Pinnacle
Advisory
Group

The Nation's Leading Full Service Hospitality Consulting Firm.

Our Team

From its beginnings in 1991, Pinnacle Advisory Group has evolved over time to become the nation’s finest boutique hospitality consulting firm – a true leader in the hospitality industry. Established on the principle of providing only the highest level of service via the hands-on direction and highest possible ethical positioning of a senior level executive team, Pinnacle has developed a reputation for providing the best advice for all services including, market and financial feasibility, valuation, litigation support, asset management, and other due diligence services. Pinnacle’s successful track record can be attributed primarily to two things – comprehensive work and an experienced and dedicated team of professionals.

Rachel Roginsky, ISHC

Rachel Roginsky, ISHC

Owner and Principal (Boston, MA)

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Rachel Roginsky, ISHC, is the Owner and Founder of Pinnacle Advisory Group. She is based in the firm’s Boston office. Ms. Roginsky has more than 35 years of experience in hospitality consulting. After graduating from Cornell School of Hotel Administration, she started her career in hospitality operations, and then worked with the national accounting firm Pannell Kerr Forster, eventually becoming a Principal, overseeing their Management Advisory Services practice in New England. In 1991, Ms. Roginsky founded Pinnacle Advisory Group.

Ms. Roginsky provides hospitality operational, investment counseling and advisory services to corporate, institutional, and individual clients on all facets of hospitality real estate. Additionally, Ms. Roginsky has participated in numerous litigation assignments providing extensive experience for litigation support and expert testimony.

Ms. Roginsky is an appointed board member of The Cornell Center for Real Estate and Finance (CREF). The organization leverages the engagement of practicing real estate professionals to enhance the educational experience of graduate and undergraduate students. The focus is to provide industry trends to better inform faculty and students and prepare course infrastructure. CREF is an educational and thought-leadership force within the real estate community both domestically and internationally. She is also serves as board member to numerous hospitality-related organizations and societies, and is a regular guest lecturer at prestigious institutes of higher educations.

Additionally, Ms. Roginsky is an adjunct professor at Boston University School of Hotel Administration. She is widely published and quoted, and is the co-editor and author for Hotel Investments: Issues and Perspectives, a well-regarded book (5 editions) published by the Educational Institute of the American Hotel and Lodging Institute. Ms. Roginsky is also certified as an arbitrator and mediator for Hospitality Alternative Dispute Resolution.

  • Experience
  • Education
  • Affiliations & Designations
  • Industry Activities
  • 1991 to present
    PINNACLE ADVISORY GROUP
    Principal

    1986 to 1991
    PANNELL KERR FORSTER
    Director Hospitality Advisory Services

    1984 to 1986
    PANNELL KERR FORSTER
    Senior Consultant

    1980 to 1984
    VICTORIA STATION RESTAURANTS
    Manager

    1979 to 1980
    WALT DISNEY WORLD
    Manager
    CORNELL UNIVERSITY
    School of Hotel Administration
    Bachelor of Science
    Massachusetts Lodging Association
    Board Member

    International Society of Hospitality Consultants (ISHC)
    Chair, Past President, Board Member

    Certified Mediator and Arbitrator

    New England Real Estate Journal
    Hotel Industry Advisory Board

    Roundtable Group
    Adjunct Faculty Member

    Cornell Hotel Society

    Boston University
    School of Hospitality Administration
    Adjunct Professor

    Urban Land Institute
    Advisory Board - ULI Boston
    Co-Editor and Author:
    Hotel Investments - Issues and Perspectives
    American Hotel and Lodging Educational Institute
    Editions 1995, 1999, 2003, 2006, 2011, 2014

    Guest Lecturer:
    • Hotel Market and Feasibility Analysis - Cornell University (15th Year)
    • Distinguished Hospitality Management Lecturer Series - Boston University Hotel School
    • International Hotel & Motel Restaurant Show
    • Hotel Market trends - Massachusetts Institute of Technology

    Panelist:
    Numerous events including ALIS, REFA, NEWIRE, AHMA, and ULI

Allison Fogarty

Allison Fogarty

Managing Director, Pinnacle Advisory Group Tampa (Tampa, FL)

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Allison R. Fogarty is Managing Director of the Florida office of Pinnacle Advisory Group. She has over 25 years of experience in hotel and resort development. As a consultant, she has directed and completed market and financial analysis engagements for hotels, resorts and gaming companies in the eastern United States and the Caribbean. Her corporate activities have included site selection, property inspection, contract negotiation and review and due diligence.

In addition, Ms. Fogarty has extensive experience with respect to strategic planning, financial analysis and operational oversight in the hotel and cruise industries. Ms. Fogarty has also conducted financial and market analyses for numerous master- planned resort residential development projects in the United States and Caribbean. An acknowledged expert in hospitality real estate, Ms. Fogarty has participated in numerous litigation assignments.

Ms. Fogarty’s industry activities have included speaking engagements, writing articles and teaching a graduate seminar in Hotel Feasibility Analysis at a leading hotel school. Ms. Fogarty’s previous employers have included the Hospitality Industry Services Consulting Group of Ernst & Young LLP, Cunard Hotels & Resorts and Pannell Kerr Forster. She is a graduate of the University of Rochester and holds a Master’s degree in Hotel Administration from Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration.

  • Experience
  • Education
  • Affiliations & Designations
  • Industry Activities
  • 2006 to present
    PINNACLE ADVISORY GROUP
    Director

    2003 to 2006
    RE/MAX SUNSET REALTY
    Sales Associate

    2002 to 2003
    WEICHERT, REALTORS
    Sales Associate

    2000 to 2002
    VIGILINX, INC
    Director, Strategic Planning and Business Development

    1996 to 1999
    ERNST & YOUNG, LLP
    Senior Manager, Real Estate & Hospitality Consulting

    1994 to 1996
    AMERICAN CLASSIC VOYAGES
    Director, Financial Analysis

    1987 to 1994
    CUNARD LINE LIMITED
    Assistant Vice President, Strategic Planning & Development

    1983 to 1987
    PANNELL KERR FORSTER
    Senior Consultant
    CORNELL UNIVERSITY
    School of Hotel Administration
    Master of Professional Studies

    UNIVERSITY OF ROCHESTER
    Bachelor of Arts

    Gold Coast School of Real Estate
    Florida Pre-license Course I

    Bob Hogue School of Real Estate
    Florida Post License Course I
    Florida Pre-License Course II

    Cooke Real Estate School
    Basic Appraisal Principles
    Residential Site Valuation and Cost Approach

    Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation
    Licensed Real Estate Broker

    Cornell Hotel Society
    Pasco County, Florida
    Planning Commission 2003-2015

    Lodging Industry Investment Council
    Member 1997 - 2000

    American Hotel & Motel Association
    Market, Financial and Investment Analysis Committee 1988 - 1997

    Caribbean Hotel Association
    Finance and Investment Committee 1996- 2000

    Cornell University, School of Hotel Administration
    Committee on Executive Education 1993
    Guest Lecturer/Adjunct Professor
    Hospitality Feasibility Studies - Florida International University 1998 – 2000

    Speaker
    • Hospitality Finance and Technology Professionals
    • American Resort Development Association
    • Caribbean Hotel Association
    • Multicultural Tourism Economic Summit

    Author:
    • “Airport Hotels: Laying the Foundation for a Synergistic Relationship”, Boston Hospitality Review, Summer 2015
    • "Second Home or Investment: Dissecting Condominium Hotels", with Mark Lunt, Lodging, February 2000
    • "Upscale Lodging Index", Lodging Property Index, Fall 1999
    • "Timeshare Takes Off", Lodging, July 1998
    • "Economy Lodging Index" Lodging Property Index, October 1997
    • "This Time Around," with Francis Nardozza, Lodging, January 1997
    • "Mid-price Lodging Index" Lodging Property Index, December 1996
    • "The New Rules of Hospitality Financing," with Katherine Kilian, Lodging, September 1990
Jenny Lee

Jenny Lee

Vice President, Pinnacle Advisory Group West (Newport Beach, CA)

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Jenny Lee is a Vice President with Pinnacle Advisory Group West based in Southern California with a primary focus on buy-side due diligence and appraisal assignments. Prior to joining Pinnacle in early 2013, Ms. Lee was the founder of Hospitality Research Solutions, a company that provides research services to hospitality advisory firms, hotel asset-managers, and hotel owners. Before and after receiving her MBA from Chicago’s Booth School, Ms. Lee was in the hotel group at Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels (JLLH) where she was responsible for driving and implementing regional and global hotel research publications.

Prior to obtaining her MBA, Ms. Lee was employed in JLLH’s transaction and strategic advisory team where she participated in underwriting hotel properties ranging from $10 million to $80 million. Her first job after earning a Bachelor’s degree was as management consultant at Economics Research Associates, an international consulting firm specializing in real estate, entertainment, and leisure, where she was involved in market and financial feasibility studies for clients such as Universal Studios, San Diego Zoo, and NASA.

Ms. Lee also worked for Grubb & Ellis in a research and management capacity. She has operations experience from the Westin Bonaventure Hotels & Suites in Los Angeles, the Anaheim Marriott Suites, and the Hilton Anaheim. Ms. Lee holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University and a MBA from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business with coursework concentration in marketing and finance

  • Experience
  • Education
  • Affiliations & Designations
  • July 2012 to present
    PINNACLE ADVISORY GROUP - WEST
    Vice President

    2009 to 2012
    HOSPITALITY RESEARCH SOLUTIONS
    Principal/Consultant

    2008
    JONES LANG LASALLE HOTELS
    Associate

    2002-2005
    JONES LANG LASALLE HOTELS
    Analyst

    2000-2002
    ECONOMICS RESEARCH ASSOCIATES
    Associate
    UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO
    Booth School of Business
    Master of Business Administration

    CORNELL UNIVERSITY
    School of Hotel Administration
    Bachelor of Science
    Cornell Hotel Society
    Los Angeles Chapter

    Real Estate Alumni Group (REAG)
    The University of Chicago Booth School of Business, Alumni Club
Karen L Johnson, MAI, CRE, ISHC

Karen L Johnson, MAI, CRE, ISHC

President, Pinnacle Advisory Group West (Newport Beach, CA)

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Karen Johnson, MAI, CRE, ISHC, is the President of Pinnacle Advisory Group West based in Newport Beach, California and supervises all of the consulting activities for that office. Ms. Johnson has been active as a hospitality consultant since 1981 and has extensive experience across all hospitality property types, providing solutions for a wide range of consulting questions. Prior to opening the West Coast office of Pinnacle in 2011, Ms. Johnson was employed by Warnick + Co as a hotel asset manager and consultant.

Ms Johnson spent almost nine years at Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels where she directed their Hotel Advisory Services Group for the Americas. In the late 1990’s she headed up Horwath Landauer Associates’ West Coast hospitality consulting practice. Earlier experience includes PKF Consulting in Los Angeles, Marriott’s Market Feasibility Department and Pannell Kerr Forster.

Ms. Johnson has been the asset manager for four hotels in the Western United states as well as negotiating numerous hotel management contracts and running the process for brand/operator selections. Ms. Johnson has prepared valuations and analyses for urban and suburban hotels, resort hotels, casino hotels, conference centers, economy lodging, convention hotels, branded residences, condo-hotels, fractional residences and entire resort communities. She has testified or provided expert witness reports for the US District Court, San Diego; US Bankruptcy Court, Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division; the 14th Judicial District Court of Dallas, Texas; and arbitration proceedings in London.

She has authored articles for the Cornell Quarterly, Hotel On-Line and Hotel News Now, as well as the chapter on hotel management contracts for the Urban Land Institute’s publication “Hotel Development Handbook.” Ms. Johnson is an MAI and a member of the Urban Land Institute, sitting on the Entertainment Council. She was also admitted to the International Society of Hospitality Consultants (ISHC.)

  • Experience
  • Education
  • Affiliations & Designations
  • Industry Activities
  • 2011 to present
    PINNACLE ADVISORY GROUP - WEST
    Principal

    2008 to 2011
    WARNICK + COMPANY
    Consultant

    1999 to 2008
    JONES LANG LASALLE HOTELS
    Senior Vice President and Executive Vice President

    1996 to 1999
    LANDAUER/HORWATH LANDAUER
    Managing Director

    1994 to 1996
    PKF CONSULTING
    Senior Vice President

    1991 to 1994
    GLOODT ASSOCIATES
    Director

    1988 to 1991
    MARRIOTT HOTELS & RESORTS
    Manager and Regional Director

    1981 to 1988
    PKF CONSULTING
    Associate, Senior Associate, Manager and Senior Manager

    1978 to 1981
    HYATT HOTELS
    Assistant Department Head and Department Head
    MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY
    School of Restaurant, Hotel and Institutional Management
    Bachelor of Science
    Urban Land Institute
    Entertainment Council Member

    International Society of Hospitality Consultants (ISHC)
    Member

    Appraisal Institute
    MAI

    California Licensed General Appraiser

    Nevada Licensed General Appraiser
    Recent Articles:

    "All Eyes on the Luxury Sector"
    Hotel On-Line
    June 2, 2011

    "Bumping Along the Bottom:
    Hotel News Now
    April 4, 2010

    "More Storm than Tsunami"
    Hotel On-Line
    September 2, 2009

    "Tough Sledding Ahead for the Hotel Industry"
    Hotel News Now,
    September 8, 2008

    "The Condo-Hotel Debate - Real Estate Assets vs Securities"
    Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels' Focus On series
    April, 2006

    "Global Hotel Management Agreement Terms"
    Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels' Focus On series
    June, 2005

    "Condo-Hotels - Expanding the Options for Lodging Development"
    Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels' Focus On series
    October, 2003

    "Management Agreement Trends Worldwide
    Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels' Hotel Topics series
    June, 2001

    "Hotel Management Contract Terms"
    Cornell Hotel & Restaurant Administration Quarterly
    April, 1999
Lana Yoshii

Lana Yoshii

Vice President, Pinnacle Advisory Group West (Newport Beach, CA)

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Lana Yoshii, is a Vice President for the Pinnacle Advisory Group West office.  Ms. Yoshii started her career in the hospitality industry in 1987.  Ms. Yoshii was previously employed by Hilton Worldwide, which acquired Promus Hotels Corporation, for 21 years, working in Finance, Market Analysis, Feasibility, Performance Metrics and headed the global Market Research department during her tenure. For three years, she headed the Research, Product Development, Content Management and HOST (Hotel Operating Statistics) departments at STR, Inc. (Smith Travel Research).

Ms. Yoshii has eight years of experience preparing impact analysis, feasibility studies, pro forma, capital analysis, and target market lists for Hilton, Doubletree, Embassy Suites, Homewood Suites, Hilton Garden Inn, and Hampton Inn/Suites hotel brands in urban, suburban, and small town U.S. markets.  While managing the Hilton Worldwide Market Research department, she was responsible for overseeing customer research, consumer insights, internal customer satisfaction survey system, STR data, competitive brand intelligence and syndicated research function for ten global brands.  At STR, she managed the development and release of the U.S. market forecast product and the worldwide census and pipeline databases.  She has authored articles for Hotel News Now, and has been a frequent public speaker at national, local, state and brand conferences/meetings regarding the lodging industry.

  • Experience
  • Education
  • Industry Activities
  • April 2015 - Present
    PINNACLE ADVISORY GROUP - WEST
    Vice President

    July 2011 to April 2015
    Independent Hospitality Consultant

    August 2010 to June 2011
    SMITH TRAVEL RESEARCH (STR)
    Vice President, Content Management

    June 2008 to August 2010
    SMITH TRAVEL RESEARCH (STR)
    Vice President, Research / New Product Development

    HILTON WORLDWIDE (formerly Promus Hotels Corporation and Holiday Corporation)

    September 2004 to May 2008
    Senior Director, Worldwide Market Research

    October 2002 to September 2004
    Director, Performance Metrics & Competitive Analysis

    1994 to 2002
    Director, Market Planning & Impact Analysis (promoted from Manager)

    1992 to 1994
    Senior Financial Analyst

    1987 to 1992
    Senior Internal Auditor (promoted from Staff Internal Auditor)
    CHRISTIAN BROTHERS UNIVERSITY
    Bachelor of Science - Accounting
    Authored articles at Hotel News Now, guest speaker at various hotel brand and convention and visitors bureaus conventions/meetings.
Matthew Arrants, ISHC

Matthew Arrants, ISHC

Executive Vice President (Boston, MA)

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Matthew Arrants, ISHC, is the Executive Vice President of Pinnacle Advisory Group, working in both the Boston and Portland offices. As Pinnacle’s Director of Asset Management Services, Mr. Arrants specializes in asset management, development services, and operational reviews. His clients include universities, hospitals, real estate investment funds, and hotel owners and lenders. Mr. Arrants is a former Chairman of the International Society of Hospitality Consultants, a group of the hospitality industry’s most respected professionals from across six continents.

Prior to joining Pinnacle, Mr. Arrants worked in operations in various managerial capacities with Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, and Rock Resorts. He lectures regularly at prestigious institutes of higher education. Mr. Arrants holds a Masters Degree in Hotel Administration from Cornell University and a BA in Political Science from Hartwick College.

  • Experience
  • Education
  • Affiliations & Designations
  • Industry Activities
  • 1996 to present
    PINNACLE ADVISORY GROUP
    Executive Vice President

    2001 to present
    PINNACLE REALTY INVESTMENTS
    Co-Owner

    1994 to 1996
    FOUR SEASONS HOTELS AND RESORTS
    Various Operations Positions

    1990 to 1992
    THE LODGE AT KOELE
    Various Operations Positions

    1989 to 1990
    GRAND TETON LODGE COMPANY
    Food & Beverage Manager
    CORNELL UNIVERSITY
    School of Hotel Administration
    Masters of Professional Studies

    HARVARD UNIVERSITY
    Continuing Education

    HARTWICK COLLEGE
    Bachelor of Arts, Political Science
    International Society of Hospitality Consultants (ISHC)
    Chairman Emeritus

    Cornell School of Hotel Administration
    Tenure Review Committee

    Boston University School of Hotel Administration
    Adjunct Professor – Hotel Asset Management

    Massachusetts Lodging Association
    Government Affairs Committee Member

    Cornell Hotel Society
    Author:
    Hotel Investments Issues and Perspectives 5th Edition January 2009 “Competitive Advantage through Differentiation at the Ocean House”

    Hotel Asset Management: Principles and Practices 2nd Edition January 2009 "Asset Management for the Non-Traditional Owner"

    Course Instructor
    • Hotel Asset Management - Boston University
    • Hotel Asset Management- Cornell University
    • Hospitality Marketing - Boston University Hotel School
    • Hotel Market Trends - Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    • Hotel Asset Management – Pennsylvania State University

    Panelist:
    Numerous events including ALIS, NYU, AH&LA, IHIF, Hunter Conference
Pamela S. McKinney, MAI, CRE

Pamela S. McKinney, MAI, CRE

Director, Valuation Services (Boston, MA)

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Pamela S. McKinney, MAI, CRE is the Director of Pinnacle’s Valuation Services group. Based in Boston, Ms. McKinney oversees the firm’s highly respected hospitality appraisal practice, which includes the preparation of valuations for a wide range of client needs including investment portfolio reporting, loan collateral evaluations, foreclosure and bankruptcy actions, development and renovation funding analyses, tax abatements and assessments, eminent domain proceedings and acquisition/disposition due diligence.

Ms. McKinney holds the MAI designation of the Appraisal Institute, the CRE designation of the Society of Real Estate Counselors, and is a former member of the Board of Directors of the Greater Boston Chapter of the Appraisal Institute. With over 35 years of experience in the field of real estate valuation and development counseling, she is a State Certified General Real Estate Appraiser, holding active licenses in over 20 states and has qualified as an expert witness in the Middlesex, Norfolk and Suffolk County courts in Massachusetts as well as the Massachusetts Land Court, the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware and the federal bankruptcy and tax courts. She also lectures widely on the topics of real estate finance, valuation and development for graduate level courses – most recently at Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Boston University.

In addition to her role at the Pinnacle Advisory Group, Ms. McKinney is the president and principal of Byrne McKinney & Associates, Inc., a nationally recognized real estate counseling and general practice commercial valuation firm with offices in Boston.

  • Experience
  • Education
  • Affiliations & Designations
  • Industry Activities
  • 2009 to present
    PINNACLE ADVISORY GROUP
    Director of Valuation Services

    1989 to present
    BYRNE MCKINNEY & ASSOCIATES, INC.
    President and Principal

    1985 to 1989
    LEGGAT MCCALL ADVISORS, INC.
    Senior Vice President & Director

    1980 to 1985
    MINOT DEBLOIS & MADDISON, INC.
    Senior Vice President & Director

    1978 to 1980
    METROPOLITAN AREA PLANNING COUNCIL
    Economic Development Planner
    NORTHEASTERN UNIVERSITY

    HARVARD COLLEGE


    MAI - Member of the Appraisal Institute (1989)

    CRE - Society of Real Estate Counselors (1993)

    Certified General Real Estate Appraiser (MA# 745 – since 1990)

    LAI (Lambda Alpha International)
    Land Economics Society

    NEWIRE/CREW (New England Women in Real Estate)
    Founding Director and former Officer of the Board

    APPRAISAL INSTITUTE
    Former Board member of the local chapter (Greater Boston Chapter)

    YWCA BOSTON
    Former Chairman of the Board of Trustees

    THE ADVENT SCHOOL
    Former Chairman and Treasurer of the Board of Trustees

    BOSTON LATIN SCHOOL ASSOCIATION
    Board of Trustees

    Teaching:
    HARVARD UNIVERSITY - Graduate School of Design (1985-2002)
    BOSTON UNIVERSITY - Metropolitan College (1985-1995)
    TUFTS UNIVERSITY - Lincoln Filene Center (1985-1995)
    BOSTON UNIVERSITY - School of Management (2001-2015)
    MIT - Center for Real Estate (2006-2015)
Sandra Lien

Sandra Lien

Vice President, Pinnacle Advisory Group West (Newport Beach, CA)

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Sandy Lien is a Vice President with Pinnacle Advisory Group West based in Southern California. Ms. Lien has 10 years of hospitality real estate consulting experience. She has performed valuations and advisory assignments for a wide variety of hospitality product types in various locations throughout the United States and Mexico, including golf courses and resorts, casino hotels, convention centers/conference hotels, airport hotels, mixed-use developments, condo-hotels, fractional/timeshare projects, luxury destination resorts, and boutique properties.

Prior to joining Pinnacle Advisory Group West, Ms. Lien worked for Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels (JLLH) in the Strategic Advisory and Asset Management division in both the San Francisco and Los Angeles offices, where her duties included assisting in preparing estimates of value for appraisals and sales transactions; conducting market demand, market position, and highest and best use studies; and providing investment counseling and strategic planning. Prior to JLLH, Ms. Lien worked for HVS International in San Francisco, where she performed various appraisals covering full-, select-, and limited-service hotels; proposed and existing luxury resorts; land valuations; and condo-hotel properties. Ms. Lien was also employed by Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts (accounting operations) in Newport Beach, California, and Renaissance Hotels and Resorts (food and beverage operations) in Los Angeles, California.

Ms. Lien graduated with Distinction and Honors from Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration with a concentration in General Financial Management.

  • Experience
  • Education
  • Affiliations & Designations
  • February 2012 to present
    PINNACLE ADVISORY GROUP - WEST
    Vice President

    2006 to 2010
    JONES LANG LASALLE HOTELS
    Associate

    2004 to 2006
    HVS INTERNATIONAL
    Senior Associate
    CORNELL UNIVERSITY
    School of Hotel Administration
    Bachelor of Science
    Cornell Hotel Society
    Orange County Chapter

    Appraisal Institute
    Trainee, Southern California Chapter
Sebastian J. Colella

Sebastian J. Colella

Vice President (Boston, MA)

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Sebastian J. Colella is a Vice President with Pinnacle Advisory Group based in the Boston office. With over 15 years in the hospitality industry, Mr. Colella leverages his operational knowledge and expertise from experiences in the field. Work with Pinnacle Advisory Group has included market and feasibility analysis, acquisition due diligence, departmental revenue and expense performance evaluations, facility recommendations, brand assessments and impact studies, as well as appraisals of both branded and independent hotels and resorts.

Prior to joining Pinnacle Advisory Group, Mr. Colella held a variety of management roles in hotels, resorts and private clubs. With capacities focusing on both sales and operations, he has worked for ClubCorp, the world leader in private clubs, Rosewood Hotels’ flagship property in New York City, The Carlyle, and led efforts to open the first luxury resort in Zanzibar, Tanzania, Baraza Resort & Spa. Sebastian is a graduate of the School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University and currently serves as the President of the New England Chapter of the Cornell Hotel Society.

  • Experience
  • Education
  • Affiliations & Designations
  • 2011 to present
    PINNACLE ADVISORY GROUP
    Consultant

    2009 to 2011
    BARAZA RESORT & SPA
    Operations Manager

    2008 to 2009
    THE CARLYLE, A ROSEWOOD HOTEL
    Food & Beverage Manager

    2005 to 2008
    THE CITY CLUB OF WASHINGTON
    Private Events Director
    CORNELL UNIVERSITY
    School of Hotel Administration
    Bachelor of Science
    Cornell Hotel Society
    New England Chapter

    American Hotel & Lodging Association
    Under 30 Gateway - Massachusetts Chapter
Meri Keller

Meri Keller

Vice President (Boston, MA)

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Meri Keller is a Vice President for Pinnacle Advisory Group’s Boston office.   Ms. Keller has over 14 years of hospitality experience specializing in financial and market feasibility, acquisition and development underwriting, value-add opportunity analysis, and single asset and portfolio advisory sales. She has evaluated and advised on numerous assignments throughout the United States and Caribbean including luxury destination resorts, hotel conversion opportunities, university hotels, golf resorts, mixed-use developments, airport hotels, luxury destination resorts, and boutique properties.

Prior to joining Pinnacle Advisory Group, Ms. Keller spent over three years working for Jones Lang LaSalle’s Hotels and Hospitality Group (JLL) in the Full-Service Advisory Sales division, where her duties included underwriting and providing opinion of values for nearly $1 billion in full-service hotel, portfolio and financing transactions and assisting in the marketing of those opportunities by preparing offering materials and conducting property and market tours to potential investors. Prior to JLL, Ms. Keller spent five years working for Noble Investment Group, where she actively participated in the acquisition and development of over $170 million of hotel investments through underwriting, market research, due diligence, and closing and operations transition. Ms. Keller was also employed by PKF Consulting, where she performed various appraisals and market feasibility studies covering full-, select-, and limited-service hotels, proposed and existing luxury resorts, and land valuation. Ms. Keller began her career in hospitality managing upscale restaurants for Bravo Development in Atlanta, Georgia.

Ms. Keller has a Bachelor of Science Degree from Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration and is an active member of the Cornell Hotel Society.  Ms. Keller joined Pinnacle in 2015.

  • Experience
  • Education
  • Affiliations & Designations
  • 2015 to present
    PINNACLE ADVISORY GROUP
    Vice President

    2014 to 2015
    MK HOSPITALITY CONSULTING
    President

    2011 to 2014
    JONES LANG LASALLE HOTELS & HOSPITALITY GROUP
    Vice President

    2006 - 2011
    NOBLE INVESTMENT GROUP
    Manager of Strategic Investments

    2005 - 2006
    PKF CONSULTING
    Consultant

    2004-2005
    BRAVO DEVELOPMENT INCORPORATION
    Manager
    CORNELL UNIVERSITY
    SCHOOL OF HOTEL ADMINISTRATION
    Bachelor of Science and Business Administration
    Cornell Hotel Society (Member, Board Member & Chapter President)

    Cornell Alumni Admissions Ambassador Network
Kathy Cortez

Kathy Cortez

Vice President (Newport Beach, CA)

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Kathy Cortez is a Vice President with Pinnacle Advisory Group based in the Newport Beach, CA office. Kathy has over 20 years experience in the lodging industry in a variety of areas including, feasibility, development planning, and real estate appraisal, as well as catering sales and human resources.

EXTENDED BIO: Prior to joining Pinnacle Advisory Group, Ms. Cortez was Director of Development Planning & Feasibility at Marriott International. At Marriott, she was responsible for evaluating lodging markets throughout the U.S. to determine the potential for new hotel development, franchise, and conversion opportunities for all Marriott brands in the full and select service segments. She also supported Marriott’s asset management team by completing analyses relating to renovations and/or expansions of existing Marriott hotels.  Prior to joining Marriott, Ms. Cortez was an Associate at PKF Consulting and was responsible for market analysis, feasibility, and appraisals of potential and existing hotels throughout the Western United States.

  • Experience
  • Education
  • Affiliations & Designations
  • 2016 – Present
    PINNACLE ADVISORY GROUP
    Vice President

    2001-2011
    MARRIOTT INTERNATIONAL
    Director, Development Planning & Feasibility

    1999-2000
    PKF Consulting
    Associate

    1997-1999
    SHUTTERS ON THE BEACH HOTEL
    Assistant Director of Catering

    1994-1997
    LONG BEACH HILTON & TOWERS
    Assistant Director of Catering, Catering Manager

    1988-1994
    ANAHEIM HILTON & TOWERS
    Training Manager, Employment Manager
    CORNELL UNIVERSITY
    SCHOOL OF HOTEL ADMINISTRATION
    B.S., Hotel Administration
    Cornell Hotel Society
    Southern California Chapter
Sarah Villeneuve, ISHC

Sarah Villeneuve, ISHC

Director (Washington DC)

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Sarah Villeneuve, ISHC is an Executive Vice President and the Director of Pinnacle Advisory Group’s Washington DC office. Ms. Villeneuve has more than 36 years of experience of hospitality and lodging industry consulting experience with a variety of hospitality operations and properties, including hotels, resorts, conference centers and hotels, food and beverage operations, and city and country clubs. Advisory experience includes feasibility, operations reviews, financial analysis, impact analysis, repositioning, site selection, litigation support and expert testimony, and other industry-related services.

After gaining foodservice operations experience and graduating from Michigan State University and the Culinary Institute of America, Ms. Villeneuve continued her career in hospitality operations in New Orleans, and then joined the national accounting firm Pannell Kerr Forster’s hospitality consulting group. In 1991, Ms. Villeneuve joined Gloodt Associates, an appraisal firm with focus on the hospitality industry, and in 1994 founded Impact Hospitality Consulting, LLC. She also has hands-on experience in hotel food and beverage operations and independent restaurants.

Ms. Villeneuve is a member of the International Society of Hospitality Consultants, an invitation-only association of widely-respected hospitality professionals from around the world.

  • Experience
  • Education
  • Affiliations & Designations
  • Industry Activities
  • 2019 to present
    PINNACLE ADVISORY GROUP
    Executive Vice President and Director Washington DC Office

    1994 to 2019
    IMPACT HOSPITALITY CONSULTING, LLC
    Director Hospitality Advisory Services

    1991 to 1994
    GLOODT ASSOCIATES
    Sr. Associate

    1983 to 1991
    PANNELL KERR FORSTER
    Manager

    1982 to 1983
    ROYAL ORLEANS HOTEL, New Orleans, LA
    Various kitchen positions

    1981
    BOCA RATON HOTEL AND CLUB, Boca Raton, FL
    Various kitchen positions

    1977
    DOCKSIDE RESTAURANT, Mackinac Island, MI
    Nighttime supervisor

    1976
    THE ISLAND HOUSE HOTEL, Mackinac Island MI
    Various kitchen positions

    MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY
    School of Hospitality Business
    Bachelor of Science

    CULINARY INSTITUTE OF AMERICA
    A.O.S. Culinary Arts
    International Society of Hospitality Consultants (ISHC)

    Roundtable Group
    Adjunct Faculty Member
    Authored numerous articles for foodservice industry publications

    Guest Lecturer:
    • Kendall College, Chicago, IL
Gary Avigne

Gary Avigne

Senior Advisor (Boston, MA)

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Oversight of hotel acquisitions and dispositions | Property assessments | Management of budgets and financial plans | New development, renovation planning, and execution | Market re-positioning | Maintenance of statistical and financial records | Setting and achieving sales and profit targets | Analysis of sales and marketing statistics | Devising marketing and revenue management strategies for superior market penetration | Recruitment, training and management of leadership teams | Labor union negotiations | Negotiation of third party partnerships and vendor contracts | Assure compliance with licensing laws, health and safety and other statutory regulations | Expert testimony and litigation support | Strategic Planning

  • Experience
  • Industry Activities
  • 2008 – Present
    PINNACLE ADVISORY GROUP
    Senior Advisor

    1998 – Present
    Marriott Hotel, Republic of Armenia
    Asset Manager

    Present
    CM Communications, Boston, MA
    Senior Advisor

    2014-2020
    Waterford Hotel Group, Waterford, CT
    Vice-President, Acquisitions and Development

    2009-2014
    Finard Coventry Hotel Management, Boston, MA
    Founding Partner

    2006-2010
    Woodstock Resort Corporation, Woodstock, VT
    Chief Operating Officer

    1990-2009
    Coventry Hotel Associates, Inc., Barrington, RI
    Management Company and Independent Hotel Consultant

    1986-1990
    DCM Hospitality Inc., Boston, MA
    President

    1975-1986
    Omni (Dunfey) Hotel Corporation, Hampton, New Hampshire
    Corporate Director of Management Services
    • Surpassed revenue and profit target goals for Sundance Resort through expert asset management and advisory services. Re-positioned this iconic resort for sustainability for the next ownership generation.

    • Re-positioned the Woodstock Resort Corporation and the venerable Woodstock Inn and Resort for the benefit of the estate of Laurence Rockefeller.

    • Created a new business plan and renovation plan for the Lord Jeffery Inn at Amherst College, creating a new future for this iconic New England inn.

    • Operating partner with local developer for the historic restoration and opening of The Hotel Providence in Providence RI.

    • Negotiated the purchase of and financing for the Providence Biltmore Hotel in Providence RI.

    • Successfully helped deliver a Tax Stabilization Agreement for the Providence Biltmore, negotiated a new and reasonable Collective Bargaining Agreement, and created and implemented a major renovation plan.

    • Secured the land and created all of the underlying plans for the development of a new Residence Inn by Marriott on Route 128 in Burlington, MA.

    • Created a platform for the sale of the Marriott Hotel in Peabody, MA for its private owner.

    • Opened the Candlewood Suites at Bradley International Airport.

    • Opened the Hampton Inn in Chicopee, MA.

    • Created the renovation plan and re-opening business plan for the Mountain View Grand Hotel in Whitefield, MA.

    • Acted as managing director for the transition of the Sheraton Hotel in NYC to the Omni International Hotel.
Laura C. Napier

Laura C. Napier

Vice President (Boston, MA)

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Laura C. Napier is a Vice President with Pinnacle Advisory Group based in the Boston office.  During the course of her hospitality career, Ms. Napier has worked both in hotel operations, and as a hotel consultant and appraiser. She has performed market studies and valuations of investment grade real estate for over 100 hotel projects.  Clients have included financial institutions, city managers, insurance companies, individual hotel developers, hotel owners, and major hotel corporations.

Prior to joining Pinnacle Advisory Group, Ms. Napier was employed for four years by the Houston office of PKF Consulting.  As an Associate, her responsibilities included practice development, marketing, project supervision, work budgets, training, and staff evaluations.  She spent the last two years of her employment working remotely, as a satellite office in Austin, Texas.

Prior to joining PKF Consulting, Ms. Napier was employed by the Four Seasons Hotel in Houston, Texas for three years.  She worked in varying capacities within the Food and Beverage Department, and her last position held was as an assistant food and beverage manager, focusing on the fine dining restaurant.  Ms. Napier began her career at the Austin Chamber of Commerce during her undergraduate years in Austin, Texas.

Ms. Napier holds a Masters of Hospitality Management from the Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management at the University of Houston and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Texas at Austin.

  • Experience
  • Education
  • Affiliations & Designations
  • 2002 to 2008, 2021 to present
    PINNACLE ADVISORY GROUP
    Vice President

    1998 to 2002
    PKF Consulting
    Associate

    1995 to 1998
    Four Seasons Hotel, Houston
    Assistant Food and Beverage Manager, Fine Dining

    University of Houston
    Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management
    Masters of Hospitality Management

    University of Texas at Austin
    Bachelor of Arts
    Hilton College Keepers of the Lamp

    State of Texas Certified General Real Estate Appraiser, 2002-2012