The Benchmark Difference
Our people are our foundation
- Leadership Team
- Sales & Marketing
- Business Development
- Owner Advisory Group
- Human Resources
- Information Technology
Alex Cabañas is passionate about leading and growing a company that makes a profound difference in the lives of employees, guests, owners, industry partners and the community. His life mission since college has been to create opportunities for others to be successful. As President, Alex is focused on strategic planning, people development, pursuing growth and new opportunities, promoting the delivery of memorable customer service and ultimately being the best third-party management company in the industry, acting in the best interest of owners every day.
Alex was previously President, Business Development & Finance for Benchmark. During his tenure in business development roles, the company added 22 properties to its management portfolio, expanded into the Caribbean and added to its presence in Tokyo. The company also acquired MTM Luxury Lodging, which led to the launch of Gemstone Hotel Collection.
Alex joined Benchmark in January 2006. Prior to joining Benchmark, he worked for The Boston Consulting Group from 2000 through 2005. While with BGC he worked with clients in a number of different industries including: travel and tourism, government, consumer/retail, telecommunications, e-commerce, financial services, and energy. His assignments included a variety of different tasks including: lodging investment proposal, market sizing and segmentation, competitive benchmarking, product development, process management, asset valuation, new business development and growth strategy.
Alex earned his MBA at Harvard Business School and holds a BBA and MS in Finance from Texas A&M University. Alex is married to his perfectly-made-for-him wife, Heather and they have two energetic and out-going boys, Matthew and Eli. Alex enjoys his time with family, traveling and exploring together, any outdoor activity and is very involved in his church.
Chief Commercial Officer
Senior Vice President of Finance
Brett is Senior Vice President of Finance for Benchmark, Pyramid Luxury & Lifestyle.
Previously Brett served as the CFO for Gemstone Hotels & Resorts and as part developer/owner/ Manager in select service hotel properties. His early career was spent in in Southern California in the highly-regulated mortgage banking industry. There, he had the opportunity of taking one such mortgage bank public in a s uccessful IPO. An eventual acquisition by Washington Mutual Bank moved him to Seattle, where Brett served as WMB’s Commercial Group Controller for many years.
Vice President of Hotel Accounting
Jackie is responsible for coordinating the efforts of Regional Directors of Finance Operations and Task Force Controllers with a strong focus on portfolio financial processes, compliance audits and reviews as well as property finance organizational development.
Shantesh Patil is home office controller for Benchmark, Pyramid Luxury & Lifestyle.
Shantesh brings over 20 years of hospitality experience to Benchmark, previously serving in positions within the Asia, Europe, and North American markets. He was most recently corporate controller for Avalon Hotel Group (F/K/A Ascension Hotels), located in Gonzales, Louisiana. Prior to this, he was affiliated with the landmark Gaylord Opryland in Nashville, Tennessee. He began his career with Renaissance Goa Resort of Goa, India.
Shantesh received his Postgraduate in Hotel & Restaurant Administration with High Honors from University Center Cesar Ritz, Brig, Switzerland. He earned his Bachelor in Hotel Management degree from Bangalore University, Bangalore, India, and his Postgraduate in Sales & Marketing from Bharati Vidya Bhavan, Mumbai, India. Earlier he received a Bachelor of Science from Dharwad University, Dharwad, India.
Shantesh Patil is an honorary Member of Eta Sigma Delta, International Honor Society for academic excellence in Hospitality Management. He resides in Spring, Texas, with Madhavi and their two sons.
Regional Director of Finance
Kevin Walsh serves as regional director of finance for Benchmark, Pyramid Luxury & Lifestyle. His responsibilities include overseeing the accounting and financial operations of several of Benchmark's properties.
Kevin was previously regional director, finance, for Interstate Hotels & Resorts. Earlier he served as director of accounting and before this as area controller for Gateway Hospitality Group.He attended the University of Virginia and graduated from Kent State University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Education and Math.
Kerry Orme, Payroll Manager for Benchmark, Pyramid Luxury & Lifestylel, is an important part of the team at each property, working closely with their Payroll, Accounting, Human Resources, and Information Technology departments. She is always looking for ways to help, ways to improve and streamline processes, and is constantly researching new laws and information to be sure we are compliant.
In 2001, after moving to Montgomery, Texas, Kerry was hired at a local Benchmark property. In 2005 she was promoted to Administrative Assistant for the President and Chief Operating Officer at the Home Office, and in 2009 she was promoted to Payroll Manager. Kerry holds a Fundamental Payroll Certificate (FPC), and a Certified Payroll Professional Certificate (CPP).
Kerry resides in Galveston, Texas with her husband, they have 5 grown children and 4 grandchildren. She volunteers locally through her church to give back to the community. Kerry and her husband love animals and enjoy the outdoors, boating, fishing, and gardening.
Finance and Legal Administrator
As Finance and Legal Administrator, Risa brings with her an extensive legal background, largely from her 20 plus years in the Land sector of Oil & Gas Exploration. She is looking forward to streamlining processes and contributing to the Finance team.
Risa lives in Tomball with her teenage daughter, Raegan, and enjoys going to the movies, spending time with family, volunteering and being active at church.
Director of Procurement
Molly Fierro-Preston is director of procurement for Benchmark, Pyramid Luxury & Lifestyle.
Molly previously served as vice president of product development for Source1 Purchasing, a purchasing services organization where she actively engaged with corporate brands, owners, and management groups to drive procurement efficiency and grow profitability.
She has held numerous additional leadership positions in hospitality procurement, including serving as senior consultant for Food Insights and as dining director for American Campus Communities.
Molly is a graduate of Texas A&M University, where she obtained a M.S. in Human Resource Development and B.S. in Economics. She is a certified training professional.
Senior Procurement Analyst
Jackie Ha is Senior Procurement Analyst. In this role, Jackie has primary responsibility for the Microsoft F&O Purchasing System, along with other Procurement responsibilities.
Jackie has extensive experience in Supply Chain processes and procedures. She has been involved in multiple procurement system implementations and successfully worked with all departments. Jackie is very knowledgeable in supplier management and has strong negotiation skills.
Chief Commercial Officer
For the past 20 years, Eric has been active in hospitality sales and marketing for major independent and branded organizations. Most recently, he served as senior vice president, sales and marketing, for Benchmark. Prior to rejoining Benchmark in 2018, he was chief sales and marketing officer for Salamander Hotels & Resort where he led the execution of the company’s strategic sales and marketing vision and brand execution.
Vice President of Sales Operations
John Annicchiarico is vice president, sales operations..
A hospitality industry veteran, this appointment marks a return to Benchmark for John Annicchiarico. Though he most recently held the position of vice president, sales for Salamander Hotels & Resorts, immediately prior to this Mr. Annicchiarico served as Benchmark's director of sales & marketing at Villas of Grand Cypress, the luxury resort located in Orlando, Florida.
John Annicchiarico has held the title of director of marketing for Loews Coronado Bay Resort in San Diego, California, and held multiple sales positions with luxury properties in Florida and California. Near the beginning of his career, Mr. Annicchiarico was employed by Universal Orlando in guest services and sales & marketing positions.
Annicchiarico graduated from Loyola University with a Bachelor's degree in Economics. He holds memberships in many professional organizations, including MPI and ASAE.
Regional Vice President, Sales & Marketing
Dan Paradiso serves as Regional Vice President, Sales & Marketing for Benchmark, Pyramid Luxury & Lifestyle. Dan supports the execution of commercial strategies for Benchmark’s eastern region, providing essential oversight and directional support for our regional and property level sales and marketing teams.
Since joining Benchmark as pre-opening Director of Sales & Marketing for the Kartrite Resort & Indoor Waterpark, Dan has played a critical role in driving sales & marketing leadership and strategies across our portfolio. Dan successfully took on a variety of regional sales & marketing responsibilities to include multiple openings and transitions. He, along with the properties he supports, have been regularly recognized for their achievements through internal and external awards and accolades.
Regional Vice President, Revenue Strategy
Nicole di Maio- Kennedy is Regional Vice President, Revenue Strategy for Benchmark, Pyramid Luxury & Lifestyle.Nicole supports the execution of revenue and distribution strategies for Benchmark’s eastern region, providing essential oversight and directional support for Benchmark's regional and property level commercial teams.
In 2003 Nicole Di Maio-Kennedy joined Benchmark at the North Maple Inn in Basking Ridge, NJ and over the years has had oversight for various Benchmark properties.
In 2012, she was appointed Regional Director, Revenue Management, which was followed by her promotion to Corporate Director, Revenue Strategy in 2018. During this time, she led the launch of Benchmark’s first revenue cluster overseeing a team of revenue directors and analysts. Her passion to start up this cluster has allowed Benchmark to continue to develop and mentor strong revenue directors for our properties, always ensuring revenue support is available. During her tenure at Benchmark, she has successfully supported properties through transitions and as task force driving positive revenue management change and culture.
In 2010, Nicole was awarded Benchmark’s Revenue Leader of the year and in 2017 she was honored with the Benchmark’s Be the Difference Award.
Nicole resides in Long Valley, New Jersey with her husband Wakeen Kennedy and son, Chaz. She graduated with her master’s degree from Fairleigh Dickinson University.
Julie Walsh Vernam
Corporate Director of Distribution
Julie Walsh Vernam serves as Corporate Director of Distribution for Benchmark, Pyramid Luxury & Lifestyle. Julie supports distribution, GDS marketing, execution of brand promotions, new builds and transitions.
Julie started with Pyramid Global Hospitality at The Heldrich in 2009. She left for a short stint and returned in 2016 as Area Director of Revenue Strategy. In 2017, she was awarded Revenue Director of the year.
Regional Director of Revenue Management
Bregt joined Benchmark, Pyramid Luxury & Lifestyle in 2010 as Director of Revenue Management for Cheyenne Mountain Resort. In 2015 she shifted the focus of the resort on Total Resort Revenue Management, making all revenue streams part of the Revenue Management discipline. She was appointed Regional Director of Revenue Management in late 2015. Prior to joining Benchmark, Bregt worked for a number of independent hotels in both the US as well as the Caribbean. She also has experience with Marriott, Renaissance and Wyndham brands. Bregt holds a Master’s Degree in Communications from the University of Groningen, The Netherlands.
Corporate Director, Field Marketing
Evan Crawford is Corporate Director, Field Marketing for Pyramid, Benchmark Luxury & Lifestyle. Evan leads the strategic marketing vision and oversight of the East region, providing essential support for our regional and property level marketing teams as well as working with the Executive Vice President of Marketing and Branding, and the corporate marketing team to strengthen the brand messaging and communications.
Over the past eight years with Benchmark, Evan has played a critical role in helping to elevate the marketing synergies across the portfolio, starting as a marketing manager for Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort Curacao. In the years since, Evan has assumed marketing oversight for a wide range of properties across the portfolio including several openings and management transitions. Evan and the properties he supports have been recognized for their achievements including Adrian Awards in Digital Marketing and Social Media, and a variety of Benchmark accolades. Evan is passionate about travel and marketing enjoying exploring new properties and their destinations.
Evan lives in Austin, TX with his wife, Amanda, two children, Hayden and Everly, and dogs, Penny, and Lexi. When not working, you can find Evan enjoying time with family or out on the ice playing and coaching hockey.
Director of the Global Revenue Support Center
Fatima Molina joined Benchmark in March 2013 at Hotel Contessa – Luxury Suites on the Riverwalk in San Antonio, TX. Over the years, she has held numerous roles including Front Office Manager, Reservations Manager, and Director of Rooms. In 2018, Fatima was appointed Director of the Global Revenue Support Center and relocated with her husband Jay, step-daughter Lillian, and cat Gigi to Cypress, TX. She enjoys traveling and spending time with her family on their boat in Galveston, TX.
Corporate Manager, Brand Marketing
Jessica joined Benchmark, Pyramid Luxury & Lifestyle in 2010 where she worked in the operations department as executive administrate assistant. In her role, she assisted the COO and the vice presidents of operations.
In 2013, Jessica took a sales and marketing position as executive administrative assistant, where she assisted Benchmark’s sales & marketing vice presidents, vice president of global online marketing, chief sales & marketing officer, global sales directors, and the public relations department. In her current role as Corporate Manager, Brand Marketing Jessica is able to utilize her creative energy by assisting with marketing functions, photography, videography, graphics and website design; she has an extensive background in visual arts.
Jessica is also a long-standing member of the Benchmark Culture Committee, which provides support to several local charities in the community.
Corporate Sales Systems Analyst
Vice President, Design & Construction
“To be able to take an idea, sketch it on paper and see it materialize out of the ground is my driving force.” Gary Harnist
Gary Harnist, brings three decades of experience in construction and design management to his new position with BENCHMARK, a Global Hospitality Company. Gary was previously Senior Vice President of construction and design for Gatehouse Capital of Dallas, overseeing mixed-use high-rise luxury hospitality, residential, and retail projects. Gary was responsible for the overall management of construction and design professionals including selection, contracting, oversight of all outside professionals, project cost analysis and managing all department staff.
“He builds beautiful buildings and strong relationships. We would like to have him lead another hotel project for Starwood.” Nancy Keyes – Starwood Hotels & Resorts
Gary has held several executive management positions with the Chicago-based General Growth Properties and Remington Hotels and has owned his own Construction Management consulting firm. He has been a senior executive in several hospitality and mixed use developments in Hollywood, Boston, New York, Washington DC, Las Vegas, and on the island of Antigua in the Caribbean, with each project’s value ranging from $100 million to $1.5 billion.
“Gary extensive knowledge of the construction and development process along with great business ethics allows him to make good decisions in the best interests of the project, without the emotions typically involved in what are sometimes conflicting interests.” Tim Baker – Tribble & Stephens Construction
Not too many people can say they started their education and finished it in the same building. He is a graduate of the University of Texas at Arlington where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Architecture. The University purchased his elementary school and used the building to teach some of the architectural courses in it.
Senior Vice President, Operations
Ellen, a transformational leader, enjoys driving new solutions for challenges, both new and old, and delivering exceptional results for owners. As the leader of Benchmark’s conference center businesses, she creates customized hospitality services for owners, and delivers unique experiences for guests.
Based in Benchmark’s northeast office in New Brunswick, New Jersey, Ellen joined Benchmark in 1995 and has made impressive contributions in each of her assignments with the company, first as General Manager, as Vice President of Human Resources, and as Vice President – Operations for full-service hotels and resorts. In her current role as Senior Vice President, she leads the operations as well as Benchmark’s growth and development of new conference center projects and is responsible for achieving success at full service hotel/conference centers such as The Ridge at Verizon, Deloitte University-The Leadership Center, Hotel Roanoke Hotel & Conference Center, The Johnson Foundation at Wingspread, and at customized hospitality services projects and day conference centers such as Workplace Hospitality Services for 28 Verizon locations and The World of Whirlpool in Chicago.
A passionate supporter of learning, Ellen serves on Seton Hall University Customer Experience Advisory Board and is the chair for IACC’s Meetings of The Future initiative.
Vice President, Operations
Cedric Fasbender, Vice President of Operations, has a dedication and drive to support and serve the field of talented General Managers and their teams. Cedric is driven to produce the highest results in financial success and service while developing the valued people in the company. Cedric works closely with owners that look to Benchmark and Cedric to deliver results and create a collaborative partnership that will continue for years.
Cedric is a 30 year veteran of the hospitality business and has had the fortunate opportunity to rejoin Benchmark in 2013. Before rejoining Benchmark at the home office, Cedric worked for Dolce Hotels and Resorts as a Regional Vice President and General Manager. Prior to Dolce Hotels and Resorts,
Cedric resides in The Woodlands, Texas with his wife Lisa and has two grown children Lauren and Drew. Cedric enjoys being fully entrenched in the “Be the Difference” culture within Benchmark. In 2014 Cedric was elected to the Board of Directors for the International Association of Conference Centers and is very passionate about his involvement and the continued growth of IACC. Cedric is also on the Advisory Board for Virginia Tech University, Hospitality and Tourism Management Program
Vice President, Operations
Jay Rocha serves as Vice President of Operations. Jay joined the organization in November of 2013, as the General Manager of Cheyenne Mountain Resort.Jay came to Cheyenne Mountain Resort with significant leadership experience gained in general manager assignments at multiple properties throughout the United States. These include the Reunion Resort of Orlando, The Richardson Hotel of Richardson, Texas, and the Inverness Hotel and Conference Center located in Denver.
Earlier in his hospitality career, Mr. Rocha worked in senior management positions for leading luxury-brand hotels located in markets across the United States. He is a graduate of the University of Texas where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science with a minor in Hotel Management. While in college he interned at Disney. Later in his career he was part of the Dr. Ted Wiley & Associates Leadership Development Program.
Vice President, Operations
Vice President, Operations
Sam Johnson serves as Vice President of Operations.
Previous to this position Mr. Johnson served as Senior Vice President of Operations for Hotel Equities and The Hotel Group for the Pacific Northwest (PNW), where he was responsible for overseeing the financial success of the managed and asset managed hotels, and ensuring each property maintained Brand compliance. An experienced hotel operator with over 42 years of industry experience, Sam provided the hotels in the portfolio with day-to-day support while challenging them to create unique and memorable opportunities to delight their guests. He has deep first-hand knowledge of the PNW market and extensive leadership experience in luxury independent lifestyle hotels.
Sam and his wife Tricia have three grown children, are recent grandparents, and they reside outside Seattle, WA. They enjoy traveling, riding their electric bikes, and spending time at their family’s beach cabin on Puget Sound.
Vice President, Operations
Troy serves as Vice President of Operations. Troy most recently held the position as general manager at Benchmark’s Hotel Contessa on San Antonio’s Riverwalk, a role he was in for six years. He has previously served as general manager for Benchmark properties including Santa Barbara Beach and Golf Resort in Curacao and Hotel Arista in Naperville, Illinois. Prior to his tenure with Benchmark, he served in leadership roles with Redstone Companies Hospitality including as general manager at Lakeway Resort & Spa in Texas.
Regional Vice President of Operations
Stephen Cullen serves as regional vice president of operations.
Stephen previously held the position of area general manager for Benchmark, overseeing the Copley Square Hotel and the Ames Boston Hotel, both located in the historic center of Boston, Massachusetts. He was appointed to this position following serving as general manager of the Copley Square Hotel.
Earlier Stephen served as director of operations for the Carlton on Madison Hotel located in New York City. He has also held the position of general manager at New York’s Fitzpatrick Manhattan Hotel.
Senior Vice President, Food & Beverage
Regional Director of Information Technology
Chuck is currently Regional Director of Information Technology. He started his hotel career in 1981 with Westin Hotels and Resorts were he held a number of F&B management positions at the Westin Oaks Hotel in Houston, the Westin Canal Place in New Orleans and the Westin Hotel in Seattle. In 1988 he was part of the opening F&B team for the Hyatt Regency in Bellevue and then 1992 joined MTM Luxury Lodging at the Woodmark Hotel as F&B Manager.
Chuck became Director of Information Technology for MTM Luxury Lodging in 1999 and has since become known as a hotel industry technology expert and led the implementation of state of the art fully converged IP networks at Hotel 1000 in Seattle, the Liberty Hotel in Boston and Bardessono in Napa Valley. Additionally, Chuck successfully implemented the MTM strategy built around common; enterprise based sales and catering systems as well as a common enterprise property management system within the MTM properties. Chuck played a key role in the planning and design of state of the art IT systems for various new MTM hotel projects including Alderbrook Resort & Cave B Inn in Washington State and the Ivy Hotel in San Diego. In April 2009 Chuck was appointed Vice President, Information Technology with MTM Luxury Lodging. Then in June 2011 MTM Luxury Lodging was acquired by Benchmark Hospitality International based in The Woodlands, Texas.
Chuck is a graduate of the Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management at the University of Houston. He has been a past member of the HITEC Advisory Council in 2008 – 2010, the Hospitality Technology Magazine Editorial Advisory Board and the HFTP PCI Task Force. He is currently a member of HTNG and the Point of Sale workgroup with HTNG.
Regional Director, Information Technology
Joe Yadvish has been a vital part of the company since 1998 and has extensive Hotel and Resort IT experience, making him a tremendous resource to properties, coast-to-coast and off-shore. In addition to being part of Executive Committees for multiple properties, he owned and operated 2 successful technology companies. One business, specialized in writing transportation software, which included a major credit card company and the other business specialized in the computer hardware industry, building interface workstations for phone systems with a European based Telecom company.
Mr. Yadvish has opened and or transitioned 23 properties over his tenure. He was previously Director of Information Technology for The Heldrich, Benchmark’s Hotel and Conference Center located in New Brunswick, New Jersey, a position he held since 2007. Previous to this, Mr. Yadvish served as Manager of Information Technology at the North Maple Inn of Basking Ridge, New Jersey.
He, in his first national role with Benchmark, served as Technology Staff Support for The Heldrich; The Founders Inn & Spa of Virginia Beach, Virginia; Lansdowne Resort of Leesburg, Virginia; The Edith Macy Conference Center of Briarcliff Manor, New York; and Turtle Bay Resort on the North Shore of Oahu, where he previously held a staff position as Director of Information Technology, as well as serving on the Executive Committee. He held the same position for North Maple Inn, where he started as Information Systems Manager. Mr. Yadvish started his career with Benchmark at The AT&T Learning Center, as Director of Information Technology and served on their Executive Committee.
Joe began his Technology career as Director of Management Information Systems for Freight Traffic Services of Branchburg, New Jersey in 1979. He is an honors graduate of AAS Somerset Community College with a degree in Computer Science.
Corporate Information Technology Manager
Tony Huynh is the Corporate Information Technology Manager. As part of the Home Office team he is highly involved in assuring there is an open line of communication amongst the IT Managers at the properties throughout the company. As a true believer in “knowledge is power,” he makes sure that he is able to share that knowledge with others.
Tony joined the Home Office in September 2013. Prior to joining the Home Office he has worked for Hyatt Vacation Ownership and Hyatt Hotels Corporation specifically at the Hyatt Windward Pointe, Key West, Hyatt Wild Oak Ranch, San Antonio, Park Hyatt Carmel, Park Hyatt Philadelphia, and lastly at the Hyatt Regency Bonaventure, Weston, Florida. Throughout his tenure with Hyatt, Tony has been involved with pre-openings, managing and directing major events including the Masters of Food & Wine and the Presidential Inauguration in 2008, IT initiatives including PMS, POS, and Microsoft BPOS upgrades and implementations, and several hotel transitions.
Although Tony has spent the majority of his Hospitality career in Hotel operations, he was able to smoothly transition over to the Technology arena officially in 2009, taking his knowledge, experience and passion in hotel operations with him. As a member of HFTP since 2010, he has earned his Certified Hospitality Technology Profession designation as well as earned his Websense Security certification in February 2014.
Tony received his B.S. in Hospitality Administration from Florida State University in 2003. He currently resides in The Woodlands area with his lovely entrepreneurial wife Melissa and two beautiful children, Leah and Tai. Tony enjoys traveling and relaxing with his family, attending his children’s extra-curricular activity events, and the outdoors.
Director of Administration
Shannon Wilson is Executive Assistant to the President & COO, the CEO and Manager of Office Administration. She is also a long-standing member of the Benchmark Culture Committee, which provides support to several local charities in the community.
Shannon has more than 20 years of experience in the hospitality industry. Her career began in 1993 as Catering Assistant at Del Lago Resort and Conference Center and was quickly promoted to Executive Assistant to the Director of Sales and Marketing. In 2005 she became a member of the Benchmark Hospitality Home Office family as Administrative Assistant to the President of Business Development and Finance.
Shannon has been married for 18 years and has two very active teenage sons who are heavily involved in school and sports. Most of her free time is spent being their #1 fan, by constantly chauffeuring and cheering at Colton’s and Conner’s football, baseball and Tae Kwon Do events. Her favorite family times are spent enjoying the outdoors by hunting and fishing with her sons and husband Clint.
Vice President, New Business
Claire Lieberman is a passionate hospitality professional who brings nearly a decade of experience in hotel management, investment, acquisitions & development. As the Vice President of New Business, Claire acts as a utility player for the team by simultaneously handling owner relations, pro forma valuation, contract negotiation and execution, RFP responses and other ad-hoc projects for the company’s rapidly expanding portfolio.
Prior to this position, Claire led the development efforts for Red Lion Hotel Corporation’s lifestyle, boutique brand, expanding the firm’s national footprint and driving brand awareness with key industry players. Claire also held multiple development positions with Two Roads Hospitality, playing an integral role in the merger of Destination Hotels & Resorts and Commune Hotels & Resorts in 2016 and supporting the growth of the portfolio until the firm was successfully acquired by Hyatt Hotels Corporation in 2018. Claire also spent time working for Denver-based brokerage firm Hospitality Real Estate Counselors, assisting with the valuation and marketing of over $1B of hospitality assets, after beginning her career in operations with White Lodging Management.
When not exploring exciting new hotel opportunities, she spends her time enjoying the beautiful Colorado outdoors with her Golden Retriever, Luna.
Vice President of Asset Management
Erik Johnson is Vice President for Owner Advisory Group (“OAG”) and has over seventeen years of experience with hotels and real estate spanning across the areas of acquisition due diligence, pre-development feasibility, asset management, finance, workouts, valuation, and investment advisory. With broad and diverse hospitality real estate experience, Mr. Johnson has the ability to oversee hotel real estate projects from beginning to end.
Prior to OAG, Mr. Johnson was head of his own hotel asset management and advisory firm. After his experience of working with CNL Hospitality, IHG and Reynolds Hotel Group, Mr. Johnson founded his own firm in 2010 to provide consulting services to hotel investors in all aspects of their business. Over the life of his career, he has been involved in over $7.5 billion of hotel real estate transaction, asset management and advisory type projects of all product types throughout the US for various owners, hotel chains, developers, and lenders. Mr. Johnson is an honors graduate of the University of Florida, where he earned his Bachelors degree in Finance.
Senior Vice President of People Development and Culture
Calvin J. Banks Jr., Senior Vice President of People Development and Culture is responsible for the overall direction, coordination, evaluation, and implementation of training.
Senior Vice President of Total Rewards
Chad’s responsibilities include oversight and development of compensation and benefits strategy as well as the administration of the company’s human resources information systems.
Chad Moon previously served as vice president, total rewards & HRIS for Two Roads Hospitality of Denver. Prior to this, he has held HR leadership positions, including as the Director of Total Rewards for Intrawest Resort Holdings of Denver.
He is a graduate of Friends University in Wichita, Kansas, where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. He resides in Overland Park, Kansas.
Director of Human Resources
Gaby Henriquez serves as Director of Human Resources. Gaby has primary responsibility for all talent acquisition strategy and efforts, along with other various HR responsibilities.
Gaby brings more than 12 years of experience in the Hospitality Industry to Benchmark. Gaby began her career with Benchmark in 2010 and most recently held the position of Director of Human Resources for Beachwalk Resort & Marenas Resort. As Director of Human Resources, she led the development and implementation of the Human Resources strategy for multiple properties along with supporting the home office with key projects and events.
Gaby is a graduate of Florida International University, Miami, FL where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Hospitality Management and Masters of Science in Human Resources.
Director of Training
Having recently worked as Senior Advisor to Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock, DeMarcio Slaughter has experienced a diverse, and unique career. Starting out in his teenage years as Lead Birthday Host at Chuck E. Cheese, DeMarcio showcased a strong dedication for delivering great customer service experiences. He carried this into his first adult job at Loew’s Denver Hotel, where he became the youngest Assistant Front Office Manager for the property, at that time. DeMarcio took his talents to other independent, and branded hotel properties, including Denver Renaissance Hotel, Magnolia Denver Hotel, and the legendary Brown Palace Hotel. He was recruited by Sage Hospitality to serve as their Culture Coach, where he facilitated engaging and dynamic Guest Service trainings for thousands of Sage employees across the country. Eventually promoted to Senior Manager for Training & Development, DeMarcio became skilled with content development for Sage hotel managers, and executive leadership. He also organized and successfully led Sage’s annual Leadership Conference. After nearly a decade with Sage Hospitality, DeMarcio tapped into his event planning interests, taking on the role of General Manager at EXDO Event Center; a 14,000sq foot multi-purpose event venue. While at EXDO Event Center, managing a team of 50+ associates, DeMarcio sharpening his knowledge in sales and marketing, increasing business revenue by 32% in his first year. It was at EXDO Event Center, while hosting an event for the Denver Mayor, he was offered the opportunity to take his hospitality and event planning skills to the Mayor’s Office.
In his personal life, DeMarcio is a Certified Fitness Coach & Nutritionist, and collects Transformers toys from the 1980’s. As a volunteer for the LGBTQ Community Center for Colorado, he is the Entertainment Coordinator & Emcee for Denver PRIDE Fest; a role he has held for 18 years. And most importantly, DeMarcio is the biggest Diana Ross fan on planet, having seen Miss Ross in concert over 250 times.
In 2022 he will celebrate 10 years of marriage to his husband Shane, and together they have three small tortoises.
With over 25 years of dedicated Hospitality experience, DeMarcio is thrilled, and humbled to join the Benchmark family.
People Culture Human Resources Specialist
Gaby Nava provides administrative support to the Human Resources department team, including support to the properties. She joined the company in November 2013 and she is very thankful to work with wonderful people within the company who are helping her to grow in her career. Gaby is originally from Venezuela and came to the United States in May 2000 looking for better opportunities, learn another language and culture. It was very difficult in the beginning, however after all these years she has accomplished all her goals. She lives in Spring, Tx with her husband and two children, David and Andrea, who make her live wonderful!