Annual Conference Keynote Speakers

Keep an eye out for the annoucment of this year's Annual Conference Keynote Speakers!


2015 Conference Keynote Speakers

Museum Association of New York is pleased to announce that this year's Keynote Speakers will be Gavin Landry, Executive Director, Empire State Development and Ford Bell, President & CEO, American Alliance of Museums.


Gavin Landry

Executive Director, Tourism, Empire State Development

Monday, April 13, 12:30pm

Gavin Landry joined Empire State Development (ESD) as the Executive Director of Tourism in March of 2013. As Executive Director, Mr. Landry leads the iconic I LOVE NEW YORK marketing campaign and develops and implements new initiatives to further the State’s positive tourism growth. Tourism is the third fastest growing job sector in NYS. Mr. Landry also works closely with Governor Cuomo’s Tourism Advisory Council (TAC), which provides input and advice regarding the state’s tourism efforts.

Before joining Empire State Development, Mr. Landry ran Landry Hospitality Consulting Services. He has also served as president of the Saratoga Convention and Tourism Bureau, a post he held for 12 years.  During that time, he served as the President of the NYS Association of CVB’s (2000-02) and was nominated for Tourism Executive of the Year by the members of NYSHTA in 2007. A graduate of Cornell University, Mr. Landry is currently an adjunct professor at New York University’s (NYU) Tisch Center for Hospitality, Tourism and Sports Management. In February of 2013, Mr. Landry was the recipient of an award for teaching excellence from NYU, one of 20 given out across nine disciplines. 


Ross D. Levi

Vice President, Marketing Initiatives for Empire State Development (ESD) / NYS Division of Tourism

Monday, April 13, 12:30pm

Ross D. Levi is Vice President, Marketing Initiatives for Empire State Development (ESD) / NYS Division of Tourism where he helps coordinate the state's iconic I LOVE NEW YORK tourism program, with a particular emphasis on specialized marketing events and campaigns. After joining ESD in 2012, Ross was instrumental in creating the I LOVE NEW YORK LGBT initiative, which he continues to oversee. He also played a leading role in launching and coordinating a number of new tourism efforts established by Governor Andrew Cuomo, including the 2013 & 2014 Tourism Summits, inaugural Adirondack Challenge event, I LOVE NEW YORK Bus program and Path Through History heritage tourism initiative.

Previously, Ross was Executive Director at New York's statewide LGBT advocacy organization, served as a legislative director in the New York State Senate and did marketing in the film industry for companies including Twentieth Century Fox, Universal and Miramax He is a published author and holds a J.D. from Brooklyn Law School, and a B.S. from Boston University where he received local and national recognition for commercial writing and filmmaking.


Ford W. Bell

President & CEO, American Alliance of Museums

Tuesday, April 14, 10:45am

Ford W. Bell began his tenure as president of the American Alliance of Museums (then the American Association of Museums) in June 2007. He brings to AAM a lifelong passion for museums and a clear understanding of the important role museums play as educational institutions, economic engines and community assets, as well as places of enlightenment and inspiration. Under his leadership, AAM has undergone a dramatic transformation, and is fully committed to championing the cause of museums with the public, the media and government officials at all levels. Ford has also made it an organization-wide priority to nurture excellence in the field through the establishment and promotion of standards, ethics and best practices. He led the re-branding of AAM, beginning with the development of a new strategic plan and culminating in the launch of the American Alliance of Museums in September 2012, complete with a new name, look, logo, website and commitment to member service. The result has been a dramatic spike in membership and external support, ensuring the long-term sustainability of the 107-year old organization.