Learn How You Can Help Stop Human Trafficking at HT-NEXT 2021

In this session, attendees will learn how they – as technologists – could use the data and systems deployed in every hotel to detect and stop trafficking.
Michal Christine Escobar
Senior Editor, Hotels
Michal Christine  Escobar  profile picture

Human trafficking is often invisible, yet all too frequently it takes place within hotels. Knowing this, AHLA is leading the way in training every hotel employee in the United States on ways to detect and stop it. But the hospitality technology industry can help even more. With most hotels deploying a wide variety of technological solutions in every hotel room, there are mountains of data that could be used to detect human traffickers. Join us at HT-NEXT 2021 during a panel session titled: “How Can Technology Stop Traffickers?” on December 15th at 2pm MDT. With representatives from ECPAT, the FBI and PwC, attendees will learn how “the bad guys” operate and explore ways technology can be used in this fight. Come ready with your own ideas, because this effort is just beginning!

To attend HT-NEXT 2021, register here!




Lori Cohen, CEO, ECPAT-USA

Lori Cohen joined ECPAT-USA in November 2019 after founding the Anti-Trafficking Initiative at Sanctuary for Families in New York. She has garnered international recognition assisting immigrants and domestic violence victims of human trafficking, including children. In addition to supervising staff, Lori engaged pro bono attorneys from New York’s leading law firms, law students and volunteers; and coordinated with city, state and federal law enforcement, domestic violence shelters and social service providers.

Lori has drawn upon her experience representing victims to advocate for anti-trafficking policy on federal, state and local levels. She has conducted trainings in the U.S. and abroad for attorneys, prosecutors, judges, social service providers, health care professionals and financial service providers, and has taught at Yale University and the University of Michigan Law School.


Robyn Conlon, Partner, PwC

Robyn is a partner at PwC dedicated to helping compliance functions address their risk, control and process challenges through the use of data and technology. With 15+ years assisting compliance teams in various capacities, she specializes in the use of digital technologies to create early warning and monitoring systems for emerging risks. Her teams focus on risk attribute definition, risk scenario development and anomaly detection, combining data with operational processes to protect the organization from financial, operational, regulatory and reputational risk. Robyn serves as a member of the board of directors for ECPAT USA, and is passionate about protecting every child’s human right to grow up free from the threat of sexual exploitation and trafficking.  Robyn lives in New Jersey with her husband and their two daughters.


Rose Vesci, Supervisory Special Agent, FBI

SSA Rose Vesci has been employed with the FBI for almost 18 years and is currently a Supervisory Special Agent in the FBI’s Crimes Against Children and Human Trafficking Unit (CACHTU).  Her first assignment was in the Richmond Division where she was assigned to a Violent Crimes squad,but focused primarily on Cyber Crime.  She was then assigned to the Philadelphia Division where she worked Crimes Against Children cases and Violent Crimes matters such as bank robberies, kidnappings, child pornography, child sex trafficking, and other violations involving the sexual exploitation of children.  During her role as Crimes Against Children Coordinator for the Philadelphia Division, she helped to establish the Child Exploitation Task Force, which included state and local law enforcement partners from over 14 agencies in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.  One of the main goals of the Task Force is to identify children involved in child sex trafficking cases, connect them with services, and target those responsible for trafficking them. In the course of this work, adult victims of human trafficking are often identified as well.  SSA Vesci attended Millersville University and prior to the FBI, SSA Vesci worked as an Information Technology Specialist for both The Vanguard Group and Villanova University.


Larry Birnbaum, Principal, Xenios Group

Larry Birnbaum has a long career in hospitality technology and continues to be passionate about the industry. He has an established track record of long-term productive industry relationships. Throughout Larry’s career he has been in the forefront of new technology. At the start it was in hotel operations and initial deployments of call accounting systems with Hilton Hotels and franchise operators. Larry was engaged with development and deployment of first-generation PMS software, interfaces, and adoption of PC technology to replace proprietary servers. Larry was an early proponent of Wi-Fi for hotels and later converged triple play solutions to the industry. Larry developed the Hospitality Solutions sector of the VT Group focusing on GPON technology. Having led the Global Hospitality business unit at Ruckus Networks he is experienced in trans-national business requirements. Today he provides consulting services to a small number of growing companies focused on expansion in the hospitality and travel arena. He is a native of Atlanta and when not traveling or with his family, you can usually find him on a golf course or tennis court. 


Hospitality Technology (HT) and Hospitality Technology Next Generation (HTNG) are collaborating for the fifth year in a row to host HT-NEXT 2021, a unique conference for the hospitality technology industry. HT-NEXT 2021 will take place Dec. 13-16 at the Fairmont Princess in Scottsdale, Az.

HT-NEXT ( brings together hotel technology solution providers with leaders and influencers from leading hotel companies spanning IT, finance, marketing, distribution and operations. The event typically attracts nearly 500 hospitality professionals. After the event, 87% of attendees say they meet a valuable new contact at the show, and 97% of attendees say they brought back a specific idea to implement at their organization.

HT-NEXT features emerging trends and the ability to dig in to work together to solve current industry problems. The program will feature thought-provoking keynotes, diverse educational sessions, HTNG workgroups and a technology exhibit hall for attendees to discover cutting-edge solutions. The Hotel Visionary Awards and the HTNG TechOvation Award are also presented live during the event.