As Founder and Chairman, John Oppenheimer is a true travel and tourism 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.