Global Meetings Summit New York Speaker Bios

Adam Gordon, Director of Business Development and Engagement, American Express

Adam GordonAdam Gordon has over 30 years of meetings and events, business travel and hospitality industry experience; supporting a variety of market sectors. He has expertise in leading, developing and implementing meetings management, corporate business travel and hospitality related initiatives globally.

Originally from the United Kingdom, Adam moved to the United States in 2000 and has since worked in a variety of agency and corporate environments establishing and growing global meetings and events and business travel service teams. Prior to joining American Express Meetings and Events in early 2016, Adam was providing consulting services to organizations in the highly regulated financial and pharmaceutical industry sectors.

As Director of Business Development and Engagement at American Express, he has responsibility for the Premium Events sales team delivering excellence and outcomes event by event. He also has responsibility for designing and leading the delivery of consultancy engagements for clients and prospective clients to help further optimize their meetings and events objectives.


Tyra W. Hilliard, PhD, JD, CMP

Tyra HilliardTyra Hilliard has devoted her career to justice and safety in the hospitality and meetings industry.

Twenty-five years of professional experience combined with an extensive education and research allows Tyra to provide a well-informed but practical approach to crisis preparedness and legal issues.  Her experience in the hospitality and meetings industry includes stints as a meeting planner, convention and visitors bureau sales representative, catering manager, association executive, attorney, and professor.

Tyra is the co-author of a book on Event Project Management.  She has published several research-based articles on crisis preparedness and the meeting planner.  She is widely quoted on legal and crisis management issues in academic and industry publications.

She has been invited to share her irreverent approach to law, crisis management, and risk management with groups worldwide.  She also teaches college courses in business, hospitality, and event management, including courses in Hospitality & Event Law and Crisis Management for Hospitality & Events.

Tyra has been honored for professional achievement as an Educator by the Professional Convention Management Association and received national recognition for her contributions to best practices initiatives with the Convention Industry Council and Meeting Professionals International. She serves on the board of the Southeast & Coastal Georgia chapter of the American Red Cross.

She is one of only two people in the world to have a law degree, a PhD in Hospitality, and a CMP.


Theresa M. Thomas, Senior Vice President, Powered by iJET

Theresa ThomasTheresa Thomas is Senior Vice President of the Powered by iJET Business Unit and responsible for building partnerships to enable organizations to deliver insight organizations.

through iJET’s people and location-centric intelligence and services. In her current role, Theresa is responsible for building a two-way ecosystem of content, intelligence and services that serve the B2B2B markets with a focus on top tier 3rd party technology and servicing organizations.

During her 20+ year career, Theresa has worked in numerous companies’ across the travel industry, holding several leadership positions within the B2B and B2C environments. Most recently, these include Chief Marketing Officer with a leading travel publisher, President of her own Strategic Marketing firm and thirteen plus year’s highlighted by recruitment, promotion and retention by leading firms including American Express, Federal Express and AT&T.

Theresa is from Ohio but has lived in Southern New Jersey since 1996.

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