Susie Ellis


Susie Ellis is chairman and CEO of the Global Wellness Institute and leads its research and wellness initiatives. She also guides the Global Wellness Summit. Susie is a prominent industry analyst and speaker and is frequently quoted in news outlets such as the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and the Financial Times. Additionally, she serves as president of Spafinder Wellness, Inc.®

Cassandra Cavanah

Public Relations, UNITED STATES

Cassandra Cavanah recently established Cavanah Communications, a PR and marketing agency with a specialization in spa and wellness. Cassandra draws on her seven years of experience as executive director of Spafinder Europe, the European division of Spafinder Wellness, Inc. Cassandra currently works on PR initiatives for Global Wellness Institute and she authored the Guide to Hydrothermal Spa Development Standards for Global Wellness Summit.

Nancy Davis

SVP & Executive Director, UNITED STATES

Nancy Davis is a creative professional with decades of experience producing global conferences for Fortune 100 companies. Her video work has appeared in venues worldwide, including billboards in Times Square. She works in children’s television and with well-known illustrators expanding their brands through licensing. She is a photographer, writer, collector of antique toys, typewriters, telephones and an avid table tennis player.

Beth McGroarty

Research & PR Director, UNITED STATES

Beth McGroarty has led strategic communications and media relations for the Global Wellness Institute and Summit for five years, and also assists in research projects, including Formerly an academic, she was in the PhD program in English Literature at Stanford University, where she taught for six years and received dissertation fellowships from the Mellon and Mabel McLeod Lewis Foundations. She received her BA (summa cum laude) from Barnard College.

Alexandra Plessier

Manager of Operations & Special Projects, UNITED STATES

Born and raised in Paris, France, Alexandra Plessier began working with the Global Wellness Institute in January of 2012. An extremely motivated, organized, adaptable and trilingual individual, she is proud to be part of the 2014 GSWS staff team and enjoys working with the top leaders shaping the spa and wellness industries. She is also a health, fitness, and spa enthusiast.

Paulina Tracz


Paulina Tracz is the art director for the Global Wellness Institute. She is passionate about wellbeing and is proud to have the opportunity to promote spas and wellness on a global scale. She holds a degree in Communication from Cornell University (Dean's List) and in Communication Design from the Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC (summa cum laude).


Industry Consultants

Anni Hood

Founder & Director, Wellness Business Consultancy, UNITED KINGDOM

Widely recognised as a leading wellness business consultant, Anni directs a cross section of spa, wellness and wellness tourism projects in several global regions. She advises and supports ministerial, tourism and wellness organisations, private businesses and individuals to achieve optimal results within the realm of health and wellness. Her work anchors in conceptual development, integration and positioning of services, strategic and operational design, operational delivery, programming and repositioning.


Thierry Malleret

Co-founder, The Monthly Barometer, FRANCE

Thierry is the co-founder and main author of the Monthly Barometer, a succinct predictive analysis exclusively provided to private investors and some of today's most influential opinion and decision-makers. He was until 2011 a senior partner at IJ (Informed Judgement) Partners, an investment boutique for ultra-high-net-worth individuals based in Geneva, and prior to that managing partner at Rainbow Insight, an advisory boutique which he founded, providing tailor-made intelligence to investors.  Thierry has written several business and academic books, and has published four novels (two of which under a pen-name). In addition, he is a public speaker with some of the world’s leading agencies. He also sits on several advisory boards.

Amy McDonald

Owner Principal, Under a Tree Health and Wellness Consulting, UNITED STATES

Amy McDonald, owner of Under a Tree Consulting has designed world class experiences over 30 years that support optimal health and sustainability. Specialties include turnkey development and operational consulting globally. Passionate about Mexico, Amy has been involved in numerous projects including managing a property in Baja and consulting on a hotel included in “Top 10 to Be Watched List” (Travel & Leisure). An advocate of water’s healing properties, Amy has chaired the Hot Spring Initiative for GWI for the past 2 years.

Josef Woodman

CEO, Patients Beyond Borders, UNITED STATES

Founder and CEO of Patients Beyond Borders (and author of the popular book series by the same name), Woodman is a renowned expert on international healthcare options, integrated medicine and medical and wellness tourisms. Josef also co-founded MyDailyHealth, the world's first interactive application for managing workplace wellness online. He has lectured at numerous academic institutions, including Harvard Medical School and the UCLA School of Public Health and has keynoted conferences on medical and wellness tourism and global healthcare in 20 countries.