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Executive Profiles

Lindsey Ueberroth

Lindsey Ueberroth

Chief Executive Officer

Lindsey Ueberroth is Chief Executive Officer of Preferred Hotels & Resorts and a member of its Board of Directors. Since joining the company in 2004, Lindsey has helped solidify the position of Preferred Hotels & Resorts as an iconic global hospitality brand, a preferred partner for independent hotels, and a trusted resource for travelers seeking an authentic, independent luxury hotel experience.

In March 2015, Lindsey spearheaded the rebranding of Preferred Hotel Group to Preferred Hotels & Resorts, which represented the onset of a new consumer-facing strategy for the company. The new brand architecture redefined the way the hotel experience is rated, not by tiers or stars, but by experiences, to create stronger clarity for the company’s world-class portfolio of independent properties among travelers, hoteliers, and travel partners. Highlighting the success of that strategic move, in that same year, Lindsey led the company to achieve a major milestone in its history by generating more than $1 billion ($1.011B) in reservations revenue on behalf of its member hotels worldwide, a 15% increase over the previous year.

During her tenure as president, from June 2010 to February 2014, Lindsey’s leadership of Preferred Hotel Group helped the company’s global portfolio of member hotels successfully emerge from the worldwide economic downturn by doubling total year-end reservations revenue and generating a 25% increase in Average Daily Rate. Under her direction, the company also launched the innovative points-based iPrefer hotel rewards program; executed the introduction of three distinct brands that represented hotels and resorts in the design, boutique, and serviced residences niche categories; marked first-time presence in more than 25 new countries; and formed strategic partnerships with small hotel brands that expanded the company’s reach into key global markets.

Her strength and success as the leader of Preferred Hotels & Resorts earned her recognition in 2017 by Hotel Management as one of the 30 most influential women in hospitality. She also received back-to-back accolades in 2015, first by HOTELS magazine as one of the top 10 most noteworthy hoteliers in the world and then by Lodging Magazine as one of the 20 most influential females in the lodging industry.

Before joining Preferred Hotels & Resorts, Lindsey was an account executive at Ambassadors International, Inc., a global meetings and incentives company. Prior to that, she was a management consultant at Andersen Consulting (now Accenture).

Lindsey serves on the Board of Directors for Historic Hotels of America, the Global Hotel Network, and Wine 2 Water. She is also an active member of the U.S. Travel Association and the Young Presidents’ Organization. A graduate of Wake Forest University, Lindsey has traveled to more than 100 countries.


John Ueberroth Executive Chairman Preferred Hotels & Resorts

John Ueberroth

Executive Chairman

John A. Ueberroth is Executive Chairman of Preferred Hotels & Resorts. John has more than 30 years of executive level experience in the travel industry, ranging from global travel agencies, to airline and travel service companies, as well as major industry associations.

John began his career in the travel industry in 1967 when he joined his brother, Peter at Transportation Consultants International (TCI), which became the world’s largest travel representation company, representing hotels and airlines among other businesses. Subsequently, TCI bought Ask Mr. Foster travel agency, where John served as President from 1971-80, growing the business from 29 offices to over 1000. In 1980, TCI was sold to the Carlson Companies. John served as President of Carlson Travel Group from 1980 until 1989. From 1990-93, he served as Chairman and CEO of Hawaiian Airlines, and from 1993 to 2003 he served as CEO of Ambassadors International (NASDAQ: AMIE). John joined Preferred Hotels & Resorts in 2004 as co-owner and partner with his wife, Gail.

In addition to his current post at Preferred Hospitality Group, John has also served as Chairman of other leading industry organizations, including Ambassadors Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: EPAX), Travel Industry Association of America, the U.S. Tour Operators Association.


Gail Ueberroth

Gail Ueberroth

Vice Chairman & Chief Creative Officer

Gail Ueberroth joined Preferred Hotels & Resorts in 2004 as Co-Owner with her husband, John. She currently serves as Chief Creative Officer and Vice-Chairman, responsible for leading the company’s Creative Services department and overseeing the direction and execution of creative strategy behind the Preferred Hotels & Resorts brand.

Her distinguished career in travel and hospitality has led her to more than 110 countries, fueling a passion for travel and a hands-on understanding of diverse global markets. In addition to her past work with Carlson Travel and Ambassadors Group, Gail has created innovative travel programs for Neiman Marcus, Young Presidents Organization and CEO, as well as numerous alumni, museum and symphonic non-profit organizations.


Casey Ueberroth

Casey Ueberroth

Member of the Board of Directors

Casey Ueberroth serves on the Preferred Hotels & Resorts Board of Directors. Most recently, he held the position of Chief Marketing Officer, charged with leading the company’s marketing strategy globally, including the company’s global hotel rewards program iPrefer and website, and also concurrently oversaw the development and execution of Preferred Golf, a niche market membership program created in partnership with American Express.

Since joining Preferred Hotels & Resorts in 2005, Casey has supported the company’s marketing and development efforts in various other roles, including Area Managing Director of the United States and, most recently, Senior Vice President of Marketing, a position he held until being promoted to Chief Marketing Officer in January 2015.

Before joining Preferred Hotels & Resorts, Casey served as Assistant Vice President at Wells Fargo Bank N.A. He is a graduate of Wake Forest University.


Ken Mastrandrea

Ken Mastrandrea

Chief Operating Officer

Ken Mastrandrea is Chief Operating Officer of Preferred Hotels & Resorts, responsible for overseeing all corporate operations and brand development. Ken has extensive experience in international and North American hospitality management, including franchise branding and asset preservation, as well as professional qualifications in deluxe residential destination development with sales, client relations, design, and building operations.

Prior to joining Preferred Hotels & Resorts in 2007, Ken spent more than 25 years in executive-level positions directing leisure, tour, and corporate travel management efforts for companies across North America. He served as CEO of a major company operating domestic and international tours and as senior vice president of a corporate travel agency that serviced North America’s Fortune 100.

Ken’s influence in the industry extends to serving on travel related association boards and advisory councils, including Sabre Hospitality’s Executive Advisory Board. He is also a Certified Hotel Administrator (CHA) by the American Hotel and Lodging Institute.


Hiren Chandiramani

Hiren Chandiramani

Chief Financial Officer

Hiren Chandiramani is Chief Financial Officer of Preferred Hotels & Resorts. In this role, he works directly with CEO Lindsey Ueberroth to sustain the success and strategic growth of the company, overseeing all global financial activities including general accounting, financial planning and analysis, treasury, global tax, and compliance.

Previously, Hiren served as Senior Vice President of Finance, playing an integral role in launching key initiatives for Preferred Hotels & Resorts including its guest loyalty program iPrefer over a three-year period. He joined Preferred Hotels & Resorts in 2010 as Vice President of Financial Planning & Analysis.

With nearly 20 years of experience in corporate finance, Hiren has held various leadership positions for companies such as SIRVA INC, for whom he lead all finance-related activities for the international moving division including oversight of the company’s annual operating plan, monthly forecast and variance analysis, and performance reporting. Hiren launched his finance career working for SBC Communications (Ameritech Cellular).

Hiren holds multiple degrees including a Master of Business Administration in E-Business Strategy from DePaul University, a Bachelor of Science in Finance from Northern Illinois University, and as a Bachelor of Commerce in Accounting and Auditing degree from Bombay University in India.


Michelle Woodley President Preferred Hotels & Resorts

Michelle L. Woodley

President

Michelle Woodley is President of Preferred Hotels & Resorts. In this role, she oversees multiple departments across the company including development, revenue management, customer relations, IT, and human resources. She also works closely with CEO Lindsey Ueberroth to support the development of other strategic areas of focus within the organization, and serves as a company spokesperson.

Since joining Preferred in 2002, Michelle has held various leadership positions with cross-functional responsibilities including Senior Vice President of Global Marketing Strategy, Senior Vice President of Distribution & Revenue Management, and Executive Vice President, the role she held prior to her promotion to President in January 2018. She has used her expertise to help the company successfully execute on major global initiatives designed to foster longevity of the Preferred brand such as two comprehensive rebranding initiatives, the launch of multiple brand websites, the introduction and institutionalization of a Revenue Management Certification Program, the technology conversion of the company’s global central reservation system and call center services, and the creation of the I Prefer Hotel Rewards program.

Before joining Preferred Hotels & Resorts in 2002, Michelle spent five years as Vice President of Distribution for Swissôtel and Raffles Hotels & Resorts, charged with overseeing the strategic direction and operations of the company’s electronic distribution and database solutions. She held various senior positions in operations, marketing, and distribution with Swissôtel from 1990 to 1997.

Michelle has been an active board member in industry organizations. She is currently on the Sabre Hospitality Executive Advisory Board, the Active International Travel Advisory Board, and the Cornell University Center for Hospitality Research Advisory Board, and serves as an executive committee member for the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI) Foundation Board of Directors. She previously served on the Board of HSMAI Americas, and spent two terms as president and two terms as vice president of the Hotel Electronic Distribution Network Association (HEDNA). She she was a founding member of the Open Travel Alliance (OTA) and served two terms on their board of directors as treasurer.

Michelle is a graduate of the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration. She is based in Chicago with her husband and two sons.


Caroline Klein

Caroline Klein

Chief Communications Officer

As Chief Communications Officer for Preferred Hotels & Resorts, Caroline Klein leads corporate positioning efforts, managing the company’s reputation through consistent messaging across all touchpoints; developing new and enhanced communications strategies; and overseeing all aspects of corporate communications.  

Caroline joined the company in 2012 as Senior Manager of Public Relations for the Americas, and quickly took on global responsibilities in addition to greater functions such as corporate communications, social media, crisis management, and executive communications, serving in her most recent position as Executive Vice President of Corporate Communications & Public Relations until October 2020. During her tenure with Preferred, Caroline has orchestrated extensive campaigns – including the rebranding of Preferred Hotel Group to Preferred Hotels & Resorts, the launch of the company’s points-based I Prefer Hotel Rewards program, and the introduction of the Preferred’s sister division, PHG Consulting – that have successfully elevated the company's industry profile, strengthened brand integrity, and increased awareness of the company and its client portfolio among media audiences worldwide. She was recognized as a “Thirty Under 30” by  Hotel Management’s 2014 ranking of the hotel industry’s top rising talent. 

Previously, Caroline worked with progressive public relations agencies in New York and Chicago, focusing exclusively on luxury travel and hospitality clients. Based out of the company’s Newport Beach headquarters, she holds a B.S. in Journalism from Boston University.  


Robert Van Ness
 

Robert Van Ness

Executive Vice President, Americas

Robert Van Ness joined Preferred Hotels & Resorts in 2000 as Vice President of Sales, based out of the company’s Chicago headquarters. In 2004, he was promoted to Area Managing Director, tasked with managing the company’s member portfolio in the Americas Central and Southern regions. Four years later in 2008, he was promoted again to his current position as Executive Vice President, Americas. In this role, he oversees all regional directors in the Americas, a responsibility that covers approximately half of the company’s total portfolio of hotels and resorts.

Prior to joining Preferred Hotels & Resorts, Robert held positions as Vice President of Sales for General Hotels Corporation, an Indianapolis-based hotel management company, and sales leadership roles for independent properties as well as brands such as Sheraton Hotels & Resorts and Hilton Hotels & Resorts. His 30 years of experience spans tenures at city hotels and destination resorts, ranging in size from 150 to more than 700 rooms. Robert is a graduate of the William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.


Brenda Collin EVP Europe

Brenda Collin

Executive Vice President, Europe

Brenda Collin serves as Executive Vice President of Europe for Preferred Hotels & Resorts, overseeing the company’s growth and evolution in the region, as well as ensuring the retention and success of nearly 200 member properties across 25 countries in the region.   

Since joining Preferred in April 2013 – first serving as Regional Director of the U.K., Ireland, the Nordics, and The Netherlands before being promoted to Managing Director of that region in January 2017 – Collin has been instrumental in generating significant awareness of the Preferred brand among trade and industry audiences. In addition to strengthening engagement among existing member hotels, she succeeded in tripling the size of the company’s footprint in the region during a seven-year timeframe by spearheading representation of acclaimed hotel companies such as Nordic Hotels & Resorts and signing more than 50 new member hotels such as The Beaumont (London, England); Old Course Hotel (St. Andrews, Scotland); Pulitzer Amsterdam (The Netherlands); Hayfield Manor (Cork, Ireland), The Thief (Oslo, Norway), and, most recently, The Lowry Hotel (Manchester, England). 

Throughout her 30-year career in the hospitality industry, Collin has established an exemplary record for guiding owners and operators of independent and chain hotels alike as they pursue their operational, sales, and marketing goals. Prior to joining Preferred, Collin served as Co-Founder and Executive Director of HotelREZ, a UK-based agency that provides representation and consultancy services to independent hotels worldwide, growing the company’s portfolio to 700 properties in a seven-year timeframe. She also spent five years at Utell working in various capacities including managing account retention, developing the company’s portfolio in the Middle East and Africa, and selling SAAS services. Collin began her hospitality career with Hilton Hotels & Resorts, where she spent seven years holding various front office and regional positions for hotels across the United Kingdom.  

A Fellow of the Institute of Hospitality and Chair of the organization’s London branch, Collin holds a B.A. in Hotel & Catering Management from Galway & Mayo Institute of Technology, as well as a Certificate in Hotel Real Estate Investments and Asset Management from Cornel University’s School of Hotel Administration. She is based out of the company’s London office. 


Saurabh Rai

Saurabh Rai

Executive Vice President, South Asia, Middle East, Africa, and Australasia

Saurabh Rai began his career with Preferred Hotels & Resorts in 2008 as Director of Global Sales & Development for India and Middle East. He progressed to Regional Director of India in 2009 and gained additional responsibilities upon his subsequent promotion to Regional Director of South Asia & the Middle East. In April 2014, Saurabh was appointed Area Managing Director of South Asia & Middle East and, due to his astute business acumen and strong leadership skills, achieved a promotion to Executive Vice President, South Asia, Middle East, Africa, and Australasia in January 2016.

During his tenure with Preferred Hotels & Resorts, Saurabh has been integral to the brand’s development across the region, growing its portfolio in India from two properties to 29 world-class properties, enhancing its presence across the Middle East, and solidifying key relationships with major partners such as Katara Hospitality, The Leela Palaces, Hotels & Resorts, ITC Hotels, and Palazzo Versace Dubai. As testament to his knowledge of the hospitality industry, strategic insight on market trends, and strong relationships with key decision makers, Saurabh was ranked among the “Power 100 – Top 100 most influential people in the hospitality industry” by Hotelier India in 2013.

Saurabh’s hospitality industry experience spans over a decade and includes development consulting, sales and marketing strategy, hotel operations, market studies and quality assurance. He began his career with The Oberoi Hotels and Resorts and moved on to The Imperial, New Delhi, where he spearheaded the hotel’s sales and marketing initiatives.


jonathan newbury headshot

Jonathan Newbury

Executive Vice President, Asia Pacific

Jonathan Newbury serves as Executive Vice President of Asia Pacific for Preferred Hotels & Resorts. Jonathan brings 20 years of international independent hotel experience to this position, which he assumed in August 2020 and which carries the responsibility to drive the strategic direction and evolution of the Preferred brand in Asia Pacific, ensuring the success and retention of more than 150 member properties across the region and overseeing the company’s associates who are based in offices across 10 cities.

Since Jonathan joined Preferred in July 2008 – first serving as Vice President of Brand Development and most recently as Senior Vice President of Strategic Development – he has innovated the company’s approach to development, helping solidify a strong platform for the Preferred brand among hotel owners, operators, asset managers, and management companies globally and fostering impressive retention in North America. He has spearheaded a variety of global development initiatives that have helped fuel a 20% growth in the brand’s hotel portfolio over the past decade, including the launch of the brand’s newest campaign, FREEDOM, which debuted in May 2020, and the execution of a focused education movement to highlight Preferred’s performance on behalf of its member hotels compared to that of its hard-brand competitors. These efforts helped successfully attract nearly 100 properties to “de-flag” and go independent with Preferred Hotels & Resorts as their brand partner from July 2013 through July 2020. In addition to his development work, Jonathan served as Preferred’s Vice President of E-Commerce & Technology from July 2010 to March 2012.

Prior to joining Preferred, Jonathan spent three years as Vice President of Global Development for Small Luxury Hotels of the World, where he leveraged his international background to support growth of the brand with a focus on Asia. He has also served as Operations Director for VIP SKI, and held on-property sales and marketing positions with both The Langham Hotels and Resorts and Thistle Hotel brands.

Jonathan holds a B.A. (Hons) in Politics & Government from London University. He is the proud father of two boys.


Richard White

Richard White

Executive Vice President

As Executive Vice President, Richard White works directly with Preferred's CEO Lindsey Ueberroth on a variety of strategic initiatives related to the growth and success of the company and its member hotels.

Richard White has led a distinguished career in the hospitality industry with more than 30 years experience. In 1978, he began his career with Western International Hotel at the Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles. He quickly became Director of Sales & Marketing of two Houston-based properties – the Westin Galleria and Houston Oaks. He then moved back to Southern California to join Stouffer Hotels and Resorts where he opened the Los Angeles property as Director of Marketing. Soon thereafter, he was promoted to Assistant General Manager at the Los Angeles Stouffer Concourse Hotel.

In 1989, Richard joined Hyatt International as Director of Marketing for the Grand Hyatt in Taipei. In 1991, he served as Director of Sales - North America in Los Angeles. He then was based in Tokyo and served as Director of Marketing for North Asia for five years. During this time, Richard opened the Grand Hyatt in Fukuoka, the Hyatt Regency in Osaka and the Park Hyatt in Tokyo. Mr. White also assisted in the opening of Hyatt International Hotels such as the Grand Hyatt in Sao Paulo, Brazil; the Hyatt Regency - Madeleine in Paris, the Park Hyatt Paris - Vendome, and the Grand Hyatt Tokyo. From 2001 - 2004, he served as Vice President of Global Sales based in Hyatt International’s corporate office in Chicago and oversaw 15 global sales offices. Richard actively serves on the advisory board for American Express.


Greg Smith

Greg Smith

Senior Vice President, Human Resources

With more than 20 years’ experience as a thought leader and practitioner in the human resources field, Greg Smith serves as Senior Vice President of Human Resources for Preferred Hotels & Resorts. In this role, Greg oversees talent acquisition, organizational development, compensation and benefits programs, performance management, and employee and labor relations for the company’s worldwide team of 300 associates across 35 countries, helping to ensure a strong corporate culture and high associate satisfaction and retention.

Over the course of his career, Greg has led human resources efforts for complex global organizations, providing counsel and direction to create successful, positive, and efficient work environments, as well as guiding companies through times of both critical expansion and mergers and acquisitions. Prior to joining Preferred Hotels & Resorts in 2018, he held executive-level positions for major hospitality brands such as Commune Hotels & Resorts, Denihan Hospitality, Kimpton Hotels & Resorts, Interstate Hotels & Resorts, and Choice Hotels International, managing human resources needs from technology systems and training and development to recruiting and executive-level coaching for up to 39,000 associates at a time. His efforts have helped achieve several work-life balance and workplace awards including Fortune’s “100 Best Places to Work.”

Greg holds a J.D. from Tulane University Law School and a B.A. in English Language and Literature/Letters from Tulane University.

For additional information:

 

Caroline Klein
Chief Communications Officer
+1 949 999 9416
cklein@preferredhotels.com