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Meet the Wilderman Team

John G. Wilderman
Kristin D. Kurie
Lori Shipley
Founder and President Emeritus
Vice President, Operations
Director of Meetings and Conferences, The Wilderman Meetings Group

John G. Wilderman, Founder and President Emeritus

John G. Wilderman, a 40-year veteran of the hospitality industry, has served in a wide range of positions during his career. His background includes hotel general manager, club manager, resort managing director, regional VP of operations, VP of development, acquisition consultant and, most recently, president of The Wilderman Group. He has served as president of the International Association of Conference Centers, and has been honored as the recipient of the prestigious Mel Hosansky Award for Distinguished Service, given only to those individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to the industry.

Mr. Wilderman received a Bachelor of Science degree in Hospitality Management from The Ohio State University and has been a faithful football season ticket holder for nearly forty years.

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Kristin D. Kurie, President of The Wilderman Group

Kristin Kurie is president and owner of The Wilderman Group, a hospitality management company that specializes in operating meeting and event venues, and civic and community developments throughout the Southeast.

She is a 30-year veteran of the hospitality industry with a concentration on the sales and marketing discipline and served as director of sales and marketing at Doral Arrowwood Resort & Conference Center, considered one of the nation's premier conference centers. A recognized industry leader, Kristin successfully managed her own sales consulting practice, Kurie & Associates for a number of years and worked with many of the premier conference center management companies in the industry.

Her experience covers a broad range in the hospitality and meetings industries and she brings an internationally recognized reputation for her expertise in conference centers, meeting and event venues, event management and consulting. Kristin served as a director of the International Association of Conference Centers and was active on the marketing and sustainability committees. She remains involved with the association and is a frequent presenter at the IACC Annual Conference focusing on sales and marketing. She was presented the coveted Award of Excellence from IACC for her years of service to the association and to the conference center industry and is the proud recipient of the prestigious Pyramid Award for her commitment to education in the conference center industry.

Kristin is a committed and dedicated steward of the environment and an active member of Lowcountry Local First, the grassroots movement of education and relationship building that promotes the advantages of buying from local, independent business and farmers. Through concentrated environmental practices incorporated at The Wilderman Group's three USGBC LEED facilities, she continues to raise awareness of sustainability programs and green meetings in the hospitality industry as a frequent guest speaker on "greening your meeting venue".

As Vice President of New Business for The Wilderman Group, Kristin managed the overall sales and marketing strategies as well as sales training and the pursuit of new business opportunities. While she continues to focus on sales and marketing, in her role as President she performs the day-to-day tasks aimed at implementing the organization's focused vision.

Kristin graduated from Boston College with a bachelor of arts degree in Russian Studies and remains an avid NY Football Giants fan.

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Lori Shipley, Director of Meetings and Conferences,
The Wilderman Meetings Group

Lori Shipley has a wide range of hospitality experience spanning more than 25 years in the hospitality industry. As Director of Meetings and Conferences for The Wilderman Meetings Group, she serves as a site selection expert by consulting with clients to identify and matching the most appropriate venue or facility for their conferences, training sessions and other business events. Lori has solid experience in catering and in group sales at the Regency Hotel in New York, Millennium Broadway Hotel in Times Square, NYC, Doral Arrowwood Resort & Conference Center in Westchester, NY, and the GTE Norwalk Center in Connecticut. Lori is a graduate of Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island, and spent four years four years at the University as an Instructor in the Culinary Arts Division.

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Strategic Partners

Sean Hardwick
James M. Mahon
Rhett Myers
Chuck Ocheltree
Wendy Mingst
Corporate Director of Golf Course Maintenance
JMM, Inc.
Class-A PGA Professional
Conference Center Network
Strategic Partner, Human Resources

Sean Hardwick, Corporate Director of Golf Course Maintenance

Sean Hardwick has more than 15 years of golf course superintendent experience in resort, semiprivate club and private club environments. He has overseen golf courses at Myrtle Beach National, Woodlake Resort & Golf Club in Vass, NC, and Casperkill Country Club in Poughkeepsie, NY. As Director of Golf Course Maintenance at Seabrook Island Club, near Charleston, he is responsible for the top-rated Ocean Winds Course and Crooked Oaks Course, which were the first two courses in South Carolina to earn certification from the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program. Mr. Hardwick holds Class-A Superintendent membership with the Golf Course Superintendents Association and the Carolinas Golf Course Superintendents Association. He is also a member of the Coastal Plains Golf Course Superintendents Association and Audubon International. In college, his baseball skills earned him a spot with the South Carolina Gamecocks, and he was drafted by the Oakland Athletics. Mr. Hardwick attended the University of South Carolina and received an Associate Degree in Golf Course Management from Horry-Georgetown Technical College.

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James M. Mahon, JMM, Inc.

For more than 25 years, James has actively marketed and promoted conference facilities in various marketing and public relations roles starting with the opening team at Doral Arrowwood in Westchester, NY. He served as Corporate Director of Advertising for Doral Hotels & Resorts and their nine resorts and with Dolce International where he served as Director of Marketing Services and Corporate Director of Public Relations, during the company's rapid global growth.

James is currently President of JMM, Inc. a consulting firm specializing in conference center marketing and serves the needs of both management companies and independent IACC-approved facilities including marketing and public relations support, collateral development, direct mail, web development, and marketing projects. James also serves as Global Director of Marketing and Public Relations for the International Association of Conference Centers (IACC) where he actively maintains a strong relationship with the meeting market press, generates news releases, develops media impact reports, and directs the association's marketing activities which include partnerships, media inserts, and internal communications.

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Rhett Myers, Class-A PGA Professional & President/Owner of RMR Golf, Inc

Rhett Myers brings more than 20 years of golf operations experience related to corporate, public and private golf facilities. As President/Owner of RMR Golf, Inc., Rhett oversees the golf operations of the Vassar Golf Course at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, NY. He is responsible for the overall operation, including staffing, budgeting, marketing, merchandising, grounds maintenance and public relations. Rhett has published numerous articles and produced weekly TV golf tips, and was voted the region's Best Golf Pro in Hudson Valley Magazine. He is a Class-A PGA Professional with the PGA of America and a member of the Metropolitan PGA in New York. He serves as the Vassar College NCAA III Women's Golf Coach and hosts an annual inner city youth golf mentoring program. Mr. Myers graduated from Susquehanna University with a B.A. in Communications.

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Chuck Ocheltree, Conference Center Network

Chuck Ocheltree, with 35 years of hospitality experience, specializes in conference center, resort and hotel sales, marketing, operations and development. He has asset managed independent and branded hotels, and provided sales and marketing direction from corporate and property level positions. He has served as Vice President Sales & Marketing, General Manager, Director of Sales & Marketing and Chief Development Officer and has developed, opened, operated and marketed award-winning venues in New York City, Georgia, and Westchester, NY, and Alabama. As President and Founder of the Conference Center Network, Chuck continues his leadership role with active participation in key industry organizations including the Georgia Chapters of Meeting Professionals International (MPI), Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association (HSMAI) and the International Association of Conference Centers (IACC). Chuck is a featured speaker and presenter at industry events facilitates workshops, sales training and consulting on all aspects of hospitality sales, marketing and negotiating. Mr. Ocheltree holds a bachelors degree from the University of South Florida, Tampa, FL.

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Wendy Mingst, Strategic Partner, Human Resources

For more than 25 years, Wendy has specialized in building and implementing Human Resources and Training initiatives in the hospitality and food service industries. Wendy serves The Wilderman Group in HR department organization and administration; policy and procedure development; employee communication and documentation tools; employee relations practices and recognition programs. An accomplished presenter and communicator of management training in Human Resources compliance, Wendy served as Director of Human Resources for Doherty Enterprises, Inc. building an HR department supporting approximately 6,500 employees in 92 restaurants.

Wendy has a distinguished career with major hotel and conference center organizations and is a member of the Society for Human Resource Management and local chapters of both SHRM and the American Society for Training and Development. She holds a B. S. degree in Physical and Health Education from James Madison University in Virginia.

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