WICHITA, Kan.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--WaterWalk Hotel Apartments, Jack DeBoer’s fifth national brand, has hired three brand builders to its ever-growing team, demonstrating its commitment to aggressive expansion in the coming months. These new hires, along with WaterWalk’s existing staff, will move to the company’s new corporate headquarters in late summer 2015.
This spring, the company also hosted its inaugural WaterWalk Hotel Apartments Franchise Conference in Wichita to celebrate its rapid expansion throughout the country, with 21 new properties in different stages of development and 44 sites. During the conference, current and prospective franchisees received an overview of the brand’s growth trajectory, and the benefits of developing a WaterWalk franchise. Attendees also participated in various panels covering site criteria; capital and finance; city approvals; construction; and operations. During the awards program, Housekeeper Garcia Blanca, received the 2014 Team Member of the Year award for her drive, determination, and team leadership in overseeing and consistently executing WaterWalk’s high level of housekeeping standards.
J. Nick Howell joins WaterWalk as Vice President of Construction. Howell has over 35 years of experience as a construction manager and was previously with Candlewood Suites. His past responsibilities have included managing construction projects from a safety, quality, budget, and scheduling standpoint. He has worked on such major projects as the $400 million Diplomat Resort in Hollywood, Florida; the $350 million Four Seasons, Emerald Bay Resort in the Bahamas; and the $180 million Green Valley Ranch & Spa in Las Vegas, among others.
“We are extremely fortunate to have someone with as extensive of a background in construction management as Nick on our team,” said David Redfern, President of WaterWalk. “His experience working on large-scale construction projects to deliver them on time and within budget will be a great asset to WaterWalk as we plan to bring new sites to over 15 cities in 2015.”
Karen S. Letkowski joins WaterWalk as Director of Brand Standards and Training. Letkowski will be responsible for working on WaterWalk’s national brand, including standards for openings, operations, sales, and quality. She has over 20 years of experience in the extended stay hotel industry in sales, operations, management, and held a similar role at another Jack DeBoer brand, Candlewood Suites, when it first launched.
Curtis Tillemans, Director of Sales, joins WaterWalk with more than 25 years as an accomplished sales professional. Tillemans has held past positions at KAJ Hospitality, SpringHill Suites by Marriott, Cox Communications, and Hertz Rent-a-Car.
“Nick, Karen, and Curtis each bring a distinct skill set and vision for WaterWalk,” said Redfern. “Together, they will help in growing a nationwide brand.”
About WaterWalk Hotel Apartments
Headquartered in Wichita, WaterWalk Hotel Apartments combines the most appealing features of an upscale extended-stay hotel with the lifestyle of apartment living. Guests may choose to stay a day, a week, a month, a year, or longer with an all-inclusive bill for utilities, TV, internet, phone, and concierge services. For the full-service Gold package, housekeeping, fully-furnished apartments, and breakfast are also provided. WaterWalk Apartments is the fifth national brand started by Jack DeBoer, founder of Residence Inn, Summerfield Suites, Candlewood Suites, and Value Place. For more information, visit www.waterwalk.com or call (316) 219-6060.