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HT-NEXT Day 3! Don't Miss the IT Leadership Panel

HT-NEXT 2020 Day 3 will be live and broadcasting virtually for all to attend at 1pm Eastern. Today, the annual IT leadership panel will take place with Brian Kirkland, CTO, Choice Hotels InternationalJohn Laplante, CIO, G6 Hospitality, and Michael Mrini, Director of Information, Edwardian Hotels participating as panelists. 

The IT leadership panel brings together top executives from leading hospitality brands to unpack the major issues impacting the lodging, travel and hospitality industry. Our guests will talk about how the pandemic is affecting technology roadmaps and implementations, how workforce management tech is evolving (at the corporate level also!), and what their 2021 plans are when it comes to marketing, loyalty and enhancing the guest experience.

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Brian Kirkland is chief technology officer for Choice Hotels International, Inc., one of the world’s largest hotel companies. In this role, he oversees the company’s information technology organization, and is responsible for leading overall IT strategy, infrastructure, development, all aligning with Choice’s business objectives.

Brian joined Choice Hotels in 2015 as vice president of engineering, where he led engineering development and operations at the company’s Phoenix-based technology headquarters. Recently, Brian notably guided Choice’s efforts to sucecssfully design and launch the industry’s first new global reservation system in 30 years, choiceEDGE.

Prior to joining Choice Hotels, Brian held key leadership positions at leading technology companies, GoDaddy and Media Temple (accquired by GoDaddy in 2013), most recently serving as vice president of engineering. There, Brian helped integrate the company’s IT structure as well as directed engineering.

Earlier in his career, he held various software development positions at Hewlett-Packard and Intel. Brian earned his bachelor’s degree in computer science and a master’s degree in business administration from Arizona State University. He is currently a member of Arizona’s Information Technology Authorization Committee (ITAC) and Arizona State University’s Executive Council for the Department of Information Systems.

John Laplante is Chief Information Officer for G6 Hospitality LLC, the parent company behind the iconic Motel 6 and Studio 6 brands. In this role, Laplante is part of the company’s executive leadership team and oversees the technology teams, digital transformation, strategic technology business partnerships as well as Digital Commerce and Distribution.

Laplante has worked in the technology sector for more than 20 years and previously held the role of Vice President of Information Technology at G6 Hospitality, where he oversaw the company’s Program Management Office and Quality Assurance teams. During that time, he led the introduction of automated processes to those teams’ strategy, increasing the throughput and consistency of their code testing and improving on-time product delivery for the enterprise.

Throughout his career, he has worked with Infusion Management Systems, Cingular Wireless, Accor North America (previous parent company of the Motel 6 and Studio 6 brands) and Intellicentrics. Laplante graduated from the University of North Texas with a Bachelor of Business Administration with a concentration in Entrepreneurship Strategic Management. Laplante currently sits on the University of North Texas, Hospitality and Tourism Advisory Board.

Michael Mrini is Director of Information Technology for Edwardian Hotels London. He has been with the company for more than twenty years in various roles including Director of Customer Services as well as Director of Information Systems. Prior to working with Edwardian Hotels, he worked for Hyatt Hotels. 



Hospitality Technology (HT) and Hospitality Technology Next Generation (HTNG) are collaborating for the fourth year in a row to host HT-NEXT 2020, a unique conference for the hospitality technology industry. HT-NEXT 2020 will take place virtually Dec. 1-3.

HT-NEXT brings together executives from across the hotel technology ecosystem, including hotel operators and solution providers, with expertise in property systems, guest room tech, e-commerce, distribution and operations. 

After the 2019 event, 94% of these attendees said they took away meaningful new insights, and 88% of attendees said they met important new contacts.

For more information, visit

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