David Gabri, Chairman of Associated Luxury Hotels, has announced that even though he is set to retire effective March 1, 2018, he 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. These Global Sales Organizations are industry leaders, serving the meetings and incentive marketplace for their worldwide portfolios of luxury and upper-upscale hotels and resorts, which are either independent or are with an independent hotel brand. Associated Luxury Hotels is now the world’s largest hotel consortium company, enabling its member hotels and resorts to efficiently manage their independent identity while competing with the world’s biggest hospitality chains.
Gabri, a 45-year hospitality industry veteran, led the company while it significantly expanded its portfolio of worldwide properties from 60 member properties in 2003 to 600 hotels and 210,000 rooms around the globe today. The staff also grew from just 14 in four national sales office locations in 2003 to a team of 240 in 52 global sales office locations today. As the largest hotel consortium of its type in the world, Associated Luxury Hotels and its subsidiaries have provided worldwide Global Sales support and technology solutions for independent luxury hotels and an excellent “soft brand” solution.
“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," says Gabri. “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.”
Gabri was also on the ground floor of the creation of the original concept of Associated Luxury Hotels International. With ALHI founder John Metcalfe, they crafted a means for select independent luxury hotels and resorts to harness “national” resources to face growing major chain competition. Gabri’s time serving as a volunteer Member-Chairman for the ALHI Executive Committee helped set him up to successfully acquired the company from Metcalfe and his partners years later. Gabri has been widely credited with 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 revitalized a previously fragmented sector to make ALHI what it is today.
He has been involved in several other causes including:
· Chairman of the Governing Board for House of Hope, which helps hurting teens and families.
· 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.
· He spent six years with British-based Trusthouse Forte Hotels as Director of Marketing for their North American entity when it was the largest hotel company in the world.
· Gabri was honored by the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) in 2010 with its most prestigious “Academy of Leaders Award”. This is the highest honor ASAE can bestow to an individual. It is meant to recognize an industry partner who has demonstrated exemplary support of ASAE & The Center for Association Leadership and the entire association community.
· 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 the board for SITE and the Travel Industry Association of America (now U.S. Travel).
· Gabri was Executive Vice President and partner of Tishman Hotel Corporation for 14 years as an asset manager. During his time, hotel operations grew from one hotel in 1989 to 23 hotels and resorts
· Gabri’s earlier experience includes serving as Executive Vice President and partner of Buena Vista Hospitality Group. He was an essential part of operating the hotel and resort’s strategic planning for several major properties, including the 1,000+ room Buena Vista Palace at Walt Disney World Village.
As part of the transition, Josh Lesnick became Associated Luxury Hotels’ President and CEO in March 2017 and continues to oversee the company’s business operations and subsidiaries worldwide. Mark Sergot also joined the company in March 2017 as ALHI’s Chief Sales Officer. Sergot oversees ALHI’s Global Sales team of 75 sales professionals and its 24 Global Sales Offices throughout North America and Europe, which serve its membership of more than 250 luxury hotels and resorts worldwide. Tom Santora is Associated Luxury Hotels’ Chief Commercial Officer. Geoff Andrew is Worldhotels’ CEO, spearheading the organization, which has a distinctive portfolio of 350 independent hotels.
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 from 2003 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 for 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.