Artificial Intelligence and its Impact on Hospitality’s 3S: Service, Security and Surveillance

Dave Akridge

Dave Akridge
Great American Hotel Group, Inc.

As President of Great American Hotel Group Inc., William David (Dave) Akridge has over 41 years of experience in all phases of hotel management and is an active, licensed real estate broker, a certified commercial real estate appraiser as well as a certified real estate appraiser. Dave has served as court appointed receiver for many properties.  A native of Mobile, Alabama, Great American Hotel Group is headquartered in Dover, NH where he has resided for the last 25 years.  Dave attended the University of South Alabama.

Brent Hutfless

Brent Hutfless
IT Security Director
Wind Creek Hospitality

Hutfless leads the information security program for Wind Creek Hospitality, the gaming and hospitality enterprise of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians. Wind Creek employs 7000 team members at a variety of hotel, casino, dining, shopping, and entertainment venues located throughout the US and Caribbean.

Prior to his transition into gaming and hospitality, Brent held technology and security leadership roles at US Navy headquarters-level commands and a top US Federal contractor. Starting out in US Navy aviation and intelligence communities, his career spans 25 years across aviation, healthcare, manufacturing, education and training, military and defense industries.

Hutfless is a graduate of Troy University and University of West Florida, holds degrees in Computer Science, Software Engineering, a certificate in Medical Informatics and CISSP certification. He has contributed to post-secondary textbooks, peer-reviewed medical research, and continues to publish articles on CSO, Peerlyst, LinkedIn, and other community forums. Brent enjoys research and presenting topics like artificial intelligence, hacking, the dark web, identity theft, foreign espionage, and interesting subjects that educate, entertain and promote conversations that lead to change.

Anne Mockler

Anne Mockler
Director of Surveillance
Beau Rivage

A 40-year veteran of the gaming industry, Anne Mockler has served as Director of Surveillance for the world’s global leader in gaming and entertainment, MGM Resorts International, for 30 years. She has been in that position at Beau Rivage Resort & Casino since opening its doors in 1999, where she has spearheaded Surveillance systems, not only during the initial opening of the resort, but also its re-opening in 2006 after Hurricane Katrina, assuring internal controls and regulatory requirements are compliant with Mississippi Gaming Commission regulations.

Mockler broke into the gaming industry as a casino dealer in Las Vegas. Her knowledge of table games and meticulous attention to detail led to a position in Surveillance, where she quickly moved through the ranks and was promoted to supervisory roles.

At Beau Rivage, Mockler has served on the MGM Resorts Foundation Community Grants Council, has held a variety of leadership positions on the Corporate Social Responsibility Council, has co-chaired the casino’s Habitat for Humanity Women’s Build program and has been identified as a Diversity Champion.

With a passion and voice for the hospitality industry she is active within her community as a mentor for students at University of South Alabama and has served as a member of the I-Pass program at University of South Mississippi and a guest lecturer for Casino Management Certification courses. She has also represented the industry at university recruitment events and assisted USM’s Department of Casino, Hospitality & Tourism Management with student recruitment.

Dr. Robert Thompson

Dr. Robert J. Thompson, CHA, TMP
Chair, Department of Hospitality & Tourism Management, University of South Alabama

Dr. Robert Thompson is a seasoned industry leader with 30+ years of work experience in the hospitality industry in destination markets such as Las Vegas, NV, Beverly Hills, CA, and Biloxi, MS. He has held positions of hotel general manager, cruise director, country club manager, and capped his industry career with a twenty-year stint in corporate marketing with Wyndham Worldwide, Inc.  Robert is a C.H.A. (Certified Hotel Administrator) with the American Hotel & Lodging Association and holds a T.M.P. (Tourism Marketing Professional) certification through the Southeast Tourism Society.  In 2009, Robert received his M.B.A. in Hospitality & Tourism from the prestigious University of Guelph in Canada. In 2016, Dr. Thompson received his Ph.D. in Human Capital Development from The University of Southern Mississippi.  Dr. Thompson is the Chair and Assistant Professor for the Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management at the University of South Alabama, and has taught adjunct at California State University – East Bay and The University of Southern Mississippi.