Andrea Kracht is a sixth generation member of the owning family and delegate of the board of directors of the Hotel Baur au Lac since 1990.
He is a member of the Executive Committee of The Leading Hotels of the World since 1999 and served as Vice Chairman since 2000. He was appointed to the position of Chairman in November 2010. Andrea Kracht serves on the Compensation Committee as well as on the Audit Committee of LHW. He is a member of the Quality Committee of Leading Quality Assurance.
Andrea Kracht was born in Zurich, Switzerland. He attended the renowned International School of Le Rosey in Rolle and Gstaad, Switzerland, where he graduated in 1977 with the French Baccalauréat. In 1981, he was awarded the diploma from the École Hôtelière in Lausanne. He visited a management program at Cornell University, Ithaca, NY in 1986.
After completing his academic studies, Andrea Kracht began his hotel career by working in a variety of capacities in several properties such as the Badrutt's Palace Hotel, St. Moritz, Hotel Hermitage, Monte-Carlo, Claridge's, London, Hotel Ritz, Paris, The Mansion on Turtle Creek, Dallas, Hotel Plaza-Athénéé and Grand Bay Hotel, New York.
Chief Executive Officer
Ted Teng is the president and chief executive officer of The Leading Hotels of the World, Ltd. Since joining the company in 2008, Mr. Teng has been dedicated to reigniting the 88-year-old brand. Holding firm to his motto, "Preserve, Enhance, and Invent,” Mr. Teng honors the traditions of the company while innovating to achieve greater strength and success in the future.
Through a collaborative approach with hotel membership, Mr. Teng is focused on reimagining and redefining a differentiated business model for Leading Hotels to both preserve and advance the company’s collection of independent luxury hotels. This collaborative model fosters co-creation and innovation opportunities with the collection’s passionate and like-minded hoteliers to deliver exceptional levels of customer satisfaction, ultimately driving further increases in revenue.
Shortly after his in appointment in 2008, Mr. Teng formulated and successfully executed a Five-Year Business Plan to restore the core foundation of the 85-plus-year-old brand to better serve member hotels and enhance the quality of the collection. The strategy proved to be overwhelmingly successful, with significant year-over-year increases in revenue, consistently outpacing industry averages. The overall quality of the portfolio achieved a tremendous increase, enabling the company to leap from the bottom of the competitive set list to the top three. And, perhaps the most astounding is that Mr. Teng was able to accomplish these results during the worst recession in a generation without any incremental capital investment.
Mr. Teng’s nearly 40-year career is rooted in the hospitality industry. Prior to joining The Leading Hotels of the World, he led the growth of some of the world’s most prominent hotel brands, serving as president, chief operating officer of Wyndham International, Inc., and president, Asia-Pacific, for Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc., following the merger of Starwood Lodging, Westin, and Sheraton.
A graduate of the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration, Mr. Teng has an MBA from the University of Hawaii. A global citizen, he was born in Shanghai, China, grew up in Hong Kong, emigrated to the U.S. at age 13 and became a U.S. citizen soon after. When he is not traveling to member hotels around the world, Mr. Teng divides his time between New York and Texas. Mr. Teng also holds a seat on the company’s board of directors.
Senior Vice President & Chief Financial Officer
Daniel Neumann was promoted to the position of senior vice president and chief financial officer for The Leading Hotels of the World, Ltd. in December 2008. He oversees all aspects of accounting, offices services, corporate administration and oversight of business growth and development. Mr. Neumann joined the company in October 1998 and was appointed senior vice president, finance in September 2002.
Prior to joining The Leading Hotels of the World, Ltd. Mr. Neumann was corporate controller for the Lowell Hotel, New York and L’Ermitage, Beverly Hills, where he supervised a USD 40 million renovation of the Beverly Hills property, as well as maintaining all financial aspects of both hotels. He began his career at Pannell Kerr Forster, an international public accounting and consulting firm where he departed in July 1994 as senior manager.
Mr. Neumann holds a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from Villanova University. He also earned his CPA in November of 1987.
Senior Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer
Shannon Knapp was appointed senior vice president and chief marketing officer for The Leading Hotels of the World, Ltd. in August 2013. She oversees the various marketing divisions, including brand marketing, interactive marketing, web operations, CRM, customer loyalty and public relations.
Ms. Knapp is a results-driven marketing leader with 15 years of experience. She is responsible for aligning business goals with marketing strategies, and providing an expertise that accelerates business performance and generates results.
Prior to joining The Leading Hotels of the World, Ltd., Ms. Knapp served as vice president of marketing for American Express Travel. In this role, she was responsible for leading U.S. customer acquisition and loyalty marketing, branding and public relations strategies, with global oversight of communications and compliance programs.
Previously, she was the director of cardmember marketing, where she led the program, marketing and customer experience strategies for Centurion and Platinum Card member travel programs including Fine Hotels & Resorts.
Ms. Knapp received her Bachelor of Arts in international relations from Colgate University where she studied abroad for a semester in Geneva, Switzerland
Senior Vice President,
Human Resources &
Patricia Smith was appointed senior vice president of human resources and organization development for The Leading Hotels of the World, Ltd. in May 2009.
Ms. Smith brings vast experience through a number of roles at multi-national organizations. Since 2006, she operated her own firm, The Smith Factor, LLC, providing consultation in organization development, customer service, leadership, and corporate culture.
Previously, Ms. Smith was executive vice president, human resources for Wyndham International. While at Wyndham, she transformed its corporate culture to substantially maximize performance. Ms. Smith also spent 15 years with The Walt Disney Company in a variety of leadership roles.
Ms. Smith holds a B.A. in Communications from Rollins College in Florida and a M.S. in Career and Human Resource Development from Rochester Institute of Technology in New York.
Senior Vice President, Europe, Middle East, Africa & Asia Pacific
Philip Ho was appointed senior vice president of Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific in April 2013. He is responsible for revenue generation to member hotels worldwide through the regional sales offices across EMEA and Asia Pacific.
Mr. Ho joined The Leading Hotels of the World, Ltd. in March 2009 as vice president of Asia Pacific. Over the next 4 years, he grew same-store-sales growth to member hotels at a CAGR of 25% and improved the quality of the LHW membership through careful portfolio management and the acceptance of iconic hotels.
Hired for his acute ability to rethink and reinvent business models in dynamic market conditions, he joined The Leading Hotels of the World, Ltd. from his previous role as general manager for ZUJI, the region’s top online travel retailer when it was a part of Sabre Holdings.
Mr. Ho began his career at Singapore Airlines in distribution and revenue management and later joined Starwood Hotels & Resorts, where he left a position as vice president, sales and marketing, Asia Pacific to pioneer ZUJI as director of marketing.
A native of Singapore, Mr. Ho is bi-lingual in English and Chinese. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the National University of Singapore.
Senior Vice President,
Chris Walker was appointed senior vice president, sales of the Americas in November 2014. In this role, Mr. Walker is responsible for creating high-value initiatives for the Americas sales operation of LHW to increase revenue generation for member hotels and the brand. Experienced in accelerating business performance, his work encompasses creating and executing strategies in the Americas that link to the company’s overall vision while creating ways to integrate with marketing and distribution efforts.
Mr. Walker comes to LHW from Hyatt where he was most recently vice president, brands, responsible for the strategic positioning for Hyatt’s four fastest-growing lines. Directly responsible for business and product development, revenue generation, and customer growth, Mr. Walker has a track record for being a strong business leader, strategic thinker, and collaborator.
Previously, Mr. Walker worked for American Express managing the Fine Hotels & Resorts luxury hotel program for Platinum Card members, nurturing relationships with 670 luxury hotels globally and driving revenue to member properties. Prior to American Express, during an earlier employment experience with Hyatt, he developed business intelligence solutions which resulted in driving informed decision-making processes globally throughout the company’s sales and marketing organizations.
Mr. Walker earned his M.B.A. degree from Harvard Business School and a B.S. degree in Geomatics Engineering from the University of Calgary.
Senior Vice President, Distribution and Reservations Management
Jon Londeen was named senior vice president, distribution and reservations management, in 2007, having served as vice president of reservations management since 2001. Mr. Londeen is responsible for the day-to-day reservations operations of The Leading Hotels of the World, Ltd., as well as maintaining relationships with key suppliers and vendors in the reservations and communications areas. He also works closely with the sales and marketing departments and the regional offices to optimize production through the company’s reservations systems.
Prior to joining The Leading Hotels of the World, Ltd. Mr. Londeen served as director of reservations and global distribution of the Americas for Forte and Meridien Hotels.
Vice President, Membership
Deniz Omurgonulsen was appointed vice president of membership for The Leading Hotels of the World, Ltd. in April 2010. In her role, she is responsible for the overall membership of The Leading Hotels of the World, including managing development, the company’s quality initiative, and business performance for the hotels in the portfolio.
Ms. Omurgonulsen joined the company in March 2005 as strategic planning manager. In 2006, she became director of membership development, and has overseen membership acquisition and retention since then. Ms. Omurgonulsen has been a key member of the Quality Committee which continuously monitors and controls the high level of standards required from all member hotels.
Prior to joining The Leading Hotels of the World, Ltd. Ms. Omurgonulsen worked with Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts in operations based at The Pierre Hotel in New York. In addition to her property responsibilities, she conducted numerous successful corporate-wide training and quality initiatives, including participating in pre-opening hotel training teams and implementing a global e-learning platform.
She graduated with honors from Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration.
In September 2011 Phil Koserowski was appointed vice president of interactive marketing for the organization. In this position he is responsible for online advertising, web, eCRM, and mobile/emerging platform development.
Mr. Koserowski brings more than 16 years of experience in interactive marketing to his current role. Most recently, he served as a partner and interactive marketing director with Ogilvy & Mather. Mr. Koserowski was also vice president interactive marketing at Sotheby’s International Realty where he was responsible for building the interactive marketing department for the global luxury real estate franchise network.
He received his Bachelors Degree in both marketing and computer applications from the University of Notre Dame.
Vice President &
Susan Ziluca was appointed Vice President and General Counsel for The Leading Hotels of the World, Ltd. in December 2013. Mrs. Ziluca joined the company in July 2007 as general counsel. She is responsible for overseeing all legal matters, including all contract work, of the organization.
Ms. Ziluca has more than 25 years of legal experience. She has worked both in private practice and as an in-house attorney with extensive experience in transactional work, general contract and corporate matters.
She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a bachelor of arts degree and a masters degree, magna cum laude and suma cum laude, respectively and received her JD degree with honors from Rutgers School of Law, Newark.