HOSPITALITY AMERICA,INC.

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KEY STAFF > EXECUTIVE BIOGRAPHIES

  • Christopher Cargen, CHA - President & CEO

    President and majority stockholder of Hospitality America, Chris personally directs the operations, marketing and customized business plan for each hotel under management. A career-long veteran of the hospitality industry, he has a dual management and development background with a verifiable track record of launching successful new hotels as well as turning around marginal properties, especially distressed destination beach resort hotels.

    Prior to founding Hospitality America in 1995, Cargen held corporate or hotel general manager positions with Dunfey Hotels (now OMNI Hotels), Hospitality Management Corporation and Outdoor Resorts of America. He has served as multi-unit manager or general manager of Courtyard by Marriott, Embassy Suites, Hampton, Hilton, Residence Inn and Sheraton as well as many independent and branded beach resort hotels in Georgia, South Florida and throughout the Caribbean.

    Cargen received his Bachelor of Science from Cornell University School of Hotel Administration graduating Dean's List / Ye Hosts Scholastic Honorary. He is a member of the Cornell Society of Hotelmen and a former member of Cayuga Hospitality Advisors. He is frequently consulted by Hilton's Hampton Inn Advisory Council to contribute and evaluate brand initiatives. Cargen has served as president and director of several condominium hotels and is a past chairman of the Jekyll Island [Georgia] Hotel Association. He is an avid off-shore sailor and snow skier.


    Contact Information:

    Christopher Cargen - President & CEO
    1101 Kermit Dr., Suite 500 - Nashville, Tennessee 37217
    Phone: (615) 377-7662 - Fax: (615) 279-9368
    E-mail: chris(at)hospitalityamerica(dot)com

  • Howard Wolfson - Vice President Operations + Managing General Partner of Hospitality Operations, Inc.

    Uniquely, Howard functions in a dual capacity. He serves as both Vice President of Operations for Hospitality America and as the Managing General Partner of Hospitality Operations, Inc., which is the owning authority over currently, four top-tier Hampton-branded hotels in South Florida.

    A graduate of Tulane University, Howard has 24+ years of experience in the hospitality industry. Previous affiliations include Hilton Hotel Corporation in Atlanta, Promus Hotels, and Villas by the Sea, a 16-acre Hotel Condominium & Conference Center, Jekyll Island, Georgia. He served as opening general manager of the 135-key Hampton Inn-Coconut Grove in 1995. He opened the 123-key Hampton Inn-Pembroke Pines in 1988 as opening GM and the Wingate by Wydham soon after. As Vice President-Operations since 2000, Howard supervised the opening of three other new-builds - all high-key count and unusually high revenue-producing hotels -149-key Hampton Inn & Suites-Miami Airport/Blue Lagoon in 2000, 157-key Hampton Inn-Ft. Lauderdale Downtown/Las Olas in 2002. The 221-key Hampton Inn & Suites-Miami Downtown/Brickell, opened in 2011, features under its roof: 3 restaurants, a dual lobby/pool bar and many other features that are unigue to the Hampton brand. It was honored by Hilton as the Hampton Deal-of-the Year and is Miami's first Silver Leeds hotel, signifying commitment to energy conservation. The hotel has ranked mostly #1 in Miami by TripAdvisor for many consecutive years.

    Howard credits the successes of these hotels to all the outstanding team members who have helped create the best lodging facilities in South Florida and an enjoyable place to work.


    Contact Information:

    Howard Wolfson
    Vice President Operations - Hospitality America, Inc.
    Managing General Partner - Hospitality Operations Inc.
    50 S.W. 12th Street, 6th Floor - Miami, FL 33130
    Phone: (305) 373-0611 | Fax: (305) 373-0623
    E-mail: hwolfson(at)hospitalityamerica(dot)com

  • David Berger - Chief Operating Officer

    David Berger directs and oversees Hospitality America's efforts to provide extraordinary guest experiences, ensure remarkable profitability for owners and create meaningful careers for our associates. David is a twenty-two year veteran of the hospitality industry, which includes the last six years as Vice President of Operations for Hospitality America overseeing a portfolio of nine Hilton and Marriott branded hotels geographically located throughout the south.

    David was first appointed General Manager with Prime Hospitality at the age of twenty-three. Over the course of his career, David has progressed through a variety of General Manager positions with multiple Marriott, Hilton and Starwood branded properties. Before re-joining Hospitality America in 2013, David was the General Manager of Thayer Lodging's 405-key Sheraton Miami Airport & Executive Meeting Center with 17,000sf of certified International Association of Conference Centers (IACC) meeting space, a staff of 210 associates and annual revenues exceeding $25 million.

    David is a graduate of Lynn University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Hospitality in 1997. David is also active in community organizations and boards, including his most recent appointment as Accommodations Tax Advisory Committee member for Greenville County. David also serves on the Board of Directors for Artisphere and VisitGreenvilleSC. Previously, he held a position on the Executive Board of Directors for the Greater Miami & Beaches Hotel Association.


    Contact Information:

    David Berger - Chief Operating Officer
    40 W Broad Street, Suite 370 - Greenville, SC 29601
    Office: (864)467-9946 | Fax: (864)679-7559
    E-mail: d.berger(at)hospitalityamerica(dot)com

  • Demeka Chance - Vice President of Accounting & Administration

    Demeka Chance is the Vice President of Accounting & Administration for Hospitality America. She is responsible for the preparation of the Financial Statements for each hotel monthly. Demeka also oversees the Accounts Payable and Internal Audit positions. She is a graduate of Trevecca Nazarene University with a B.S. in Accounting and Business Management. Demeka is a ten plus year veteran of the hospitality industry.

    Contact Information:

    Demeka Chance - Vice President of Accounting & Administration
    1101 Kermit Dr., Suite 500 - Nashville, Tennessee 37217
    Office: (615)377-7662 | Fax: (615)279-9368
    E-mail: dchance(at)hospitalityamerica(dot)com

  • Wes Cargen - Operations Manager

    Wes Cargen is the Operations Manager for Hospitality America. He is responsible for overseeing and assisting in the day-to-day operations of each property. Wes is also responsible for conducting annual internal control audits for each of Hospitality America's properties. Wes began his hospitality career in 2008, working as a Front Desk Agent before transitioning into Sales. Wes first joined Hospitality America in 2011, serving as the company's Operations Analyst / Internal Controls Auditor.

    Wes graduated from Belmont University in 2009 with a Bachelor of Business Administration.


    Contact Information:

    Wes Cargen - Operations Manager
    40 West Broad Street, Suite 500 - Greenville, SC 29601
    Office: (864)467-9946 | Fax: (864)679-7559
    Email: w.cargen(at)hospitalityamerica(dot)com

  • Glen Williams - Regional Director of Operations - Greenville

    Glen is a Regional Director of Operations for Hospitality America Inc., and is responsible for providing leadership to the operational management teams in each of his assigned hotels in Greenville, SC. He is based in Greenville, South Carolina.

    Bringing with him over 20 years of hospitality experience, Glen joined Hospitality America in 2007. Most recently he was the opening General Manger of the Courtyard Greenville Downtown. Glen has previously worked for Marriott Hotels & Resorts, Hyatt Hotels and Hilton Hotels. He also spent five years in the corporate housing industry. Glen began his career as a bellman at the Park Ridge, New Jersey Marriott.

    A graduate of Clemson University, Glen holds a Bachelor of Science in Management with a concentration in Marketing.

    He is currently Chairman of the Greenville, South Carolina Convention and Visitors Bureau and President of the South Carolina Hospitality Association Greater Greenville Chapter. Additionally Glen serves on the Governor appointed Tourism Expenditure Review Committee and the Greenville County Accommodations Tax Board.


    Contact Information:

    Glen C Williams - Regional Director of Operations
    40 W Broad Street, Suite 370 - Greenville, SC 29601
    Office: (864)679-7551 | Fax: (864)679-7559
    E-mail: g.williams(at)hospitalityamerica(dot)com

  • Leigh Holloway - Area Director of Revenue Management

    Leigh Holloway is Area Director of Revenue Management for Hospitality America. She is focused on driving top-line revenues and growing market share through the development and implementation of customized strategies. Leigh provides support to hotel staff ensuring sales, marketing and operational efforts are aligned with revenue goals.

    Leigh joined the Hospitality America team in 2006 as a Sales Manager, was soon promoted to Director of Sales and eventually to General Manager. She transitioned into Revenue Management, assisting the company's efforts for several years. She left Hospitality America and joined DiNapoli Capital out of California, serving as Director of Revenue Management over their San Jose portfolio prior to accepting an opportunity with TPG Hospitality. At TPG she worked as Director of Revenue Management and earned a promotion to Area Director of Revenue Management providing revenue management leadership across multiple brands. While at TPG, she was awarded recognition for achievements in forecast accuracy, revenue and market share growth as measured across a portfolio of over 70 hotels.

    Leigh rejoined the Hospitality America team in late 2016. She and her husband Scott live in Greenville, SC with their 3 children Reeves, Jocelyn and Evan.


    Contact Information:

    Leigh Holloway - Area Director of Revenue Management
    40 W Broad Street, Suite 500 - Greenville, SC 29601
    E-mail: l.holloway(at)hospitalityamerica(dot)com

  • Nelle O'Donnell - Director of Revenue Management

    Nelle O'Donnell is the Director of Revenue Management for Hospitality America. She began her career with Hospitality America in 2011, as the Director of Sales for the Hampton Inn & Suites Greenville Downtown at RiverPlace. Her main responsibilities included hotel revenue management in addition to overseeing group sales, negotiating corporate business and customer service. During her time in this role, the team was able to increase room revenue and RevPar by over 30% while maintaining positive guest scores and a #1 TripAdvisor ranking.

    In 2016, she assisted in opening the 156-key Embassy Suites Greenville Downtown at RiverPlace, inclusive of two restaurants and 10,000 sf of event space.

    Nelle's understanding of operations and sales paired with her passion for numbers and strategizing have aided in her success as Revenue Manager. Nelle is based in Greenville, SC and supports revenue efforts for Hospitality America's South Carolina, Louisiana and Virginia properties.

    She is originally from New Hampshire, Nelle attended the University of South Carolina where she received a Bachelor of Science in Sport and Entertainment Management.


    Contact Information:

    Nelle O'Donnell - Director of Revenue Management
    40 W Broad Street, Suite 500 - Greenville, SC 29601
    E-mail: n.odonnell(at)hospitalityamerica(dot)com

  • James St. John - President & CEO Precise Hospitality Management

    Jim is a graduate of Texas A&M University and a Certified Hotel Administrator with more than 40 years of experience at the highest levels of the hospitality industry. His military education and service provide him with a strong background in leadership, organization and planning.

    His professional career includes participating in the design, construction, renovation and operation of luxury properties on four continents. As COO and General Manager he managed the Jupiter Island Club, the premier private club in the US. As President & CEO of The World, he worked with the Residents to purchase, organize and operate the only residential community at sea in the world. Jim has represented owners in development projects, selected brand and operating companies, negotiated with governmental entities, led organizations from the edge of bankruptcy to success and traveled as a hospitality advisor to former US President Bill Clinton.

    At Precise Hospitality Management LLC, he continues to lead in the provision of professional services on a wide range of hospitality projects. The services include asset management, planning and construction management, branding, reputation management and of course, operations management. Current projects include management of Iconic Santorini, Greece's Leading Boutique Hotel (iconicsantorini.com), directing the marketing of Escarpment Luxury Lodge(escarpmentluxurylodge.com), Tanzania and leading the development team for the Amaryllis Hotel Blantyre, Malawi. Projects in pre-development are located in Africa the Middle East and Central America.





    Contact Information:

    James St. John - Precise Hospitality Management
    3919 SW Whispering Sound Drive - Palm City, FL 34990
    Office: +1 (772) 223-6693 | Mobile: +1 (772) 215-1321
    E-mail: jimst.john(at)hospitalityamerica(dot)com