Morgans Hotel Group appointed real estate investor Howard M. Lorber, and hotel industry executive Kenneth E. Cruse, to the Company's board of directors, effective immediately, to fill the two vacancies on the board. With the addition of Lorber and Cruse, Morgans Hotel Group's Board will have nine directors, seven of whom are independent.
"We welcome Howard and Ken to Morgans Hotel Group's Board and look forward to leveraging their respective experience in real estate investing and the lodging industry," said Jason T. Kalisman, interim CEO. "We are pleased to have the benefit of their insights and contributions as we continue to take meaningful steps to enhance stockholder value."
Howard M. Lorber is president and CEO and member of the board of Vector Group, and chairman of Douglas Elliman Realty, a majority-owned subsidiary of Vector Group, which operates the largest residential brokerage company in the New York City metropolitan area and the fourth-largest in the United States. Lorber has been with Vector Group and its diversified interests since 1994. Lorber is also chairman of the board of directors of Nathan's Famous, a chain of fast food restaurants, a director of United Capital Corp., a real estate investment and diversified manufacturing company, and vice chairman of the board of Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services. Lorber holds a Bachelor of Arts degree, a Master of Science degree in Taxation and an Honorary Doctorate from Long Island University, where he is also a trustee.
Kenneth E. Cruse served as the CEO of Sunstone Hotel Investors from August 2011 to January 2015, and as its president from Dec. 17, 2010 to Feb. 15, 2013. Cruse has over 20 years of experience in hotel investment, operations and finance. He joined Sunstone in April 2005 as SVP of asset management and corporate transactions. In September 2006, he was named SVP of corporate finance and in January 2007, Cruse was named CFO. For the eight years prior to joining Sunstone, Cruse worked in a variety of roles for Host Marriott Corporation, the predecessor of Host Hotels and Resorts, most recently as VP of corporate finance. He is actively involved in various industry and professional organizations. He served as the director of Sunstone Hotel Investors. from August 2011 to January 2015. He is a member of The Real Estate Roundtable and previously served on the CEO council for the American Hotel & Lodging Association. He is also a member of the Southern California Chapter of Young President Organization and the Dean's Advisory Council for Colorado State University Warner College of Natural Resources. Cruse earned an MBA degree with distinction from Georgetown University and a BS in Tourism Management and Commercial Recreation from the Colorado State University.