This illustrious group of business leaders has worked to make the Global Spa & Wellness Summit a reality.
Founder & Chairman Emeritus, GSWSChairman & CEO, SpaFinder Wellness, United States
Pete Ellis, a founder of the GSWS, has devoted his career to creating better experiences for consumers. In 1994–95, he launched the first automotive buying and research website, Autobytel.com, effectively revolutionizing an entire industry. After taking Autobytel public in 1999, Ellis formed Jubilee Investments, which became the majority shareholder of SpaFinder. Under his leadership, it has been transformed from a niche spa information company to the world’s largest spa and wellness marketing and media channel. His Internet technology innovations are part of the Permanent Research Collection at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.
Chairman & CEO, GSWSPresident, SpaFinder Wellness, United States
Recognized as a driving force behind the evolution of the spa industry from a narrow market sector to the mega industry it is today, Susie Ellis, president of SpaFinder Wellness, is a prominent writer, speaker and analyst and recognized as a leading global authority on spa and wellness. Author of SpaFinder's annual Spa Trend Forecast and the popular Susie’s Spa and Wellness Blog, Ellis is the recipient of the prestigious International Spa Association's 2012 Visionary Award and holds a MBA from UCLA.
Founder, Berger Hospitality Management GmbH, Switzerland
An expert in luxury hotel management, Mr. Berger serves as a board member for a number of hotel companies and organizations, including the Ecole Hôtelière Lausanne, in addition to providing management and consulting for hotels, spas, luxury goods and event management companies through Berger Hospitality Management.
Managing Director, Raison d'Etre, Sweden
Anna Bjurstam has always been dedicated to wellness and has worked in the business for 19 years. Together with her hands-on expertise in wellness and a master's degree in business, Ms. Bjurstam has successfully led Raison d'Etre Spas to become one of the leaders in the spa business.
Vice Chairman, Revolution & CEO, Exclusive Resorts
As Vice Chairman of Revolution and CEO of both Revolution Places Development and a toprated U.S. spa/wellness resort, Miraval, Philippe is recognized worldwide as a leader in the creation of new models of health and wellness tourism. Prior to joining Revolution he served as co-CEO of the Davos-based World Economic Forum for two years, the very institution the GSS is, in part, modeled after.
Dr. Marc Cohen
Professor, RMIT University, Australia
Professor Marc Cohen is currently the Foundation Professor of Complementary Medicine at RMIT University, president of the Australasian Integrative Medicine Association. He is a medical doctor with degrees in Western medicine, physiology, and psychological medicine and PhDs in both Chinese medicine and biomedical engineering.
Group Director of Spas, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, Hong Kong
Mr. Gibson has been appointed to lead and manage the global activities of Mandarin Oriental’s internationally acclaimed luxury spa division. He is a well-known and respected spa professional with 25 years of luxury and diversified hotel and leisure services experience.
Founder & CEO, ESPA International, United Kingdom
As chief executive and founder of ESPA International, Ms. Harmsworth has revolutionized the luxury spa world from its very inception and ignited a new era in spas of distinction. Since its debut in 1993, ESPA swiftly became the world's premier, fully integrated spa company; enjoying international acclaim, numerous accolades, and a sophisticated, devoted spa following from the media and international traveler alike.
President, Kyricos & Associates, United States
Mia Kyricos is President of Kyricos & Associates, a consultancy dedicated to the spa, wellness and hospitality industries. Prior to founding her own consultancy in 2012, Mia was Vice President of Core Performance where she oversaw operations of corporate wellness centers, fitness and health-related deployments at Fortune 500 companies. Before Core Performance, Mia was the Director of Global Spa Brands & Programming at Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, where she lead spa development, operations and marketing for seven years.
President & COO, Mandara Spa, Indonesia; Vice President, Bliss World (Steiner Leisure Limited)
Jeff Matthews is president and COO of Mandara Spa, one of the world's largest resort spa management companies, with more than 75 spas worldwide. Born in Canada, Mr. Matthews holds a business management degree and has more than 20 years' experience in the hospitality industry with international chains such as Four Seasons and Hilton Hotels throughout the Middle East, Australia, Canada, and Indonesia. He lives in Bali and travels extensively throughout Asia, the Pacific, and the Middle East.
Anne McCall Wilson
Vice President, Spas, Fairmont Raffles Hotels International Inc., Canada
Anne McCall Wilson, Vice President, Spas, is in the enviable position of having a passion for her job. A hotel and marketing background spanning 20 years, combined with her personal interest in well-being have made her the driving force behind the creation of the Willow Stream Spa brand for Fairmont Hotels & Resorts.
Chief Executive Officer, Vana Retreats & Hotels Pvt Ltd, India
Hoping to create a new paradigm in both Wellness and Hospitality, Vana Retreats and Hotels has set out to bring together the most sincere, authentic and results driven wellness offering, with the best of contemporary high-end hospitality. As the leader of this initiative, Veer hopes to create unique wellness retreats and boutique hotels, both in India and abroad. He also heads other private initiatives of the Max Group (India), with most of his passion and energy invested in Vana.
Professor Mary Tabacchi, PhD
Associate Professor, Cornell University School of Hotel Administration, United States
Professor Mary Tabacchi, PhD, RD, has been active in the spa industry since the early 1980s, when Alex and Deborah Szekely persuaded her to work with the Golden Door and Rancho La Puerta. She created a strong prototype for spa research at the request of the International Spa Association in the early 1990s, the Destination Spa Group, and the Leading Spas of Canada in 2000-2004. Dr. Tabacchi has been teaching spa management and development at Cornell University's Hospitality Management program since 1985.