Since founding AWH Partners, LLC to pursue value added and distressed real estate investments, the partners have amassed a portfolio in excess of $2 billion in hospitality investments and built a vertically-integrated team of 75 professionals across its corporate, investment, development and operations divisions.
Co-Founder and Managing Partner
Mr. Cooley is Co-Founder and Managing Partner of AWH Partners. Mr. Cooley is responsible for overseeing all executive aspects of the firm, including setting the strategic direction and oversight of the company’s investment, development, and management divisions. Prior to founding AWH Partners, Mr. Cooley served as Vice President at the New York based Related Companies for nearly 8 years, where he managed numerous investments through all stages of the acquisition and development process, totaling hundreds of millions of dollars. With 20 years of industry experience, Mr. Cooley remains actively involved in AWH’s pursuit of ground up, value-add and distressed hospitality investment opportunities. Mr. Cooley received his BA in Political Science from Colgate University and currently serves as Treasurer of the University’s Alumni Council. He co-chairs the Colgate Real Estate Council and in 2020 was awarded the Maroon Citation for significant and invaluable personal contributions to Colgate.
Co-Founder and Managing Partner
Russell Flicker is Co-Founder and Managing Partner of AWH Partners. Mr. Flicker is responsible for overseeing all executive aspects of the firm, including setting the strategic direction and oversight of the company’s investment, development, and management divisions. Prior to founding AWH Partners, Mr. Flicker served as Ian Schrager Company’s chief investment officer. Prior to Ian Schrager Company, Mr. Flicker managed Blackstone Real Estate Advisors’ hospitality development, redevelopment and repositioning team. Before Blackstone, Mr. Flicker was an Executive Vice President at The Trump Organization where he oversaw the development team in all aspects of underwriting, acquisitions, finance, design and construction. With over 22 years of experience working for some of the most successful investors, operators and developers in the world, Mr. Flicker remains actively involved in AWH’s pursuit of ground up, value-add and distressed hospitality investment opportunities. Mr. Flicker received his JD from Duke University School of Law where he currently serves as a Member of the Board of Visitors. Mr. Flicker received his BA in Business Administration from Olin School of Business at Washington University in St. Louis where he currently serves as the President of the Alumni Board.
Co-Founder and Managing Partner
Jon Rosenfeld is Co-Founder and Managing Partner of AWH Partners. Mr. Rosenfeld is responsible for overseeing all executive aspects of the firm, including setting the strategic direction and oversight of the company’s investment, development, and management divisions. Prior to founding AWH Partners, Mr. Rosenfeld was a senior analyst at Wesley Capital Management and Scout Capital Management, long/short equity hedge funds, where he was responsible for investments in public real estate securities across various product types and geographies. From 1998 to 2006, Mr. Rosenfeld was at The Blackstone Group, spending two years in the mergers and acquisitions group, focused on real estate related transactions and six years as a member of Blackstone Real Estate Advisors, investing the firm’s private equity real estate funds. While at Blackstone Real Estate Advisors, Mr. Rosenfeld executed transactions across various product types. With over 22 years of experience in both private transactions as well as public market securities, Mr. Rosenfeld remains actively involved in AWH’s pursuit of ground up, value-add and distressed hospitality investment opportunities. Mr. Rosenfeld received a BS in Economics from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, where he graduated summa cum laude with a dual concentration in Finance and Accounting.
Nicholas Mayer is Senior Counsel of AWH Partners. Prior to joining AWH Partners, Mr. Mayer practiced at Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP, where he represented industry-leading property owners, developers and institutional investors in a broad range of commercial real estate transactions across asset classes. Mr. Mayer has significant experience structuring and negotiating acquisitions, dispositions, complex financings and joint ventures. Mr. Mayer received a JD from NYU School of Law and a BA in Political Science and English Literature from the University of Michigan.
Vice President, Operations
Laura Barlowe is Vice President of Operations for AWH Partners. Her responsibilities include corporate level financial reporting and accounting, oversight of human resource matters, and management of administrative support staff. Ms. Barlowe’s career prior to joining AWH included owning and operating an independent small business, serving as Supply Analyst at a major oil company, Production Coordinator at a legal publisher and Independent Consultant to a variety of small companies. Ms. Barlowe holds a BA in Geology and Economics from Barnard College and an MBA in Finance from Columbia Graduate School of Business.
Assistant Director of Operations and Investor Relations
Scott Weaver is Assistant Director of Operations and Investor Relations for AWH Partners. In this role, he is responsible for interfacing with investors, and supporting the company’s HR and IT initiatives. Prior to joining AWH, Scott was the Senior Compliance Manager for a staffing firm, Senior Technology Manager for BakerHostetler (Madoff Case), and Office Operations Account Manager for the Fashion Luxury company, Tod’s Group. Scott holds an MBA in Marketing from Adelphi University and a bachelor’s degree In Liberal Arts with a concentration in Theater Management from Texas Tech University.
Lauren Pease is an Accounting Manager for AWH Partners. In this role, she assists with a broad range of Corporate accounting, banking and operations duties. Prior to joining AWH, Lauren was an office manager and bookkeeper at DiSiena CPAs, LLP where she provided administrative support, monthly bookkeeping, and assisted with tax filings. Lauren graduated from the University of Florida with a BA in Criminology.
Caitilin Jett is the Operations Assistant for AWH Partners. In this role, she is responsible for supporting the partners, as well as purchasing and reporting. Prior to joining AWH, Caitilin held roles in Customer Service, Purchasing, and Operations in Fashion, Entertainment, and Tech. Caitilin studied Child and Family Development at San Diego State University.
Vice President, Acquisitions
Eli Evans is Vice President of Acquisitions for AWH Partners. In this role, he is responsible for origination, analysis, capital raising and managing the closing process for new investment opportunities. Prior to joining AWH, Eli was an Associate in the Hospitality Finance Group at Wells Fargo where he provided debt to institutional investors operating in the lodging and specialty real estate sectors. While at Wells, Eli worked to originate, underwrite, structure, and asset manage debt investments for transactions in both the US and the UK. Eli graduated from the University of Virginia with a BA in History.
David Barr is an Acquisitions Associate for AWH Partners. In this role, he is responsible for origination, analysis, capital raising and managing the closing process for new investment opportunities. Prior to joining AWH, David was a Senior Analyst with CBRE where he was involved in the sale of more than $4 billion of hotel assets. While at CBRE, David was responsible for underwriting hotel properties, producing marketing materials, conducting property tours, and pitching deals to prospective buyers. Prior to CBRE, David was a Manager of Hotel Operations Analytics at Carnival Cruise Line where he led a team analyzing revenue initiatives and performance. David graduated from Georgia Tech with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a Concentration in Finance.
Erica Ma is an Acquisitions Analyst for AWH Partners. In this role, she is responsible for supporting origination, analysis, capital raising and the closing process for new investment opportunities. Prior to joining AWH, Erica was an analyst in the Operational Due Diligence Group at Aksia where she provided fund advisory services to institutional investors in the alternative investment sector. While at Aksia, Erica was responsible for conducting interviews with and producing due diligence reports on real estate and private equity funds across the US. Erica graduated from Brandeis University with an MS in Finance and BA in Business and Psychology.
Eric Mong is an Acquisitions Analyst for AWH Partners. In this role he is responsible for supporting origination, analysis, capital raising and closing process for new investment opportunities. Prior to joining AWH, Eric was an Analyst in the Real Estate Equity Strategies Group at MetLife Investment Management. While at MetLife, he provided financial analysis support at the asset and portfolio level for new and existing equity/JV investments. Eric graduated from Rutgers University with a BS in Finance.
Vice President, Asset Management
Rushabh Shah is Vice President of Asset Management for AWH Partners. In this role, he is responsible for portfolio performance analysis, capital investment oversight, investor relations refinancing and disposition efforts. Prior to joining AWH, Mr. Shah was on the hotel asset management team for The Lightstone Group, a firm with diverse real estate holdings, including a dedicated hospitality portfolio. At Lightstone, Rushabh established consistent oversight of management companies and monitored portfolio performance. He also worked at Davidson Hospitality on its strategic operations and Investment management teams. His initiatives included finding corporate efficiencies and value-add projects to hotels within the portfolio. Rushabh received his MBA from the University of Southern California and a BS in Finance from Boston University.
Assistant Vice President, Asset Management
Nick Milo is an Assistant Vice President of Asset Management for AWH Partners. In this role, he is responsible for portfolio performance analysis, capital investment oversight, investor relations and disposition efforts. Prior to joining AWH, Mr. Milo served as an investment analyst for Rockbridge, a private equity firm that specializes in hospitality investments. At Rockbridge, Nick’s responsibilities included structuring and underwriting new debt and equity value-add hotel investments. Nick graduated from Cornell University where he earned a BS in Hotel Administration and a minor in Real Estate.
Asset Management Associate
Valentina Urdaneta is an Asset Management Associate for AWH Partners. In this role, she is responsible for portfolio performance analysis, capital investment oversight, investor relations and disposition efforts. Prior to joining AWH, Valentina worked for Marriott International as a Director of Finance. In this role, Valentina served as the property’s strategic financial leader, and provided financial expertise to enable the successful implementation of the brand service strategy and initiatives while maximizing the return on investment. Valentina’s responsibilities also included property financial planning, audit compliance, and capital improvement budgeting and implementation. During her career at Marriott, she worked in properties located in Tennessee, Florida, New Jersey, and New York. Valentina earned her MBA from Columbia Business School and her BS in Finance with a minor in Real Estate from the University of Florida.
Asset Management Analyst
Sam Wittmann is an Asset Management Analyst for AWH Partners. In this role, he is responsible for portfolio performance analysis, capital investment oversight, investor relations, as well as refinancing and disposition efforts. Prior to joining AWH, Sam was an Analyst at Quadrant Real Estate Advisors, a firm that specializes in commercial real estate debt investment on behalf of institutional investors. At Quadrant, Sam was responsible for loan and property valuation, asset management, and assisting with the origination of new loans. Sam attended Colgate University where he earned his BA in Geography and a minor in Spanish Language & Literature.
President, AWH Development
Tim Osiecki is President of AWH Development and has over 40 years of construction and development experience. Mr. Osiecki previously worked at Concord Hospitality for three decades where he served as the President of Architecture and Construction at Concord Hospitality. In this role, Mr. Osiecki was responsible for overseeing the major renovations, brand conversions and adaptive use projects of over 15,000 hotel rooms. While at Concord, Mr. Osiecki led the design team responsible for the first LEED-certified Courtyard by Marriott prototype hotel and received Marriott’s first Icon Award for creating new innovative ways to enhance brand design. Prior to joining Concord, Osiecki began his career as a custom homebuilder for eight years.
Vice President of Development and Construction
Dan Benda is Vice President of Development and Construction for AWH Partners. Mr. Benda joined Lane Hospitality in 1981 and has since overseen all engineering, construction, and project management for renovation projects. He was promoted to AWH Partners Director of Development upon AWH’s acquisition in 2012. Mr. Benda has completed more than 20 major hotel renovations in the past five years, and is a past President of the Houston Hotels Engineers Association. Mr. Benda is a graduate of Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa, with postgraduate studies in Business Administration.
Vice President of Development and Construction
Jeff Fees is Vice President of Development and Construction for AWH Partners. Mr. Fees joined AWH in 2017 as Senior Director of Projects and Facilities, overseeing all aspects of renovations and large capital projects. Jeff previously worked for Concord Hospitality for 17 years in multiple positions, including Regional Director of Facilities and Project Manager. In his role of Regional Director of Facilities, Jeff was responsible for the planning and completion of large capital projects at over 55 hotels. As Project Manager at Concord, Jeff was involved in over 70 major renovation projects and multiple ground up projects throughout the United States and Canada. Prior to his career at Concord, Jeff was a general contractor specializing in hotel renovations.
Spire Hospitality, an AWH Partners company
CEO, Spire Hospitality
Chris Russell was hired as CEO of Spire in May 2018. Prior to joining Spire, Mr. Russell was recruited to start and lead Archon Hospitality, the in-house hotel management company for a Goldman Sachs subsidiary, Archon Group. His mandate was to create a scalable management platform and support Archon’s investment team in acquisitions, dispositions, asset management, due diligence and strategic growth. In 2011, seven years after inception, Mr. Russell had grown the business into an industry leader and Goldman Sachs sold Archon Hospitality. After Archon Hospitality’s sale, the business was rebranded Pillar Hotels & Resorts and Mr. Russell remained as its President/CEO. At peak, Pillar was managing over $2 billion of assets consisting of 260 hotels in 45 states with 8,000 employees. Mr. Russell and his Partners eventually sold Pillar Hotels & Resorts to Aimbridge Hospitality in 2016.
EVP/COO, Spire Hospitality
Dawna Comeaux joins Spire Hospitality as its Senior Vice President, bringing a wealth of experience having guided the sales, revenue management and operation teams of one of the largest third-party hospitality management companies. In her most recent position as executive vice president of operations and sales for Pillar Hotels and Resorts, Ms. Comeaux led a team representing all major hotel brands, including 250 hotels across 40 states with more than 8,000 team members. In addition to her time with Pillar Hotels and Resorts, Ms. Comeaux has served as a senior vice president of sales and a senior vice president of operations for Archon Hospitality (a Goldman Sachs company) and as an area director of operations and sales for Prism Hotels. Ms. Comeaux’s history on both the sales and operations side of the industry, coupled with her Bachelor of Science Degree in Hotel/Restaurant Management from the University of Houston has provided an excellent foundation for her past and future success. With Spire, Ms. Comeaux plays a key leadership role in maximizing value through improved operations, sales, service and overall company objectives
EVP/CFO, Spire Hospitality
Bill Keating is Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Spire Hospitality. With 30 years of experience in strategic planning, finance, real estate development and operations, Mr. Keating has been responsible for the development of office, residential, retail and mixed use projects. Prior to Spire Hospitality, Mr. Keating worked extensively in acquisition activities for Lane Industries and its subsidiaries, overseeing more than 25 acquisitions in the hospitality, radio broadcasting and security service industries. Mr. Keating began his career in the tax departments of Deloitte, Haskins & Sells and then Lane Industries. He earned an LL.M. in Taxation from IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, a Juris Doctor from Loyola University Chicago School of Law and a B.S. in Accountancy from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign