Associated Luxury Hotels’ chairman David Gabri retiring March 1st
David Gabri, Chairman of Associated Luxury Hotels and 45-year hospitality industry veteran, announced he will retire effective March 1, 2018, yet will remain actively involved with the company’s Board of Directors. Associated Luxury Hotels is the parent company that owns and operates Associated Luxury Hotels International (ALHI) and Worldhotels, which both specialize in serving luxury and upper-upscale hotels and resorts around the world which are either owned or operated as independent or are with an independent hotel brand. Associated Luxury Hotels is now the world’s largest hotel consortium company providing worldwide Global Sales support and a variety of technology connectivity and distribution solutions, enabling its member hotels and resorts to maintain their independent identity while also effectively competing with the world’s biggest hospitality chains.
As part of the succession planning, Josh Lesnick became Associated Luxury Hotels’ President and CEO in March 2017, and he continues to oversee and advance all of the company’s business operations and subsidiaries worldwide. Mark Sergot, who also joined the company in March 2017, is ALHI’s Chief Sales Officer, overseeing ALHI’s Global Sales team of 75 sales professionals and its 24 Global Sales Offices throughout North America and Europe, serving its distinguished portfolio of more than 250 luxury hotels and resorts worldwide. Geoff Andrew was appointed Worldhotels’ CEO in February 2017, and is leading that team and global organization for its distinctive portfolio of 350 independent hotels. Tom Santora, who joined the company in July 2016, is Associated Luxury Hotels’ Chief Commercial Officer.
Gabri said, “With our new, energized, experienced and fully integrated leadership team now in place for a year, it is time for me to advance onto other personal priorities including family time and lending my time, expertise and resources to several non-profit and organizations of interest. With our brands in terrific hands, and the direction clear, I could not be more confident about the future, as this dedicated team leads our extraordinarily passionate, talented and growing staff of professionals around the globe, and our company, forward for the next decade and well beyond.”
Lesnick added: “Having now had the opportunity to work closely with the entire Associated Luxury Hotels team, I have developed a full appreciation for the outstanding service culture, focus, and commitment that the company has for its member hotels and the extensive meeting professionals, association executives, incentive specialists and business executives we serve. Our sales culture and success is a true reflection of Dave and the passion he put in to building the business every day for the last 15 years.”
Gabri’s retirement will coincide with the 32nd Anniversary of ALHI. His extensive experience includes serving as the owner of ALHI since 2003, and CEO of ALHI through January 2017. In January 2017 he announced the establishment of Associated Luxury Hotels as the new parent enterprise of ALHI, which also was in preparation of the company’s acquisition of Worldhotels, which transacted in February 2017. Gabri then became Chairman, while finalizing the selection of the new President & CEO for the enterprise, only the company’s third CEO in its 32-year history.
He also was one of the original concept architects of Associated Luxury Hotels International, along with ALHI founder John Metcalfe, in 1986 as a means for select independent luxury hotels and resorts to harness “national” resources to face growing major chain competition. ALHI launched in March 1986, and Gabri served as a volunteer Member-Chairman for the ALHI Executive Committee for several years, and later acquired the company from Metcalfe and his partners. Gabri has been widely credited for elevating the status, roles and credibility of dues-funded independent Global Sales Organizations in serving the marketplace exclusively for its membership-based portfolio. Over his tenure, he consolidated a previously fragmented sector to make ALHI what it is today for its exclusive membership.
Under Gabri’s leadership, the company significantly expanded its geographic footprint, sales, marketing and member services, from just a staff of 14 dispersed among four national sales office locations in 2003, to 52 global sales office locations and a staff of 240 today. The organization had just 60 member properties in 2003, and today collectively serves over 600 hotels and 210,000 rooms around the globe, making it the largest hotel consortium of its type in the world. Associated Luxury Hotels and its subsidiaries have emerged as a vastly expanded “soft brand” solution, providing worldwide Global Sales support and technology solutions for luxury independent hotels and resorts around the world.
Prior to acquiring ALHI in 2003, Gabri was Executive Vice President and partner of Tishman Hotel Corporation, where he served for 14 years as an asset manager providing consultancy/asset management services to owned and independent hotel and resort projects and assets. Its hotel operations grew from one hotel when he started with Tishman in 1989 to 23 hotels and resorts with annual trading revenues approaching a billion dollars at the time of his departure to acquire ALHI. Gabri’s earlier experience includes serving as Executive Vice President and partner of Buena Vista Hospitality Group, a hotel and resort management company, where he spearheaded strategic planning for several major properties, including the 1,000+ room Buena Vista Palace at Walt Disney World Village.
Earlier in his career he spent six years with the then-largest hotel company in the world, British-based Trusthouse Forte Hotels, culminating his tenure as Director of Marketing for their North American entity.
Gabri was honored by the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) in 2010 with its most prestigious “Academy of Leaders Award,” ASAE’s highest individual honor given to an industry partner who has demonstrated exemplary support of ASAE & The Center for Association Leadership and the entire association community. He was the sole recipient of the award in 2010, and was just the 23rd recipient to ever receive the honor.
He also is a Past Chairman of the Meeting Professionals International MPI Foundation Board of Trustees, and served as a member of the International Board of Directors for Meeting Professionals International. He has served on many other non-profit boards and other industry committees and foundations, including with SITE and the Travel Industry Association of America (now U.S. Travel).
He has been involved in several causes, including serving as Chairman of the Governing Board for House of Hope, which helps hurting teens and families. Among his many recognitions, he was the recipient of the prestigious “House of Hope Humanitarian Award,” an honor shared with Ronald and Nancy Reagan, Rich DeVos, Jeb Bush, Pat Robertson, Pat Williams, and other notables.
About Associated Luxury Hotels
Associated Luxury Hotels (alhworld.com) is the parent company of Associated Luxury Hotels International (ALHI) and Worldhotels. The company and its subsidiaries empower independent luxury and upper-upscale hotels and resorts, and independent hotel brands, around the world to stay independent, with an array of competitive sales, marketing, distribution and hospitality service offerings. As the owner and operator of ALHI and Worldhotels, Associated Luxury Hotels serves a combined portfolio of more than 600 hotels and resorts and over 210,000 rooms worldwide.