FOUNDERS

 

HEI Hotels & resorts is one of the nation’s leading privately held hotel investment and third party management companies.  HEI was founded in 1985 by brothers Gary and Steve Mendell and Stephen Rushmore of HVS Global Hospitality Services.  What began as a small hotel company 30 years ago has evolved into an industry-recognized and highly-respected Owner/Operator. HEI’s fully integrated Owner/Operator approach creates a powerful investment platform, driven by excellence in operating results that yields substantial real estate value creation. As a management company, HEI is driven to consistently set a higher standard of excellence and ensure that our associates have the tools, training and support necessary to provide best in class results.

Gary Mendell Headshot 01.jpg

Gary Mendell

Chairman

Professional Experience
Gary co-founded HEI in 1985, which became one of the fastest growing hotel investment firms in the United States. In 1997 he sold a majority of the company to Starwood Lodging Trust where he was named president and elected to the board of trustees. During his tenure, Starwood acquired the Westin hotel chain for approximately $1.8 billion and ITT Corporation for approximately $14 billion. Gary resigned his position in 1998 to pursue entrepreneurial activities that led to re-establishing HEI in 2002. In 2004, Gary led fundraising efforts for HEI's first $275 million discretionary private equity fund, followed by HEI's second fund with $425 million equity capitalization in 2006 and HEI's third fund with $515 million in 2008. Gary is also the founder and Chairman of Shatterproof, a national charitable organization committed to protecting our loved ones from addiction to illicit and prescription drugs, and alcohol, and ending the stigma and suffering of those affected by this disease.

Education and Affiliations
MBA with distinction, the Wharton School at University of Pennsylvania BS, Cornell University School of Hotel Administration

Clinton Global Initiative, UJA-Federation Campaign Steering Committee, Industry Real Estate Finance Advisory Council, The Real Estate Roundtable, the Cornell Society of Hotelmen, Charter Member of President Obama's Better Building Challenge, MINA (Marriott International's North America Association).

Recognition
Leadership, UJA Federation of New York, Hospitality Division; Cornell University of Hotel Administration Hospitality Innovator Award; Starwood's Hotels & Resorts 2010 President's Award

Steve Mendell Headshot 01.jpg

Steve Mendell

Principal

Professional Experience
Steve co-founded HEI in 1985 and then re-established HEI in 2002.  From 2002 through 2012, Steve led the company's acquisition program which resulted in the acquisition of approximately $2 billion of hotel assets.  A 30-year industry veteran, Steve also spearheaded the international expansion of HVS International in 1990 with the opening of offices in London, Athens, Dubai and Singapore over a 5 year period.  Steve now resides in Florida, where he oversees the HVS offices described above and provides strategic advice to HEI.

Education and Affiliations
MA, City University of London
BS, Cornell University School of Hotel Administration
Received Cornell University of Hotel Administration Hospitality Innovator Award

 

LEADERSHIP

Lean, nimble and proactive, HEI's leadership team brings together high-performance experts whose cumulative experience melds decades of top brand expertise and legendary market cycle successes.

Industry-shapers, these individuals initiated progressive programs and processes that forever changed the hospitality landscape, including: repositioning of major known brands, pioneers of "better bed" concepts, trendsetting culinary collaborations, development of more than 60 training programs still in use by top brands, and prescient energy-saving innovations.

Anthony Rutledge

CEO & Managing Partner, HEI Hotels and Resorts

Responsible for the Company's overall performance and leadership. Anthony oversees all aspects of HEI, including corporate strategy, capital formation, human resources, investor relations and the firm's overall investment and property management. Anthony is committed to further fueling HEI’s best-in-class status by continuously leading associate development, compensation and wellness programs. Anthony takes pride in some of the highest corporate and field level associate satisfaction and retention rates in the industry, a testament to HEI’s success.

Professional Experience
Prior to joining HEI in 2004, Anthony was a senior associate with the law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom, LLP, in its New York office. Anthony has extensive experience in all aspects of real estate and corporate transactions, garnered during his tenure at Skadden where he represented the interests of developers, REITS, private equity funds and lending institutions in connection with, domestic and international hospitality, residential, office, shopping center and retail investments. Rutledge is credited with structuring and closing over $10 billion in real estate investments. Anthony's experience also includes hospitality finance, mezzanine, preferred equity, hotel operations, historic tax credits, joint venture participation and structured financing arrangements.

Education and Affiliations
Admitted to the bar, states of New York and Connecticut
JD, New York Law School
BS, Fordham University

ted Darnall

CEO of HEI Hotels and Resorts Lodging and Technical Services Company

Responsible for guidance and growth of HEI's property operations, asset management and design and construction divisions.

Professional Experience 
A 30-year veteran of the hospitality industry and widely recognized as one of the top hotel operators in the industry, Ted has held executive positions with Starwood, Interstate, and Marriott. Ted's industry recognition is garnered from his innovative initiatives, performance-driven, results-oriented focus, and motivational leadership. Prior to joining HEI in 2006, Ted was with Starwood for 10 years where he held various executive positions which included Chief Operating Officer of Starwood Lodging Corporation, President of North America Operations, and most recently, President of Starwood Real Estate Group. Prior to Starwood, Ted was with Interstate Hotels for over 14 years, reaching the position of Senior Vice President, Operations. Darnall began his hospitality career with Marriott Corporation, where he held a number of management positions.

Nigel Hurst

Clark Hanrattie

Executive Vice President of Human Resources

Responsible for all human resource activities for HEI's growing workforce of approximately 5,000 people, including recruitment, talent development, leadership development, employee relations, performance management, compensation and benefits.

Professional Experience
Nigel joined HEI in 2006 from Unilever, North America, where he was senior vice president, human resources and a member of the company's five-person overall management committee. He played a key role in the integration of Lever Brothers, Chesebrough Ponds and Helene Curtis into a single business unit with a common mission and shared values. Formerly, Nigel was senior vice president of Unilever, East Asia Pacific, where he oversaw human resource activities for the company's fastest growing region, with more than $2 billion annual revenues. During his tenure, Nigel helped the business achieve a 90 percent internal succession rate and voluntary turnover rate of less than 7 percent. Earlier, as head of personnel for Unilever Plantations, he integrated the acquisitions of five companies with more than 70,000 employees.

Education and Affiliations
BA, Business Studies, Coventry University, UK

Partner & CFO

Responsible for refining the firm’s investment strategies, managing the acquisition/disposition process and fund financial/tax reporting, monitoring economic and industry conditions, and overseeing the firm’s capital markets, investor relations and asset management functions.

Professional Experience
Prior to joining HEI in February 2004, Clark was a partner at Olympus Real Estate Partners, the real estate-affiliate of LBO-firm Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst, which acquired approximately $5 billion in assets from 1994 to 2003 through three discretionary real estate funds representing nearly $1.7 billion in equity commitments. During his ten year association with Olympus, Clark rose from associate to partner/investment committee member, and was responsible for the firm’s hotel investment activities from 1999 to 2004. Clark either led, or was actively involved in, the acquisition of 63 hotels and resorts, covering approximately $1.35 billion in transaction value. Prior to Olympus, Clark was with Montford Companies, a private real estate concern based in Dallas.

Education, Affiliations, Distinctions
BS, Texas A&M University
Member, the Hotel Development Council of the Urban Land Institute and the New York Hospitality Council

Charlie Colletta

Rob Willis

Senior Vice President of Investment Analysis & Asset Management

Responsible for monitoring economic and market forces, optimizing portfolio diversification and achieving excellence in HEI’s underwriting process.  Charlie is also responsible for managing HEI’s interest in the W Hollywood Hotel & Residences mixed-use project.

Professional Experience
Prior to joining HEI in 2007, Charlie represented Starwood’s equity interest in joint venture assets both domestically and internationally.  Charlie led early development of Starwood’s owner relations department and the inspection of targeted acquisitions; reviewing operations, market position, and physical plan. Charlie was also responsible for spearheading the initial development plan for the $1 billion St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort & Residences mixed-use development.

Education and Affiliations 
BS, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Senior Vice President Design & Construction

Responsible for overseeing renovations, brand conversions, capital projects and providing support for the Investments team in the acquisition process.

Professional Experience

Rob joined HEI in 2016 from The John Hardy Group where he was the Managing Director of their New York City office.  

Prior to working for The John Hardy Group, Rob served as the VP of Architecture and Construction at Starwood Hotels and Resorts where, among other assignments, he led the Select Service A&D team and provided Architecture and Construction support for the rollout of the aloft and Element brands. 

Before joining Starwood, Rob was a Vice President of Construction at Forest City Ratner Companies where he worked on their 42nd Street Retail and Entertainment project and the New York Times Headquarters project.  Prior to joining Forest City Ratner, Rob was the Director of Construction at Prime Hospitality Corp. where he participated in the rapid growth of the

AmeriSuites brand footprint. Earlier in his career Rob held a number of project management positions with McBride Enterprises working on ground up commercial development and tenant improvement projects.

Career Background

Managing Director, The John Hardy Group
Vice President, Starwood Hotels & Resorts
Vice President, Forest City Ratner Companies
Director, Prime Hospitality Corp.
Project Manager, McBride Enterprises

Education and Affiliations

BA English, Washington & Lee University
BS Construction, Arizona State University
MS Real Estate, New York University

Dan Walworth

Steen Petri

Senior Vice President of Operations

Dan has spent nearly 20 years developing and implementing innovative processes, tools, and systems across multiple industries, including financial services, healthcare, software development, wireless technologies, and ultimately hospitality, where he has worked for the past decade.  In his career he has been tasked with finding outside-the-box but practical solutions to business challenges ranging from common to extraordinary.  Most recently before joining HEI, Dan served as director of strategic planning for a national private residence club, where he first applied his expertise to the hospitality industry.  He began his career as a process and technology consultant at Accenture before receiving his MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.  Dan also holds a B.S. in Applied Mathematics from Yale University.

Senior Vice President of Investments

Responsible for deal sourcing through an extensive network of brokers, institutional investors and other stakeholders.  Also responsible for all aspects of transaction underwriting, contract negotiations, due diligence and deal execution. 

Professional Experience
Steen joined HEI in 2008 from the Waterford Hotel Group, where he was Director of Acquisitions & Development with responsibilities including land acquisition sourcing, securing entitlements and underwriting for ground-up hotel development projects and capital transactions. Formerly, he spent over 10 years in hospitality operations, leading various management teams at assets including the W Hotel Union Square NYC, Lotos Club in NYC and the Hotel Jerome in Aspen, CO. 

Career Background
Operational management career at luxury hospitality properties including The Hotel Jerome, Aspen, W-Union Square and The Lotos Club, New York City

Director of Development and Acquisition at The Waterford Group – focusing on the development, acquisition, disposition and refinancing of branded properties in the Northeast and Florida

Education and Affiliations
MS, Hotel Development & Asset Management, NYU Tisch Center, NYC
BA, Hotel & Restaurant Management, University of New Haven, CT
Board Member, NYU Tisch Center Alumni Society

Rachel Moniz

Brian Russo

Rachel Moniz is the Senior Vice President of Luxury, Lifestyle and Independent brands and Food & Beverage Operations at HEI Hotels & Resorts. 

Rachel has held positions within HEI Hotels & Resorts including Group Vice President of Independent Brands and Food & Beverage, Regional Vice President of Operations, and Corporate Director Independent Brands. Prior to this Rachel has worked in several executive leadership positions in independent, luxury and lifestyle hotels including the famed Liberty Hotel in Boston where she was General Manager for eight years. Prior to this Rachel held executive leadership positions with St. Regis and W Hotels.

Moniz is involved with a variety of local Boston charities, including the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Project Bread's Walk for Hunger, and the Boston Esplanade Community Clean-Up.

Senior Vice President, Corporate Finance

Brian is responsible for overseeing all HEI fund accounting transactions and financial reporting, and plays a key role in investor relations, asset management, property tax minimization and risk management as well as sourcing and closing HEI's debt financings.

Professional Experience
Prior to joining HEI in 2006, Brian was a Manager with Ernst & Young LLP, in its New York office. Brian has extensive experience in all aspects of real estate and corporate transactions, including initial public offerings and real estate valuation garnered during his tenure at E&Y where he primarily focused on private equity funds and REITs in connection with hospitality, residential, office, shopping center and retail investments.

Education and Affiliations
MS, Real Estate Investments & Finance, NYU
BS, Finance & Accounting, Villanova University

Marcus Harris

Marcus Harris, Senior Vice President of Finance for HEI Hotels + Resorts, joined the company in 2003 on property in Atlanta-Buckhead. Prior to joining the company, Harris held various roles with Starwood Hotels & Resorts and Marriott International. He brings more than 20 years of hospitality experience in both Brand Owned/Operated Assets as well as Independently Owned/Operated Assets, with an emphasis on Process Improvement to garner a sustainable business platform.

Marcus Harris is responsible for property level accounting services for HEI with an emphasis on third party asset management relationships. Oversight includes Recruitment & Training, Financial Controls, Labor Management, Financial Reporting & Analysis, & Internal & External Audit Support.

He attended North Carolina State University - College of Management and holds a B.S. degree in Accounting from DeVry University, graduating Cum Laude.