The Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) will celebrate four outstanding revenue optimization leaders during HSMAI ROC Americas in Dallas on Sept. 29. HSMAI will honor Cindy Estis Green, CEO and cofounder of Kalibri Labs, with the prestigious Vanguard Award for Achievement in Revenue Optimization. Apurv Batra, CRME, area director of revenue strategy at Hyatt Hotels and Resorts, and Jenna Villalobos, CRME, vice president of commercial strategy at Outrigger Hospitality Group, will be presented with the Revenue Professional of the Year Awards for single/multi-use and corporate, respectively. Dr. Breffni Noone, associate professor at Pennsylvania State University, will be honored with the inaugural Revenue Optimization Educator of the Year Award. The “Of the Year” awards are co-presented by HSMAI and Expedia Group.
Cindy Estis Green
Cindy Estis Green will be presented with HSMAI’s Vanguard Award for Achievement in Revenue Optimization for the impact of her thought leadership on the industry.
Estis Green’s career began in corporate marketing and senior operations roles for Hilton International. After founding the data mining and predictive modeling analytics company Driving Revenue and selling it to Pegasus Solutions, Estis Green spent 12 years as managing partner of The Estis Group.
In 2012, Estis Green co-founded Kalibri Labs, a firm providing a commercial strategy and benchmarking platform to evaluate and predict hotel revenue performance. Using innovative data science techniques, Kalibri Labs helps hotel owners and operators optimize profit contribution and supports the real estate community with the tools that refine underwriting for transactions, development, and financial restructuring.
The selection committee recognized Estis Green’s contributions to the industry as the author or co-author of several groundbreaking books, including the first profile of the hospitality digital marketplace — produced in conjunction with the HSMAI Foundation — Distribution Channel Analysis: A Guide for Hotels. This 2012 publication introduced a critical metric to the hotel industry, Contribution to Operating Profit and Expense (COPE). With Estis Green’s advocacy, focusing the industry on profitability has been a significant contribution to the overall health of the industry, from operations management to asset value and beyond.
The committee also noted that her advocacy of and support for the industry — through AH&LA, AAHOA, HSMAI, and other organizations — helps ensure that the economic impact of hotels and tourism are kept at the forefront of the national business conversation.
Estis Green is a champion for the growth of commercial strategy in the hotel industry and the guiding principles of profitable revenue optimization. She is an innovative visionary when it comes to data usage, data application in the real world (tactical and strategic), and the implementation of the appropriate support for users of data from the property level to the C-suite.
Apurv Batra, CRME
Apurv Batra, CRME, is this year’s single/multi-use Revenue Optimization Professional of the Year. Batra is an experienced, driven, and results-oriented revenue management professional. He has a strong track record of leading successful record-setting revenue generation strategies within large, geographically diverse, distinguished reputation organizations, including Taj Hotels Resorts & Palaces, where he directed revenue management and distribution activity for many of the Taj Group’s most illustrious hotels for eight years.
Notably, Batra was part of the hotel opening team for the 100th Taj Hotel in Asia, after which he joined Two Roads Hospitality and currently serves as area director of revenue strategy at Hyatt Hotels Corporation. At Hyatt, Batra successfully migrated Motif Seattle into World of Hyatt post-acquisition this year, and he works closely across disciplines to drive results. Batra has been honored with Hyatt’s Revenue Director of the Year Award.
His nominators said that during the pandemic, Batra “has been instrumental in deploying rational pricing further out and stimulating demand over softer periods to drive more business from internal channels and … in driving ancillary revenues pertaining to upsells by implementing pre-arrival upsell email campaigns.”
Batra holds a certificate in advanced hospitality revenue management and a master’s certificate in revenue management, both from Cornell University.
Jenna Villalobos, CRME
Jenna Villalobos, CRME, is this year’s corporate Revenue Optimization Professional of the Year. With more than 20 years of experience in total revenue management and reservation sales, Villalobos serves as vice president of revenue strategy for Outrigger Hospitality Group, which she joined from KSL Resorts, where she was corporate director of revenue optimization. Earlier in her revenue career, she held management positions at Doral Palm Springs, La Quinta Resort & Club, and Morongo Casino Resort & Spa, where she was integral to its opening.
Villalobos’s success in crafting a revenue-centric culture and driving a commercial mindset at Outrigger led to her promotion from vice president of revenue strategy to vice president of commercial strategy in 2021. At Outrigger, Villalobos led the charge to implement a best-in-class tech stack and tools, so business decisions could be based on solid data. She also spearheaded the complete overhaul of Outrigger’s entire distribution network. This year, she led the Buy One Give One and Hotels for Heroes programs for Outrigger, providing complimentary rooms to frontline workers during the pandemic.
With a bachelor’s degree in hospitality management from Johnson and Wales University, Villalobos also holds a certificate of revenue management from Cornell University.
Her nominators described Villalobos as “an exceptional leader — not only as the head of revenue strategy and vice president of commercial strategy at Outrigger Hospitality Group and as a mentor to her team and colleagues — but as a thought leader and forerunner in the industry.
This year, HSMAI is awarding the first-ever Revenue Optimization Educator of the Year Award, honoring Breffni Noone, associate professor of hospitality management at Penn State University. Noone holds a Ph.D. in revenue management from Cornell University. Her research interests revolve around revenue management in the restaurant, hotel, and golf industries.
She has authored several book chapters, published more than 40 articles in leading academic journals, and been the recipient of a number of research, teaching excellence, and advising awards. She currently serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Revenue and Pricing Management and the International Journal of Hospitality Management and is an associate editor for the Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Research.
Noone is a revenue management consultant to hospitality enterprises and provides executive education programs in revenue management in the U.S. and Europe. She is a member of the HSMAI Revenue Optimization Advisory Board for the Americas and is chair of the governing board for Les Roches Global Hospitality Education.
Her nominators described Noone as “The consummate educator. She is dedicated to preparing her students for the real world of revenue optimization, bringing real-life examples and perspectives to the classroom. Her research is always grounded in industry needs, with strong theoretical justification and methodology, and she stays involved with the RM community through her consulting and work with HSMAI.”
These awards will be presented at HSMAI ROC Americas, the world’s largest gathering of revenue optimization professionals in the travel industry. This year, ROC will be held in conjunction with HSMAI’s Marketing Strategy Conference as a part of HSMAI’s Commercial Strategy Week. For more information about ROC, visit http://www.hsmairoc.org.
Health & Safety Notice: Based on the lates t guidance from the CDC for indoor gatherings, HSMAI will require masks to be worn throughout all indoor events in Dallas regardless of attendees’ vaccination status.
HSMAI chapters and the industry at large can nominate individuals for the Vanguard Award for Achievement in Revenue Optimization and the Revenue Optimization Professional and Educator of the Year Awards. Nominees represent top talent in the discipline and are judged by a panel of revenue leaders on a variety of criteria.
To interview an HSMAI spokesperson about the event and the award honorees, please contact Kaitlin Dunn at [email protected]
HSMAI is a global organization of sales, marketing, and revenue management professionals representing all segments of the hospitality industry. HSMAI has become the industry champion in identifying and communicating trends in the hospitality industry while operating as a leading voice for both hospitality and sales, marketing, and revenue management disciplines, as well as connecting its members with customers. Founded in the United States in 1927, HSMAI is an individual membership organization comprised of nearly 5,000 members from 35 countries and chapters worldwide. HSMAI operates regionally around the globe via Regional boards of directors and staff. There are four regions: the Americas, Asia Pacific, Europe, and the Middle East. Each region has signature programs and services for association members. HSMAI has a Global board that is comprised of delegates from each Region.