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1780 Hughes Landing Blvd, Suite 400

The Woodlands, TX 77380

(281) 367-5757

About

We Lead the Way

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For nearly four decades, Benchmark has been at the forefront of our industry, providing unparalleled expertise in hotel, resort and conference center management. Our two breathtaking portfolios, Benchmark Resorts & Hotels and Gemstone Collection, represent the finest in guest-dedicated hospitality across the U.S. and points beyond.

Our diverse portfolios have taught us that not everything we do works for every property. We take a customized, entrepreneurial approach that sets us apart from management companies that follow a standardized process and leave little room for innovation or imagination.

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Curated Experiences

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We believe travel can be transformative. Magical, even. We offer our guests curated experiences that broaden the mind, relax the spirit, shift perspectives and empower authentic moments of connection. We have a depth of insight into our properties that helps us infuse the guest experience with a strong sense of location, directing travelers to hidden gems the guidebooks don’t know about but the locals do.

"We’ve done a lot of things we’ve never done before. And we like it that way."

- Alex Cabañas

FROM CONCEPT TO CONCRETE

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Aerial view of Turtle Bay

OUR SERVICES SPAN ALL PHASES OF A PROJECT

  • Market-demand consulting and feasibility analysis
  • Facilities construction and design
  • Pre-opening marketing and technical services
  • Operational marketing and management

Superior Services

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  • Decades of expertise in hospitality development and management
  • Seasoned support infrastructure 
  • Industry-recognized innovation 
  • Customer-centric culture
  • Passionate commitment to Be the Difference
  • Entrepreneurial emphasis
  • Focus on specialization, not standardization
  • Dedication to creating curated and transformational travel experiences
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Local Insight

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The heightened level of local insight we offer guests at each of our destinations isn’t by chance or because we’re really good at Googling things. Our teams are closely connected to the places where they live and work. They’re active in their communities in myriad ways, including through our service initiative Hometown Hospitality – Caring for Our Communities, which encourages and enables our employees to seek local leadership roles in social, educational and cultural programs.

Be The Difference

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Every Benchmark employee, in every job, at every level shares one trait: a commitment to provide exceptional service. We're a collective of experience architects, capturing each opportunity to be the difference—for our guests, our coworkers, and our communities. More than a slogan, Be the Difference is a way of being present and providing service that's personalized, meaningful, and memory-making. It's what makes us excited to go to work each day and powers our way forward.

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A MOSAIC OF OPPORTUNITIES

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Growing a global presence

Since its founding in 1980, Benchmark has evolved from the subsidiary of a publicly traded company to a privately held, globally recognized, award-winning independent resort, conference center and hotel management company.

Burt Cabañas is the visionary leader behind Benchmark’s legacy of setting industry standards and trends. Back in 1980, he saw the demographics of resorts, hotels and conference centers were changing. More and more women were attending meetings and events, but the hospitality industry was not focused on their needs. Benchmark Management Company, as we were known back then, responded, blazing a trail in the conference center industry.

In the early 2000s, Burt again recognized an opportunity. There was a void in the luxury hotel marketplace for distinctively individualized service products that reflected the unique preferences of each guest. The “new luxury” was no longer about quantity, it was about quality and the experience of living. Benchmark moved into the full-service luxury market with the purchase of five small but superb luxury hotels.

Today, Benchmark has two distinctive portfolios, Benchmark Resorts & Hotels and Gemstone Collection, which represent the finest in guest-dedicated hospitality. And we continue to set the standards that others aspire to achieve. Thanks to Burt’s vision and values, which remain crucial to the fabric of our organization, every Benchmark employee is passionately committed to creating lasting memories and highly personalized experiences and ensuring each guest feels welcomed and valued on every visit.

The Benchmark Mosaic

The Benchmark story is perhaps best manifested in the colorful and engaging mosaic that hangs in our Home Office. Depicting the essence of who we are, it weaves together the diversity of human spirit that brings the Benchmark dream to life. 

"The mosaic represents one of the fundamental strengths of Benchmark that has developed over time: Among our thousands of employees we have available a tremendous range of skills and expertise." - Burt Cabañas, Founder

LEADERSHIP TEAM

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See our Leadership Team below.

ALEX CABAÑAS

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CEO

Alex Cabañas is passionate about leading and growing a company that makes a profound difference in the lives of employees, guests, owners, industry partners and the community.  His life mission since college has been to create opportunities for others to be successful.  As CEO, Alex is focused on strategic planning, people development, pursuing growth and new opportunities, promoting the delivery of memorable customer service and ultimately being the best third-party management company in the industry, acting in the best interest of owners every day. 

Alex was previously President, Business Development & Finance for Benchmark. During his tenure in business development roles, the company added 22 properties to its management portfolio, expanded into the Caribbean and added to its presence in Tokyo.  The company also acquired MTM Luxury Lodging, which led to the launch of Gemstone Hotel Collection.

Alex joined Benchmark in January 2006. Prior to joining Benchmark, he worked for The Boston Consulting Group from 2000 through 2005. While with BGC he worked with clients in a number of different industries including: travel and tourism, government, consumer/retail, telecommunications, e-commerce, financial services, and energy. His assignments included a variety of different tasks including: lodging investment proposal, market sizing and segmentation, competitive benchmarking, product development, process management, asset valuation, new business development and growth strategy.

Alex earned his MBA at Harvard Business School and holds a BBA and MS in Finance from Texas A&M University. Alex is married to his perfectly-made-for-him wife, Heather and they have two energetic and out-going boys, Matthew and Eli.  Alex enjoys his time with family, traveling and exploring together, any outdoor activity and is very involved in his church. 

GREG CHAMPION

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President & COO

As President and Chief Operating Officer, Mr. Champion has overall responsibility for the operations of all Benchmark Hospitality International projects in North America. He also provides oversight for the field staff support functions as well as for the home office staff functions of sales and marketing and human resources.

Prior to joining Benchmark in May 2009, Mr. Champion was president of Noble House Hotels & Resorts whose portfolio included 14 independent properties across the United States where he oversaw the direct management of all hotel operations. He was with Noble House since 2001 with prior service including executive vice president overseeing seven properties across the country and as the managing director of The Adolphus in Dallas. Mr. Champion left Noble House for a short period of time when he served as president and COO for Arizona-based Tiburon Hospitality Management.

Mr. Champion is a native of Seattle, Washington and attended Washington State University. He's a member of SKAL International and Chaine de Rotisseurs and has served on the board of directors for both the Dallas and Alaska Convention and Visitors Bureaus.

JEFF MCINTYRE

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President

Jeff has been a leader in the hospitality industry for over 30 years. Regarded as one of the best bottom line operators in the business, Jeff is known for creating unique and tailored points-of-difference at each resort allowing each property to achieve market share advantages.

Jeff served as a Director of TBA Entertainment, Inc. and as President of their Resort Division from 1997 through 1998. The acquisition and development of The Village at Breckenridge Resort was the focus of TBA during this period.

In 1994 Jeff founded Gemstone Hotels and Resorts, growing the company to over 20 assets prior to the merger with BENCHMARK, a Global Hospitality Company. 

Jeff was located at The Village with partner Mark van Hartesvelt from 1994 through 1998 overseeing the complete financial turnaround of the resort as well as the development and approval of the most complex master plan in the town of Breckenridge’s history.

From 1987 through 1994, Jeff was the Senior Vice President of operations for Guest Quarters Suite Hotels and Doubletree Hotel Corporation. Responsible for 115 hotels, Jeff orchestrated the merging of the two companies and the consolidation of the corporate office. During Jeff’s tenure, the portfolio achieved record improvements in profit and quality scores and positioned itself as a leader in the hospitality industry.

From 1985 through 1987 Jeff held the position of vice president with Radisson Hotels. He was responsible for 25 managed properties and 20 franchised hotels and resorts.

From 1974 until 1985, Jeff served The Sheraton Corporation in various capacities, including Director of Rooms and Reservations for North America and General Manager of Sheraton’s number one occupancy and profit producing property in San Francisco, California.

A Certified Hotel Administrator, Jeff holds a B.S. in Hotel and Restaurant Administration from Oklahoma State University and graduated from the University of Minnesota’s Senior Executive Management program.

Jeff has been a visiting professor and lecturer at the University of Maryland, The university of San Francisco, Golden State University and Oklahoma State University.

Ted Davis headshot

Chief Marketing Officer

As Chief Marketing Officer for BENCHMARK,a Global Hospitality Company, Ted A. Davis is responsible for the company's strategic sales and marketing initiatives. He has oversight of the company's enterprise sales and marketing systems, the national database of meeting planners, revenue management, global distribution, advertising and promotion, the national awareness campaigns, interactive marketing and e-commerce, customer relationship management programs, as well as sales training and compensation programs.

For the past 25 years, Ted Davis has been active in hospitality sales and marketing for major brands within the industry, serving in important leadership positions. Most recently, he was vice president of sales and marketing for Noble House Hotels & Resorts, responsible for the strategic direction and operations of the company's global sales organization, as well as corporate brand management and marketing.

Previous to this position, Mr. Davis served as regional director of sales & marketing for Wyndham Hotels Corporation, with domestic and international responsibilities for hotels within the Luxury Resorts Division.

Ted Davis is a graduate of Washington State University in Pullman, Washington, where he earned a Bachelor's degree in Hotel and Restaurant Administration.

KIRK JONES

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Chief Financial Officer

 As Chief Financial Officer, Kirk Jones has responsibility for the strategic direction and execution to the deployment of the company’s financial assets system-wide.  Additionally, he lends oversight to the financial reporting, analysis, budgeting and capital planning activities that enhance the managed portfolio’s financial performance as well as Benchmark’s overall company investments.   

 
Prior to joining Benchmark, Kirk was executive vice president of finance for Capella Hotel Group for eight years, a company with a portfolio of independent and branded properties across the globe.  His role included financial oversight of the corporate office as well as the hotels and resorts in domestic and international markets of the European Union, Russia, China, Indonesia, Singapore, Mexico and the Caribbean.  Before joining Capella, Kirk successfully cofounded, operated, and then sold an independent special event management company that concentrated on high-end social events and management consulting.
  
Having spent over 30 years in the hospitality industry, Kirk has also held many property and regional financial positions within several branded hotel companies, including Hilton, Ritz-Carlton, Doubletree and Embassy Suites.
 
Kirk earned his MBA from Cleveland State University and holds BS in Hotel & Restaurant Management from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona.

KAREN DIFULGO

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Chief People Officer

As Chief People Officer for Benchmark Hospitality International, Ms. Di Fulgo oversees all of the Human Resource Operations to include staffing, benefits & compensation, labor & employee relations, and training & development. Prior to joining Benchmark, Ms. Di Fulgo served as Vice President of Human Resources for Gaylord Hotels, and the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in Washington, D.C.

Ms. Di Fulgo brings over 23 years of professional human resource & leadership experience to Benchmark, having worked in a multitude of different industries to include Healthcare, Consumer Services, Technology, Landscaping, and Hospitality.  Prior to Gaylord Hotels, Ms. Di Fulgo was Senior Corporate Director of Employee Development for Brickman Group in Gaithersburg, MD; and prior to Brickman, was Vice President of Global Human Resources for TNS Healthcare, based in London, England. Currently, Ms. Di Fulgo serves as an executive board member for the American Hotel and Lodging Association – Women in Lodging; as well as active board member for the Human Resources Committee for AHLA.  Ms. Di Fulgo resides in the Woodlands, Texas.

ERIC GAVIN

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Chief Sales Officer

As Chief Sales Officer for BENCHMARK, a Global Hospitality Company, Eric is responsible for the company's strategic sales, revenue and global distribution strategies with an emphasis on driving a profit centric culture throughout the organization. He provides strategic direction over Benchmark’s regional sales and marketing support teams, global sales organization and enterprise sales solutions, distribution and revenue management platforms as well as the company’s sales training and talent development programs. As part of Benchmark’s executive leadership team, Eric supports the business development and growth initiatives through underwriting, RFP development and brand development expertise. 
 
For the past 20 years, Eric has been active in hospitality sales and marketing for major independent and branded organizations. Most recently, he served as senior vice president, sales and marketing, for BENCHMARK. Prior to rejoining BENCHMARK in 2018, he was chief sales and marketing officer for Salamander Hotels & Resort where he led the execution of the company’s strategic sales and marketing vision and brand execution. 

See our Finance Team below.

 

KIRK JONES

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Chief Financial Officer

As Chief Financial Officer, Kirk Jones has responsibility for the strategic direction and execution to the deployment of the company’s financial assets system-wide.  Additionally, he lends oversight to the financial reporting, analysis, budgeting and capital planning activities that enhance the managed portfolio’s financial performance as well as Benchmark’s overall company investments.   
 
Prior to joining Benchmark, Kirk was executive vice president of finance for Capella Hotel Group for eight years, a company with a portfolio of independent and branded properties across the globe. His role included financial oversight of the corporate office as well as the hotels and resorts in domestic and international markets of the European Union, Russia, China, Indonesia, Singapore, Mexico and the Caribbean.  Before joining Capella, Kirk successfully cofounded, operated, and then sold an independent special event management company that concentrated on high-end social events and management consulting.
  
Having spent over 30 years in the hospitality industry, Kirk has also held many property and regional financial positions within several branded hotel companies, including Hilton, Ritz-Carlton, Doubletree and Embassy Suites.
 
 
Kirk earned his MBA from Cleveland State University and holds BS in Hotel & Restaurant Management from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona.

Kirk Jones headshot

BRETT ATKINSON

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Senior Vice President of Finance

Brett is a talented finance executive who has spent the past Eight years in the hospitality business as the CFO for Gemstone Hotels & Resorts and as part developer/owner/ Manager in select service hotel properties. His early career  was spent in in Southern California in the highly-regulated mortgage banking industry. There, he had the opportunity of taking one such mortgage bank public in a s uccessful IPO. An eventual acquisition by Washington Mutual Bank moved   him to Seattle, where Brett served as WMB’s Commercial Group Controller for many years. 

 
There he led the accounting for some of the largest commercial real estate securitization transactions recorded, while managing bank acquisitions and a $45 billion multifamily and commercial real estate portfolio. Later he joined Wells Fargo Bank in San Francisco as controller for its Consumer Credit Group where he implemented Sarbanes-Oxley and directed accounting and controls for an $85 billion home equity, student loan and unsecured lending portfolio serving more than one million customers. Brett has extensive experience in technical accounting, finance, systems, budgeting, financial reporting and management. Brett is a Certified Public Accountant (inactive) in the state of Missouri and has a degree in Accounting from Brigham Young University.

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JACKIE HUMES

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Vice President of Hotel Accounting

Jackie Humes is Vice President of Hotel Accounting for BENCHMARK, a Global Hopitality Company.

Jackie is responsible for coordinating the efforts of Regional Directors of Finance Operations and Task Force Controllers with a strong focus on portfolio financial processes, compliance audits and reviews as well as property finance organizational development.  

Jackie previously served as area director of finance for Marenas Resort of Sunny Isles Beach in North Miami and ONE Bal Harbour Resort & Spa, Miami Beach, which Benchmark operated at the time. Prior to this she held the position of controller for Marenas Resort.  
 
Jackie earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth, and her Master of Business Administration degree from Florida Golf Coast University in Ft. Myers.  A Certified Public Accountant, she is accredited as a Certified Hospitality Account Executive and Certified Hospitality Technology Professional. 

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DEBORAH CERRATO

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Director of Corporate Accounting

Deborah Cerrato serves as Director of Corporate Accounting for BENCHMARK and has more than 20 years of experience and leadership in hotel accounting and finance.  She was previously director of finance/controller for Hilton Hotels Corporation, serving at properties in Houston, Texas, Bakersfield, California, and Springfield, Oregon. Prior to this she held titles of assistant controller and senior internal auditor for Hilton.

Ms. Cerrato is a graduate of Kearney State College (University of Nebraska, Kearney) where she earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Accounting.    She and her husband of 25 years reside in Kingwood, Texas with their 2 wonderful children.  Her oldest daughter resides in College Station, TX where she attends A&M, Go Aggies!   Deborah enjoys soccer at all levels but especially professional.  Go Dynamos!  And of course, Go Nebraska Corn Huskers!  

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Regional Director Finance Operations

Jenny Na is regional director of finance operations for BENCHMARK.

She was previously director of finance for Park Central Hotel San Francisco, overseeing $100 million in annual hotel revenue operations.  She has also held the director of finance position for Starwood Hotels & Resorts properties and the Ritz Carlton Chicago.  

Jenny earned her Master of Business Administration degree from Bauer College of Business, and Master of Hospitality Management from Conrad N. Hilton College, University of Houston, where she was a Dean’s Award recipient.  

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KEVIN WALSH

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Regional Director of Finance

Kevin Walsh serves as regional director of finance for BENCHMARK, a Global Hospitality Compnay. His responsibilities include overseeing the accounting and financial operations of several of Benchmark's properties.

Kevin was previously regional director, finance, for Interstate Hotels & Resorts. Earlier he served as director of accounting and before this as area controller for Gateway Hospitality Group.He attended the University of Virginia and graduated from Kent State University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Education and Math.

Kevin Walsh

KAREN HOMMEL

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Senior Staff Account

Karen joined the Benchmark family in November, 2014. Her responsibilities as Senior Staff Accountant encompass accounts receivable, general ledger, and preparing financial statements for two of Benchmark’s conference centers. She is a numbers person with an eye for accuracy who strives to streamline processes.

Having always worked in accounting, her hospitality career began as an Accounting Assistant at The Woodlands Resort in 1998. Since then, she has been an accountant for several hotel and property management companies, and two golf clubs in the Greater Houston area.
 
Karen lives in Spring with her husband John and their six year old Bichon-Poodle mix, Bailey. They have an adult daughter and son, and two beautiful grandsons. They enjoy spending time with family, traveling, making jewelry, reading and tinkering with computers.

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KERRY ORME

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Payroll Manager

Kerry Orme, Payroll Manager for Benchmark Hospitality International, is an important part of the team at each property, working closely with their Payroll, Accounting, Human Resources, and Information Technology departments.  She is always looking for ways to help, ways to improve and streamline processes, and is constantly researching new laws and information to be sure we are compliant. 

In 2001, after moving to Montgomery, Texas, Kerry was hired at a local Benchmark Hospitality property.  In 2005 she was promoted to Administrative Assistant for the President and Chief Operating Officer at the Home Office, and in 2009 she was promoted to Payroll Manager.  Kerry holds a Fundamental Payroll Certificate (FPC), and a Certified Payroll Professional Certificate (CPP). 

Kerry resides in Galveston, Texas with her husband, they have 5 grown children and 4 grandchildren.  She volunteers locally through her church to give back to the community.  Kerry and her husband love animals and enjoy the outdoors, boating, fishing, and gardening.

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MARGARET RIGINIO

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Staff Accountant

Margaret Riginio is so passionate about the growth of Benchmark Hospitality. She started working for Benchmark Management Company and has seen it bloom into Benchmark Hospitality International. Margaret is a Staff Account for Benchmark Hospitality International. After 16 years and having worked all areas of home office accounting, Margaret is the go to person for all accounting questions or problems for the home office and property employees. She is organized, precise, and always finding better ways to do daily tasks.

Margaret comes from a background in Health Care. She was an accountant at Coram Health Care for 12 years. And before that she was a manager for Harry Reed Management Company. 

She lives in the Woodlands with her husband Mike Riginio. They have been married for over 40 years. Mike who started out in hospitality with Benchmark, has been a Director for The Woodlands Resort and Conference Center for 25 years.  They have two children and four grandchildren. They are also proud parents of their toy rat terrier Stewie.

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RISA STONE

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Finance and Legal Administrator

As Finance and Legal Administrator, Risa brings with her an extensive legal background, largely from her 20 plus years in the Land sector of Oil & Gas Exploration. She is looking forward to streamlining processes and contributing to the Finance team.

Risa lives in Tomball with her teenage daughter, Raegan, and enjoys going to the movies, spending time with family, volunteering and being active at church.

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MOLLY FIERRO-PRESTON

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Director of Procurement

Molly Fierro-Preston is director of procurement for BENCHMARK, a Global Hospitality Company.

Molly  previously served as vice president of product development for Source1 Purchasing, a purchasing services organization where she actively engaged with corporate brands, owners, and management groups to drive procurement efficiency and grow profitability. 

She has held numerous additional leadership positions in hospitality procurement, including serving as senior consultant for Food Insights and as dining director for American Campus Communities. 

Molly is a graduate of Texas A&M University, where she obtained a M.S. in Human Resource Development and B.S. in Economics.  She is a certified training professional. Ms. Preston and her family are relocating to The Woodlands.

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MICHELLE MAYOTTE

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Procurement Manager

Michelle Mayotte joins the team as procurement manager for BENCHMARK, a Global Hospitality Company.
 
This role supports Benchmark’s corporate Procurement function in all procurement activities including: execution of procurement strategy, strategic sourcing, launching partner programs, partner / vendor management and project management.
 
Passionate for the hotel industry, Michelle received her B.S. in Hospitality Management from Florida International University in N. Miami, FL. She has held various management positions in F&B, Events & Catering, and Room Operations with The Ritz-Carlton, The Breakers Hotel and The Polo Club of Boca Raton. Most recently, Michelle worked for a purchasing services organization where she managed the supply chain process and provided procurement solutions for the lodging, gaming, entertainment and leisure industries.
 
Michelle resides in Boynton Beach, Florida with her husband Jim and two teenage boys, Mason and Robbie.

Michelle Mayotte

SALES & MARKETING

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See our Sales & Marketing Team below.

Ted Davis headshot

Chief Marketing Officer

As Chief Marketing Officer for BENCHMARK, a Global Hospitality Company, Ted A. Davis is responsible for the company's strategic sales and marketing initiatives. He has oversight of the company's global sales organization, global distribution and revenue management, branding, advertising and interactive marketing, search optimization and e-commerce, public relations, call center operations, enterprise sales and marketing systems, as well as sales training and compensation programs. Mr. Davis also supports the business development and acquisition process with underwriting, RFP development and positioning expertise. 

For the past 25 years, Ted Davis has been active in hospitality sales and marketing for major brands within the industry, serving in important leadership positions. Most recently, he was vice president of sales and marketing for Noble House Hotels & Resorts, responsible for the strategic direction and operations of the company's global sales organization, as well as corporate brand management and marketing.

Previous to this position, Mr. Davis served as regional director of sales & marketing for Wyndham Hotels Corporation, with domestic and international responsibilities for hotels within the Luxury Resorts Division; as well as, 15 years with Hilton Hotels Corporation where he was a regional director of sales & marketing with oversight of the companies 38 hotels in the Pacific Northwest.

Ted Davis is a graduate of Washington State University in Pullman, Washington, where he earned a Bachelor's degree in Hotel and Restaurant Administration.

ERIC GAVIN

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Chief Sales Officer

As Chief Sales Officer for BENCHMARK, a Global Hospitality Company, Eric is responsible for the company's strategic sales, revenue and global distribution strategies with an emphasis on driving a profit centric culture throughout the organization. He provides strategic direction over Benchmark’s regional sales and marketing support teams, global sales organization and enterprise sales solutions, distribution and revenue management platforms as well as the company’s sales training and talent development programs. As part of Benchmark’s executive leadership team, Eric supports the business development and growth initiatives through underwriting, RFP development and brand development expertise. 
For the past 20 years, Eric has been active in hospitality sales and marketing for major independent and branded organizations. Most recently, he served as senior vice president, sales and marketing, for BENCHMARK. Prior to rejoining BENCHMARK in 2018, he was chief sales and marketing officer for Salamander Hotels & Resort where he led the execution of the company’s strategic sales and marketing vision and brand execution. 

JOHN ANNICCHIARICO

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JOHN ANNICCHIARICO headshot

Vice President of Sales Operations

John Annicchiarico is vice president, sales operations for BENCHMARK.

A hospitality industry veteran, this appointment marks a return to Benchmark for John Annicchiarico. Though he most recently held the position of vice president, sales for Salamander Hotels & Resorts, immediately prior to this Mr. Annicchiarico served as Benchmark's director of sales & marketing at Villas of Grand Cypress, the luxury resort located in Orlando, Florida.

John Annicchiarico has held the title of director of marketing for Loews Coronado Bay Resort in San Diego, California, and held multiple sales positions with luxury properties in Florida and California. Near the beginning of his career, Mr. Annicchiarico was employed by Universal Orlando in guest services and sales & marketing positions.

Annicchiarico graduated from Loyola University with a Bachelor's degree in Economics. He holds memberships in many professional organizations, including MPI and ASAE. 

THOMAS J. FAUST

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Vice President, Sales

A recognized hotel industry veteran, Tom Faust joined BENCHMARK, a Global Hospitality Company as Vice President Sales on February 29, 2016. Previously Tom was with Omni Hotels & Resorts for nine years as vice president, sales.  In this leadership role, Faust is responsible for creating and directing revenue generating strategies across for the entire luxury hotel brand.  Prior to joining Omni, Faust spent eight years at the Anatole in Dallas under both the Wyndham and Hilton flags.  He also spent 18 years with Sheraton and Starwood Hotels, in a variety of operations, marketing and sales roles at both the corporate and field level.   

Faust currently serves on the MPI Foundation Board, and has served on several boards and foundations in the past, including the Executive Board of Governors of the University of North Texas Hospitality School, The Board of Directors of the ATT Cotton Bowl. 

JOHN DAVIES

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Vice President, Marketing

With over 40 years of hotel and resort sales and marketing experience, John Davies has always been committed to striving for optimum performance through a collaborative team effort with peers, associates, and partners. As the Vice President of Marketing, John is responsible for spearheading the integrated marketing programs, initiatives and applications that support the multiple brands of BENCHMARK, a Global Hospitality Company.

During John’s tenure, Benchmark has experienced extensive growth, evolution and transformation, including the successful launch of both the Benchmark Resorts & Hotels and Gemstone Collection consumer brands.

John Davies career with Benchmark  began in December 2009. Prior to joining the Benchmark team, his previous experience included senior marketing leadership positions with Noble House Hotels & Resorts, Pointe Resorts and Tiburon Hospitality Management. He also briefly headed up his own consulting firm specializing in hospitality marketing and sales leadership, which included writing articles that appeared in various industry publications such as the Cornell Center for Hospitality Research.

John is an honors graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he received his BA degree. He earned his CHA designation from the Educational Institute of the American Hotel & Lodging Association, and he is also a veteran of the United States Air Force. John is a devoted husband and father and he resides in The Woodlands with his wife Susan, and his two children John and Katherine, who are both attending college in Texas. When not spending time with his family, John enjoys staying physically active, reading, gardening, and appreciating good music.   

HAL POWELL

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Regional Vice President, Sales & Marketing

As regional vice president sales & marketing for BENCHMARK, a Global Hospitality Company, Hal Powell is responsible for overseeing and supporting the sales & marketing programming for Benchmark's properties throughout the northeastern and mid-western United States.

Previous to this position Hal was the director of sales & marketing for Benchmark at Lansdowne Resort, located near Washington, DC.  During this period he also served as Benchmark's marketing field staff support for several of the company's properties located on the US East Coast.  Before joining Benchmark in 2000, Hal was resident manager and director of marketing for The Sagamore Resort & Spa on Lake George in Bolton Landing, New York. Previous to this he held director-level sales and marketing positions of increasing responsibility for Omni Hotels & Resorts at properties in New York City, Florida and Virginia. 

Hal Powell is a graduate of SUNY Empire State College in Saratoga Springs, New York, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing Management. He lives in The Woodlands, TX with his wife Debby.  Both Debby and their daughter Grace work in education.     

LISA STICE

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Vice President, Global Online Marketing

Lisa Maria Stice, vice president of global online marketing for BENCHMARK, a Global Hospitality Company, has a passion for working closely with technical partners and property teams.  She enjoys listening to new ideas and turning them into profitable solutions for the hotel teams.  Lisa prides herself on being easy to work with, especially with those not so techno-savvy, helping them to navigate the ever changing web landscape.  During her tenure with Benchmark she has worked tirelessly to build the company’s new division of global ecommerce, significantly enhancing its ability to serve customers and owners.

Ms. Stice is a 20-year veteran of the hospitality industry.  Prior to joining Benchmark, she held the title of associate vice president ecommerce marketing for Noble House Hotels & Resorts.  Earlier in her career, she served in sales leadership positions for Hilton Daytona Beach Oceanfront Resort, including the position of east coast regional director of sales & marketing.  She has been the recipient of numerous awards of excellence during her productive career, including HSMAI Adrian Awards for website development, Awards of Excellence, Gold Key Awards, Sales Manager of the Year Awards, and Strategic e-Marketing Awards.

Lisa resides in The Woodlands, Texas with her husband and Brother working from the Benchmark offices.  She is a member of the Benchmark Culture Committee working with the Home Office team on projects helping to give back to the local community. Lisa and her husband enjoy playing music together, is an accomplished soloist and is involved in the music programs at her church.

PRIYA CHANDNANI

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Vice President of Revenue Management

Priya Chandnani serves as Vice President of Revenue Management for BENCHMARK, a Global Hospitality Company. Priya leads the revenue management team at Benchmark and is passionate about profit centric revenue management principles, emerging distribution platforms and talent development. For the past 20 years, Priya has been active in hospitality sales and revenue management for major brands within the industry, most recently serving as vice president of revenue management and distribution for Trump Hotels, where she was responsible for hotel revenue goals and profitability.

Priya is a graduate of New York University, where she earned a master’s degree in Hospitality with a concentration in Revenue Management.  Living in Basking Ridge, New Jersey with her husband and two kids, she likes cooking and practicing yoga.

NICOLE DIMAIO-KENNEDY

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Corporate Director of Revenue Management

In 2003 Nicole Di Maio-Kennedy joined BENCHMARK, a Global Hospitality Company at the North Maple Inn in Basking Ridge, NJ and over the years has had oversight for various Benchmark properties including The Heldrich, Lansdowne Resort, ONE Bal Harbour, Costa d’ Este, Hotel Zelos, Snow King and many more across the region including our Caribbean property—The Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort in Curacao. 

Nicole Di Maio-Kennedy was appointed to Regional Director of Revenue Management in 2012. As Regional Director of Revenue, she has started Benchmark’s first revenue cluster overseeing a revenue driven team of directors and analysts. Her passion to start up this cluster will allow for Benchmark to continue to groom and train strong revenue directors for our properties, always ensuring revenue support is available. During her tenure at Benchmark, she has successfully supported properties through transitions and as task force driving positive revenue management change and culture.
 
Nicole resides in Roxbury, New Jersey with her husband Wakeen Kennedy and son, Chaz. She graduated with her master’s degree from Fairleigh Dickinson University.      

BREGT CULLINAN

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Bregt Cullinan

Regional Director of Revenue Management

Bregt joined BENCHMARK, a Global Hospitality Company in 2010 as Director of Revenue Management for Cheyenne Mountain Resort. In 2015 she  shifted the focus of the resort on Total Resort Revenue Management, making all revenue streams part of the Revenue Management discipline. She was appointed Regional Director of Revenue Management in late 2015 with oversight of Cheyenne Mountain Resort, Santa Barbara Resort – Curaçao, and Doral Arrowwood. Prior to joining Benchmark, Bregt worked for a number of independent hotels in both the US as well as the Caribbean. She also has experience with Marriott, Renaissance and Wyndham brands. Bregt holds a Master’s Degree in Communications from the University of Groningen, The Netherlands.

Bregt and her husband reside Colorado Springs, CO. They both enjoy the great outdoors and everything nature has to offer.

JACKIE ALLEE

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Director of Communications

Jackie Allee joined BENCHMARK, a Global Hospitality Company in January of 2007 as Sales and Marketing Coordinator and now serves of Director of Communication for the company. As Director of Communication she oversees all aspects of the expanding company’s marketing communications programming, working closely with Benchmark’s vice president of marketing, vice president global online marketing, and chief marketing officer. She is also a long-standing member of the Benchmark Culture Community, which provides support to several local charities in the community. 

Ms. Allee earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Communication Studies at the University of Texas and is an avid Texas Longhorn fan. 

FATIMA MOLINA

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Director of the Global Revenue Support Center

Fatima Molina joined BENCHMARK, a Global Hospitality Company in March 2013 at Hotel Contessa – Luxury Suites on the Riverwalk in San Antonio, TX. Over the years, she has held numerous roles including Front Office Manager, Reservations Manager, and Director of Rooms. In 2018, Fatima was appointed Director of the Global Revenue Support Center and relocated with her husband Jay, step-daughter Lillian, and cat Gigi to Cypress, TX. She enjoys traveling and spending time with her family on their boat in Galveston, TX. 

DANIELLE SCHWEIGER

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Corporate Sales Systems Analyst

Danielle Schweiger is passionate about Delphi! Beginning her hospitality path at the Hyatt Regency Bonaventure, she excelled in Sales Administrative duties and immersed herself into all aspects of Group Sales. Eventually, she was promoted to Sales Systems Administrator of Envision and began assisting the Director of Sales with managing Group Sales production, while mastering database security, reporting, system functionality and enforcing standard operating procedures. Dee joined Benchmark in 2012 as a Marketing Information Coordinator at the Bonaventure Resort & Spa and assisted in the property’s management transition along with append to Benchmark Delphi MPE, ensuring proper configuration, and upload of historical booking backlog. She also coordinated the property’s PMS interface and upgrade Delphi 9.6, becoming an expert on Delphi functionality and custom SSRS reporting. Dee received Bonaventure’s ‘Be the Difference’ award for her efforts. 
 
At the Benchmark Home Office, Dee enjoys working with Sales teams (especially MICs) across the portfolio to provide training and guidance on Delphi, Meeting Broker, reporting and standards & procedures. Dee partners with the Delphi Account Management Committee on maintaining data entry standards for an efficient Delphi database. She also works closely with Amadeus to manage various Delphi enhancement projects and Support, along with planning a successful migration to Delphi. FDC.
 
Dee earned her BA in Sociology at the University of Florida in Gainesville, FL. She currently resides in Boca Raton, FL with her husband, David, 2 cats and is a self-proclaimed fooDEE who loves to cook and explore new cuisine!

JESSICA ALTON

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Administrative Assistant

Jessica joined BENCHMARK, a Global Hospitality Company in 2010 where she worked in the operations department as executive administrate assistant. In her role, she assisted the COO and the vice presidents of operations.

In 2013, Jessica took a sales and marketing position as executive administrative assistant, where she assists Benchmark’s sales & marketing vice presidents, vice president of global online marketing, chief sales & marketing officer, global sales directors, and the public relations department. In her current role, Jessica is able to utilize her creative energy by assisting with marketing functions, photography, videography, graphics and website design; she has an extensive background in visual arts.

Jessica is also a long-standing member of the Benchmark Culture Committee, which provides support to several local charities in the community.

OPERATIONS

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See our Operations Team below.

GREG CHAMPION

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President & COO

As President and Chief Operating Officer, Mr. Champion has overall responsibility for the operations of all BENCHMARK, a Global Hospitality Company projects in North America. He also provides oversight for the field staff support functions as well as for the home office staff functions of sales and marketing and human resources.

Prior to joining Benchmark in May 2009, Mr. Champion was president of Noble House Hotels & Resorts whose portfolio included 14 independent properties across the United States where he oversaw the direct management of all hotel operations. He was with Noble House since 2001 with prior service including executive vice president overseeing seven properties across the country and as the managing director of The Adolphus in Dallas. Mr. Champion left Noble House for a short period of time when he served as president and COO for Arizona-based Tiburon Hospitality Management.
 
Mr. Champion is a native of Seattle, Washington and attended Washington State University. He's a member of SKAL International and Chaine de Rotisseurs and has served on the board of directors for both the Dallas and Alaska Convention and Visitors Bureaus.

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ELLEN SINCLAIR

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Senior Vice President, Operations

Ellen, an enthusiastic transformational leader, enjoys driving new solutions for challenges, both new and old, and delivering exceptional results for owners.  As the leader of Benchmark’s conference center businesses, the nature of her role provides just those challenges. Creating customized hospitality services for owners and unique experiences for each guest, provides opportunities to discover and deliver change.  She is an advocate of our Be The Difference culture and thrives when coaching to cultivate the talents of your her teams.

Based in Benchmark’s northeast office in New Brunswick, New Jersey, Ellen joined Benchmark in 1995 and has made impressive contributions in each of her assignments with the company, first as General Manager, as Vice President of Human Resources, and as Vice President – Operations for full service hotels and resorts. In her current role as Senior Vice President, she leads the operations as well as Benchmark’s growth and development of new conference center projects and is responsible for achieving success at full service hotel/conference centers such as Lockheed Martin’s Center for Leadership Excellence,  Deloitte University-The Leadership Center, The Johnson Foundation at Wingspread, at customized hospitality services projects and day conference centers such as Downtown Conference Center in NYC and The World of Whirlpool in Chicago. 

A passionate supporter of learning, Ellen serves on Virginia Tech’s Board of Directors for the Hotel and Travel Management School and is the chair for IACC’s Meeting Room of The Future initiative. Having strong roots in Maine, Ellen loves spending time with family and friends at her cottage on its rock-bound coast and traveling to diving and fishing locations around the world. 

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CEDRIC FASBENDER

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Vice President, Operations

Cedric Fasbender, Vice President of Operations for BENCHMARK, a Global Hospitality Company, has a dedication and drive to support and serve the field of talented General Managers and their teams. Cedric is driven to produce the highest results in financial success and service while developing the valued people in the company. Cedric works closely with owners that look to Benchmark and Cedric to deliver results and create a collaborative partnership that will continue for years.

Cedric is a 30 year veteran of the hospitality business and has had the fortunate opportunity to rejoin Benchmark Hospitality International in 2013. Before rejoining Benchmark at the home office, Cedric worked for Dolce Hotels and Resorts as a Regional Vice President and General Manager. Prior to Dolce Hotels and Resorts, Cedric was with Benchmark Hospitality International in a variety of executive management roles.

Cedric resides in The Woodlands, Texas with his wife Lisa and has two grown children Lauren and Drew. Cedric enjoys being fully entrenched in the “Be the Difference” culture within Benchmark. In 2014 Cedric was elected to the Board of Directors for the International Association of Conference Centers and is very passionate about his involvement and the continued growth of IACC. Cedric is also on the Advisory Board for Virginia Tech University, Hospitality and Tourism Management Program.

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Vice President, Operations

Jay Rocha serves as Vice President of Operations for BENCHMARK, a Global Hospitality Company. Jay joined the organization in November of 2013, as the General Manager of Cheyenne Mountain Resort.Jay came to Cheyenne Mountain Resort and Benchmark with significant leadership experience gained in general manager assignments at multiple properties throughout the United States.  These include the Reunion Resort of Orlando, The Richardson Hotel of Richardson, Texas, and the Inverness Hotel and Conference Center located in Denver.

Earlier in his hospitality career, Mr. Rocha worked in senior management positions for leading luxury-brand hotels located in markets across the United States.  He is a graduate of the University of Texas where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science with a minor in Hotel Management.  While in college he interned at Disney.  Later in his career he was part of the Dr. Ted Wiley & Associates Leadership Development Program.  

Jay Rocha

RIKKI BOPARAI

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Vice President, Operations

Rikki Boparai serves as Vice President of Operations for Benchmark. 
 
Rikki  most recently held the position of managing director for Benchmark’s Gemstone Collection, Florida, overseeing luxury resorts in Orlando, Vero Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, as well as on the Caribbean island of Curacao.
 
He has previously served as general manager for Benchmark properties in Naples, Florida; North Miami, Florida; Long Island, New York and in Bedford, Pennsylvania. He started with the company as director of operations for Cheyenne Mountain Resort of Colorado Springs, which Benchmark operated at the time. Boparai has also held Lead Field Staff Support positions for the company's Rooms Division.  

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STEPHEN CULLEN

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Regional Vice President of Operations

Stephen Cullen serves as regional vice president of operations for BENCHMARK, a Global Hospitality Company. 

Stephen previously held the position of area general manager for Benchmark, overseeing the Copley Square Hotel and the Ames Boston Hotel, both located in the historic center of Boston, Massachusetts. He was appointed to this position following serving as general manager of the Copley Square Hotel.

Earlier Stephen served as director of operations for the Carlton on Madison Hotel located in New York City. He has also held the position of general manager at New York’s Fitzpatrick Manhattan Hotel.

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PATRICK BERWALD

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Vice President, Food & Beverage

Patrick came to Benchmark with a distinguished two-decade career of food and beverage leadership. He was previously corporate director of food and beverage for New York-based Loews Hotels, where he was responsible for the overall food and beverage departmental strategy, financial performance, operating inefficiencies, capital projects and concept development throughout the luxury brand portfolio.
 
Patrick received his formal culinary training at the world-renowned Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, France. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Hospitality Administration at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and attended Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration, focusing on Hospitality Finance and Marketing.  Mr. Berwald is active within the American Hotel & Restaurant Association and the National Restaurant Association. 

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OLIVIER GAUPIN

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Director of Culinary Operations

Olivier Gaupin serves as director of culinary operations for BENCHMARK, a Global Hospitality Company. This is a newly created position to further enhance Benchmark's food and beverage positioning and expanding recognition. 

A seasoned culinary professional, Olivier's key responsibilities included leading the culinary direction of the brand's hotels, oversight on menu development, executing new food and beverage programs and sustainability initiatives, as well as the sourcing of products and goods and developing new processes and standards for hiring and retaining culinary talent throughout the brand. He served as part of the opening team for the Loews Hotel in Atlanta, and the property's restaurant was named the Best New Restaurant in Atlanta by both Esquire and Atlanta magazines.

A graduate of France's CFA Charles Peguy School, he developed a passion for fine food and wine at an early age and followed his family's heritage of fine chefs to pursue a career in the culinary field. Olivier is also a graduate of La Fortune Du Pot in Orléans, France, where he earned his Culinary Arts degree. Gaupin has been inducted into the Maîtres Cuisinier de France (Master Chef of France); one of only 84 in the US to carry the distinguished title. 

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TONY GAETA

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Vice President, Information Technology

As Vice President of Information Technology, Mr. Gaeta has overall responsibility for the technology departments and systems for both the home office and all Benchmark properties. 

Tony joined Benchmark from the Washington DC area where he ran an independent Technology Solutions Company for the past three years. Prior to having his own business, Tony was the Global Head of IT for Optelecom-NFK. Tony has 25+ years of experience in IT within a broad range of industries, as well as domestic and international experience.

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CHUCK MARRATT

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Regional Director of Information Technology

Chuck is currently Regional Director of Information Technology with BENCHMARK, a Global Hospitality Company. He started his hotel career in 1981 with Westin Hotels and Resorts were he held a number of F&B management positions at the Westin Oaks Hotel in Houston, the Westin Canal Place in New Orleans and the Westin Hotel in Seattle. In 1988 he was part of the opening F&B team for the Hyatt Regency in Bellevue and then 1992 joined MTM Luxury Lodging at the Woodmark Hotel as F&B Manager.

Chuck became Director of Information Technology for MTM Luxury Lodging in 1999 and has since become known as a hotel industry technology expert and led the implementation of state of the art fully converged IP networks at Hotel 1000 in Seattle, the Liberty Hotel in Boston and Bardessono in Napa Valley. Additionally, Chuck successfully implemented the MTM strategy built around common; enterprise based sales and catering systems as well as a common enterprise property management system within the MTM properties. Chuck played a key role in the planning and design of state of the art IT systems for various new MTM hotel projects including Alderbrook Resort & Cave B Inn in Washington State and the Ivy Hotel in San Diego. In April 2009 Chuck was appointed Vice President, Information Technology with MTM Luxury Lodging. Then in June 2011 MTM Luxury Lodging was acquired by Benchmark Hospitality International based in The Woodlands, Texas.

Chuck is a graduate of the Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management at the University of Houston. He has been a past member of the HITEC Advisory Council in 2008 – 2010, the Hospitality Technology Magazine Editorial Advisory Board and the HFTP PCI Task Force.  He is currently a member of HTNG and the Point of Sale workgroup with HTNG.

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JOE YADVICH

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Regional Director, Information Technology

Joe Yadvish has been a vital part of BENCHMARK, a Global Hospitality Company since 1998 and has extensive Hotel and Resort IT experience, making him a tremendous resource to the Benchmark properties, Coast-To-Coast and off-shore. In addition to being part of Executive Committees for multiple Benchmark properties, he owned and operated 2 successful technology companies. One business, specialized in writing transportation software, which included a major credit card company and the other business specialized in the computer hardware industry, building interface workstations for phone systems with a European based Telecom company.  

Mr. Yadvish has opened and or transitioned 23 properties over his tenure.  He was previously Director of Information Technology for The Heldrich, Benchmark’s Hotel and Conference Center located in New Brunswick, New Jersey, a position he held since 2007. Previous to this, Mr. Yadvish served as Manager of Information Technology at the North Maple Inn of Basking Ridge, New Jersey. 

He, in his first national role with Benchmark, served as Technology Staff Support for The Heldrich; The Founders Inn & Spa of Virginia Beach, Virginia; Lansdowne Resort of Leesburg, Virginia; The Edith Macy Conference Center of Briarcliff Manor, New York; and Turtle Bay Resort on the North Shore of Oahu, where he previously held a staff position as Director of Information Technology, as well as serving on the Executive Committee.  He held the same position for North Maple Inn, where he started as Information Systems Manager. Mr. Yadvish started his career with Benchmark at The AT&T Learning Center, as Director of Information Technology and served on their Executive Committee.  

Joe began his Technology career as Director of Management Information Systems for Freight Traffic Services of Branchburg, New Jersey in 1979. He is an honors graduate of AAS Somerset Community College with a degree in Computer Science.

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TONY HUYNH

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Corporate Information Technology Manager

Tony Huynh is the Corporate Information Technology Manager for BENCHMARK, a Global Hospitality Company located in The Woodlands, Texas.  As part of the Benchmark's Home Office team he is highly involved in assuring there is an open line of communication amongst the IT Managers at the properties throughout the company.  As a true believer in “knowledge is power,” he makes sure that he is able to share that knowledge with others.

Tony joined the Benchmark's Home Office in September 2013.  Prior to joining the Home Office he has worked for Hyatt Vacation Ownership and Hyatt Hotels Corporation specifically at the Hyatt Windward Pointe, Key West, Hyatt Wild Oak Ranch, San Antonio, Park Hyatt Carmel, Park Hyatt Philadelphia, and lastly at the Hyatt Regency Bonaventure, Weston, Florida.  Throughout his tenure with Hyatt, Tony has been involved with pre-openings, managing and directing major events including the Masters of Food & Wine and the Presidential Inauguration in 2008, IT initiatives including PMS, POS, and Microsoft BPOS upgrades and implementations, and several hotel transitions.

Although Tony has spent the majority of his Hospitality career in Hotel operations, he was able to smoothly transition over to the Technology arena officially in 2009, taking his knowledge, experience and passion in hotel operations with him.    As a member of HFTP since 2010, he has earned his Certified Hospitality Technology Profession designation as well as earned his Websense Security certification in February 2014.

Tony received his B.S. in Hospitality Administration from Florida State University in 2003.  He currently resides in The Woodlands area with his lovely entrepreneurial wife Melissa and two beautiful children, Leah and Tai.  Tony enjoys traveling and relaxing with his family, attending his children’s extra-curricular activity events, and the outdoors.

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MIKE WILLINGHAM

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Regional Information Technology Manager

Mike Willingham is a Regional Information Technology Manager for Benchmark Global Hospitality based out of the Chattanooga, Tennessee office. He started in the IT field right out of college and has worked in technology for 20 years, half of which have been with Benchmark. He was hired as the Information Technology Manager for the Chattanoogan Hotel in 2007 and remains in that position today in addition to his responsibilities with Benchmark’s corporate IT department.

Mike has worked on several property transitions over the years and is the Field Staff Support lead for the IT discipline.  

Mike is a member of Benchmark’s Best of the Best and is the proud recipient of Benchmark’s Chairman’s Award.

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SHANNON WILSON

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Director of Administration

Shannon Wilson is Executive Assistant to the President & COO, the CEO and Manager of Office Administration.  She is also a long-standing member of the Benchmark Culture Committee, which provides support to several local charities in the community.

Shannon has more than 20 years of experience in the hospitality industry. Her career began in 1993 as Catering Assistant at Del Lago Resort and Conference Center and was quickly promoted to Executive Assistant to the Director of Sales and Marketing.  In 2005 she became a member of the Benchmark Hospitality Home Office family as Administrative Assistant to the President of Business Development and Finance.

Shannon has been married for 18 years and has two very active teenage sons who are heavily involved in school and sports.  Most of her free time is spent being their #1 fan, by constantly chauffeuring and cheering at Colton’s and Conner’s football, baseball and Tae Kwon Do events.  Her favorite family times are spent enjoying the outdoors by hunting and fishing with her sons and husband Clint.

Shannon Wilson

RITA MCCLURE

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Executive Assistant to the Chairman

Rita J. McClure, executive assistant to the Chairman, has worked with Burt Cabañas for over 33 years. 

For five years prior to that she worked for the parent company of which Benchmark began as a subsidiary.  Following graduation from the University of Houston with a Bachelor of Science degree in business technology, she began working for the chairman of a Fortune 500 company – Mr. George Mitchell of Mitchell Energy & Development Corp.  At the time, Mitchell was one of the world’s largest independent oil and gas companies in the world.  Mr. Mitchell also created a world-class new community near Houston called The Woodlands, where Benchmark’s Home Office is located.

In 1983 Ms. McClure transferred from Mr. Mitchell’s office to the real estate side of the business and became assistant to Burt Cabañas, then vice president and general manager working out of The Woodlands Resort and Executive Conference Center. In 1986 when Mr. Cabañas purchased the company from Mr. Mitchell, she stayed with Mr. Cabañas and the newly formed, independent hospitality management company – Benchmark Management Company.

Since Mr. Cabañas was a founding member of the International Association of Conference Centers (IACC), Ms. McClure also became active in the organization serving on various committees as well as two terms on the board of directors.  At the 2014 annual conference, IACC awarded her the Award of Excellence. 

Ms. McClure resides in The Woodlands with her husband and enjoys participating with all the Benchmark community outreach efforts through Hometown Hospitality.  She enjoys attending a local church where she leads ladies Bible study and works with the Cancer Support Group.

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BRUCE BURKHALTER

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Senior Vice President, Construction and Design

Bruce Burkhalter serves as Senior Vice President of Construction & Design.  He has always enjoyed architecture and construction and chose to pursue construction and design at a very early age.  A three month trip to Europe set in motion his desire to become an architect.

Bruce enjoys the development process and working closely with the development team and has assisted with opening over 50 properties over the last two decades with Benchmark.

He serves an important liaison role between Benchmark and design and architectural consultants and contractors on new developments.  His responsi¬bilities include preparing and administering equipment design and specifications, project design, critical paths and differential documents.  He critiques and monitors project budgets, provides design alternatives, and reviews and verifies all project plans.

Bruce is a registered architect and obtained his Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Houston.  He is married to his wife, Annita.  They both enjoy traveling to Mexico with numerous trips to their vacation home in San Miguel de Allende.

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GARY HARNIST

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Vice President, Design & Construction

“To be able to take an idea, sketch it on paper and see it materialize out of the ground is my driving force.” Gary Harnist

Gary Harnist, brings three decades of experience in construction and design management to his new position with BENCHMARK, a Global Hospitality Company.  Gary was previously Senior Vice President of construction and design for Gatehouse Capital of Dallas, overseeing mixed-use high-rise luxury hospitality, residential, and retail projects. Gary was responsible for the overall management of construction and design professionals including selection, contracting, oversight of all outside professionals, project cost analysis and managing all department staff.  

“He builds beautiful buildings and strong relationships. We would like to have him lead another hotel project for Starwood.” Nancy Keyes – Starwood Hotels & Resorts

Gary has held several executive management positions with the Chicago-based General Growth Properties and Remington Hotels and has owned his own Construction Management consulting firm. He has been a senior executive in several hospitality and mixed use developments in Hollywood, Boston, New York, Washington DC, Las Vegas, and on the island of Antigua in the Caribbean, with each project’s value ranging from $100 million to $1.5 billion.

“Gary extensive knowledge of the construction and development process along with great business ethics allows him to make good decisions in the best interests of the project, without the emotions typically involved in what are sometimes conflicting interests.” Tim Baker – Tribble & Stephens Construction

Not too many people can say they started their education and finished it in the same building. He is a graduate of the University of Texas at Arlington where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Architecture. The University purchased his elementary school and used the building to teach some of the architectural courses in it.

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BOARD OF DIRECTORS

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See our Board of Directors below.

BURT CABAÑAS

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Founder and Chairman

Burt Cabañas has been involved in hospitality since he was 14 years old working after school as a pool boy at The Shelborne Hotel in Miami Beach, Florida.  He found that serving guests was in his blood. Now as Chairman of Benchmark Hospitality International, he oversees every property in Benchmark’s diverse portfolio.  His route took him from pool boy through various other service positions until he became executive assistant to the managing director and responsible for the operating departments of the Doral Hotel and Country Club, a five-star resort in Miami, Florida.  After six years at Doral, he joined Stouffer Hotels to open their first resort hotel and later became Regional Director of Operations responsible for the financial performance of six hotel and resort properties with over 2,000 guest rooms.  During that time he led the opening team for several new hotel projects and directed the operational responsibilities of a multi-million dollar renovation of an old landmark hotel in Cleveland, Ohio.

In 1979 he was recruited to The Woodlands Resort and Executive Conference Center in The Woodlands (Houston), Texas, as Vice President  and General Manager and later promoted to Senior Vice President involved in all of the hospitality related operations of The Woodlands Corporation, a subsidiary of Mitchell Energy & Development Corp. These properties included The Woodlands Resort and Conference Center with golf and club operations, the Exxon Conference Center, the Tournament Players Golf Course, and The San Luis Resort Hotel on Galveston Island. In this role he also supported The Woodlands’ master-planned community development.  In 1986 after growing the company with three additional properties, he purchased the company. To this day it remains a privately held corporation.A graduate of Florida International University with a Bachelor's Degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management, Mr. Cabañas was conferred the title of Honorary Community Professor in 1976 by Dr. Gerald Lattin, the Dean of The School of Hotel, Food and Travel Services. The University presented him with both the Alumni TorchAward and the FIU President’s Medallion Award in 2005. He has served as Chairman of the Industry Advisory Board for the Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management and currently is Vice Chair of the F.I.U Foundation Board.  Mr. Cabañas is a founding board member and a past president of the International Association of Conference Centers (IACC). While serving as president, he co-authored with Laventhol & Horwath "The Uniform System of Accounts for Conference Centers."In 1988 IACC presented Mr. Cabañas with The Mel Hosansky Distinguished Service Award in recognition of his outstanding service to the Association and to the conference center industry.  In 2012 he was presented with the IACC Global Distinguished Service Award by Peter Stewart, President of IACC’s Global Board of Directors.

ALEX CABAÑAS

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CEO

Alex Cabañas is passionate about leading and growing a company that makes a profound difference in the lives of employees, guests, owners, industry partners and the community.  His life mission since college has been to create opportunities for others to be successful.  As CEO, Alex is focused on strategic planning, people development, pursuing growth and new opportunities, promoting the delivery of memorable customer service and ultimately being the best third-party management company in the industry, acting in the best interest of owners every day. 

Alex was previously President, business development & finance for Benchmark. During his tenure in business development roles over the last five years, the company added 22 properties to its management portfolio, expanded into the Caribbean and added to its presence in Tokyo.  The company also acquired MTM Luxury Lodging, which led to the launch of Personal Luxury Resorts & Hotels.

Alex Cabañas joined Benchmark Hospitality International in January 2006. Prior to joining Benchmark, he worked for The Boston Consulting Group from 2000 through 2005. While with BGC he worked with clients in a number of different industries including: travel and tourism, government, consumer/retail, telecommunications, e-commerce, financial services, and energy. His assignments included a variety of different tasks including: lodging investment proposal, market sizing and segmentation, competitive benchmarking, product development, process management, asset valuation, new business development and growth strategy.

Alex earned his MBA at Harvard Business School and holds a BBA and MS in Finance from Texas A&M University.  Alex is married to his perfectly-made-for-him wife, Heather and they have two energetic and out-going boys, Matthew and Eli.  Alex enjoys his time with family, traveling and exploring together, any outdoor activity and is very involved in his church. 

GREG CHAMPION

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President & COO

As President and Chief Operating Officer, Mr. Champion has overall responsibility for the operations of all Benchmark Hospitality International projects in North America. He also provides oversight for the field staff support functions as well as for the home office staff functions of sales and marketing and human resources.

Prior to joining Benchmark in May 2009, Mr. Champion was president of Noble House Hotels & Resorts whose portfolio included 14 independent properties across the United States where he oversaw the direct management of all hotel operations. He was with Noble House since 2001 with prior service including executive vice president overseeing seven properties across the country and as the managing director of The Adolphus in Dallas. Mr. Champion left Noble House for a short period of time when he served as president and COO for Arizona-based Tiburon Hospitality Management.

Mr. Champion is a native of Seattle, Washington and attended Washington State University. He's a member of SKAL International and Chaine de Rotisseurs and has served on the board of directors for both the Dallas and Alaska Convention and Visitors Bureaus A&M University.

JEFF MCINTYRE

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President

Jeff has been a leader in the hospitality industry for over 30 years. Regarded as one of the best bottom line operators in the business, Jeff is known for creating unique and tailored points-of-difference at each resort allowing each property to achieve market share advantages.

Jeff served as a Director of TBA Entertainment, Inc. and as President of their Resort Division from 1997 through 1998. The acquisition and development of The Village at Breckenridge Resort was the focus of TBA during this period.

Jeff was located at The Village with partner Mark van Hartesvelt from 1994 through 1998 overseeing the complete financial turnaround of the resort as well as the development and approval of the most complex master plan in the town of Breckenridge’s history.

From 1987 through 1994, Jeff was the Senior Vice President of operations for Guest Quarters Suite Hotels and Doubletree Hotel Corporation. Responsible for 115 hotels, Jeff orchestrated the merging of the two companies and the consolidation of the corporate office. During Jeff’s tenure, the portfolio achieved record improvements in profit and quality scores and positioned itself as a leader in the hospitality industry.

From 1985 through 1987 Jeff held the position of vice president with Radisson Hotels. He was responsible for 25 managed properties and 20 franchised hotels and resorts.

From 1974 until 1985, Jeff served The Sheraton Corporation in various capacities, including Director of Rooms and Reservations for North America and General Manager of Sheraton’s number one occupancy and profit producing property in San Francisco, California.

A Certified Hotel Administrator, Jeff holds a B.S. in Hotel and Restaurant Administration from Oklahoma State University and graduated from the University of Minnesota’s Senior Executive Management program.

Jeff has been a visiting professor and lecturer at the University of Maryland, The university of San Francisco, Golden State University and Oklahoma State University.

JAY H. GOLDING

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Finance and Investments Advisor

Mr. Golding has more than 30 years of international business experience. In 1974, Mr. Golding founded and became President of Products Industries Corporation (“PIC”). PIC was an international trading company with offices in eleven Southeast Asian countries, distributing chemicals and synthetic resins for major American manufacturers.

Through an affiliated company, he engaged in the custom packaging of dry chemicals, synthetic resins and plastics under contract to major American and European chemical companies. In 1981 these companies merged into Hi-Port Industries, Inc., a contract manufacturer of liquid, chemical-based, consumer products. Hi-Port was a NASDAQ listed company, and Mr. Golding served as its President until January 1985 when he was elected by the Board of Directors to Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer. Hi-Port became the largest contract manufacturer of chemical-based aerosol, solid stick, and liquid consumer products in North America. Hi-Port’s largest customers were Proctor & Gamble, Gillette, Exxon, BASF and Unilever.Mr. Golding also co-invested with Falcon Seaboard Oil Company and developed gas-fired electrical power plants built under supply contracts with major American utilities. Falcon built approximately $700 million in electrical power plants prior to its sale. Mr. Golding's background also includes real estate holdings and venture capital investing.

KARIM J. ALIBHAI

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Founder and Principal, Gencom Real Estate Services Corporation

Karim Alibhai has more than 30 years of experience in the hospitality industry. As principal of Gencom, Mr. Alibhai oversees all investment activity for the company he founded in 1987, including acquisitions, ground-up development, re-positionings, partial and full exits from investments, and capital market activities.

Through Mr. Alibhai's vision and leadership, Gencom has consistently achieved results that have outperformed industry standards. Mr. Alibhai has led the company in some of the most successful luxury hotel and residential development ventures throughout the United States with more than $3.0 billion in funding from large institutional investors and lenders such as Lehman Brothers, Goldman Sachs, Invesco, Credit Suisse First Boston, Wells Fargo, Carey Watermark, and MetLife, to boutique and opportunistic funds. Gencom’s extensive transactional track record spans throughout the Americas, Europe and the Caribbean. Gencom has participated in more than 150 hotel transactions over the past 30 years.

In 1995, through Mr. Alibhai, Gencom co-sponsored the initial public offering of Patriot American, the largest IPO of a hospitality REIT to be consummated at the time. From 2000 through 2016, Gencom developed or acquired nine Ritz- Carlton and seven Marriott properties, as well as a Four Seasons property and similar brands, most with significant hospitality real estate development and sales components.

Through its various affiliates and partnerships, Gencom and Karim Alibhai hold significant ownership interests in numerous hospitality and residential related projects. Currently, Mr. Alibhai has the company focused on the acquisition, development, and operation of luxury mixed-use hotels, including Ritz-Carlton, Four Seasons, Rosewood, and Hyatt properties, with ancillary residential components in key resort and urban domestic and international markets, as well as growth of Gencom’s hospitality management services company investment, Benchmark Hospitality International.

Gencom is headquartered in Miami with a regional office in Houston.

Mr. Alibhai holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Rice University. He has served on the boards for Wyndham International, Interstate Hotels, and Benchmark. He lives in Coral Gables with his three children.

SIMON COOPER

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Former President for The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C.

As President and Managing Director for Asia Pacific for Marriott International, Simon Cooper led the operating performance and growth of the region that includes more than 175 properties and another 150 hotels under development represented by brands like Bulgari, The Ritz-Carlton, JW Marriott, Marriott, Renaissance and Courtyard.

From 2001 to 2010, Mr. Cooper served as President for The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company. During this period, The Ritz-Carlton experienced unprecedented growth including the development of The Ritz-Carlton Residences and the exclusive Ritz-Carlton Reserve hotels. Under his leadership, the company earned the highest accolades. The Luxury Institute named it the “Most Prestigious Luxury Brand” in their surveys from 2005-2010. On numerous occasions, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company won #1 ranking in the J. D. Power and Associates North America Hotel Guests Satisfaction Index Survey. In 2009, People Metrics named The Ritz-Carlton the #1 global luxury brand in terms of engaging its guests. In 2009, The Ritz-Carlton won the World Saver Award from Condé Nast for the Community Footprints program at The Ritz-Carlton.

Prior to The Ritz-Carlton, Mr. Cooper was with Marriott International where he served for three years as President of Marriott Lodging Canada and Senior Vice President for Canada and New England.

Mr. Cooper was elected to the Board of Directors of First Horizon National Corporation and served on the Audit Committee in 2005. In 2004, he was appointed to the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Canada Institute Advisory Board. In 1999, Mr. Cooper was appointed as Chairman of the Board of Governors for the University of Guelph (No. 1 Comprehensive University in Canada, Macleans 99/02.) He still serves on the Board of the School of Management and Economics. In 2010, he received an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws from the university. The degree was awarded to Mr. Cooper in recognition of his “leadership and contributions to society and to the university.”

Born and educated in England, Mr. Cooper earned an MBA from the University of Toronto.

NAVIN C. DIMOND

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Founder, President and CEO, Stonebridge Companies

Navin C. Dimond is founder, president and chief executive officer of Stonebridge Companies, a Denver-based hospitality firm that owns and operates a diverse portfolio of 60 hotel properties that display a wide variety of brands in multiple markets throughout the United States.

As a result of his expertise and record of success in the hospitality field, Dimond serves on a number of boards for a variety of organizations including the Franchise Advisory Council for Hampton Inn Hotels by Hilton, Marriott's Residence Inn Advisory Board (TRIA), Washington State University’s College of Engineering and Architecture Executive Leadership Board, and Cornell University’s Dean’s Advisory Board for the School of Hotel Administration. Proudly serving on the Board of Trustees for the University of Denver and the Denver Center for the Performing Arts (DCPA), he is also a board member of the Denver Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau (VISIT DENVER).

In 2015, Dimond was inducted into the Denver & Colorado Travel Industry Hall of Fame.  He was inducted into the Colorado Tourism Hall of Fame in 2008. In 2007, Dimond received the prestigious Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award in the real estate and hospitality category for the Rocky Mountain region. In recognition of his business and leadership acumen, Dimond was appointed to Governor Hickenlooper’s Colorado Business Experiential Learning Commission in 2015.

Dimond earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in business administration and a Bachelor of Science degree in construction management from Washington State University. He received an MBA in real estate and construction management from the University of Denver.

JOHN GRISWOLD

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Hospitality Investment Advisor

Mr. Griswold has served as president, chief operating officer and member of the Board of CNL Hotels & Resorts, Inc. (CNL), one of the nation’s largest real estate investment trusts within the lodging industry with a portfolio of 130 hotels. At CNL Mr. Griswold’s management role included portfolio and asset management, planning, design and construction. He was also an integral part of the company’s acquisitions, business development efforts and investment banking relationships. In April 2007, CNL was sold to Morgan Stanley Real Estate and Ashford Hospitality Trust, Inc. in a transaction worth $6.5 billion.

Prior to joining CNL, Mr. Griswold served as president of Tishman Hotel Corporation. Earlier in his career he was the opening general manager of the Buena Vista Palace Hotel in the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. Mr. Griswold began his hospitality career at Walt Disney World. He is a Cornell University graduate with a degree from the School of Hotel Administration.

BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT

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JEFF MCINTYRE

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President

Jeff has been a leader in the hospitality industry for over 30 years. Regarded as one of the best bottom line operators in the business, Jeff is known for creating unique and tailored points-of-difference at each resort allowing each property to achieve market share advantages.

Jeff served as a Director of TBA Entertainment, Inc. and as President of their Resort Division from 1997 through 1998. The acquisition and development of The Village at Breckenridge Resort was the focus of TBA during this period.

Jeff was located at The Village with partner Mark van Hartesvelt from 1994 through 1998 overseeing the complete financial turnaround of the resort as well as the development and approval of the most complex master plan in the town of Breckenridge’s history.

From 1987 through 1994, Jeff was the Senior Vice President of operations for Guest Quarters Suite Hotels and Doubletree Hotel Corporation. Responsible for 115 hotels, Jeff orchestrated the merging of the two companies and the consolidation of the corporate office. During Jeff’s tenure, the portfolio achieved record improvements in profit and quality scores and positioned itself as a leader in the hospitality industry.

From 1985 through 1987 Jeff held the position of vice president with Radisson Hotels. He was responsible for 25 managed properties and 20 franchised hotels and resorts.

From 1974 until 1985, Jeff served The Sheraton Corporation in various capacities, including Director of Rooms and Reservations for North America and General Manager of Sheraton’s number one occupancy and profit producing property in San Francisco, California.

A Certified Hotel Administrator, Jeff holds a B.S. in Hotel and Restaurant Administration from Oklahoma State University and graduated from the University of Minnesota’s Senior Executive Management program.

Jeff has been a visiting professor and lecturer at the University of Maryland, The university of San Francisco, Golden State University and Oklahoma State University.

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MITCH GARRETT

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Vice President of Business Development

Mitch Garrett serves as vice president of business development for Benchmark, a Global Hospitality Company. Mitch brings a decade and a half of experience in capital markets, hospitality, commercial and residential real estate to the leading independent hospitality company. He was previously vice president of acquisition and development for Trump Hotels, where he led expansion initiatives across the US and the Caribbean.

Prior to Trump Hotels, Mitch served as vice president of development and project manager for VOS Hospitality. He has held investment banking roles for Citigroup’s Capital Markets and for Barclays Capital in New York City. Garrett has played a major role in the development and management of over 20 hotels and resorts with a combined valuation of $1 billion, and has underwritten and syndicated over $8 billion in real estate transactions, as well as $1 billion of other asset-backed security transactions.

Mitch earned his Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Rutgers University where he was a Rhodes Scholarship Candidate for the University of Oxford. While at Rutgers, Garrett was a point guard for Rutgers men’s basketball team and was a multi-year member of the Big East Academic All-Star Team. He has his office in Benchmark’s Florida regional offices and resides in Boca Raton.

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CANDACE JOHNSON

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Business Development & Feasibility

Candace Johnson joined Benchmark in February 2019, bringing 20 years of hospitality industry experience to the team. She will focus on Business Development and Feasibility offering expertise in the areas of valuation, asset management, feasibility, market and competitive intelligence, and operational analytics. 

Prior to joining Benchmark, Ms. Johnson held several positions with Two Roads Hospitality and Destination Hotels including Vice President Asset Management, Vice President Performance Optimization, and Strategic Planning Director. In her most recent role, Ms. Johnson led Market and Competitive Intelligence, Feasibility, and Strategic Planning for the company. Ms. Johnson’s additional hospitality industry experience includes roles with HVS International, Ernst & Young, and Hirsch Bedner Associates. 

A native of Ithaca, New York, Ms. Johnson earned her MMH from Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration and her BS from Cornell University. She is based in Denver, Colorado. 

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CLAIRE LIEBERMAN

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Senior Director of Business Development

Claire Lieberman is a passionate hospitality professional who brings nearly a decade of experience in hotel management, investment, acquisitions & development. As the Senior Director of Business Development for Benchmark, Claire acts as a utility player for the team by simultaneously handling owner relations, pro forma valuation, contract negotiation and execution, RFP responses and other ad-hoc projects for the company’s rapidly expanding portfolio. 
 
Prior to joining Benchmark, Claire led the development efforts for Red Lion Hotel Corporation’s lifestyle, boutique brand, expanding the firm’s national footprint and driving brand awareness with key industry players. Claire also held multiple development positions with Two Roads Hospitality, playing an integral role in the merger of Destination Hotels & Resorts and Commune Hotels & Resorts in 2016 and supporting the growth of the portfolio until the firm was successfully acquired by Hyatt Hotels Corporation in 2018. Claire also spent time working for Denver-based brokerage firm Hospitality Real Estate Counselors, assisting with the valuation and marketing of over $1B of hospitality assets, after beginning her career in operations with White Lodging Management. 
 
When not exploring exciting new hotel opportunities, she spends her time enjoying the beautiful Colorado outdoors with her Golden Retriever, Luna.

CLAIRE LIEBERMAN

DARLENE POMROY

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Business Development Analyst

As the Business Development Analyst, Darlene assists with the preparation of Pro Formas, RFP responses, Comprehensive Market Analyses, Feasibility Studies, and other analysis. 

Prior to joining Benchmark, Darlene progressed through multiple positions in Sales with Hyatt Hotels to become Associate Director. In these roles, she was responsible for achieving production goals, mentoring new sales managers, overseeing group sales managers, and other initiatives. She was nominated for North America Sales Manager of the Year after her second year in Sales. At Hyatt, she also held roles as a Catering Manager and Convention Services Manager. 

Darlene earned her MBA at the Bauer College of Business at the University of Houston and her BA in Hospitality Management at Mercyhurst University. She currently resides in downtown Houston with her husband Andrew and their dog Jewel. In her free time, she enjoys volunteering as a dog foster, biking, and reading.

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OWNER ADVISORY GROUP

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ERIK JOHNSON

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Vice President of Asset Management

Erik Johnson is Vice President for Benchmark’s Owner Advisory Group (“OAG”) and has over seventeen years of experience with hotels and real estate spanning across the areas of acquisition due diligence, pre-development feasibility, asset management, finance, workouts, valuation, and investment advisory.  With broad and diverse hospitality real estate experience, Mr. Johnson has the ability to oversee hotel real estate projects from beginning to end.

Prior to OAG, Mr. Johnson was head of his own hotel asset management and advisory firm.  After his experience of working with CNL Hospitality, IHG and Reynolds Hotel Group, Mr. Johnson founded his own firm in 2010 to provide consulting services to hotel investors in all aspects of their business.  Over the life of his career, he has been involved in over $7.5 billion of hotel real estate transaction, asset management and advisory type projects of all product types throughout the US for various owners, hotel chains, developers, and lenders.  Mr. Johnson is an honors graduate of the University of Florida, where he earned his Bachelors degree in Finance.

HUMAN RESOURCES

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KAREN DIFULGO

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Chief People Officer

As Chief People Officer for BENCHMARK, a Global Hospitality Company, Ms. Di Fulgo oversees all of the Human Resource Operations to include staffing, benefits & compensation, labor & employee relations, and training & development. Prior to joining Benchmark, Ms. Di Fulgo served as Vice President of Human Resources for Gaylord Hotels, and the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in Washington, D.C.

Ms. Di Fulgo brings over 23 years of professional human resource & leadership experience to Benchmark, having worked in a multitude of different industries to include Healthcare, Consumer Services, Technology, Landscaping, and Hospitality.  Prior to Gaylord Hotels, Ms. Di Fulgo was Senior Corporate Director of Employee Development for Brickman Group in Gaithersburg, MD; and prior to Brickman, was Vice President of Global Human Resources for TNS Healthcare, based in London, England. Currently, Ms. Di Fulgo serves as an executive board member for the American Hotel and Lodging Association – Women in Lodging; as well as active board member for the Human Resources Committee for AHLA.  Ms. Di Fulgo resides in the Woodlands, Texas.

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CHRISTINA GREGG

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Vice President Human Resources

Christina Gregg brings nearly 25 years of senior human resource leadership experience to her role with Benchmark. She previously worked with the company on a contractual basis supporting strategic human resource initiatives systemwide. Prior to this, Ms. Gregg held leadership positions in human resources for Marriott International, Gaylord Entertainment Company and NBC Universal, Universal Orlando.

Ms. Gregg is a graduate of the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania where she earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Health Administration. She has been named “Outstanding Manager of the Year” by the American Hotel and Lodging Association, and a “Top Executive Under 40” by the Orlando Business Journal. Christina Gregg is a past Board member of Habitat for Humanity. 

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Senior Director of Total Rewards & HRIS

Chad’s responsibilities include oversight and development of Benchmark’s compensation and benefits strategy as well as the administration of the company’s human resources information systems.

Chad Moon previously served as vice president, total rewards & HRIS for Two Roads Hospitality of Denver. Prior to this, he has held HR leadership positions, including as the Director of Total Rewards for Intrawest Resort Holdings of Denver.

He is a graduate of Friends University in Wichita, Kansas, where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. He resides in Overland Park, Kansas.

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CALVIN BANKS

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Director of Training and Development

Calvin J. Banks Jr., Director of Training and Development at BENCHMARK, a Global Hospitality Company, is responsible for the overall direction, coordination, evaluation, and implementation of training.

Banks, who has more than 20 years of experience in the entertainment, food service, and hotel management industry, joined Benchmark in August of 2015. Prior to joining Benchmark, he was the Director of Training for The BROADMOOR Hotel for just under three years and served in multiple positions with Gaylord Hotels for nine years including Employee Event Coordinator, Sr. Training Manager, and Director of Training. 
 
Banks is the former President of the Council of Hotel and Restaurant Trainers, better known as CHART. A member since 2006, Banks brought a passion for developing others to the organization. As President, Banks was charged with continuing to realize CHART’s mission; to develop hospitality training professionals to advance industry training practices and improve operational results by providing access to education, tools and resources.
 
Banks is a member of the Education and Certification Advisory Committee for the American Hotel and Lodging Educational Institute. Additionally, he is a member of the Department of Labor competency model panels for both the National Restaurant Association Education Foundation and the American Hotel and Lodging Educational Institute. 
 
In 2014 Banks was named one of 40 under 40 Rising Stars by Full Service Restaurant Magazine. In 2015 Banks received the Doctorate of Food Service Award from the North American Food Equipment Manufacturers Association.
 
Banks graduated from University of Texas, Arlington with his B.A. in Kinesiology, he has an MBA from University of Phoenix, is a Certified Hospitality Trainer (CHT) through the American Hotel and Lodging Educational Institute, and a certified instructor through Development Dimensions International (DDI).

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GABY HENRIQUEZ

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Gaby Henriquez serves as Director of Human Resources for Benchmark. Gaby has primary responsibility for all talent acquisition strategy and efforts, along with other various HR responsibilities.    
 
Gaby brings more than 12 years of experience in the Hospitality Industry to Benchmark.  Gaby began her career with Benchmark in 2010 and most recently held the position of Director of Human Resources for Beachwalk Resort & Marenas Resort.  As Director of Human Resources, she led the development and implementation of the Human Resources strategy for multiple properties along with supporting the home office with key projects and events.  Prior to coming to Benchmark, Gaby held positions at Tap 42 and Cheesecake Factory. 
 
Gaby is a graduate of Florida International University, Miami, FL where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Hospitality Management and will graduate with a Master of Science in Human Resources in December. 

Gaby Henriquez

LAURIE BOUDREAUX

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HRIS Manager

Laurie’s responsibilities include the oversight of and administration of our Human Capital Management System “Workday”. She is the direct contact for our HR Partners on process improvement both current and new business process as well as the developing and facilitating HR Trainings and webinars. 

Laure Boudreaux  joined the Benchmark Family in February of  2020. She has over 10 years of HR Management experience. She previously served as HR Shared Service Supervisor at AIG for over 3 years and prior to  this  she has held HR  Management Positions, including HR Client Manager at Alight Solutions.

Laurie is a graduate of University of Phoenix where she  earned a Bachelor’s  degree  Business Management, HR Management Certification and, an MBA.

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Human Resources Coordinator

Gaby Nava provides administrative support to the Human Resources department team, including support to the properties. She joined the Benchmark family in November 2013 and she is very thankful to work with wonderful people within the Company who are helping her to grow in her career. Gaby is originally from Venezuela and came to the United States in May 2000 looking for better opportunities, learn another language and culture. It was very difficult in the beginning, however after all these years she has accomplished all her goals.  She lives in Spring, Tx with her husband and two children, David and Andrea, who make her live wonderful!

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OWNER ADVISORY GROUP

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Serving hotel owners who demand high-performance

THE INTELLECTUAL ASSETS TO SOLVE ANY ISSUE

Owner Advisory Group (OAG), a division of Benchmark, is a hotel asset management and advisory company serving owners across a wide spectrum of hotel product types and classes. While most asset management companies have little or no hotel management experience, OAG is backed by the full extent of Benchmark’s resources.

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