Daniel H. Lesser brings more than 30 years of expertise in a wide range of hospitality operational, investment counseling, valuation, advisory, and transactional services. He provides services to corporate, institutional, and individual clients as well as public agencies on all facets of hospitality real estate including: litigation support and expert testimony, site evaluation, highest and best use analysis, appraisals for mortgage, acquisition, and portfolio management, workout strategies, operational analysis, property tax assessment appeal evaluations, economic impact studies, deal structuring, and fairness opinions.
Mr. Lesser is a leading authority on hotel feasibility and valuation, and is highly sought after to speak at lodging and real estate events, as well as lectures at prestigious institutions of higher education, including Cornell University, Columbia University and New York University. He is widely published and quoted, and serves as a quarterly columnist for HotelNewsNow.com and GlobeSt.com. Most recently, Mr. Lesser created and served as the Senior Managing Director - Industry Leader of the Hospitality & Gaming Valuation Advisory Services Group at CB Richard Ellis Hotels (CBRE). Prior to joining CBRE, Mr. Lesser founded and led the Hospitality & Gaming Group at Cushman & Wakefield and was a founding member of the team at HVS International.
Mr. Lesser has also held operational and administrative positions with Hilton Hotels Corporation and Eurotels - Switzerland. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Hotel Administration from Cornell University, and also attended the Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne, Switzerland and Baruch College - City University of New York. Mr. Lesser holds the following professional designations: MAI (Member of the Appraisal Institute), FRICS (Fellow of The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors), CRE (Counselor of Real Estate), and CHA (Certified Hotel Administrator). Mr. Lesser is a member of and has served on numerous committees for the Counselors of Real Estate, the Appraisal Institute, the American Hotel & Lodging Association, and the Board of Directors of the New York City Chapter of the Cornell Hotel Society. He is a former Advisory Board member and member of the Fundraising Subcommittee for the New York University Preston Robert Tisch Center for Hospitality, Tourism and Sports Management. Mr. Lesser is a founding member of the Lodging Industry Investment Council (LIIC), the hotel industry “think tank.” Furthermore, Mr. Lesser served as an Honorary Committee Member of the annual UJA - Federation New York Hotel & Hospitality Division Dinner, and is a member of the AIPAC Real Estate Division.
Evan Weiss serves as Executive Managing Director, Principal of LW Hospitality Advisors®. He was previously an associate at CBRE Hotels - Hospitality & Gaming Valuation Advisory Services Group, where he was awarded Silver and Gold production awards during each year of his tenure. He also received the Valuation Services Professional of the Year Award for the Tri-State region in 2007. Prior to joining CBRE, Mr. Weiss held the executive position of Director of Operations for CARINO Hotels & Resorts in New York, a sales and marketing firm representing 75 luxury hotels throughout the globe. Mr. Weiss was the first official hire for this firm and grew the entity by recruiting twenty professionals around the world.
Mr. Weiss’s operational experience includes serving as General Manager at City Food Bar Inc., where he led corporate management and operational efforts at the restaurant ownership and management firm as well as worked with the Founder and President to build and expand the business. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Hotel and Tourism Management from New York University Preston Robert Tisch Center for Hospitality, Tourism and Sports Management. Following successful terms as Board Member, Vice President, and President of the NYU Tisch Center Alumni Society, Evan also served as a member of the Tisch Center’s Advisory Board. While attending NYU’s Tisch Center, Mr. Weiss was twice honored with the President’s Service Award for Leadership and Community Service. He also recently served on the search committee for the Divisional Dean of the Tisch Center, and is privileged to hold the position of adjunct faculty member at the Tisch Center. Mr. Weiss currently serves as a member of the REX Next committee of the UJA - Federation of New York, as a member of the AIPAC Washington Club and Real Estate Committee, as well as a board member of RESA. Evan is also intimately involved with Our Soldiers Speak, a 501(c)(3) based in Midtown Manhattan, NY.
Gary Isenberg currently serves as President - LWHA® Asset & Property Management Services, responsible for heading the Asset Management and Hotel Management Divisions. Gary has more than 30 years of diversified hospitality experience in Hotel Management, Finance, and Asset Management.
Gary’s areas of specialization include:
- Third party asset management, involving capital budgeting, PIP costing, internal control and accounting;
- Serving as an owner’s rep;
- Due diligence for real estate investors;
- Development services to negotiate management or franchise agreements.
Upon graduation from Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey, with a Bachelor of Science in Business Management and minors in Corporate Finance and Information Systems, Gary accepted his first full-time position with ITT Sheraton as a Corporate Trainee. During his 16-year tenure, he rapidly rose through the ranks through a series of increasingly responsible positions, mergers and acquisitions, at both the corporate and property level, in the disciplines of finance and operations.
Feld Hotel Associates (FHA), a privately-held Hotel Development, Ownership and Management Company, recruited Gary to join the organization as General Manager of its flagship property. Soon, he was promoted to Executive Vice President of Hotel Operations and more recently held the position of Chief Operating Officer. During his tenure at FHA, Gary led the development and opening of hotels, spearheaded several re-organizations, repositioning and recapitalizations, as well as numerous revenue-generating and cost-cutting initiatives. This in turn enhanced value and maximized return for the owners and investors.
Throughout his career, Gary has served on a variety of boards and professional organizations. Roles included Pennsylvania Travel and Lodging Association Board Member, Hotel Association of New York’s Hotel Group Founding Member, JFK Airport Chamber of Commerce Board Member, and Greater Jamaica Development Corporation Board Member and Director.
Tony Jenkins serves as Managing Director for LW Hospitality Advisors®, bringing more than 25 years of experience in a wide range of hospitality operational, valuation and advisory services. He provides services to corporate, institutional and individual clients on many facets of hospitality real estate including: expert testimony, site evaluation, highest and best use analysis, appraisals, and feasibility and market studies. Most recently, Mr. Jenkins served as Vice President with PKF Consulting USA.
Mr. Jenkins was previously a partner with the hotel consulting and valuation firm Atlantic Hospitality Advisors (AHA), which merged with PKF Consulting USA during 2010. Prior to joining AHA, Mr. Jenkins was Principal of Province Valuation Group, a hotel valuation/advisory firm he formed in 1995. Mr. Jenkins also served in the capacity of General Manager as well as Vice President of Acquisitions and Dispositions for Southmark Hospitality Management.
Mr. Jenkins earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Hotel Administration from the University of Southern Mississippi. Mr. Jenkins holds the professional designations of MAI (Member of the Appraisal Institute) and CCIM (Certified Commercial Investment Member). He is also a member of the International Society of Hospitality Consultants (ISHC) and serves on the Valuation Committee of the National Council of Real Estate Investment Fiduciaries (NCREIF).
Jonathan Jaeger currently serves as a Managing Director with LW Hospitality Advisors®, based in New York City. Prior to joining LWHA®, Mr. Jaeger had been with Pinnacle Advisory Group from January of 2008 through January of 2014. He began as a Consultant in the Boston office and was promoted to Vice President and head of the New York Practice. During his tenure, Mr. Jaeger was involved in the execution of over 300 consulting and valuation assignments throughout the United States.
Prior to his advisory career, Mr. Jaeger held various operational and accounting/finance positions with Starwood Hotels & Resorts and Kimpton Hotels & Resorts. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science from the Boston University School of Hospitality Administration in addition to a minor in Business Administration from the Boston University School of Management. Mr. Jaeger is a State Certified Real Estate Appraiser specializing exclusively in the evaluation of hotel properties. During his time in Boston, he served on the Emerging Leaders Committee of the Massachusetts Chapter of the Appraisal Institute as well as a Council Member of the Massachusetts Lodging Association Under 30 Gateway Chapter. Beginning in the spring of 2011, Mr. Jaeger joined the adjunct faculty at Boston University, serving as co-instructor of the Hotel Asset Management course. In addition to teaching a course at Boston University, Mr. Jaeger has written several articles for industry wide publications; topics included the Manhattan Lodging Market, Highest and Best Use Analyses, E-Commerce in the Hotel Industry, among others. In New York City, Jonathan is a member of YHIP, the Young Hospitality Investment Professionals Group and also participates with the NYC & Company Hotel Committee in addition to recently affiliating with the Metro NY Chapter of the Appraisal Institute.
Mr. Jaeger is a designated member of the Appraisal Institute (MAI); he achieved this designation in June of 2013. In addition, Mr. Jaeger is an active member of the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) as well as a Development Coach for the United States Professional Tennis Association (USPTA).
Mark Lukens serves as Managing Director for LW Hospitality Advisors®, bringing more than 25 years of experience in a wide range of hospitality operational, development/acquisitions, valuation and advisory services. He provides services to corporate, institutional and individual clients on many facets of hospitality real estate including: expert testimony, site evaluation, highest and best use analysis, appraisals, property tax assessment appeal evaluations, and feasibility and market studies. Most recently, Mr. Lukens served as Senior Vice President with HREC.
Mr. Lukens previously held senior positions with Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels, Wyndham Worldwide, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, HVS International, and PKF Consulting.
Mr. Lukens earned a Bachelor of Arts at the Washington State University School of Hospitality Business Management, a Master of Business Administration at the University of San Diego, and an MAI (Member of the Appraisal Institute).
Lily Lesser is the Director of Operations for LW Hospitality Advisors®, where she is responsible for coordinating the firm’s daily activities. A graduate of Tel Aviv University and the Dina Academic School of Nursing, Ms. Lesser rose to the rank of Lieutenant in the Israel Defense Forces medical corps. Her broad professional experience includes development and managerial roles with several New York City medical and insurance practices. During 2009 Ms. Lesser was elected a Trustee and also serves as President of the Sisterhood of Temple Emanuel of Great Neck.
Selina Radlin serves as the Operations Manager/Executive Assistant for LW Hospitality Advisors. Prior to joining the firm, Selina served as an Executive Assistant for Deloitte where she gained experience working with a broad range of requests from various levels of staff.
Selina holds a Master’s degree from Mercy College with a concentration in International Business. She received her Bachelor of Administration degree in Finance from Temple University Fox School of Business.
Chris Calo brings 15 years of experience in an executive or administrative capacity within the hospitality industry. Chris has developed a strong comprehension of all routines necessary to the successful operation and growth of a full-scale hospitality business, with key leadership skills and team-building capabilities.
Mr. Calo attended College of St. John Fisher in Rochester, New York, where he studied Business. Shortly after graduating, Chris entered the hospitality industry and has held positions with a variety of non-branded and branded hotels from select service, life style, boutique, full service and luxury properties, located in prime tourism districts.
Most recently, Christopher held the position of General Manager, Crowne Plaza Danbury, where he administered a comprehensive renovation, which lead to the successful repositioning and conversion to the Crowne Plaza brand. As a result of Christopher’s efforts, the hotel is a recipient of the IHG Renovation of the Year Award for 2013. Christopher and his team quickly increased year over year revenues by 33%, and grew RGI by 50%, Resulting in a significant increase in Net Operating Profit.
Mr. Calo is a strong and driven hospitality professional with the ability to deliver results, and currently holds the position of Hospitality Operational Specialist for LWHA® Asset and Property Management Services.
Robert Van Laer currently serves as Senior Vice President for LW Hospitality Advisors®, based in New York City. In addition to being a native New Yorker, Mr. Van Laer holds significant hospitality operational experience accumulated in Belgium, Greece, and Switzerland with both independent and chain-affiliated hotels. His in-depth knowledge of the hospitality industry has served him well in performing market and feasibility analyses for not only the hotel and restaurant industry, but also the distilled beverage industry.
His most recent professional experience includes working in revenue management and hotel development for Empresas Bern in Panama City, Panama. Prior to this, Mr. Van Laer worked in the Marketing & Corporate Communications department of Natixis U.S. Corporate Investment Banking, where he supported brand development and compliancy of the company’s standards. He has collaborated with the UNWTO and South Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism to develop a sustainable tourism strategy for the Silk RoadInitiative.
Mr. Van Laer holds a Bachelor of Science in International Hospitality Management from EcoleHôtelière de Lausanne with a specialization in Finance (Corporate; Market; Real Estate). He serves on the New York chapter of AEHL.
Sooyon Park currently serves as Vice President for LW Hospitality Advisors®, based in New York City. She holds significant operational experience in various independent and branded hotels, including The James New York and Chicago, The Alex Hotel, Hotel Indigo – Chelsea, Hotel Roger Williams, and Millenium Hilton. Her most recent professional experience at Denihan Hospitality Group included introducing a recognized and growing brand to the New York hotel market. At The Alex Hotel, she helped renovate a new website in accordance with proven search engine optimization strategies, concentrating on social media and blogging. Her sales and marketing contributions at the Hotel Indigo – Chelsea and Hotel Roger Williams included analytical and strategic insights to the 2009 Annual Marketing Plan and creation of report and business proposal templates for a brand new property, respectively. She also created multiple templates for managers to improve their supervision techniques and raise quality assurance scores at Millenium Hilton.
Ms. Park holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Hotel and Tourism Management from New York University Preston Robert Tisch Center for Hospitality, Tourism and Sports Management. She currently serves as Chair of the NYU Student Chapter of Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International and was honored the HSMAI Foundation Scholarship, American Hotel & Lodging Association Scholarship, and Illinois Hotel & Lodging Association Scholarship in 2010 for her active participation in the industry.
Michelle LaRocca currently serves as Vice President for LW Hospitality Advisors®, based in New York City. Prior to joining, she spent three years at Deutsche Bank as an Associate in the Leveraged & Structured Finance group within Credit Risk Management. During her undergraduate career, she gained varied experience in the Hospitality industry through positions in Development, Revenue Management, Event Planning, and Restaurant Operations.
Ms. LaRocca obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Hotel & Tourism Management from the NYU Preston Robert Tisch Center for Hospitality, Sports, and Tourism. She was honored at graduation with the Bunny Grossinger Award for exhibiting outstanding leadership, and remains an active member of the Tisch Center Alumni Society.
Chris Remund currently serves as Vice President for LW Hospitality Advisors®, based in Austin, Texas. Prior to joining LWHA®, he had been with the HVS San Francisco office from May 2011 through November 2015. During his tenure at HVS, Chris executed over 150 consulting and valuation assignments throughout the United States and Mexico. His experience ranges across all property types - from large full-service resorts in destination areas to smaller limited-service hotels. Before HVS, Chris served as an Analyst with the T.R. ENGEL Group in Boston, which specializes in hotel asset management and advisory services.
Chris earned his B.S. degree in Hospitality Administration magna cum laude from Boston University. During his undergraduate career, he gained varied experience in the hospitality industry through positions in operations and sales & marketing at hotels and restaurants in Urbana, IL; Boston, MA; and London, UK.
Ivan Colmenares currently serves as a Vice President at LWHA®. Ivan served as a Food and Beverage Manager at the New York Palace Hotel, where he successfully increased service standards in different outlets and worked collaboratively with long-term union staff members to set and exceed both profit and service goals. After the renovation at the hotel, Ivan helped to develop standards for hospitality events in the premium suites, thus attracting celebrities and members of worldwide royal families and increasing revenue and prestige.
Prior to this, Ivan gained significant operational and financial experience working with Juan Valdez Coffee (JVC) in Bogota, Colombia and in New York City. In Colombia, Ivan conducted several market analyses and feasibility studies that helped in the rapid expansion of over 100 cafes in 6 countries during an 18-month period. In the US, where cafes were operating at a significant loss, he restructured the operations and realigned service standards, ultimately leading the cafes to break even. He also facilitated the planning and construction of two additional cafes in Miami, which initiated negotiations with a franchisee planning to open more cafes in 2015.
Ivan holds his Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering from Universidad de Los Andes in Bogota, Colombia and his Master’s degree in Hospitality Management with a concentration in Brand Strategy from New York University.
Michael Cline serves as a Vice President of LW Hospitality Advisors®. Prior to joining the firm, he gained operational experience in a variety of hotels and resorts including Anchorage by the Sea, The Statler Hotel, and the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort. While working at the front desk at Anchorage by the Sea in Ogunquit, Maine, Michael interacted with all departments gaining extensive knowledge of hotel operations. Most recently, Mr. Cline acquired experience in food and beverage operations while interning at the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort.
Mr. Cline holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Hotel Administration from the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration. While in attendance, Michael took several programming classes and gained insight into the VBA and SQL programming languages for Microsoft Office products.
Michelle O’Brien is a Senior Associate of LW Hospitality Advisors®. Previously, Michelle gained experience in hotel operations working for Hilton. Michelle also worked in food and beverage and as the Special Events Coordinator for the Virginia Beach Field House, one of the largest indoor sports facilities in the world.
Michelle earned a Master of Science in Hospitality and Tourism Management from Virginia Tech. She served as the National Treasurer of the National Society of Minorities in Hospitality (NSMH) and was awarded the Jane M. Klausman Women in Business Scholarship for women who demonstrate outstanding potential in their field. For her major project, Michelle focused on the impact of the Affordable Care Act on large applicable hospitality employers.
Danny Kim currently serves as an Associate for LW Hospitality Advisors®, based in New York City. Prior to joining, he spent 4 years at Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group as an Assistant Controller in the Finance and Accounting group with the Shake Shack brand. From an early developmental stage, Danny helped the brand grow worldwide and eventually took the company to public in 2015 (IPO valued at $2 billion). Other past experience include 4 years at Marriott International as a Regional Assistant Controller for the Eastern Regional Finance team, responsible for analyzing financial statements for Northeast Full-Service hotels.
Mr. Kim obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Hotel and Tourism Management from the New York University Preston Robert Tisch Center for Hospitality, Tourism, and Sports Management with a concentration in Lodging Development. While attending NYU, he served as Vice President for the student-run program Hospitality Business Society and also received a scholarship from American Hotel and Lodging Educational Foundation (AH&LEF).
Nicholas Esoff currently serves as an Associate of LW Hospitality Advisors®. Prior to joining, he gained varied experience in the Hospitality Industry through positions in Hotel Operations, Restaurant Operations, and Event Planning.
Mr. Esoff obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Management from the Alfred Lerner School of Business & Economics at the University of Delaware. His educational background also includes a certification from Cornell University in Hotel Real Estate Investments and Asset Management as well as a certification in Hotel Valuation from the University of British Columbia.
Dominic Finn currently serves as an Associate for LW Hospitality Advisors, based in New York City. He has extensive leadership experience in hotel operations, having worked for many of the country’s most prestigious properties, including The Breakers Palm Beach, The Carlyle, and Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek, in various Front Office and Housekeeping management roles.
Prior to joining LWHA, Mr. Finn spent 5 years at The New York Palace Hotel where he most recently served as Director of Operational Performance. In this position, Dominic led a hotel-wide initiative to increase operational efficiency and decrease labor costs, which resulted in significant productivity improvements and year-over-year labor savings in excess of $3 million. During his tenure at The Palace, Dominic was a 5-times nominee for Leader of the Quarter, having also successfully served as the Housekeeping Director and as a Front Office Manager.
Mr. Finn obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Hotel and Tourism Management from the New York University Preston Robert Tisch Center for Hotel, Tourism, and Sports Management with a concentration in Lodging Operations. While at NYU, he was an active member of the Hospitality Business Society and co-founded the Internship Fair and Shadow Day programs.
Matthew Baker is an Associate of LW Hospitality Advisors® in Atlanta, Georgia. Previously, Mr. Baker gained valuable food and beverage experience through internships at Roaring Gap Club in Roaring Gap, North Carolina and Augusta Country Club in Augusta, Georgia. Most recently, Mr. Baker served as a Revenue Management Analyst Intern, working remotely for HotelAVE.
Mr. Baker obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management from the Pamplin College of Business at Virginia Tech.
Elizabeth Perricone currently serves as an Associate for LW Hospitality Advisors. Ms. Perricone gained valuable food and beverage experience through managing the student-run restaurant at the University of Delaware as well as interning with Sleepy Hollow Country Club in Scarborough, New York. Most recently, Ms. Perricone served as a Hotel Appraisal Intern with LW Hospitality Advisors in the New York office.
Ms. Perricone obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Management from the Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics at the University of Delaware. Her educational background also includes a certification from Cornell University in Hotel Real Estate Investments and Asset Management.
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The Rohling Company Hotel Advisors LLC“Over the last 20 + years Dan and his teams have produced independent credible valuation services, always distinguished by uncanny insight into the relationship between statistics and industry momentum.” Read more >
“Over the last 20 + years Dan and his teams have produced independent credible valuation services, always distinguished by uncanny insight into the relationship between statistics and industry momentum.”Ed Rohling - CEO/Founder
The Rohling Company Hotel Advisors LLC
Makopastreet Partners, LLC“Dan Lesser doesn’t mince words, and he doesn’t try to be your friend just to make you feel good. I have hired him on countless occasions because I know he digs deep for credible answers, feeds them straight, and tries to get you to be honest with yourself. Dan is a teacher, an initiator, and a coach all rolled into one.” Read more >
“Dan Lesser doesn’t mince words, and he doesn’t try to be your friend just to make you feel good. I have hired him on countless occasions because I know he digs deep for credible answers, feeds them straight, and tries to get you to be honest with yourself. Dan is a teacher, an initiator, and a coach all rolled into one.”Andrew Stein - President and CEO
Makopastreet Partners, LLC
Leader, Bulso & Nolan, PLC“Dan, I have attached the arbitration award which we received yesterday afternoon. Insofar as your head-to-head against Opposing Expert is concerned, the score is now Lesser 1, Opposing Expert 0. Of the $4,127,000 in damages to which Opposing Expert testified, the arbitration panel awarded the following amount: $0. This is the legal equivalent of a first round knockout by Lesser of Opposing Expert. A left hook followed by a devastating right uppercut, and on the canvas he went. Way to go Champ! This one has to go on your resume.” Read more >
“Dan, I have attached the arbitration award which we received yesterday afternoon. Insofar as your head-to-head against Opposing Expert is concerned, the score is now Lesser 1, Opposing Expert 0. Of the $4,127,000 in damages to which Opposing Expert testified, the arbitration panel awarded the following amount: $0. This is the legal equivalent of a first round knockout by Lesser of Opposing Expert. A left hook followed by a devastating right uppercut, and on the canvas he went. Way to go Champ! This one has to go on your resume.”Gino Bulso, Esq. - Partner
Leader, Bulso & Nolan, PLC
Myriad Restaurant Group“I have always been impressed with Dan Lesser’s knowledge and expertise which I have relied upon many times. For many years Dan was a featured speaker at our annual two day event "How to Open a Restaurant -- and Make it Last". His blunt discussion on how a restaurant’s success has little to do with food, and much to do about real estate, was thought provoking and a crowd pleaser." Read more >
“I have always been impressed with Dan Lesser’s knowledge and expertise which I have relied upon many times. For many years Dan was a featured speaker at our annual two day event "How to Open a Restaurant -- and Make it Last". His blunt discussion on how a restaurant’s success has little to do with food, and much to do about real estate, was thought provoking and a crowd pleaser."Drew Nieporent - Founder
Myriad Restaurant Group