Founder, Shelter Co.
Kelsey and Mike Sheofsky launched Shelter Co. in 2012, at the helm of the 'glamping phenomenon. Shelter Co. is a full-service event production company specializing in off-the-grid luxury camping experiences and outdoor goods. Shelter Co. has produced corporate retreats for Google and Nike, full-scale 'glamp' sites at music festivals like Coachella and private wedding weekends around the country. Their unique trifecta of full-service events, rentals, and retail is part of what makes Shelter Co. unique from others in the industry.
In just 6 years, Shelter Co. has become a nationally recognized event production company, backed by their team's collective 30+ years of experience in planning and design. Kelsey Sheofsky spent years as the Creative Director for the internationally acclaimed wedding and event planning firm, Alison Events. Mike Sheofsky is a master in furniture fabrication and creates bespoke items that have become signature to Shelter Co.'s design aesthetic - from inviting lounge sets to creative accessories. Shelter Co.'s entire inventory of European style tents is designed by the team and customized to suit the needs of all types of events.
Will Beilharz is a serial entrepreneur, designer and hospitality developer with a mission to radically shift the way we travel, experience, and inhabit the world. His companies, Artistree Hospitality and Artistree Homes are redefining eco-luxury and experiential design from treehouses on the beach to tiny homes at the base of an active volcano. His work has been recognized by national and international media such as AIA, IIDA, NY Times, Lonely Planet, and Travel & Leisure. Pulling from his background in Eco-tourism and permaculture design, Will is creating transformative hospitality offerings that showcase regenerative solutions for people, planet, and profits.
Will's deep commitment to regenerative land stewardship, sustainable resource management, and nature-based experiential education guides his land development strategies at Artistree.
Will's journey as a builder and designer began when he was 9 years old as he and his father built from scratch their 4-story, 19-sided home based on a Buckminster Fuller book, Synergetics. Living completely off-grid for six years during construction taught Will how to design in rhythm with nature.
Co-Founder and CEO, Under Canvas
Sarah Dusek founded adventure hospitality company Under Canvas Inc. alongside husband Jacob Dusek in 2009. As CEO, Sarah strategically guides the brand while overseeing the development of future camps at some of America's most beautiful destinations. In 2017, Under Canvas received a spot on the coveted Inc. 5000 list and Sarah was named to the EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women list from Ernst & Young. In 2018, Sarah co-founded the American Glamping Association with a goal of bringing consumer clarity to the fast-growing industry by providing accreditation to U.S. glamping properties that meet a baseline standard.
Sarah's love for nature inspired her to create a brand that would be a bridge to the outdoors while increasing environmental awareness and encouraging others to embrace intentional inconveniences for the betterment of the planet. Sarah received her Masters in Missiology from the University of Manchester. She lives in Bozeman, MT with her husband and two children.
Michael D'Agostino, founder of NYC-based Tentrr, Inc., is a life-long camper, adventurer and builder of forts in the woods. Before founding Tentrr, he spent a decade at global investment banks and co-founded a technology start-up called handwriting.io with his wife Eloise. He was also a Managing Director at the New York Stock Exchange, where he helped take technology companies public, including Twitter, LinkedIn and Shutterstock.
In April 2015, Michael left the NYSE to found Tentrr. Through his vision and leadership, Tentrr has reimagined "Camping 1.0" by providing a fully-equipped, private, comfortable and stylish camping experience for anyone who wants to enjoy the great outdoors. In doing so, he pioneered a new technology marketplace model for global, experiential tourism. Tentrr's footprint expanded to hundreds of campsites on beautiful privately-owned land throughout United States. To date, Tentrr has raised $17 million of venture capital from some of the top marketplace investors in the country. Michael earned a B.A. from Bucknell University in Lewisburg, PA. He lives in New York City and Bovina, NY with his wife, twin daughters and an unusually small black Lab, Ruby.
Publisher, International Glamping Business
Steph is the editor and publisher of Glamping Business USA and a Director of Upgrade Publishing, whose other titles include; International Glamping Business, Holiday Parks Management, Alt.Accom and Free Range - a title for Farm Shops. She was invited to be a judge for the Rural Business Awards 2018 in the UK and is keen to promote alternative tourism as a way of boosting local economies and encouraging people to consider the environment in their travel and buying choices. She is a co-founder of GlampAid - a charity which helps glamping businesses to donate used equipment so that they can be used by the homeless. Steph has been a magazine editor for 20 years in the trade press and also runs a small PR and marketing agency.
Founder, Inspired Camping & Inspired Courses
Sarah Riley is a professionally qualified business coach and visibility specialist who started her consultancy after jointly running a boutique hospitality business and being involved in the glamping industry for many years. She now shares techniques in her internationally acclaimed Glamping Business Start-Up Guide and Marketing Masterclass to help unique hospitality owners set up their business, attract more guests and increase their profits in this increasingly competitive industry. Sarah is also the Founder of Inspired Camping and Inspired Courses.
Co-Founder, Glamping Hub
Ruben is the Co-Founder of GlampingHub and the American Glamping Association. GlampingHub is the largest transactional glamping booking platform with properties listed worldwide. GlampingHub now offers over 35,000 listings with offices in Denver and Seville, Spain.
Ruben completed both his Undergraduate degree and his MBA with a focus in International Business at Regis University. He is an affiliate faculty member at Regis University teaching Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the MBA program. Ruben resides in Colorado with his wife and two daughters
Senior Director of State Relations and Program Advocacy, ARVC
Jeff Sims is the Senior Director of State Relations & Program Advocacy for the National Association of RV Parks & Campgrounds (ARVC). Jeff's family started their first park in 1967 in Branson, MO, when he was 10 years old. After 40 years the family sold their 2 campgrounds, lodge and convention center where he served as President/CEO. Jeff graduated from Reeds Spring High School in 1974 and has a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from College of the Ozarks where he also earned his private pilot's license. He married his childhood sweetheart, Susie in 1977.
Jeff is a Past Chairman of ARVC and Past President of the following: Missouri Association of RV Parks & Campgrounds, Missouri Travel Council, Table Rock Lake / Kimberling City Chamber of Commerce, Reeds Spring Board of Education, Stone County Water Supply District, Vice-President – Branson Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce, Board Member ARVC National Education Foundation and Stone County Sewer District. He currently serves on the Stone County Planning & Zoning Board. Jeff received a Congressional appointment to the White House Conference on Travel & Tourism and early in the Clinton Administration was invited to the White House to speak on the impact of mandatory health care on small business.
While Jeff has received numerous awards and was honored by each one, the most humbling one was in 1998 as the recipient of the Stan Martin Memorial Award. This is the highest honor in ARVC and was awarded for his leadership on a local, state, national and international level which included working with the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo, Japan & the Japanese Ministry of Construction on the classifications of Recreational Vehicles. Jeff also received RVIA's National Legislative Award in 2016 and was honored with Resolutions by the MO Senate & MO House of Representatives for his work in Washington, D.C.
Jeff's primary role is to be the eyes and ears of the membership and represent them at state meetings along with developing new state associations and new alliances with related industry partners. He also is responsible for monitoring the ARVC Public Affairs programs and state legislation and regulations. He is a strong advocate of the ARVC Educational Program and believes in "Outdoor Hospitality Excellence through Industry Unity." Jeff's favorite quote is from Henry Ford, "Whether you think you can or think you can't, you're right."
Toby O'Rourke is the President and CEO of Kampgrounds of America, Inc., the world's largest system of private campgrounds and leader in outdoor hospitality. In this capacity she oversees the programs, services and marketing that supports the brand's 515+ franchised and company-owned locations across North America.
O'Rourke was promoted to the position of President in 2018, and was named President and CEO of KOA in March 2019. She first joined KOA in 2011 as the company's digital marketing director where she was charged with progressing KOA's approach to online advertising, mobile delivery and social media. She advanced to Sr. Vice President of Marketing where she drove the launch of KOAs first integrated advertising and public relations campaign and was instrumental in the development of KOAs brand segmentation that has realigned their portfolio based on guest experience. Prior to becoming President, she served in the role of Chief Franchise Operations Officer overseeing franchise operations and technology.
Toby's work at KOA is strengthened by a background in brand management, software development and consulting. She began her career as a programmer and then worked in business and technology consulting in Chicago for Deloitte and STA Group. She transitioned to a marketing career following graduate school and served in brand and digital marketing roles for Sara Lee Corporation in Downers Grove, Illinois, and Whitewave Foods in Broomfield, Colorado.
Toby has a Master of Business Administration degree from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Notre Dame. In 2017 she was named to the Forty Under 40 marketer list by Advertising Age magazine.
A mother of two young children and native Montanan, Toby is passionate about engaging families in the outdoors. She and her family enjoy hiking, fishing, visiting national parks — and of course camping.
Co-Founder, CEO, Firelight Camps
Robert was the co-founder and co-owner of a recently sold boutique hostel and restaurant in Nicaragua called "La Buena Onda." He holds a BA from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA '13 from the Johnson School at Cornell University, where he was a Roy Park Leadership Fellow and ran Cornell's start-up incubator as an ELAB fellow. Robert was a Peace Corps volunteer in Nicaragua and has provided hospitality consulting services for the National Parks Service, Itza Lodge in Belize, and the luxury tent rental company, Contentment Camping.
CEO, Advanced Outdoor Solutions
Kathleen Walsh, CEO and Founder of Advanced Outdoor Solutions, has been at the forefront of outdoor hospitality since 2003 when she developed her first multi-million dollar beachfront property. She has since developed and managed over $180 million in RV Park and Campground investments across the country. Kathleen served as Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operations Officer for a large RV development company before branching out on her own. Advanced Outdoor Solutions is a full service management company specifically focused on the outdoor hospitality industry. She is a highly sought-after speaker and thought leader in the industry.
Founder and CEO, Tiny Urban Escapes
Robin D. Staten, is head of the innovative new genre in alternative hospitality, Tiny Urban Escapes. As founder and CEO, she is very focused on the vision and trajectory of the brand, its environmental impact, social accountability practices and benefits to local communities. Tiny Urban Escapes is forging a new path in hospitality and sustainability through experiential designs that are environmentally conscious by repurposing shipping containers into luxury semi-glass private suites. The brand focuses on creating experiences that are transformative, immersive and authentic. The builds are designed to immerse guest into lush green spaces underutilized in urban settings with emphasis on nature and its vital contributions to people.
Ms. Staten has experienced much pre-launch success with features in global media outlets including the New York Times, Architectural Digest, The Travel Channel and many other notable outlets. Robin is a fervent supporter of her childhood community in her home state of Indiana. Her advocacies around issues that disproportionately affect the African American community such as Sickle Cell Anemia are dear to her heart. Robin is also excited to extend the opportunity of hotel ownership to more future female hoteliers through her forthcoming non-profit, (LACE) Leverage Acquired through Collaborative Energy.
She is the proud mother of twin boys and a daughter who are all currently pursuing post-secondary academic careers at universities in Indiana.
Chief Growth Officer, AutoCamp
Todd is a seasoned growth leader in the hotel industry, who recently joined AutoCamp as Chief Growth Officer to lead business development of new joint venture and development partnerships. He brings more than 30 years of hotel development experience, having held senior leadership positions at several major hotel brands and most recently Commune Hotels & Resorts which became Two Roads Hospitality. There, he was instrumental in the company's international development efforts. He has also led successful efforts for InterContinental Hotel Group, Starwood, and Marriott in the Asia Pacific region.
Todd earned an MBA from Thunderbird Graduate School of International Management and sits on the Board of Directors of the U.S. Development Trust for Scotland's University of Aberdeen, where he studied briefly as an undergraduate. In his spare time, Todd enjoys biking, fly-fishing, wood working and boondocking in his 1953 Airstream Flying Cloud. He is a proud father to his three children, Tara, Conor, and Ethan.
Founder and CEO, Collective Retreats
Peter Mack is the Founder and CEO of Collective Retreats, the experiential luxury hotel brand that connects guests with places, communities, and themselves through its unique, asset-light business model. Mack started Collective Retreats following his role as Vice President of Product Innovation at Tough Mudder, where he oversaw experience design and product. Prior to Tough Mudder, Mack spent over 10 years at Starwood Hotels & Resorts where he correctly identified that the majority of hotel revenue was spent on property expenses and upkeep, not toward furthering the guest experience. Mack, a graduate of the hospitality school at Cornell University, decided to turn the hotel model upside down and create a new type of retreat that creates as little barrier as possible between each location's breathtaking landscape and guest accommodations. Collective Retreats is currently operating in Hudson, New York; Hill Country, Texas; Vail, Colorado; and Governors Island, New York.
“This is our first time exhibiting and we have met some interesting people and we have got some good leads. I have enjoyed talking to the participants but also to the other vendors too – we have learned from each other” – Ivy Fife, Colorado Yurt Company