Ash Patel is currently the president and CEO of Southwest Hospitality Management, a company with hotel assets in California, Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona. Ash has over 30 years of hotel experience and has managed, acquired, renovated, and repositioned many assets with diversification from budget-friendly assets to upper-scale assets. Ash has a wide array of brand experience including Hilton, Marriott, IHG, LaQuinta, Choice Hotels, Wyndham Worldwide, and Best Western.
Ash was elected as a member of the Board of Directors for the Asian-American Hotel Owners Association in 2003 and served as Chairman of the Board 2008 and 2009. He also represented the association as an Officer from 2005-2010. Ash was pivotal in instituting AAHOA’s lobbying efforts in Washington, DC, and, during his leadership, he incorporated the AAHOA Political Action Committee Fund.
Ash also was elected in 2003 to represent over 2,000 Days Inn of America franchisees and served on their Advisory Committee. Ash also has ventures in the restaurant, banking, and insurance industries. Ash currently serves on the Advisory Council for Transparency, Technology, and Diversity for the Arizona Secretary of State. In his spare time, Ash volunteers wherever he can to aid the hospitality and tourism industry or to help those in need. He also enjoys a Grand Prix Motorcycle race, exploring the sights, or taking in a round of golf with friends.
Ajit Patel joined the Southwest Hospitality leadership team as Chief Financial Officer in 2003. In this capacity, he manages all areas of the corporate accounting department, acts as a liaison between hotel investors and the management company, provides strategic planning for operational budgets, and protects the assets of Southwest Hospitality. Ajit has a strong background in ownership, acquisition, remodeling, and operational leadership. He started his career as an accountant in California and then went on to oversee a chain of sports stores in major malls throughout California. His first hotel acquisition was a 39-room complex in Visalia, California, which he completely remodeled and turned into a Days Inn. Over time, he added multiple hotels to his repertoire and was the catalyst in development of Southwest Hospitality’s first hotel in Flagstaff, AZ. Ajit resides in Fresno, California, and enjoys spending time with his two children and wife and playing sand volleyball.
This lifelong learner has recently completed construction of our beautiful new Hampton Inn & Suites, Fairfield Inn & Suites in Flagstaff, AZ, and Fresno, CA, and has a track record of success in operational leadership, procurement, asset management, renovation, and construction. VC has personally overseen renovation of over 1,500 guest rooms in accordance with brand standards. He has held the roles of General Manager and Director of Operations and has experience in overseeing multiple brands and hotel markets.
VC Naik has been paramount in shaping SWHM to where it is today. VC is passionate about helping people grow into their best self and is an active supporter of various charitable organizations and efforts. In his spare time, you may find him taking in a Formula 1 race, traveling anywhere he can, or staying up to date on news and current events.
Linda Saron, Director of Operations, joined the Southwest Hospitality team in 2017. Linda has a strong passion for leadership development, customer service, and sales, and she strives to help every hotel team achieve its maximum potential. Linda is a trained General Manager in the Hilton and Marriott family of brands and her work experience prior to this role is in both the General Manager and Regional Manager capacity in both the hospitality and restaurant industry.
During Linda’s time working within the Hilton family of brands, she was a Connie Award Winner, General Manager of the Year, and she received several Lighthouse and Circle of Excellence Awards. Linda was also recognized as an MVP for the Homewood Suites brand and was named to the list of Hotel Management Magazine’s Top GMs to Watch. Linda is a current holder of her Certified Hospitality Administrator certification through American Hotel and Lodging Association and holds a Bachelor of Science in Business from Iowa State University.
Anil Patel joined Southwest Hospitality Management in April 2008 as Corporate Controller. He has over 20 years of experience in the hospitality industry and a proven track record in hospitality operations, renovations, and new construction. In his current position, Anil oversees the corporate accounting team and all internal financial processes, prepares and finalizes all financial statements, and implements policies and procedures to ensure maximum internal controls to mitigate risk. Anil has a great sense of humor and is commonly known as the “class clown” of SWHM. In his spare time you might find Anil completing a home DIY project, watching football, traveling, or enjoying time with his family and new grandchild.
Carmen Reyes joined Southwest Hospitality Management in September of 2010 as Human Resource Director. She has over 30 years of experience in the hospitality industry, with over 20 years of that experience in Human Resource Management, Training, and Employee Benefit Programs. Prior to joining Southwest Hospitality Management, Carmen served as a Task Force HR Manager for Prism Hotels and has also served as the HR Director for Hilton, Embassy Suites, Doubletree Hotels, Radisson Hotels, Crown Plaza, and Legacy Golf Resort in Arizona. Carmen is passionate about employee development and relations, creating effective training programs, and monitoring performance and policies. She has a wealth of experience in payroll and hotel operations.
Carmen started her career in the hotel industry at the Biltmore Hotel in California in Food & Beverage, Accounting, and HR. Her leadership experience and organizational skills in employee relations enhances Southwest Hospitality Management's objective to retain the best employees in the industry.
Jessica Sellers, Corporate Director of Sales & Marketing, joined the Southwest Hospitality team in early 2017. Jessica is a high-energy leader with a motivating "can do it attitude." With over 16 years of experience, she served 12 of those years as a certified General Manager for a full-service IHG product. Jessica has a strong focus on Business Analysis, Sales & Marketing, Strategic Planning, Restaurant Management, and Revenue Management within Hilton, Marriott, IHG, and Wyndham hotel brands. During Jessica’s spare time she enjoys playing the piano, guitar, and singing, and is always looking forward to spending time with her family.
Ira Blackshear joined the Southwest Hospitality leadership team in 2017. Ira is passionate about guest service and has a strong desire to ensure quality training and development of associates in all levels of operation. Ira implements unique ideas and consistency to drive performance at the property level. In his role, Ira has a strong understanding of each brand’s standards to ensure all SWHM properties are delivering maximum output and living the culture of each individual brand.
Ira has a strong background in Front Office Management for full-service IHG brands. During Ira’s time working within the IHG family, he was awarded the Manager of the Year award and received high praise from IHG brand for driving superior service within the top percentile of the brand.