Chairman of the Executive Committee
Andrea Scherz is the third-generation proprietor and general manager of one of the most iconic family-led hotels in the world, Gstaad Palace. The Swiss property has been a member of The Leading Hotels of the World, Ltd. for more than 60 years.
Mr. Scherz served on the Executive Committee since 2011, most recently as Vice Chairman since 2019. He was appointed to the position of Chairman in November 2021, effective January 2022. Mr. Scherz follows in the footsteps of his father, Ernst Andrea Scherz, who also served as chairman of Leading Hotels for 15 years.
In his role, Mr. Scherz sits at the helm of the Executive Committee which is comprised of seven hoteliers that represent over 60 shareholder members of The Leading Hotels of the World, Ltd. His mission with the executive committee and Leading Hotels’ management team is to connect and empower hoteliers to stay independent.
Mr. Scherz grew up in the hotel business at Gstaad Palace and studied at École Hôtelière de Lausanne. Before returning to Gstaad, he worked for various hotels in the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Italy and the United States, including the Beau-Rivage, Savoy, and InterContinental. He returned home in 1996 assuming the position of general manager in 2001. In addition to his role at LHW he holds a board seat with Swiss Deluxe Hotels and the Gstaad-Saanenland Airport Association.
President & Chief Executive Officer
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,
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.
Vicepresidente Senior y Director Financiero
Daniel Neumann fue promovido a la posición de Vicepresidente Senior y Director Financiero de The Leading Hotels of the World, Ltd. en diciembre de 2008. Supervisa todos los aspectos contables de la compañía, los servicios de las oficinas, administración corporativa así como también el crecimiento y desarrollo empresarial. El Sr. Neumann se unió a la compañía en octubre de 1998 y fue nombrado como Vicepresidente Senior de Finanzas en septiembre de 2002.
Antes de unirse a The Leading Hotels of the World, Ltd., el Sr. Neumann era Controller Corporativo para el Hotel Lowell de Nueva York y L’Ermitage de Beverly Hills, donde supervisó una renovación de 40 millones de dólares en esta última propiedad, así como el mantenimiento de todos los aspectos financieros de ambos hoteles. Comenzó su carrera en Pannell Kerr Forster, una empresa contable internacional y firma de consultoría, de la que partió en julio de 1994 como Gerente Senior.
El Sr. Neumann cuenta con un Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting de la Universidad de Villanova. También obtuvo su CPA en noviembre de 1987.
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.
Brigitte Van Den Houte
Vice President, Global Human Resources
Brigitte Van Den Houte was appointed vice president of global human resources for The Leading Hotels of the World, Ltd. in April 2021. Ms. Van Den Houte’s human resources expertise spans over 20 years and multiple countries.
In her role, she is responsible for designing and implementing a new global Human Resources strategy to support the company’s strategic vision. Under her purview, Ms. Van Den Houte works to further cultivate the Company’s growth mindset and build a high-performance culture to support the more than 400 worldwide hotels in The Leading Hotels of the World collection.
Prior to joining The Leading Hotels of the World, Ltd., Ms. Van Den Houte most recently served as senior vice president, human resources, global talent management at Pitney Bowes, Inc. During her successful career she has led culture transformations within a complex environment with multiple, geographically disbursed locations around the world, including Europe, North America, Brazil, and Asia Pacific.
Ms. Van Den Houte holds a master’s degree in human resources management from Vlerick Business School in Belgium.
Vicepresidente de Membresias
Deniz Omurgonulsen fue nombrada Vicepresidente de Membresías de The Leading Hotels of the World, Ltd. en abril de 2010. En su rol, es responsable de la totalidad de los hoteles miembro de The Leading Hotels of the World, incluyendo la gestión de desarrollo, la iniciativa de calidad de la compañía y el desempeño de negocios para los hoteles del portfolio.
La Sra. Omurgonulsen se unió a la compañía en marzo de 2005 como Gerente de Planeamiento Estratégico. En el año 2006, se convirtió en Directora de Desarrollo de Membresías y desde entonces ha supervisado la adquisición y fidelización de hoteles miembros. La Sra. Omurgonulsen ha sido un miembro clave del Comité de Calidad, el cual monitorea y controla contunuamente el alto nivel de estándares requerido a todos los hoteles miembro.
Antes de formar parte de The Leading Hotels of the World, Ltd., la Sra. Omurgonulsen trabajó para Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts en operaciones basadas en The Pierre Hotel en Nueva York. Además de sus responsabilidades en el hotel, conducía numerosas y exitosas capacitaciones corporativas e iniciativas de calidad, que incluían su participación en el entrenamiento del personal para pre-inauguración de hoteles y la implementación de una plataforma de aprendizaje electrónica global.
La Sra. Omurgonulsen se graduó con honores de la Escuela de Administración Hotelera de la Universidad de Cornell.
Vice President, Global Marketing & Communications
Lauren Alba was promoted to the position of vice president, global marketing and communications for The Leading Hotels of the World, Ltd. in 2021. Ms. Alba brings over 15 years of experience in developing customer-centric marketing campaigns and communication strategies for global businesses.
In her position she leads global B2C marketing communications as well as B2B and hotel member marketing and communications. Additionally, she oversees The Leading Hotels of the World, Ltd. brand management, creative services, public relations and social media efforts.
Ms. Alba joined the Company in 2014 as the director, global public relations and media partnerships where she oversaw the global public relations strategy for 12 regions and led the development and onsite management of the company's annual hotel member event. She was later appointed senior director, marketing communications in 2016. In this role she led development and execution of integrated marketing and communications strategies for guests and member hotels through brand strategy and management, content strategy and development, creative design services, public relations, social media and events.
Prior to joining The Leading Hotels of the World, Ltd., Ms. Alba spent time at both American Express and Coyne PR. At American Express she held the position of senior manager of brand digital and social media marketing where she oversaw digital media partnerships and the creation of brand content across social media channels. During her time, Ms. Alba led the digital content creation for the launch of the American Express Everyday credit card, managing agencies and a multi-million dollar budget to create support assets for the launch.
Ms. Alba received her bachelor’s degree in communication from George Mason University.
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.
Vice President &
Susan Ziluca ha sido nombrada Vice Presidente y Consejera General de The Leading Hotels of the World, Ltd. En Diciembre 2013. La Sra. Ziluca se unió a la compañía como consejera general en Julio de 2007. Ella es responsable de la supervisión de todos los asuntos legales, incluyendo los contratos de la organización.
La Sra. Ziluca cuenta con más de 25 años de experiencia legal. Ha trabajado tanto en la práctica privada y como abogada en la empresa con una amplia experiencia en negociación , contrato general y asuntos corporativos.
Se graduó de la Universidad de Pennsylvania con una licenciatura en artes y una maestría magna cum laude y suma cum laude respectivamente y recibió su titulo de abogada con honores de la Facultad de Derecho de Rutgers, Newark.