Executive Board
Connecting Tourism Globally

James Thurlby

President

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.

Marvin Bemand

Vice President

Marvin’s experience over the past 30+ years covers Media, Technology, Advertising and Hotel Loyalty in Australia and the Asian region.

He has designed some of hospitality’s leading loyalty programmes, as Group Director of Loyalty Marketing reporting to the COO, he designed Centara – The 1 Card www.centara1card.com, which now has over 8 million members across 65 properties in 8 countries.

As Regional Director, Asia at RCI (Wyndham Hotels) Marvin designed MyXcapades.com which is affiliated to 4,500 hotels in 100 countries.

Marvin also managed Accor’s Advantage Plus programme in Thailand (now called Accor Plus) across all of Accor Thailand’s 30+ properties /brands in Thailand.

Marvin has a proven sales record which covers loyalty, technology, customer experience, digital transformation and strategy, he has a growth mindset, delivering significant success / revenue across the Asian region, with an established track record developing new business and P&L Management in Asia. Experienced in business development, sales, client management, operations, finance, and HR. Deep market knowledge in Asia Pacific with extensive C-level industry contacts. Adept, with a reputation as the “go to” person for business development, strategy, analytics and high business impact projects in the region.

Also with deep expertise in customer interaction & relationship management, customer experience management, loyalty program design, management, marketing communications, call center management and partnership development experience across Asia. Marvin has CRM & customer engagement solutions experience for hoteliers, he is experienced consulting to hotel groups on design, optimisation & management of local, regional, global loyalty & partnership programs.

In 2013, Marvin was recognised as one of the leading loyalty executives in the Asia Pacific region.

Marvin also worked in digital transformation for Ogilvy, being one of the first business development director’s for Ogilvy globally (recruited by Ogilvy’s Chief Operating Officer, Asia Pacific to further develop + drive Ogilvy’s non traditional business development strategy/roadmap for Ogilvy Thailand i.e. Digital Transformation, Customer Experience, Platform, Technology, Loyalty via B2C and B2B2C channels (including sourcing new RFP’s) from Marvin’s extensive network of contacts at CxO level in Thailand and across the Asian region.

This includes, Partnership, Customer Experience (Cx) / Digital Transformation / Loyalty and Platform sales to align with Ogilvy’s consulting-led approach and Ogilvy’s COE ‘end to end’ strategy leveraging Ogilvy’s partners such as Adobe, Salesforce, SessionM and other cloud technology solutions. Concentrating on Technology, Digital Transformation, Customer Experience and Loyalty / CRM (excluding all traditional business for Ogilvy). Engaging with Ogilvy’s SI’s, Partners and Ogilvy’s technology companies to provide Ogilvy’s ‘end to end’ technology solution. Key verticals: Retail/QSR, Airlines, Hospitality, Financial Services – Insurance, Banking at VP, C-Suite – CEO & President level. Marvin is currently consulting in a loyalty role for a Malaysian loyalty vendor in a regional role.

In Sydney Australia, Marvin was a successful Radio Announcer for more than 15 years for Radio stations, some include: 2MMM, 2SM, 2DayFM and Sky Radio.

Marvin has lived in Thailand for 15 years, he is married to his wife Beamy for 10 years and they have a house in Bangkok and a 6 year old son Blake who goes to St Andrews International School Sathorn.

In March 2020 Marvin is proud to be elected to the Executive Committee as Director of Public Relations for Skål International Bangkok.

Michael Bamberg

Club Secretary

Hospitality professional.

29 years General Manager at HILTON. Served in Hong Kong, Thailand, Taiwan, Singapore, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, Bahrain, Oman, Japan and China.

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.

Arrissra Limpisthien

Vice President Women In Leadership

Arrissra, who is Vice President Women In Leadership of Skal Bangkok from March 2022. She’s currently representing as Marketing Director at Pacific City Club.

With over 15 years of experience in hospitality operations, sales & marketing, and events management, she have managed multiple teams in sales & marketing. Also created successful food and beverage experience concepts and opened a number of high-end properties in Asia for international brands.

Her passion ultimately has always been within the service industry, serving to the upmost highest level of my abilities and therefore always exceeding their expectations.

Aiming to build digital F&B platforms globally for connecting curators (Chef/Bartenders) with consumers so that they can indulge in to a deeper understanding of the core value of each journey

Personally creating a unique journey from start to finish, delivery & most importantly execution and building community for chef & bartender, wellness and now women in leadership

Kanokros Wongvekin

Director of Public Relations

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.

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.

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John Neutze

Club Treasurer

John has had more than 30 years’ experience in the tourism and hospitality industry, predominantly in sales & marketing leadership roles but also more recently operations. 

Originating from New Zealand he has worked in USA, Australia, and Maldives before commencing his SE Asia journey, 16 years ago, in a role with Hilton heading up the Thailand National Sales office. He then moved to neighbouring Cambodia to a role of Director of Sales & Marketing of Raffles two historic landmark properties.

Returning to Bangkok he moved to Banyan Tree Bangkok, initially as Director of Sales & Marketing, but in early 2020 he become Hotel Manager before leaving the company in September 2020

He now is responsible for SE Asia for Tapendium, an Australian technology company that provides guest engagement technology solutions for the hospitality, aged lifestyle, medical and sporting industries.

John, with his partner, also has set up an ice-cream & bakery shop in Saladaeng.