President & CEO
Lindsey Ueberroth is President & CEO 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 resorts, 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 world-class collection of independent hotels and resorts within the company’s portfolio among travelers, independent hoteliers, and travel partners.
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 (ADR). Under her direction, the company also launched the innovative points-based iPrefer guest loyalty 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 20 new countries; and formed strategic partnerships with small hotel brands that expanded the company’s reach into key markets across the globe.
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 also serves on the Board of Directors for Historic Hotels of America. She is 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 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.
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.
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.
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 extended to the United States Tour Operators Association Advisory Board, for whom he served as an elected member of the board. He is also a Certified Hotel Administrator (CHA) by the American Hotel and Lodging Institute.
Chief Financial Officer
Hiren Chandiramani is Chief Financial Officer of Preferred Hotels & Resorts. In this role, he works directly with President & 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 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 L. Woodley
Executive Vice President
Michelle Woodley is Executive Vice President of Preferred Hotels & Resorts. In this role, she has cross-functional and departmental responsibilities, which include working directly with President & CEO Lindsey Ueberroth on identifying new revenue development opportunities, serving as a corporate spokesperson for the company, and leading the enhancement and improvement of other strategic areas of focus within the organization. She also oversees the company’s Distribution & Revenue Management department.
During her 13 years with the company, Michelle has held various leadership roles. Prior to her promotion to Executive Vice President, she served as Senior Vice President of Distribution & Revenue Management, responsible for overseeing the company’s brand websites and e-commerce strategies and distribution and revenue management programs for member hotels.
Before joining the company in 2002, Michelle was Vice President of Distribution for Swissôtel and Raffles Hotels & Resorts from 1997 to 2002, where she oversaw the strategic direction and operations of the company’s electronic distribution and database solutions.
Michelle is currently on the Americas Board of Directors of the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI). She served two terms as president and two terms as vice president of the Hotel Electronic Distribution Network Association (HEDNA), and 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.
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.
Executive Vice President, Europe
As Executive Vice President of Europe, Philipp Weghmann oversees the company’s growth and evolution in the region, as well as ensuring the retention of nearly 200 member properties across Europe.
With more than 14 years experience in the hospitality industry, Philipp has an impressive record for supporting hotel owners and operators to achieve their sales, marketing, public relations and development goals. Philipp first joined Preferred Hotels & Resorts in 2006, in the role of Regional Director for the Iberian Peninsula and Mediterranean, and grew the region’s membership by 714% in less than five years. He then took on the role of Area Managing Director for Latin America and Caribbean for the next three years, where he was recognized for generating significant awareness of the Preferred Hotels & Resorts brand, as well as increasing the company’s portfolio of luxury hotels & resorts across the region.
Prior to joining Preferred Hotels & Resorts, Philipp spent two years with HOTUSA Hotels overseeing the company’s international business development in North America, Europe and Northern Africa. He began his hospitality career in Cape Town, South Africa where he spent four years learning all facets of the industry working with The Table Bay Hotel, Horwath Tourism & Leisure Consulting, and Wine Concepts.
Philipp holds a Bachelor Degree in both Hotel Administration and European Hospitality Management from the prestigious Hotel Management School The Hague in the Netherlands. Philipp is fluent in German, English, Spanish and French. He resides in Barcelona with his wife.
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.
Executive Vice President, Asia Pacific
David Spooner serves as Executive Vice President of Asia Pacific for Preferred Hotels & Resorts. In this role, which he assumed in August 2015, he is responsible for driving the company’s development efforts in the region, overseeing the strategic growth of the brand in key markets, and ensuring the engagement and retention of nearly 100 existing member hotels, in collaboration with a team of Regional Directors and other associates based in offices across eight gateway cities – Beijing, Chengdu, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Singapore, Seoul, and Tokyo.
Most recently, Spooner spent four years as Vice President of Sales & Marketing for Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts, leading the global sales and marketing efforts for the group’s 39 hotels, as well as managing the corporate teams across nine departments, specifically marketing, public relations, social media, regional sales, field performance, reservations, distribution and revenue management. Previously, while based out of London, he held senior-level sales and marketing roles with global or regional responsibilities for acclaimed hospitality brands such as Sanctuary Retreats, One&Only Resorts, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, and Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts.
Born and raised in Hong Kong, Spooner holds an MBA from RMIT in Melbourne, Australia, and a B.A. in Hotel and Catering Administration from the University of Huddersfield, United Kingdom. He is based in Singapore.
Executive Vice President, Global Sales
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.
Executive Vice President, Group Sales
Elaine Macy is Executive Vice President of Group Sales for Preferred Hotels & Resorts, responsible for overseeing the company’s Group Sales division, handling various events around the world and managing a global team of group sales professionals. She joined the company in 2004.
Elaine started her career in the travel industry working for World Airways before moving into the incentive travel business, spending five years managing and developing the West Coast operations for Tradewind Tours, a leading Hawaiian corporation.
In 1984, Elaine joined Maritz Travel Company as Regional Vice President to pioneer the company’s first West Coast operation. Over a 15-year period, she carried $18 million in sales and had total administrative and sales responsibility for efforts in the region. Shortly thereafter, she opened a new full-service operation for Maritz, turning it into a $40 million group travel and meetings office staffed by more than 100 professionals. The West Coast operation processed more than 40,000 participants each year to destinations around the globe.
In 1995, Elaine became one of seven founding partner of Ambassadors Performance Group, serving as Vice President of Sales and running an office in Northern California. Alongside John Ueberroth and Peter Ueberroth, she helped build Ambassadors into a major incentive travel house.