Rosewood Hotels & Resorts has brought together a highly experienced team of talented hospitality professionals to lead its development.
Hong Kong Team
Chief Executive Officer
Sonia Cheng leads a team of seasoned industry professionals managing Rosewood Hotels & Resorts and is responsible for overseeing the group’s expansion regionally and internationally. She is also executive director of New World Development Company Limited and New World China Land.
Before joining Rosewood Hotels & Resorts, Ms. Cheng worked with a major international investment bank and a global American private equity firm, specialising in real estate investments. She is a member of the Advisory Committee on Hotel and Tourism Management at The Chinese University of Hong Kong, the Y. Elites Association, the Young Presidents’ Organisation, the Hong Kong United Youth Association and the Eleventh Guizhou Municipal Committee of The Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference.
Chief Operating Officer
Symon Bridle joined Rosewood Hotels & Resorts after 18 years with Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts where he held senior corporate management positions in development and operations divisions, including COO. He also held several general manager posts at leading Shangri-La hotels. Mr. Bridle previously worked with Southern Sun Hotels and Westin Hotels in South Africa and in luxury hotels in Switzerland and Bermuda. He began his hotel industry career in 1980.
Senior Vice President - Technical Services
John Shamon leads the project development and engineering team in operation planning, design management and engineering development of all hotel renovations and future projects. He has more than 34 years experience in technical services, including a post as group director of technical services for Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, where he supervised the planning, interior design, project management and engineering functions for all new and existing Mandarin Oriental hotels worldwide. Mr. Shamon was also 20 years at Hyatt, including a position as vice president, technical services for the Asia-Pacific region.
Vice President - Engineering
Eddie Lam has more than 20 years experience in hotel engineering operation and technical services. He was previously vice president of technical services, Asia Pacific for Le Meridien Hotels and Resorts. He has worked on many new-build hotel projects in Hong Kong, China and Southeast Asia as a technical services consultant and successfully completed more than 20 reputable hotel projects including Le Meridien Cyberport, Hong Kong and Le Royal Meridien Shanghai.
Vice President - Finance
Francis Ling has more than 25 years’ experience in accounting and financial management, with a focus in international luxury hotel groups. Mr. Ling’s most recent position was vice president of finance for Marco Polo Hotels Management Ltd. Previously, Mr. Ling held various executive positions at Hyatt Group, culminating as director of corporate finance for Hyatt International - Asia Pacific, Ltd.
Ooi Lay Peng
Vice President - Human Resources Development
Ooi Lay Peng has extensive experience creating human resource structures for new businesses. Prior to joining Rosewood Hotels & Resorts, she headed human resources operations for MGM Grand Paradise Limited in Macau. At Intel, Ms. Ooi was responsible for a division covering 20,000 employees in Costa Rica, Philippines, Malaysia and Shanghai and helped build One China HR that supported all Intel businesses in China. She also spent 10 years with Hyatt International, culminating as director of human resources – North Asia.
Vice President - Development, Asia Pacific
James Simmonds is responsible for sourcing management and joint venture opportunities in the Asia-Pacific region. Prior to joining Rosewood Hotels & Resorts, Mr. Simmonds worked in the U.A.E. for Mubadala Development Company and IFA Hotels & Resorts, and in London for Deloitte and Ernst & Young. He has a range of experience across hotel consulting, asset management, development and investment and has represented hotel owners with operating partners including Fairmont Raffles, Four Seasons, Kempinski, MGM Mirage, Mövenpick, Rosewood, Sun International and Viceroy.
Vice President - Food & Beverage
Ivan Suardi has more than 22 years’ experience in the food and beverage industry, conceptualising new restaurants and supporting the technical and culinary aspects of luxury hotel food and beverage projects. Before joining Rosewood Hotels & Resorts, Mr. Suardi was the director of food and beverage projects in Asia Pacific for Hyatt International. He was with Hyatt Hotels for more than 16 years in Hong Kong, Taipei, Manila, Almaty, Jakarta and Dubai.
Radha Arora brings 30 years’ luxury hospitality leadership experience to his role, including serving in top positions at some of the world’s finest and most celebrated luxury hotels. Mr. Arora joined the company from Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, where he was a 16-year veteran. His most recent position was regional vice president and general manager of the Beverly Wilshire, as well as presiding over Four Seasons properties in the western United States and South Pacific.
Senior Vice President of Legal and General Counsel
Susan Aldridge is responsible for all of the legal affairs of the company. Prior to joining Rosewood Hotels & Resorts she was international counsel with Exxon Mobil responsible for major transactions. Before attending law school Ms. Aldridge was tax manager for PricewaterhouseCoopers and director of taxation for The Rosewood Corporation.
Senior Vice President of Architecture & Design
George Fong has three decades’ international experience in the luxury hotel sector. Previously he was vice president of technical services and project management for Starwood's St. Regis and Luxury Collection brands for six years. Mr. Fong also held the position of vice president of design and construction and a partner with Foresthills Hotels & Resorts and from 1985 to 1998 he held various positions with Rosewood Hotels & Resorts.
Vice President of Development/Europe, Middle East & Africa
Paul Arnold is responsible for leading expansion initiatives across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Mr. Arnold worked globally with Ernst & Young for 12 years, five of which were spent in the United States before relocating to Dubai where he helped establish, and later led, the firm's real estate, hospitality and leisure advisory services practice across the Middle East and North Africa. He began his career in the hospitality industry in operational roles at several hotels in the United States.
Vice President of Operations Development
As vice president of operations development, Elias Assaly provides operational support and direction for acquisitions and projects in the pipeline. A Rosewood veteran, he served as managing director of Rosewood Crescent Hotel in Dallas from 2000 to 2004 before leaving to open the St. Regis Hotel in San Francisco. Prior to Rosewood Hotels & Resorts, Mr. Assaly opened the W San Francisco for Starwood Hotels & Resorts and he worked for several luxury hotel companies including Hyatt and The Ritz-Carlton.
Vice President of Sales & Marketing
As vice president of sales & marketing, Dianna Balabon brings more than 24 years experience in luxury hotel sales and oversees all sales and marketing initiatives within the company, including management and supervision of Rosewood’s six regional sales offices and the properties’ sales and marketing directors. Prior to joining Rosewood, she held vice president positions with Andre Balazs Properties, The Trump Collection and The Peninsula Hotel Group. Ms. Balabon holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Iowa.
Vice President of Development/The Americas
Erin Green brings strong experience in both finance and development to his position. He most recently served as senior director of development with Hilton Worldwide, overseeing the growth of the Waldorf Astoria and Conrad brands across Europe and Africa. Mr. Green's prior experience includes development roles with Starwood Hotels & Resorts, with specific responsibility for W Hotels in North America, Europe, Africa and the Middle East, as well as financial and strategic planning positions with American Express, Micromuse, Inc., The Walt Disney Co. and Bain & Company.
Vice President of Human Resources
As vice president of human resources at Rosewood Hotels & Resorts, Sheri Line is responsible for aligning the human resources function as a strategic partner providing direction for operational needs. Ms. Line brings to her role a wealth of experience in corporate, regional and international human resources. Prior to joining Rosewood Hotels & Resorts in 2003, she served as director of human resources for Harrah's Entertainment, Inc., and she spent 13 years with Wyndham International in various positions including vice president of human resources operations.
Vice President of Finance
Stephen Miano was previously regional controller at Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek®. Before joining Rosewood, he spent 11 years with Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts as a property financial controller and as corporate director of finance in Hong Kong. His 20 years experience in operations finance at properties in North America, Mexico, the Caribbean and Asia bring a diverse international perspective to the organization. Mr. Miano is a licensed certified public accountant in Texas.