Jacob F. AhrensJacob F. Ahrens - Founder | CEO

Mr. Jacob Ahrens began his professional career with Merrill Lynch prior to graduating from the University of San Diego. After a successful period with Merrill Lynch, Ahrens left to co-found Banker’s Choice, Inc., a wholesale brokerage company that leveraged G.A contracts for the purpose of successfully distributing financial products to employees via their employers. Upon selling Banker’s Choice in 2001, Ahrens successfully founded and co-owned two companies, and assisted in the start-up of two others within the travel, hospitality, and publishing industries.

In 2004 Ahrens founded Stratus Performance Group, a full service meeting, event, and incentive management company, and in July 2005, Ahrens co-founded/co-owned, Elite Meetings International, which provides targeted solutions to the upper-echelon groups segment of the hospitality industry. Through its annual publication, Elite Meetings magazine; web site, (www.EliteMeetings.com); and semiannual event, the Elite Meetings Alliance (www.EliteMeetingsAlliance), the company connects top meeting and incentive planners with the best hotels and resorts in North America.

In August 2007 Stratus Performance Group and Elite Meeting International were merged to form Elite Meetings International Holdings, Inc. Concurrently both companies received private equity investment from Jones Equity Partners. At that time Ahrens took on the additional roles of COO, EVP & CFO while also maintaining the role of President for Stratus Performance Group.

On October 23, 2007, Ahrens left the employ of Elite Meetings International Holdings, Inc. and sold his equity positions in March 2008 for the purpose of capitalizing and developing Travel Group Worldwide.

Ahrens’ specialties include venture management, mergers and acquisitions, private equity financing, venture development/financing, branding & identity creation, online & offline magazine publishing, operations management, strategic marketing & management, consulting emerging growth companies; planning, structuring, forming and advising entities (including corporations, limited liability companies and partnerships); negotiating, reviewing and drafting commercial contracts.

Ahrens holds masters certificates in hospitality marketing from Cornell University.

Dj JiangDJ Jiang - 姜冬健 – Chief Operating Officer

Mr. DJ Jiang is a producer, entrepreneur and techie. He has produced over thirty properties in short & feature films, web series, television programs, and commercial contents. He was also behind a number of startups in the field of media and technlology. Mr. Jiang graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Majored in Film & Media Studies and Electrical Engineering with emphasis in Technology Management. He was the co-founder and managing partner at REDapple Production, a commercial and reality television production company. He was also the Head of Marketing at Azumio, a venture-backed (Founders Fund & Accel Partners) mobile application focused health and fitness company based in Palo Alto, where he was responsible for the development and implementation of overall marketing strategies.

Mr. Jiang's passion for film, business and technology developed at a very early age. When he was sixteen years old, he made his first short film, built & programmed his first robot arm and started his first business. He has spent the following decade perfecting his skill sets in these fields. It is fair to conclude that he had a bit of a head start.

As partner and producer at REDapple, Mr. Jiang faced with two types of responsibilities. On one hand he oversaw the day-to-day operation of the company; managed internal teams and maintained stable external client relationships. He was also responsible for business development; establishing new partnerships, projects and networks to ensure the long-term profitability of the business.

On the other hand, Mr. Jiang performed as a hands-on producer. He was heavily involved in the pre-production and production process of each projects; which included fund raising, budgeting, contract negotiation, story development, casting, crewing and production management. He was also consulted on several foreign projects in Beijing and Shanghai for China's Metan Development Group and CCTV.

Jay KlanferJay Klanfer – Executive Vice President

Jay Klanfer is a hotel marketing journeyman. From the time he left university to present he has been intimately involved in all aspects of hospitality marketing. After cutting his teeth in NYC as Account Supervisor at Wells, Rich & Greene as part of the HERTZ Car Rental team and then heading up National Travel Advertising Director at the New York Post he was quickly recruited to ISLANDS Magazine in Santa Barbara, CA. The California lifestyle agreed with him and he quickly rose to Publisher at ISLANDS, as well as launch Publisher of AQUA and DESTINATION WEDDINGS & HONEMOONS.

In 2010 Klanfer joined Beverly Clark Enterprises and moved that business from the singular focus of a destination wedding hotel matching service to a multi-channel marketing program sourcing hotels and destinations for thousands of engaged couples. From there Klanfer was recruited to eMarketing 360, a hotel marketing technology concern where he continued to work with hundreds of independents and branded properties internationally providing sales team with state-of-the-art sales tools.

Klanfer currently resides in Santa Barbara, CA with his wife of 17 years and two school age daughters. To keep sane Klanfer spends as much time with his family usually shuttling between club sporting events on the weekends as well as biking, backpacking and tennis.

Dan FoxDaniel J. Fox – Senior Vice President

Dan Fox is a brand builder. From 1995 through 2005, he immersed himself in luxury hotels, resorts and high-end tourism worldwide through his position as President of Resorts & Great Hotels—The Connoisseur’s Guide to the World’s Best. He also created and oversaw all facets of Resorts & Great Hotels broader business-- RGH Hospitality Marketing. Fox successfully converted Resorts & Great Hotels from a “coffee table guide publication” into a diverse, innovative, globally respected and highly profitable brand that deftly integrated publishing, corporate meeting and incentive planning, consumer marketing, multimedia design, creation and production (including custom, signature photography, DVDs, CD-ROMs, brochures, websites, e-marketing campaigns and more), and hotel/resort marketing consultation.

In 2005 Fox made the move to John Ueberroth's international Preferred Hotel Group. He held the position of Executive Director—Strategic Planning from 2005 to 2010 for PHG which now has over 600 luxury hotel/resort members. Fox was also co-creator of the renowned Preferred Golf Club. This consumer and meeting/ incentive planner driven club is a partnership with American Express and consists of 150+ of the finest golf resorts in the world including The Broadmoor, Wynn Las Vegas, Ojai Valley Inn & Spa, The K Club, Pebble Beach, The American Club, Dromoland Castle, PGA National Resort & Spa Banyon Tree Mayakoba, and many others.

Most recently, Fox was Managing Partner of Touring & Tasting Marketing and Media which publishes Touring & Tasting magazine, TouringandTasting.com, The Online Grapevine among other multimedia products. Fox has also been a frequent “guest host expert” for Travel Channel’s ongoing television series, “The World’s Best” and for its radio show of the same name. He is a member of the Luxury Marketing Council and served on the Board of Advisors for the Wine Tourism Conference. He lives in Santa Barbara, CA with his wife Ashley and daughters Savannah and Olivia and a myriad of household pets.