WSLM restructures executive team

Western States Lodging and Management (WSLM), a management and development firm focused on hospitality, senior living and multi-family housing, has appointed David Webster Jr. as COO; Cole Smith as chief development officer; Chad Griffiths as CFO; Jennifer S. Knecht as chief revenue officer; and Marshall Paepke as chief strategy & human resource officer.

“The Western States partners and I are thrilled to develop this new executive leadership team that will usher our organization to continued growth and excellence as a leader in property development and management,” said Paul Fairholm, president/CEO. “The team is professionally adept for dynamic leadership. They are experts in their fields and masters of strategic development.”

Western States manages an array of hospitality, lodging, restaurant and meeting spaces across the U.S. under the Marriott, Hilton, IHG, Wyndham and Best Western brands, along with independent hotels. The company offers 43 hospitality properties and more than 4,000 units.

As COO, Webster will oversee the day-to-day operations of WSLM, ensuring business lines function smoothly and efficiently. He will work closely with other members of the executive leadership team to develop and execute strategies that support growth objectives. He brings 22 years of experience at WSLM to the role.

Smith has been tapped to lead the organization’s development and acquisition initiatives. He is a seasoned entrepreneur with a passion for real estate, building long-term value, creating lasting change and developing sustainable solutions, according to the company.

As CFO, Griffiths will manage and lead financial initiatives for the organization’s development properties. he brings nearly 20 years of financial experience to the WSLM executive team.

As chief revenue officer, Knecht will extend strategic oversight and vision to the revenue and customer experience operations of the company’s five business units. Knecht’s addition to WSLM adds more than 20 years of sales and marketing, customer experience and operations leadership.

As chief strategy and human resource officer, Paepke will lead the strategic vision and employee recruitment of WSLM, ushering the organization’s Personal Touch Culture throughout its multifaceted properties.