Chief Executive Officer
Chief Financial Officer
Chief Investment Officer
Senior Vice President of Hotel Operations
Senior Vice President of Hotel Performance Support
Senior Vice President of Development
Senior Vice President of Employee Services
Vice President of Revenue Management
Vice President of Accounting Services
Vice President of Legal Services
Chris Russell, Chief Executive Officer
The initial founding member of Pillar, Chris and his team started the in-house property management company for Archon Group L.P., a subsidiary of Goldman Sachs. In addition to leading the growth of the management company to over 240 hotels by its fourth year of operation, the platform also assisted the investment and asset management team at Archon in the acquisition, disposition and strategic growth of the hotel platform. Prior to joining Pillar, Chris was a partner and Chief Operating Officer of Dallas-based Prism Hotels, where he worked with lenders and special servicers while leading the growth of the management company from three hotels to over 50 hotels in the first two years. Chris has over 35 years of experience in the restaurant and hotel industry, 15 of which were at Bristol Hotels and Resorts where he served in various food and beverage, sales and operational positions, including the role of a Divisional Vice President upon the sale of the company. Other past experiences include Four Seasons, AIRCOA and owner of an off-premise catering business. Originally from New York, he holds a degree from the Culinary Institute of America and is actively involved in the support of Texas Special Olympics, Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children, and is past Vice-Chair of the Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance.
David Altshuler, Chief Financial Officer
David is responsible for the accounting and finance operations of Pillar Hotels and Resorts. David has served in this capacity since June 2008. During his tenure the number of hotels under management grew from 24 to 233. This growth was achievable by developing an accounting infrastructure that utilized information technology systems to automate and streamline a significant portion of the accounting process. Prior to joining Pillar, David held several senior financial leadership positions with Archon Group/Goldman Sachs, Countrywide Financial, and Lend Lease Real Estate Investments. David spent his early career in public accounting with KPMG rising to the position of Senior Manager. While at KPMG, David audited both public/privately owned service based companies, was a national instructor and served a two year assignment in Sydney, Australia. David is a Certified Public Accountant and holds a BS in Accounting from the University of Houston.
Rick Frank, Chief Investment Officer
Rick's primary responsibility is to help lead the growth of Pillar Hotels & Resorts new business opportunities; which includes third-party management and ancillary services, acquisitions, and new investment opportunities. Most recently, Rick was senior vice president overseeing acquisitions and asset management at Behringer Harvard, a real estate investment company. Prior to joining Behringer Harvard, he was a senior vice president within AEW's hospitality group where he was responsible for investment origination and asset management activities. Rick's additional past experience includes asset management with Olympus Real Estate Partners, and hotel operations for ITT Sheraton (later becoming Starwood). After graduating from Cornell and gaining his MBA from Fordham University, Rick began his career at Arthur Andersen, specializing in the real estate and hospitality industries.
Dawna Comeaux, Senior Vice President of Hotel Operations
Dawna is responsible for hotel operations and revenue generation. With her support, the Pillar Hotels management team provides hands on operational leadership and engaged sales and revenue management guidance to maximize top line revenue and market share and produce strong financial results. She has 24 years of experience in the Hospitality industry. Her previous positions include 4 years as Regional Vice President with Prism Hotels and 14 years with Bristol Hotels, where she participated in the companys growth to more than 120 hotels at its peak. Dawna holds a BS in Hotel and Restaurant Management from the University of Houston Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management.
Dale Turner, Senior Vice President of Hotel Performance Support
Dale oversees key support functions in the home office providing leverage to the operations teams - to allow for focus on service, revenue and profitability. These functions include: budgeting and forecasting, performance metrics analysis and reporting, brand standards compliance/ service tracking, purchasing and procurement, business technology systems integration, and oversight of the capital budgeting process. With 37 years of experience in hotel operations, his previous positions include President/Founder of Alliance Hospitality Management, LLC, which grew to 34 hotels in less than 90 days and peaked at 42 hotels under management. Dale also held Regional VP of Operations positions with Bristol Hotels & Resorts and Holiday Inn Worldwide. Dale studied Business Administration at the University of Texas at Austin.
Phillip McNeill, Senior Vice President of Development
Phillip is responsible for managing all of the brand related Property Improvement Plan and cyclical renovation requirements for all of the hotels in the platform. In this role, Phillip manages an annual capital investment spend of $75-100 million. Previously, he served as Executive VP for Equity Inns - a REIT. He was involved in growing the company from 8 hotels with a value of $40 million to 138 hotels valued at approximately $2.2 billion. He has been involved in the acquisition, capital investment, development and management of hotels in excess of $3 billion. He was President of Trust Leasing (formerly McNeill Hotel Company) prior to joining Equity Inns. Phillip has over 25 years of experience in the Hospitality industry with extensive experience in capital projects and real estate development. Phillip holds a BA from the University of Memphis.
Jolynda Ward, Senior Vice President of Employee Services
Jolynda is responsible for all aspects of employee services including recruiting, training, on-going development, compensation and benefits. With over 20 years of experience in education and training, Jolynda is certified as a Professional in Human Resources (PHR). Prior to joining Pillar Hotels and Resorts, Jolynda spent over 12 years with Archon Group in a variety of roles. Jolynda holds a Bachelors degree from Texas A&M University.
Liz Uber, Vice President of Revenue Management
Liz leads Pillar Hotels & Resorts' revenue management team. As a group, they identify and implement strategies to maximize revenue with a strong focus on improving market share. Liz joined Pillar Hotels and Resorts in 2005 as the General Manager of the Holiday Inn Downtown in Atlanta, Georgia and was subsequently promoted to area roles including Area Director of Sales and Area Director of Operations. In 2010, Liz joined the revenue management team to further develop the department for greater performance and growth opportunities. Prior to joining Pillar Hotels and Resorts, Liz served in roles as an Area Director of Revenue Management and General Manager with Meyer Jabara Hotels and also as the General Manager of an Historic Hotel in New England for two years. Liz began her hotel career with Bristol Hotels & Resorts, and has worked in Human Resources, Housekeeping, Front Office, and Sales. Liz holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Texas A&M University.
Anita Evans, Vice President of Accounting Services
Anita is responsible for assisting with the oversight of the accounting operations of Pillar Hotels & Resorts. Anita has served in this capacity since March 2007 and assisted with the growth of the platform from 24 hotels to 237 hotels. Prior to joining Pillar, Anita served as an Accounting Manager and then Portfolio Controller of Interstate Hotels and Resorts for almost seven years. Anita has worked with several other management companies in accounting over the 20 plus years she has served in the hospitality industry including Bristol Hotels and Resorts, Medallion Hotels and Richfield Hospitality. Anita holds a degree in Accounting from Texas State University at San Marcos.
Susi Schmidt, Vice President of Legal Services
Susiís responsibilities include handling legal related matters for the hotel properties (contracts, litigation, subpoenas, etc.) as well as assisting the properties with administration of the insurance and risk management at the hotel level and is a member of the Safety Committee. She was previously a member of the Archon Group Legal Team. Prior to joining the Pillar team, Susi spent 20 years with Prism Hotels as Senior Vice President. She has also worked with Park Suite Hotels as Secretary and Vice President of Administration and Brock Hotels in their investor relations and treasury department.
Pillar Hotels and Resorts | 6031 Connection Dr. Suite 500 | Irving, Texas 75039 | 972.830.3100