News for the Hospitality Executive
Windsor Hospitality Group Appoints Bill Upshaw as the
Company’s New Chief Operating Officer
SANTA MONICA, Calif. - August 8, 2008 - Everyone present at the quarterly board meeting for Windsor Capital Group, Windsor Hospitality Group’s parent company, would agree the mood was very optimistic, with a hint of sadness. At the table were WCG Founder and CEO Patrick Nesbitt, his dear friend and associate Lou Weckstein and WCG’s new chief operating officer Bill Upshaw. The board was eager to welcome Upshaw and hear WCG’s strategy moving forward and grateful to Weckstein for his latest tenure with the company.
Weckstein opened the meeting with his statesman-like style. In introducing
Upshaw, he added Windsor had found the right person for the COO position.
Before turning the floor over to Upshaw, Nesbitt mused that in Upshaw’s
first few days with the company, the two of them had already seen all of
WHG’s properties in Colorado, Georgia, Michigan and North Carolina. That
Upshaw had hit the ground running.
Nesbitt says, “In our search for the right person to execute that strategy, we received over 50 resumes from qualified candidates, interviewed 15 of them and five of them made it to our final round interviews. Bill stood out amongst all others as the most qualified individual to fulfill our needs.”
Upshaw elaborates, “Our company’s strategy will continue to consider
new development opportunities and existing assets that can be repositioned
with the right strategy for each. As a new focus, we will endeavor to grow
our management business. The management side of our business has been an
evolving process for a number of years. WHG developed the protocol to the
point it was scalable for all kinds of branded hotels in secondary and
tertiary markets, which has been its forte since the company’s genesis.
However we are now in a position to expand that expertise as an offering
to a wide variety of hospitality products.”
Messrs Upshaw, Weckstein and Nesbitt
According to Upshaw, his confidence comes from his observations. Apparently he was interviewing the company as intensely as they interviewed him.
“I think we have some of the most talented individuals in the industry working throughout our properties and in our corporate group,” he says. “Our assets have been well capitalized and positioned to be leaders in their various markets. Our brand flags, in turn, position us to fare well in the economic uncertainty some forecast for our industry in the next couple of years.”
Upshaw brings to the WHG table a lifetime’s experience in hospitality. He has spent the last 25 years developing his skills in hotels with Marriott, Barcelo-Crestline, Highland Hospitality and Benchmark Hospitality, among others.
“I grew up in a family restaurant business in North Louisiana, in Ruston,” Upshaw recounts. “Then I tended bar and waited tables during my college years at Baylor.” From Baylor, Upshaw continued to business school at University of Texas, Austin.
Upshaw started his hotel career with Marriott International Hotel Corporation. Over a decade, he worked primarily in food and beverage as restaurant manager and F&B director. From there, he was food and beverage director with the Mariner Corporation. “That company no longer exists, but it was a hotel owner/operator franchisee that operated under Marriott, Hilton and a number of other major flags. At the time, it was based in Houston, Texas,” he says.
“From there, I went to work for the Durbin Companies, which was a private, family-owned owner/operator of branded franchise hotels, much like Windsor. Their founder was Jim Durbin, who was president of Marriott International for 25 years,” Upshaw says. In his eight years with Durbin Companies, Upshaw helped grow the portfolio to 22 hotel properties. When it merged with Crestline Hotels, Upshaw started as regional vice president over their full-service portfolio, and then became senior vice president. During his time with Crestline, their portfolio grew from 32 to 69 properties.
“They were a public company and were purchased by Barcelo, a private Spanish company. We also operated our own properties until we spun off our own REIT, Highland Hospitality, and put all of our ownership into that.”
Most recently, Upshaw was vice president of operations with Benchmark Hospitality. In that position, he managed their operating portfolio or four and five-diamond level private resorts. These properties had spas, golf courses and conference centers.
“One thing I bring to the table is 30 years of experience in managing every major family of brands, as well as experience in independent destination resorts with golf courses, spas and conference centers. Those were in both the private and public sectors,” Upshaw says. “Before interviewing with Windsor, I was aware of its senior management, was familiar with the company and its positive reputation in the industry. I am very happy to be here.”
The tenor among Nesbitt, Weckstein and the WCG Board is unanimous; “Thank you, Bill. The feeling is mutual.”
About Windsor Capital Group, Inc. - Windsor Capital Group, Inc. is a California-based commercial real estate acquisition, development and management firm. Its Windsor Hospitality Group hotel portfolio includes 31 brand name hotels it owns and/or manages in cultural hubs throughout the country, including Greater Atlanta, Seattle and Detroit. It is the largest private franchisee of the Embassy Suites brand, which recently won JD Power and Associates "Highest Guest Satisfaction Among Upscale Hotel Chains" for the second consecutive year and fourth time overall. Through third-party management contracts and acquisitions, the Windsor portfolio will continue expanding in the coming months.
Windsor Capital Group
|Also See:||Benchmark Hospitality Appoints Bill Upshaw Vice President / November 2006|
|Crestline Hotels & Resorts Restructures and Adds Four New Executive Management Positions / January 2006|
|Windsor Hospitality Group Appoints David McCartney to General Manager at the Asheville Renaissance Hotel / August 2007|
|Lou Weckstein Stepping Down as President of John Q. Hammons Hotels & Resorts; Joe Morrissey Named Senior Vice President of Operations / October 2005|