Vice President of Analytics, Data & Decision Sciences
Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.
Wes Chaar attained his Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin. He has more than 15 years of expertise in the Analytics, Data & Decision Sciences fields. He has applied his skills to work on various Revenue Management, Pricing, Channel Distribution, Consumer Choice Modeling, Scheduling, CRM and other problems. He has published in various journals and proceedings (e.g. IEEE Transactions, M&SOM, AAS, AGIFORS) and presented at various conferences. His work experience covers the Airlines, Hospitality, Online Retail and Media sectors. He has worked in various research, consulting, management and leadership positions at Sabre (supporting Airlines Solutions, Travelocity and SynXis), Delta Air Lines, and recently at Turner. He is a member of IEEE, INFORMS and AGIFORS where he served two terms as a board member. Currently, he serves on I-COM the Global Forum for Marketing Data and Measurement, as a board member for both Data Science and Data Science Hackathon.
Managing Director, Cargo Revenue Management & Sales Strategy
An Evolution Of Cargo Revenue Management – The Practice Of Organizational Enablement
“Sales Prevention” – the first words I heard when I approached the topic of Revenue Management within my new industry – Air Cargo. The evolution of revenue management within the air cargo industry has taken second chair to that of passenger revenue management. When considering the elements directly responsible for the development of capacity and demand forecasts in the advent of real time booking evaluation, one must ask – where does science intersect with customer interface.
The evolution of revenue management is directly tied to identifying the balance between fact and experience. Statistical reference to what is expected and what might be influenced by outliers is significant given the possible expected outcomes. All the while, a subjective and objective recognition of outcomes enables bitartisan interests to generate optimal results.
David started his career at American Airlines in 1998 in Domestic Business Planning before joining the Latin American International Finance team at American in 2000. After two years, he made the move to Revenue Management at Carnival Cruise Lines headquarters in Miami, FL. In a family related transition back to Texas, David first joined Continental Airlines Cargo in 2006 and served as CO’s Senior Manager, Cargo Revenue Management from 2008-2010. After a year as Director of Revenue Management Strategy for a consulting firm in Atlanta, Revenue Analytics, David returned to the combined United Cargo in February 2012 as Senior Manager, Cargo Sales Strategy and Effectiveness. In January 2013, David was appointed to lead United Cargo’s new Postal Network Optimization and Performance team. After repairing relationships with the USPS through improved performance, David was promoted to Director, Cargo Sales for the Americas with responsibility for all sales activities in North, Central and South America including the Caribbean. In January 2015, David was promoted to head the Global Revenue Management and Sales Strategy organization with responsibility for Pricing, Flight Optimization, Interline, Sales Steering & Performance Reporting, Revenue Planning & Forecasting, Military & Government Sales, Incentive programs, RM Systems and Salesforce.com CRM. Most recently, David acquired additional responsibility for the Postal organization and the new Product strategy organization.
David received his BBA in Finance from The University of Texas at Austin McCombs School of Business and his MBA from the University of Houston Bauer College of Business. He is fluent in English and Spanish as well as proficient in French, and is an active member of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.
Chief Data Scientist
Implementation Considerations for Machine Learning in Retail Demand Forecasting
For decades, retail demand forecasting technology has been dominated by the application of time-series, linear regression, and heuristics, combined with roll-up and spread-down within product and location hierarchies. In this talk, Ronald P. Menich discusses the practical opportunities and challenges with respect to the alternative of using automated machine learning (ML) techniques to perform retail demand forecasting instead of the traditional techniques just mentioned. Dr. Menich will discuss bottom-up ML forecasting versus top-down methods; the differential impacts of ML for long-term and short-term forecasts; the ability of ML to automatically generate forecasts for new products and stores, versus the traditional human-driven methods of like-SKU and sister-store designation, and implications of choosing one approach or the other; additive versus multiplicative demand models and boosting; the ability of an expressive ML model to represent many different demand behaviors, and the practical limits to this ability; multi-dimensional feature combinations and implications for ML algorithm choices; usages of the learned statistical model for what-if predictive pricing and promotional analytics, and cautionary notes for doing so; and other application notes.
Ron Menich is Chief Data Scientist at Predictix, LLC, where he leads a team of data scientists who assist retailers to understand future demand and the impacts of their demand-shaping actions, such as promotions, pricing, and assortment, using advanced machine learning methods. Prior to joining Predictix, Menich was conceptual designer of many price optimization and availability control modules in travel, hospitality and other revenue management settings.
Menich holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, a master’s degree in operations research, and a doctoral degree in industrial and systems engineering, the latter two from the Georgia Institute of Technology.
William F. Pounds Professor of Management Science
The Analytics of Promotions: Pricing and Promotion Vehicle Planning
Promotions are a key instrument for driving sales and profits. Important examples include promotions for grocery retailers among others. The Promotion Optimization Problem (POP) is a challenging problem as the retailer needs to decide which products to promote, what is the depth of price discounts, when to schedule the promotions and what vehicle to use to promote each product. We will discuss how Analytics can play an important role in promotion planning. Apart from the pricing aspect, we will discuss how a retailer can decide which vehicle to use each time in order to promote which product. We will discuss important business constraints as well as discuss key insights. Together with our industry collaborators from Oracle Retail, we show how our approach can improve profits by 3% just by optimizing the promotion schedule and up to 5% by slightly modifying some business requirements. [Joint work with Lennart Baardman (ORC PhD student), Maxime Cohen, (recently graduated ORC PhD), Swati Gupta (ORC PhD student), Jeremy Kalas (EECS Undergraduate), Zachary Leung (recently graduated ORC PhD), Danny Segev (U. Haifa) as well as Kiran Panchamgam (Oracle RGBU) and Anthony Smith (formerly from Oracle RGBU) ]
Georgia Perakis is the William F. Pounds Professor at the Sloan School of Management at MIT since 1998. She received an M.S. degree and a PhD in Applied Mathematics from Brown University and a BA from the University of Athens in Greece.
Perakis’ research studies the role of operations in many areas such as pricing, supply chain management, energy and transportation applications among others. She has widely published in journals such as Operations Research, Management Science, POM, Mathematics of Operations Research and Mathematical Programming among others. She has received the CAREER award from the National Science Foundation and subsequently, the PECASE award from the office of the President on Science and Technology awarded to the 50 top scientists and engineers in the nation. In 2007 she received an honorable mention in the TSL Best Paper Award, she also received the second prize in 2011, the first prize in 2012 and in 2014 in the Best Paper competition of the Informs Service Science Section for some of her papers. In 2015, she received the Best Application of Theory Award from NEDSI (Northeast Decision Sciences Institute) Conference. She also received the Graduate Student Council Teaching Award as well as the Jamieson Prize for excellence in teaching and the Samuel M. Seegal prize for “inspiring students to pursue and achieve excellence”. Perakis was the recipient of the Sloan Career Development Chair and subsequently of the J. Spencer Standish Career Development Chair. In 2009, Perakis received the William F. Pounds chair that she currently holds. Her pricing work was a Finalist at the Practice Award of the Revenue Management and Pricing Section of INFORMS in 2015. Perakis has passion supervising her students and builds lifelong relationships with them. So far she has graduated seventeen PhD and thirty Masters students.
Perakis has served as the co-director from the MIT Sloan School side for the Leaders for Global Operations (former LFM) program. She is currently the group head of the Operations Management Group at MIT Sloan. She serves as an Associate Editor for the journals Management Science, Operations Research and Naval Logistics Research and a senior editor for POM. Perakis has served as a member of the INFORMS Council. She has also served as the chair of the Pricing and Revenue Management Section of INFORMS and in 2009-2010 as the VP for Meetings of the MSOM Society of INFORMS. She has co-organized the MSOM 2009 conference and served in the organizing committee of the 2010 MSOM conference. She has also been the co-chair and co-organizer of the Annual Conference of the INFORMS Section on Pricing and Revenue Management for several years and the chair of the cluster on the same topics for the annual INFORMS and ISMP conferences for several years.
Senior Vice President, Distribution & Revenue Management Strategy
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG)
The (Analytics) Revolution in Hotel Distribution: Challenges and Opportunities
The marketplace is changing rapidly and the hotel industry is struggling to keep up. As traditional segments and business models converge with new ones, the industry is having difficulty in adapting to these changes. Therefore, we need to take a look at just about everything we do in Sales, Distribution, Marketing and Revenue Management to ensure we are up to the task. The time when each of these groups could work independently has long since past. The companies who adapt quickest and set themselves up to continually adapt will be best positioned and the eventual winners.
In order to tackle this problem, we need to take a look at how we measure success. Are the traditional industry metrics still fit for purpose? What new information is needed to make the best decisions possible, sell the case for change, and then measure progress?
Andrew Rubinacci is Senior Vice President of Distribution & Global Revenue Management for IHG. In this role he is responsible for the leadership of an integrated Distribution and Revenue Management Strategy team including Global Revenue Management operations, as well as third party Internet, global distribution systems and distribution strategy for IHG’s brands.
Mr. Rubinacci’s career in the hospitality industry spans over 25 years, first joining IHG in 1991. In addition to IHG, he has worked with Bristol Hotels & Resorts and MeriStar Hotels & Resorts. He has extensive experience in sales, distribution, revenue management, guest services, hotel operations and e-commerce.
In Mr. Rubnacci’s earliest role with IHG he participated in the management training program at the Holiday Inn hotel in Nashville, Tennessee, and continued to serve in management roles at multiple properties, including General Manager, before moving into corporate roles in revenue management, e-commerce and distribution. While at IHG he has also served as Vice President for Distribution Marketing where he was based in the U.K., responsible for all facets of IHG’s reservations and distribution for Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Mr. Rubinacci holds bachelor degrees in business administration, majoring in both marketing and hospitality administration at Florida State University. He has served on the boards of HEDNA, Worldres, HSMAI, Open Travel, and Roomkey. Outside of work he enjoys cooking, boating and scuba diving.
Speakers organized by Track
2016 Franz Edelman Award Competition
Analytics Leadership & Soft Skills
Decision & Risk Analysis
Fraud Detection & Cyber Security
Health Care & Life Sciences
INFORMS Prizes & Special Sessions
Internet of Things
Revenue Management & Pricing
Sports & Entertainment
Supply Chain Analytics
Technology Workshops – Sunday