Our hospitality Leadership Team

Our team leadership is comprised of industry veterans with deep roots in all aspects of design, procurement, engineering, project management and construction. Our team is committed and our expertise is what our clients have come to trust and depend upon. With 85+ employees, our team of trusted engineers, architects, project managers, interior designers, procurement specialists, and accountants is what our clients have come to value - in-depth expertise with an overall commitment to client success.
Don Kelly
Don Kelly
Co-Chief Executive Officer
Don Kelly
Don Kelly
Mr. Kelly serves as Co-Chief Executive Officer of Premier Project Management as is responsible for the firm's commercial strategy.

Mr. Kelly is an accomplished executive and industry veteran with deep commercial and operational expertise. He joins Premier after having served as the Chief Commercial Officer of Onyx CenterSource, a leading provider of B2B payment processing and recovery solutions for hotels and agencies. Mr. Kelly has held several senior leadership roles throughout his career, including with Cvent Inc., a publicly-held software-as-a-service company that specializes in meeting management technology, Hilton Worldwide, Accor/Sofitel Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, Destination Hotels and Resorts, and Hyatt Resorts Hawaii. He holds a B.S. in Hotel and Restaurant Management from the University of Houston.
Mark Matz
Mark Matz
Co-Chief Executive Officer & Chief Operating Officer
Mark Matz
Mark Matz
Mr. Matz serves as Co-Chief Executive Officer and Chief Operating Officer of Premier Project Management.

He is responsible for leading and overseeing all of Premier's Design, Procurement, Contracting, Project Management and Engineering teams.
 
Prior to joining Premier, Mr. Matz held a number of roles in the hospitality industry including Senior Vice President of Revenue Management with Remington Hotels, Vice President of Underwriting and Vice President of Capital Management with Ashford Inc., a publicly traded hospitality asset manager with more than $7bn under management. Before entering the hotel industry nine years ago, Mr. Matz spent eight years in consumer banking with Capital One and held roles in pricing, credit policy, marketing, collections and data management.
 
Mark graduated Magna Cum Laude in Chemical Engineering from Princeton University with a minor in Operations Research.
Mike Funk
Mike Funk
SVP Contracts & Admin
Mike Funk
Mike Funk
Mr. Funk is the Senior Vice President of Contracts and Budget Administration for Premier Project Management.He oversees all contracting activities,as well as CapEx budget administration for Premier's clients.
 
Mr. Funk formerly served in this same role with Remington Hotels and has been with the organization since 2012.Previously he has held leadership positions with IHG, Pillar Hotels & Resorts and Bristol Hotels.Mr. Funk earned a BS from Louisiana Tech University.
Darin Sharkey
Darin Sharkey
SVP of Corporate Engineering
Darin Sharkey
Darin Sharkey
Mr. Sharkey is the Senior Vice President of Corporate Engineering of Premier Project Management and overseas all of the Corporate Engineering divisions that manages major building systems, mechanical, building, and life safety projects.
 
Prior to joining Premier Project Management, Mr. Sharkey formerly served as a Vice President of Corporate Engineering for Remington Hotels, managing over thirty properties in a regional role. Prior to that, Mr. Sharkey was a Power House Manager/Senior Electrical engineer for a major automotive firm at their 4.5 million square foot headquarters and technology center where he oversaw the distribution of hot water, chilled water, compressed air and power distribution that served 13,500 employees.
 
Mr. Sharkey earned a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Michigan and M.S. in Engineering Management from Oakland University.
Carla Niemann
Carla Niemann
SVP of Design
Carla Niemann
Carla Niemann
Ms. Niemann serves as Senior Vice President of Design & Architecture at Premier Project Management. She oversees the studio's 18 talented interior designers and architects, providing overall direction and design oversight, as well as serving as client liaison.
 
Ms. Niemann has developed a reputation for her ability to allocate clients' funds wisely, putting emphasis and detail where it makes the greatest impact. "OK, but what does that get us?" is a question she often asks when reviewing her teams' designs. She understands the operations side of the business and recognizes how the design process and schedules can affect the bottom line.
 
Throughout the years, Ms. Niemann has been the recipient of numerous awards including ASID and IIDA awards for designs, and D Home Magazine's Best Contract Designers. Her design team has also been named NEWH -Top Hospitality Firms in Dallas for the years 2015-2019 consecutively.
 
Prior to joining Premier Project Management, Ms. Niemann was Vice President of Hospitality Design for Leo A Daly. She is a graduate of the University of Tennessee in Knoxville where she received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Interior Design/Communication Design. She is a professional member of the International Interior Design Association (IIDA) and the Network of Women in Hospitality (NEWH) and is a registered Interior Designer in the State of Texas.
Jeremy Robinson
Jeremy Robinson
SVP of Sales & Marketing
Jeremy Robinson
Jeremy Robinson
Mr. Robinson serves as the Senior Vice President of Sales & Marketing for Premier Project Management where he oversees strategic growth and business development initiatives. Prior to Premier's acquisition by Ashford Inc. in 2018, Mr. Robinson served as Senior Vice President of Investor Relations & Business Development where he was responsible for the oversight of Ashford's public relations and corporate communications efforts, institutional investor outreach, and strategic sales and marketing initiatives. 

Prior to joining Ashford, Mr. Robinson was a founding principal of Urbana Varro, a private equity real estate company focused exclusively on the acquisition of distressed lodging assets. There he was responsible for company operations, preliminary investment underwriting, as well as sales and marketing initiatives. Mr. Robinson attended Liberty University where he studied Finance.
Al Granholm
Al Granholm
SVP of Facilities and Loss Prevention
Al Granholm
Al Granholm
Mr. Al Granholm serves as Senior Vice President of Facilities and Loss Prevention at Premier Project Management. Mr. Granholm joined Premier Project Management in 1997 (formerly Premier) and has over 31 years of experience in the hospitality industry. He serves on the Board of Directors for the Remington Relief Fund, Board of Commissioners for York Township, PA and the York Area Regional Police Commission. He holds BS from Northern Illinois University and Project Management Certification from Penn State University.
Marla Davis
Marla Davis
SVP of Procurement
Marla Davis
Marla Davis
Ms. Davis serves as Senior Vice President of Procurement at Premier Project Management and brings more than 30 years of experience in the purchasing and project management field. She oversees all purchasing and logistics for Premier and currently oversees a team of 12 Purchasing Agents that procure for more than 150 properties.
 
Prior to Premier Project Management, Marla was the founder of DPC-Davis Purchasing and Project Management Services, a consulting firm specializing in interior design, procurement, and project management services. Prior to that she spent her career at firms such as Trammel Crow Design and Construction, Pratt Hotels, HDP International and Remington Hotels.
 
She received her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Texas in 1981 and was the International President of NEWH, Inc. (Network of Women in Hospitality), a non-profit organization in 2006-2007.
Barbara Carlson
Barbara Carlson
VP of Design
Barbara Carlson
Barbara Carlson
Ms.Carlson serves as Vice President of Design at Premier Project Management where she directs teams of designers, providing creative direction and project guidance. As a veteran professional of the hospitality design industry, Ms. Carlson has established a reputation of creating innovative and functional designs while staying in the confines of budgetary constraints and meeting the requirements of individual clients.
 
As evidenced by her diverse portfolio of prominent hotels and themed entertainment venues, Ms. Carlson has been the recipient of numerous design awards including the ASID Legacy of Design Award and the Archi-Tech Award for Outstanding Achievement in Technology Innovation. In addition to her award-winning designs, Ms. Carlson has been published in Archi-Tech, Hotel Design and New Look magazines throughout the years.
 
Ms. Carlson received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Interior Design with High Honors from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville and was Valedictorian of her Class. Prior to majoring in Interior Design, she was an Art Major, which adds an important dimension to each design. Ms. Carlson is a professional member of the Network of Women in Hospitality and is a registered Interior Designer in the State of Texas.
Eden Deng
Eden Deng
VP of Project Management and Development
Eden Deng
Eden Deng
Mr. Deng serves as Vice President of Project Management and Development for Premier, and has been with the company since 2013.He currently leads some of Premier's most complex projects and developments, where each initiative typically phases across multiple fiscal years and have ranged from $6 to $100mm capex spend.He also heads up the company's Budgeting team, which provides detailed budgets and estimates for the company's on-going pipeline of major hospitality renovations projects.
 
Prior to Premier, Mr. Deng worked for Marriott Vacation Club as a Development Manager, and held responsibilities managing and supporting complex resort ground-up developments throughout Marriott's Hawaii and U.S.V.I markets.A driven Owner's Rep executive in the hospitality project management, development, and construction industry, Mr. Deng also holds an MBA focusing on real estate and finance from Rice University Jones Business School, and a M.S. of Urban Planning from the University Of Texas School Of Architecture.
Faren Ardis
Faren Ardis
VP of Project Management
Faren Ardis
Faren Ardis
Mr. Ardis is the Vice President of Project Management for Premier Project Management and brings over 30 years' experience in hotels renovations and contract negotiations. Mr. Ardis oversees a team of project managers at Premier and ensures the efficient execution of each project's scope of work, as well as the operational, financial and personnel aspects of each property renovation.
 
Prior to joining Premier Project Management, Mr. Ardis held numerous senior management positions within Remington Hotels such as Corporate Director of Engineering, Vice President and Senior Vice President of Project Management. He has been the recipient of numerous awards including Manager of the Year and Ideal Executive of the Year and won multiple awards for Life Safety and Energy Conservation.
Terri Gross
Terri Gross
VP of Design
Terri Gross
Terri Gross
Ms.Gross joined Premier Project Management in 1995(formerly Premier) and serves as Vice President of Design. She oversees team of designers where she provides oversight on project scheduling, design, brand submittals, FF&E specifications, and construction documentation.
 
Her experience lends to invaluable team building skills, project planning and program design for a diverse range of project types. She is experienced in renovation construction, budgeting and is extremely knowledgeable of renovation requirements, standards and décor packages across all of the Marriott and Hilton portfolios. This is evident in her lasting relationships with the brands.
 
Throughout Ms. Gross' twenty plus years with Premier, she has served in many capacities such as Project Manager, Director of Design and VP of Design. She is a graduate of Texas Tech University with a Bachelor of Arts in Interior Design.
John Gardner
John Gardner
VP of Corporate Engineering
John Gardner
John Gardner
Mr. Gardner is the Vice President of Corporate Engineering of Premier Project Management and oversees regional project management for Premier's systems, mechanical, building and life safety projects. He brings more than thirty years' experience managing hotel teams and contractors in hotel engineering and property operations.
 
Mr. Gardner has been with Premier Project Management since March 2008 and has served in multiple capacities including Vice President of Engineering and Director of Corporate Engineering. He was responsible for the execution of various hotel engineering projects and large-scale mechanical installations across seventeen different hotel brands.
 
With a military background in the United States Marine Corps, Mr. Gardner has been recognized as a Hospitality Engineering Professional in industry publications and by the Hotel Engineer's Association of Washington, D.C. Mr. Gardner will be sitting for the Certified Hospitality Facilities Executive (CHFE) exam in 2019.
Ray Cavalieri
Ray Cavalieri
VP of Architecture
Ray Cavalieri
Ray Cavalieri
Ray Cavalieri serves as Vice President of Architecture of Premier Project Management and leads a team of licensed professionals with significant technical expertise in the commercial, retail, industrial, medical and residential industries.
 
With over 30 years of experience in architecture, engineering design and construction management, Mr. Cavalieri oversees Premier's architectural services and supports both the interior design and construction team's project initiatives nationwide.
 
Prior to joining Premier Project Management, Mr. Cavalieri was Director of Architectural and Engineering services for Sears Holdings Corporation, Chicago. After the merger between retail giants Sears and Kmart in 2005, Mr. Cavalieri established an internal full-service design team of more than 24 architects, engineers, and interior designers that serviced both companies. His team completed multi-million-dollar renovations, new construction and brand initiative projects for thousands of facilities nationwide and overseas.
 
Mr. Cavalieri holds a Bachler of Arts Degree in Architecture from Iowa State University and has completed years of engineering studies at Eastern Illinois University, Charleston. He is also a registered architect in numerous states throughout the continental U.S., certified with the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB), an Accredited Professional of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED AP BD+C), and member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and International Code Council (ICC).
John McDougall
John McDougall
VP of Corporate Engineering
John McDougall
John McDougall
John McDougall serves as the Vice President of Corporate Engineering for Premier Project Management. Mr. McDougall brings over 30 years of engineering experience to the team and oversees regional project management for Premier's building systems, mechanical, building, and life safety projects.
 
With experience in all aspects of hotel engineering and project management, Mr. McDougall's strong mechanical background, hands-on management and drive to know the business as a whole, has led him to where he is today. Mr. McDougall attributes his success to building relationships that are vital to the business and maintaining a "Get it done" attitude paralleled with a commitment to working hard.
 
Prior to joining Premier, Mr. McDougall held various engineering positions with Remington Hotels & Resorts and served as the Regional Director of Engineering for Bristol Hotels & Resorts and Interstate Hotels.
Johannes Michalsky
Johannes Michalsky
VP of Project Management
Johannes Michalsky
Johannes Michalsky
Mr. Michalsky is the Vice President of Project Management at Premier. He is responsible for overseeing the execution of the scope of work, design, planning, pre-construction, construction and close out on select projects nationwide. Mr. Michalsky also oversees a team of analysts and project managers where he is responsible for analysis and contract negotiations.
 
Prior to joining Premier, Mr. Michalsky served as Vice President of Project Management for Remington Hotels. Prior to that, he was the Vice President of Food & Beverage and Operations overseeing the Courtyard by Marriott portfolio.
 
Mr. Michalsky holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance and an MBA from Baylor University.