Mr. Smith is a co-founder of Pennbridge companies. Since its inception, Pennbridge has purchased/developed over $200 Million in hospitality assets. Pennbridge and its affiliates have owned multiple hotels in four states, of which seven are ground-up developments. Pennbridge has a longstanding franchise relationship with Marriott International and InterContinental Hotels Group. In addition, Smith and Lewis have affiliation with Hilton Hotels and Hyatt Corp. Pennbridge hotels are managed by Smith and Lewis’ management company, Pennbridge Lodging Corp, which received the prestigious Marriott Horizon Award in 2018.
Prior to co-founding Pennbridge, Mr. Smith worked for various investment groups focusing on real estate acquisitions and development including Starwood Capital Group in Greenwich, CT, Brighton Corporation, Salomon Smith Barney's Real Estate Investment Banking Group in New York City, and Grosvenor International Limited in Washington D.C.
Mr. Smith holds a Bachelor of Science in Economics with a concentration in Finance from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, graduating magna cum laude, and a Master of Science in Real Estate Development from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Mr. Lewis is a co-founder of Pennbridge companies. Since inception, Pennbridge has purchased/developed over $200 million in hospitality assets. Pennbridge and its affiliates have owned multiple hotels in four states, seven of which are ground-up developments. Pennbridge has a longstanding franchise affiliation with Marriott International and InterContinental Hotels Group and has relationships with Hilton Hotels and Hyatt Corp. Pennbridge hotels are managed by Pennbridge Lodging Corp, the hotel management company co-founded by Mr. Lewis, which received the prestigious Marriott Horizon Award in 2018.
Prior to co-founding Pennbridge, Mr. Lewis was a Vice President with W.P. Carey, a real estate investment firm headquartered in New York City, where he was responsible for one and a half billion dollars of assets under management. Prior to his experience with W.P. Carey, Mr. Lewis worked in the Investment Management Division of Goldman Sachs. Mr. Lewis was educated at Brigham Young University and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Tom Whitney is the Vice President for Pennbridge Lodging. Since joining the Pennbridge team, Tom brings over 13 years of Marriott experience to the company. Tom worked in a variety of roles throughout Marriott International including Architecture and Design, Marriott Bonvoy, Feasibility and Asset Management. During Tom’s tenure at Marriott, he helped underwrite over 400 Marriott-branded hotels. Prior to his Feasibility role at Marriott, he worked with many franchisees on the design and construction of their hotels and oversaw the development and design approval of more than 1,500 Marriott Select Branded hotels during his tenure at Marriott.
Tom studied Architecture and Design at the University of Utah and his passion for hotels pushed him more recently to complete a Master’s Degree in Hotel Management from Georgetown University while employed by Marriott. When not working on hotels, Tom enjoys spending time with his wife and three young daughters traveling and doing anything outdoors. Tom loves to coach his daughter’s sports teams and particularly enjoys hiking, biking, camping, tennis and looking for grizzly bears when spending time out in the Yellowstone region.
Mike Webster is the Vice President of Operations for Pennbridge Lodging. Prior to starting with Pennbridge Capital in December 2013, Mr. Webster worked for various hotel management companies as an executive hotel leader. Most recently, Mr. Webster served as Vice President of Operations for Ocean Park Hotels, Inc., in San Luis Obispo, CA. In this role Mr. Webster was responsible for operations of eight hotels with annual revenues exceeding $33,000,000, which included Marriott hotels, Hilton hotels, IHG hotels and a Best Western hotel. Many of the hotels in portfolio ranked as market leaders on online review sites, guest satisfaction, team member satisfaction, and Revpar.
Mr. Webster has a strong foundation in hospitality management while working for notable management companies including Tharaldson Management Inc. as the General Manager of the Courtyard by Marriott in Lubbock, TX and as the General Manager of the Courtyard by Marriott in Las Vegas, NV, as well as Ocean Park Hotels, Inc. Mr. Webster holds an Associate of Science degree from Dixie State College in St. George, UT and also attended Texas Tech University in Lubbock, TX.
Mr. Webster loves living in Highland, UT with his wife and three children where he can pursue his passion for the outdoors. Snow Skiing the greatest snow on earth in the winter and taking in the picturesque beauty of Lake Powell in the summer are two of his favorite outdoor activities.
Michael Bentz is the Corporate Controller of Pennbridge Lodging. Most recently, Mr. Bentz oversaw the accounting for a portfolio of multi-family properties for Pacific Urban Residential, a subsidiary of the private equity firm, Marcus & Millichap Company in Palo Alto, CA. While at Pacific Urban, Michael performed accounting and financial analysis for the acquisition, disposition and refinancing of 10+ properties across the West Coast valued at over $500mn. Prior to his experience with Pacific Urban, Mr. Bentz worked as an auditor with PricewaterhouseCoopers in Silicon Valley, primarily within the semiconductor industry. Mr. Bentz holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Brigham Young University and is a licensed CPA.
As assistant controller, Mr. Payne is responsible for accounts payable, bank reconciliations, financial statement review and other accounting responsibilities for the hotels managed by Pennbridge Lodging. He has been in the accounting field for over four years and received his Bachelors of Accounting from Boise State University in May 2013. Prior to joining Pennbridge Lodging Mr. Payne worked for Jitasa, an accounting firm working exclusively with non-profit clients throughout the United States. Jason has a passion for the outdoors and everything sports related, especially football and baseball.
Ms. Elliott handles Accounts Payable responsibilities and credit card reconciliation for Pennbridge Lodging as well as the hotels managed by Pennbridge Lodging. Her prior work experience includes plywood and glu-lam beam sales for Boise Cascade where she was instrumental in moving millions of board feet from eight mills across the country. She also worked for Cardinal Logistics as a transportation coordinator. There, Denise handled payroll for up to 30 drivers, customer invoicing, claim reconciliation, daily piece tracking, and daily driver tracking with routing across five states. Most recently Denise worked for Bodybuilding.com where she was an accounts payable specialist. Her duties included analyzing, prioritizing and coding internal and external multi-entity corporate payables.
Denise received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Finance from Boise State University in 1993. She enjoys boating, waterskiing, golf, and any other sports. She even loves to watch sports, specifically football and baseball.
Ms. Palmer joined the Pennbridge team in April of 2021 as a staff accountant. She is responsible for daily reports, bank reconciliations, financial statement and other daily accounting responsibilities and needs for all hotels managed by Pennbridge Lodging. Ms. Palmer has been in the accounting field for over 6 years and earned her Bachelor of Accounting from Ashford University in 2017. Prior to joining Pennbridge Lodging Lauren worked in the film industry as a production accountant. During this time, she was traveling on set to where the films were being filmed and played a vital role in the production’s daily accounting needs during the months of being on location.
Most recently Ms. Palmer worked for a local Electrical Wiring firm that has been in Boise for 40+ years. She was responsible for their accounts payable, accounts receivable, monthly invoicing, bi-weekly payroll, monthly and quarterly financial reports, and filings with the state and federal government as well as business and employee insurance accounts, individual SIRA management and other daily accounting needs.
Lauren enjoys each season the greater Treasure Valley has to offer and is passionate about travel, photography, and sports, especially football and baseball. Lauren also loves to spend time with her two Australian Shepard’s Traeger and Kennedy as well as spending time with family and friends.
Kylee Harkness is the Administrative Assistant in the Utah Corporate Office for Pennbridge. Among her responsibilities are: Answering and directing phone calls; Organizing and scheduling appointments; Distribution of emails, correspondence memos, letters, faxes and forms; Assistance in the preparation of regularly scheduled reports; Filing System Development and Maintenance; Maintenance/Distribution of revenue, audit, and expense reports. Kylee recently graduated from Utah Valley University with a degree in Behavioral Science. Aside from her position at Pennbridge, she teaches various styles of dance and loves it. Kylee also enjoys boating and spending time with friends and family.
Courtney Polifka is the General Manager for the SpringHill Suites by Marriott St. George Washington. She started with the hotel in June of 2021 after moving to the area with her family. Mrs. Polifka has worked in hospitality her whole life, growing up on a dude ranch in Southern Utah. She started working at a Marriott for a college job and realized she loved the world of hospitality and decided to pursue a career in hotels. She has worked in many Marriott brands including Marriott Hotels and Conference Center, Marriott Vacation Club, SpringHill Suites and Residence Inn. After working her way up in different departments she became the General Manager of the SpringHIll Suites in Lehi Utah in 2014. She then went to a new Residence Inn in Provo Utah as the General Manager in 2018.
She has served her community as a member of the Utah Valley Conventions and Visitors Bureau Board Member, Marriott Business Council Board Member and Chair of the Planet Utah Awards Event
She is so excited to now be at such a beautiful hotel with a great team in St. George. As a mom of 4 and a full time hotel general manager there is never a dull moment.
Pattrik Wyatt has joined the Pennbridge Lodging team at the SpringHill Suites St. George/Washington as the Director of Sales. He began his hospitality career in 2013 and has contributed to the success of three other properties. As Director of Sales he is responsible for corporate accounts, group sales, event space, and is committed to the providing outstanding customer service and guest satisfaction.
Prior to joining Pennbridge he worked in the restaurant industry, opening several restaurants in the Southern Utah area while going to school. Pattrik graduated from Dixie State University with a Bachelors of Business Administration in 2013. He enjoys travelling and visiting new places with his wife and four daughters.
Brian Larsen is the Dual General Manager of the Fairfield Inn and TownePlace Suites in Orem. He has been in the Hospitality business for over 25 years and has been a General Manager for all three major Hotel Brands (Marriott, IHG & Hilton). Mr. Larsen previously was an opening General Manager for Pennbridge Lodging at the Holiday Inn Express & Suites in Murray in 2014. He was also named the Pennbridge Lodging 2016 General Manager of the Year.
Mr. Larsen studied Hotel Restaurant Management at Lake Tahoe Community College and Cuesta College in California. He enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling and being outdoors.
Abby Lyman has worked in hospitality sales since 2014, when she joined the Pennbridge family. Since 2014, she has assisted in the opening of two Pennbridge properties, the Holiday Inn Express & Suites of Murray and the Fairfield Inn & Suites of Orem. She is currently the Director of Sales over both the TownePlace Suites by Marriott and the Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott of Orem, Utah. As the Director of Sales, she oversees all corporate accounts, group sales and event space.
Prior to joining Pennbridge Lodging, Ms. Lyman worked in Minor League Baseball for 4 years. Starting out as a media relations intern, Abby transitioned into management positions, eventually becoming the general manager for the Seattle Mariners Single-A team in Pulaski, Virginia.
Ms. Lyman graduated from Brigham Young University in 2010 with a degree in Public Relations. She is an avid tennis and baseball enthusiast. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her nephews, reading and traveling to her favorite vacation spot, New York City.
Curtis Hansen is a Regional Manager for Pennbridge Lodging and the Dual General Manager of the Fairfield Inn and TownePlace Suites in Twin Falls. Mr. Hansen was the Opening General Manager for both of the award-winning properties in Twin Falls. During his tenure as General Manager, the hotels have received both the Gold and Silver Circle awards from Marriott, the Community Ignitor Award 2015, 2014 Rookie Business of the Year, and 4 Year running top hotel, Readers’ Choice for the Magic Valley. Mr. Hansen was also named the Pennbridge Lodging 2015 General Manager of the Year. Curtis has also been very active in the community having served as Chairman of the Board for the Twin Falls Chamber of Commerce, and currently serves as a commissioner on the Twin Falls Planning and Zoning.
Prior to starting with Pennbridge Lodging in February 2014, Mr. Hansen worked for various hotel management companies as General Manager and Area Manager. Most recently, Mr. Hansen worked for White Lodging, managing the Courtyard Marriott Grand Junction Colorado and previously the Springhill Suites Salt Lake City Airport.
Mr. Hansen has over 20 years working in hospitality management and received a Bachelor’s of Science in Hospitality Management from Utah Valley University in 2005. He has worked under many flags most notably, Hilton, Choice Hotels, Hampton, Best Western and Marriott.
Tyler Byron is currently the General Manager of the TownePlace Suites in Twin Falls, Idaho and started working with the Pennbridge in July of 2020.
He began his hospitality career in 2015 working a front desk position during college at the Courtyard in Provo, Utah and has since contributed to the success of four other properties while advancing through management. His greatest hospitality achievement was placing Top 15 in the world for the STR Student Market Study Competition, a prestigious global competition for University student teams to showcase their understanding and analytical expertise in the hospitality industry.
Tyler graduated from Western Governors University with a Bachelor of Science in Business - Healthcare Administration, emphasis in HR values and ethics in 2020. He enjoys travelling, sports, and hiking with his wife and daughter
Tausha Vela is a Dual-Property Sales Manager for Marriott at Fairfield Inn & TownePlace Suites in Twin Falls Idaho since August 1st, 2021. Being a dual-property sales manager she is in charge of Corporate Account Sales, Event & Group Bookings. Her position with Marriot Marriott at Fairfield Inn & TownePlace Suites gets her out into the community to build relationships and represent our beautiful Hotels.
Even though Tausha is new to the Hotel industry she has over 12 years of sales and customer service experience working as a Licensed Sales Producer in the Insurance industry. Tausha is also a member of the Twin Falls Chamber of Commerce.
Tausha was born and raised in the beautiful State of Idaho and has been a resident in the Twin Falls area since 2009. Tausha is married, 21+ years, and raised 5 boys whom are now adults. She is a proud grandma to 2 beautiful grandbabies. She is also a proud member of a local Christian church called The Church
Doug Russo is the General Manager of the Residence Inn Boise by Marriott in Boise, Idaho. He has been in the Hospitality business for over 25 years. He is General Manager certified for all three of the major Hotel Brands (Marriott, IHG & Hilton).
Prior to starting with Pennbridge in July 2020. He worked for Stonebridge Hospitality Company for 6 years. He was the General Manager of the Doubletree by Hilton in Grand Junction Colorado after receiving a promotion from being the General Manager at the Courtyard by Marriott in Glenwood Springs. His biggest achievement was winning the Hospitality Award for Doubletree by Hilton for Hotels with 225 rooms or more in 2019. He also won the Hilton Pride Award for Doubletree by Hilton and was nominated for the Care Cup three consecutive years.
Mr. Russo graduated with honors from Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island with his Associate Degree in Hotel & Restaurant Management. He enjoys traveling with his family and playing anything that is competitive.
Alexander Tranter is the Assistant General Manager of the Residence Inn Boise by Marriott in Boise, Idaho. Alexander brings over a decade of Hospitality experience including over 8 years at Marriott properties.
Alexander started his career in 2010 as a Front Desk Agent and Room Service attendant at the Radisson Hotel San Francisco Airport Bayfront. Once graduating from San Francisco State University with his Bachelor of Science degree in Hospitality Management, Alexander transferred his career to San Diego where he pursed his hospitality career at the Full Service La Jolla Marriott as an Operations Supervisor. Alexander’s career then proceeded to Dual Supervisor overseeing operations at the Carlsbad Residence Inn and Courtyard Carlsbad before being promoted as the Operations Manager of the Courtyard San Diego Central.
Alexander has experience in all facets of the hotel operations and has spearheaded departments in Housekeeping, Front Desk, and Food Beverage.
Alexander strives to provide a sterling guest experience and aligns the team’s goals with expectation of the company. Alexander excels in team building, employee retention, and is passionate about the intangible asset of the human element in hospitality.
In Alexander’s spare time he enjoys hiking and fishing in the beautiful mountains of Idaho. And he is often found swimming laps that equate to miles in the pool. The biggest joy of Alexander’s life is his three-year-old son, James.
Kristina Tobin joined Pennbridge Lodging in August of 2021 as the Sales & Catering Manager at the Residence Inn Boise City Center. She is responsible for event and group sales.
Kristina has 20 years of experience working in the hospitality industry with the first 7 years in Front Office and the latter 13 years in Catering Sales. She started her career with the Summerfield Suites as a front desk agent in 2000 and that’s where her passion for hospitality began. Upon graduating college in 2004, she joined the Ritz Carlton team in Half Moon Bay, California, where she quickly excelled over the next 3 years. With a strong desire to expand her experience and service in hospitality, Kristina stepped into a Catering Sales Manager role with the Sheraton and Westin Hotels in Palo Alto, California in 2007. Kristina’s accolades include being named Employee of the Year, being a part of the “Catering Sales Team of the Year” and receiving Catering Sales Manager of the Quarter awards for her excellence in service.
Kristina strives to exceed customer expectations and the goals of the company. She thrives on building relationships and being a partner to all of her clients.
Kristina graduated from Mills High School in Millbrae, California and obtained her Bachelor of Science degree in Hotel Management from San Francisco State University.
In her free time, Kristina enjoys hiking, swimming and spending time with her family.
Casseopia Quick joined Pennbridge Lodging in the Spring of 2021 and is currently the Director of Sales at the Residence Inn, Boise Idaho. She is responsible for corporate accounts, group sales, and event space reservations.
Casse has over 12 years of experience working in the hospitality industry; Sales, Events & Catering and Guest Services. Casse was awarded with the “Spirit of Pride Award” as a top performing guest service agent at The Hampton Inn & Suites; among other accomplishments that provided her the opportunity to advance as the property’s Sales Manager. Casse spent another 4 years at The Riverside Hotel managing over 32,000 square feet of event space and coordinating large production events.
Casse is motivated to exceed customer expectations and contribute to company success. She is energetic and results-oriented with exemplary passion for developing relationships, cultivating partnerships and growing business contacts.
Casse graduated from Boise High School, studied at Boise State University and holds an Idaho Real Estate License.
In her free time, Casse enjoys creating and consuming all types of art, hiking, backpacking, snowshoeing and riding her bike
Emma began her journey in the hospitality industry in August 2016 after moving to Denver from California. After working her way up in different departments, she became the AGM at Towneplace Suites by Marriott Denver Airport at Gateway Park. Emma joined Pennbridge lodging in May 2021, she was promoted to General Manager in August 2021.
Before moving to Denver, she worked at a Group Home Facility as the House Manager for 15 years and as an administrative assistant for five years. Emma loves spending time with her family.
Abigail entered the hospitality industry in February 2019 working as a front desk clerk. She joined Pennbridge Lodging in May 2021 as the Sales Manager, becoming the Assistant General Manager in August 2021 at Towneplace Suites by Marriott Denver Airport at Gateway Park. She is responsible for managing the day-to-day operation of the concierge, housekeeping, and maintenance teams in conjunction with the GM to ensure all departments run smoothly and efficiently.
Abigail holds an Associate of Arts degree and is motivated to grow professionally. She’s excited to be part of the Pennbridge/Denver team. She enjoys traveling and movie nights with her family.
Sindy Ortiz became a part of the Pennbridge Lodging team at the TownePlace Suites by Marriott Denver Airport at Gateway Park on September 2021 as the Director of Sales. Her responsibilities are corporate accounts, group sales and event space.
Sindy worked as a certified nurse assistant after graduating high school in 2012. Sindy began her journey in the hospitality industry in 2012 with Arapahoe Development LLC. With hard work and preservation Sindy advanced from a night auditor to becoming an assistant general manager. Her drive and passion for sales drove her back to the hospitality industry after taking a two year break as a first time mom. She loves to travel and discover new destinations alongside her two year old daughter and husband.
Mark Hayes is the General Manager of Element by Westin SkySong in Scottsdale, Arizona. He has been in Hospitality for over 9 years. Prior to starting with Element in July of 2020, he worked for Holiday Inn & Suites for 3 years and Graduate Hotels for 5 years.
Mark started as a night Auditor for Holiday Inn & Suites Phoenix Airport North. He worked his way up to General Manager through the Rooms & Sales Departments. Mark championed high guest satisfaction scores by working to improve hotel culture and communication. Ultimately won Best Culture Award, and most Improved Loyalty Recognition from IHG.
As General Manager of Graduate Hotel’s first property to open, Mark worked to establish the brand both in his local community as well as college towns across the nation as Graduate grew to over 35 properties. Mark has been recognized by Graduate Hotels for Best in Marketing, Best in Guest Service, and recognized by the City of Tempe as a Community Campion for his work on the Tempe Town Car and his volunteer efforts to support Tempe Tourism by working to pass legislation to better financially support Tourism offices around Arizona.
Mark enjoys spending time with family, friends, and his three dogs. When not at home or work, Mark is traveling and trying new cuisine.
Emily Garcia has over 15 years of hospitality experience ranging from hotel pre-openings and hotel leadership operations experience, Revenue Management experience, and sales leadership experience. Prior to accepting the Area Director of Sales role with Pennbridge Lodging, Emily was the pre-opening Dual Brand General Manager for the Home2 Suites and Tru by Hilton Scottsdale Salt-River hotels with Western States Lodging Management Company. Prior to relocating to Arizona in 2016, Emily opened two Hilton products in West Texas and was awarded the Connie Award from Hilton Hotels for her teams successful operation of the Homewood Suites By Hilton property in Odessa, TX.
Emily is also an Army veteran and spent her active duty years stationed at the 101st Airborne Division in Ft. Campbell, KY. During Emily’s time in the Army she was awarded the Soldier of the Year Award for her unwavering dedication, professionalism, and service to the 887th Engineer Support Company. Emily enjoys spending her free time with her family and pets, traveling to new places, and working out at the gym with her husband. Emily is also a die hard Texas Longhorn football fan.