Executive Board
Connecting Tourism Globally

Kanokros Wongvekin

President

Kanokros Wongvekin , Vice President – Social Affairs of Global Development Consulting Company Limited, is responsible for the company’s image, and as such, is an official corporate representative for social affairs and social events. She has an extensive experience covering 26 years in hotel industry. Kanokros graduated with a Bachelor degree from the Faculty of Business Administration at Ramkamhaeng University, majoring in Public Relations and Advertising before gaining her MBA (Master of Business Administration) in marketing from Srinakharinwirot university, Prasarnmit in Bangkok. Kanokros also studied English in the United Kingdom, receiving a first certificate of English examination from Cambridge University. She began her public relations career in 1991, spending seven years at The Sol Twin Towers Hotels Bangkok, the first Spanish chain hotel in Thailand, as PR Officer and later as Public Relations Manager. She then worked at several leading hotels including Amari Watergate Hotel Bangkok, Amari Atrium Bangkok, the Royal Orchid Sheraton Hotel & Towers Bangkok as Director of Public Relations and Centara Hotels & Resorts as Group Director of Marketing communications for 10 years and a half. She also received the award for ‘Best Public Relations for Thailand, Hong Kong and Macau’ from Starwood Hotels and Resorts while working at The Royal Orchid Sheraton Hotel and Towers in Bangkok. She was also serving as the elected President of Hotel Public Relations Association from 2013-2015.

Marvin Bemand

Vice President

Marvin has over 30 years of experience across media, technology, advertising, and hotel loyalty in Australia and the Asian region. He has been instrumental in designing some of the leading loyalty programs in the hospitality industry. As the Group Director of Loyalty Marketing, he reported directly to the COO and created Centara – The 1 Card (www.centara1card.com), which boasts over 15 to 20 million members across 65 properties in eight countries.

In his role as Regional Director, Asia at RCI (Wyndham Hotels), Marvin designed MyXcapades.com, affiliating it with 4,500 hotels in 100 countries. He also managed Accor’s Advantage Plus program (now Accor Plus) in Thailand, overseeing all of Accor Thailand’s 30+ properties and brands.

Marvin’s proven sales record encompasses loyalty, technology, customer experience, digital transformation, and strategy. He has a growth mindset and has achieved significant success and revenue across the Asian region. His established track record in business development and P&L management in Asia is complemented by deep market knowledge and extensive C-level industry contacts. Marvin is known as the go-to person for business development, strategy, analytics, and high-impact projects in the region.

He possesses deep expertise in customer interaction and relationship management, loyalty program design and management, marketing communications, call center management, and partnership development across Asia. Marvin has experience in CRM and customer engagement solutions for hoteliers and has consulted on the design, optimization, and management of local, regional, and global loyalty and partnership programs.

In 2013, Marvin was recognized as one of the leading loyalty executives in the Asia Pacific region. He also worked in digital transformation for Ogilvy, becoming one of the first business development directors globally. Recruited by Ogilvy’s Chief Operating Officer, Asia Pacific, he advanced Ogilvy’s non-traditional business development strategy in Thailand, focusing on digital transformation, customer experience, platform technology, and loyalty through B2C and B2B2C channels. Marvin leveraged his extensive CxO-level network in Thailand and across Asia to source new RFPs and drive Ogilvy’s consulting-led approach and end-to-end strategy, collaborating with partners such as Adobe, Salesforce, and SessionM.

Marvin’s expertise spans various verticals, including retail/QSR, airlines, hospitality, and financial services, at VP, C-Suite, CEO, and President levels. He currently consults in a loyalty role for a Malaysian loyalty vendor in a regional capacity.

Before his move to Asia, Marvin enjoyed a successful 15-year career as a radio announcer in Sydney, Australia, working with stations such as 2MMM, 2SM, 2DayFM, and Sky Radio.

Having lived in Thailand for 15 years, Marvin is married to his wife Beamy and has a son, Blake, who attends St Andrews International School Sathorn. In March 2020, Marvin was elected to the Executive Committee as Director of Public Relations for Skål International Bangkok.

Andrew Wood

Vice President 2

Andrew J Wood was born in Yorkshire England, he is a professional hotelier, Skalleague and travel writer. Andrew has 48 years of hospitality and travel experience. Educated at Batley Grammar School and a hotel graduate of Napier University, Edinburgh. 

Andrew started his career in London, working with various hotels. His first posting overseas was with Hilton International in Paris, and he later arrived in Asia in 1991 with his appointment as Director of Marketing at the Shangri-La Hotel, Bangkok and has remained in Thailand ever since. Andrew has also worked with the Royal Garden Resort Group (Vice President) – now renamed Anantara – and the Landmark Group (Vice President of Sales and Marketing). Latterly he has been the General Manager at the Royal Cliff Group of Hotels in Pattaya and the Chaophya Park Hotel Bangkok & Resorts.

A past board member of Skål International (SI), Past SI Asia President and National President SI Thailand and 2 time Club President. Andrew brings all this experience as our Vice President 2 of SI Bangkok. In 2019, Andrew was awarded SKÅL’s highest award the distinction of Membre D’Honneur and holds

Awards
2013 Order of Merit
2019 Membre d’Honneur
2020 Skål President’s Special Awards

Pichai Visutriratana

Director of Events

Pichai is the Sales & Marketing Consultant for The Small Hotel group (The Small Chiang Mai, The Small Krabi, Krabi La Playa Resort), as Director.

A Thai national, Pichai brings more than 27 years of sales and marketing experience in Thailand, Vietnam and Bali. After graduating with a degree in Business Administration from Assumption Business Administration College (ABAC), Pichai’s career has covered Sales And Marketing roles at the Montien Hotel Bangkok, the Felix Arnoma Swissotel Bangkok and then the Mandarin Oriental Baan Taling Ngam in Koh Samui. The hotel was later rebranded to Le Meridien Group, and Pichai was responsible for handling their 4 hotels in Thailand: Le Royal Meridien Baan Taling Ngam in Koh Samui, Le Royal Meridien Phuket Yacht Club, Le Meridien Phuket and Le Meridien Baan Boran, Chiang Rai. Pichai was part of the opening Sales and Marketing team for the Peninsula Hotel Bangkok and is one of a handful of Thai nationals who were early pioneers, with a strong sales and marketing background, to be selected and offered overseas postings in international hotel chains. After his first post as the Director of Sales & Marketing at the Melia Hanoi, Pichai moved back to Bangkok to join the Grand Hyatt Erawan and the Swissotel Nai Lert Park. Pichai later rejoined the Sol Melia Group in Bali as their Director of Sales & Marketing.

James Thurlby

Digital Marketing Director

James, who was elected President of Skal Bangkok in March 2022, has lived and worked in Thailand since 2018. He is a senior digital marketing manager for Move Ahead Media, managing campaigns for clients across a range of industries including travel and tourism.

James’ career history since leaving full time education in the UK has been almost exclusively in marketing and predominantly within the leisure, hotels, tourism sector. Working in countries around Europe, for a number of companies including Thomas Cook group, he firmly established himself in the travel industry. In addition, he has experience in B2C sales and marketing for Haven Holidays and briefly in the motor industry.

This 20 year career brings a wealth of knowledge including a keen understanding of consumer purchase decisions and motivations that is acutely attuned to the needs of the Skal membership.

John Neutze

Club Treasurer

John was elected to the role of Treasurer of Skal Bangkok in March 2022. John left his native New Zealand, in 2000 and since then has senior roles in hotels in Australia, Maldives, Cambodia and Thailand, where he now lives.

Coming from a Director of Sales & Marketing background, with roles in international companies including Stamford, Hilton Raffles and Banyan Tree, since June 2022 John has been General Manager of the 560 room Chatrium Residence Sathon where gets to bring his strong Sales & Marketing knowledge and Customer-focus and relationship building to drive the customer satisfaction for north long-stay residents and daily guests also.

John and his partner also have a business Scoop B Do – an ice-cream shop and bakery and John still finds time to bake the cookies and other treats that are sold in the shop.

 

Samantha Lauver-Marion

Young Skal Director

Samantha Lauver-Marion is a collaborative hospitality leader with over a decade of diverse experience in Minor Hotels, spanning operations, sales, loyalty, communications, and customer relationship management.

After transitioning to the education sector, Samantha joined the Minor Education team as Head of Student Engagement at the Asian Institute of Hospitality Management (AIHM) in academic association with Les Roches.

Currently, as Director of Global Partnerships, Samantha has successfully launched AIHM Executive Education in collaboration with global experts, providing training on business, management, and leadership skills essential for growth and development in the experience economy.

With a Hospitality Management degree from Temple University and a certification in training, Samantha has a proven track record of empowering students and industry leaders to succeed

Dr. Scott Smith

Young Skal Director

Scott Michael Smith, PhD is Course Coordinator at the Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management, Assumption University, Thailand. Scott’s doctoral dissertation focused on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in the tourism industry, concentrating on the successful communication of CSR in SE Asia.

From Hawaii, Dr Scott has over 20 years of practical experience as an owner and manager in the service sector and 20 years’ experience teaching and consulting in Thailand. Working for industry legends such as Shep Gordon and Don Ho in Hawaii, as a GM for their successful restaurant and nightclubs, Scott learned from the best in the business.

Dr. Scott has worked closely with many of the leading tourism suppliers in Thailand to develop service training programs and promote strategies that make business sense and common sense. Community Based Tourism (CBT) and sustainable development is a passion of Dr Scott’s. Dr Scott has experience hosting academic

conferences and has been invited to present keynote speeches on a variety of topics throughout SE Asia. He currently serves on the editorial review board of several academic journals.

Max Ma

Membership Director

Max Ma, 20+ years experience in hospitality industry. Currently Global Sales Director – Asia in Centara Hotels & Resorts Bangkok headquarter. Previous lead the Trip.com Thailand team, the largest Chinese OTA. PhD. Candidate in Siam University.

Nyanika Chansrichawla

Director of Public Relations

I have over seven years of work experience in the field of hospitality and consulting.

Presently, I have two roles. First and foremost, I am a part of our family business operating six hotels located in Thailand which are Furama Xclusive Sukhumvit, Furama Xclusive Asoke, Furama Silom Bangkok Hotel, Furama Xclusive Sathorn, Furama Xclusive Sandara Hua Hin, Cha am and FX Hotel Pattaya.

In my other role, I work as a digital marketing executive at Serendipity & Co, promoting leadership development and how it can help businesses innovate and gain the competitive edge.

I have been fortunate to work in various roles from sales, marketing, and f&b. I believe this will help me greatly in promoting Skal Bangkok.

As for my education background, I am a graduate from Les Roches Crans-Montana Switzerland Global Hospitality Education. I am currently enrolled in my Masters of Leadership in Service Innovation from the University of Queensland. I recently received a certification from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in “Improving Your Business Through a Culture of Health.”

My work motto is “Learning, integrity and teamwork will enable us to thrive in the changing world.”