Nielsen joins Meyer Jabara; more people on the move

Hospitality companies continue to fill positions across the country, including a new VP of investments & asset management at Meyer Jabara.

Meyer Jabara Hotels names Heidi Nielsen VP, investments & asset management
Meyer Jabara Hotels (MJH) has added Heidi Nielsen as VP of investments & asset management.

For the last 15 years, she has served as managing director for a global consulting firm. In this new role, she will oversee the MJH portfolio of hotels and identify new investment opportunities in top markets.

“Meyer Jabara Hotels continues to expand its development footprint,” said Justin Jabara, president, Meyer Jabara. “The foundational principles of hotel development have not changed; great underwriting is key to success. Heidi’s experience and tenure in hospitality, hotel appraisal and consulting work and ability to network with developers on proposed hotel projects, will be instrumental to our continued growth and prosperity. From culture to expertise, she is a great fit and will add another layer of sophistication to our asset management service. As we continue to develop and acquire hotels, Heidi will be crucial to supporting our capital relationships and supporting our existing development partners. She specializes in advising both experienced hotel developers and first-time hotel developers who need special guidance. We are proud to have her on our team.”

In addition to completing hundreds of hotel assignments, Nielsen has written on the unique dynamics of lodging markets proximate to major U.S. military installations as well as providing overall coverage of hotel markets in Atlanta, Birmingham and Charleston.

“Joining the Meyer Jabara Hotels’ development team is an exciting new opportunity that I am eager to tackle head on,” she said. “I’ve known Justin for years, and always found MJH to be rich in culture and strong in values, which is something I find extremely important when working for a company. I am happy to remain in Charleston and am eager to see where the challenges coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic will take us. In the short term, I plan to meet with investors to learn how I can help them achieve success. For the long term, my goal is simple: to grow the MJH portfolio through acquisitions and relationship building and ensure that the company remains profitable for the foreseeable future.”

For more on Meyer Jabara, check out the cover story of the May issue of Hotel Business.

Selina adds Katz
Selina has added Lena Katz to its executive team as chief technology officer.

In this role, Katz reports to Selina’s Cofounder/CEO Rafael Museri and is responsible for overseeing Selina’s technology roadmap and innovation initiatives including product development.

She joins Selina with extensive technology experience as well as a proven track record in software engineering, infrastructure, development and security, according to the company. During her 20-year career, she has established and led global research and development groups and created large-scale SaaS products for high-growth startups and established enterprises. Most recently, she worked at Israel-based ridesharing company Gett, where she served as VP, research & development at Gett Delivery. In this role, she provided solutions for B2B and B2C clients for last-mile deliveries based on algorithms and route optimization technologies.

“As a proven product and technology leader, and a traveler herself, Lena brings the requisite skills, knowledge and vision to this important role,” said Museri. “We continue to experience strong momentum across all elements of our business and adding a strong technology executive of Lena’s caliber will help ensure our technological capabilities are scaling in line with the rapid growth of our community and global hotel network. We are confident Lena’s insights and entrepreneurial mindset will enhance our product offering and drive strong business performance.”

Prior to her time at Gett, Katz worked at enterprises such as Hewlett Packard, Israel Aerospace Industries’ (IAI) MBT Space Division and Israeli Military Intelligence.

Stonehill expands commercial lending team
Stonehill, a direct lender on commercial real estate, has expanded its leadership team with four senior executive hires. Joining the organization are Daniel Siegel, Greg Koenig, Nisu Mehta and Taylor Pike. The addition of these leaders represents a strategic step in Stonehill’s vision of expanding its commercial lending business across all real estate sectors.

“We are fortunate to have these four highly accomplished industry executives join Stonehill at a time of strong growth and momentum for our business,” said Mat Crosswy, president/principal, Stonehill. “Their backgrounds closely align with Stonehill’s deep industry experience, ingenuity and work ethic. We look forward to working closely with them on key strategic initiatives to grow our commercial real estate lending business.”

The new group has decades of real estate experience across numerous facets of the industry and spanning multiple business cycles.

Siegel serves as the president of Stonehill’s commercial real estate lending group overseeing the group’s expansion into commercial real estate lending. Before joining Stonehill, he was managing director at a large private equity firm and the head of high-yield investments. Prior to joining that firm, he was VP, acquisitions at Rialto Capital, overseeing the distressed loan acquisitions platform. During his tenure at Rialto, he directly oversaw the acquisition of commercial real estate loans on both domestic and international opportunities. Additionally, he developed the firm’s small balance loan acquisition platform and led the company’s first European acquisition.

Koenig is an SVP at Stonehill. Before joining Stonehill, he was an executive director at a large private equity company, focusing on debt originations in all asset classes. Prior to that, he was an SVP at Newport RE, a German-based real estate investment company, focusing on acquisitions and asset management for its U.S. portfolio. Previously, he was a VP at Rialto Capital, where he helped underwrite and asset-manage loan portfolios. Before joining Rialto, he worked at TriMont Real Estate Advisors facilitating loan workouts and maximizing returns on distressed assets.

Mehta is an SVP at Stonehill. Prior to joining Stonehill, he was an executive director at a large private equity company, where he was a senior originator and underwriter focusing on both debt and equity investments in the Southeast U.S. Prior to that, he was the director of investment management at Rialto Capital, where he oversaw the acquisitions of whole loan portfolios and identified and help underwrite equity investments in the Southeast U.S. Additionally, he was involved in assisting Rialto’s CMBS B-piece platform to become one of the largest participants in the sector.

Pike is an SVP at Stonehill. Before joining Stonehill, he was an executive director at a large private equity company, where he originated debt investments. Prior to that, Pike worked as an analyst at Rialto Capital, where his primary responsibilities included loan asset management and underwriting.

Goldman joins VERTU Hotels and Resorts
Madeleine Goldman has been appointed head of marketing for North America and the Caribbean at VERTU Hotels and Resorts in San Diego.

She is president of Madweek Marketing, and has extensive experience in the industry. She spent 15 years at Caesars Entertainment (formerly Harrah’s Entertainment) in Las Vegas and saw it through various expansions and acquisitions. Her career with Caesars culminated in her being promoted to corporate director of brand marketing. From there, she accepted the position of executive director of brand marketing at Wynn Resorts, where she became well versed in marketing high-end luxury brands.

Upon relocating to Miami in late 2012, Goldman continued her career with two senior marketing roles. She became a partner in opening a Miami office of Las Vegas-based advertising and public relations firm, VIRGEN Digital Brand Marketing. In 2014, she opened Madweek Marketing to service businesses interested in customized solutions for marketing, branding and communications.

Suhr appointed director of sales at New Castle
Pamela A. Suhr has joined New Castle Hotels & Resorts as director of sales.

She is responsible for the sales initiatives of New Castle’s growing portfolio of 18 hotels. She is a seasoned hospitality professional with more than three decades of experience working with a diverse portfolio of leading branded and independent hotels from New York to California, Mexico and Canada.

Suhr most recently served as the general manager of an upscale hotel in Danbury, CT. Before that, she spent five years as the VP, sales and marketing for Stanford Hotels in San Francisco, where she oversaw 15 hotels ranging from 130-600 rooms. During her career, she has spent 14 years working in top positions with Interstate Hotels and Resorts, where she played a pivotal role in taking the once privately held company from 23 properties to 400 through a series of mergers and an IPO, the company reports. Suhr also worked for several years as the EVP, revenue and marketing for Northwood Hospitality in New York.