To know Columbia Hospitality is to appreciate a seasoned startup, fueled by an energized and charismatic team of servant leaders, empowered to make a difference in the lives of those around them. This is a team of truly remarkable people who acknowledge that hard work and smart work are one and the same, who applaud the importance of strong mentorship, and leading by example is second nature. Hospitality runs in their veins – they are collaborators and the very best at what they do.
Senior Director of Sales
As Senior Director of Sales, Ashley oversees the company-wide sales efforts, formulating strategic goals, mentorship and sales coaching and leads aggressive sales plans for group business at Columbia Hospitality properties.
Ashley’s knowledge spans the hospitality spectrum, having worked across many market segments and disciplines within the sales world, including positions with luxury brands such as Four Seasons and Waldorf Astoria, as well as iconic properties like Ojai Valley Inn & Spa.
Ashley is a University of Washington graduate and a native of northern California. She returned to the Pacific Northwest 12 years ago. She currently resides on Capitol Hill in Seattle with her husband.
Director, Learning and Development
As Director of Learning and Development for Columbia, Kristen designs and delivers training programs that bring out the best in the company’s team members.
Kristen Bashaw is an adult learning expert with experience in workplace curriculum development and implementation.
Prior to joining Columbia, Kristen held learning and development positions with Imperative, PitchBook, and Point B. She has extensive experience in performance management, training, mentoring and leadership advancement. She is focused on aligning training opportunities with Columbia’s strategic business needs, including investing in our team members’ growth and assisting clients with customized training programs.
Kristen is a Seattle University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in Criminology and a master’s degree in Creative Writing from Otis College of Art & Design.
In her free time, Kristen enjoys painting, hiking, reading, and listening to true crime podcasts. She is a certified yoga instructor as well as a youth mentor at Year Up. Interesting fact about Kristen is that after college she worked as a private investigator… and yes, she has many stories from that chapter of her life. Kristen also has an uncanny ability: within 24 hours, she can convince any child to eat their broccoli – with a 100% success rate. The best word to describe Kristen is: scrappy.
Columbia Connections Manager
Michelle leads a team of diverse talent as the Manager of Columbia Connections, the central reservations call center within Columbia Hospitality.
Michelle began her career as a procurement agent through a subsidiary of JTB, contracting rooms for their West Coast ventures. Following her dreams of one day owning her own property, Michelle dove headfirst into her new role as sales coordinator at The State Hotel. She assisted groups, events, and daily operations. Michelle also spent a brief period at the Escala before joining the Columbia Connections team as an entry level reservation agent in the early months of this department’s creation. Michelle is dedicated to the enrichment and morale of the team, believing that knowledgeable and happy team members makes for a wonderful guest experience.
Michelle is a Lawrence University graduate with a Liberal Arts degree in Philosophy. She has also dedicated time in areas such as Education, Entrepreneurship and Piano. In her spare time, Michelle enjoys watching television in Cantonese, Mandarin, or English while simultaneous learning a new craft. This can range from creating original characters and bringing them to life through modeling, molding, and casting, to learning a new instrument. Michelle picks up new obscure skills every month. The best word to describe Michelle is: resourceful.
Director of Operations and Advising
Jeni serves as the Director of Operations and Advising at Columbia Hospitality, helping clients to realize and build their hospitality projects, optimize those hotels, and then manage most effectively to create exceptional guest experiences. Jeni began her hospitality career at Oxford Hotels and Resorts, working first at The Godfrey Hotel and then managing new openings and operational improvement throughout the country. She has worked in hospitality operations with boutique branded and independent hotels for the past five years at individual properties as well as at the portfolio level. Prior to joining the hospitality sector, Jeni served as the Chief Strategist at UK Power Reserve where she was responsible for technology, communications, strategic planning, and data analytics. Previously, she was Director of Partner Solutions team at Global Impact, where she worked with Fortune 500 companies and international non-profits in emerging markets. Jeni holds a global MBA from Hult, as well as a BA from the University of Puget Sound. She currently serves on the boards of Mary’s Place, Global Impact UK and manages the Columbia Cares Foundation and initiatives. Jeni has worked across five countries, three sectors and loves working in high-growth, entrepreneurial environments.
Vice President, Food and Beverage
As VP of Food and Beverage, Roy is responsible for integrating internal systems that achieve measurable fiscal success while focusing on quality recruitment and responsible environmental practices that create inspired and profitable food and beverage business units.
Roy brings an enormous depth of food and beverage leadership throughout Europe and the U.S., including Michelin starred hotels and past culinary director for Coastal Hotels.
PBS named Roy one of America’s Rising Star Chefs; John Mariani of Esquire Magazine named him a “Chef to Keep Your Eyes On,” and Bon Appétit magazine named him one of 13 “Top Hotel Chefs in America.” Roy’s most recent endeavors include competing on the Food Network Show “Beat Bobby Flay,” where he successfully brought back a win to the Seattle area. He also authored Wine Country Chefs Table, a regional cookbook centered on the world premier wine making region of Napa and Sonoma valleys. Roy is a member of the James Beard Foundation and presently sits on the Board of Food Lifeline, Washington State’s largest hunger relief agency.
He resides in North Bend, WA with his wife Pam. Roy is a true outdoorsman, having summited both Mt. Rainer and Mt. Baker in the same year, juxtaposed to growing up surfing and loving it to this day! The word that best describes Roy is: committed.
Vice President, Accounting
As VP of Accounting, Doris oversees operational accounting as well as payroll processing for all managed properties and guides the SSC accounting team.
Doris is a highly respected financial professional with a huge depth of experience in the hospitality industry. Her hospitality career began at the Olympic/Four Seasons Hotel in Seattle. Initially joining the hotel as a housekeeper, she held positions in a variety of departments including reservations, front desk, sales, executive administration and finally in accounting as assistant controller.
A Sumner, WA native, Doris is a graduate of Central Washington University with a bachelor’s degree in Finance. In her spare time, she loves spending time with family and enjoys traveling, reading and country western dancing. Doris grew up in Western Washington as one of six children (three boys and three girls) and they all get along! The best word to describe Doris is: focused.
Vice President, CH Golf
As VP of CH Golf, Shawn oversees the overall performance and growth of the golf portfolio for Columbia Hospitality, focusing on business development including valuation and appraisal of golf course projects, feasibility consulting, market analysis and evaluation as well as the operation of golf, food & beverage, and event facilities.
Shawn brings a great depth of experience in private, semi-private and public clubs, resort and municipal course sectors.
He is active in the local community and serves as a current city council member for the City of Port Orchard, where he also serves on the City’s Finance and Land Use Committee. Shawn also served on the national advisory committee for The First Tee, and as president of the Kitsap Peninsula Visitor and Convention Bureau and the Bremerton Area Chamber of Commerce.
Shawn is a Methodist University graduate, receiving his Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Professional Golf Management.
Shawn lives in Port Orchard with his wife and two children and loves to cook and entertain at his house. Shawn also enjoys fishing, playing acoustic guitar with friends and, of course, golfing.
Shawn has the unique ability to connect with people by listening first and being compassionate. The best word to describe Shawn is: jack-of-all-trades.
Sr. Director of Marketing
As Sr. Director of Marketing, Amy is focused on brand positioning, corporate and crisis communications, event planning, media relations and sustainable strategy.
Amy has unique experience advancing business operations and building brand awareness. Before joining Columbia Hospitality, she owned her own business, consulting with entrepreneurial companies including Deloitte Digital.
She has held leadership roles with PitchBook Data, The Garrigan Lyman Group and Parker Remick. While she worked with Schwartz Communications (now part of the MSL Group), she was instrumental in new business recruitment and training of junior staff. She launched the National Drive Against Prostate Cancer and was awarded the Public Relations Society of America Compass Award for the start-up launch of Route Science.
She has served as the president of the PRSA San Francisco chapter and as the nominating director for the Junior League of Seattle board. She currently serves as a docent for the Junior League’s private art collection and was a part of the book launch The Art of Discovery, teaching children and adults about art.
Amy is a University of Georgia graduate with a B.A. in Speech Communication. Now a Seattle resident, Amy is also a marathon runner, middle school speech coach, and volunteer for TEDx Seattle. She loves traveling with her family and has ziplined through the blue ridge mountains of Georgia. The best word to describe Amy is: multifaceted.
Senior Vice President
As SVP, Jolene ensures the company is best structured and aligned to meet owner and property needs throughout the U.S., with specific oversight of revenue management and distribution, sales, and IT, as well as multi-property oversight of guest room, food and beverage, and spa operations.
Jolene spent 11 years with Starwood Hotels & Resorts (W Hotels Worldwide, St. Regis Hotels and Resorts and The Luxury Collection). Jolene was instrumental in the launch of W Hotels, starting with opening the fourth W Hotel in Seattle as Director of Sales & Marketing, then leading the field marketing team for W Hotels, and finally in NYC as Vice President, Brand Marketing for W Hotels, St. Regis and The Luxury Collection.
Jolene was honored as one of Lodging Magazine’s Outstanding Women in Lodging and has served as president of the Pacific Northwest Chapter of Professional Convention Management Association and awarded Supplier of the Year by the Washington Society of Association Executives. She currently sits on the Corporate Council for the 5th Avenue Theatre, the Washington Filmworks Board of Directors, and serves on the Editorial Committee for the Washington Hospitality Association.
Jolene is a Washington State University graduate, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications/Public Relations. Here is a little-known fact – Kanye West, sang the song “Jolene” to Jolene when she was his dinner partner at a New York Fashion Week event. And the word that best describes Jolene is: ham (not the kind one eats).
Director of IT
As Director of IT, Matt drives the company-wide technology strategy and oversees the IT systems of hotels, restaurants, golf properties, residential communities, and distinctive venues. He also oversees the IT infrastructure of all new hotel developments within Columbia’s portfolio.
Matt is a true IT and hospitality expert, including work with Coastal Hotels, where he applied best practices in technology to enhance guest and team member experiences. Prior to Coastal he worked as an IT consultant to various hospitality and property management companies.
Matt is an Oregon State University graduate. He enjoys scuba diving and homebrewing in his free time.
As President, Brian oversees and guides company-wide operations.
Brian’s background includes 40 plus years of management and leadership across a broad range of hospitality-related enterprises. In the Seattle region, where he has been based since 1999, he worked with MTM Luxury Lodging and led the team that opened Hotel 1000. Additionally, he was GM at the Olympic Hotel in downtown Seattle and also at the Bellevue Club/Hotel Bellevue. Prior to moving to the Pacific Northwest, he spent 16 years with Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts in multiple locations throughout North America and started his career with The Mariner Group in SW Florida.
Brian currently sits on the Board of Visit Seattle. He is a Broward College graduate and resides on Mercer Island with his wife of almost 40 years, Kitty.
His interests include travel, food, wine, technology, reading and being outdoors (in the Pacific Northwest or anywhere else he ventures).
Senior Director, Revenue Management
As Senior Director, Revenue Management, Peter works with the property, marketing, and group sales teams to ensure that each property has the right strategies in place to maximize profitably.
Peter has a broad background in revenue strategy from a diverse set of properties and companies. In addition to leading pricing strategy, he has managed sales teams, rebranded a major Northwest spa, and has been the General Manager of a four-star hotel in the Bay Area. He brings a data driven approach to both revenue management and marketing.
Prior to joining Columbia Hospitality, he led the revenue efforts for Coastal Hotels, Destination Hotels at Suncadia, Pan Pacific Hotel Seattle, Salish Lodge & Spa, Hotel Los Gatos, and The Cypress.
Peter is both a Purdue University graduate with a B.S. in Hospitality Management and a University of Washington, Foster School of Business grad with an MBA in Marketing and Pricing. He enjoys cooking new and creative recipes, particularly fresh fish he has caught. He has summited four 14,000’+ mountains in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado and started playing the acoustic guitar during the first part of the pandemic. The word that best describes Peter is: compassionate.
Executive Vice President
As EVP, Matt focuses on business development, including planning and execution of pre-opening technical services, new property construction design and development consulting.
Matt’s background has been focused on opening and managing full service, independent, unique hotels and restaurants.
A Seattle native, Matt is a University of Washington graduate with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the Foster School of Business. Matt is a past board member of the Seattle Hotel Association and teaches the certificate of commercial real estate at the University of Washington.
Matt is a husband, father of two, a Husky alum, an avid cyclist (including a ride from Prague to Budapest), golfer, outdoor enthusiast, recreational surfer, and enjoys travel of all kinds. The best way to describe Matt is: eternal optimist, family guy, and enthusiastic.
Senior Vice President
As SVP of Columbia Hospitality and Managing Director of Columbia Hospitality Real Estate, Chuck leads real estate development activities and assists with business development and the overall growth of the company through various investment initiatives.
Chuck’s expertise encompasses business and executive management, strategic planning, finance, property acquisition and disposition.
Prior to joining Columbia Hospitality, Chuck was the CEO of Pistol Creek Company, a large, privately held investment company. Chuck also served as Controller for Lowe Enterprises Northwest, a real estate pension fund management company, where he was responsible for all areas of finance and accounting. Early in his career Chuck was an auditor and CPA with KPMG.
Chuck is a Purdue University graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting. He resides in Seattle and enjoys hiking, biking, and boating, plus Seattle’s hot restaurant scene. He has summited Mt. Rainier and is teaching himself to play piano. The best way to describe Chuck is: honest.
Executive Vice President
As EVP, Yogi focuses on Columbia’s growth in larger-scale and branded hotel and resort properties.
Yogi’s background includes President and CEO of Coastal Hotels and COO at Noble House. There, he created a “culture of excellence”. Yogi also held senior management positions with Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide and ITT Sheraton, including Vice President of Operations – Washington and Oregon and General Manager of the Seattle Sheraton and the Sheraton Tucson El Conquistador Resort.
Yogi is a former Executive Committee member of the Seattle Chamber of Commerce, Visit Seattle board member, Chairman of the Downtown Seattle Association, Board of Governors for King County Boys and Girls Club, and past President of the 101 Club of the Washington Athletic Club.
Yogi is a graduate of Indiana University with a degree in Urban and Regional Development. He is married to his wife of 39 years. They have three sons and four grandchildren. He loves to fish and golf, both taking him on global adventures. Yogi has a supernatural ability to relate to all people and the best word to describe Yogi is: knowledgeable.
Sr. Vice President, CH Residential
As SVP of CH Residential, Michael oversees a diverse, mixed-use residential property portfolio. He leads a field team of general managers, community association managers and operational leaders in Columbia Hospitality’s growing residential collection while implementing business development strategies. Michael is tasked to improve operational efficiencies, reinforce a culture of exceptional customer service and a collaborative work environment.
Michael has held management, operations, sales and marketing positions with Cascade Sotheby’s International Realty, Marriott and Hyatt Vacation Ownership, and Lowe Enterprises. His project management experience includes residential properties across multiple states as well as residential projects internationally in Japan, China and Indonesia.
Michael is a graduate of the University of Washington. He loves spending time with his two adult daughters who live in the Seattle area. Michael finds that traveling brings new experiences to life, and the fact that, “around every corner there can be a memory made” (including being chased by a 9 foot long/200 kg Komodo Dragon on a remote island in Indonesia). He enjoys skiing, golf, hiking and scuba diving, where he once jumped out of a helicopter from 40 feet into the waters off Hawaii to begin a dive on four separate wrecks with an ex-Navy seal. It will come as no surprise that the best word to describe Michael is: passionate!
Director of Marketing
Within Columbia Hospitality, Lauren directly oversees marketing strategies in addition to running a department of more than 25 skilled marketing experts.
Lauren came up through the ranks of Columbia, previously holding the title of Marketing Manager. She has a long and successful history in the marketing industry having worked for Tiger Oak Media as Director of Marketing and Events, where she oversaw magazine promotion of Seattle Business, Seattle Magazine, and five bridal event magazines. Lauren started her career as Special Events Coordinator and PR Assistant for Festivals Inc, assisting in the production and promotion of the Bite of Seattle and Taste of Tacoma.
Lauren is a graduate of Washington State University with a B.A. in Communications and Advertising and lives in Seattle with her husband and son.
Director of Sales
As Director of Sales, Meredith provides strategic sales leadership and development of company-wide sales initiatives and related programs to drive results in the group business and catering segments for Columbia’s various properties, while expanding and developing her sales team’s knowledge through a diverse use of practical applications and creative ideas.
Meredith has held various leadership roles including VP of Sales at Coastal Hotels, supporting the properties within their portfolio with a special focus on strategy, business development and total profitability.
Meredith is a native Washingtonian currently residing in Renton. A proud mother to her son, Meredith is an adrenaline junkie, enjoying everything from scuba diving to skydiving and a lot of fun stuff in between, including traveling, cooking and enjoying the great outdoors. The word that best describes Meredith is: effervescent.
Senior Director, People and Culture
As the Senior Director of People and Culture, Hugo provides direction and support for engagement initiatives, service excellence, talent acquisition and retention, workplace culture and benefits. His passion for employee relations guides his interactions with his 11-member team as well as with Columbia Hospitality’s properties.
Prior to joining Columbia Hospitality, Hugo was Director of HR at the MOD Pizza Support Center where he led the People Support Team for over 400 stores and 7000-plus employees. He also held HR positions with Two Roads Hospitality as the Area Director of People, Levy Restaurants at CenturyLink Field, and Sage Hospitality.
Hugo is a University of Guadalajara graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, as well as a Masters in HR Management from National University in San Diego. Hugo enjoys spending time with family and he loves to travel and learn about other cultures. Raised in Guadalajara, Mexico, Hugo is passionate about diversity and inclusion and is fluent in Spanish. He is a natural-born problem-solver and the best word to describe Hugo is: happy!
Senior Vice President
As SVP, Andy leads the hotel consulting and asset management divisions, in addition to overseeing a variety of properties.
Andy has held management positions with national hotel companies including Westin Hotels & Resorts, and Hilton Hotels Corporation. Andy also co-founded Seattle-based The Chambers Group, Inc.
Discovering an opportunity to align with a group of industry peers and longtime friends who could provide the structure The Chambers Group needed, the company was acquired as a division of Columbia Hospitality in March 2011.
Andy has served as director of management advisory services at Laventhol & Horwath for the Pacific Northwest region and is a current member of the International Society of Hospitality Consultants. Andy has been an adjunct faculty member at the Washington State University School of Hotel Business Management and serves on the advisory board for Washington State University’s hospitality program. He is also the former chair of the Washington Lodging Association.
Andy is a Cornell University graduate with a B.S. from the School of Hotel Administration. Andy was born in Seattle but raised in Connecticut (from age 3 to 20), so, in essence Andy has East Coast/West Coast dual citizenship. Andy is a baker and has a knack for editing and proofreading. And the best word to describe Andy is: sarcastic!
Chief Executive Officer
As CEO, John Oppenheimer is a true travel and tourism visionary and entrepreneur with a passion for the hospitality industry.
In addition to launching Columbia Hospitality in 1995 (to manage Bell Harbor International Conference Center for the Port of Seattle), John has also founded five successful, private hospitality-related businesses.
John was a founding general partner of Seattle Hotel Group, the investment group that developed the Four Seasons Hotel and Residences Seattle.
John currently sits on the Virginia Mason Franciscan Health Board and is chair of the Foundation. He also serves on the 5th Ave Theatre board, co-chairs their Governance and Nomination committee, and serves on the Advisory Board of the Center for Leadership and Strategic Thinking at the Foster School of Business at the University of Washington. John’s past non-profit boards include: Chair of the Woodland Park Zoo, Chair of YPO Gold, Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce, Washington Council on International Trade, among others. John also serves on the following corporate boards: Anthony’s Restaurants, Northland Properties, and is a past member of the advisory board of Northern Trust.
John and his wife, Deanna, are past Fritzky co-chairs in Leadership at the University of Washington, and are honorees of the Seattle Hotel Association’s “Evening of Hope”. They have also served as co-chairs of many civic events including: the Woodland Park Zoo Jungle Party, Virginia Mason Dreambuilder’s Ball, and the Puget Sound Business Hall of Fame.
John is also author of the book, Keys to the Room: Unlocking the Doors to Opportunities and Possibilities.
John is a University of Puget Sound graduate where he earned his Bachelor’s degrees in Urban Affairs and Political Science. He and Deanna were honored for their continued service and philanthropy with the dedication of Oppenheimer Hall at their alma mater.
He is a husband and proud father of two adult children, and his passions include spending time with family and friends. An interesting fact is that John first learned about great customer service as a young sky-cap at the Boise, Idaho airport, carrying luggage. The word that best describes John is: grateful.
Director of Talent Strategy
As Director of Talent Strategy, Greg’s primary focus is the executive search arm of Columbia’s business, which includes sourcing the best hospitality talent across the globe to bring significant value to our clients.
A passionate hospitality professional, Greg’s industry knowledge and experience is diverse and well-rounded, including business development, operations, human resources, and talent acquisition. Greg has been at the helm of our recruitment team for over a decade; overseeing the strategy to place more than 11,000 individuals internally during a time when Columbia increased its portfolio to 80+ managed properties. This includes over 600 leaders across Columbia and our Executive Search arm.
Greg joined Columbia in 2011 when he was selected as the food and beverage manager at Salish Lodge & Spa. He subsequently served as the rooms division manager, as well as recruiter, talent manager, director of new business development, and director of organizational development for Columbia.
In 2016, he was honored by 425 Business Magazine as a 30 under 30 awardee. In 2017, he received the same honors from Hotel Management Magazine.
Greg is a Washington State University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in Hospitality Business Management. He enjoys traveling the world, experiencing different cultures, locales and hospitality properties and cultures. He is energized by connecting great people with great opportunities. He finds that there is no greater satisfaction than, “seeing people grow personally and professionally and knowing I had a small part in that journey.” He is a craftsman and a ‘MacGyver-style’ engineer and builder. And the best word to describe Greg is: ambitious.
Vice President, People and Culture
As VP of People and Culture, Natalie focuses on providing consultation for all matters related to people, knowledge development, company culture, talent acquisition and team member engagement, with the goal of supporting team members and achieving results for our owners.
Prior to joining Columbia Hospitality, Natalie held HR positions with Russell Investments, PitchBook Data Inc., Blue Nile and Amazon. She has extensive experience in HR emerging technologies, organizational development, performance management, mentoring and leadership development.
A graduate of University of Western Ontario, Natalie has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology in addition to a Masters in HR Management and Labor Relations from Michigan State University.
In her free time, she is a competitive Ironman triathlete, qualifying for the 2018 Ironman World Championships in Kona, HI. In 2019, Natalie was ranked 10th in the US for her age group. She also teaches fitness classes at the Seattle Athletic Club. Natalie is a self-proclaimed “Raging Extrovert” and this will come as no surprise, but the best word to describe her is: competitive.
Chief Financial Officer
As CFO, Dave oversees all aspects of finance and accounting for Columbia Hospitality and its managed properties; accountable for all financial and fiscal management aspects of company operations, cost control systems, and evaluating investment opportunities for Columbia and its owners.
A leader in the financial services industry for more than 20 years, Dave has an extensive background across a series of companies ranging from large publicly traded organizations to small private businesses.
Dave has held positions as the CFO of Cascadia Capital and worked as SVP and CFO of various business divisions of Washington Mutual and JP Morgan Chase.
Dave is a graduate of the Foster School of Business at the University of Washington. He lives in Seattle with his wife and two teenagers and enjoys spending time with his family doing a variety of outdoor activities, including hiking, skiing, kayaking and golfing.
Interesting fact, Dave writes left-handed but does everything else right-handed. He is adept at simplifying complex ideas and the best word to describe Dave is: problem-solver.
Lenny has operational oversight over some of our properties and takes a leadership role in our consulting agreements
He has been with Columbia nearly 20 years. Prior to that he was with the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company in various leadership roles including General Manager at Ritz-Carlton hotels in Rancho Mirage, Philadelphia, Mauna Lani and Boston. He was also GM of El Encanto Hotel in Santa Barbara, California.
Lenny is a UC Santa Barbara graduate with a BA in Mathematics and a Masters in Mathematics. He is a competitive swimmer, having competed in US Masters Swimming in the northwest and in what was the Soviet Union in 1982, participating in meets in Leningrad (currently St. Petersburg), Pyatigorsk and Moscow. Lenny is also a garden designer and an avid cook. The best word to describe Lenny is: life-loving.
Mr. FitzGibbon joined the Columbia Hospitality Advisory Board in 2013. Mr. FitzGibbon worked for Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts for 35 years, with a career that spanned over 10 posts in countries all around the world. He led highly diverse and innovative teams, helping progress the brand’s legendary culture of service excellence. At the time of his retirement in 2011, he held the position of president of worldwide hotel operations reporting directly to the CEO. He was responsible for overseeing the luxury brand’s 85 hotels in 35 countries, as well as corporate marketing and sales worldwide. Mr. FitzGibbon also serves on the board for Benchmark Senior Living.
Mr. Fonseca joined the Columbia Hospitality Advisory Board in 2013. Mr. Fonseca is currently a partner at Certares LP. Previously, Mr. Fonseca was chief commercial officer at Expedia, Inc., where he served for more than 18 years. He contributed greatly to the online travel company’s growth and success, serving in a host of key roles including co-president of its global partner services group and senior vice president of corporate development, among others. Mr. Fonseca helped found Expedia.com as part of the management team at Microsoft Corporation that brought the online travel company to life in 1995 and subsequently took it public in 1999. Mr. Fonseca also serves on the boards of Alaska Air Group, Caesars Acquisition Corporation, and RentPath, Inc.
Mrs. Velamoor has spent 15 years with Microsoft leading global product management teams and building insightful technology solutions for big data needs across product lines. Her expertise with data driven decision management has helped steer product development and contributed to revenue growth for some of Microsoft’s leading businesses through a combination of creativity, initiative, and collaborative leadership. She has served as an advisor at Optio3, an AI-powered IOT Management technology startup in the Seattle area, and has led the career pathways initiative at Rainier Scholars, a college prep program for low income students of color building pathways across STEM and computer science, law and medicine, entrepreneurship and humanities. Mina is passionate about giving back to local and global communities and strongly believes that giving unites groups for a common cause. Mina serves on the board of the Mercer Island Youth and Family Services and the Virginia Mason Foundation and is a member at Pitch Your Peers Seattle. Mrs. Velamoor joined the Columbia Hospitality Advisory Board in 2020.
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