Robert A. Gilbert, CHME, CHA

Vice PresidentBob Gilbert, CHME, CHA

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Areas of Expertise:

  • Providing top-notch sales strategies to industry professionals
  • Developing and marketing events and venues
  • Developing and implementing strategic planning processes
  • Instituting strong financial management plans

Robert Gilbert serves as president and CEO of the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI). He has been guiding HSMAI through a dynamic and exciting period of change as the 7,000+ member organization has been re-established as the definitive hospitality and travel marketing association in the world.

During Gilbert's tenure, HSMAI has achieved tremendous success with a number of initiatives. It has re-affirmed its commitment to industry-specific education through HSMAI chapters and the creation of five special interest groups which provide segment-specific programs in Internet Marketing, Resort Marketing and Revenue Management Strategy Conferences. Gilbert was also instrumental in the development of the HSMAI University and the expansion of HSMAI's Affordable Meetings trade shows into three markets. HSMAI University today produces nearly 50 webinars annually, manages two world class simulation training programs and three certification programs. Affordable Meetings provides HSMAI members a direct opportunity to meet potential customers and secure leads for meetings business for their hotel or destination.

He has also led the global expansion of HSMAI through the formation of HSMAI Global in 2003, the opening of an Asia Pacific regional office in Singapore in 2005 and the recent establishment of a new national chapter in the United Arab Emirates.

Gilbert graduated with a degree from the School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University and has been a member of HSMAI since joining the student chapter at Cornell University. He is a frequent guest lecturer at Cornell University.

Gilbert serves on the board of directors of the American Hotel & Lodging Association, the Convention Industry Council and the Travel and Tourism Coalition of the U.S. Travel Association. He also serves on a number of advisory boards of hospitality and hotel management schools.

Gilbert and his wife, Kim, and their three children reside in Centerville, Virginia.


Now, here's the backstory on Bob…

  • Hometown: Sinclairville, New York
  • First car: Satellite Sebring GTS
  • Superhero power I wish I had: Be in more than one place at the same time
  • Television show or movie most resembles my current life: It’s A Wonderful Life
  • App I can’t live without: Email and texting
  • Favorite guilty pleasure: Vacations on the beach
  • Three publications I’d recommend for anyone who does what I do: 1) your industry trade pubs, 2) your industry trade pubs, 3) ASAE’s Association Management
  • What I do on my “free” time: Slow down, relax, and read
  • If I could travel anywhere in the world, I would go…: Back to multiple places in Mexico or the Caribbean
  • Advice I would give my “younger self”: Learn more languages
  • How my life has changed since I joined Coulter: it’s a rollercoaster of fun innovation
  • At the end of the day…: keep life and your priorities in perspective

“To do the work you love and feel that it matters; how could anything be more fun?”

Katharine Graham

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