Annual Conference Keynote Speakers


Opening Keynote
Monday, April 3, 12:30pm

Gavin Landry
Executive Director, Division of Tourism, Empire State Development
Gavin Landry joined Empire State Development (ESD) as the Executive Director of Tourism in March of 2013.  Mr. Landry’s appointment came at a time of continued tourism growth across New York State and amidst the launch of a series of new tourism initiatives by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo.  Thanks to the support of Governor Cuomo, tourism has become the fourth largest employer in the State.

As Executive Director, Mr. Landry leads the iconic I LOVE NEW YORK marketing campaign, developing and implementing new initiatives to further the State’s positive tourism growth.  Mr. Landry also works closely with the New York State Tourism Advisory Council, which provides input and advice regarding the state’s tourism efforts.

Before joining Empire State Development, Mr. Landry ran Landry Hospitality Consulting Services, where he provided full-service hospitality consulting to hotel developers and owners. Mr. Landry ran commercial hotels for a professional management company in markets such as Detroit, MI; Columbus, OH; Charlotte, NC and Somerset, NJ.  He has also served as president of the Saratoga Convention and Tourism Bureau, a post he held for 12 years.  During that time, he served as the President of the NYS Association of CVB’s (2000-02).  Gavin was the recipient of the 2016 Excellence in Leadership award by the NYS Tourism Industry Association.  A graduate of Cornell University, Mr. Landry served as an adjunct professor at New York University’s (NYU) Tisch Center for Hospitality, Tourism, and Sports Management for five years where he taught graduate courses in various disciplines of the tourism industry.  In February of 2013, Mr. Landry was the recipient of an award for teaching excellence from NYU, one of 20 given across nine teaching disciplines. Mr. Landry is a member of the Cornell Hotel Society.


Ross D. Levi
Vice President, Marketing Initiatives for Empire State Development (ESD) / NYS Division of Tourism

Ross D. Levi is Vice President, Marketing Initiatives for Empire State Development / NYS Division of Tourism where he helps coordinate the state’s iconic I LOVE NEW YORK tourism program, with a particular emphasis on specialized marketing campaigns and events.  After joining ESD in 2012, Ross was instrumental in creating the I LOVE NEW YORK LGBT initiative, which he continues to oversee.  He also played a leading role in launching and coordinating a number of new tourism efforts established by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, including the Governor’s Tourism Summit, Adirondack Challenge event, Path Through History heritage tourism initiative and I LOVE NEW YORK Bus program. 
Previously, Ross was Executive Director at New York’s statewide LGBT advocacy organization, served as a legislative director in the New York State Senate and did marketing in the film industry for companies including Twentieth Century Fox, Universal and Miramax.  He is a published author and holds a J.D. from Brooklyn Law School, and a B.S. from Boston University where he received local and national recognition for commercial writing and filmmaking.


Closing Keynote
Tuesday, April 4, 10:45am
An Interview with Museum Hack: Friend or Foe?
Whether a fan or not, you don't want to miss this.


Zak Martellucci, Tour Guide & Creative Associate interviewed by Kris Wetterlund, Director of Education & Interpretation, Corning Museum of Glass


You've all heard of Museum Hack, but do you fully understand what it is they do? How do they work with museums? What research and production goes into the creation of their programming and tours?  How does all of this relate to those working within a museum's walls? Learn the answers to these questions and more at the Closing Keynote Interview!
Zak Martellucci is a Tour Guide and Creative Associate at Museum Hack. He leads renegade tours of all things science and art at the American Museum of Natural History and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Using stories and interactive games, he creates unique museum experiences to engage and excite adult audiences. Zak gets excited about getting other people excited about the crazy, wonderful and wild world around us! He holds an honors degree in Environmental Studies from New York University and has a background in environmental and outdoor education.
As director of education and interpretation, Kris Wetterlund strategizes and oversees the vision for education and interpretation 
throughout the Museum to meet the needs of the diverse audiences the Museum serves. Wetterlund has been an art museum educator for 20 years, in the education department at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and as director of education at the Minnesota Museum of American Art in St. Paul, MN. Wetterlund founded and serves as editor for Museum-Ed (www.museum-ed.org) a national nonprofit organization dedicated to the professional development of museum educators.
Wetterlund has been on the faculty of the Museum Studies program at Johns Hopkins University since 2009. In 2012 the National Art Education Association named Wetterlund Art Museum Educator of the Year in the western region. In 2013, Wetterlund was educator-in-residence at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, where she wrote a guide for interpretive writing for art museum educators, If You Can’t See It Don’t Say It. In early 2016, she was a Getty Museum Guest Scholar in the Education Department at the J. Paul Getty Museum, dedicating three months to research regarding interpretation and art museum education.