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Hickory Team

Executive Team

   Christopher J. Dane, CTC, CTIE

            President

Mr. Christopher (“Chris”) Dane brings over 40 years of experience in the Travel industry to his role as President of Hickory Global Partners, where he is passionate about pursuing a leadership role for the company through innovation, relationship-building with decision-makers and other stakeholders – on all sides of the business, and driving change.  Across his career, Chris has consulted in a wide range of capacities for a variety of traditional and new economy travel-related entities, including at Hickory Global Partners in 2005 through early 2006. Previously, his roles included acting as interim COO for two dot-com travel-related start-ups and consulting on strategic planning initiatives for Sabre, Travelport, and other mega-corporations in the industry. Other projects have included developing and directing sales, marketing planning and implementation functions for a number of other travel-related companies.  Chris has also held key executive positions in the airline, travel agency, tour operator, and consortia sectors.   

 

             Mark Miller

  VP, Industry Relations

Mark Miller has built a career spanning 30 years, proving his value as a top management executive by leveraging his notable strengths in change management, strategic planning, P&L/finance, customer relationship management, business process operations, and motivational team leadership.

Mr. Miller has served in key operational leadership roles, directing critical turnaround and growth initiatives. His career began with a tour operator in Boston GWV Travel and has been with industry leading organizations including Garber Travel and American Express. Most recently as an independent consultant with Beacon Travel Consulting where he provided business management expertise to firms seeking to control costs, improve operational processes, upgrade systems, implement automation/technology, better serve the customer base, and effectively manage growth. In this capacity, Mr. Miller served as a hands-on business partner to develop policies and procedures, implement improvements and recommend products, tools, and services aligned with the customer’s needs and short- and long-term goals.

Mr. Miller has earned the respect of a multitude of corporate firms and national suppliers throughout his career, noted by numerous awards and honors. He relies on his strong communication, interpersonal, and consensus-building skills to forge productive, sustainable relationships across all levels. His core leadership competencies include the ability to devise strategies that position operations to thrive in the face of challenges, the capacity for discovering new opportunities to generate revenue, and a proven record of delivering significant gains in earnings, performance, and financial results.   

 

Michael E. White, CTE, CTC, CMP

Managing Director, Business Development and Partner Care

Michael White leads HICKORY’s global business development efforts, bringing more than 30 years of travel industry experience to the role. He has held a wide-range of travel industry roles that have provided him with a unique perspective in his quest for client and sales excellence. This includes business development, account management and leadership tenures at Air France, Northwest Airlines and most recently Delta Air Lines, where he held a key position in Global Sales charged with the energy sector channel.  Michael advocated for products and services for this highly specialized revenue stream as well as shaped global sales strategy in partnership with Delta Air Lines and its joint venture partners including Travel Management partners which resulted in significant incremental revenues and client satisfaction.

Michael has lived abroad in Toronto, Canada and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; and, as a child, his family moved to New Delhi, India, which proved to inspire his love for travel and adventure. He earned a B.S. degree in Business Administration and has attained travel industry designations, including: Certified Travel Consultant (Travel Institute), Certified Meeting Planner (Meeting Planners International), and certified Travel Executive (Global Business Travel Association). Michael lives in Ft. Lauderdale, FL.

 

      Annette Bonavito

  Director, Hotel and Supplier Relations

Annette Bonavito brings more than a quarter century of travel industry experience to her position as Hotel Partners Manager. After attending college and advanced courses in Travel Industry Management, she began her career with Hickory Travel Systems in the 24-hour emergency call center where she excelled. Identified as a steadfast and conscientious team player with excellent customer relations and problem solving skills, Ms. Bonavito was appointed to create, implement and manage the Hickory Travel Systems hotel help desk to provide services to agency members and hotel partners. Additionally, Ms. Bonavito managed the hotel program daily operations as well as marketing and advertising initiatives.

In her current role with HICKORY, Ms. Bonavito remains dedicated to the continual advancement and improvement of the HICKORY hotel program. She is responsible for the HICKORY hotel program daily operations, customer relationship management and product implementation.

 

       Daviana Doria

    Director, Marketing & Communications

Daviana joined HICKORY in 2014. As the company’s Director of Marketing & Communications, Daviana is responsible for all Marketing, PR & Communications, Promotional programs, day-to-day Marketing initiatives, social media, and additional related areas. She is also an instrumental part in helping plan and organize the company's annual conferences. Prior to joining HICKORY, Daviana worked in Marketing and Business Development, most notably in the e-commerce industry and with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers professional NFL football team, where she played a key role and helped oversee Marketing initiatives, client conferences, tradeshows, and partnerships.

Daviana holds a Bachelor's degree from the University of South Florida in Tampa, FL and an MBA specializing in Marketing from Lynn University in Boca Raton, FL

 

           Bill Furman

    Director, Operations

Bill Furman brings 34 years of travel industry experience to his role of Director of Operations at HICKORY. After receiving an Associate’s Degree in Travel and Tourism from Central Pennsylvania College, he worked for several airlines in various capacities before transitioning to the travel agency side of the industry. Mr. Furman’s broad agency tenure encompassed corporate, government, entertainment and leisure/group travel. He also played a key role in the implementation of the travel operations for the TSA/Federal Air Marshal program. Mr. Furman has managed small to large travel companies where he was responsible for business development, sales and support. His extensive agency experience proves valuable when working with the HICKORY team on day-to-day operations and when supporting Agency Member Partners. Mr. Furman relocated from Boston to Delray Beach to join HICKORY. A committed volunteer, he enjoys working with foreign exchange students in the U.S. and abroad as an academic coordinator with the Northwest Student Exchange program.

 

     Christopher C. Lieber

Director, Finance and Data Management

Mr. Christopher (“Chris”) Lieber joined Hickory Global Partners in early 2012.  In addition to leading Accounts Receivable and Finance, he provides data analyses for the company’s Partner agencies and suppliers alike.  Chris received his B.B.A. from Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, NY.  An area of focus for Chris is preparing consumed hotel data analyses for Partner travel agency participants in Hickory Global Partners’ Revenue Share program.  He has over 13 years of experience identifying, collecting and analyzing information.  When not glued to his computer, he enjoys spending time with his wife and children, working on an M.B.A. degree and providing support and leadership to a local youth group.

 

           Emmanuel Wabeke

    Director, Information Technology

Emmanuel Wabeke brings his 13 years of Information Technology experience to his role as Director of Information Technology at HICKORY.  After receiving his Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science, he worked as a Teaching Assistant in the University before transitioning to the IT industry. He pursued a Postgraduate Diploma in Business Administration from University of Abuja and Master of Science in Computer Science from Nova South Eastern University Davie Florida.  From the academic to technical, Emmanuel has worked at various industries ranging from Web Officer, Software Developer, IT Manager for several years before moving to HICKORY as an IT Director. Prior to Joining HICKORY, Emmanuel Worked as IT/Web Manager of the British Broadcasting Corporation Media Action (BBC MA), where he played a key role in oversee Web Initiatives, Information Technology, Monitoring Partner station E-learning systems, Graphics and Software Development.

Emmanuel brings his vast of experience to HICKORY and since his resumption to HICKORY, he has moved the Information Technology forward and has already made numerous contributions to the Department. He is responsible for developing and directing software system testing and validation procedures, programming and documentation, as well as coordinating software system installation and monitoring equipment functioning to ensure specifications are met.

 

           Miria Phillips

   Manager, Partner Care                                 

Ms. Miria Phillips leads Hickory Global Partner Care, account management and membership engagement strategy.  Miria Phillips brings over a quarter century of travel industry experience to Hickory Global Partners. In her role as Partner Care Manager, Miria provides innovative account management strategies and is focused on increasing profitability and deepening client relationships membership-wide. Ms. Phillips duties include extensive membership interaction which provides strategies for growth and identifying systems and process barriers to generate ideas for improvement. With a vast travel industry career, Ms. Phillips has held key leadership roles in all aspects of travel agencies including management, group travel, VIP Travel, GDS training and more.  Miria was born in North Finchley, England where she attended Travel & Tourism College and moved to the United States in 1990.

 

       Matthew J. Cannizzaro

Manager, Hotel Business Development

Matthew began his career at HICKORY in January, 2016 as a part-time intern while studying for his bachelor’s degree from Florida Atlantic University majoring in Management and Economics. In September, 2016 Matthew became a full-time employee as a Business Development Analyst.  He is responsible for increasing the engagement of our existing member agencies and CTD’s, as well as seeking new account opportunities and implementing these new accounts. Prior to joining HICKORY, Matthew worked for Marriott Hotels at the property level in South Florida in Guest Services.  In his short time at HICKORY, Matthew has become an integral part of the company and has already made numerous contributions.