2017 ATHOC Speaker Profiles


Barry Robinson - Wyndham Vacation Resorts Asia Pacific - CEO and Managing Director

Since 2003, Barry has held the position of CEO and Managing Director for Wyndham Vacation Resorts Asia Pacific and Wyndham Hotel Group in the South Pacific. 

 In this capacity Barry is responsible for managing the region’s largest vacation ownership company with more than 43,000 vacation owners and expanding Wyndham Hotel Group’s brands throughout the South Pacific, including Wyndham Hotels & Resorts®, Ramada®, Super 8® and Days Inns® brands.

As CEO and Managing Director of Wyndham Vacation Resorts Asia Pacific, Barry Robinson has been the driving force behind many significant new property acquisitions, enhanced resort developments and a has brought a renewed customer focus to the business.  Under his supervision, both Wyndham Vacation Resorts Asia Pacific and Wyndham Hotel Group in the South Pacific have expanded their portfolios in the Australian, New Zealand and South Pacific regions and are actively expanding into new Asian markets. 

With more than 30 years’ hospitality experience, Barry has a vast knowledge of the hotel and resort industry – from development, to branding, management, franchising and operations.  Barry has held a number of senior leadership positions in the Asia Pacific region for some of the world’s largest hospitality companies including Swiss-Belhotel International, Swissôtel Worldwide Partner Hotels and Choice Hotels International. 

 Barry is also -

  • Board Director, FSHD Global
  • Vice President of ATHOC (Australian Timeshare and Holiday Ownership Council)
  • Member, Australian Institute of Company Directors
  • Member of the School of Hotel Resort & Tourism Management’s Executive Advisory Board, Bond University
  • Member of Young Presidents Organisation, Queensland Chapter
  • Long standing CHA member for over 15 years

Mitchell Cole - Accor’s Millennial & Communications advisor 

Mitchell Cole is fast tracking his career in hospitality with results that really speak for themselves. Recently awarded 2016 Rising Star winner for Australasia at the HM Awards, Mitchell personifies everything that Accor looks for in an employee… dedication, motivation and an outstanding leader. 

Rising through the ranks with 8 well deserved job promotions in just 6 years, his innovation, dedication and creativity as Guest Quality and Compliance Manager at Novotel Sydney on Darling Harbour has led to our best ever customer service scores and incredibly happy guests. Mitchell ensures that as a team, there is an exemplary guest service culture our hotel is leading the way in guest satisfaction.

In his current role Mitchell  provides feedback to the COO of the company directly on internal communications and key projects. 58% of AccorHotels employees are within the Age bracket of a millennial. He needs to ensure that all projects that the VP’s would like to implement within the business are going to be engaging for the entire company and have a good approach for the millennial mindset.

Ilona Charykova -Social Media Marketing Manager - Wyndham Vacation Resorts Asia Pacific

Every brand has stories to tell. 

Perhaps most importantly, every brand has stories to listen to. 

Ilona Charykova is passionate about using marketing to tell those stories. To inspire action. To solve customer and business problems. To engage.  

Ilona’s specialities include digital media marketing, consumer behaviour, social media strategy, SEO, content marketing, and copywriting, and she is the Social Media Marketing Manager at Wyndham Vacation Resorts Asia Pacific. 

Connect with Ilona Charykova on LinkedIn at


Ramy Filo - Chief Executive Officer - Classic Holidays

A qualified professional engineer, Ramy spent 12 years in sales, marketing, local and regional management for a global industrial electronics company before turning his career to the timeshare industry, a move he has never looked back on.

Now Chairman of Beneficium and CEO of Classic Holidays, Ramy is involved in every aspect of the timeshare business and a devoted and passionate advocate for the advancement of the industry. Ramy has been a Director of the Australian Timeshare and Holiday Ownership Council (ATHOC), the industry body, for the past 11 years, serving as President for 7 years and currently the Vice President. Additionally, he was also the Chairman of the Global Alliance of Timeshare Excellence (GATE), a peer-appointed position he held from 2006 to 2014 (8 years). Because of his extensive involvement in the industry globally, Ramy is able to share new and innovative information with his peers, and stay abreast of industry developments at all levels.

A member of several industry boards and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, Ramy’s panache for leadership delivers the integrity, credibility and success behind the Beneficium Group.

Karri Nicholas – Director - Send Me Social

Karri Nicholas, owner and Director of Send Me Social, works within the digital marketing industry covering all aspects including social media management, websites, branding, graphic design, and SEO. Karri is based on the Gold Coast and services clients throughout Australia, from large companies to small boutiques. Karri has made Australia's Top 50 Influencers, and has been nominated for the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year awards. 

Lindsay Leeser
-  Accor - VP Development and VP of Franchise Operations Pacific Region  

Lindsay Leeser is currently employed as Vice President Development Pacific & Vice President Franchise Operations for Accor based in Sydney, Australia. In this role, Lindsay is responsible for the development and growth of the Accor network within Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific. Lindsay Is also responsible for the operations of the AccorHotels Franchise network which includes some 85 hotels across the region.

Stuart Sandford –Wyndham Vacation Resorts Asia Pacific - Senior Director Property Development & Technical Services Property Development

Gail O’Neil – Councillor Division 14 City of Gold Coast

Councillor (Cr) Gail O’Neill is the newly elected Councillor for Division 14 (March 2016).

Division 14 is at the south of the Gold Coast and includes the suburbs of Elanora (part of), Tallebudgera (part of), Tallebudgera Valley, Currumbin Valley, Currumbin Waters, Currumbin, Tugun Heights, Tugun, Bilinga, Kirra, Rainbow Bay and Coolangatta

She has had extensive experience in the hospitality industry, having been General Manager of the Beach House Seaside Resort and Commercial Shopping Plaza in Coolangatta for the past 15 years. She also held the voluntary position of President of Southern Gold Coast Chamber of Commerce for seven years and Chair of Cooly Rocks On Festival for the last four years. 

Cr O’Neill represented the Chamber of Commerce on Council’s Southern Gateway Advisory Committee and Queensland Chamber of Commerce & Industry Regional Board.  

Cr O’Neill is passionate about balancing progress and lifestyle in Southern Gold Coast.   

Greg Clerk – Host Plus Head of Investment Strategy

Greg’s primary responsibility is the development and implementation of investment strategy, which is inclusive of contributions to portfolio construction, asset allocation, manager selection and other investment-related decisions.

Prior to this role he worked for 17 years at JANA, where he provided consulting and investment advice to a variety of superannuation funds (with the main fund being Hostplus).  Within JANA, Greg has at times held a variety of roles including heading up the Quantitative Analytics, Information Technology and Custody teams. 

Greg holds a Ph.D. (Theoretical Physics) from the University of Melbourne.

Richard Munro - CEO - Accommodation Association of Australia

As an established industry leader, Richard is well known to key decision-makers and is an outstanding advocate for Australia's accommodation sector. He has extensive experience in the accommodation sector, as well as the broader tourism industry. Richard's experience in major hotels - starting out as a food-and-beverage trainee and graduating to senior management - means he is in tune with the needs of the industry at all levels. Richard's considerable experience includes his former position as Chairman of the Accommodation Division of the NSW Australian Hotels Association branch between 2007 and 2010 and General Manager of Star City Hotel & Apartments from 2001 to 2010. Richard is a former Director of Development Australia/New Zealand/Pacific with World Hotels and a former President of the Darling Harbour Business Assocation.

Claire Madden - Social Researcher, Director of Hello Clarity

Claire Madden is a keynote speaker, social researcher, business consultant and Director Hello Clarity. Claire is in demand for her skill in effectively identifying the emerging trends, organisational culture, and generational engagement. Claire is a professional in interpreting what this means for educators, managers and business leaders

Julian Clark - CEO of Lancemore Group, President of Accommodation Association of Australia Board

Julian is CEO of The Lancemore Group, a family owned and managed business and one of the largest boutique hotel operators in Australia. Julian has extensive experience in the accommodation industry and in his current role manages several iconic properties across Australia that regularly feature in Gold List’s and Good Food Guides. Julian is also the President of the Accommodation Association of Australia Board, a board member for the Melbourne Convention Bureau (MCB) and a past board member of Victorian Tourism Industry Council (VTIC). 

Tim Wiedman - Partner, McCullough Robertson

Tim is an expert financial services and managed investments lawyer. He has extensive experience in all areas of funds management and financial services law, including structuring and establishing unregulated, unregistered and registered managed investments schemes, advising on Australian financial services (AFS) licensing requirements and assisting clients obtain or vary an AFS licence. 

Tim acts for a variety of wholesale and retail fund managers, including timeshare schemes, property trusts, equities funds, hedge funds, income funds, serviced strata schemes and agribusiness schemes, as well as other financial services clients such as insurers, stockbrokers, foreign exchange and derivative traders financial planners. 

Paul Donovan - Board Director of Tourism and Events Queensland

Paul Donovan has more than 40 years’ experience in aviation and tourism. Paul’s current position is Executive General Manager Business Development and Marketing for Queensland Airports Ltd - a role in which he leverages his significant experience, extensive knowledge of, and contacts within, the tourism and aviation industries. Paul has taken a leading role in establishing direct flights between Gold Coast and China amongst other Asia Pacific destinations.

Paul’s past roles include Chief Operating Officer at Gold Coast Airport from 2005 to 2014. Paul was responsible for the day-to-day operations and several key projects: delivery of a runway extension, a $100 million terminal redevelopment, a long term car park, the 2011 airport master plan, the expansion of Tower Road with an increased fuel facility holding, additional apron parking, as well as terminal and apron changes to facilitate the current growth. Paul had previous roles at Executive level for Ansett, Air New Zealand and Qantas.

Paul has been a member of the Gold Coast Tourism Board since 2005 and Chairman since 2007 Paul is a board director of Tourism and Events Queensland.

Dr June Smith, Lead Ombudsman – Investments and Advice

Dr June Smith has a wealth of experience in the financial planning and related sectors, well-developed relationships with regulators, industry and consumer groups and a significant track record as an independent decision maker. June is well recognised for her work developing the role of codes of practice to improve customer service, along with her efforts in promoting professional standards and business ethics in the financial advice industry.

Prior to becoming Lead Ombudsman (Investments and Advice), June was CEO of the Code Compliance Monitoring Committee for the Code of Banking Practice and General Manager of Code Compliance and Monitoring at FOS.

June has a PhD in Law from Victoria University, specialising in professional and business ethics and organisational decision–making within financial services organisations. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) and a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Melbourne.

June’s external appointments have included Member, Racing Victoria Appeals and Disciplinary Board; Independent Chair, Conduct Review Commission, Financial Planning Association of Australia; Independent Chair, Code Compliance and Monitoring Committee, Australian Travel Agents Scheme; Advisory Member, Member Compliance Committee, Financial and Consumer Rights Council of Victoria; and Victoria University Alumni Ambassador.

June is a member of ANZOA, the peak body in Australia and New Zealand for industry-based, parliamentary and statutory ombudsman offices.

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