. Leadership Forum | Northstar Meetings Group

Leadership Forum

The Exclusive Senior-Level Summit
For Meetings, Sports and Hospitality Decision-makers.


The Northstar Leadership Forum brings together the industry’s thought leaders – planning professionals and suppliers – for three days of education, networking and sharing of best practices. Our forum is unlike any other industry gathering: A unique, high-level experience where business relationships and friendships are forged. Hosted in beautiful Sea Island, Georgia, the Leadership Forum has been programmed by the teams behind Northstar Meetings Group flagship brands – Meetings & ConventionsSuccessful MeetingsIncentive and SportsTravel – to deliver an experience your clients and colleagues will never forget.







Roger Dow

Roger Dow

President and CEO, U.S. Travel Association

Roger Dow is president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association, the Washington, D.C.-based advocacy organization representing all segments of travel in America — an industry that generates $2.5 trillion in economic output and supports 15.7 million jobs. Dow regularly meets with executive branch and congressional leaders to advance industry priorities, and his efforts have resulted in major legislative victories. He was instrumental in establishing Brand USA, the highly effective national travel and tourism promotion program.   Additionally, Dow and U.S. Travel are leaders of the Meetings Mean Business Coalition, which promotes and defends the value of face-to-face business meetings, trade shows, conferences and conventions. Prior to joining U.S. Travel in 2005, Dow advanced through the ranks at Marriott International in a tenure spanning 34 years, where he rose to senior vice president of global and field sales. He has held seats on the boards of ASAE, the ASAE Foundation, PCMA, the MPI Foundation, GWSAE, the Travel Institute, RE/MAX International and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Committee of 100.

Duncan Wardle

Duncan Wardle

Independent Innovation and Design-thinking Consultant

Duncan Wardle serves as an independent innovation and design-thinking consultant, helping companies embed a culture of innovation and creativity across their entire organization. His clients include Coca-Cola, Disney, Forbes, Ford, Johnson & Johnson, McKinsey and the NBA. Enjoying a 25-year career with the Walt Disney Co., Duncan most recently served as its vice president of innovation and creativity. He founded the company’s Creative Team, which works across Disney’s theme parks, Pixar, Marvel, Lucas Films, ESPN, Animation and Imagineering, using a creative problem-solving process that captures unlikely connections, leading to fresh thinking and revolutionary ideas. Prior to heading up the team, Duncan held the posts of vice president of global PR and vice president of international marketing and sales for Disney. In 2008, Duncan was honored with an Outstanding American Citizen Award at the White House, and in 2014 he was awarded an honorary doctorate from Edinburgh University. He also holds the Duke of Edinburgh Award, presented by Her Majesty the Queen. 

Tuesday, December 10

3:00pm 6:00pm
Spanish Lounge
6:30pm 7:30pm
Black Banks Dock
7:30pm 9:30pm
Opening Reception

Sponsored by Sea Island

Black Banks Terrace

Wednesday, December 11

8:00am 8:30am

Sponsored by Las Vegas CVA

Mizner Ballroom
8:30am 9:30am

Meetings Mean Business Conversation With Roger Dow

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/>Presenters: Roger Dow, U.S. Travel Association; and Loren Edelstein, Northstar Meetings Group  
What is the current state of the travel and meetings industry in the United States? How does recent legislation support — or deter — travel to and within the country? What recent victories should we applaud, and what decisions will likely threaten the health of the hospitality business and, by extension, the U.S. economy? Northstar’s Loren Edelstein will pose these and other pressing questions to U.S. Travel’s Roger Dow. Participants will be invited to ask their own questions for discussion in this open forum.

Mizner Ballroom
Explore Sea Island

Sea Island offers a range of activities and Leadership Forum will discover and curate an

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unforgetable experience you will never forget. Activities include:

  • Golf at Plantation Course
  • Kayak and Nature Tour with Shore Lunch
  • Spa Appointments


Departures from Cloister Foyer II
7:00pm 9:00pm
Reception & Dinner
Rainbow Island

Thursday, December 12

7:00am 7:45am

Sponsored by Business Events Canada

Mizner Ballroom
7:45am 9:00am

Creating a Culture of Innovation
Presented by Duncan Wardle

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provided by Goodman Speakers

Duncan Wardle knows a thing or two about fostering an environment of innovation. During his decades as head of innovation for the Walt Disney Company, Duncan's success wasn't a matter of luck, but a direct reflection of his ability to create an innovative culture that empowers employees to let their inner creativity run wild. In this captivating keynote, Duncan will share the steps and strategies used to create such an environment. Participants will learn to:

  • Create safe spaces for taking creative risks
  • Ensure everyone on your team is empowered and thinking like an entrepreneur
  • Transition from the ideation stage into action
  • Employ a creative problem-solving tool called “What Else,” which encourages innovative solutions
  • Approach everyday tasks with a fresh outlook, allowing innovation to flourish


Mizner Ballroom
Explore Sea Island

Sea Island offers a range of activities and Leadership Forum will discover and curate an

More Detail
unforgetable experience you will never forget. Activities include:

  • Golf at Seaside Course
  • Clay Target Shooting
  • History Bike Tour
Departures from Cloister Foyer II
7:00pm 7:45pm
Closing Reception
Mizner Ballroom Verandah
7:45pm 10:00pm
Closing Dinner
Mizner Ballroom


Friday, December 13

6:00am – 11:00am
Coffee & Danish




The Leadership Forum is an invitation-only event. An event professional can be invited through a supplier or from Northstar Meetings Group directly. All invited event professionals will enjoy:

  • Business marketplace
  • Activities including golf or other unique experiential activities at Sea Island
  • Dynamic keynote speakers
  • Endless networking opportunities with all attendees

      If you have received an invitation, or are interested in attending, please contact Angela Cox at acox@ntmllc.com.


    Upgrade your experience for enhanced exposure.

    For more information, please contact your business development director or: Angie Kimmel at [email protected].

    Request Info Leadership Forum




    Sea Island Logo

    The only resort in the world to achieve four Forbes Five-Stars ten years in a row.

    Where comfort is in every detail and genuine Southern charm is in the air. Sea Island is a place you'll never forget. There’s something about this place that’s timeless. There are deep connections here. To nature, to tradition, to a warm welcome. To excellence recognized with 114 Forbes Five-Star and AAA Five-Diamond honors. To gracious and heartfelt hospitality.

    Sea Island

    Addresses & Directions

    Hotel Website


    Buyers & Suppliers: We will make your reservations for you.


    Advisory Notice Regarding Outside Solicitations

    Please be advised that numerous companies have been emailing and calling our attendees attempting to book them into hotels for Northstar events.

    Here are the companies and their representatives that we have been made aware of:

    • CBS International
    • Corporate Booking Services 
    • EHRS 
    • Exhibition Housing Services 
    • Global Housing Corporation 
    • World Wide Travel 

    Be advised that these companies and individuals have no relationship with our events. Our attendees are encouraged to disregard any communication received from these companies or any others that are not affiliated with Northstar Meetings Group.


    Buyers Contact:

    Angela Cox

    Group Director, Meetings & Events

    [email protected]

    Suppliers Contact:

    Shalise DeMott

    VP, Sales

    [email protected]


    Angie Kimmel

    Senior Director of Global Event Sales

    [email protected]

    Event Logistics Contact:

    Angela Cox

    Group Director, Meetings & Events

    [email protected]