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Hotel Association of New York City - Sustainability Committee, New York Institute of Technology and Wayaj - Earth Friendly Travel
NYIT Auditorium, 1871 Broadway, New York, NY
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Urban Tourism: Planning Towards 2030

Tourism continues to be a major industry for the City of New York with a record 65 Million tourists in 2018. With the State’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act requiring the reduction of Green House Gases by 40% by the year 2030, hotels are under pressure to meet this goal.  What are the ways that hotels can achieve these goals?  

This panel brings together representatives from NYC government, industry (travel & sustainability), academia, and media to discuss the challenges faced by the tourism industry in large cities and the potential rewards of a sustainable tourism industry.

MUST RSVP to attend:


5.30 - 6.15 pm Networking (Refreshments offered by Wayaj – Earth friendly Travel)

6.15 - 6.20 pm Welcome message: Dr. Robert J. Koenig

6.20 - 6.30 Opening remarks: Costa Costantinitides, NYC Councilmember - District 22, Chairperson Environmental Protection Committee

6.30 - 7.15 pm Panel Discussion

7.15 - 7.45 pm Q&A

7.45 - 7.55 Closing remarks: Maya Shenkman

Panelists & Guests

Moderator: Fatena Q-Williams – Chairwoman HANYC Sustainability Committee

Throughout her career Fatena Q-Williams has been combining her professional growth with commitment to her community. Named One of Top Hospitality Women of 2017, 2018 in Tri State area. As Managing Director of Herald Square Hotel, she led her team to win the 2016 Social Responsibility Award. Board Member of NYSHTA and AH&LA’s Women in Lodging NY / NJ where she assists to promote and develop women into senior executive roles. Fatena is been acknowledged by several council and assembly members for her community work with the Presidents Volunteer Award and Presidential Champion Award.

Costa Constantinides 

Costa Constantinides represents the New York City Council’s 22nd District, which includes his native Astoria, as well as Rikers Island, parts of Jackson Heights, Woodside, and East Elmhurst. As chair of the Environmental Protection Committee since 2015, he has been committed to fighting the effects of climate change and keeping it from forever changing New York City’s landscape. In April 2019, Costa led the effort to pass the Climate Mobilization Act, the eight-bill package tackled greenhouse gas emissions from large buildings, made the first step toward closing fossil fuel power plants, and required green roofs on new buildings.

Robert J. Koenig, Ed. D. - Associate Dean, NYIT School of Management

Robert J. Koenig has been responsible for the start, development, and growth of the NYIT Manhattan Hospitality Management Program, established in 1994; as well as NYIT’s M.B.A. concentration in Hospitality Management. He serves as the faculty advisor for NYIT’s School of Management’s Honor Society, Beta Gamma Sigma Chapter, and is the founder of The Society of Hosteurs. Since 1994, Robert Koenig has been committed to community outreach programs to help those in need, and has established the “Bee-lieve Hospitality Student Leadership Scholarship Fund” for NYIT students.

Andrew Sheivachman – Enterprise Editor, Skift

Andrew is senior enterprise editor at travel industry intelligence platform Skift, where he works on high-impact projects. Throughout his decade-long career in travel journalism he's covered subjects including tourism, business travel, sustainability, hospitality, technology, and the intersection between government policy and travel. His Skift feature on tourism growth in Iceland helped launch the travel industry's debate on the impact of overtourism on destinations around the world. He lives in New York City.

Logan Cohen – Sustainability Consultant, Wayaj

Logan Cohen is the designer of Wayaj’s Eco-score, which rates the sustainability performance of hundreds of hotels in over 90 countries. Logan has experience across several industries in measuring waste and carbon, as well as creating targeted solutions to reduce their impacts. Logan has a Bachelor’s Degree in Physics with a concentration on Environmental Science and a Master’s Degree in Energy, Technology, and Policy.

Maya Shenkman - President, Box and Bottle NYC

Maya has been working with numerous environmental causes in New York City, coordinating events and managing public awareness and conservation programs for non-profit organizations. For the past 20 years, her role as Director of Hotel Services, has been assisting the hospitality industry with recycling awareness, waste management and reduction on the road to improving environmental responsibility. Maya founded Box & Bottle NYC in 2017 and is continuing this work through design and management of sustainability programs, regulations compliance and conservation for properties throughout the city.

Nicholas Farina – General Manager, 1 Hotel Central Park

Nicholas Farina’s passion for the industry started at a young age apprenticing in kitchens. His career in hospitality took off after attending Boston University School of Hospitality, when he joined Dorchester Collection at the New York Palace. In 2016 he moved to Loews Hotels as Hotel Manager at the Loews Regency. In 2019, Nicholas joined 1 Hotels as the General Manager for 1 Hotel Central Park, where his commitment as a steward of sustainable practices is a driving force behind running a luxury eco-conscious brand.

Dr. Mark B. Milstein - Director of the Center for Sustainable Global Enterprise, Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management Cornell University

Dr. Mark B. Milstein is Clinical Professor of Management at the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management and Director of the Center for Sustainable Global Enterprise at Cornell University’s SC Johnson College of Business. He conducts applied research in and oversees the Center’s work on market and enterprise creation; business development; clean technology commercialization; and sustainable finance. Milstein has worked with more than 120 firms across a range of industries, including renewable energy and carbon markets, life sciences and sustainable agriculture, consumables, food and nutrition, health care and hospitality management, travel and tourism, as well as finance and international development. His applied research has been funded by the Rockefeller Foundation, Johnson & Johnson, the National Science Foundation, the World Bank, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation among others. Professor Milstein’s work and perspectives have been featured in the media, including The New York Times, MSNBC, CNN, CNBC, Forbes, and The Guardian. His writings have appeared in a number of journals including Science, Academy of Management Executive, and Sloan Management Review. Professor Milstein is a frequent speaker on the topics of strategy, organizational change and innovation related to business and sustainability, and consults with multi-national firms, small and medium sized enterprises, and NGOs.

Niclas Svenningsen - Manager, Global Climate Action at the UN Climate Change Secretariat

Niclas Svenningsen worked for the Swedish Environmental Agency before joining UN Environment in Bangkok and Paris. He has been with UN Climate Change for 8 years and he leads engagement of private sector and civil society.

This event is part of the Sustainable Travel and Leisure program of Climate Week NYC.