Mark has over 30 years’ experience in the international hotel industry, including a decade and a half as a General Manager, and in recent years as a hospitality business adviser, especially in new resort development.
He has been involved in the opening phase and operation of a diverse range of hotels and resorts for leading hotel chains as well as private independent owners in China, Cambodia, Thailand, Australia, Maldives, Malaysia, Malawi and Afghanistan. As a resort development adviser he has contributed in depth to projects in the Canadian Rockies, Costa Rica and recently in Panama.
Mark is not run of the mill; he has been an industry pioneer, the first to open up many far-flung destinations to tourism; his career has focused on challenging, and in some cases, very isolated locations, in particular in new start-ups, or where repositioning or re-branding expertise is required. His ability to lead a team under hardship circumstances and create solutions outside the box has been characteristic of his achievements.
Add to that his experience in being involved in many different styles of properties, from the most luxurious hotels in London to wineries and conference centers in Australia, from city business district hotels to award winning island resorts, from boutique style eco lodges to large residential resort villages with golf courses, and from area management of 8 very different properties in Africa to multiple ownership strata style villa resorts with vacation rentals and property management components.
For residential resorts with strata ownership structures Mark was able to utilize his unique experience with Home Owners Associations, vacation rentals and property management services to bring together an operational and administrative package for owners to establish a base for hotel services for their vacation rental clients.
Importantly his career has been motivated through opportunities to train and develop people, and in all the locations he has been involved with this has been at the forefront of his priorities and choice. His dedication to training and sustaining a culture of continual improvement in the work place was instrumental to achieving the exceptionally high hotel services standards that he has come to be known for.
Mark has a wide scope of skills set, from all aspects of project development including market and feasibility studies to architectural and interior design, from pre-opening processes into operations, from finance and global sales & marketing to looking after owners’ best interest in hotel asset management.
If it is something out of the ordinary, where a unique and creative approach is needed, Mark certainly fits the bill.
Elaine is a pioneering hotelier who has been involved with some of the first luxury hotels and resorts in a pre-opening and opening capacity in China, Cambodia, The Maldives and Afghanistan, and in operational roles in Malaysia and Thailand.
More recently she provided hotel consulting services in pre-opening and development projects in Canada, Costa Rica and Panama, and as an entrepreneur she founded an online vacation rentals marketing and referral business.
She has impeccable references in a wide portfolio of positions including Executive Assistant Manger, Corporate Training Manager, Marketing Communications Manager, Pre-opening Training Consultant and Marketing Services Consultant.
Her 26 years’ experience as a global hotelier is complemented by her linguistic skills in English, Spanish, Mandarin, Cantonese and other Asian languages.
Her exceptional problem-solving skills and ability to adapt and improvise under extremely challenging circumstances have gained her the recognition of a hardship post specialist.
In TRAINING AND EDUCATION, she planned and coordinated the whole hiring process for the 180-room Kabul Serena Hotel in Afghanistan, and led a team of department heads in implementing foundation and skill training programs for 450 fresh recruits. In Cambodia she set up a hotel training school for over 100 students and led department heads in delivering classroom and field training. In a corporate role for a hotel group in Malaysia, she managed training budgets and administered training and development policies with responsibilities ranging from needs assessment and outsourcing to coaching and training the trainers. As a pioneer expatriate in Shanghai in 1990, she led a 60-staff front office and guest services team in soft-opening a Crowne Plaza hotel while training on-the-job. It was in these roles that she especially demonstrated above-average planning, interpersonal and organization skills.
In MARKETING AND PR, she was instrumental in propelling the Kuda Huraa Reef Resort onto the world stage, where she formulated marketing communications plans that incorporated international press visits, advertorials, print and internet advertising, marketing collateral, press releases, publicity and community outreach, trade show presentations and fashion shoots in top travel publications; the resort was named one of CondeNast Travelers top ten small resorts in the world preceding the handover to Four Seasons. Earlier in Thailand in a consulting role, she used the same skills set in achieving a seamless transition following a corporate takeover of a 400-room hotel, where she worked with photographers, writers and graphic design teams in completing the change of corporate identity. Early in her marketing services career with Hyatt, she worked with in-house graphic artists in writing and producing advertisements, brochures, posters, menus, banners, direct mails, etc. while concurrently managing the Hyatt Gold Passport loyalty program.
In PROJECT DEVELOPMENT, she has used her acumen in researching, analyzing, compiling and presenting information to contribute to the feasibility and market study process after establishing a hotel and resort management company in Canada, where she provided consulting services to hotel owners and developers in the Canadian Rockies region, most notably the master-planned Silver Tip Resort community development just outside Banff National Park.
In PRE-OPENING MANAGEMENT her proficiency focuses on managing the FF&E procurement process, developing marketing collateral, prints and amenities, compiling the corporate identity manual, and operation manuals with policies and procedures for front office, housekeeping, guest services, personnel and training departments. In Costa Rica, she masterminded all aspects of marketing and rooms division groundwork, administered pre-opening expenses, worked with procurement specialists, established departmental policies and operation standards in line with those of Small Leading Hotels of The World. While being Training Consultant in Kabul, she volunteered her expertise in print and amenity production to guide the pre-opening team in implementing Serena Hotels’ corporate identity manual from A to Z.
In WEBSITE DEVELOPMENT, having carried out extensive research about Costa Rica she personally compiled, designed and developed an interactive website to market Costa Rica accommodation, establishing a consolidated countrywide marketing channel for all categories of lodging in Costa Rica including vacation rentals and hotels, and in managing the website over the years she became proficient in engaging webmaster tools to produce SEO and SEM results.
Elaine is a Malaysian-born Canadian citizen with permanent resident status in Australia and the European Union. She graduated from the University o Alberta with a bachelor degree in Commerce and Business Administration, followed by a Hotel Management diploma from the American Hotel and Lodging Association specializing in Rooms Division Management.