Brian D. Stevens
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. In 2000, he was inducted into the Convention Industry Council’s Hall of Leaders and was Chair of MPI Global in 2017. 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), his alma mater the Saint Mary’s College of California Board of Trustees, was a founding Chair at Events 100 and participated in the Sanctuary of Culture Foundation from 2015-2019. Stevens is currently on the Board of Directors of the Van Ness House in Los Angeles, the Lasallian Christian Brothers Foundation in Napa, and the Board of Trustees for The Guest House.
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, including: ASAE Academy of Leaders Award and Founding Member Fellow, PCMA Distinguished Leader Award, PCMA Wizard Award, PCMA Lifetime Achievement Visionary Award, PCMA SW Chapter Named Scholarship Award, MPI President’s Award, Saint Mary’s College of California Alumni Award, Saint Mary’s College of California LGBT Award, St. Anne’s Angel Award, Knights of St. Gregory Award, Knights of the Holy Sepulchre Award, Knight of Malta Award, Knight of Columbus Award, National Catholic Partnership Foundation Impact Award, and for his service to a Los Angeles AIDS hospice center, Stevens received the Serra Project’s Compassion Award.
Secretary & Chief
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.