TATOC 2017 Conference Speakers

The speakers at this year’s TATOC conference will cover a variety of interesting topics that will generate discussion and debate among delegates – and are truly international. Check back here on a regular basis as more speakers are confirmed.


Geoff Chapman

Geoff Chapman: TATOC Consumer Helpline Trustee & Senior Resort Accreditor for TATOC

After attaining BA and BSC Honours degrees, Geoff held a senior position in a multi-national corporation where he worked extensively in customer service as a business/systems analyst and project leader for implementing major change.

Geoff has been a timeshare owner for more than 30 years, owning a combination of fixed weeks, floating weeks and timeshare points. He has been a member/director of a timeshare points club for 12 years and a director on the TATOC board since 2007 with a particular focus on TATOC’s consumer helpline and legislation affecting timeshare ownership. Prior to that he was co-opted to the board.

Geoff has a long and strongly held belief in the value of quality timeshare and a passionate commitment to enhancing the role of TATOC as the principle representative for timeshare consumers in Europe.

He believes: “The future of timeshare is crucially dependent on a good understanding and relationship between timeshare consumers and all aspects of the timeshare industry.  In these challenging times, timeshare owners need high-quality professional representation and a help-line facility that is second to none. It is my pleasure and privilege to contribute, through TATOC, to the protection and best interests of timeshare owners, and to the delivery of the TATOC Mission.”


Paul Gardner Paul Gardner Bougaard: CEO Resort Development Organisation, RDO

A barrister by profession, Paul spent seven years at the Bar before taking a further degree in EU Law.

He spent some time at the EU Commission in Brussels, before moving into financial services with Abbey National, firstly in Brussels then in London.

He became CEO of First National Trustees in 1997 and joined the Board of IFG Group plc, the Dublin based parent company, in 1998.

Paul left IFG in 2005 and became a business consultant with IIB.  In 2007, he was seconded again to Brussels to re-structure OTE (now RDO), on a six month assignment and has been its CEO ever since, re-branding it RDO and re-locating out of Brussels.


Robert J. Webb: Partner at BakerHostetler, Orlando

Rob Webb maintains a diverse international hospitality law practice with a strong emphasis on resort development and the travel and leisure industry.

Rob has been active in the American Resort Development Association (ARDA) – the U.S. shared ownership trade association – for more than 30 years and he has participated in the negotiation, drafting and lobbying of and for laws and administrative rules affecting the timeshare industry throughout the U.S. and the Caribbean since 1983.

During an absence from BakerHostetler, Rob served as president of Island One, Inc., a multi-site timeshare developer based in Orlando where he gained valuable experience in the business side of the timeshare industry.

With this perspective, as well as his involvement in the timeshare industry from its birth, Rob is able to anticipate trends and change in the industry and serve his clients beyond expectation.


Howard Nusbaum: President & CEO American Resort Development Association, ARDA

Howard C. Nusbaum is currently the president and chief executive officer of the American Resort Development Association (ARDA), the Washington D.C.-based professional association representing the vacation ownership and resort development industries.

Prior to joining ARDA in 2000, Nusbaum served as director of Corporate and Industry Relations for the American Hotel & Lodging Association as well as executive vice president of the Ohio Hotel & Lodging Association.

Before joining the world of hotel association management in 1990, he was vice president of marketing for Janus Hotels and Resorts, a hotel management company with more than 50 hotels and motels nationwide. Nusbaum is a past board member of the Educational Institute of the American Hotel & Lodging Association.

He received the Educational Institute’s “Lamp of Knowledge” for his development of hospitality training programs. Additional honours include being twice named (1995 and 1997) The Ohio Vocational Education Association “Person of the Year” for his work developing a curriculum for secondary school hospitality students.

He received national recognition for his development of the very successful HOST Welfare-to-Work Program. He serves on the Board of Directors of the U.S. Travel Association and its Executive Committee. He previously served on the Board of the Travel Business Roundtable.

He is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati. Post collegiate education includes the respected Institute for Organization Management, a six-year program for association executives held at the University Of Notre Dame. Nusbaum served his state hotel association executives as chairman of the International Society of Hotel Association Executives (ISHAE).


Linda Mayhugh, President – C.A.R.E. (Cooperative Association of Resort Exchangers)

Linda planted roots in the vacation industry more than 35 years ago in her hometown of French Lick, Indiana at the French Lick Springs Villas.

Quickly exceling into management at the age of 22, Linda has had the opportunity to gain valuable knowledge in almost every aspect of the industry.  Her vast experience spans administration and operations to marketing and sales as well as executive level management.  Linda has been employed by Advantage Travel in Lakeland, Florida for 24 years where she is currently a Partner and served as Chief Operating Officer for more than 15 years.

As President of C.A.R.E., Linda serves in a volunteer capacity and has a fiduciary, alongside the board of directors, to manage and lead the non-profit trade association into the future.  She has been a board member of C.A.R.E. since 2009, is a C.A.R.E. Master Professional, and has received the organizations prestigious Richard Gallardo Service Award as well as the Pinnacle Award for outstanding service to the industry and local communities.  Linda was also recently recognized by ARDA as a Registered Resort Professional (RRP).


Geoff Ramm, Motivational Speaker

Like you, Geoff Ramm, the creator and author of Celebrity Service and OMG Marketing, knows the only way you can attract more customers is to create jaw-dropping marketing. Not only that but great customer service leads to lucrative, repeat business.

So how do you create highly successful marketing ideas? And how can you design a customer experience that has you talked about for decades to come? Geoff knows the Jedi Mind Trick to make you craved by your customers, envied by your competitors and raved about in your industry. In his interactive keynotes, your team will not only discover out-of-this-world ideas, they will come up with them and be excited to implement them too. Companies across six continents have outperformed their competitors by using Geoff’s unique insights on customer service and marketing.


John Heffernan Sales & Marketing Director Red Live Media

John Heffernan Sales Director of Red Live Media is a renowned keynote presenter at the forefront of all things Digital since 1997. Offering 20 years experience in the Online / Digital Marketing sector John’s educative approach to individual client meetings or group keynote presentation sessions is always lively and very engaging with a multitude of tips, hints, do’s and don’ts sprinkled throughout his best practice advice and consultancy sessions.

Successful digital campaigns for a client portfolio of corporate and SME clients and brands include: Independent Print Industry Association (IPIA), easyhotel.com, PHS, eBookers, uSwitch, Initial Rentokil, TNT Post, Rightmove, Smart Recruit Online, EnglishUK, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), The Lancet, the British Council and many more corporate and SME businesses.

John is a much in demand keynote presenter at local, regional, National and International events including:  Advertising Technology Show (AdTech), Internet World, Online Marketing Show (Marketing Week Live), Technology for Marketing (TFM&A), Figaro Digital, Sunday Times Enterprise Network, On-the-Edge-Live, FSB National Conference, English UK Conference, IPIA Conference, PPExpo and many more.


Dimitris Manikis, Vice President – Business Development, RCI Europe, Middle East & Africa

Dimitris Manikis is a Shared Ownership industry veteran, having 25 years’ experience in the business.  Dimitris joined RCI straight from University.  After his initial training in RCI’s UK office, he went on to spend two and a half years in the Middle East, two years in Turkey and a year in India.

During his tenure with RCI, Dimitris has held many positions throughout the EMEA region including Managing Director for RCI’s South Eastern region and also Managing Director of RCI Africa.  Today Dimitris oversees an extensive Business Development team spanning three business regions and spends most of his time in the air and on the road, visiting RCI clients and his team in local markets.

A Greek national, Dimitris was born in Athens and holds a Bachelor degree in Tourism and Administration from the University of Patras in Greece, and an MSc Postgraduate degree in Tourism Marketing from the University of Surrey. His passion for people and work ethic comes from his 84-year-old father, whom he cites as his role model and inspiration.

His father built up a grocery retail business in Athens where, helping out as a boy, Dimitris says he learned the value of high customer service levels, a positive outlook and hard work as being the foundations of success in both business and life. When he’s not travelling, he heads home to Athens to spend time with his wife and two teenage daughters and enjoys spending time at his own timeshare on the Greek island of Paros.


Philip B. Watson, Chief Executive Officer, Worldwide Group of Companies Limited.

Philip Watson is the Chief Executive and driving force behind the Worldwide Group of Companies, which includes the leading resale company – Worldwide Timeshare Hypermarket.

Educated to degree level at Goldsmiths College in London he has been involved in Timeshare for over 30 years and is experienced in a range of successful sales and marketing techniques and started this current company over 12 years ago.  As well as being Chief Executive of Worldwide Timeshare Hypermarket he is also a director and shareholder of the parent company Worldwide Timeshare Group of Companies Group Limited who, amongst many other ventures, have recently launched the eXpectations Club.

Despite Philip’s many business commitments he still finds time to be an active member on the board of Resort Development Organisation and The Timeshare Council as well as supporting TATOC the consumer organisation.


Ann Gilchrist, Christel House

Ann Gilchrist is the new face of Christel House Europe, having taken over from Vivienne Noyes-Thomas who retired at the end of 2016.  Ann will be known to many Christel House supporters in Europe as she has worked in various organisations in the timeshare industry in Tenerife, culminating in senior management roles with the Karma Group in Asia.  She has also spent many years working closely with Christel House as Charity Ambassador for Karma in India, and has close links to South Africa having married a Capetonian.  With her experience in the industry, strengths in communications and marketing, and knowledge of Christel House from the perspective of the donor and now the Charity itself, Ann is working on giving the operations in Europe a new feel.


Francis Taylor, CEO DAE – www.daelive.com

With a career spanning decades in the vacation ownership industry, Francis Taylor is a passionate and experienced leader, inspiring change in an industry dominated by tradition. Having co-founded worldwide vacation exchange company, DAE, in 1997, Francis has led the company through its impressive global growth to become the largest privately owned timeshare exchange provider in the world. Throughout his career, Francis has maintained a focus on customer service and satisfaction.   Identifying a gap in the market for a more personal and customer-focused exchange service, he relentlessly pursued that single objective and created what is now the most awarded exchange platform in the industry for customer service. At the heart of it all is a commitment to make customers happy – something Francis himself has ingrained in the company’s DNA. Responsible for building customer loyalty through his personal rapport, Francis has also led DAE to become a respected service provider to the business side of the industry. He not only dedicates his time to the success of his own company, but to the wider industry as well. A current Board member of the Canadian Vacation Ownership Association, Francis has been actively involved in the growth of both the Australian and New Zealand timeshare industries, and has presented at countless industry conferences including the Canadian Resort Conference, GNEX, TATOC in the UK and HOA meetings.


Anne Bennett, Resort Manager, Royal Sunset Beach Club, Tenerife (Diamond Resorts International)

Anne has lived and worked in Tenerife for more than 30 years, originating from the North of England.   She joined Sunterra in 2001 working as Resort manger in Sunset Harbour and she subsequently moved to Royal Sunset Beach Club as Resort manager in 2007. Her main responsibilities are managing the reception, maintenance, housekeeping, entertainments, grounds and the F and B operation and maintaining DRI standards at the resort. She is also responsible for the preparation of the Club Budgets and close liaison with the with the Owners Committee. Anne leads the resort management team of 32 team members and works closely with them to improve the facilities and accommodations at the resort. Royal Sunset Beach has qualified for European Resort of the Year in 2016 in recognition of the improvements made throughout the year.


The speakers at this year’s TATOC conference will cover a variety of interesting topics that will generate discussion and debate among delegates – and are truly international. Check back here on a regular basis as more speakers are confirmed