Team Member Profiles
The entire HREC® - Hospitality Real Estate Counselors® team is comprised of true hotel industry insiders, with extensive background in hotel operations (property and corporate levels) and comprehensive real estate training. We have owned hotels, built lodging properties and grown franchise companies. As a result, we understand the lodging industry intimately and offer a true owner’s perspective to our advisory and brokerage services.
Michael Cahill, CRE, MAI, FRICS, CHA - CEO and Founder
Mike Cahill is CEO and founder of HREC - Hospitality Real Estate Counselors, a leading North American real estate investment banking and advisory firm specializing exclusively in the lodging and gaming industries. Mr. Cahill oversees both company divisions; brokerage and consulting/advisory. Mike has counseled on over 4,000 lodging and gaming properties in the U.S. and multiple foreign countries. He has authored and published over 85 industry articles, lectured to more than 55 of the nation’s premier industry organizations and has been quoted as an industry expert in over 70 different publications. Mike is co-chairman of the Lodging Industry Investment Council (“LIIC”), a hospitality industry think tank and has appeared on The History Channel as a casino expert. Mr. Cahill was an original co-founder of the Microtel lodging concept and hotel chain. He is a graduate of the Cornell University Hotel School where he was an Academic All-America football player.
Scott Stephens is a Senior Principal & COO with HREC Investment Advisors®, based out of the company’s Tampa, Florida office. Scott has been providing investment banking and advisory services exclusively to the hospitality industry over the last 33 years. Over his career, Scott has been involved in transactions and debt placements totaling well in excess of $3 billion. Scott is actively engaged in the management and operation of the Investment Advisors division of HREC®. Scott holds Bachelor of Science degrees in both Real Estate and Marketing from Florida State University where he graduated Summa Cum Laude.
Michael D. Armstrong - Principal (HREC Investment Advisors - San Diego)
Mike Armstrong is Principal of HREC Investment Advisors San Diego office. Since joining HREC in 2009, he has completed over 60 hotel sales and mortgage brokerage assignments primarily in the West and Southwest. A 35-year hotel industry veteran, Mike brings extensive experience in hotel real estate sales, debt & equity financing, development, acquisitions, and hotel management to his leadership role with the company. In addition to providing investment sales brokerage services, Mike oversees the HREC Capital Markets and Mortgage Brokerage Group. Previously, he held executive positions with Neptune Hospitality Advisors, Insignia/ESG, Hotel Partners, and Metro Hotels. Mike is a California licensed real estate broker and a graduate of the University of North Texas where he earned a BBA with concentrations in Real Estate and Finance.
Patrick Culligan - Principal (HREC - Nashville & Memphis)
Pat Culligan is Principal of HREC Investment Advisors Nashville and Memphis office. He has managed/conducted market studies reflecting billions in hotel investment; participated in the conceptual development of numerous hotel brands including Hampton Inns and Homewood Suites; participated in the formation of a hotel REIT; created significant value through asset management; served as the lead negotiator for the acquisition of a European hotel brand; and has successfully served clients in hotel dispositions. He is a graduate of the Cornell Hotel School and a licensed Tennessee RE Broker.
James F. O'Connell - Principal, ISHC (HREC Investment Advisors - Boston)
Jim O’Connell is Principal of HREC Investment Advisors Boston office. Over the past 25 years, Jim has earned a reputation for succeeding on the toughest assignments by assembling all of the moving pieces within a transaction that has stretched to both coasts. He gained his national contact base while advising workout professionals and managing the ORE hotel portfolio of the Bank of New England/RECOLL Management Corp. Jim has represented public companies, private equity funds and high net worth individuals across the country and is known for having completed more hotel transaction in the region than any other broker. Jim is a graduate of Massachusetts Maritime Academy.
Herb Warmbrodt - Principal (HREC Investment Advisors - Kansas City)
Herb Warmbrodt is Principal of HREC Investment Advisors Kansas City office. Herb began his hospitality investment career in the mid 1980's with RHW Companies as Director of Acquisitions for the development, financing, management and disposition of Residence Inn by Marriott hotels. In 1991, Herb joined a Kansas City based boutique investment banking firm as a partner and headed the hospitality platform before founding Warmbrodt Hotel Investments in 2003. In his 30+ years in the hospitality industry, Herb has been involved in over $1.5 billion in hospitality transactions.
Monty Levy is Managing Director of HREC Investment Advisors Atlanta office. He has extensive experience representing a wide range of hotel sellers. He has led the HREC IA disposition team in successfully selling a number of full-service assets in the Southeast. Monty co-founded the Atlanta Hospitality Alliance, the region's foremost education and networking driven hospitality organization. Previously, Monty practiced law as a commercial real estate attorney. Monty holds a BA - Emory University, a JD - University of Michigan, is a member of the Georgia Bar and a licensed RE broker in both Georgia and Alabama.
Scott Kaniewski is Managing Director of HREC Investment Advisors Chicago office. During his career, Scott has executed over $1.7 billion of real estate transactions and sourced over $750 million of debt. Scott is a former Chief Financial Officer of Empire Resorts, a publicly traded gaming company, a former partner with Area Property Partners & ING Real Estate Fund Investing in hotel assets and an executive with VMS Realty Partners’ Hotel & Resort division. Scott holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance from Indiana University of Kelley School of Business. Scott also passed the Certified Public Accounting Exam and is a Trustee for the Latin School of Chicago.
Gregory Porter - Managing Director - Mortgage Brokerage
Greg Porter is a senior mortgage specialist within HREC Investment Advisors located in the San Diego office. With over two decades of commercial real estate finance experience, Greg has served in senior roles with lenders MC-Five Mile, Merrill Lynch, and Bear Stearns where he originated and underwrote over $1.6 billion of fixed and floating rate commercial real estate debt. Greg holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business from the University of Southern California and is a licensed California Real Estate Broker.
Mark Rousseau is Senior Vice President with HREC Investment Advisors in Atlanta. With over two decades in the hospitality industry, Mark has held senior executive positions in hotel development with Hilton Hotels, ITT Sheraton (as the head of worldwide acquit ions and development) and Holiday Inns, Inc, before joining Hordage in 1986. Over his career, Mark directly managed many large hotel and mixed-use projects through complex regulatory processes and has built and acquired hotels in the United States and internationally.
Barry Swanson is Senior Vice President with HREC Investment Advisors® in Atlanta. For more than 15 years, Barry has completed successful hotel brokerage transactions representing a broad spectrum of clients including public and private hotel companies, financial institutions, REO assets, individual owners and equity investors. Advisory assignments have ranged from individual transactions to large portfolio sales. Barry's diverse background in finance and real estate has provided the strong platform that has enabled him to excel in the hotel brokerage industry.
Mark Mitroka is a Senior Vice President of HREC Investment Advisors Austin office. He has over 25 years of experience in real estate and finance with transactional experience in the United States and 20 foreign countries. During his career, Mark has appraised, valued, financed, acquired, operated and provided consulting advice on hospitality and gaming assets worth in excess of $5 billion. He has held positions in the hospitality industry with Michigan State University, HVS, KPMG, Belgravia Capital & Larken Hotels. He is a graduate of the School of Hospitality Business, Broad College of Business at Michigan State University.
Kevin Hanley, 40-year hospitality veteran, having most recently been the CEO of Sunburst Hospitality, an owner/operator whose portfolio included nearly 100 hotels over the past decade. Directly involved in over 250 hotel acquisitions, dispositions or new developments through his career, he is well versed in all transactional aspects. He recently served as Vice Chairman of the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Foundation & is the past Chairman of the AH&LA's Multi-Unit Operators Council. His degree in Hotel Administration is from the University of New Hampshire and is a licensed real estate salesperson.
Mark von Dwingelo is Senior Vice President of HREC Investment Advisors Danbury office. He has over 30 years of experience in all facets of hospitality real estate. Prior to joining HREC® he served as SVP for Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels & Hospitality Group. Mark has sold over $500 million in hotel and resort assets during his 13 year career in the commercial real estate industry. He has over 17 years of extensive hospitality consulting experience with L&H, PKF Consulting and KPMG. Mark holds a BA in Hospitality Management from Florida International University. He is a licensed Real Estate Broker in CT, NY, PA and GA.
Tom Huegel is a Senior Vice President of HREC Investment Advisors Atlanta office. Tom brings 32 years of experience in hotel feasibility & development and franchising, most notably with Hilton Worldwide. Huegel was Senior Director of Franchise Development where he oversaw all Hilton brands in the SE region. Most recently, Tom was a partner with Hotel Assets Group in Atlanta where he was responsible for producing over $400M in asset sales.
Jeffrey Duni is a Senior Vice President in the Denver office. Jeffrey brings over 25 years' experience in all aspects of business development, asset management, acquisition/development for hospitality and resort enterprises, deal structuring, financing, and brokerage. During his tenure at HVS Capital, he was responsible for arranging the firm's largest transaction, in excess of $100 million, during that time period. Jeffrey Duni received a BSBA in Hospitality & Tourism Management and a MBA in Real Estate Finance, both from the University of Denver.
Len Wormser is a Senior Vice President in the New Orleans office. Len has distinguished himself during the last 20 years as the most active and knowledgeable hospitality investment advisor and developer in New Orleans and the surrounding southeast regional market. Prior to Len’s affiliation with HREC, he served as the Senior Managing Director of the NAI/Latter& Blum Hospitality Division, and concurrently served as the President of Sizeler Properties REIT (SIZ NASDAQ) taxable REIT subsidiary and Managing Member/General Partner in FW Development and I-10 Development LLC, during which time Len developed over 1,400 rooms.
Josh Smith is a Senior Vice President in the Las Vegas office. Often called upon for his vast knowledge in real estate finance and construction, Josh brings over twenty years of experience in the Hospitality and Gaming arena. During his career he gained skills in acquisitions, disposition, buyer/tenant representation, development, financial modeling, training, preparation, analysis and asset management. To date, he has served as a trusted advisor, consultant, appraiser and broker on over 250 hospitality and gaming assignments totaling over $20BB in volume and valuation. He is a graduate of The School of Hospitality Business, Broad College of Business at Michigan State University, and holds a Master’s degree in Real Estate Finance from University of Denver’s Franklin L Burns School of Real Estate and Construction Management. Mr. Smith is a licensed Broker in the State of Nevada.
Jonathan Ruprai is Senior Vice President of HREC Investment Advisors and is based out of the company’s Tampa office. Prior to joining HREC, Mr. Ruprai was First Vice President Investments at Marcus & Millichap, and Senior Director of the firm’s National Hospitality Group. During his tenure at Marcus & Millichap, Jonathan earned numerous Sales Recognition and National Achievement Awards - he consistently ranked among the top 10 National Hospitality Group agents nationwide from 2009 through 2018. Mr. Ruprai has exclusively listed and sold over 100 hotels across 24 states.
Paul Sexton heads up HREC Investment Advisors® Orlando office. During his career, Paul has worked primarily as a senior acquisitions/ development professional for three publicly traded hospitality companies. He was responsible for investments totaling nearly $750 million. As consultant and broker, he has advised clients–including individual developers, public companies and private equity funds–on hospitality projects throughout the US, the Caribbean and Latin America. Paul has a degree in Hotel, Restaurant & Tourism Management, is a licensed State of Florida broker and is a member of ULI.
Mark Rome is Senior Vice President in the Dallas office of HREC Investment Advisors®. With more than 25 years of transactional and litigation experience, Mark brings unique perspective and skills to the hospitality industry. Mark has participated in structuring over 100 hotel transactions valued in excess of $1 billion for a variety of clients, ranging from large, publicly-traded companies to individual owners. Mark is a licensed attorney and member of the State Bar of Texas. He received his J.D. from the University of Houston and his B.A. from Rice University.
Mike Dube is Senior Vice President in HREC's Denver headquarter office. Since beginning his brokerage career with HREC in 2012, Mike has successfully executed hotel transactions in Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska, Iowa, Texas and Minnesota. Prior to brokerage, Mike’s professional experience included 16 years in the hospitality industry where he served as General Manager, Director of Sales & Marketing, Food & Beverage Director and several other operational positions throughout his career. During his time in hotel operations, Mike worked with a variety of brands including Sheraton, Holiday Inn, Adam's Mark and Wyndham, and with management companies including Interstate Hotels & Resorts, Destination Hotels & Resorts and The Hotel Group. Mike holds a Bachelor of Science in Hotel Administration from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and is a licensed Real Estate Broker in the State of Colorado.
Prior to his affiliation with HREC, Dan Miller worked for several major lodging companies and REITs. More recent assignments were Chief Investment Officer for a family office in California and Chief Investment Officer for American Hotel Income Properties REIT where he acquired 72 properties with value in excess of $1 billion. Prior to that, he was Vice President of Capital Transactions for FelCor Lodging Trust where he led the disposition of $750 million in non-core assets. He eagerly brings his owner experience and perspective to both the acquisition and disposition of portfolio and individual properties across the country. He is a graduate of the Cornell School of Hotel Administration and holds an MBA from Southern Methodist University. He is based in HREC’s Dallas office.
Jon Grantham provides comprehensive hotel investment transaction services to clients in the southwestern U.S. Jon has over a decade of hotel disposition experience and joined the firm in 2022 from Colliers international where he transacted the top dollar and transaction volume for their National Hospitality team. He applies his skill set and experience to understanding the intricacies of both his market and specialty. Jon holds a Bachelor of Science in Economics from Arizona State University.
Chris has an extensive hospitality background spanning 20+ years, including prior positions in hotel operations, consulting, brokerage and acquisitions/business development. Prior to joining HREC in the Denver headquarter office, Chris spent seven years with Denver-based Stonebridge Companies as Vice President of Real Estate and Asset Management. He oversaw acquisition and business development efforts and played a key role in identifying value creation opportunities, executing on underwritten business plan initiatives and capital management. Prior to that, Chris served as Vice President of Acquisitions and Business Development for Highgate Hotels, based in Dallas, where he led efforts to expand both the owned and third-party managed portfolio of assets. Chris is a graduate of the William F. Harrah College of Hospitality at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Ted Anka is Vice President of HREC Investment Advisors® the Miami office. Joining HREC in April 2006, Ted is an industry veteran with extensive networks and experience in over 15-states in and around the Midwest. Ted has a strong background in the hotel franchise sales arena with a career that spanned over 10-years having worked with such companies as USFS, IHG and Cendant.
Jeffrey Preston is Vice President of HREC Investment Advisors Chicago office. With over 25 years of experience in the hospitality industry, Jeff's career combines a unique mix of hotel operations, consulting and development skills. A graduate of the University of Denver's Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism program, Jeff has worked in management operations for Hyatt Hotels Corporation, has been a consultant with Pannell Kerr Forster, and has been a partner in several hotel developments.
Tom is Vice President of HREC Investment Advisors® in the Chicago office. His 28 year career in the hotel industry has included a wide range of experience in various facets of the business. He began in the franchise development arena with two major franchisors prior to owning and managing hotels in the Indianapolis market. He has nearly three decades of experience and knowledge of the Midwest region and has provided investment banking services in those markets and throughout the U.S. for the past fifteen years. Tom holds real estate licenses in Illinois as Managing Broker and Wisconsin as Broker. He is a graduate of University of Missouri with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration.
John Siska is Vice President within the Capital Markets Group of HREC Investment Advisors Boston office. John brings to HREC the combined experience of hotel debt placement, investment sales brokerage and hotel and resort operations. During his 35 years in the industry, he has been involved in all aspects of the business ranging from capital formation, investment analysis, strategic planning and hotel operations. John is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts Hotel School. Additionally, he serves as an active member the University of Massachusetts Hotel School Leadership Board.
Lee Kerfoot, Vice President of HREC Investment Advisors Minneapolis office, has over 20 years of experience in the hospitality industry has sold hundreds of millions in hotel transactions primarily in the upper-Midwest states. Lee frequently speaks at hospitality industry events and is a licensed real estate broker in Minnesota. He graduated from Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration with a Masters of Management in Hospitality.
Michael Salloway is Vice President of HREC Investment Advisors Atlanta office. Michael’s core practice is the acquisition and disposition of hotel, resort and casino properties. He concentrates on hospitality properties throughout the U.S. and southeast. Michael focuses on both single asset and portfolio sales. He maintains close relationships with institutional investors, private equity, high net-worth individuals and regional owner/operators to present acquisition opportunities to appropriate buyers. Michael utilizes the latest technology and digital resources to provide the highest levels of professionalism and integrity to all his clients. Originally from Alabama, Michael graduated from the University of Alabama. He also received a Certification in Hotel Real Estate Investments and Asset Management from Cornell University and has completed all core CCIM classes.
Amish Naik is Vice President of HREC Investment Advisors focused on the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic regions. He brings to HREC vast transactional experience in the areas of investment sales, debt placement and asset management. During his 15 years in the hospitality industry, he has been involved in over $200 Million of hotel transactions including acquisition, disposition and placement of various debt instruments. This background has allowed him to develop deep and trusted relationships with institutional investors, private equity groups and regional hotel owners. Amish graduated from the University of Maryland College Park with a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Management Information Science and Business Administration.
Adam Lallani is Vice President of HREC Investment Advisors® in the Houston office. Adam focuses on the valuation, disposition, financing and acquisition of single assets and portfolios for our clients in the South Central United States; having previously been involved in transactions across the United States. Prior to joining HREC in April 2021, Adam was a Hospitality Broker at Avison Young. Adam earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. He currently holds a Georgia Real Estate Salesperson’s License and is a member of the Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA).
Tammy Bateman is a Sales Associate in HREC Investment Advisors® Orlando office, representing owners of hotel and land parcels suitable for hotel development. Prior to joining HREC, Tammy was the General Manager of the Castle Hotel, Autograph Collection – an iconic Orlando area hotel – for six years during which she had active responsibility relative to the sale of the hotel in both 2017 and 2020. She also has extensive experience in the shared ownership sector of the lodging industry, specifically as the General Manager of the Floridays Resort Orlando, a condo-hotel, and with both Bluegreen and Sunterra timeshare resort companies. Tammy is a past Chairman of the International Drive Chamber of Commerce; she is also a licensed Sales Associate, licensed Community Association Manager, and a Certified Hotel Administrator.
Brendan Collins is Vice President of HREC Investment Advisors Boston office. Brendan plays a strategic role in assisting our clients in the New England region with their hospitality acquisitions and dispositions. He transitioned from a nearly four-year stint providing investment banking analysis and assisting the brokerage service division in HREC’s Denver Headquarters. At HREC, he has analyzed more than 480 unique lodging properties, valued at a total of more than $6.8 billion and resulting in the successful disposition of over $1 billion in hotel assets. Prior to joining HREC, Brendan worked in franchise development at Choice Hotels International. Brendan is a graduate of the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts Amherst with a double major in Economics and Hospitality Business with a concentration in Real Estate.
Sam Pewitt is the Vice President of HREC’s Phoenix office. Prior to joining HREC in August 2022, Sam has brokered hotel transactions throughout the country, including Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Illinois, Indiana, and Mississippi. He is a Designated Real Estate Broker in the state of Arizona and graduated from Washington State University with a degree in International Business and Spanish Language.
Melanie Milton - Director of Research & Administration
Melanie Milton serves as Director of Research and Administration in the Memphis and Nashville offices. She has managed and conducted hospitality research that includes hundreds of corporate demand generator interviews for both proposed and existing hotels. Melanie also manages the administrative responsibilities of the office and oversees report production and delivery. Her background includes experience in corporate law and franchise compliance. She attended the University of Mississippi and is a graduate of the Southwestern Paralegal institute in Houston, Texas.
Ashley Hunt, based in HREC Investment Advisors® Denver headquarter office, provides marketing and operational support to the entire HREC® family. Ashley serves as a communication manager, oversees the administration and development of the marketing/advertising materials including press releases, coordination of travel and conferences, and manages the company's website. Ashley graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Marketing and Communications.
Taylor Ponath is Salesperson Brokerage at HREC Investment Advisors in the Minneapolis office. He provides support to ongoing listings including analytical research, data analysis, and traditional brokerage responsibilities. He has extensive operations experience in the hospitality industry and studied economics and computer science at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota. He currently holds a Salesperson’s real estate license in the state of Minnesota.
Morgan is a Senior Brokerage Associate in the Denver office; she provides investment banking analysis and support for the brokerage service division. Before being brought on as an associate, Morgan was an intern at HREC, gaining exposure to high level real estate transactions. Prior to HREC, Morgan gained experience in the industry while at the Colonnade Hotel in Boston. Morgan is a graduate of the School of Hospitality Business at Michigan State University with a minor in Real Estate Investment Management.
Vasilis is a Brokerage Senior Associate in the Denver office; he provides investment banking analysis and support for the brokerage service division. Prior to joining Team HREC, Vasilis interned with Canon Hospitality Group where he held an analyst role in Asset Management and Acquisitions. He also helped manage finance for a 27-location restaurant group in the Philadelphia and Baltimore metro areas. Vasilis is a graduate of Penn State’s School of Hospitality Management with a focus in Hospitality Real Estate.
Justin Goodenow is a Brokerage Associate in the Denver office; providing support for HREC's brokerage service division as well as investment banking analysis. Before joining HREC, Justin had experience in real estate management and construction through the Michigan State Foundation, primarily focusing on research labs and buildings of higher education. He has also worked as a Front Office intern at a select service Marriott property, as well as worked several rotational positions on the operational side of the hospitality industry. Justin is a graduate of the School of Hospitality Business at Michigan State University, with a specialization in real estate investment.
Emma Dietz is a Brokerage Associate in the Denver Office; she provides investment banking analysis and support for the brokerage service division. Prior to joining the HREC team, Emma gained industry experience through supervisor and rotational roles at hotels and country clubs with international exposure. Emma is a graduate of the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts Amherst with a double major in Finance and Hospitality Business with a concentration in Real Estate.
Mathew Cornell is a Graphic Designer in the Denver office; he provides creative direction and design to the office’s BOVs, OMs, and marketing materials, as well as conducts GIS map analysis for client properties. Before joining HREC, Mathew had spent the past five years working as a Shipping Manager in the supply chain industry. Mathew also worked professionally in the Graphic Design field creating a wide range of materials for franchise sales, wineries, hospitals, and businesses.
Kunal Shah is a Brokerage Associate in the Denver Office; providing investment banking analysis and support for the brokerage service division. Prior to joining HREC as an Associate, Kunal has worked in Real Estate Investments. He owns, manages, and renovates rental properties in his college town of East Lansing alongside his employees. He also has experience working in the Front Office at a Full-Service Radisson at the Capital of Michigan. Kunal is a graduate of the School of Hospitality Business at Michigan State University with a concentration in Real Estate Investments.
Sally Cremer is a brokerage associate in the Denver Office, providing investment banking analysis and brokerage support. She currently holds a broker’s license in Indiana, making her the cooperating broker on all of our Indiana transactions. Before being brought on as an associate, Sally was a transaction coordinator at HREC. Sally graduated Indiana University with a Bachelor of Science in Tourism, Hospitality, and Event Management.