Susan is a Global Account Executive with ConferenceDirect, a full-service meeting planning firm. Prior to moving to Orlando in 2010, she owned the destination management company, Atlanta Arrangements, for 17 years.
Working with a diverse clientele, Susan has produced numerous strategic events, including product launches, annual conventions, board and committee meetings, sales meetings, and incentives across multiple continents. Clients have included Coca-Cola, Microsoft, American College of Rheumatology, NBC, Pfizer, American Bar Association, and Deloitte.
Susan is a past president of the Association of Destination Management Executives and the SE Chapter of PCMA (Professional Convention Management Association.)
She is a trustee of the Foundation for Hospital Art and former board member of Zoo Atlanta. Susan was named the Member of the Year of the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau in 2004 and Destination Management Professional of the year in 2007 by ADME.
With ConferenceDirect, Susan works to save money, time and risk for her clients by providing hotel sourcing and business advice on contract negotiations, conference and event management, registration and housing.
Bill Tucker is a highly experienced and highly effective senior banker, who has managed commercial banking portfolios where strategic vision, expertise in client relations, sales, revenue growth, and operations management were held at a premium.
With a demonstrated record of delivering exceptional client support and service to a network of senior executives spanning CEOs, CFOs, COOs, and other members of corporate leadership, Bill brings his unique talents to ConferenceDirect, working alongside his wife, Susan Henderson, to negotiate and book the highest quality meeting spaces and overnight accommodations at the lowest possible price.
Bill graduated from Georgia Tech undergrad and got his Masters in Finance from Georgia State Univ. During his long career in corporate banking, he got to know his clients inside and out, enabling him to anticipate their needs and offer appropriate solutions whenever the time was right. His clients included Delta Airlines, Chic-Fil-A, Full Sail University, Harris Corporation, Southern Company and Cox Enterprises. He brings that insight and consultative process to his role at CD which allows him to act as a trusted advisor to clients.
ConferenceDirect Leadership Team
Brian D Stevens – Chief Executive Officer
Brian D. Stevens is the founding President and Chief Executive Officer of ConferenceDirect.
Although he grew up in the east coast, Stevens went west to attend Saint Mary’s College of California in Moraga, from which he graduated with a B.S. in Business Administration in 1977. He then was briefly enrolled at Saint Patrick’s Seminary in Menlo Park, California, before joining the Oakland Hilton in 1978 as a sales trainee. Over the following 20 years, Stevens ascended the ranks of Hilton Hotels Corporation. He was Director of Sales at the San Francisco Hilton in 1980. Two years later, he became the company’s Regional Director of Sales. In 1985, he was promoted to Director of Industry Relations, and in 1987 he climbed to Vice President of Sales, which, at 32, made him the youngest officer at HHC at the time. Stevens arrived at his final position at Hilton in 1994, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, which he would hold until his departure from the company in 1998.
Stevens co-founded ConferenceDirect with Brian Richey in 1998 as a site selection and contract negotiation firm for meetings and events. Since then, it has grown into a full-service meetings solutions company with hundreds of associates and thousands of events worldwide.
ConferenceDirect has not been Stevens’s only venture. He helped establish Searchwide, an executive search company, as well as the Catholic Disability Foundation and the NBTA Foundation, now the GBTA Foundation. An active volunteer and fundraiser, Stevens has been a member of many industry boards: the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE),
Meeting Professionals International (MPI), Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA), and the PCMA Southwestern Chapter. Stevens is currently the chair of MPI’s board of directors. He also served as the chairman of the ASAE Foundation and the PCMA Foundation. He was on the board for the National Catholic Partnership on Disability (NCPD), and, a longtime supporter of his alma mater, Stevens has served on the Saint Mary’s College of California Board of Trustees since 2011.
Stevens is proudly a member of Burning Tree Country Club in Bethesda, Maryland, the Los Angeles Country Club, the California Club, and O’Donnell Golf Club in Palm Springs. He is also a member of the Knights of Malta, the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, and in 2010, he was inducted as a Knight Commander into the Order of Saint Gregory. Over the course of his career, Stevens has received many honors, notably the ASAE Academy of Leaders Award, the Saint Mary’s College of California Alumni Award, the PCMA Distinguished Leader Award, and the PCMA Wizard Award. For his service to a Los Angeles AIDS hospice center, Stevens received the Serra Project’s Compassion Award. In 2000, he was inducted into the Convention Industry Council’s Hall of Leaders.
Stevens can be reached by email at email@example.com.
Brian Richey – Executive Vice President and Chief Talent Officer
Brian Richey is the co-founder, Executive Vice President, and Chief Talent Officer of ConferenceDirect.
After graduating from Saint Mary’s College of California with a B.S. in Business Administration, Richey began his hospitality career in June of 1989 with the Hilton Professional Development Program at the San Francisco Airport Hilton. In October of that year, he went to the Los Angeles Airport Hilton as a conference center salesperson, and was later promoted to sales manager for the property. Two years later, in 1991, Richey moved to Dallas, Texas, to be the Assistant Director of Sales for Hilton Direct, the company’s group sales office. He became Hilton Direct’s Managing Director of Sales in 1993. In 1996, he relocated to Atlanta, Georgia, as Hilton’s Director of Sales Recruiting, while simultaneously working as the Managing Director for the company’s Southeast National Sales operation.
In 1998, Richey left Hilton to co-found ConferenceDirect with Brian Stevens. It began as a site selection firm, and has since expanded into a full-service meetings solutions company.
An active member of the hospitality industry, Richey has served on the GBTA Groups and Meetings Committee, the board of directors for HSMAI’s Georgia chapter, and various MPI committees. He has also spoken at many different MPI and PCMA conventions and events.
His activism is not limited to hospitality—Richey is also deeply committed to his community and children. He has served on the board of directors for LifeTeen, a Catholic youth ministry, and on the board for the Catholic Metropolitan Basketball League of Atlanta. Passionate about athletics, Richey also coaches basketball and can be frequently found at one of his own children’s games.
Richey lives in Alpharetta, Georgia, a suburb of Atlanta, with his wife of 21 years, Molly, and their three children, Connor, Quinn, and Grace.
Jerry Horan – President and Chief Operating Officer
Jerry Horan is President and Chief Operating Officer of ConferenceDirect. Horan began his career in the hospitality industry in 1987 after graduating from Saint Mary’s College of California with a B.A. in Business Administration. He completed the Hilton Professional Development Program at the San Francisco Airport Hilton, where he remained employed as a Conference Center Manager and a Sales Manager. In 1990, Horan joined the San Francisco Hilton Hotel, a 1,900 room flagship property and major convention hotel. Horan spent six years there, and ultimately achieved the role of Assistant Director of Sales. In 1996, he became the Director of Sales of the Pointe Hilton Resort at Tapatio Cliffs, a 585-room property in Phoenix, Arizona.
His leadership in Phoenix was recognized with his promotion to Director of Sales of The Pointe Hilton Resorts, a tri-property cluster comprising the Tapitio Cliffs, Squaw Peak, and South Mountain properties, which collectively represented 1,800 rooms.
In 2000, Horan joined ConferenceDirect as Regional Vice President. He swiftly excelled in the company’s model, and became Senior Vice President in 2004. Four years later, he was promoted to Chief Operating Officer, and in April 2015, he arrived at his present position of President and COO. During his tenure at ConferenceDirect, the company has realized a worldwide presence, and its services have expanded from site-selection to full-service meetings solutions, including housing and registration.
Horan has been active in the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) for over 20 years and serves on the board of the Catholic Disability Foundation. In 2013, he became a Knight in the Order of Malta. He lives in Sacramento, California, with his wife, Jennifer, their four sons, Riley, Shea, Charlie, and Blair, and their daughter, Rita.
Horan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our Core Values
People & Values
Our people make us different. We are dedicated to supporting our clients and passionate about making a significant impact in all that we
We deliver measurable results for our clients, impacting attendee satisfaction, employee morale, brand perception, strategic alignment, and bottom line results. Don’t just take our word for it, read some of our client testimonials.
We work together as one company to serve our clients however they need us, wherever they need us.
Our commitment to the communities we serve is a natural extension of who we are. Through financial contributions and active volunteer participation, we support programs and organizations that impact community sustainability, such as Girl Scouts of Citrus in Central Florida.
Experience You Can Trust
Your event or meeting is far too important to leave anything to chance. When you work with ConferenceDirect, you’ll enjoy the peace of mind that comes from partnering with highly seasoned industry professionals.
Single Point of Contact
Susan Henderson will be your single point of contact for planning your event, sending and reviewing RFPs, and negotiating contracts – so you can focus on achieving your goals and objectives.
Susan Henderson and Bill Tucker are seasoned negotiators, understand every detail of hospitality and event-related contracts, and help protect our clients against potentially costly and often overlooked details.