PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Hersha Hospitality Management (HHM), a leading independent hotel management company that operates more than 70 upper upscale, upscale and midscale U.S. hotels, today announced that it has added two highly regarded, seasoned hoteliers with more than 50 years of combined award-winning experience to its executive team. Gregory Ade joins as executive vice president of operations and Erik McDonald, CSHP, as executive vice president of sales and marketing; both individuals will report to Michael Murray, HHM's chief operating officer.
"We set out five years ago to transform HHM into the operator of choice for institutional capital in the lodging sector," said Naveen P. Kakarla, HHM's president and chief executive officer. "We have built our expertise in urban markets, expanded into the full-service and lifestyle arenas and now have in place an entrepreneurial company with the platform, flexibility, financial capacity and senior level bench strength to capitalize on our growth potential. These important additions, along with our existing team's experience with high quality assets and innovative service delivery, provide us with a comprehensive organization that will compete at the elite level and help us carry out our plan to double in size over the next several years.
"Both Ade and McDonald have in-depth experience in managing for institutional investors in urban and key suburban markets on a national basis, as well as strong franchise relationships with the premier brands," he noted. "We have a robust management pipeline with existing and potential capital partners and are nearing the completion of a number of transactions."
Ade will be responsible for HHM's growing portfolio in New York City, along with further building out the company's full service platform and focus on best in class guest satisfaction. He also will review the company's full-service capabilities and help enhance its infrastructure through training, recruiting and his in-depth relationships with major institutional investors. "Ade has in-depth relationships with major institutional investors and significant full-service experience, a segment that increasingly will become a larger part of our overall managed portfolio," Murray noted. "His background in urban markets is one of the broadest in the industry and will give us a competitive advantage."
Previously, Ade was chief operating officer of Millennium Hotels, where he had oversight of 40 major assets with more than $650 million in annual revenues in the U.S. and Europe, including 1,650 guest rooms across four New York City hotels in Broadway, UN Plaza and Lower Manhattan, their Bostonian Hotel at Faneuil Hall, and the Biltmore Hotel in downtown Los Angeles. During Ade's tenure there, he enhanced brand standards and reorganized the management structure, resulting in record-setting profitability. Prior to that, he was president of Wyndham Hotels Management Company.
Ade also spent 17 years with Interstate Hotels & Resorts during a period of rapid growth for the company, rising to senior vice president, responsible for overseeing a large portfolio of hotels owned by Goldman Sachs. He has directed operations of properties throughout the country with an emphasis on institutional grade assets. He began his career with Hyatt Hotels, rising rapidly in management at some of the brand's most well known hotels.
McDonald brings more than two decades of sales and marketing experience to HHM. He will oversee the company's national and regional sales teams, as well as the company's revenue management and e-commerce operations. "Our current portfolio holds a RevPAR premium over its comparative competitive set," Murray said. "We believe McDonald's additional expertise will allow us to build on that leadership, especially as we continue to experience a strong rebound in both business transient and leisure travel."
Formerly, McDonald was vice president sales and marketing for The Procaccianti Group, a manager for institutional owners and one of the nation's largest full-service franchisees with Marriott, Westin and Hilton. He led the sales and marketing effort for 58 full-service, premium-branded and independent hotels with revenues in excess of $850 million. He oversaw all brand relations for the company and participated in 29 ownership transitions and 11 brand changes.
Previously, he held a number of increasingly important positions with Interstate Hotels & Resorts, rising to vice president of sales, overseeing a portfolio of 36 hotels with nearly $300 million in revenue. While there, he assisted in the management of "Interstate Sales University," where he played an active role in the training of more than 200 directors of sales, 36 directors of catering and 42 revenue managers.
About Hersha Hospitality
Hersha Hospitality Management currently operates more than 70 upper upscale, upscale and midscale branded and independent hotels in the nation's leading markets. The company provides turnkey hotel management and asset management for properties with leading brand affiliations, including Marriott, Hilton, Hyatt, Starwood, and InterContinental Hotel Group, and the company's newly launched Independent Collection (www.independentcollection.com). Including hotels under construction, HHM operates hotels under 20 brands. The company's clients include publicly traded companies, joint ventures, institutional real estate owners and private investors. Additional information about HHM may be found at www.hershahotels.com.
Naveen P. Kakarla
President and CEO
Ph: (215) 238-1046
SOURCE Hersha Hospitality Management