LEADERSHIP

L.K. Eric Prevette, Principal & Managing Director

Mr. Prevette is Managing Director for KARAS Hotels, a high-end hospitality firm which specializes in management, asset management and consulting advisory services for four and five star hotels.

Mr. Prevette was president for the Resort Properties Division of The Irvine Company which included three hotels, four golf courses and five marinas with a value of over $1 billion and annual revenues of $400 million.

Mr. Prevette was president and CEO of Olympus Hospitality Group, responsible for the direction and management of a hotel portfolio consisting of six wholly owned hotels, fourteen managed hotels and 70 franchised hotels.

Mr. Prevette co-founded Windsor Hotels and The Bel-Air Hotel Company, hotel management companies to focus on improving the performance of luxury hotels. Over a period of ten years, he successfully repositioned and assisted in the sale of hotel properties valued in excess of $400 million – and entered into management agreements for six hotels in Europe and Mexico, based on brand equity of the company’s flagship property, the Hotel Bel-Air.

Prior to forming his own company, he was senior vice president for finance and development with Rosewood Hotels & Resorts and a senior vice president with Southland Financial Corporation. Mr. Prevette also worked for Price Waterhouse.

Mr. Prevette holds an MBA with a concentration in real estate and finance from the University of Texas and a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting and finance from High Point University in North Carolina.

Carlos C. Lopes, Principal & Managing Director

Lopes is Managing Director for KARAS Hotels, a high-end hospitality firm which specializes in management, asset management and consulting advisory services for four and five star hotels.

Lopes served as Vice President & Managing Director of Hotel Bel-Air and was responsible for creating a master plan to restore the hotel to a 5 star luxury ranking, direct hotel operations and oversee a $50 million renovation that included 15 new suites and a 15,000 SF Spa. Under his direction, revenues increased from $21 million to $38 million annually.

Lopes served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Olympus Hospitality responsible for directing hotel operations, marketing, and branding strategies for 14 Rock Resorts properties.

Lopes co-founded Windsor Hotels and The Bel-Air Hotel Company, hotel management companies to focus on improving the performance of luxury hotels. Over a period of ten years, he successfully repositioned and assisted in the sale of properties valued in excess of $400 million – and entered into management agreements for six hotels in Europe and Mexico based on brand equity of the company’s flagship property, the Hotel Bel Air.

Appointed senior member of the executive team at Rosewood Hotels. Responsibilities included centralizing marketing and distribution initiatives, the repositioning of Hotel Bel-Air and Hotel Hana Maui, to direct the Grand Opening and serve as committee chair for the launch of Hotel Crescent Court in Dallas.

Primary Responsibilities:

  • Business innovation/ concept creation and launch
  • Creation of sales and distribution infrastructures
  • Image marketing campaigns to position the rosewood luxury portfolio
  • Sales development / revenue generation, pricing, yield management

Annual business plans / monthly forecasting / budget review standards. Prior to Rosewood, Carlos Lopes served as Senior Vice President of marketing for Four Seasons Hotels and successfully positioned the brand and the launch of 12 new properties.

Mr. Lopes was born in Portugal, graduated with a liberal arts degree from Sir George William University in Montreal Canada.

Murray Holland, Principal & Managing Director

Mr. Holland is a Managing Director of MHT MidSpan, a Dallas-based Investment Banking firm specializing in mid-cap mergers and acquisitions and corporate finance.

Mr. Holland has over 30 years of experience in finance and business management

Mr. Holland was Chairman and CEO of BTI Americas which, during the 1990’s, was the second largest travel agency in the United States with $3 billion in annual bookings.

Mr. Holland was Chairman and CEO of Convergent Media Systems and Convergent Group Corporation, both of which were in the technology businesses.

Mr. Holland was Managing Director of Kidder, Peabody & Co., New York, New York, a buldge bracket investment banking firm.

Mr. Holland is a graduate of Washington and Lee University (B.S.), Washington and Lee University School of Law (J.D.) and the University of Virginia Business School (M.B.A.).

Mr. Holland is the author of A Nation in the Red (McGraw Hill, 2013), a book about our national debt problems and what we can do about it.

BOARD OF ADVISORS

Terry Petty, Board of Advisors

Mr. Petty has over twenty years of hotel and resort experience with Marriott International and The Irvine Company.

As Executive Vice President for Marriott International, he held P&L responsibility for Marriott’s U. S. and Canadian hotels. In this role he served on the Executive Committee of Marriott Corporation and Chairman of the Hotel Development Committee.

While most of Mr. Petty’s Marriott career was spent in hotel operations, he also served in the role of VP Strategic Planning responsible for developing a sales strategy for Marriott’s hotels, and was in charge of the operations for Marriott’s entry into the time-share business.

Mr. Petty has also worked for The Irvine Company, McKinsey & Company, Procter & Gamble, Ogilvy & Mather, and ABM Industries.

Mr. Petty is a graduate of Stanford University (BA), and Columbia University (MBA)EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

Jeff Katz

Jeff Katz is the Founding Chairman and CEO of Orbitz Worldwide which he led from it’s start-up in July of 2000, through it’s IPO in 2003 and the sale of the company in late 2004. He served for nearly 20 years in various executive roles at American Airlines, including as President of it’s SABRE airline reservations network. From 1997-mid 2000 Jeff served as CEO of Zurich-based Swissair during it’s transition to a deregulated European airline environment. Jeff also has served as Chairman and CEO of Leapfrog Enterprises, the educational tech-toy company known for it’s mobile learn-to-read devices (2006-2011) and most recently was CEO of Nextag/Wize Commerce a global e-commerce developer of retail products price comparison applications for shoppers until it’s sale in mid-2014.
Jeff has served on the boards of Orbitz, LeapFrog Enterprises, Northwest Airlines (prior to it’s merger with Delta Airlines), and Digital River. He now serves on the board of R.R. Donnelley and CA Technologies.
He is currently leading the development of Dihedral – a purpose-built-for-travel worldwide web concept.

Shane O’Flaherty

Shane O’Flaherty has had a successful global career primarily within the hospitality industry, where he has developed and introduced new online media, mobile and SaaS offerings, initiated quality benchmarks seen as global industry standards for the customer experience at hotels, restaurants and spas, built talented teams and designed strategic initiatives that have met ever-changing market trends.
At Forbes Travel Guide (formerly known as Mobil Travel Guide), Shane held many senior executive positions including CEO and President. At Forbes, Shane successfully modernized the hotel, restaurant and spa Five Star ratings system that defines the global consumer experience and spearheaded its global expansion around the world in cities such as Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore and London.  He also lead the company’s hotel and restaurant industry relations and served as a frequent guest speaker for the brand at major industry events, plus was a travel expert that appeared on the Today Show, Fox and Friends, BBC, ChannelNews Asia, multiple radio stations and quoted in publications such as the New York Times, Wall St. Journal and USA Today.
He also created and grew Forbes Hospitality Consulting into the leading training and global provider of customer experience measurement for hospitality brands.  In addition, he led the re-brand of the 45-year old brand of Mobil Travel Guide to Forbes Travel Guide, which maintained the inherent core values of the Mobil Travel Guide brand, while combining it with one of the most authoritative, knowledge leaders in the world.  During this transition, he also successfully transitioned the company from a print-based publishing business into a dynamic web business.
Shane is currently the Co-Founder and COO of a start-up called GTF that created a SaaS platform and native mobile apps designed to drive deeper social connection between consumers and their community.
He is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and was born in Dublin, Ireland.
Shane was also director of marketing for Preferred Hotels & Resorts Worldwide and held management positions at Berlitz International, United Airlines, and was Co-Founder of GTF, a mobile apps designer. He is currently the National Director of Hospitality and Travel for Microsoft.  He is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame.

EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

Teresa A. Holden

Teresa Holden has 20+ years of experience as a sales and marketing executive in the hospitality industry and has been affiliated with the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, W Hotels, Ian Schrager Hotels and St. Regis Hotels.  Ms. Holden was a member of the advisory team that participated in the development and launch of the W Hotel brand. This included the development of brand vernacular, guest touch points and sales presentations that resulted in an extremely loyal customer base.

Desmond Lee Hue – Finance

Desmond has more than 30 years of financial experience in the hospitality industry. During his career he has developed strong skills and capabilities with mergers and acquisitions, development, procurement, purchasing and hotel operations skills in the hospitality industry. He has been affiliated with Cap Juluca Resort on Anguilla, the exclusive 5 Star Luxury Buccament Bay Resort, located in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. He was responsible for the implementation and setup of the accounting policies, procedures and reporting.

Hal Thannisch

An architect by training, Mr. Thannisch has been a contributor to the field of luxury hospitality product development for twenty years and is proficient in the increasingly complex issues of development planning, financing, interdisciplinary management, design management and implementation. Mr. Thannisch’s career includes several high profile successes in the luxury hotel sector. Some notable projects are: Las Ventanas al Paraiso, San Jose del Cabo, Mexico; Pelican Hill Inn & Golf Club, Newport Beach, California; Hotel Bel-Air, Bel-Air, California, Cap Juluca, Anguilla, and Hotel Crescent Court, Dallas.

Roland Venturini – Food & Beverage

Roland Venturini has over 20 years of management experience in hospitality and restaurant management.  He has extensive experience in restaurant operations, purchasing, menu planning and training. He was awarded the Food and Beverage Manager of the Year by the California Restaurant Writers Association, 2005 and obtained the Mobil/Forbes 5-Stars and 5-Diamond AAA for The Hotel Bel Air, 2003-2006.

John Hector – Sales

John Hector’s background includes over a decade of sales and business development in the United States and Internationally. He has been affiliated with some of the finest hotels in the world including The Dorchester Collections Beverly Hills Hotel and Hotel Bel-Air and most recently Cap Juluca in the British West Indies on the island of Anguilla. Due to his dedication and high energy he has made a significant impact on revenues.

Dick Burkett – Talent Recruiting & Training

Mr. Burkett is an accomplished Human Resources expert with domestic and international experience. He brings significant expertise in recruiting, training, and developing HR policies and guidelines. His career accomplishments include Lex Hotels Ltd. London, Nikko Hotels and Resorts and Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts.

Marguarite Clark

Marguarite Clark is a dynamic public relations manager specializing in the areas of hospitality, luxury products and specialty services. She launched MClark Public Relations in 2005 and now manages client public relations for a roster of high-end resorts/hotels, spas, golf facilities and restaurants, among them Cap Juluca in Anguilla; KARAS Hotels & Resorts, and Grand Del Mar in Del Mar, California.

A member of Les Dames d’Escoffier and the Public Relations Society of America, Marguarite is also a certified sommelier. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in communications from UC San Diego.

Lisa Eckman

Lisa is a proven information technology executive with extensive experience in leading IT organizations across multiple industries, focusing her efforts on managing IT from both technical and business perspectives to developing platforms and systems that help drive profitability and stability in domestic and multinational companies.

With over 25 years of experience, Lisa has earned a solid reputation for being business focused, results-oriented and committed to excellence in execution. Lisa earned an MBA from the University of LaVerne, and earned her Bachelor of Arts from California State University, Northridge.