STRATEGIC ALLIANCES

Partnerships drive success

our STRATEGIC ALLIANCES

Cindy Johnson

Human Resources

GET IN TOUCH

To contact Cindy, please click HERE.

Cindy Johnson is the President of Global Hospitality Connections bringing over 35 years of luxury Human Resources hospitality experience at the property level. Cindy’s expertise is in creating domestic and international talent strategies, benefits and rewards systems, service standards and processes, training, as well as developing mentorship and coaching programs for executive and leadership teams. After working internationally in both Germany and Switzerland, Cindy returned to the United States where she worked for a group of twelve boutique resorts for over 10 years as the Director of Human Resources. Following that, she began work as the Vice President of Human Resources for the iconic, 5-star, 5-diamond, The Broadmoor Resort.

Cindy has a Bachelor of Science Degree from Oklahoma State University and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of South Florida. Cindy was Chair of the Board of Directors of the Colorado Hotel and Lodging Association, was named “Hotelier of the Year” by the Colorado Hotel and Lodging Association, “Most Valuable Volunteer” by the American Hotel and Lodging Association and was also named one of the Top 75 Leaders in the Hospitality Industry by Lodging Magazine.

Don Wise

Investment Banking

GET IN TOUCH

To contact Don, please click HERE.

Dr. Donald W. Wise is a tenured multiple award-winning senior investment banking executive with extensive domestic advisory and consulting experience. Wise is the Co-founder and Senior Managing Director of Turnbull Capital Group. The Turnbull Capital Group team has executed approximately $19.5 billion of hospitality transactions, debt and equity placements, restructuring, bankruptcies, and lender owner real estate over the past 37 years.
Prior to founding Turnbull Capital Group, Wise was the founder of CBRE Hotels, a division of the world’s largest commercial real estate services firm. He was also the founder of the Global Hospitality Industry Leisure and Hospitality Investment Banking hospitality lending practice at Johnson Capital in 2007, which is now Walker & Dunlop.

Fernando Salazar

Food & Beverage

GET IN TOUCH

To contact Fernando, please click HERE.

A proud Ecuadorian, Salazar came to the United States in 1971, where his hospitality career began with Helmsley Hotels in New York City. In his pursuit of excellence, Salazar quickly advanced through the hotel ranks working for Westin Hotels and Resorts, Omni Hotels and Resorts and Wyndham Hotels and Resorts as Vice President of Food and Beverage-ultimately advancing to Senior VP for Interstate Hotel and Resorts throughout a 30-year period. During his time with all four hotel chains, Salazar helped accrue over $975M in annual food and beverage revenue.

He was awarded the Culinary Institute of America Gold Medal as well as the Royal Academy of Spanish Gastronomy and both named him Universal Ambassador. Salazar is currently the Executive Vice President of E-Spain, a company he co-founded in 2017; an international multidisciplinary company that specializes in the creation of international culinary competitions and culinary internships in the best restaurants in Spain.

Fernando is also the co-creator of The World Tapas Competition as well as the International Black Truffle Competition, both which are typically held in Spain.

Frank Sotet

Human Resources

GET IN TOUCH

To contact Frank, please click HERE.

Frank Sotet is the Founder and Principal Consultant of Talent Acquisition Strategy Advisors (TAS Advisors) bringing a 40-year balanced career between hotel operations, human resources, talent acquisition, and talent strategy. His Human Resources expertise includes streamlining technology for efficient human resources enablement, optimal scaling to support growth, and maximum cost reductions specific to hiring, training, and retention. Frank is a second-generation hotelier with his operational foundation stemming from his full-service General Manager and hotel senior leadership roles for a variety of global brands including Hyatt, Marriott, and Hilton.
He also held corporate HR leadership roles with Boykin Hospitality and Alliance Hospitality, with portfolios of Full and Select as well as Union and Non-Union hotels. For the past 10 years, Frank served as the Talent Acquisition leader for Interstate Hotels & Resorts. Frank is also a long-time SHRM member, a Certified Relocation Professional, and is currently a Strategic Advisor for a variety of recruiting technology-related vendor service and system providers. As part of his community involvement, Frank volunteers with the Alzheimer’s Association and works with Toys for Tots as a Fundraising Coordinator.

Glen Coben

Architecture & Design

GET IN TOUCH

To contact Glen, please click HERE.

Glen Coben is the founder of Glen & Company, a New York City-based, award-winning architecture and design firm that provides customized designs. Coben’s extensive portfolio includes hotel repositioning and renovation, new builds, restaurants, residential, retail, corporate offices, and showrooms. His firm has been featured in Hospitality Design, Metropolis, Interior Design as well as Architectural Digest. Coben is a member of the Board of Advisors for the Pillsbury Institute for Hospitality Entrepreneurship at Hotel School at Cornell University’s College of Business.
He is also a member of the Editorial Advisory Board of HD Magazine as well as a member of the Board of Advisors of Culintro, a culinary trade organization whose mission is to establish a source that will provide insights on major trends and serve as a gateway to influence culinary industry development.

Jack Lindemuth

Commercial Strategy

GET IN TOUCH

To contact Jack, please click HERE.

Jack Lindemuth is founder of JLL Commercial Strategy Consulting which specializes in maximizing total revenues and profits for independent boutique, luxury hotels, and resorts. He is amongst the few comprehensive commercial strategy leaders whose skillset combines superior business acumen with advanced education from top-tier universities and industry certifications across revenue, sales, and marketing. Prior to consulting, Jack held dynamic revenue strategy leadership roles at Benchmark Resorts & Hotels, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, Denihan Hospitality Group, and Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants, where he maintained ownership relations with Pebblebrook Hotel Trust and LaSalle Hotel Properties.
Lindemuth obtained his bachelor’s degree from the School of Hospitality Management at Pennsylvania State University and a master’s degree in asset management and development at Georgetown University. His motto is “Continuous Evolution” which he believes is essential in the ever-changing and exciting landscape of commercial strategy.

Jim Schultenover

Revenue Management

GET IN TOUCH

To contact Jim, please click HERE.

Jim Schultenover has had an expansive career as CMO and President with various public and private companies. With sixteen of those years dedicated to sales, marketing and revenue management, he achieved sustainable, profitable growth results in all positions. His focus continues to focus on sales and marketing strategies and revenue management and channel maximization for Independent properties and emerging companies. 

He provides solutions to align today’s environment with sustainable and profitable demand. Before starting his own business, Jim was President of multiple luxury hotel membership companies, including Krisam Group and Associated Luxury Hotels International (ALHI), in the MICE market and CMO for mostly luxury and boutique companies that included Ian Shrager Hotels and Ritz-Carlton Hotels worldwide.

Kim Haasarud

Beverage & Mixology

GET IN TOUCH

To contact Kim, please click HERE.

Kim Haasarud is a nationally recognized mixologist and beverage consultant, working with hundreds of liquor brands, restaurants, and hotels across the country in helping to create successful cocktail and bar programs. Her expertise and skills include bar design consultation, drink development, training, trend analysis, to-go programs and menu design. In addition to consulting with groups such as PF Chang’s, Omni Hotels, Aimbridge Hospitality and Darden Restaurants, she has worked with dozens of beverage and alcohol brands.

 Kim has been a judge on Iron Chef America, as well as doing guest appearances on the “The Today Show” and CBS’ “Early Morning Show.” Kim is the author of the best-selling “101…” cocktail series with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Most recently, she was elected as President of the United States Bartenders Guild.

Marc Fleischer

Engineering

GET IN TOUCH

To contact Marc, please click HERE.

Marc Fleischer, owner of DLB Project Coordination & Management, LLC is a 20+ year hotel industry veteran. Marc started his hotel career as a parking lot attendant and rapidly advanced to General Manager of a select service hotel in just 7 years. Since that time, he was the General Manager of various select and full service hotels and brands within Hilton. Most recently, Marc has ensured successful completions of 21 hotel renovations with a combined value of $54 million dollars.
Marc’s expertise includes conducting hotel Property Maintenance Assessments across the country, to ensure they are operating to the best of their abilities. He can guide owners and operators in maintaining their assets and increasing returns on their investment. Additionally, he focuses on hospitality renovation and construction that traditional project managers do not—maintaining brand scores and standards, guest satisfaction, client retention, and physical asset protection—while driving timely and high-quality project results.

Michael Tepin

Finance

GET IN TOUCH

To contact Michael, please click HERE.

Michael Teplin is a strategic financial leader who has been a hospitality CFO five times where he developed portfolios, people, profits, brands and owner’s equity at hotel, food and beverage, and nightlife companies. Teplin most recently was the Chief Financial Officer of Selina Holdings SE, one of the world’s fastest-growing hospitality brands that provides guests at their 80 locations on three continents a unique experience combining boutique hotel rooms, co-working space, and hostels to seamlessly travel and study/work abroad. 

Prior to that he worked throughout his forty-year career with both multi-generational entrepreneurial family companies and Fortune 50 companies, both domestically and internationally. Teplin can support a company to acquire assets, put debt in place and reposition assets, ensure corporate governance adheres to a company’s processes as well as define accountability and transparency for its leaders and stakeholders.

Neil Grammer

Finance & Accounting

GET IN TOUCH

To contact Neil, please click HERE.

Neil Grammer, CPA, is the Executive Managing Member of Grammer & Associates, which provides accounting, audit, and advisory services to hospitality, healthcare, and not-for-profit organizations. With over 30 years total experience and 17 in hospitality with Interstate Hotels  & Resorts and Marriott International, Neil is well versed in business process design, enterprise risk management, internal control design, IT security, privacy, fraud prevention, corporate investigations, and corporate compliance. 

Before forming Grammer & Associates, Neil was the Senior Vice President of Audit and Compliance for Interstate Hotels and Resorts, one of the world’s largest independent hotel management companies.   Outside of work, Neil currently serves as Chair of the HSCSN Health Plan (a managed care health plan for children with special needs in Washington DC) and Vice-Chair of the HSC Health Care System.

Norman Van Aken

Chef/Author

GET IN TOUCH

To contact Norman, please click HERE.

Norman Van Aken is a chef, author, teacher and is best known for introducing “fusion” into the lexicon of global cookery. He is also known as “the founding father of New World Cuisine” – a celebration of Latin, Caribbean, Asian, American, and African flavors, thus pioneering a new, visionary way of cooking in America. He is the only Floridian Chef inducted into the prestigious James Beard Foundation’s list of “Who’s Who in American Food and Beverage.” 

He has immortalized his cooking career, by authoring six cookbooks and a memoir.  He was inducted into the 2016 Menu Masters Hall of Fame and is a James Beard semi-finalist for “Best Chef in America” and his namesake restaurant NORMAN’S, in Coral Gables, was a finalist for “Outstanding Restaurant in America”.  He has also appeared on CNN’s “Parts Unknown” with Anthony Bourdain and “Jimmy Kimmel Live”.

Paige Duke

Sales Consultant

GET IN TOUCH

To contact Paige, please click HERE.

Paige Duke is the founder of Duke Consulting, LLC after a 30-year career in sales and marketing, destination marketing company and conference services. While her main goal is to get results, she finds the most excellent satisfaction in providing resources, positively influencing the sales culture, and providing a roadmap to execute to the teams she advises.  Her expertise includes distressed asset sales support, productivity evaluations and sales deployment assessments.

Duke previously was a ground floor Director at a privately owned destination management company, and while at the company grew revenues and opened offices to become the second largest DMC in the State of Hawaii.  Afterwards, she climbed the ranks throughout the Islands to become the Complex Director of Sales and Marketing for four Starwood Hotels in Waikiki and later area roles with Marriott and HEI Hotels & Resorts, working with all levels of ownership and property executives.

Learn More

Littkmgroup.com

LittKM is a hotel advisory group that provides renovation project management services. The firm demonstrates why an operations background is vital to efficient project management and capital spend decision-making. Being asset owner/operators, they have a keen understanding of which items add true value to an asset and can give critical guidance on how to stay competitive or how to set up an exit strategy.

With over 16,500 hotel rooms renovated in over 30 states, LittKM is the pragmatic approach to hotel renovation project management.

Learn More

Rategain.com

RateGain is a leading provider of SaaS products, which help travel and hospitality companies with cognitive revenue management, smart e-distribution, and brand engagement to make more revenue every day. RateGain is proud to support 250,000+ hotel properties globally by providing 240 billion rate and availability updates & powering over 30 Million bookings. RateGain is trusted by 25 out of the top 30 OTAs, world’s fastest-growing airlines, 23 of the top 30 hotel chains, tour operators and wholesalers, all top car rental companies, largest cruise lines, and the largest travel management companies.
In 2018, RateGain acquired DHISCO, which made it the only company in the world to offer end-to-end smart Distribution. In June 2019, RateGain acquired award-winning BCV to offer guest experience cloud to maximize guest lifetime value for hospitality chains.
SalesBoost is a patented, software as a service (SaaS) sales training and coaching technology solution for the hospitality industry that provides unlimited sales scenario simulation and immediate feedback to improve sales effectiveness. SalesBoost leverages technology to fill the gap in learning retention and adoption of new skills. It provides an engaging solution for sales professionals to tap into relevant, role-based content that is on-demand, self-paced and available on any device, in short, easily digestible, micro-learning segments.

Sales professionals can access content that is meaningful to them, learn quickly, and practice real-world selling scenarios to be prepared for any situation.

SearchWide Global is a full service executive search firm primarily for companies in Destination Organizations / Hotels & Resorts / Venue Management / Experiential Marketing, Tradeshow & Exhibition / Industry Associations / Sports & Entertainment.

Specializing in C-Level and Director level executive searches for companies ranging in size from Fortune 500 corporations to mid-sized public and private companies and associations. Founded in 1999, SearchWide Global is headquartered in the Twin Cities and operates worldwide.