October 3 – 5, 2019

San Francisco, California


Connect THRIVE Summit is focused on community development through LGBTQ travel, sports, and entertainment. This one-of-a-kind marketing summit features dynamic general sessions and networking events alongside a series of pre-scheduled, one-on-one connections between destinations, resorts, hotels, attractions, domestic and international tour operators and travel agents, sports rights holders, media, marketers and brands.


Parc 55 in San Francisco

Parc 55 San Francisco is a Hilton Hotel is located in the heart of San Francisco, close to the Financial District and on the cusp of SOMA (South of Market), so is the perfect setting for a stay in the City by the Bay. Their hotel is also well connected to the city’s colorful neighborhoods so you can enjoy dining, cultural attractions and the local coffee shops. We are also just a short walk away from the Moscone Center and Union Square. Book your room here by Sept. 12.



Register and Pay

Early-bird registration is $1,495 and good through July 1

Travel to San Francisco

Meet with a variety of domestic and international companies for pre-scheduled, one-on-one connections.


Build key relationships between destinations, attractions, hospitality businesses, sporting events, marketers, media and influencers.

Learn from Experts

Enjoy in-depth sessions about relevant topics led by industry experts.

Unwind and Mingle

Build relationships while the networking continues at our entertaining and interactive receptions.


“We firmly believe that the Connect THRIVE Summit presents an extraordinary opportunity to strengthen our communities by building strong connections between leaders within the LGBTQ travel, sports and entertainment industry.” – DJ Doran, Managing Director, Diversitas Media



Thursday, October 3, 2019

11:00 am – 2:00 pm

Regiception (registration + reception)

2:00 pm – 2:30 pm


2:30 pm – 3:00 pm

Brand USA

3:15 pm – 4:00 pm


4:15 pm – 4:45 pm

Brian Boitano, Hall-of-Fame Olympic champion figure skater, author, television personality

4:45 pm – 6:15 p.m.

Opening Reception at Parc 55

Friday, October 4, 2019

8:30 am – 9:30 am

Coffee and Keynote with Anderson Cooper

9:30 – 10:00 am

Photo Opportunity with Anderson Cooper

10:30 am – 12:30 pm


12:30 pm – 2:00 pm


1:00 pm – 1:45 pm

Fred Dixon, President & CEO, NYC & Company

1:45 pm – 2:00 pm

Angie Briggs, Vice President, Industry Relations, U.S. Travel Association

2:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Louis Duncan-He, Director of Creative Strategy & Services, ICONIC Strategy, Marketing + Design and National Director of Marketing, PFLAG Canada
Ian Mackenzie, Creative Leader, FCB/SIX a data-driven creative agency

3:15 pm – 5:00 pm


5:00 pm

Wine Tasting at Parc 55

Open Night

Saturday, October 5, 2019

9:00 am


9:30 am – 10:00 am

Brooke Crain, top tier BMX Racer, U.S. Olympic Cyclist 

10:00 am – 10:30 am

Leah Chandler, Chief Marketing Officer, Puerto Rico Destination Marketing Organization 

10: 45 am – 12:00 pm


12:00 pm

Farewell Reception at Parc 55


Anderson Cooper

Anderson Cooper is the anchor of CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360°, a global newscast that goes beyond the headlines with in-depth reporting and investigations. The show airs weeknights at 8:00pm ET on CNN and is simulcast to an international audience on CNN International.

Since the start of his career in 1992, Cooper has worked in more than forty countries and has covered nearly all-major news events around the world, often reporting from the scene.

Cooper has also played a pivotal role in CNN’s political and election coverage. He has anchored from conventions and moderated several presidential primary debates and town halls. In 2016, Cooper was selected by the Committee On Presidential Debates to co-moderate one of the three debates between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

In addition to his shows on CNN, Cooper is also a regular correspondent for CBS’s 60 Minutes.

At CNN and 60 Minutes Cooper has won a number of major journalism awards. He helped lead CNN’s Peabody Award winning coverage of Hurricane Katrina and DuPont award winning coverage of the 2004 tsunami. Additionally, he has been awarded thirteen Emmy Awards, including two for his coverage of the earthquake in Haiti, and an Edward R Murrow award.

Rick Calvert

Brian Boitano

Olympic champion, Brian Boitano, single-handedly changed the face of professional figure skating by raising the level of competition. Boitano captured his first National title in 1985 and went on to win the 1988 Olympic Gold Medal. Boitano’s competitive record is unmatched. It includes 4 national titles, 2 world titles, an Olympic title and more professional titles than any other skater in the history of the sport. Boitano is a member of the US Olympic Hall of Fame, The World Skating Hall of Fame and the US Skating Hall of Fame. Boitano is known for his speed and powerful command of the ice and most notably for winning Olympic Gold in the “Battle of the Brians.” Olympic Gold medalist, Brian Boitano, also gives a winning performance in the kitchen. His Food Network show “WHAT WOULD BRIAN BOITANO MAKE” was named one of the top 10 Food Network shows to watch by TV squad. Boitano has published a popular cookbook of the same name. His recipes are designed for anyone with an active lifestyle, who is concerned with nutrition and great food.

Brooke Crain

Brooke Crain, of Visalia, CA, got her start in BMX when she watched her older brother race at a track in Tulare, CA. Since then she has been riding every track in sight full speed and hasn’t looked back. Brooke advanced up through the ranks of BMX Racing quickly, turning pro at the age of 15 in 2008 and then joining the US Cycling team the next year in 2009. Brooke has represented the U.S. twice in the Olympic Games where she finished 8th at the 2012 London Games and 4th in 2016 in Rio. Today Brooke continues to progress as a top tier BMX racer and is an inspiration and role model for aspiring female athletes all over the world with her sight on Tokyo 2020.

Rick Calvert

Fred Dixon

On March 14, 2014, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the appointment of Fred Dixon as President and CEO of NYC & Company, New York City’s official marketing, tourism and partnership organization. With more than 28 years of experience in the travel industry, Fred has the overall responsibility for developing and implementing New York City’s tourism and convention development strategy internationally as well as in domestic leisure and business markets. At NYC & Company, he has built a professional sales and marketing team that is at the core of the organization’s strategy to increase visitation and economic impact across the City. Joining NYC & Company in 2005, Fred led the aggressive and successful expansion of the City’s international marketing efforts. With a strategic focus on growing visitation and visitor spending, NYC & Company focused on emerging global markets, rapidly expanding the City’s presence from six traditionally strong origin markets to 17 offices covering more than 28 countries. With a network of sales, marketing and press professionals in diverse feeder markets from Australia to the UK, China to Mexico and India to Brazil, New York City remains at the forefront of inbound international tourism to the US.

Rick Calvert

Leah Chandler

Leah is the Chief Marketing Officer for the Puerto Rico Destination Marketing Organization, Discover Puerto Rico. As CMO, Leah is charged with providing strategic marketing leadership for the organization; responsible for the oversight of the DMO’s paid media, creative, public relations, brand development and management, and digital strategy. Prior to her move to San Juan, Leah was the Chief Marketing Officer for Explore Branson, where she led the growth of the community’s tourism industry for five straight years, repositioning the destination’s brand and posting back-to-back years of record ROI for the organization’s marketing program. In previous years, Leah led the Missouri Tourism account at H&L Partners, the agency of record for the Missouri Division of Tourism. In this role, Leah developed and guided the strategic direction of the Division’s marketing, managing paid and earned media, creative and interactive development, and campaign implementation. Leah led Missouri Tourism’s brand repositioning effort in 2013, introducing a new brand identity and corresponding campaign featuring “Enjoy the Show.”

Sarah Quinlan

Louis Duncan-He

Louis Duncan-He is an award-winning marketing strategist, lifestyle designer, and activist. He is the Principal designer at Louis Duncan-He Designs, Director of Creative Strategy & Services at ICONIC Strategy, Marketing + Design, and National Director of Marketing at PFLAG Canada. His career has spanned a variety of sectors including advertising (both client + agency side), government, fashion, interiors, and lifestyle design. Since starting his role with PFLAG Canada in 2016, Louis has spearheaded the implementation of its national brand strategy & guidelines & the development of Destinationpride.org (a global data-driven search tool to help travelers understand LGBTQ+ laws and sentiments) with the goal to promote safer and more inclusive travel. His work with PFLAG Canada has been recognized with numerous awards including 17 Cannes Lions, 8 CLIO’s and has been featured at the Design Museum of London (Hope to Nope Exhibition).

Rick Calvert

Ian Mackenzie

Across 15 years in the business, first as a writer then creative director, Ian has worked at the forefront of digital and creative innovation. During that time, his work has earned more than 100 international awards for creativity and effectiveness, including One Show, D&AD, Clios, Webby Awards and a total of 17 Cannes Lions. In 2014, he was ranked #1 Copywriter in Canada in Strategy Magazine’s Creative Report Card. Ian was also co-creator and writer of the influential “Our Food. Your Questions.” radical transparency platform for McDonald’s, which started in Canada then rolled out globally. As creative leader of the data-driven creative agency FCB/SIX, Ian helmed “Destination Pride” for PFLAG Canada, which became the most awarded Canadian campaign at the 2018 Cannes Lions – and one of the most awarded campaigns in Canadian history. Also in 2018, Ian was ranked #11 most awarded Executive Creative Director in the world, according to The Drum’s “Big Won” report. Major clients have included Honda, AB/InBev, Cadbury, Taco Bell, and BMW.