AWH Partners, LLC Hires Chris Russell to Lead Spire Hospitality

AWH Partners, LLC, a privately held real estate investment, development, and management firm, is pleased to announce the hiring of Chris Russell as chief executive officer of its hospitality management division, Spire Hospitality. Leveraging his experience driving performance and generating tremendous growth for top hotel management companies, Russell further positions AWH as a preferred partner for institutional investors in the hospitality business. As COO of Archon Hospitality (a Goldman Sachs company) and subsequently as CEO of Pillar Hotels and Resorts (the result of Archon’s spin off), Russell built a world-class operating platform and managed assets for the largest existing private equity firms and REITs. He is widely recognized as an industry expert in property management and value creation. With Russell as CEO of Spire, AWH will continue to grow its successful hospitality investment platform and expand its capabilities as a provider of hospitality services to institutional capital.

“Highly-accomplished and well known within the industry, Russell is an exceptional candidate poised to take our management division to the next level,” says Russ Flicker, co-founder and managing partner of AWH Partners. “His impressive experience in strategic planning and execution while maximizing asset value make him the perfect fit to raise the bar for Spire Hospitality as we build on our reputation as an industry leader.”

Russell assumes the role as CEO while Bill DeForrest transitions to the role of vice chairman of Spire Hospitality. During his more than two-decade tenure with Spire, DeForrest grew the management firm significantly, overseeing the development and management of more than 20 AWH-acquired properties, and successfully executing numerous multi-million dollar renovations while maximizing value for owners and investors. Under DeForrest’s leadership, Spire Hospitality has established itself as one of the nation’s leading and most respected hotel management companies.

In his previous role with Pillar Hotels and Resorts, Russell guided the company’s transformation from owner/operator and captive management platform to a standalone, third-party manager of hotels. His leadership and strategic direction built the organization into one of the largest independent hotel managers. Russell was recruited to launch Archon Hospitality, a Goldman Sachs company, with a focus on maximizing asset value and hotel performance. While in his role at Archon (and subsequently Pillar), Russell defined the strategic direction, vision and development plan for the platform, leading the company through a period of extreme growth through the development and recruitment of industry-leading talent, and the implementation of highly scalable technology.

Owned by AWH Partners, Spire Hospitality is based in Chicago, Ill., and is a third-party operator of 6,338 room keys and nearly 400,000 square feet of meeting space in hotels including unique independents and across celebrated brand families such as Hilton Hotels & Resorts and Marriott International. Spire Hospitality offers expertise in all facets of hospitality management and is committed to preserving, protecting and enhancing the value of hotel real estate. For more information, visit www.spirehotels.com.

AWH Partners, LLC AWH Partners, LLC (“AWH”) is a privately held real estate investment firm formed by alumni of The Blackstone Group and The Related Companies. Since 2010, AWH and its principals, Russ Flicker, Jon Rosenfeld and Chad Cooley, have amassed a portfolio in excess of $1.2 billion. AWH owns Spire Hospitality, a top-tier national hospitality platform formed in 1980, as well as AWH Development, a full-service real estate development company, which collectively provide AWH with complete vertical integration in the hospitality investment space. For more information, visit www.awhpartners.com.