Meet the Team
Just like with your team, our team members, their professionalism and extensive expertise and experience, make all the difference. Our executives take pride in being members of and participating in many hospitality industry associations and organizations.
Tom Baker brings more than 25 years of hotel asset management, sales and operations experience to the Access Hotels and Resorts hotel management team.
Prior to forming Access, Mr. Baker joined The Melrose Hotel Company in 2001 and served in varies leadership roles including Vice President of Marketing, General Manager for both the Westin Great Southern Hotel and the Melrose Hotel in Dallas. During his tenure at the Westin, he successfully raised revenues and quality standards through his active “hands on” leadership of the operation. The guest satisfaction index of the hotel increased considerably (Top 10% of Westin Brand Standard) contributing to enhanced profitability and employee moral. During his tenure at the Melrose Dallas, both the hotel and Landmark Restaurant were awarded the AAA Four Diamond award. Tom also served as the Vice President of Marketing for the Melrose Hotel company and utilized his expertise to build corporate brand awareness, drive revenues through pro-active revenue management, ecommerce, direct mail, social media and print media strategies.
Tom’s 25 year career focus has been in sales and marketing and hotel operations. Tom has held various positions throughout the industry including Resident Manager for the Four Star/Four Diamond Enchantment Resort and Spa in Sedona, AZ, Director of Sales for the World Renowned 680 room historic Hotel Del Coronado in San Diego, CA and Director of Sales and Marketing for the Washington Court Hotel on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. Mr. Baker holds a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from Chapman University.
Barry Caplan brings more than 25 years of hotel asset management, sales and operations experience to the Access Hotels and Resorts hotel management team.
Prior to co-founding Access Hotels and Resorts, Mr. Caplan held the position of Senior Vice President of Sales for the Melrose Hotel Company. During this time, he was responsible for overseeing top-line revenue generation and sales force management.
In 2001, Mr. Caplan joined The Melrose Hotel Company as the General Manager for the Westin Great Southern Hotel in Columbus, OH and maintained the property’s AAA Four Diamond Rating. Prior to joining The Melrose Hotel Company, Mr. Caplan served as the director of operations of the midwest region for several Doubletree Hotels. During this time, he oversaw the $12.5 million conversion of the Royce Hotel to the Doubletree in Detroit and was responsible for overseeing management of the Doubletree, Dayton, and the Doubletree, St. Louis.
In the mid 1980′s, Mr. Caplan joined the Hilton Hotel Corporation as Director of National Sales and in 1993, was awarded Hilton’s National Sales Person of the Year award. From 1993-1998, Mr. Caplan was the Director of Operations and Resident Manager at the luxurious Washington Court Hotel in Washington, DC.
Mr. Caplan holds a Bachelor of Arts from Michigan State University.
Mark is one of three co-founders of Access Hotels and Resorts and specializes in hotel asset management, operations, accounting and renovations for the hotel management team.
For the past six years, Mark has been a principal with The Melrose Hotel Corporation and the Senior Vice President of Operations for the company. He was responsible for defining the brand, acquisitions, repositioning and re-branding of new hotels, all capital improvements, all accounting functions, technology, daily operations and strategic planning.
Mark Lahood began his career in 1982 with Marriott, where he held various positions in accounting. In 1985, Mr. Lahood joined a New England-based hotel company where, over the course of 10 years, he held various management positions.
In 1995, Mr. Lahood joined the Great Southern Hotel in Columbus, OH as general manager. After a $9 million renovation, the hotel was converted to a Westin franchise and achieved an AAA Four Diamond rating. The hotel was then awarded the 1997 Westin Leadership award for quality and the Elite Hotel award for outstanding meetings and conventions. In the spring of 1999, Mr. Lahood was appointed General Manager of The Melrose Hotel, Dallas, where he oversaw a multi-million dollar renovation before moving to corporate headquarters of The Melrose Hotel Company in Philadelphia.
Mr. Lahood holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the School of Hospitality at Boston University.
Vice President of Finance
Cathy Brand brings over 23 years of accounting experience to Access Hotels and Resorts. Ms. Brand is responsible for all aspects of the accounting and finance functions for Access Hotels and Resorts hotel management team.
Cathy joined Access Hotels and Resorts from GF Management where she was the Corporate Controller responsible for overseeing the financial activities for thirty-five hotels. Prior to joining GF Management, Cathy was the Corporate Director of Accounting and Financial Reporting for The Melrose Hotel Corporation where she created an implemented internal audit guidelines and procedures. Cathy spent ten years with Starwood Hotels & Resorts working at both Westins and Sheratons. She was involved with four hotel openings and spent eight years in various hotel controller positions. She was involved in numerous special projects and was a member of the task force committee for newly acquired hotels. Prior to her hotel career, Cathy spent 5 years in public accounting where she performed financial and internal control audits. She is a Connecticut native who graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting and business economics from Oneonta State University.
Executive Vice President
Gunther joined Access Hotels and Resorts with more than 25 years experience in the hotel industry. He came to the U.S.A from Austria in the 1980′s and has worked for the Boston- based Flatley Company as General Manager and Vice President of Operations overseeing 15 full-service hotels.
Other positions he has held include V.P. of Operations for Interstate Hotels and Resorts, overseeing 50 limited service brands for the Western region of the United States and the Managing Director for the 700-room Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles where, for four consecutive years, he hosted the “Grammy Award” shows after parties. He then became Regional Director for the Noble investment group overseeing their Westin and Hyatt brands on the west coast. His experience also includes golf and spa operations, celebrity chef restaurants, nightclub subcontracting and he successfully repositioned the Sofitel Luxury Hotel Brand in Beverly Hills.