Join us for This year’s GHTA Annual Conference!

The 2019 GHTA Annual Conference will be held November 13-15, 2019 in Phoenix, AZ. 


Conference Agenda OVerview

Below is an outline of the 2019 conference agenda structure. This agenda style is based on the great success of and response to our 2018 conference from attendees. The content itself will highlight topics that are timely and important to our industry.

Some agenda topic highlights for this year include: Staying Ahead of 2020-2021 Market Trends; Sourcing Tips for Growing Manufacturers; Building Your Brand and Marketing Strategy; Ways to Standout in a Cluttered Market, and more. Agenda topics and outline subject to change. Full keynote speaker, breakout session, and entertainment details coming soon. Agenda outline is subject to change.

Pre-Conference: Tuesday, November 12

  • Attendees start to arrive in Phoenix

Day 1: Wednesday, November 13

  • Attendees continue arriving in Phoenix

  • 12:00PM: Conference registration check-in opens

  • 2:00PM: Conference Day 1 kick-off + keynote speaker + GHTA Annual Business Meeting, including induction of new board

  • 6:30PM - 9:00PM: Evening social event

Day 2: Thursday, November 14

  • 7:00AM: Registration opens & breakfast is served

  • 8:00AM: Conference Day 2 kick-off + full day of breakouts and keynote speakers

  • 5:00PM: Conference Day 2 ends

  • 6:30PM - 9:00PM: Evening social event

Day 3: Friday, November 15

  • 7:00AM: Registration opens & breakfast is served

  • 8:00AM : Conference Day 3 kick-off + breakout workshops + keynote speaker

  • 12:00PM: Conference concludes

  • Attendees depart Phoenix and head home sweet home!

keynote speakers

Below is an overview of our keynote speakers. More coming soon!


Tim Arnold

"Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen: How the Power of Story Can Grow Your Business"

Presentation Overview: 
Most leaders, marketers, salespeople and managers struggle to explain what they do. It's not because they aren't smart, hard-working or likable, it's because they aren't communicating clearly. StoryBrand helps companies understand what customers are looking for so they can tell their story in such a way people listen. The human brain is drawn to CLARITY and away from confusion. If customers are confused about what you offer, they'll look past you for somebody who can say it clearly. Once you clarify your message, your company will begin to grow. 

About Tim: 
Tim Arnold is part of the teaching team at StoryBrand Live Workshops and travels the world to help StoryBrand clients through Private Workshops and Keynotes. He has spent over two decades helping organizations communicate, collaborate and get unstuck, with clients that include The United Nations, Citibank, KPMG, Toyota and Siemens. Tim is able to provide his clients with a real-world perspective through his experience launching successful for-profit and not-for-profit businesses, and managing international development partnerships in four continents. As the author of the book, "The Power of Healthy Tension," Tim is able to help his clients bring communication simplicity to their business complexity. Tim lives in Ontario, Canada with his wife, Becky and their children Declan and Avryl.

stay tuned — there’s more to come!

Breakout sessions

Below is an overview of our breakout topics confirmed to date. Full session and speaker details - and additional breakout sessions - coming soon.

Sourcing Resources for Vendors

Give Me What I Want + Free shipping (Retailer Panel)

Preparation, Pitch, and Profit: Sales Strategies that Work

Partnerships that last: Vendors and Agencies 

Using data and Technology to leverage growth

stay tuned — there’s more to come!

hotel accommodations

Slideshow photo credit: 
Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass

We will be returning to the Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass in Phoenix, AZ for this year’s conference. Our return to this resort is due to the overwhelming praise for the property and requests to go back for a second year in a row.

GHTA Group Rate: $179/night + $10 resort fee (below amenities included) and applicable fees/taxes. The rate will also be available 3 days prior and 3 days after the Conference, based on hotel occupancy, for anyone that would like to extend their stay. Please note: GHTA cannot guarantee extended stay rates, as it is based on hotel occupancy and availability.

Resort Fee Includes:

  • Unlimited Internet access in guest rooms and lobby areas

  • Access to the Aji Spa Fitness - Workout Room

  • Complimentary bottled waters in-room, replenished daily

  • Any local, long distance (domestic), and 1-800 guest room calls

  • Expanded shuttle service to the new Phoenix Premium Outlets

  • Tennis court and full tennis equipment rental (based on availability)

About the property: Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass is a truly transformative resort experience. Located just a short drive from Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport, this Native American-owned luxury hotel feels a world away from everyday life. The resort has strived to maintain the heritage and culture of the Gila River Indian Community throughout the resort, preserving a sense of authenticity at every turn. Spend your days enjoying a round of golf at Whirlwind Golf Club, pampering yourself at Aji Spa or making a splash at the four resort pools. The resort also offers dining options to please every palate including Kai, the state's only AAA Five-Diamond and Forbes Five-Star award-winning restaurant.

Thinking about bringing your family to stay the weekend, post-conference? Great news -- there’s something for every member of the family at the Sheraton Grand Resort at Wild Horse Pass. Splash around in one of their four pools with waterfalls and 111-foot waterslide. Discover horseback riding at the Koli Equestrian Center with lessons, trail rides, and outdoor events. For younger guests, the Sheraton Adventure Club offers daily activities. For a more active adventure, experience the tennis courts and extensive jogging/walking trails. Or enjoy a boat ride to Rawhide or Whirlwind Golf Club on the 2 ½ mile river that surrounds the resort. For additional off-site local attractions, please click here.

Airport + Transit

The Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass in Phoenix, AZ is a short, 15-minute ride from Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport [PHX] and 15 miles from downtown Phoenix. Self-parking at the hotel is complimentary.


Attendees will want to utilize the Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport [PHX] for the most convenient arrival and departure.

Transportation Options

Directions to hotel from Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport

  • Take AZ-143 South

  • Merge onto I-10 East toward Tucson

  • Exit Wild Horse Pass Blvd

  • Turn right onto Wild Horse Pass Blvd

  • Continue on Wild Horse Pass Blvd through two signal lights

  • Follow the signs onto to the resort grounds and guest registration

2019 Conference Attendee Roster

This section will feature a roster of those registered for the 2019 GHTA Annual Conference, as registrations are submitted. Have questions? Email the GHTA office at

Paul Grolemund

Appelman Schauben
Elsa Alonso
Louise Appleman
Diana Blackburn
Mary Crist
Kelly Patchett
Peter Schauben
Brittany Waters

Peter Grube
Randy Reddick
Ken Weygand

Boston International
Lori Kelly
Pam Metz

Candle Warmers Etc.
Chris Barnes
Spencer Beesley
Brett Heyland

Casafina Living
Matt Hullfish

Catstudio, Inc.
Hillary Young

Dallas Market Center
Kelly Bristol
Helen Smith
Joan Ulrich
Richard Wisnieski

Marisa Lytle

Diverse Marketing
Wes Hardin
Ben Killberg
Kim Kramer
Kari VeZain

Giftbeat Magazine
Erica Kirkland

William Kyle
Randee Suzer

Cindy Spain-Green
Mary Sullivan

Mary Meyer
Linda Colson

Maynard Sales Management
Peggy Maynard

Meyers Sales
Michael Meyers

Next Step Reps
Jackie Moon

Now Designs
Sushil Arora

Road Runners
Richard Gilbert
Tosha Pearson
RaeLee Walton
Angela Schmook

Twist Sales Inc
Anita Anderson
Melissa Bloom

Southeast Marketing
Deb Donahue
Robin Kert
Tammi Rampelberg

Unemployed Philosophers Guild
Trudi Bartow
Jennifer Castracane


registration rates

The 2019 GHTA Annual Conference will be held at the Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass in Phoenix, AZ, November 13-15.

Member Rates (GHTA & GSMA)

> Until May 31: $599 per person*
> June 1 - November 12: $699 per person

*GHTA and GSMA members that register by May 31st also have the opportunity to participate in a two-installment payment plan. First half of the fee is due at the time of registration; the second will be charged to the card on file 60 days later.

Non-Member Rates

> Until November 12: $849 per person