Former Starwood CEO Frits van Paasschen is headlining the speaker line-up for the 2018 Australasian Hotel Industry Conference and Exhibition (AHICE), being held in Melbourne on May 2-3.

Since leaving Starwood prior to the company’s takeover by Marriott International, van Paasschen has gone on to write an Amazing best-selling book ‘The Disruptors’ Feast’, which according to the former Hotelier is all about “how to avoid being devoured in today’s rapidly changing global economy”.

His 30 years of experience inside global companies affords him a unique perspective on the trends that are reshaping the global economy.

At AHICE, which is themed ‘Connect, Respond and Engage to stay on top of the game in 2018’, van Paasschen will share his deep understanding of the forces of disruption in order to help businesses thrive in times of accelerating change.

Van Paasschen spent more than a decade as a Fortune 500 CEO, first at The Coors Brewing Company and then at Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide.

He also held several management positions at Nike, ultimately becoming Nike’s President of Europe, Middle East, and Africa. Prior to joining Nike, he worked in finance in Disney’s Consumer Products Division. His career began at The Boston Consulting Group and McKinsey & Company, where he primarily served retail and consumer clients.

Van Paasschen is an advisor with a focus on disruption and strategy. He is a Senior Advisor at the private equity firm TPG Capital. He also serves on the Board of Directors for two public companies, Williams-Sonoma and Royal DSM, as well as two private companies, Apollo Hotels and Convene. He is an investor and advisor for citizenM Hotels. He has also been a Non-Executive Director at Barclays, Jones Apparel, and Oakley.

Van Paasschen has also served on numerous other boards: The European-American Industrial Council (as Chairman), The U.S.-India and U.S.-China business councils, The Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Authority, and The Center for Environmental Leadership in Business at Conservation International.

He holds a BA in Economics and Biology from Amherst College and an MBA from Harvard Business School. At Harvard, he was a Teaching Fellow in Economics. Originally from the Netherlands, Frits holds dual U.S. and Dutch citizenship. A passionate traveler, he speaks five languages and has visited 115 countries. In his free time, he enjoys endurance sports, including marathons and triathlons. He has been married since 1990 and has three children.

Van Paasschen headlines a strong speaker line-up for AHICE 2018, which includes 45 key executives from within and outside the global hotel industry. A full list is included below.

For tickets and more information on confirmed speakers, visit

By Frits van Paasschen

Virtually everything about the way people live and do business is changing faster than ever before. Digital technology, global development, urbanization, and business disruption represent both a major opportunity and a threat in the global economy. Although individuals and organizations are aware that the world is changing exponentially, most are ill-equipped to face this level of disruption and volatility. The Disruptors’ Feast is a unique look into the trends that are shaping the world of the future, and a guide on how to avoid being eaten alive.

Frits van Paasschen is a seasoned global executive whose work has brought him to more than 100 countries. In The Disruptors’ Feast, van Paasschen takes readers on a literary journey to far-flung places around the globe to uncover the forces that are disrupting the status quo and driving change. His travel experiences illustrate how the stage is being set for even greater disruption, and what individuals and organizations can do to prepare for change and stay relevant in a tumultuous environment.

This book isn’t about the end of an era, but the end of eras. People have everything to gain or lose in how they deal with what is coming, regardless of their location, industry, profession, or aspirations. van Paasschen’s unique insight offers a fresh perspective that is dearly needed in business today.

TFE Hotels CEO, Rachel Argaman

At February 8, 2018

Abhijay Sandilya, Director of Development – Australasia, IHG
Andrew Jolliffe, Managing Director, Ray White Hotels Australia
Anthony Stanley, Director of Distribution and Revenue Management, Choice Hotels Asia-Pac
Arthur Kiong, CEO, Far East Hospitality (Singapore)
Barry Fleischmann, Director – Development, Australasia, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group
Barry Robinson, President and Managing Director – South East Asia and Pacific Rim, Wyndham Hotel Group
Bradley Woods, CEO, AHA WA
Carol Giuseppi, CEO, Tourism Accommodation Australia
Dave Baswal, Chief Operating Officer – Australia, Ovolo Group
David Wray, Director of Acquisitions – South East Asia and Pacific Rim, Wyndham Hotel Group
Dean Dransfield, Managing Director, Dransfield Hotels & Resorts
Dr Jerry Schwartz, Director, Schwartz Family Company
Frits Dirk van Paasschen, Amazon Best-Selling Author, The Disruptors’ Feast & former Starwood CEO (New York)
Gus Moors, Head of Hotels – Australia, Colliers International
Howard Kemball, Managing Director, KCom Asset Management
James Doolan, Vice President, Hotel Development, Asia-Pacific, Marriott International (Hong Kong)
James Wilkinson, Editor-In-Chief, HM magazine
Jane Hastings, Managing Director, Event Hospitality and Entertainment
Julian Clark, CEO, Lancemore Group
Jure Domazet, CEO, Doma Hotels
Leanne Harwood, Managing Director – Australasia and Japan, IHG
Lucia Grambalova, General Manager Hotel Investments, Mulpha Australia Limited
Marc von Arnim, General Manager, Park Hyatt Sydney
Mark Bullock, Director, Investment Sales & Advisory, Ray White Hotels Australia
Mark Durran, Managing Director, JLL Hotels & Hospitality Group
Michael Herman, Executive Development Manager – ‎TFE Hotels
Michael Issenberg, Chairman and CEO – Asia Pacific, AccorHotels (Singapore)
Michael Simpson, Managing Director – Australia & NZ Hotels, Savills Australia
Paul Wiste, Founder/Principal, Design Assembly (Singapore)
Phil Kasselis, Managing Director, Pro-invest Group
Rachel Argaman, CEO, TFE Hotels
Rajeev Menon, Chief Operating Officer (Asia Pacific Excluding China), Marriott International Inc (Singapore)
Rhys Jones, Group General Manager, QT Hotels and Resorts
Richard Crawford, Senior Director, Development – Australia, NZ and Pacific, Marriott International
Richard Munro, CEO, Accommodation Association of Australia
Robert Dawson, Area Vice President – Pacific Region, Hyatt Hotels & Resorts
Robert Williams, Asia Pacific head of Hotels & Hospitality, Withers
Ronald Barrott, CEO, Pro-invest Group (Singapore)
Sarah McCully, General Manager, Development, Choice Hotels Asia-Pac
Simon McGrath, COO – Pacific, AccorHotels
Sonia Lefevre, CEO – Asset and Development, Lustro Hotel Group
Stephen Burt, Chairman, Travelodge Hotels Asia (Singapore)
Tish Nyar, COO, TFE Hotels
Wayne Bunz, Senior Director – National Hotel Brokerage, CBRE
Vasso Zographou, Director – Hotels, Savills Australia and New Zealand

James Wilkinson

Editor-In-Chief, Hotel Management