Sunway Hotel Management personnel have the experience with hotels in various locations throughout the United States. Sunway Hotel Management currently operates hotels in several states and has experience with most major franchise brands including: Hilton, Marriott and Holiday Inn.
Hilton Garden Inn
Hampton Inn by Hilton
Fairfield Inn by Marriott
Springhill Suites by Marriott
Towne Place Suites by Marriott
Residence Inn by Marriott
Courtyard by Marriott
Holiday Inn Express
Wingate Inn by Wyndham
The Sunway executive staff is unique in the changing hospitality industry. The executives on average have been together as a management team for over ten years.
Sunway's executives have been involved with over 100 hotels in almost 30 states. Further, this experience totals over 18,000 guest rooms and 11 major franchises.
DONALD E. CULBERTSON
Don Culbertson entered the hotel industry in the mid-1970's by acquiring several hotels in the Southeast United States. In 1983 he formed Sunway Hotel Group as an umbrella organization to provide management services to his properties and to build a solid foundation for growth.
The endeavor has been an unqualified success. Through an aggressive growth program and strict management policies, Sunway has become one of the top hotel management firms in the nation.
Much of Sunway's success is attributable to the direct, hands-on management style of Mr. Culbertson. He takes an active role in monitoring the cost controls of each Sunway-managed facility. Mr. Culbertson focuses on the strategic growth of Sunway to include new ownership and management opportunities.
Mr. Culbertson is a past member of Holiday Inns Board of Owners as well as several industry related organizations. He is considered an industry expert and has addressed banking executives regarding hotel management and hotel credit risk evaluation.
Mr. Culbertson is the principal owner of Sunway Hotel Group and with over thirty years’ experience in the industry has unique insights into successful hotel ownership and management to ensure success.
DAVID C. OWEN
Executive Vice President/COO
Dave Owen’s business career spans multiple industries including banking, investment banking and real estate. He served as Chairman and CEO of two banks in Johnson County, Kansas, one of which he personally chartered. He was a co-owner of one of the most successful real estate brokerage firms in the same area. For eight years he served as Regional Manager for Stephens Inc, a large investment banking firm headquartered in Little Rock, AR. He has also been CEO of a public company traded on the NASDAQ exchange.
Mr. Owen is a former State Senator and Lt. Governor of Kansas as well as Chairman of the Kansas Republican Party. Currently he is Chairman of the David C. Owen Leadership Institute at Ottawa University, Ottawa, Ks and a member of the President’s Council.
Mr. Owen brings a wealth of management and financial experience to Sunway in his role as Chief Operating Officer.
R. KENNETH MERKEY
Senior Vice President
Ken Merkey is a Senior Vice President with the Sunway Hotel group. He manages the representative office in Henderson, NV. Mr. Merkey is responsible for corporate development activities including the arrangement of debt and equity for new projects. He is also responsible for the development of the Sunway Gaming Division.
Mr. Merkey is a seasoned finance professional. Until December, 2010 he was a Vice President of Northland Securities, Inc. He is a licensed finance professional (Series 7 & 63) and a licensed mortgage broker (Nevada) with significant experience in underwriting real estate transactions and corporate finance transactions.
Mr. Merkey has held senior management positions at Citigroup, Itochu Corporation, and Thomson McKinnon Securities .As a Vice President of Citibank he was responsible for project financing and relationship banking in the petroleum industry and was located in New York, Singapore and London. At Itochu Corporation he was a Vice President and head of the corporate development division in New York. With Thomson McKinnon Securities he was a Vice President and head of the Project Finance Department. Additionally, from 1994 to 1996 he was Chairman and CEO of Trans World Gaming Corporation (NASDAQ:IBET). From 1996 to 1997 he was Chairman and CEO of Trans Arctic Petroleum Corp, a Canadian public company.
Mr. Merkey is a graduate of Yale University and has completed postgraduate work at Wharton Business School and Stanford University. He spent 6 years as a submarine officer in the US Navy. He has been licensed as a gaming manager in Louisiana and France.
LINDA L. SMITH
Senior Vice President
Linda Smith had six years experience in hotel acquisitions prior to joining Sunway in 1994. Ms. Smith works closely with Mr. Culbertson in locating and evaluating new hotel projects for acquisition, renovation and management. In addition Linda assists in locating sites for new construction.
Ms. Smith works closely with the operations staff in new hotel openings and coordinating the opening procedures with the construction company, franchise and home office.
Ms. Smith works closely with the franchises regarding standards issues and also with the architects, designers and Sunway staff in coordinating the image for the hotels. In addition, she handles the oversight of FF&E purchasing, interior design and installation.
Ms. Smith works with the development team from conceptual drawings and planning throughout the construction process.
RICH D. JONES
Director of Facilities and Construction
Rich Jones joined The Sunway Hotel Group in 2008. Mr. Jones began his career in the hotel industry in 2000 in the capacity of Facilities and Maintenance Engineer. His experience and expertise have now moved him into working in the development, architectural and construction aspects of the hotel industry.
Previously, Mr. Jones worked with a Marriott franchisee and Marriott corporate where he gained first-hand knowledge in all aspects of hotel development from architectural design to hotel construction and facilities management. Mr. Jones multi brand experience with Holiday Inn, Fairfield Inn, Springhill Suites and TownePlace Suites, brings valuable experiece to the Sunway team. Mr. Jones has also been involved in hotel procurement and renovations.
As Director of Facilities and Construction, Mr. Jones will be responsible for working directly with Architects, Contractors and Project Managers to develop Sunway Hotel Group’s growth of new hotels and casinos. In addition, Mr. Jones will manage maintenance and facilities at all of the existing Sunway Hotel Group properties.
ROBIN A. COSTELLO
Corporate Sales & Marketing Manager
Joining Sunway Hotel Group in early 2009, Robin A. Costello brings years of hotel sales and marketing experience to our company. Ms. Costello’s sales resume includes representing full, limited and extended stay hotels both on a local and national level. She has worked with full and select service hotels within Marriott International, Hilton International, Intercontinental Hotel Group, Best Western and Choice Hotels. Ms. Costello is proficient in writing and implementing sales strategy plans in order to obtain maximum market penetration. She possesses thorough knowledge of competing hotels coupled with a strong sales and leadership skills that keep the sales and marketing efforts of each property competitive, proactive and adaptable to current hospitality trends.
As Corporate Sales and Marketing Manager, Ms. Costello’s responsibilities include hiring/training/managing property sales personnel; active participation in the preparation and implementation of revenue management plans; overseeing e-Commerce efforts for each hotel; establishing/maintaining relationship with national brand sales personnel; preparing and implementing quarterly/ annual sales goals and actions plans to compliment market trends; overseeing all advertising and promotions at the property level; assisting Director of Operations with regard to successful achievement of hotel revenue goals and guest satisfaction goals while maximizing marketing opportunities provided through brand affiliations.
Ms. Costello is an accomplished Hotelier with vast industry knowledge and experience. After completing her Bachelor of Arts Degree, she became a Certified Hotel Sales Professional in 1992. Her affiliations include National Business Travel Association, Society of Government Meeting Planners, National Tour Association, American Society of Association Executives and American Bus Association.