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Hilton, Sage Hospitality Discuss WiFi Strategies at HT-NEXT 2018 Breakout Session

During HT-NEXT 2018, Graeme Powell, founder of Veridicum and former technology executive, will lead a panel of hotel executives on the topic: "WiFi Strategies Today." The panel, which includes John Flack, senior director, guest facing technology, information technology, Hilton and Matthew Schwartz, CTO, Sage Hospitality, will discuss valuable insights into how the hospitality industry must address guest and employee Internet access. 

Graeme Powell

Attendees can also expect to hear best practices from these executives on how to prepare for the swelling tide of bandwidth needs while providing fast, consistent connectivity to guests. Other topics up for discussion will include HotSpot 2.0, network consistency, centralized authentication strategies, and security.

Powell has in excess of 20 years of experience of hospitality technology. The majority of this time has been spent leading businesses on the provider side but more recently some has been spent assisting hoteliers with strategy and implementation. With respect to hotel WiFi, he has been worked on both “sides of the fence.” Powell has a BSc. (Econ) from the London School of Economics and is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants.


John Flack

Flack has more than 25 years of hospitality experience planning, integrating, and operating complex infrastructure systems; creating, marketing and supporting large products that support company-wide business initiatives for a Fortune 500 company. Areas of experience include system infrastructure, telecommunication/WAN engineering and architecture, guest room technology, implementation, product management, owner & brand relations, customer service, and strategic partner relations/negotiations. Flack is responsible for Hilton’s Global Guest Facing Technology Products and Strategy which includes guest internet, TV/In-Room Entertainment, and Telecommunication platforms. Prior to this role, Flack served in several areas including Hilton’s sourcing strategies and implementation, engineering, and other infrastructure areas.

Matthew Schwartz

Schwartz currently serves as the Chief Technology Officer at Sage Hospitality. In this capacity, Schwartz has responsibility for all aspects of IT including applications, infrastructure, business intelligence, project management and security for the entire company. Schwartz spends most days thwarting cyberattacks, enhancing Sage’s CRM database, and moving as much as possible to the Cloud. Prior to joining Sage, he served as the VP of Digital Solutions at Intrawest where he deployed a cloud-based Central Reservation System (CRS) to all of Intrawest’s resort properties including Winter Park and Steamboat. Prior to Intrawest, Schwartz held various leadership positions in IT and Finance at PetSmart and Staples. Schwartz has a strong passion for technology, starting his career as a “coder” of HTML and SQL. Schwartz earned a B.S. with Honors from Cornell University and an M.B.A from MIT’s Sloan School of Management.


Now in its second year, HT-NEXT is a combination of the HTNG North American Conference and HT’s Hotel Technology Forum. The 2018 event will take place March 12-14 at the Manchester Grand Hyatt in San Diego.

HT-NEXT brings together technology leaders and influencers from leading hotel companies spanning IT, finance, marketing, distribution and operations. In 2017, the event attracted 650 hospitality professionals and brought in over 35 percent more hoteliers than both the 2016 HTNG North American Conference and HTF combined. Both of these numbers are expected to grow in 2018.

Industry decision makers will attend HT-NEXT to learn about the emerging trends and dig in to work together to solve current industry problems. The program will feature engaging and thought-provoking keynotes, diverse educational and breakout sessions, HTNG workgroups and a technology exhibit hall for attendees to discover cutting-edge solutions. Also, the Hotel Visionary Awards and the HTNG TechOvation Award will be presented again at this year’s event. In addition, the 2018 event will add unique education and networking programs, including a new leisure networking event during the day on Tuesday to increase interaction and Innovation Labs focusing on cutting-edge topics.

For registration or more information about HT-NEXT 2018, please visit:

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