The members of Hotel Brokers International, the real estate industry’s oldest, most experienced network of hotel brokerage specialists, have elected their 2015-16 Board of Directors. The HBI board of directors is comprised of eleven officers/directors elected from the general membership during the organization’s 56th Annual Meeting held recently in Las Vegas. The following persons begin their Board Terms in March:
President: H. Brandt Niehaus, CHB
Brandt Niehaus is president and principal broker of Huff, Niehaus & Associates, Inc., a full-service hotel real estate brokerage located in Louisville, Kentucky. Brandt began his career in commercial real estate in 1983 and has focused exclusively on hotel real estate investment since 1988. He has successfully transacted the sales of hundreds of hotel properties from limited-service independents through full-service luxury hotels representing sellers in conventional sales as well as lender-owned transactions for banks and institutions. A consistent top sales producer, Brandt was recently named Broker of the Year in recognition of his record-setting sales performance in 2014. Brandt, a two-time Past President of HBI, holds the professional designations of Certified Hotel Broker (CHB), Certified Hotel Administrator (CHA), and Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM). Brandt earned his Bachelors and MBA in Marketing from the University of Kentucky.
Vice President: Diana Alt
Diana Alt is an Associate Broker with Las Cruces, New Mexico-based Scoggin Blue LLC, and has managed the brokerage firm’s Dallas office since 2002. She has been involved in the hospitality industry since 1989. Prior to Scoggin Blue, Diana was with Hotel Management magazine. With her years of professional experience in the hospitality industry, Diana easily makes contact with top executives and decision-makers of hotel companies, hotel owners, franchise, financial, and management companies as well as REITs and others interested in buying and selling hotels. Diana has her B.B.A. in Marketing from the University of Texas in Arlington.
Treasurer: Jeffrey W. Westgor, CHB
Jeff Westgor is President and Broker of Minneapolis-based Westgor & Associates, Inc. Westgor & Associates and Jeff’s late father Wayne Westgor were charter members of Hotel Brokers International. Jeff joined his father in the family brokerage business in 1994 and holds his real estate license in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, South Dakota, and North Dakota. Jeff earned the Certified Hotel Broker (CHB) designation in 1995. Jeff has experience in several hotel investments and provides his clients with ancillary services including financing, franchising, and management. Jeff is a past president of HBI.
Secretary: Steven B. Blue, CHB
Steve Blue is the sole owner of Scoggin Blue LLC – a real estate brokerage company specializing exclusively in selling hospitality real estate since 1959. Steve has been in hotel/motel asset value assessments and direct marketing of hotel/motel properties since 1979. Prior to joining the firm, Steve received a Bachelor of Accountancy Degree from New Mexico State University in 1976 and subsequently managed several Texas-based hotels. Since 1979, he has personally generated direct sales in excess of $200 million. Steve’s strengths include asset value assessment, sales, management, and operations.
Past President: Tony DeGeorge, CHB
President, founding partner, and principal broker of Greene, Canfield, DeGeorge, Ltd. in Clearwater, Florida, Tony has been actively involved in hotel brokerage since 1981 and has been directly involved in the listing, marketing, and sale of hundreds of hotels including dispositions for corporations and REITs as well as individuals. His impressive transaction resume includes the sale of an array of hotel property types including everything from select-service airport hotels to beach-front resorts. As a former hotel owner-operator, Tony has first-hand knowledge of hotel operations, cash flow management, and marketing. He earned his Certified Hotel Broker (CHB) designation in 2000 and is a three-time past president of Hotel Brokers International; serving on the organization’s Board of Directors for nearly 20 years.
Bill Nugent is President of Nugent Hotel Brokers of Leawood, Kansas. Prior to founding his brokerage firm, Bill was the senior vice president of sales for a national hotel brokerage for 16 years where he was the top producer. His success has been based in part upon his particularly well-rounded background reflecting a business lifetime of work in the hotel industry. A former hotel owner, Bill has over 19 years of experience in hotel operations including 16 years with Marriott Hotels and Resorts. Among the various positions he held were director of sales and marketing, food and beverage director, and resident manager. Bill served as a commercial loan underwriter for a nationwide non-recourse lender and understands hotel financing from the ground up. Bill is a graduate of the University of Kansas where he holds a Bachelor’s degree with a double major from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. He holds a Broker Real Estate License in four Midwestern states: Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, and Nebraska. Bill is a proud US Air Force veteran.
Richard Ehmer is President and Principal Broker of The Ehmer Group – a full-service hospitality real estate investment and consulting firm located in San Francisco, California. Richard has nearly 30 years of experience in the marketing and negotiating of commercial real estate transactions including the closing of more than $1,500,000,000 in hospitality transactions. Prior to founding The Ehmer Group in 2010, Richard enjoyed an impeccable career stretching over 25 years with Marcus & Millichap and was a founding member of the National Hospitality Group at Marcus & Millichap where he served as a First Vice President and Senior Director of the National Hospitality & Gaming Group. Richard also served as Managing Director of the NAI Global Hospitality Group, where he assisted in the formation and management of a network-wide brokerage platform.
Steve Quintana is president of HawksView Hospitality, a full-service brokerage firm based in the Denver suburb of Lone Tree. Steve specializes in hotel asset investment, valuation, marketing, and transaction. Prior to founding HawksView Hospitality, Steve worked with a national commercial brokerage firm. He holds an undergraduate degree in business management and is an entrepreneur who owns businesses and real estate.
Ken Olipra is Vice President of Greene, Canfield, DeGeorge, Ltd. in Clearwater, Florida, and has over 40 years of experience in the hospitality industry. Ken’s professional experiences include hotel development, construction, FF&E financing, multi-unit asset management, acquisition, and sales. Ken is a certified pilot and has earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration. He has earned designations as Certified Hotel Administrator (CHA) and Graduate Realtor Institute (GRI) and is a past director and president of the Rotary Club.
Michelle L. Kennedy is a partner and principal/designated broker of Crystal Investment Property, LLC – a boutique specialty brokerage solely focused on serving the needs of hotel owners and investors in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho. Michelle has a 20-year background in administration, real estate and legal education, contracts, and operations management for regional commercial real estate firms. Michelle’s focus with Crystal Investment Property is primarily on operations oversight, transaction management, marketing coordination, and general back-office systems.
Dick Lopez, CHB, is president of Lodging Brokers Network, Inc. located in Napa, California. Dick obtained a real estate license in 1971 and became a broker in 1973. He began his career in lodging brokerage in 1994 and founded his lodging company in 1992. Lopez is a past president of Hotel Brokers International and earned his designation as Certified Hotel Broker (CHB) in 1996. He is one of only six individuals in California that currently hold this designation.
Founded in 1959, Hotel Brokers International is the leader in hotel real estate sales. HBI’s hotel brokerage specialists have successfully negotiated more than 10,000 hotel real estate transactions and annually account for the largest percentage of all mid-market and economy hotel sales in the United States. The organization’s database currently comprises more than 75 property listings and the HBI website attracts more than 45,000 monthly site visitors from approximately 45 different countries. Founder and host of the popular Hotel Investor’s Marketplace Webcast, HBI also developed the Certified Hotel Broker designation program. In addition to broker services, HBI offers affiliate membership to professionals in allied fields, including franchising, lending, appraisals, and investment services. For more information about HBI’s hotel listings or to become a broker or affiliate member, visit www.hbihotels.com.