefilter.TV as “one of the funniest web-series of the millenium”. Scotty Got an Office Job just finished it's 2nd season and is prepping Season 3: Scotty Got An Office Job: Down Undah.
In his day job he has worked as a freelance journalist and public radio producer, and a social media consultant for media companies, arts organizations and not-for-profit organizations. He was a finalist for Public radio's MQ2 grant, and the Theatre Communication Group's Emerging Designer award...always a bridesmaid.
Scotty is also the creator and performer of the long running live show “The Big Rock Show: The World's Smallest Stadium Rock Concert”, an award-winning sound designer and composer, President and CEO of SketchyTemps inc and the inventor of the Paper Hat Game.
Tim's twelve years at the helm of Reactive have made him an expert in web design and online strategy as well as information architecture and multimedia. His role also includes project management and business development.
Tim's passion for the internet encompasses both visual and technical spheres, with a commitment to providing robust solutions that meet business objectives, which also look great. Tim has vast experience with website usability and accessibility, and has provided consulting services to clients such as Telstra, ANZ, STA Travel, British Airways and the Victorian Government.
In 2006 Tim relocated to London and established Reactive's UK office, which has since worked on projects for STA Travel, Microsoft, British Airways and The Stationery Office. In May 2009, Tim returned to the Melbourne office permanently. Reactive's London office meanwhile continues to grow and build on its success.
Venessa is Community Manager for Lonely Planet. She is responsible for wrangling their global online community of 800,000 + travellers and delivering community strategy for the business. Her work includes product design and development, moderation and governance, user experience, community editorial, customer service, social media strategy and community evangelism. She holds a BFA from New York University and is currently pursuing a Masters in Creative Media from University of Brighton. Her research interests span virtual ethnography, new media ethics and collaborative culture.
Director, Strategy & Operations
Kirsty has worked in the Australian digital media industry for 10 years. As Director, Strategy and Operations at Fairfax Digital she is responsible for growing and developing the Stayz.com.au business - the number one website for holiday rentals in Australia.
Prior to joining Stayz.com.au, Kirsty was Marketing Director - Media for Fairfax Digital where she developed and executed the entire consumer and trade marketing strategy across 12 of the company's news, finance and entertainment brands.
She has an MBA from the Australian Graduate School of Management and holds a Bachelor of Business in Communications from the Queensland University of Technology.
Kim McKay is the founder of Klick Communications, a media and marketing consultancy with a focus on the Australian travel industry. Currently managing the communications and social media programmes for travel clients including Hawaii Tourism Oceania, Sydney Melbourne Touring, Stamford Hotels and Resorts and Fraser Suites Sydney, the Klick team are leading the way with ability to architect and drive exciting campaigns.
Sue is AirAsia's Commercial Manager, and one of only 4 members of the team leading its successful entry into the Australian market. Based on the Gold Coast, Sue is responsible for collaborating with head office in Malaysia and overseeing Australian commercial activity. Sue started with AirAsia last November, and has been integral to developing and maintaining stakeholder relationships with co-operative partners.
GM Sales & Marketing
Aileen has been in the tourism industry for over 20 years, with 16 of those years with her current employer Choice Hotels Australasia. Aileen spent a number of years with an inbound operator in the late 80's and 90's and commenced her career in advertising in the late 70's with Ogilvy & Mather Advertising where she spent 10 years.
Through cutting her teeth on smaller tourism accounts at O&M, Aileen found her love and passion for travel and the industry!
Aileen's time as an inbound tour operator was in the capacity of a consultant and ultimately ended up managing the FIT department as well as her time being the manager of Groups. Learning much more about the tourism industry and the many distribution channels and rates needed in this market segment, she decided to stay with Tourism but take her expertise and knowledge into another area and the decision to work in hotels was her next step and she currently resides in Melbourne as General Manager, Sales & Marketing.
Aileen believes that those years in advertising were definitely the best years to be working in that arena, but also realises how different it was then to now! With NO INTERNET being one of the most obvious! It was also during the exciting boom of Australia to the world and the famous ‘Shrimp on the Barbie’ Paul Hogan campaign.
Aileen's experience since joining Flag Inns in 1993 has seen her take a couple of positions and locations. Aileen started with Flag Inns in Sydney as Inbound Sales Executive working with Inbound Tour Operators, then Inbound Sales Manager for Australia & New Zealand and following on some time later stepped in to the role of International Sales Director for Asia, USA, New Zealand and Australia. Choice Hotels International's acquisition of the Flag brand in the late 1990's propelled Aileen into a more dynamic and diverse world of sales and has had significant role changes.
Since then Aileen has been promoted to Senior Director National Sales before taking on not only International responsibility but also domestic and corporate sales. In 2005 Aileen took on the responsibility for the Choice Marketing team and became General Manager, Sales & Marketing – a position she has held for four years. Aileen has been quick to learn the many intricacies of managing a team of Sales & Marketing professionals, running million dollar campaigns, participating in a global loyalty programs and the fabulous world of the internet, its distribution and its competitive pricing structure.
Aileen has always involved herself with committees, panels and project groups within the industry and currently holds the position of Chair person for the ATEC Victoria and Tasmania Branch, which was named 2008 Branch of the Year.
Aileen is a bit of a workaholic but loves her family as well as cooking and the odd glass of chardonnay!
Group Revenue & Distribution Manager
Shannon brings to Mirvac extensive experience in yield and pricing strategy as well as training and distribution management. After holding various revenue and distribution management positions with Carlson Hotels Worldwide in the United States, she moved to Sydney in 1998 to lead the expansion of their reservations and distribution services centre for the Asia Pacific region.
Since joining Mirvac in March 2006, Shannon has led the Central Reservations Services and Distribution operations for the group's hotels in Australia and New Zealand.
As Group Revenue & Distribution Manager, Shannon is currently responsible for leading the group's pricing strategy and the management of new revenue streams and channel partnerships for the overall Mirvac Hotels business. She also leads the central Yield, Reservations Services, and Central Systems teams, with a strong focus on RevPAR, training, and shared knowledge.
Darrell Wade, is the Co-founder and CEO of Intrepid Travel. Darrell and Co-founder Geoff Manchester both completed a Bachelor of Commerce degree at Melbourne University and travelled extensively. During an epic journey across Africa in 1988, with a group of friends, their idea for Intrepid was born.
As the company has grown, Darrell and Intrepid's philosophy have stayed the same - to provide fun and affordable travel adventures that are sustainable and beneficial to both travellers and local communities. The hallmarks of Intrepid trips and their responsible travel approach are small groups, the inclusion of as much public transport and locally owned and operated accommodation as possible and lots of opportunities to interact and make friends with the local people.
In 2006 Darrell completed Climate Project training with the Hon Mr Al Gore. Darrell also heads Intrepid's philanthropic initiative, The Intrepid Foundation, which currently supports over 40 projects for conservation and communities around the globe.
Director, Market Management
Lee McCabe leads Expedia, Inc. Partner Services Group (PSG) Lodging for the Oceania region.
Lee, based in Sydney, is responsible for managing the PSG Oceania team and overseeing lodging partner strategy and relationships.
Lee started with Expedia in 2007 and has played a key role in developing partnerships with the leading chains and independents across the region.
Prior to joining Expedia, Lee spent two years as the GM of sales & marketing strategy at Telstra BigPond, where he led marketing intelligence and strategy. He has held online strategy roles with several companies including eBay and Warner Music.
Lee holds an MBA from Warwick Business School (UK).
President & COO
Robert Rosenstein is an e-commerce and online media veteran of 15 years.
A passion for travel lead him to help create Agoda.com and oversee its growth from start-up to one of Asia's fastest growing online travel companies. Agoda was acquired by Priceline.com (NASDAQ:PCLN) in November of 2007.
Currently as President and Chief Operating Officer, Rob is responsible for managing all of Agoda's operations which span 11 countries in Asia.
Michelle Lee became one of most dynamic entrants to the Australian marketing sector when she relocated to Queensland as Virgin Blue Group's General Manager of Marketing from New Zealand in 2007.
Within months of stepping into the role, Michelle cemented her reputation as a cutting-edge marketing executive by launching V Australia, Australia's newest boutique airline, with a series of bold, playful campaigns.
Michelle currently oversees the strategic marketing direction of Virgin Blue, Pacific Blue and V Australia and is passionate about finding fresh ways to speak with customers in relevant, engaging ways.