Raul is CEO of Virgin Hotels and is responsible for the company’s overall expansion, customer experience and culture. In a career that spans 30 years, Raul has held top management positions for Interstate Hotels, Lane Hotels and the Continental companies and is one of the few hospitality industry executives that understands both the lifestyle and branded hotels segments. Keep Reading
Rajiv Bhatia, M.S., CHA, CHE, CRME is CEO of FairBridge Hotels International, a promising franchise system with 43 properties providing an attractive alternative to legacy franchise models.
Prior to his appointment as CEO of FairBridge, Rajiv served as leader of the Knights Inn Brand of the Wyndham Hotel Group. Throughout the last decade he was responsible for brand operations, property openings, design and development, franchise services, quality assurance, training, development financing and marketing. During his tenure at Wyndham, Mr. Bhatia served as president of the company’s Villager brand from 2003 until it merged with the Knights Inn brand in September 2004. Prior to his role as brand president, from 1996 until 2003 Mr Bhatia supported the Hotel Group’s worldwide master licensing efforts for several Wyndham brands including Howard Johnson, Days Inn, and Super 8 while working across five continents and numerous international destinations. Keep Reading
Sterling Stoudenmire is versatile executive proven in uniquely challenging situations involving transformation, turnaround, re-engineering and disruption. A successful, top-tier consultant and chief executive, he delivers value through the synthesis of a unique and distinct skillset in finance, strategy and technology combined with innate ability to lead, inspire and mentor others. Keep Reading
Greg Plank’s diverse hospitality career spans more than 50 years, beginning as a receiving clerk at the Barclay Hotel in Philadelphia. He graduated from Cornell University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Hotel Administration. He worked in advertising for hotel clients in New York in account management and some creative work. Greg moved to Boston to work with: Sheraton Corporation as Manager of Food and Beverage Marketing and Director of Marketing for Sheraton’s Franchise Division. Keep Reading
Chip is a hospitality veteran and he’s been serving the industry for more than 30 years. He’s done it all. From Dish Washer, to Front Desk Agent, Assistant General Manager, General Manager, Sales Manager, Chief Operating Officer, Chief Development Officer, and Vice President. Keep Reading
Ramesh Gokal is a 39-year veteran of the hospitality industry, with a recognized reputation in the areas of entrepreneurship, franchise leadership and mediation expertise. His diverse industry experience includes being an entrepreneur, owning developing and managing a diverse hotel portfolio, working as a brand president for the world’s largest hotel franchise company, Cendant, and selling commercial real estate as a licensed real estate broker in the southeast. Keep Reading
Michael Allen Leven, also known as Mike, has served the hospitality industry for more than 50 years. Throughout his career, Mike has garnered nearly every award and recognition one can receive in the hotel industry, and he’s recognized by many as an industry icon and an innovative pioneer. In 2014, AH&LA presented Leven with a lifetime achievement award at the annual Americas Lodging Investment Conference. Keep Reading
Roger Bloss has more than 40 years of experience in the hospitality industry, starting in the business as a teenager. After serving in executive positions with several major hotel franchise companies, Bloss and his partners started the Vantage Hospitality Group in 1996 and acquired their first hotel. Bloss’ vision was to develop a national hotel chain based on an innovative membership model. His group was confident that this approach would reinvent the hospitality industry and change the way franchises were operated, and it did. The group continued to build the company’s infrastructure, resources, and programs, before launching Americas Best Value Inn as a national hotel chain in 1999, earning many industry accolades over the past decade. Today, Vantage Hospitality is the 8th largest hotel company with nearly 1300 properties worldwide. Keep Reading
Tom Magnuson is Co-Founder and CEO of Magnuson Hotels Worldwide – a top 10 global chain, and the world’s largest independent hotel group. Magnuson markets over 1000 hotels across six countries and three continents, and they’re the number one conversion brand in the market, with over 400 Best Westerns, 250 Wyndhams and 200 Choice franchises that have made the switch. Keep Reading
Doug Collins is President of DC Hospitality, a hotel brokerage firm based in Atlanta, Ga. DC Hospitality was formed in 2014 and offers comprehensive brokerage services to the hospitality industry throughout the country.
He is also CEO of Hospitality Lodging Systems, owner of the Budgetel and Haven Hotels Lodging hotel chains. Keep Reading