Our Purpose

  • Educate our members on issues and trends that impact the hospitality industry in Lee County.

  • Monitor and support those hospitality marketing organizations that represent Lee County.

  • Act as the voice of the hospitality industry of the Greater Lee County Area for the purpose of communicating issues that affect our industry.

Not Just For Hotels

Thank you for checking-in.  The LCHA isn’t just for hoteliers. We also serve the people and the many small businesses that supply, promote and sell to the hotel industry. Our members come from a range of professions, including tourism, transportation, area attractions, public utilities, food and beverage suppliers, marketers, P/R agencies, and tour operators.  We work with the city and county regarding events and tourism interests to represent the voice of our industry. While many residents and politicians see our lodging facilities as an amenity for our guests or as a place to hold a meeting or event – the reality is that lodging is one of the sustaining factors in our tourism industry.  We welcome you to learn more about us and join us at one of our monthly luncheons.

The Lee County Hospitality Industry supports over 53,000 jobs. In 2012-13 Lee County lodging generated over $572,000 million in room revenue and contributed $34 million in Gross Receipts/Sales Tax and over $29 million local bed tax dollars. In 2012-13 Lee County welcomed 4.8 million visitors to paid accommodations. These stays created $3.0 billion of direct and indirect expenditures.

Board Members

Welcome, we are your Officers and Board of Directors.  We serve you our member by rooting out the issues and coming to a consensus for all the important challenges that face our community and your association.  It is a privilege to serve you all in our following capacities.

Board Executives

  • President

    Owner & General Manager

    Jeff Webb

    (239) 931-5300 Read Their Bio >

    Jeff Webb, LCHA President

    Owner & General Manager

    Hampton Inn & Suites Colonial

    jb.webb@hilton.com

    Jeff Webb is the Owner and GM of the Hampton Inn & Suites Fort Myers Colonial Blvd.  A native of Birmingham, Michigan, he earned a BBA degree from Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas. He began his hotel career in 1987 in Dallas Texas with Courtyard by Marriott as Housekeeping Manager and then Restaurant Manager. In 1989 he became the AGM at the Hampton Inn Key West and within a year became GM, a job he held for 8 years.  He spent 16 years in Key West and held positions as GM of Ocean Key Resort, VP & COO for Tripp Restaurant Group (Half Shell Raw Bar, Turtle Kraals Restaurant, Alonzo’s Oyster Bar, A& B Lobster House all in Key West and the Sacajawea Hotel in Three Forks Montana), and Managing Director of the Radisson Hotel and Comfort Inn. While in Key West he served that community as Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce, Chairman of the Florida Keys Lodging Association, Chairman of the Keys Federal Credit Union, Chairman of Key West’s Advertising Committee of the Tourist Development Council, and host of “The Jeff Webb Show” on 104.1 US1 Radio.  He met and married his wife Staci in Key West and in 2005 both moved to Fort Myers to build, develop, own, and operate the Hampton Inn & Suites a 4 time Hilton Lighthouse Award Winner, and a Trip Advisor 2012 Travelers Choice Award Winner for Best of Service in the United States. He is currently Vice President of the Lee County Sports Organizing Committee.

  • Secretary

    General Manager

    Debbie Clark

    (239) -210-7300 Read Their Bio >

    Debbie Clark, LCHA Secretary

    General Manager

    Homewood Suites Fort Myers Airport-FGCU

    dclark@cooperhotels.com

    Debbie has been in the hotel industry for over 27 years starting her hospitality career as a housekeeper at a Best Western in Warren Michigan. She moved to Ft. Myers and was on the award winning new opening team at the Holiday Inn Bell Tower, owned and operated by Cooper Hotels Group. Debbie helped open the Holiday Inn Historic District, has been a Front desk Manager, Room Division Manager and Revenue Manager. Debbie later joined DOC Hospitality as General Manager of the Quality Hotel in which was renovated and converted to the Holiday Inn Downtown River District in 2006. This Holiday Inn was awarded “Renovation of the Year” by the Intercontinental Hotel Group. Debbie was also instrumental in pre-opening of the Hotel Indigo River District in the position of General Manager. Presently, Debbie is the General Manager of the Homewood Suites by Hilton Ft. Myers Airport/FGCU, Cooper Hotels Group. During her career she has received the Holiday Inn Torchbearer Award, the Quality Excellence Award and the Connie Pride Award of Merit for Homewood Suites top 10% of the brand for 2 consecutive years; 2010 and 2011

  • Treasurer

    Doug Babcock

    Read Their Bio >

    Doug Babcock, LCHA Treasurer

    dbabcock@tween-waters.com

    Doug has a BS degree in Finance and Economics from Syracuse University and a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from New York University’s Stern School of Business in both Finance and Economics. He worked on Wall Street for some of the nation’s largest investment banks like Morgan Stanley as an Institutional Bond Trader in New York City for 12 years. Armed with a strong background and experience in finance and business Doug turned his attention towards the hospitality industry 4 years ago when he accepted a position as Chief Operating Officer with Rochester Resorts Inc. which owns and operates Tween waters Inn Island Resort and Spa, Beachview Cottages, and Castaways of Sanibel. Doug has served as a board member on the Sanibel/Captiva Camber of Commerce for the past 3 years and on the Sanibel School Advisory Council for the past year.

    Doug lives on Sanibel with his wife, daughter May (12) and son Rhys (9) and enjoys golf and tennis.

  • Vice President

    General Manager

    Brian Kramer

    239.390.4210 Read Their Bio >

    Brian Kramer, LCHA Vice President

    General Manager

    Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort & Spa

    brian.kramer@hyatt.com

    Brian started his career with Hyatt Hotels and Resorts in 1989 as guest folio runner at the Grand Hyatt New York in New York City.  His 26 year Hyatt career progressed providing him the opportunity to hold management positions in Hyatt Hotels in Boston, Connecticut, New York City, Washington DC and on the Eastern Shore of Maryland before returned to the Grand Hyatt New York as the Hotel Manager where he was responsible for the day to day operations of the 1400 room NYC hotel on top of Grand Central Station. He later moved to Long Island to take over the leadership of the Hyatt Regency Long Island.  Most recently Brian was the opening General Manager of the Hyatt Regency Clearwater Beach Resort & Spa where he spent the last 5 years before accepting his current post as GM of the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort & Spa.  Brian is married with 3 children and his passion lies in his family and coaching youth baseball.

     

Board Members

  • General Manager

    Jim Larkin

    (239) 210-2460 Read Their Bio >

    Jim Larkin

    General Manager

    Crowne Plaza Hotel Bell Tower Shops

    president@leecountyhotelassociation.com

    Jim Larkin has been in the hospitality industry for 30 years. He started his career as a dishwasher in a Farrel’s ice cream parlor in High School, then to the University of Houston. His hotel career has taken him across the country and back again, working in locations from Kennebunkport Maine, Albuquerque NM, Durango CO, and Monterey CA. He served on the board of Albuquerque Innkeepers Association, Board President of the Albuquerque Convention and Visitors Bureau and on the Board of the Monterey Lodgers Association. He currently serves as General Manager for the Crowne Plaza Fort Myers (11years) which is owned and operated by Cooper Hotel Co. Jim currently serves on the board of the Boys and Girls Club of Lee County, a board member of the Lee County Sports Organization Committee, and is a member of the Rotary Club of South Ft. Myers and Paul Harris Fellow. Jim is married with twin daughters and when not spending time with his family he enjoys golf, most water recreation and is an avid Dallas Cowboy, and FSU fan.

  • Principle

    Patricia Russell

    239-947-6169 Read Their Bio >

    Patricia Russell

    Principle

    The Advocacy Telecommunications Group

    prussell@theadvogroupswfl.com

    Pat is the owner of Advocacy Telecom Group, a boutique consulting firm providing communications expense management for hotels, businesses, and non-profits. She specializes in lowering communications costs for hotels, insuring correct billing, and obtaining refunds for overbilling. Pat spent 26 years at AT&T, and its affiliate companies, in sales and marketing management positions. Pat has extensive experience with voice and data networking and the associated billing systems. She designed networks and developed network products while at AT&T. Pat also worked at Tellabs, a manufacturer of communications network products, for six years as a global sales support manager. Pat holds a BS in Business Administration from Elmhurst College and a Marketing MBA from DePaul University. Pat and her husband John reside in Estero where she enjoys biking, yoga, gardening, and hanging out with their two dogs, Joey & Danny.

  • John Naylor, CHA

    (239) 489-1085 Read Their Bio >

    John Naylor, CHA

    The Naylor Group, LLC

    jnaylor33919@gmail.com

    Forty five years of experience in all aspects of the Resort – Hotel Industry including Owner Services, Condominium Association Management, Sales, Conference Services, Purchasing, Recreational Management, Front Office & Reservations, Technology and Food & Beverage have contributed to the Profitability, Guest Service and Owner satisfaction in several areas of the country. John’s career started at Madden Resorts in Brainerd, Minnesota and with new opportunities, moved to Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain, Georgia and to Fort Myers where he managed the Pink Shell Beach Resort & Marina and the Sandpiper Gulf Resort on Fort Myers Beach. John currently has a Hospitality Management Consulting business. A Certified Hotel Administrator since 1982, John also has a Florida CAM and Real Estate Associate licenseA graduate of Northwestern University, he and his wife, Mary Gail, live in south Lee County. John serves on the Board of Directors of the Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce and on the Advisory Board of the Resort, Hospitality program at FGCU.

  • Executive Director

    Colleen DePasquale

    (239) 332-2930 Read Their Bio >

    Colleen DePasquale

    Executive Director

    Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce

    colleen@fortmyers.org

    Colleen started in the hospitality business with Caesar’s Resorts in the Pocono’s, Pennsylvania. She has worked with multiple brands; Marriott and Hilton over the last 30 years, from New York to Denver and being privileged to spend 2 years in Moscow, Russia, opening 3 Marriott hotels. The last 10 years in the hospitality field were as a general manager with McKibbon Hotel Management, in three of their hotels in Fort Myers. Colleen is now the Executive Director for the Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce, an opportunity to utilize business skills and hospitality while staying involved in the community. Colleen served on the Lee County Tourist Development Council for 6 years, is the current president of the Lee County Sports Organizing Committee and the Secretary for the Board of Trustees for the Edison Ford Winter Estates. Colleen also serves on the FGCU Resort & Hospitality Advisory Board, Sanibel Soccer Board and is the community relations manager for the Florida Knights soccer program. Colleen and her husband Greg, live on Sanibel and own Fort Myers Floral Designs. Colleen loves to read, snow ski and is an avid New York Giants fan but what she enjoys most is watching her daughter play soccer!

  • Sr. VP of Operations

    Bill Waichulis

    Read Their Bio >

    Bill Waichulis

    Sr. VP of Operations

    Boykin Management Company

    Bill Waichulis is the Sr. VP of Operations for the Florida Resort Division of Boykin Management Company.  His career has spanned many property operations with two management companies; Interstate Hotels & Resorts for 17 years and Boykin Management Company for 7 years.  Bill has managed many different brands to include Westin, Sheraton, Hilton and Holiday Inn all within the state of Florida.  In his last position he was Director of Operations for South Seas and the Sanibel properties.  Bill is currently responsible for the Florida region

  • General Manager

    Debbie Kennedy

    Read Their Bio >

    Debbie Kennedy

    General Manager

    Courtyard by Marriott

    debbie.kennedy@marriott.com

    Debbie started in the hospitality business at Marriott’s Orlando World Center.  Over the last 23 years she has worked with multiple Marriott brands including Marriott Suites, Fairfield Inn & Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.  Debbie has been the General Manager of the Courtyard by Marriott for 15 years and supports the Florida Region as task force, trainer of new managers and college recruiting.  She and her husband are involved with Southeastern Guide Dogs raising and have raised 7 dogs in 8 years.  Last year Debbie received the Presidential Volunteerism Award for over 5,000 hours of service with SEGDI.

  • General Manager

    John Lai

    (239) 275-3300 Read Their Bio >

    John Lai

    General Manager

    La Quinta

    johnrlai@outlook.com

    Currently John is the Area General Manager for the La Quinta Inn, Fort Myers Central In the past, John has managed various hotels and resorts both branded and independent in Lee County over the past 17 years and he has lived in Lee County for over 25 years. John attended both middle and high school in Ft. Myers and returned after college to begin his career in the hospitality industry. John and his Family are very engaged in the Community, as he is currently the Vice President of the Conference and Convention Council, Co-Chair of the Tourism Committee and Board Member for the Greater Ft. Myers Chamber of Commerce.  John is married to his wife Amy and has two children

  • Sanmukh (Sam) Swami

    Read Their Bio >

    Sanmukh (Sam) Swami

    swami21@comcast.net

    Sanmukh Swami has been in the hospitality industry for the 13 years.  He graduated from the University of Kent at Canterbury in England, became  a CPA and worked for Coopers and Lybrand (PricewaterhouseCoopers) before opening his own CPA firm.  He left public accounting to help the family business  and his greatly expanded it to a portfolio of hotels.  Sanmukh has served as a Best Western Governor and is currently the Chair of  Best Western Florida Co-op.

  • GENERAL MANAGER

    Eric Ashton

    239.541.5030 Read Their Bio >

    Eric Ashton

    GENERAL MANAGER

    THE WESTIN CAPE CORAL RESORT AT MARINA VILLAGE

    Eric.Ashton@westin.com

    Eric Ashton was raised in the hospitality industry.  Starting as a dishwasher in a hotel managed by his father, Eric followed his career in food and beverage for many years afterwards, straying only a few times for different adventures.  Having spent most of his high school years in a small ski resort town, Jasper, Alberta, Canada, Eric went on to graduate from the University of Alberta with a Bachelor of Commerce Degree.  Following University, Eric relocated to Vancouver British Columbia where he was on the opening team of a top restaurant in the city before beginning his management career in hotels with Fairmont Hotels and Resorts in their food and beverage department.  After moving through various roles with Fairmont, Eric joined Starwood Hotels & Resorts at The Westin Bayshore, followed by various roles at the hotel and Regional/Divisional level at The Westin Calgary, The Westin Harbour Castle and now as General Manager at The Westin Cape Coral Resort at Marina Village.  Eric moved to Cape Coral with his wife Michele and their dog Brooklyn.  When not at work Eric and Michele enjoy walking, swimming, watching hockey and checking out all the sights of the area especially the many food and beverage establishments.

  • General Manager

    Shaune Caliguire

    239-444-5480 Read Their Bio >

    Shaune Caliguire

    General Manager

    Embassy Suites - Estero

    Shaune.Caliguire@hilton.com

    Shaune has been with Hilton World Wide for 26 years.  She first began her career at the Embassy Suites Hotel by Hilton – Syracuse, NY as AGM.  She later relocated in 2003 to Homewood Suites – Memphis, TN  as the General Manager and then in 2006 to the Homewood Suites in Ridgeland, MS as the General Manager. Her goal was to find the perfect job in Florida and on 2010 Shaune relocated to Estero, FL with her family to be the General Manager of Embassy Suites by Hilton.

    Her property has received several awards which includes:  2011 – Highest Guest Satisfaction – Embassy Suites by Hilton,  2013 Hilton Worldwide Genius of “And” Award, 2013 TQS Top 10%, 2015 Hilton Worldwide Social Responsibility Award and

    7 Outstanding Quality Assurance Inspections.

    Shaune believes in giving back to our local community.  She mentors students in both College and High School with their hospitality careers. She has been married for 23 years to her husband Chris and has 2 girls attending college locally.

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