The Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI) has selected Max Starkov as one of the “Top 25 Most Extraordinary Minds in Sales and Marketing” for 2008. The sixth annual list recognizes the “best of the best” in the hospitality, travel and tourism industries, and the recipients will be honored at HSMAI’s annual Adrian Awards on Jan. 26, 2009, at the New York Marriott Marquis.
The 2008 “Top 25” recipients were judged by a panel of senior industry executives for their recent work based on the following criteria: creativity and innovation, cutting edge sales or marketing campaigns, triumph in challenging situations, and sales efforts that resulted in dramatic gains.
Starkov is the President & CEO and Chief eBusiness Strategist for Hospitality eBusiness Strategies (HeBS), the hospitality industry's leading full-service Internet marketing services and strategies consulting firm. He is a recognized "thought leader" in Internet marketing strategies in hospitality and is a frequent guest speaker and presenter at industry events and conferences.
Starkov has spent his entire professional career in hospitality and travel. He has extensive Internet marketing experience, having co-founded and served as CEO of three eBusiness companies: Travelbreak.com (a pioneering direct supplier-to-consumer travel marketplace), WhaleMedia.com (Winner of the coveted Microsoft RAD Award for hotel online booking systems), and HeBS (since early 2001). Under Starkov’s leadership, HeBS has pioneered many of the "best practices" in hotel Internet marketing and direct online distribution, and has won many prestigious awards for its groundbreaking website design and Internet marketing campaigns.
Starkov has written numerous reports, industry research, and published articles in all major travel and hospitality publications. He has an MS in International Tourism and an MBA degree, Beta Gamma Sigma Honors, from Fordham University in New York City.
“This year, HSMAI received more nominations than ever,” said Dorothy Dowling, HSMAI board of directors’ chair and senior vice president of marketing and sales at Best Western International. “The quality of the field of candidates was outstanding and is truly representative of the creative work being implemented throughout the industry by top professionals today.”
In addition to being honored at the annual Adrian Awards gala, recipients will be featured in an HSMAI Marketing Review article, receive a personalized plaque, and will be honored at a VIP luncheon on January 26, 2009. The HSMAI Adrian Awards honor creative brilliance and best practices in hospitality, travel, and tourism-related marketing. In its 52nd year, the competition has evolved into the world's most renowned and prestigious advertising, public relations, and web marketing competition specifically tailored for the hospitality, travel, and tourism industries.
“Inclusion in the Top 25 list is a true honor,” said Starkov. “This award recognizes what HeBS stands for in the hospitality industry - pioneering best practices in Internet marketing and distribution, helping hoteliers utilize the Direct Online Channel and increase direct online bookings and ROIs, and educating hoteliers on how to boost their Internet marketing presence and establish interactive relationships with their customers. Here at HeBS we strive to give the very best service while aiding in the professional development of our hotel clients.”