We are proud to collaborate with the greatest minds in hospitality. Our jury represents billions in assets and this top-level group stands at the cutting edge of hotel development.

Radical Jury

John Hardy

John Hardy

CEO, The John Hardy Group

Founder and President / CEO of The John Hardy Group, a global development & development services organization, provides independent strategic advisory and development services globally to joint venture partners, investors, asset managers and major Brands in the hospitality real estate sector. JHG is the recognized leader in creative solutions to complex challenges in renovation, redevelopment and new development projects. The company has successfully managed over $6 billion in development related assignments and completed projects with more than $2 billion in development value encompassing 866 projects in 35 countries.

Simon Turner

Simon Turner

President of Global Development, Starwood Hotels

Turner is responsible for the company’s global development activities including property acquisitions and dispositions, franchise and management pipeline expansion and real estate investment management. Previously, he spent more 12 years as a Principal of Hotel Capital Advisers. He also served on the board of directors of Four Seasons Hotels, Inc., and was also a member of the board of Fairmont Raffles Hotels International.

James Woods

James Woods

COO, The Bowls LLC

James Woods is President and COO of The Bowls LLC, a hospitality company which owns and controls the Brooklyn Bowl concept. Prior to joining The Bowls, James was most recently a partner in the real estate private equity firm Hayman Woods located in Dallas, Texas. There he focused on investments in residential and lifestyle properties and through its affiliate, Keen Partners, the hospitality sector. Prior, he was with Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, where he was responsible for the launch of Starwood’s two newest brands: aloft and Element. Prior to assuming such responsibility, he was charged with the development of new W Hotels.

Jena Thornton

Jena Thornton

Managing Director, Eagle Rock Ventures

Managing Director of Eagle Rock Ventures is a hospitality expert with 20 years in the industry. She recently led the U.S. hotel division of Bentall Kennedy LP as a senior vice president, where she served since 2002. Prior to that, she was the vice president of acquisitions and business development for Noble House Hotels & Resorts, overseeing the acquisition and financing of a few hundred million dollars of hospitality projects. Previously, she was a development manager at Westin Hotels & Resorts.

Michael Medzigian

Michael Medzigian

CEO & Director, Carey Watermark Investors Inc

Chairman and Managing Partner of Watermark Capital Partners, a real estate investment management firm, and is also President, Chief Executive Officer and a Director of Carey Watermark Investors, a publicly registered Real Estate Investment Trust. A leading lodging investor, his activities are focused on complex assets that benefit from demographic shifts, strategic marketing, and value-creation and repositioning initiatives, including hotels and resorts, golf and recreation, resort residential, fractional and club programs, and new urbanism and mixed-use projects

Wing Chao

Founding Principal, Wing T. Chao Architect

A world renowned master planner, architect and designer. He is currently working on various resort, theme park, retail, entertainment and commercial projects in the US and overseas. Chao was Executive Vice President for Master Planning, Architecture & Design at Walt Disney Parks & Resorts’ creative division Walt Disney Imagineering. In that role Chao oversaw development of all of division’s activities worldwide including theme parks, resorts, cruise ships, water parks and entertainment complexes. He was also Vice Chairman of Development for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, Asia Pacific.

Claude Amar

President, The John Hardy Group International

Amar joined The John Hardy Group in 2002 as Managing Director of a joint venture of The John Hardy Group and The Square Group based in Luxembourg. Amar is responsible for JHG’s international operations and development. Mr. Amar’s vast professional experience includes ten years with the IH Group, Paris France working as the Director of Development responsible for projects and developments in Europe and Asia. During this time Mr. Amar was also the Managing Director of Lahotel Corporation.

Advisory Board

Our advisory board of hospitality influencers represent a variety of sectors from development and design, internationally.

Vann Avedisian
Highgate Holdings
Chicago, IL, USA

Sebastien Bazin
Paris, France

David Cline
Global Allies
Lockeford, CA, USA

Russell Dazzio
R&R Global Hospitality
Las Vegas, NV, USA

Richard Gomel
New York, NY, USA



Jon Kastl
New York, NY, USA

Rob Kline
The Chartres Lodging Group
San Francisco, CA, USA

Dave McCaslin
Hersha Hospitality Management
Philadelphia, PA, USA

Julia Monk
Shanghai, China

Michael Murphy
First Fidelity
Atlanta, GA, USA

Glenn Nowak
UNLV School of Architecture
Las Vegas, NV, USA


Cory Perlstein
Och-Ziff Capital Management Group
New York, NY, USA

John Schoenfeld
Houlihan Lokey
Los Angeles, CA, USA

Larry Spelts
Charlestowne Hotels
Charleston, SC, USA

Robert Stiles
Robert Douglas
Larkspur, CA, USA

Michael Suomi
Stonehill & Taylor
New York, NY, USA