Salamander Hotels & Resorts, a luxury hotel company founded by Sheila Johnson, appointed John Speers as its new VP of operations.
Before joining Salamander, Speers was SVP at Capital Properties, where he oversaw a collection of luxury properties including the Chatham Bars Inn in Chatham, Mass., and the Inn at Perry Cabin in St. Michael’s, Md. Speers previously served as GM of Faena Hotels in Miami Beach, and as managing director of The Little Nell Hotel, Residences at Little Nell and The Aspen Mountain Club – all in Aspen, Colo. Both the Faena and the Little Nell hotels achieved Forbes Five Star ratings during his tenure.
“John has an exceptional background in operating highly successful luxury hotels and specialty restaurants,” Salamander president Prem Devadas said in a statement. “He possesses superb organizational and creative skills which complement Salamander’s talented team, and his experience will allow us to consistently deliver results for our partners as we continue to grow.”
In his new executive role, Speers is responsible for leading operational excellence for the hotels and resorts within the company’s portfolio in Florida, Louisiana and Virginia, for maintaining Salamander’s service quality and ensuring the company’s goals are achieved through increased profitability.
“Salamander is considered one of the hospitality industry’s most exciting companies and it’s a pleasure to be part of this vibrant culture,” Speers said in a statement. “While the portfolio features luxurious properties, even more importantly, the company possesses wonderfully-talented managers and service professionals. I look forward to working with the teams and building upon the foundation to further expand our luxury portfolio.”
Speers is a veteran of both Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts and The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company. He served as resort manager of the Four Seasons Resort & Residences in Jackson Hole,Wyo., leading a campaign to gain the resort its first Forbes Five Star Award, and as director of food and beverage of the Forbes Five Star Four Seasons Hotel Chicago. At The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Palm Beach, Fla., he was part of the executive team that led the property to first become recognized as a Five Star hotel.
Throughout the 1990s, Speers built an career on both coasts, holding senior management roles with Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group in New York City, One Market in San Francisco and Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants in San Francisco.
Speers studied hotel, restaurant and tourism at Golden Gate University, and also holds professional certificates from Cornell University. He will be relocating to Middleburg, Va., with his wife Ellen, daughter Kalyn and son Brennan.