TIM HARMON, CEO, PALISADES HOSPITALITY GROUP
As CEO, Tim Harmon oversees all aspect of business operations and property development for the company including selecting sites and overseeing design of new hotels and restaurants. Tim brings a formidable level of hotel and restaurant industry experience and expertise to Palisades Hospitality Group. Tim also serves as a managing partner of Solage Hotels and Resorts, an affiliated hotel management company. Prior to founding PHG, Tim served as Director of Business Development for Auberge Resorts where he handled acquisitions and development of new resort properties. Before starting a career in the hospitality business, Tim practiced law for nearly eight years, specializing in real estate and business transactions. Tim is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley and the Hastings College of Law in San Francisco.
JON SWANSON, PRESIDENT, MOANA RESTAURANT GROUP
As President of PHG’s flagship brand, Moana Restaurant Group, Jon Swanson oversees all aspects of the restaurants’ day-to-day operations and is also responsible for pre-opening training and operations. He works directly with the managers at each location to instill in them a sense of leadership and autonomy. Managers and employees are encouraged and empowered to provide input and ideas, to have a stake in the restaurant, and to find solutions to problems without going up the chain of command. As a result, PHG restaurants are extraordinarily successful at attracting and retaining talented and motivated managers and employees.
A Bay Area native, Jon brings abundant experience to his position. After graduating from the University of Denver with a degree in hotel and restaurant management, he held management positions at a variety of restaurants in Portland, Seattle and Sacramento. He also opened several Wall Street Cafés, a successful group of café-delicatessens in the East San Francisco Bay area. In 1991, he co-founded the first Paragon Bar & Café in San Francisco’s Marina district and served as its opening General Manager. Since then, he has handled pre-opening operations and training that led to successful launches of numerous restaurants.
SKYLAR SKIKOS, PRESIDENT, PALISADES HOTEL PARTNERS
As President of Palisades Hotel partners, Skylar Skikos focuses on business development, investment underwriting, and project design and development of new hotel projects. He brings a diverse background and skill set that encompasses acquisitions, asset management, capital markets, design development and operations. Previously, Skylar served as Vice President at Fillmore Capital Partners, a real estate private equity investment firm focused on hospitality, health care and special situations. Skylar’s responsibilities included acquisitions, project design and development and asset management for Fillmore’s hospitality investments. Skylar was involved in over $1.3 billion of hospitality investments while at Fillmore, including leading the acquisition, design development, and successful entitlement of a luxury resort on the Northern California Coast, as well as structuring and overseeing a hotel portfolio development venture with a major public hotel company. Furthermore, he played a major role in the formation of Fillmore’s hotel management company, Fillmore Hospitality, which grew to manage over 2,000 hotel rooms. Skylar started his career at Keystone Realty Capital, a real estate capital markets advisory firm where he assisted in the execution of over $1 billion of debt and equity transactions. Skylar holds a Bachelor of Science in Finance and a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from Santa Clara University.
WALDEMAR FRANCO, PRESIDENT, FORWARD HOSPITALITY
As President of Forward Hospitality, Waldemar Franco is responsible for development and acquisition of new projects. Waldemar can be best described as an architect, entrepreneur and outdoors sportsman. He has an architecture degree from Universidad Iberoamericana and has designed projects in Mexico City, Acapulco and Valle de Bravo, but his main achievements have been designing his own projects including lodges in Veracruz (www.aldearodavento.com and www.rodavento.com) as well as the Rodavento in Valle de Bravo, for which he obtained the “Icons of Design” awarded by Architectural Digest Magazine Mexico, as well as an Honorable Mention in the 2005 Architecture Biennial, and publication in several architecture and design magazines of global circulation.
MICHAEL WISNER, PRESIDENT, LOGIS HOSPITALITY SOLUTIONS
As the co-founder and President of Logis Hospitality Solutions (LHS), Mike Wisner is responsible for the overall leadership, strategy and development of the company. Mike has been in the hospitality industry for over 33 years and is a forward-thinking executive with proven success in planning and directing financial operations and controls to improve fiscal performance, boost profits, and ensure long-range stability. Prior to founding LHS, he was Chief Financial Officer of Commune Hotels and Resorts for seven years which included Joie de Vivre Hotels, Thompson Hotels, Tommie Hotels and provided oversight of a portfolio of 37 boutique/lifestyle hotels in the US, UK and Canada.
Prior to joining Commune, Mike was Chief Financial Officer of Harbor View Holdings/Stanford Hotels Corporation for seven years which included 17 full-services hotels and five global brands – Marriott, Hilton, Starwood, Radisson and Holiday Inn. He is a Certified Public Accountant, member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the California Society of Certified Public Accountants and the Hospitality, Financial & Technology Professionals (HFTP) organization.
SHERRY VILLANUEVA, PRESIDENT, AUGUST STUDIO
As President of August Studio, Sherry Villanueva oversees all branding development and client services. Sherry also serves as Managing Partner for Acme Hospitality where she oversees operations and provides strategic marketing and creative direction for all Acme concepts including The Lark, Lucky Penny, Les Marchands, Santa Barbara Wine Collective, Helena Avenue Bakery, Notary Public Wine, and Loquita. Acme’s concepts have received numerous awards and accolades including consistent recognition as Open Table’s Hot Spot Restaurants, Wine Enthusiast’s Top 100 Wine Restaurants, Wine Bar of the Year for Imbibe and Top Ten New Restaurants by USAToday. Under contract to Target Corporation from 1998-2010, Sherry was co-founder and principal of a boutique marketing and branding agency, Twist Worldwide. Twist studied consumer trends and motivating values around the globe for all key marketing and merchant areas of Target including product development, strategic partnerships, and licensing. Sherry was recently awarded Innovator of the Year by the National Association of Women Business Owners, Winner of the Santa Barbara Spirit of Entrepreneurship Award for Hospitality and Woman of the Year for the 19th District (Santa Barbara County) awarded by State Senator Hannah Beth Jackson. Sherry graduated from the University of California at Berkeley where she studied Social Science with an emphasis in Marketing/Communications.
DOUG WASHINGTON, CHIEF DESIGN OFFICER, AUGUST STUDIO
As Chief Design Officer of August Studio, Doug Washington directs and is the creative talent behind the company’s design concepts and strategies. In addition to August Studio, Doug has been a Partner in Stock & Bones Company in San Francisco since 2003, where he is responsible for design and front of house operations for the highly-acclaimed San Francisco institutions Town Hall, Salt House, Anchor & Hope and Irving Street Kitchen in Portland, Oregon. Doug brings operations expertise to his dynamic design setting the stage for efficiency and profitability while still creating magical environments for guests. Some of Doug’s other recent work has been developing an exciting market hall concept called Grand Fare in downtown Oakland, re-designing Paragon Restaurants in San Francisco and Portland, Molina Restaurant in Mill Valley, The Farmers Union and Olla Cocina in San Jose and Corners Tavern in Walnut Creek for the Moana Restaurant Group. Doug’s career in the restaurant business began at the age of 15 as a busboy at a French Restaurant in Vancouver, Canada, where he grew up. By the age of 18, Doug was apprenticing to manage that same restaurant. At the age of 20, Doug moved to San Francisco, and his first job there was managing for Joyce Goldstein at her renowned Square One Restaurant. Doug has been a beloved Bay Area hospitality icon for more than 30 years and has received critical acclaim for his interior/exterior design and branding work and gracious style previously managing/owning legendary restaurants Postrio, Vertigo and Jardiniere Restaurant, working for icons like Wolfgang Puck, Traci des Jardins and Francis Ford Coppola. Doug was a 2012 Outstanding Restaurateur Semi-finalist and 2010, 2009 Restaurateur of the Year National Finalist for the James Beard Foundation
As Vice President of Operations, Marc Quinones is the driver of upholding PHG’s restaurant operational standards and the day-to-day link between our General Managers and company objectives. Marc brings to the table over 18 years in restaurant management with experience at Redwood Coast Brewing Company (Tied House) and as the General Manager of Paragon Restaurant and Bar. A San Francisco native and Cal Berkeley alumnus, Marc’s detailed business eye, practical application of restaurant management concepts, and sense of humor help create a culture of long-term business success.
Colleen Gray is a Senior Finance Executive with over 30 years experience in the hospitality industry. She is a hands on leader, having learned the hotel and restaurant industries from the ground up. She attained her certification in Public Accounting following her time with Ernst and Young, and has over 25 years’ experience in financial services. Her leadership strength, exceptional technical expertise, and attention to detail will help position PHG for successful growth in the coming years.
Colleen is a native of Maine and New Hampshire, having relocated to the Bay Area in 2002. She is an avid skier and hiker, and volunteers in her free time coaching and refereeing AYSO soccer.
Christine Kenny-Morairty is the new corporate marketing director of Mosaic Hotel Group. In her role, Christine oversees the day-to-day execution and implementation of hotel and spa marketing and advertising initiatives for the brand’s individual properties. Christine also drives overall brand awareness, company sales, and profitability goals. Christine has previously worked as marketing director of W Bali, the flagship property of W Hotels-Asia Pacific leading all brand and digital marketing efforts for the property while acting as the key liaison to the global team, implementing brand-amplifying initiatives and guest experience programs as well as leading creative direction for traditional and non-traditional assets. Previously, she spent eight years with Starwood Hotels Worldwide including roles as a marketing specialist, and marketing manager producing press, content and revenue-generating activations for W Hotels of New York City.
Chris Carvalho has more than 17 years in the hospitality industry. He comes to us most recently from Commune Hotels and Resorts where he was Corporate Director, Finance Systems since 2006. He was Controller for Moana Restaurant Group from 2005 to 2006, and Senior Regional Controller at Joie De Vivre Hospitality from 2000 to 2005. Chris holds a BS degree from Arizona State University.
Linda Salman assists in overseeing the restaurants’ day-to-day operations including purchasing and marketing initiatives. Prior to joining the company in 2001, she was an account manager for an advertising company. Linda grew up working in her family’s restaurant in Cincinnati.
Karen Boudrie manages and directs the activities involved in developing and maintaining the full range of the human resources function for the organization. She oversees employee health benefit and retirement programs, HRIS management, recruitment, employee relations, policy administration and compliance, and safety and risk management programs. Prior to coming to PHG, Karen’s experience covers a diverse range of industries including hospitality, wine and spirits, specialty retail and financial services. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Sonoma State University, and earned her SPHR (Senior Professional in Human Resources) credential in 2008. She is an active member of the Northern California Human Resources Association and is affiliated with the Marin HR Network.
Annie Sosa has more than 17 years of Accounting experience with 15 years coming from the hospitality industry. She comes to us most recently from Commune Hotels and Resorts where she was Regional Director of Finance since 2015 and prior to that, was Director of Finance for Citizen Hotel & Grange Restaurant from 2008 to 2015, a Joie de Vivre hotel. Annie holds an MBA degree from California State University, Sacramento. In her spare time, Annie enjoys traveling and exploring new cities and wineries with her family.
Joining PHG in 2015, Julie brings a broad range of experience with more than 19 years of hospitality design and industry experience to the firm. Her project history includes 100+ restaurants, in addition to boutique hotels, luxury resorts, spas and residential design and concepts while at Knauer Inc, Deerfield, IL; ERS Hospitality, San Francisco, CA and Hirsch Bedner Associates, San Francisco, CA.
A graduate of Harrington College of Design in Chicago, IL, Julie approaches project and team management with the goal of building camaraderie. She coordinates with owners, managers, general contractors, architects, designers and vendors to ensure that each property reflects PHG’s standards.
As the Information Technology Manager Jon Trowbridge is responsible for leading technology strategy and managing overall IT operations and customer service. He joined PHG with over 15 years experience managing and overseeing IT systems in restaurant and hospitality environments. Prior to joining PHG Jon has worked as a IT consultant in the Bay Area for local restaurants and chains, Project Lead for NCR Northern California, and IT Manager for multi concept national brand restaurant companies.
As Marketing Manager, Olya manages integrated marketing campaigns and grassroots initiatives for PHG’s restaurants. With extensive background in hospitality marketing and digital advertising, Olya brings an expertise in development and execution of creative campaigns to the company. Prior to joining PHG, she was most recently at Vino Volo where she managed marketing programs for a group of 50 premium airport-based wine bars. Prior to joining Vino Volo, she managed digital advertising campaigns for clients in the hospitality, luxury retail, education and arts industries and worked for Il Fornaio, where she managed marketing initiatives for 22 high-end Italian restaurants. Channeling her love for food and wine, she co-founded a boutique Bay Area-based wine tour company for couples and small groups after she graduated from UC Davis. In her spare time, she enjoys exploring the wine country, discovering new restaurants, cooking and attending art exhibits.
A native of Little Rock, Arkansas, Laura brings with her an unshakable passion for food, beverage and southern hospitality. After learning the ins-and-outs of restaurant operations under the tutelage of a former Chez Panisse alum, Laura moved to Florence, Italy where she completed a culinary arts and wine studies program before making her home in the Bay Area.
With a background in integrated marketing, event planning, restaurant concepting and campaign development, Laura brings an expertise in grassroots marketing, media relations, event activations and the development and execution of holistic creative campaigns.
Prior to joining PHG, Laura was most recently at Edelman, where she led campaigns for global brands such as Campari America, Hilton Hotels Global Food & Beverage and Netflix. She cut her teeth at a boutique hospitality agency, where she worked with such clients as Celebrity Cruises, Mr. Espresso, Kimpton Hotels and The Culinary Institute of America on event activations, opening strategies and concept development. She also brings extensive experience in large-scale event concepting, planning and execution with clients such as Salesforce.com, LinkedIn and VMware.