CEO & President
Lindsey Ueberroth is CEO and President of Preferred Hotel Group and a member of its Board of Directors. Ms. Ueberroth joined Preferred Hotel Group in 2004 and has served in several roles, including president from June 2010 to February 2014.
During her time as president, the company strengthened its position as an iconic global hospitality brand. Over that 40-month period, Preferred Hotel Group helped its global portfolio of member hotels successfully emerge from the worldwide economic downturn by doubling total year-end reservations revenue and generating a 25% increase in Average Daily Rate (ADR). In August 2013, Ms. Ueberroth launched the company’s new points-based iPrefer loyalty program that provided new ways for independent hotels to compete with the hard flag brands. Under her leadership, the company also executed the introduction of the Sterling Design and Summit Serviced Residences brands, marked first-time presence in more than 20 new countries, and formed partnerships with renowned independent hotels, ranging from Wynn Las Vegas and The Alpina Gstaad to The Mark Hotel and EAST Beijing. Shortly after joining Preferred Hotel Group, Ms. Ueberroth made an immediate impact on the company by spearheading the development of the Preferred Boutique brand.
Before joining Preferred Hotel Group, Ms. Ueberroth was an account executive at Ambassadors International, Inc., a global meetings and incentives company. Prior to that, she was a management consultant at Andersen Consulting (now Accenture).
Ms. Ueberroth also serves on the board of directors for Historic Hotels of America. She is an active member of the U.S. Travel Association and the Young Presidents’ Organization. A graduate of Wake Forest University in North Carolina, Ms. Ueberroth has traveled to more than 100 countries.
Chairman of the Board
John A. Ueberroth is Chairman of the Board of Preferred Hospitality Group. As such, Ueberroth oversees Preferred Hotel Group and the Preferred Hotel Group family of brands, Optriant, Historic Hotels of America, and Historic Hotels Worldwide. Ueberroth has more than 30 years of executive level experience in the travel industry, ranging from global travel agencies, to airline and travel service companies, as well as major industry associations.
Ueberroth began his career in the travel industry in 1967 when he joined his brother, Peter at Transportation Consultants International (TCI), which became the world’s largest travel representation company, representing hotels and airlines among other businesses. Subsequently, TCI bought Ask Mr. Foster travel agency, where Ueberroth served as President from 1971-80, growing the business from 29 offices to over 1000. In 1980, TCI was sold to the Carlson Companies. Ueberroth served as President of Carlson Travel Group from 1980 until 1989. From 1990-93, he served as Chairman and CEO of Hawaiian Airlines, and from 1993 to 2003 he served as CEO of Ambassadors International (NASDAQ: AMIE). Ueberroth joined Preferred Hotel Group in 2004 as co-owner and partner with his wife, Gail.
In addition to his post at Preferred Hospitality Group, Ueberroth has also served as Chairman of the Board at Ambassadors Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: EPAX), chairman of the Travel Industry Association of America, and chairman of the U.S. Tour Operators Association. He remains actively involved with those organizations.
Vice Chairman & Chief Marketing Officer
Gail Ueberroth joined Preferred Hotel Group in 2004 as co-owner and partner with her husband, John. Her distinguished career in travel and hospitality has led her to more than 110 countries, fueling a passion for travel and a hands-on understanding of diverse global markets. In addition to her past work with Carlson Travel and Ambassadors Group, Gail has created innovative travel programs for Neiman Marcus, Young Presidents Organization, and CEO, as well as numerous alumni, museum, and symphonic non-profit organizations. In her prior role at PHG as President, Gail oversaw numerous departments including Global Marketing, Marketing Communications and Creative Services.
Senior Vice President, Marketing
Casey Ueberroth is Senior Vice President of Marketing at Preferred Hotel Group™. Mr. Ueberroth leads the company’s marketing strategy in the Americas, including key niche marketing programs, creative services, the company’s global guest loyalty program (iPrefer), and all brand publications, directories, and magazines.
Mr. Ueberroth also continues to oversee the development and execution of Preferred Golf, the launch of which he spearheaded in 2008. Preferred Golf is a niche market membership program created in partnership with American Express that includes prestigious members such as The Broadmoor, Pinehurst, and The K Club.
Mr. Ueberroth began his career with Preferred Hotel Group in 2007 as Area Managing Director for the western United States. In this role he oversaw the development and management for the region’s hotels and resorts.
Before joining Preferred Hotel Group, Mr. Ueberroth served as Assistant Vice President at Wells Fargo Bank N.A. He is a graduate of Wake Forest University and currently resides in Costa Mesa California with his wife Brooke and their two sons and one daughter.
Robert Van Ness
Executive Vice President, Americas
Robert Van Ness joined Preferred Hotel Group in 2000 as Vice President of Sales, based out of the company’s Chicago headquarters. In 2004, he was promoted to Area Managing Director, tasked with managing the company’s member portfolio in the Americas Central and Southern regions. Four years later in 2008, he was promoted again to his current position as Executive Vice President, Americas. In this role, he oversees all regional directors in the Americas, a responsibility that covers approximately half of the company’s total portfolio of hotels and resorts.
Prior to joining Preferred Hotel Group, Robert held positions as Vice President of Sales for General Hotels Corporation, an Indianapolis-based hotel management company, and sales leadership roles for independent properties as well as brands such as Sheraton Hotels & Resorts and Hilton Hotels & Resorts. His 30 years of experience spans tenures at city hotels and destination resorts, ranging in size from 150 to more than 700 rooms. Robert is a graduate of the William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Executive Vice President, Europe
Susan Devine is Executive Vice President for Europe, dedicated to leading Preferred Hotel Group development in the region and ensuring successful implementation of strategic sales and marketing practices on behalf the company’s European member hotels. In this role, which she has held since January 2012, she manages five offices in London, Paris, Milan, Munich, and Madrid that comprise Preferred Hotel Group’s European structure, directing a team of more than 40 associates.
Devine joined Preferred Hotel Group in January 2007, originally serving as Area Managing Director for Latin America and the Caribbean. In that position, Devine was responsible for tripling Preferred Hotel Group’s membership in the region, and was instrumental in developing key partnerships with several internationally acclaimed hotel companies.
Devine is a 20-year veteran of the hospitality industry with extensive experience in on-property and regional sales, marketing, and hotel management. Before joining Preferred Hotel Group, she held various positions such as Founding Partner of Hospitality Business Consulting, a tourism advisory firm; General Manager of the Fiesta Americana Grand in Mexico City; General Manager of the Hyatt Cancun Caribe; and Director of Sales & Marketing, Mexico and Central America, for Hyatt International. Earlier in her career, Devine served as Director of Sales & Marketing for the Caracas Hilton and Hilton Hotels in Venezuela, before joining Hyatt International as Director of Sales for the Eastern United States.
Devine has lived in 11 countries and 16 cities around the world, and is currently based in Madrid. She is an honors graduate of the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration.
Executive Vice President, Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa
Senior Vice President, Global Strategy
Ananya Narayan has been with Preferred Hotel Group since 2002, when he joined as Area Managing Director, Asia Pacific.
Prior to joining Preferred Hotel Group, Narayan served as Director of Strategic Marketing in Asia Pacific for Hyatt International and as Director of Marketing at Grand Hyatt Hong Kong.
Narayan holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Northwestern University.
Michelle L. Woodley
Senior Vice President, Distribution & Revenue Management
Senior Vice President of Public Relations
Michelle Woodley holds dual positions as Senior Vice President of Distribution & Revenue Management and Senior Vice President of Public Relations for Preferred Hotel Group. She oversees the strategy and management of distribution and reservation systems and provides functional oversight of Revenue Account Management, in addition to directing the company’s brand websites and e-commerce strategies. Her Public Relations responsibilities include guiding the company’s media strategy to greater awareness of the Preferred Hotel Group family of brands in major global markets.
Prior to her current roles, Michelle served as Senior Vice President of Global Marketing Strategy, with responsibility for the execution of branding, global marketing programs, and online distribution for the group and its brands.
Before joining Preferred Hotel Group, Michelle was Vice President of Distribution for Swissôtel and Raffles Hotels & Resorts from 1997 to 2002, where she oversaw the strategic direction and operations of the company’s electronic distribution and database solutions. She held various senior positions in operations, marketing, and distribution with Swissôtel from 1990 to 1997.
Michelle has been an active board member in industry organizations. She served two terms as president and two terms as vice president of the Hotel Electronic Distribution Network Association (HEDNA), and she was a founding member of the Open Travel Alliance (OTA) and served two terms on OTA’s board of directors as treasurer.
Michelle is a graduate of the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration.
Senior Vice President — Global Sales
Richard White has led a distinguished career in the hospitality industry for more than 26 years. In 1978, he began his career with Western International Hotel at the Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles. He then became Director of Sales & Marketing of two Houston-based properties – the Westin Galleria and Houston Oaks. After that he joined Stouffer Hotels and Resorts where he opened the Los Angeles property as Director of Marketing. Soon thereafter, he was promoted to Assistant General Manager at the Los Angeles Stouffer Concourse Hotel.
In 1989, Mr. White joined Hyatt International as Director of Marketing for the Grand Hyatt in Taipei. In 1991, he served as Director of Sales, North America in Los Angeles. Following that, he served as Director of Marketing for North Asia, based in Tokyo, for five years. During this time, Mr. White opened the Grand Hyatt in Fukuoka, the Hyatt Regency in Osaka, and the Park Hyatt in Tokyo. Mr. White also assisted in the opening of Hyatt International Hotels such as the Grand Hyatt in São Paulo, Brazil; the Hyatt Regency Paris – Madeleine; the Park Hyatt Paris – Vendôme; and the Grand Hyatt Tokyo. From 2001-2004, he served as Vice President of Global Sales based in Hyatt International’s corporate office in Chicago and oversaw 15 global sales offices.
Mr. White resides in Laguna Beach, California with his wife, Janet.
Senior Vice President — Group Sales
With more than 30 years experience in hospitality sales and marketing, Senior Vice President of Group Sales Craig Jacobs leads Preferred Hotel Group’s worldwide group sales efforts, overseeing a team of more than 20 sales executives. Since joining Preferred in 2004, Jacobs has achieved dramatic growth of group sales production for member hotels across the company’s five brands, which includes an all-time record in future contracted room revenues for hotels in February 2013, and played a critical role in the creation and implementation of PHGMeetings.com, a comprehensive online RFP management system.