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.
President & Chief Executive Officer
Shannon Knapp became the president & chief executive officer of The Leading Hotels of the World, Ltd. in October 2019. For more than five years, Ms. Knapp has been a driver of innovation and change at the company. In August 2013, Ms. Knapp was appointed senior vice president and chief marketing officer of The Leading Hotels of the World, Ltd. Her commitment has been unwavering to create a breakthrough brand and data-driven marketing strategy, transform the customer experience, and accelerate brand loyalty for the more than 90-year-old company.
Ms. Knapp is a results-driven leader with more than 20 years of experience. She is responsible for aligning business goals with marketing strategies and providing an expertise that accelerates business performance and generates results.
As senior vice president and chief marketing officer of The Leading Hotels of the World, Ltd., Ms. Knapp oversaw the various marketing divisions and was responsible for the redesign and 2018 relaunch of Leading Hotels’ loyalty ecosystem, Leaders Club, a program that has been recognized by Condé Nast Traveler as “offering a boutique alternative to mega-chain hotels with a bevy of benefits.” Additionally, during this time, she built the marketing analytics and customer insights organization to drive a paradigm shift in the use of data to inform marketing strategy, resulting in an increase of marketing efficiency and millions of dollars in incremental revenue.
Prior to joining The Leading Hotels of the World, Ltd., Ms. Knapp spent 15 years at American Express, most recently serving 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 for the multi-billion-dollar global travel organization. She transformed the marketing approach to accelerate lead generation for all distribution channels, delivering an increase in acquisition of new customers. She also led the strategic marketing program which supported over 40 luxury travel partners.
Previously, she was the director of premium cardmember marketing, where she led the development of program marketing and customer experience strategies for Centurion and Platinum Card member travel programs, including Fine Hotels & Resorts, as well as cruise, tour and villa programming. During this engagement she managed strategic partnerships with over 700 luxury travel partners to optimize economics and maximize value for Card members and travel partners.
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 & 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, 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.
Digital Product Development and Marketing
Phil Koserowski was appointed vice president digital product development and marketing for the organization in September 2011. He is responsible for the development of LHW’s customer facing digital touchpoints including LHW.com and supporting language sites, LHW’s mobile initiatives, online customer acquisition and engagement via email, display, search, social media and emerging channels. Additionally, Mr. Koserowski oversees the digital product and marketing solutions LHW provides to member hotels to maximize their customer acquisition and engagement efforts. In this role, Mr. Koserowski has spearheaded recent initiatives incorporating new capabilities into LHW’s digital ecosystem including Artificial Intelligence, Natural Language Search and Predictive Intelligence.
Mr. Koserowski brings more than 23 years of experience in digital to his current role. Prior to joining LHW, he served as a partner and interactive marketing director with Ogilvy & Mather. He 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.
Senior Vice President,
Chris Walker brings more than 20 years of hospitality, sales and marketing expertise to The Leading Hotels of the World, Ltd. He was appointed to the position of Senior Vice President, Global Sales in July 2019, previously serving as Senior Vice President of Sales - Americas at Leading Hotels from 2014 to 2018.
As Senior Vice President, Global Sales, Mr. Walker is responsible for leading the global sales organization and strategy across the Americas, Asia Pacific, Europe, Middle East, and Africa. He is focused on ensuring alignment across the more than 20 sales locations throughout the world to drive maximum impact for Leading Hotels’ members and the company’s global client base.
In the position of Senior Vice President, Sales-Americas, Mr. Walker streamlined sales efforts while driving double digit annual hotel revenue growth within some of the company’s largest offices. He oversaw technology implementations to increase sales efficiency and process redesign to enhance relationships with hoteliers and critical sales accounts.
Mr. Walker started his career at Hyatt in 1998. There he held various positions within the organization, including Director of Partner Marketing and Vice President of Brand Experience for four of Hyatt’s brands. He was responsible for the brand development and management of Hyatt Place and Hyatt House, two of Hyatt Hotels' fastest growing brands worldwide as well as the launch of all-inclusive brands Hyatt Ziva and Hyatt Zilara. Mr. Walker also held positions at American Express in their Service Delivery Network and Consumer Travel Network leading Fine Hotels & Resorts, American Express' Luxury Hotel program for Premium Card members.
Mr. Walker earned his M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and a B.S. degree in Geomatics Engineering from the University of Calgary.
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.
Vice President, Information Technology
Michael Lederman was appointed to the position of Vice President, Information Technology for The Leading Hotels of the World, Ltd. in July 2018. A forward-thinking technology strategist and business partner, he is responsible for aligning the organization’s global technology strategy and directing operational implementation of systems and applications to improve effectiveness, service quality, and business development. Mr. Lederman joined the company in February 2017 as Senior Director, Information Technology.
Prior to joining The Leading Hotels of the World, Ltd. he held IT leadership positions at Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation, Massey Knakal Realty Services and most recently Cushman & Wakefield, where he was responsible for IT strategy and managed part of a global technology solutions team. He worked on consolidating over 1000 global business applications during multiple corporate mergers to increase efficiency and reduce cost. He also established a global innovation strategy to foster innovation and better service clients and oversaw the redesign of a custom enterprise CRM, property data, and operations platform for the NY Capital Markets business.
Mr. Lederman received his MBA from Columbia Business School and Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from Rutgers University.