Waterford, CT, Dec. 21, 2017– Waterford Hotel Group’s Chairman and CEO Len Wolman announced the appointment of Michael Heaton as President effective January 1, 2018. Heaton will succeed Waterford’s long-serving President, Robert Winchester, who recently announced plans to hand over the reins in preparation for his upcoming retirement. Winchester will continue in his role through year-end, assisting with the transition of roles, before assuming a part-time advisory position with Waterford for an indefinite period.
“Rob’s contributions to our organization for nearly 30 years have been significant,” said Len Wolman, Chairman and CEO of Waterford Hotel Group. “He has created value for our owners and created opportunities for our associates. He has left us well-positioned for continued growth and we are grateful for all he has done,” added Wolman.
Since its inception in 1986, Waterford has taken great pride in recognizing its associates. Waterford’s succession planning began early on, with a top priority of providing career growth and success for associates. Waterford attributes its long-term success to the continued development of its workforce through many initiatives, including longevity and growth opportunities, a rising star program, internships, industry involvement, and continued education. “It is not a surprise that we only have to look from within to plan for our future,” said Wolman. “We’ve been preparing for this for many years.”
Robert Winchester joined Waterford in 1990 as a Property Controller and quickly became a valued member of the team. He served in numerous roles, including Chief Financial Officer and Vice President, Development and Asset Management, before assuming the position of President in 2000. Winchester steps down from his role as President following an exceptionally strong year for the organization. Waterford gained nine management contracts this year, bringing the portfolio total to 27 properties in seven states.
Michael Heaton began his career with Waterford in 1997 and has held numerous management positions at Waterford-managed properties, as well as Corporate Regional Hotel Director, before assuming the role of Vice President, Operations in 2009. He has been responsible for overseeing all areas of operations for Waterford’s portfolio which includes limited services properties, all-suite hotels, and large full service hotels. He has extensive experience with multiple hotel brands, as well as independent properties. Heaton currently serves as a Board Member of Marriott F&B Advisory Committee and a Member of AH&LA Sustainability Committee. Previously, he served as President of the Connecticut Lodging Association.
Duane Schroder will assume the position of Vice President, Operations effective January 1st. Schroder joined Waterford in 2002 as part of an International Training Program with the University of Johannesburg. He has filled many positions since that time, including Regional Hotel Director and General Manager of numerous hotels.
“Our greatest asset has always been the outstanding team of associates that work hard every day, to service our guests, to provide corporate support, and to ensure that the goals of our ownership groups are met or exceeded,” said Len Wolman. “We are confident that we have the right team in place for continued growth and success, and we are looking forward to a bright future for our organization,” added Wolman.