Phillip H McNeill, Jr - Chief Executive Officer
Phillip McNeill, Jr serves as managing partner and CEO of McNeill Hotel Company which he founded in 2014. He was formerly Executive Vice President of Equity Inns, a publicly traded (NYSE) Real Estate Investment Trust, involved in growing the company from 8 hotels valued at $40 million to a portfolio of 138 hotels which was sold to a real estate fund of Goldman Sachs for $2.2 billion. He has held senior executive positions in the hospitality group of Goldman Sachs and Pillar Hotel and Resorts. Mr. McNeill has over 30 years of experience in real estate development, management and construction across various asset classes. He recently served on the Marriott Courtyard Design and Construction Committee formed to reimage the Courtyard guestroom.
Mark Ricketts - President/ Chief Operating Officer
Mark Ricketts serves as President and COO of McNeill Hotels. Prior to joining McNeill Hotel Company, Mr. Ricketts spent the last seven years serving as Vice President in the Realty Management Division for Goldman Sachs in Irving, TX. In his capacity, Ricketts provided hotel asset management oversight for a portfolio of over 300 properties, spanning 10 brands and 27 flags. Mark has nearly 35 years of experience in the hotel industry. He previously worked as Vice President of Asset Management for Equity Inns, Inc., a publicly traded Hotel REIT based in Germantown, TN. Prior to Equity Inns, Mr. Ricketts served as the Vice President of Hotel Operations for Memphis, TN based MASTER Hospitality Services. In his role, the company received the prestigious “Partnership Circle Award” from Marriott International. Mr. Ricketts was recently named to serve on the Hilton Home 2 Suites Owner Advisory Council (OAC). In addition, Mark has served on the Hampton Brand Operations Council since 2000 and was a past member of the Hyatt Place Operations Advisory Committee. Ricketts previously served on the Board of Directors for both the Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau and Memphis Hotel & Lodging Association from 2000-2008.
Chris Ropko - Chief Financial OfficerMr. Ropko is the Chief Financial Officer of McNeill Hotel Company. Prior to joining McNeill in 2018, Mr. Ropko served as Managing Director at RobertDouglas, where he focused on structuring and raising debt and equity capital for lodging and specialty leisure properties, portfolios and companies throughout the Americas in excess of $2.5 billion. Immediately prior to RobertDouglas, Mr. Ropko was a Portfolio Manager and Commercial Real Estate Specialist at Pacific Investment Management Company (PIMCO). While at PIMCO, Mr. Ropko sourced and executed investment opportunities involving CMBS, performing, sub- and non-performing loan portfolios, mezzanine loans, preferred equity and direct equity investments secured by all major property types, including hospitality assets. Prior to joining PIMCO, Mr. Ropko held roles at Goldman Sachs in the Real Estate Principal Investment Area focused on acquisitions and asset management almost exclusively in the hospitality sector on behalf of the Whitehall series of private equity funds. Most notably, Mr. Ropko helped build out Whitehall’s limited service hospitality acquisitions, asset, and property management platforms, including the privatization of Equity Inns. Mr. Ropko is a recurring Guest Lecturer at USC’s Marshall School of Business on the topic of hospitality real estate finance. He has a Bachelor of Science degree from Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration.
Larry Mills - Senior Vice President of AccountingLarry Mills serves as Senior Vice President of Accounting for McNeill Hotel Company. Larry joined the company after gaining over 30 years of experience in the hospitality industry, beginning with 13 years with Holiday Inns and followed by 23 years as Senior Vice President – Controller for Davidson Hotels and Resorts. At Holiday Inns, he was responsible for the accounting and reporting for all domestic owned and managed hotels for Holiday Inns and Hampton Inns. Taking that experience to Davidson in 1991, he managed all accounting and reporting aspects as the company grew from 12 hotels to 46 hotels during his tenure. He graduated from Memphis State University (now University of Memphis) with a B.B.A in Accounting and became a Certified Public Accountant during his years at Holiday Inns.
Brent McDowell - Vice President – Hotel Support
Mr. McDowell joins McNeill Hotels after serving as Vice President of Pillar Hotels & Resorts Construction. In this role, he provided direction for a team of 4 project managers and was responsible for the strategic capital planning and execution of capital expenditures for a portfolio of over 300 hotels encompassing brands from 10 hotel brands. This team executed capital projects averaging $80 million dollars per year with scopes ranging from emergency capital items to change of ownership PIPs and cyclical renovations. Mr. McDowell also worked with Pillar Hotels and Resorts in the role of Regional Director of Operations overseeing the day to day operations of multiple units consisting of Marriott, Hilton, and Hyatt select service brands. Prior to joining Pillar Hotels & Resorts, Mr. McDowell served as Asset Manager in the Realty Management Division for Goldman Sachs providing oversight for nearly 100 properties across multiple brands largely made up of Marriott, Hilton, and Hyatt flags. Mr. McDowell has been in the hospitality industry since 1993. While the roles over those 22 years are many, the focus of his efforts was largely related to the Sales, Marketing, and Revenue Management aspects of hotels ranging from suburban select service hotels to large, full-service destination/convention hotels.
Anna Rench - Vice President - Asset Management and AcquisitionsAnna is responsible for the asset management of the company’s existing portfolio as well as sourcing new opportunities for continued platform growth. Prior to joining McNeill, Anna served as Vice President at Dallas-based Crow Holdings Capital, a registered investment advisor comprised of private equity real estate funds and a diversified investment advisory firm, where she managed the hotel platform for both the fund and family hotel investments of luxury and full service properties. She also spent several years at Goldman Sachs in the organization’s Realty Management Division. As Vice President, she oversaw a diverse national portfolio of over 60 select and full service assets. Anna received a B.A. in Hospitality Business with a Specialization in Real Estate and Development from Michigan State University. She is a member of the Michigan State Hospitality Business Real Estate Investment Management Advisory Board.
Valerie Bolton - Vice President - Human Resources
Valerie Bolton comes to McNeill Hotel Company with 11 years of hospitality HR experience. Prior to joining McNeill Hotel Company, Valerie was the Director of Recruiting/Human Resources manager for Bowlmor-AMF where she lead a team of 7. Previous to that, Valerie managed the recruiting efforts of over 100 hotels for Pillar Hotels and Resorts. Valerie graduated from University of North Texas with a Bachelor of Arts degree. While attending UNT, Valerie began working at a counseling clinic and realized her talent for helping individuals pursue and achieve their goals. After 5 years of working in the counseling field she transitioned from counseling to recruiting.
Kim Knop - Vice President - Sales & Marketing
Kim serves as Vice President of Sales & Marketing for McNeill Hotels. Kim joins McNeill with over 30 years of hotel experience in various aspects of Sales and Marketing. She began as a Sales Manager for multiple hotels with Marriott International before joining MASTER Hospitality (a Memphis, TN based hotel and ownership company) as a Regional Director Sales for their four Memphis/Germantown area hotels. Kim moved to Chartwell Hospitality as a Cluster Director of Sales and recently served as an Area Director of Sales for Interstate Hotels & Resorts. During her illustrious career, Kim has been recognized as having the “Sales Team of the Year” on two separate occasions by Marriott International while winning “Director of Sales of the Year” for Chartwell and was recognized this past year by Interstate Hotels as recipient of the “Sales Excellence Award – Top Sales Performer”.
Kim has been an active member of the various communities that she has worked. During her hospitality career, Ms. Knop has served on the Board of Directors for the Germantown TN Chamber of Commerce, the Southaven MS Chamber of Commerce and the Desoto County MS Economic Council. Kim recently served as a Board Member of the Germantown TN Great Hall and Conference Center Commission. She served on the Board for the Mid South Area Business Travel Association (BTA) in 2015.
Jennifer Driscoll - Vice President - Revenue ManagementJennifer serves as Vice President of Revenue Management for McNeill Hotels. Jennifer joins McNeill with over 27 years of experience in the hospitality field. After graduating from Florida State University with a degree in Hospitality Administration, she joined the Hilton Orlando/Almonte Springs. During her time at the Hilton Orlando/Altamonte Springs, she held several Management positions. In addition, Jennifer worked as Revenue Manager with both the Holiday Inn Select Orlando Airport and the Embassy Suites Orlando Airport. In 2004, she joined the Embassy Suites Brand Regional Revenue team in Hilton’s Memphis corporate office, assisting both corporate and franchise hotels to achieve optimal mixes and revenues. Jennifer then joined Hilton‘s Hampton Brand team, as Director of Revenue Management in 2007. She and her team were responsible for strategic guidance and RM support for ten years. Jennifer led all Revenue Management initiatives at Hampton while driving performance to achieve optimal revenues and share. Jennifer was instrumental in rolling out OnQ R&I, RMCC, multiple BAR levels as well as Hilton’s GRO (Global Revenue Optimization) system. In addition to supporting Hilton’s largest brand, Hampton, Jennifer played a key role in the development of Revenue Management support and strategic direction for Hilton’s newest brand, Tru by Hilton.
Jason Ward - Vice President-Portfolio ManagementJason is responsible for the oversight and execution of acquisition and disposition activity as well as executing on capitalization strategies. Prior to joining McNeill Hotel Company, he served as Vice President at McNeill Commercial Real Estate focusing on the development of hospitality and commercial properties. He also worked on securing debt and equity capital for the various projects. Prior to working with McNeill Commercial Real Estate, he spent several years in the banking industry. Jason graduated from Millsaps College with a B.A. in History in 1995. He later received his Doctor of Jurisprudence in 1999 and his Master of Business Administration in 2000 from Mississippi College School of Law and Business.
Mark M. Layne, CPA - Chief Accounting Officer
Mr. Layne has worked with the hospitality industry in various capacities since 1986. He began his career with Deloitte Haskins & Sells (now Deloitte & Touche) in 1984. While there he served Phillip H. McNeill, Sr who had started McNeill Sullivan Hospitality Corporation which managed hotels throughout the southeast. Mr. Layne worked closely with Equity Inns LP as the company went public in February of 1994 and served the Company until it sold to a Goldman Sachs affiliate in 2008. He was the managing partner of Crain and Company, CPAs until 2004 when he left public practice and started Layne Capital Management and Consulting, Inc. He has served as President of the Tennessee Society of CPAs and was appointed by the Governor to serve on the Tennessee State Board of Accountancy. He graduated from the University of Tennessee with a B.S. in Business Administration in 1982 and later received his Masters of Accountancy from the University of Tennessee in 1984.