Diverse, thoughtful, active in the community, and ready to inspire. The hotel management company team at Real Hospitality Group shares their knowledge and experience with our hotel teams to produce memorable experiences and market leading results. Get to know the RHG team and find out why we're one of the top 15 hotel management companies in the U.S.
As President and Chief Executive Office for Real Hospitality Group, Ben Seidel is forging new ground in hospitality management. Having a lifetime career and passion for the industry, Real Hospitality Group is redefining the meaning of owner relations, championing innovative guest service programs, and emphasizing community-based initiatives under Ben’s visionary leadership. In under 7 years, Real Hospitality Group has grown into one of the Top 15 US Hotel Management Companies with this focus on relationships and positive results.
In addition to leading the Real Hospitality Group team, Ben also serves as President of Marriott’s Owners Council for the Aloft brand, is a Board member of the AHLA, and is an active member of various hospitality boards and associations. Mr. Seidel has taught hospitality marketing and accounting management at the Central Connecticut State University’s school of hospitality, and is a current participant in the development of the School of Hospitality Management at the West Virginia University in Morgantown. Ben is a graduate of West Chester University in Pennsylvania and is CHA/CHSP certified by AHLAEI.
In his role of Chief Operating Officer, John oversees the daily management of over $350 million in Top Line Revenue and the ascent of Real Hospitality Group to the top 15 of largest US Hotel Management Companies. He delivers on the RHG pillars of reliability, efficiency, accessibility and loyalty, and builds the trust that guides our important owner relationships. John’s leadership results in our hotels maintaining top market position, high performing RGI, and maximum NOI across the portfolio.
John previously served as Regional Vice President of one of the largest hospitality operating companies in the United States, managing owner relationships for high profile clients. He executed an award winning approach to his guest service scores and was recognized by Marriott for excellence in his portfolio. John was also a General Manager for Marriott and Hilton branded hotels throughout the United States through his extensive career.
John is a member of the Marriott Owner’s Advisory Board and has been a featured speaker on panels for many national publications and organizations including Hotel Business and Hotel Management. He attended University of North Carolina and was awarded his Bachelor of Science degree in Travel, Tourism and Commercial Recreation.
Mr. Yi brings over 14 years of extensive real estate investment knowledge and experience spanning all major sectors. He is particularly adept in the acquisition, financing, and structuring of investments in hotels, office, multi-family, and mixed-use properties. Mr. Yi previously served as the Managing Director of Acquisitions and Capital Markets, and prior to that, as Vice President, for two respective developers. The breadth of Mr. Yi’s expertise has developed through various leadership roles, in which he spearheaded over $5 billion worth of real estate investment transactions, including over $2 billion in the lodging sector. Mr. Yi’s extensive real estate finance background also includes EB-5 financing, which he has utilized in excess of $300 million in four development projects. As Chief Investment Officer, Mr. Yi oversees all investments and major transactions for the Company, including partnership and structured debt, and he provides the same expertise to the Company’s clients. He will also participate on strategic growth initiatives and business development for the Company.
Mr. Yi received his undergraduate degree from Binghamton University – State University of New York and his juris doctorate from Brooklyn Law School. He brings a comprehensive legal background, which includes several years of service as the General Counsel for a prominent New York-based real estate group. He is an active member of the New York State Bar Association, and has served on multiple boards for various business associations. Mr. Yi currently serves on the Advisory Board of the Asian Real Estate Association of America Manhattan Chapter, and is the founding member of its Commercial Division.
Jim oversees all Sales, Marketing, and Brand Initiatives for Real Hospitality Group. He brings with him more than 28 years of hospitality industry management experience to his role and additionally serves as the lead for establishing technology standards for the portfolio.
Previously serving as Chief Marketing & Revenue Officer for Chelsea Hotels / King & Grove and Vice President Digital for Morgans Hotel Group & Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, starting his career with Denihan Hospitality / Affinia Hotels where he served in several marketing roles.
Creating numerous award winning digital, CRM & technology programs, Jim has held numerous industry designations and has served on several industry boards including: Hospitality Sales and Marketing International (HSMAI) Digital Marketing Group where he is a founding member, an Adrian Awards Platinum Judge, and is a regular speaker at industry events; including HSMAI and HITEC and has guest lectured at the NYU School of Hospitality and Sports Management.
Dana has over 20 years of experience servicing the hospitality industry. She joins RHG having been with top ranked national CPA firm, CohnReznick where she was responsible for creating and growing the firm’s Hospitality Consulting Practice. Previous to this tenure, Dana served as the Chief Financial Officer of two nationally recognized, hotel operating companies.
She earned her certifications from Cornell University in Hotel Asset Management and Investment, served as president for the Washington DC chapter of Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals, has published several whitepapers, and moderated industry think tank panels and is a regularly featured speaker at national hospitality forums.
Louis directs key assets in the high profile New York City portfolio, driving results in guest service delivery, top line performance, and cost containment/P & L efficiency. His expertise and universal knowledge of the hospitality industry has made him a leader in company-wide cultural change initiatives, driving improvements in process execution, guest service scores and revenue results. Louis incorporates comprehensive financial reviews at all properties to ensure accountability is understood from the Executive office to the management level and as a tool to mentor and develop future leaders.
Throughout his tenure in the industry, Louis has held various roles in a wide range of luxury properties throughout the New York tri-state area, Florida, and Georgia. He has written and facilitated service-oriented education classes for all operational disciplines to drive the service needle. Louis was instrumental in the recently completed $70 million complex renovation of the Park Central while simultaneously designing a boutique hotel within the asset. In addition, Louis led the transition of a midtown boutique hotel to a branded full service property while remaining open. Previous career highlights include iconic New York properties such as The Park Lane, Park Central, and the Grand Westin Grand Central, formerly the New York Helmsley.
Sanjay brings world class experience and boundless optimism to his role as Regional VP of Operations. He manages key owner relations across the portfolio as well as some of our most high profile assets. As a brand leader with extensive Marriott, Starwood, and IHG knowledge, Sanjay represents RHG at numerous conferences to ensure our hotel results lead their respective markets and competitive sets.
Mentoring new leaders is a priority for Sanjay as he has trained several first time General Managers within the organization. He also oversees the our internal committee on Associate Satisfaction and leads best practice sharing initiatives at RHG.
Prior to joining RHG, Sanjay worked for one of the largest Hotel Management Companies where he produced consistently strong results as a General Manager and earned a coveted promotion to a multi-unit position as the Regional Director of Operations. His vast market experience has included Kentucky, Virginia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and New York. Sanjay has an MBA from Clarion University of Pennsylvania and received his Bachelor’s Degree from St. Stephen’s College in New Delhi.
Alma oversees the Human Resources platform at Real Hospitality Group and across the entire management portfolio of over 3,000 associates. She is responsible for all systems and functions as they relate to talent acquisition and onboarding, policies and procedures, salary and benefits compensation, training and development, rewards and recognition, leadership development, and corporate responsibility.
A career leader and expert in the field, Alma posesses 30+ years global experience in Human Resource Performance, Client Service Management, Support and Delivery Systems, Project Management and Communications Systems.
Alma holds a dual B.A. in Human Resources Performance and Organizational Dynamics, and a M.A. in Organization Leadership and Effectiveness. She is active in education and volunteers as a visiting business expert in classrooms for instructors at universities, and local community colleges.
Joanne oversees the day to day management of the accounting team at Real Hospitality Group. These responsibilities include treasury management, coordinating credit card services, accounts payable & receivable, bank reconciliations, tax filings, and systems management. She also designed RHG’s hotel financial reporting model and assists with key ownership relationships.
Prior to RHG in her previous role as Director of Financial Reporting, Wagner handled the oversight and set up procedures for the company’s central accounting system as well as managing a hotel portfolio of 8 hotels with over $85 million dollars in revenue flow annually. She holds an Associate Degree in Accounting.
JoAnne is a long-standing member of the Ocean City Volunteer Fire Company Ladies Auxiliary, which supports the local fire department and the youth cadet program, and has held the office of Treasurer for the last 7 years. She also holds the elected position of Worcester County Points Coordinator for the Maryland State Fireman’s Ladies Auxiliary since 2006.
As Corporate Director of Digital Marketing & Ecommerce, Michael Zayas moves Real Hospitality’s revenue generating initiatives into the future. Michael manages the portfolio’s digital footprint by overseeing all ecommerce channels, brand field marketing efforts, web content, SEO, email/promotion strategy, and paid media (SEM, re-marketing, meta sites, social). He keeps the portfolio updated on digital trends, best practices, and market disruption while developing strategies with the revenue and sales teams to ensure revpar and profit goals are met and exceeded.
Prior to rejoining Real Hospitality, Michael was a digital marketing manager at Starwood Hotels where he developed innovative property specific and regional marketing plans for the New York City and Washington, D.C. portfolio. Michael is currently the co-chair of the Hospitality Committee for the Queens Chamber of Commerce, a committee member of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce’s LGBT Business Committee, and a member of NYC & Company's Hospitality Committee. A thought leader in his field, Michael’s commentary has been published throughout the New York City region.
As a Regional Director of Operations, Jim manages a portfolio of hotels that spans the entire east coast of the United States. From Florida to New York, Jim is leading service culture, profitability initiatives, owner relations, and topline revenue performance to ensure the philosophy of Real Hospitality Group is fully realized.
Jim’s previous experiences have been recognized by numerous brands and management companies. He has been awarded notable distinctions such as the Hilton Spirit Award, Marriott Most Improved GSS Award, and Hotel of the Year, in addition to being named General Manager Advisory Board Co-Chair at a national hotel management company. Jim is a graduate of Indiana University of Pennsylvania with a B.S. in Hotel Restaurant and Institutional Management.
Dave grew up in Baltimore, MD and attended the University of Tampa, where he earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Criminology and Business. Through college, Dave worked for the Hyatt Corporation and assisted with the opening of the Hyatt Regency-Tampa Downtown, where he accepted the position as Rooms Division Manager upon graduation.
Dave has also held the positions of General Manager and Area Manager for Embassy Suites. During this time, he assumed oversight of the Memphis Corporate Office, which led to a leadership position for all Hilton brand managed hotels including Hampton, Homewood, Embassy, Doubletree, and Hilton full-serviced properties. Following a company restructure, he left Hilton and joined the White Lodging Hotel Management Company, where he worked with Marriott branded hotels for several years.
Prior to joining our team, Dave most recently held the position of Senior VP of Operations for a well-known management company in Philadelphia, PA. He worked closely with major banks, lenders, and special servicers to reposition and/or stabilize distressed hotel assets to maximize and recoup full valuation for each asset as an operating entity or for potential sale.
Dave currently resides in Tampa, FL. During his free time, he volunteers for the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary as a Captain, Staff Officer, and Vessel Safety Examiner.
Allen brings more than 17 years of hotel operations experience to Real Hospitality Group. Allen has previously served as General Manager in both full-service and select service brands for Starwood, Choice and IHG. His main concentration has been in the NYC market. Throughout his years in the Hospitality industry, Allen has worked directly with individual owners and management companies.
In his role with Real Hospitality Group Allen is involved in the pre-opening of hotels, as well as hotels in transition. With pre-opening properties, Allen is involved in the early stages of the OS&E needs and acquisitions, as well as participating in the hiring and onboarding of the General Managers. With transitioning hotels he works with the operations team to assist in a smooth transition and introduce the Real Hospitality Group culture that is the foundation to our success.
Allen has had the opportunity to be involved in all the regions where Real Hospitality manages hotels which has been instrumental in the sharing of best practices. He is recognized for his ability to improve top line revenue through revenue management and increase guest service levels in branded and independent properties through training and development.
Robin comes to Real Hospitality Group with more than 29 years of experience in the hospitality industry. Most recently, Robin served as Director of Sales and Catering for a collection of five independent Mid-Atlantic oceanfront hotels and resorts. Widely recognized as a top performer with the ability to deliver double digit revenue increases, her in-depth knowledge of the resort market combined with a well-established client portfolio provide a competitive edge for driving top line revenue. Utilizing her detailed market expertise, Robin will oversee the cultivation of business from the Association, Corporate, SMERF, Government and Tour & Travel markets in her assigned portfolio. She utilizes her skillset to inspire and lead the team by setting clear objectives and implementing systems to measure and track their achievement, which has earned her awards of excellence as a National Sales Trainer. Having owned and operated her own business, she clearly understands the importance of synergy between sales and operations. Her brand experience with Starwood, Loews and Choice hotels have made her proficient in developing sales strategies that produce increased RGI results. Robin attended West Virginia University and has her CID from Sheffield School of Interior Design in New York.
As the newest member of the corporate team William Speidel brings an energy and enthusiasm to his region’s sales & marketing efforts. Client satisfaction and topline results are his main goals as he leads sales teams from from New York, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina.
Prior to joining Real Hospitality, Will spent nine years with one of the largest management companies in the United States where he contributed to the company’s growth from 37 to nearly 130 assets. He has served the industry in various roles including Director of Sales, General Manager, Regional Vice President, and Vice President in various brands and management companies including Starwood, Hilton, IHG, Marriott, and Independents throughout the Northeast and Midwest. A graduate of Robert Morris University (Hospitality and Tourism Management), Will brings to Real Hospitality Group more than 10 years of multi-unit experience with portfolio revenues in excess of $100 million annually. Will is active in the community he lives volunteering and coaching for numerous local nonprofit organizations. Throughout his career he has served on various hospitality boards and associations. Will resides in Pennsylvania with his wife and 4 children.
As Creative Director of Marketing & Design, Zach supports Real Hospitality Group’s Sales, Marketing, Graphic Design, Information Technologies, Social Media and Corporate Responsibility efforts providing graphic design of collateral, advertisements, eblasts, and additional marketing materials in both digital and print media. From a corporate perspective, Zach ensures all outbound marketing adheres to the different brand guidelines which are critical for both Real Hospitality Group and its portfolio of hotels. Zach is charged with maintaining integrity in concept development and illustration for each independent/lifestyle hotel’s identity and in corporate events, including logos, look and feel, brand voice and any additional marketing materials required.
Previous to his role at RHG, Zach developed a unique background in animation. His work as a Character Animator in commercials, TV series, short films and even video games allowed him to travel the United States, working on fantastic projects such as Speed Racer: The Next Generation, Toyota commercial spots, NASA short films and Xbox Live Games. Supplementing this industry experience, Zach is a graduate of Ringling College of Art and Design with a BFA in Computer Animation and is a graduate of Animation Mentor with a certified diploma of "Advanced Studies in Character Animation."
Overseeing properties across Maryland, Delaware and Virginia, Dan works closely with General Managers and property management teams to provide leadership and strategic direction. His passion for service and team member development complement the Real Hospitality Group core values. He has a proven track record in P&L management, revenue management, hotel sales, and brand management.
Dan has previously served as a General Manager for leading brands including Marriott, Hilton, Starwood, Choice and Hyatt and holds General Manager Certifications and awards across all major brands. Notable achievements include General Manager of the year at Starwood Hotels and Most Improved Guest Service Scores at Homewood Suites.
As an active member of both the Maryland Hotel and Motel Association and the Ocean City Hotel and Motel Association, Dan is the face of Real Hospitality Group to local communities across the eastern seaboard. Dan attended Frostburg State University and the University of Baltimore.
As the Field Accounting Manager, Katie leads the training and support for property Accounting teams. She oversees the internal audit program, handles tax audits, and manages credit card processing procedures. Katie is vital to the growth of Real Hospitality Group as she is the Corporate Accounting lead for new acquisitions and property transitions.
She hosts monthly webinars for her team and encourages continuous training throughout the portfolio. Katie works diligently to implement and enforce compliance and controls relating to cash handling, credit card transactions, purchasing, labor oversight, authorization and access levels, and inventory management for all hotel departments. She handles state, county, and city tax audits for the portfolio and works with owner representatives to establish or amend credit card processing and tax accounts.
Wendie joined Real Hospitality Group in 2010 as a Staff Accountant. She brings over 18 years of accounting experience to the company. Wendie began her career in the Baltimore area and worked briefly in the construction accounting industry. From there she worked in the Duty Free industry where she served as Sr. Staff Accountant for their Caribbean Division. She was responsible not only for the day to day accounting and reporting, but the financial statement preparation for numerous duty free stores located in various airports and on various islands, including but not limited to St Thomas, St Martin, Puerto Rico, and Bonaire (part of the Dutch Caribbean). From there she stepped in a controller’s position for a commercial printing firm in the Baltimore area. She relocated to the Eastern Shore and began her employment at RHG right after the company’s founding.
Swita brings over 10 years of hospitality experience to Real Hospitality Group. She is responsible for planning and conducting internal audits across the RHG portfolio. These audits are critical in ensuring proper coverage, scope, and efficiency & effectiveness in policy and process execution. Swita reviews financial and operational controls, and audits all areas including, but not limited to cash, expenses, authorization, access levels, labor, and inventories. Each RHG property is audited twice per year to ensure that company policies and procedures are maintained. Swita assists our regional property managers in developing corrective action plans in response to all internal audit observations when needed. She is also involved in the training and development of associates in the Accounting and Finance disciplines. Swita holds a Master’s Degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management from Fairleigh Dickinson University.
Slyne Louissaint brings 16 years of Hospitality Human Resource experience to our team. She supports the day-to-day Human Resource operations of our Northeast portfolio and is responsible for overseeing the administration of human resource policies, practices, and systems according to RHG standards along with strategic planning of the human resource function in alignment with the RHG and our owner’s vision and mission. She is involved in the training and development of hotel department management staff as well as dealing with the many challenges of human resources and employment. She is the trainer and mentor for our in-house internship program.
Slyne has held HR Manager and Director status in both select and full service hotels. Her brand experience includes Marriott, Hilton, IHG, Wyndham and Independent Boutique Hotels. She completed a Bachelor’s degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management at Fairleigh Dickinson University and is nearing the completion of her Master’s Degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Human Resources through Keller Graduate School of Management.
Slyne is an Adjunct Professor at Fairleigh Dickinson University where she teaches Advanced Human Resources Management to future hospitality professionals; a hospitality course designed to provide students with a broad yet comprehensive overview of the policies, practices and procedures for effectively attracting, selecting, developing and retaining quality associates in the hospitality and tourism industry.
Matthew brings a global perspective to Real Hospitality Group’s Talent Acquisition efforts. Having earned his Diploma in International Hotel Management and Le Cordon Bleu Diplome Culinaire d’Hotelier from the International College of Hotel Management, he completed his Bachelor’s Degree in Hospitality and Tourism at the University of South Australia, graduating on the Deans Merit List.
Matthew has worked within the Housekeeping, Food and Beverage, Banqueting and Front Office departments for Park Royal Hotels and Resorts, Hyatt, Hilton, Mandarin Oriental and Firmdale Hotels; Matthew went on to become a Senior Trainer, designing and delivering training programs for a hospitality based training provider in England. He is a member of the Association of Talent Development.
Matthew supports the RHG Human Resource function in recruiting and selection of the best talent at all levels of the organization. In his role, Matthew analyzes training needs and implements training and development programs to ensure the highest levels of service and guest satisfaction. He executes and delivers Supervision and Leadership development programs and ensures the implementation of HR practices including career development, mentorship, succession planning and recognition programs.
Matthew leads Real Hospitality Groups company-wide corporate social responsibility and community service efforts, ensuring that our initiatives support and align to RHG corporate values and priorities. He sits on the ECPAT USA Board of Advisors to raise awareness and deliver training to all associates on preventing, identifying and reacting to instances of child trafficking and exploitation within the hospitality industry. Matthew also serves in an advisory capacity for AHLA Career Development projects that include apprenticeships. youth opportunity programming, and the new, cost-free college program.
As the Human Resources Administrator, Liz O’Connell supports the Corporate Human Resources Department with the recruitment, on-boarding, the training of corporate and field based associates, development and completion of projects and initiatives, and associate relations. She is instrumental in the onboarding employment systems and the associate satisfaction initiatives that continually help our teams maintain extraordinary status.
Liz is responsible for the structure and maintenance of our corporate extranet, ensuring that all policies, procedures, and business plans are maintained to provide ultimate levels of support for our hotel leadership teams.
Liz holds a B.A. in Public Relations & Business Administration from West Virginia University in Morgantown, Virginia.
Cheryl is responsible for Real Hospitality Group’s accounting, ensuring that all corporate financial data is complete and accurate. She also oversees our data management and delivery systems, creating and improving processes to make relevant information accessible on demand to our corporate team.
Cheryl brings a breadth of experience with major hotel brands to RHG. She is known for her ability to analyze and modify procedures to dramatically improve workflow at her hotels, and for fostering a genuine spirit of service and unity among her teams, leading to stellar guest and associate satisfaction scores.
As the Area Human Resource Coordinator Yesenia provides support in recruitment and selection, onboarding, exit interview administration, performance management procedures, coordination of training sessions and maintenance of our online E-learning platform. She plays a key role in ensuring compliance with federal and state specific leave mandates by tracking requested leave and training property leaders on FMLA compliance.
Real Hospitality Group and Yesenia crossed paths at one of our many career fair events which led to an internship within our Human Resource Department. Upon completion of her internship she was offered the role of Area Human Resource Coordinator.
Yesenia is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s in Business Administration with a concentration in Human Resource Management at DeVry University. Her career arsenal holds over 10 years of customer service experience including bartending, barista, and restaurant clerk. She is a member of Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).