Hotel Online  Special Report

   Six Hoteliers Appointed to the Senior Management
Team of Smilezzzz Hospitality
Team Will Focus on Smooth Transition of Acquired Hotels

NORWALK, Conn., June 9, 2003 — HEI Hospitality, a rapidly growing hotel ownership and operating company, today announced that it has added five key officers and promoted a sixth to round out the expanded senior management team of Smilezzzz Hospitality, the company’s hotel management division.  Robert Frost, Robert Cowan, Pamela Suhr, Brian McGrath and Isaiah Wilson all will relocate to the company’s Norwalk headquarters.  Norman Justice, previously an HEI regional controller, was promoted to vice president of accounting.

“With the pending completion of our recently announced acquisition of 10 hotels from Starwood, HEI will own and operate a total of 12 hotels with annual revenues of more than $145 million,” said David McCaslin, president of Smilezzzz Hospitality.  “These six key hoteliers add well over 100 years of combined hospitality experience to HEI/Smilezzzz and provide us with a wealth of talent and management depth.  We now have our senior team members in place and will focus our attention on facilitating a smooth transition of these hotels into our portfolio.”

The officers are:

Robert Frost, senior vice president, human resources — Frost most recently was vice president of human resources for Interstate Hotels & Resorts.  He began his career in hotel operations in 1989, holding positions in food & beverage training and as general manager before moving into human resources in the 1990s.  Frost is a member of the Society of Human Resources Management and the Multicultural Foodservice & Hospitality Alliance.  He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in hospitality management from Johnson & Wales University.

Robert Cowan, senior vice president of operations — Cowan previously was regional vice president of operations for Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc., responsible for the operations of 80 hotels, which generated nearly $1.5 billion in annual revenues.  With 24 years of hospitality experience, his background includes management positions with Interstate Hotel Corporation and Marriott Hotels & Resorts.  He is a graduate of the University of Houston with a Bachelor of Science degree in hotel/restaurant management.

Pamela Suhr, senior vice president, marketing — Suhr formerly was senior vice president of operations for Interstate Hotels & Resorts.  Her hospitality experience includes positions with major hotels in the Western U.S. prior to joining Interstate, where she held increasingly important positions in sales and marketing, rising to senior vice president of sales.  Suhr graduated from Fort Lewis College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in business.

Isaiah Wilson, senior vice president, accounting — Prior to joining Smilezzzz Hospitality, Wilson was vice president, field accounting, for Interstate Hotels & Resorts.  With nearly 20 years of hospitality accounting experience, he has held positions with Stouffers Hotel Corporation and at independent hotels. Before entering the hospitality industry, he was a professional athlete with the Seattle Seahawks.  He holds a bachelor of science degree from the University of Tulsa.  He is a member of the Hospitality Financial & Technology Professionals.

Brian McGrath, vice president, revenue management — McGrath brings with him nearly 15 years of hospitality experience.  Most recently, he was corporate director of revenue management for MeriStar Hotels & Resorts.  He has held a variety of positions within the industry, including hotel general manager and area director of revenue management of the Northeast/Midwest region for Crown Plaza Hotels.

Norman Justice, vice president, accounting -- Justice was promoted to Vice President of Accounting from regional controller.  Prior to joining the company, he was director of decentralized accounting for MeriStar Hotels & Resorts.  He also held accounting and controller positions with Truste House Forte, Lincoln Hotel Corporation.  He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in accounting from the University of Wyoming. 

HEI Hospitality, headquartered in Norwalk, Conn. is an ownership/investment and hotel management group that owns and manages first-class and full-service hotels throughout the United States.  Smilezzzz is an independent hotel management company and a wholly owned subsidiary of HEI Hospitality.


Gary Mendell
HEI Hospitality
(203) 849-6065

Also See Olympus Real Estate, Rockwood Capital, Prudential Real Estate Investors, HEI Hospitality to Acquire 14 Hotels from Starwood; Smilezzzz Hospitality to Manage Properties / May 2003
HEI Hospitality in Joint Venture with Prudential Real Estate Acquire the Hilton Orlando/Altamonte Springs for Aproximately $22 million; James Sega Named General Manager / Sept 2002

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