GTC19 Speakers 

Hall, Juliet

Kemp, Governor Brian

Loebner, Josh

Love, Lisa

Markwalter, Jay

Schmieder, Jon

Stephens, Representative Ron

Kageyama, Peter

Juliet Hall
Own Your Opportunities

Juliet Hall is the owner of Juliet Hall INC, a leadership consulting firm based in Atlanta, GA. She is a recognized, respected advisor and leadership consultant as well as an emerging voice on the topics of self-discovery, women's empowerment, servant leadership and entrepreneurship. Dedicated to igniting a purpose-filled passion in others, Juliet helps leaders who are at a professional crossroads to discover themselves, develop their unique and innate abilities, and dominate their sphere of authority according to their specialized area of gifting.

Juliet is a former 20-year corporate executive of two US billion-dollar brands, Chick-fil-A and Wachovia Bank (now Wells Fargo). Her diverse background in corporate America includes areas in banking operations, management consulting to restaurant franchisees, corporate storytelling and external affairs. Juliet is a graduate of Spelman College and the Terry College of Business at The University of Georgia. In her spare time, Juliet loves to travel internationally—she has traveled to over 20 countries—and can be found serving her best backhand on tennis courts in Atlanta.

Governor Brian Kemp
State of Georgia

Governor Brian Kemp is the 83rd governor of Georgia, in office since January, 2019. A member of the Republican Party, he previously was the Secretary of State of Georgia and a member of the Georgia State Senate. Brian Kemp is a conservative small businessman with a proven record of fighting – and winning – for Georgia.  In the State Senate, Kemp fought to cut fees, taxes, and mandates on job creators and Georgia families. As Secretary of State, Kemp used technology and innovation to cut bureaucratic red tape, slash spending, and streamline government. Kemp fought the Obama Justice Department and countless left-wing organizations attempting to undermine Georgia’s elections.

Kemp is not finished fighting for Georgia. As our Governor, Kemp will fight to make Georgia #1 for small business. He will ensure that all parts of our state – including rural Georgia – have opportunities to grow and thrive. Kemp will fundamentally reform state government and will always put Georgians first - not the special interests. While serving in public office, Brian Kemp has remained a small business owner with companies in agribusiness, financial services, real estate management and investment.

A lifelong resident of Athens, Kemp is a graduate of the University of Georgia, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture. Kemp, 53, is married to the former Marty Argo of Athens. They are the proud parents of three daughters and are active members of Emmanuel Episcopal Church.

Josh Loebner

Josh serves as Director of Strategy at Designsensory, is a contributing writer for Adweek and shares conversations across the country on diversity and inclusion in advertising. He is earning his PhD from Clemson University focusing on advertising and disability is also adjunct faculty at the University of Tennessee and King University. Josh serves on the City of Knoxville Mayor’s Council on Disability Issues, has spoken at the White House and shared insights to the American Association of Advertising Agencies and American Advertising Federation MOSAIC board. He is an inductee into the AAF Knoxville chapter Hall of Fame, served as the Diversity Chair for AAF District 7 and is recipient of the AAF National Silver Medal. He is partially blind and visually impaired, which gives him a unique perspective and he always clearly sees the best in everyone. 

Lisa Love
Georgia Department of Economic Development's Tourism Division

Lisa Love is the Division Director for the Tourism Division of the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) overseeing operations. Prior to that, she spent six years managing music marketing and development initiatives for both Tourism and GDEcD’s Film, Music & Digital Entertainment division. For more than 12 years, she served in successive capacities, including executive director, at the Georgia Music Hall of Fame museum in Macon, and she spent two years as Director of Marketing and Communications for the Macon-Bibb County Convention and Visitors Bureau. Love is the guiding force behind the Georgia Music Foundation’s Board of Directors and is a member of the governing board for DREAM Academy, a music- and arts-integrated charter school.

Jay Markwalter
Georgia Association of CVBs 

Jay Markwalter, TMP, is the Executive Director of the Georgia Association of CVBs.  Jay has served in the DMO industry for over 15 years and is a leader in tourism-based economic development. Prior to GACVB Jay was the Augusta Convention & Visitors Bureau’s Director of Marketing Communications and then Director of Sales where he was an active member of the Georgia Society of Association Executives.   His previous positions include Executive Director of the Lawrenceville GA Tourism & Trade Association and Tourism Director at the Dahlonega-Lumpkin County Chamber & Visitors Bureau.

A 2007 Southeast Tourism Society Marketing College graduate, Jay has earned his Travel Marketing Professional (TMP) designation as well as certification as a Festivals and Events Planner. He has also received his GACVB Leadership Excellence Certification (LEC) and is a graduate of Leadership Georgia.  Jay served as a member of the GACVB board since 2013, most recently as the organization's President, before becoming their Executive Director.  Jay is currently serving on the Georgia Tourism Foundation and Southeast Tourism Society’s Boards of Directors.

Jon Schmieder
Huddle Up Group

Jon is the Founder and CEO of Phoenix based Huddle Up Group.  With over 20 years of direct experience in the sports tourism industry having held senior leadership roles with three different sports commissions; Phoenix, Tulsa, and Denver, Jon brings a wealth of experience in sports tourism and economic development. Jon has twice served as Chairman of the National Association of Sports Commissions (NASC) and was on the organization’s Executive Committee for six years. While he served as the President of the Phoenix Regional Sports Commission, the NASC chose the organization as the 2012 Large Market Sports Commission of the Year.

Jon was named the 2012 CEO of the Year by the Phoenix Chapter of the Organization of Non-Profit Executives. In 2016, Connect Sports honored him as an industry “Game Changer”.  Jon holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing from the University of Arizona and a master’s degree in higher education leadership from Northern Arizona University.

Chairman Ron Stephens
House Economic Development & Tourism Committee, Georgia House of Representatives 

State Representative Ron Stephens (R-Savannah) represents the 164th District in the Georgia House of Representatives. Rep. Stephens is the Chairman of the House Economic Development & Tourism Committee. Rep. Stephens has been a member of the House for twenty-one years. Rep. Stephens is also a member of the Appropriations, Rules, and Ways and Means Committees. May 24, 2013 Governor Nathan Deal appointed Rep. Stephens to the Georgia Tourism Foundation.

Representative Stephens is a graduate from Armstrong State & Mercer University with a degree in Pharmacy. Representative Stephens has spent thirty-eight years as a pharmacist. Before being elected to the House, Rep. Stephens earned a seat as a City Councilman in Garden City. Proven a consensus builder and a member who can reach across party lines, Rep. Stephens was selected as the Vice-Chair of the Appropriations Health subcommittee and as a member of the Economic Development subcommittee, under a democratic majority and leadership.

Rep. Stephens was selected as the Chair of the Economic Development & Tourism Committee because of his experience of seventeen years in the General Assembly. Representative Stephens is passionate about protecting and strengthening Georgia's tourism business. He has served on the Appropriations Committee for nineteen years. Representative Stephens is the co-author of the first floating homestead exemption in Georgia now applying in more than 50 taxing districts in the state which effectively freezes property taxes for the homeowner. It is known as the STEPHENS-DAY Bill HB 350. He also served and was pioneer on the original tourism study committee that led to the formation of the current Economic Development and Tourism Committee, which earned him the Leadership Award for efforts to bring non-traditional tourism industries over to the tourism side.

Peter Kageyama
Creative Cities Summit 

Peter Kageyama is the author of For the Love of Cities: The Love Affair Between People and Their Places and the follow up, Love Where You Live: Creating Emotionally Engaging Places.

Planetizen recognized For the Love of Cities as a Top 10 Book in 2012 in urban planning, design and development. He is the former President of Creative Tampa Bay, a grassroots community change organization and the co-founder of the Creative Cities Summit, an interdisciplinary conference that brings citizens and practitioners together around the big idea of ‘the city.’

Peter is a Senior Fellow with the Alliance for Innovation, a national network of city leaders that is dedicated to improving the practice of local government. Since speaking to them in 2013, Peter has become a special advisor to America In Bloom. He is an internationally sought-after community development consultant and grassroots engagement strategist who speaks all over the world about bottom-up community development and the amazing people who are making change happen.