Corporate Governance

Name Position
Robert O'Neill Director and Chief Executive Officer
Minaz B. Abji Independent Director
Stephen J. Evans Independent Director
Richard Frank Independent Director
Tamara Lawson Independent Director
W. Michael Murphy Independent Director
Charles van der Lee Independent Director
Elizabeth Walters Independent Director

 

Directors

Robert O'Neill

Chief Executive Officer

Mr. O’Neill was the cofounder of Canadian Hotel Income Properties Real Estate Investment Trust (“CHIP REIT”) in 1997 and served as its President and Chief Executive Officer until September 1998. Mr. O’Neill was also a cofounder of the Coast Hotel chain in 1972. In 1988, he was instrumental in managing the sale of the Coast Hotel chain to OKABE Co. of Tokyo and was retained to manage it as the President and Chief Executive Officer until 1991. Mr. O’Neill was President and Chief Operating Officer of National Caterers Ltd. and O’Neill Railway Catering Ltd. from 1977 to 1991. National Caterers Ltd. was Canada’s largest operator and supplier of remote site construction camps providing food, lodging and support services for construction workers. O’Neill Railway Catering Ltd. served both the CP Rail in Western Canada and the BC Railway in British Columbia on and offline.

Mr. O’Neill was nominated for Canada’s Entrepreneur of the Year in 1998. In 2004, he received two awards, the Industry Entrepreneur Award from the Vancouver branch of the Canadian Foodservice Association, and the Distinguished Alumni Award for Entrepreneurial Innovation from the B.C. Institute of Technology. Mr. O’Neill is recognized as a leading authority in the hotel industry and is a regular speaker at industry conferences in Canada and the U.S. Mr. O’Neill is a graduate of the British Columbia Institute of Technology, Hotel and Foodservice Program, and received his diploma in Hotel Management in 1972. He is a former Secretary of the Canadian Council of the Young Presidents’ Organization and a current member of the World Presidents’ Organization.

Minaz B. Abji

Independent Director

With an extensive and distinguished background in the hotel industry, Mr. Abji is currently a Senior Advisor at Host Hotels and Resorts, Inc. where he served for 13 years as the Executive Vice President of Asset Management with responsibility for global asset management, portfolio analysis and revenue management. Host is the largest hotel REIT in the world with an enterprise value of $17 billion. Prior to joining Host Hotels, Mr. Abji served as the President at Canadian Hotel Income Properties REIT (CHIPREIT) and worked for Starwood Hotels and Resorts and Westin (until its acquisition by Starwood) in Canada in various senior management positions. He also was Chair of the American Hotel and Lodging Educational Foundation and currently serves on the Board of Trustees. Minaz was also Board member and Chair of the Audit Committee for the American Hotel and Lodging Association and a Board member for the U.S. Travel Association. He was recently awarded the 2016 Above and Beyond Hotel Industry Humanitarian Award at the 22nd Annual “The Lodging Conference”.

Stephen Evans

Independent Director

Mr. Evans is the Chief Operating Officer of and cofounder of the Sunstone Group. Since 2002, the Sunstone Group has identified, acquired, managed and divested approximately Cdn$1.4 billion of real estate in Canada and the U.S., including over Cdn$384 million in U.S. multi-family real estate properties and over Cdn$75 million in high quality U.S. hotel properties since 2008. Mr. Evans is the Chief Executive Officer of Pure Multi-Family REIT LP (RUF.U-TSX-V), currently the only publicly traded vehicle in Canada offering investors exclusive exposure to U.S. multi-family real estate assets. Since inception in July 2012, Pure Multi-Family REIT LP has raised over Cdn $141 million and acquired ten apartment communities for Cdn$273 million. As well, Mr. Evans cofounded Pure Industrial Real Estate Trust (“PIRET”) in 2007. PIRET is a publicly-listed real estate investment trust (AAR.UN-TSX) established for the purposes of acquiring, owning and operating a diversified portfolio of income-producing industrial properties in primary markets across Canada. Since 2007, PIRET has raised approximately Cdn$597 million of equity and acquired a portfolio of 161 industrial properties in Canada having a total value of approximately Cdn$1.3 billion.  Mr. Evans is currently a director of WesternOne Inc. (WEQ-TSX).

Richard Frank

Independent Director

Mr. Frank’s experience includes serving as Chief Investment Officer at Pillar Hotels and Resorts, one of the largest independent management companies in the United States; serving as Senior Vice President Hotel Investments at Behringer Harvard, a real estate investment management firm that has managed over $6 billion of equity; and serving as Vice President at AEW Capital Management and Olympus Real Estate Partners. Mr. Frank also gained considerable hotel operational experience at Starwood Hotels and ITT Sheraton Corporation. He began his hotel career over 30 years ago at Arthur Andersen, specializing in the real estate and hospitality industries. Based in Dallas, Mr. Frank also holds an undergraduate degree from the School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University and an MBA from Fordham University. Mr. Frank is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).

Tamara Lawson

Independent Director

Tamara L. Lawson is the Chief Financial Officer of Dream Global REIT, a TSX listed real estate investment trust. Prior to joining Dream Global REIT in 2016, Ms. Lawson was the Chief Financial Officer of Starlight Investments Ltd., a private real estate investment and asset management company focused primarily on residential and commercial assets. Ms. Lawson was the Chief Financial Officer and Corporate Secretary of InnVest Real Estate Investment Trust (“InnVest”), a TSX-listed real estate investment trust, and the Chief Financial Officer of Westmont, a privately-held hospitality organization. Ms. Lawson joined Westmont in 2001 as its Chief Financial Officer and became Chief Financial Officer of InnVest in 2002 when it went public. Ms. Lawson has over 25 years of financial management, acquisitions, corporate governance, investor relations and capital markets experience. Prior to joining Westmont in 2001, Ms. Lawson held senior executive positions at several major Canadian public companies, including Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Secretary of Chapters Inc. and Treasurer of Sears Canada Inc. Ms. Lawson holds a Master of Business Administration degree from the Schulich School of Business at York University and is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CA).

W. Michael Murphy

Independent Director

Mr. Murphy is Head of Lodging and Leisure Capital Markets of the First Fidelity Mortgage Corporation. From 1998 to 2002, Mr. Murphy served as the Senior Vice President and Chief Development Officer of ResortQuest International, Inc., an NYSE-listed company. Prior to joining ResortQuest International Inc., from 1995 to 1997, Mr. Murphy was President of Footprints International, a company involved in the planning and development of environmentally friendly hotel properties. From 1994 to 1996, he was a Senior Managing Director of Geller & Co., a Chicago-based hotel advisory and asset management firm. Mr. Murphy has twice been Co-Chairman of the Industry Real Estate Finance Advisory Council (IREFAC) of the American Hotel and Lodging Association and is currently the lead director of Ashford Hospitality Trust, an NYSE-listed hotel real estate investment trust.

Charles Van Der Lee

Independent Director

Chuck is currently the principal owner, President and Chief Executive Officer of Papa M Pizza Canada Inc., the master franchise for Papa Murphy's restaurants in Canada.  From May 1990 to September 2009, Chuck served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Rogers Retail (a division of Rogers Communications Inc.) and during his tenure he was responsible for expanding the network of company stores from 33 to over 400 locations.  From 2004 to 2015, Chuck also served as an independent director of Amica Mature Lifestyles Inc. culminating in the successful sale of this company in late 2015.  Chuck graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce Degree in Business Administration from the University of Alberta.

Elizabeth Walters

Independent Director

Ms. Walters has substantial experience in the hotel industry, currently as President of hospitality consulting company BWC and having previously served as a National PKF Consulting Canada Director and Director for Western Canada for over 21 years.  Based in Vancouver, Ms. Walters provides advisory services, strategic planning, feasibility analysis and development support as well as valuations and appraisals for hotels and other hospitality related businesses.  Ms. Walters’ experience includes a wide variety of public and private sector projects for a myriad of property types, franchises, ownership and management structures and in these capacities has provided advisory services for hotel industry assets valued in the billions of dollars.  Ms. Walters holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Alberta.