Effective Succession Planning Places New Leadership at Helm of HBG
MEMPHIS, TN — July 18, 2013 — Hnedak Bobo Group, Inc.’s Board of Directors announced today that Greg Hnedak, FAIA, is stepping down from his role as vice president and principal of Memphis-based Hnedak Bobo Group (HBG) to serve as CEO of DreamCatcher Hotels, a new hotel brand and development company born out of Hnedak Bobo Group in 2010.
“My years shaping and growing HBG have been extremely rewarding and I am proud to have helped build a nationally recognized design firm that has made so many important contributions to the gaming and hospitality industry,” Hnedak said. “It has been a true honor to work with so many passionate and innovative design and business leaders for the past 34 years.”
HBG Leadership Team
Hnedak and the HBG Board have been actively succession planning for two decades, elevating firm principals to key roles within the organization and adding new shareholders in preparation for effective leadership transition.
HBG co-founder, Kirk Bobo, FAIA, will continue in his role as president and principal of HBG, and assumes expanded responsibilities as the firm’s business leader in charge of the firm’s business strategies. Rick Gardner, AIA, principal, assumes the post of practice leader, overseeing project design and delivery; Terri Struminger, principal, is named COO, managing the firm’s corporate operations; and Dike Bacon, principal, oversees HBG’s business development efforts.
The leadership team of Bobo, Gardner, Struminger and Bacon brings a unique combination of deep industry knowledge and management experience to the award-winning architectural firm. “Today’s announcement is the result of a well planned and considered succession planning process,” says Hnedak. “These talented leaders possess an insightful understanding of business strategies and have a savvy operational focus. They’ve already proven their transformational leadership style by reigniting growth in our primary markets post-recession. I’ve been fortunate to work with each of them — and I believe now is the right time to pass the baton.”
“The HBG Board and entire company have tremendous gratitude and respect for Greg’s relentless energy, ideas and innovation that have helped position HBG as a vibrant design leader on a national scale,” said Bobo. “Greg has been a critical force through three decades of navigating the challenges and capitalizing on the opportunities within our industry, as we have transformed both our practice model and growth strategies.”
Hnedak’s early projects in hospitality industry helped position the firm for its ultimate emergence as a top 10 national leader in the hotel and entertainment design industry. “Location and relationships had everything to do with our focus in that market,” says Hnedak. “Here we were at the epicenter of the branded hotel industry in Memphis, Tennessee, home of the original Holiday Inn Corporation. We got on board to develop a new design concept for Holiday Inn’s vertical hotel prototype – launched nationwide in the early 80’s. We later worked with Promus Companies to establish their Homewood Suites brand…the rest – as they say – is history.”
HBG soared to the top 10 ranks of U.S. hospitality design firms after they were selected, under Hnedak’s direction, by Gaylord Entertainment Company’s Opryland Hospitality Group (OHG) to develop its first two brand expansions of the popular Gaylord Opryland Hotel — the flagship of which is located in Nashville, Tennessee. The 1,400-room Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center in Orlando, Florida was the first of the two properties, followed immediately by the 1,500-room Gaylord Texan located just outside Dallas.
The projects, each representing $500 million in value and totaling more than 5 million square feet of hotel, conference and meeting space, propelled HBG to the national spotlight. Gaylord Palms has won 30 industry awards including a Gold Key Elite Award, given to the top five meeting and conventions properties in the world. The Gaylord Texan has won 15 industry achievements including its own Gold Key Elite Award and was the 2004 Americas Lodging and Investment Summit (ALIS) Development of the Year.
DreamCatcher Hotels Emerges from Concept to Reality
Hnedak’s career change from architecture to the creation of a new hotel brand and development company naturally followed his 30+ years in hospitality design. Having the first-hand experience with what works well and what doesn’t in branded hospitality, he took his cues from the slowing economic climate in 2010 to create a new hotel concept envisioned for the “new normal” economy.
“I sat down with owners who, despite the fact they could no longer get banks to finance hotels at $200,000+ per room, still needed more rooms for their guests,” says Hnedak. “They needed rooms that were of decent quality that wouldn’t burst their budgets – that was the seed that got me working on this idea.”
Designed to be a turnkey solution for hotel owners, the DreamCatcher premise is to create a four-star guest experience with five-star amenities at a three-star price, with costs per hotel room below traditional development and with virtually no headaches for the owner.
The DreamCatcher Hotels company completed their first project in 2012, the 401-room Seven Clans Hotel adjacent to the Coushatta Casino Resort in Kinder, LA, and in partnership with the Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana. Earlier this year, Hnedak was featured on the cover of national hospitality magazine Hotel Business Design which, together with feature articles in other trade outlets such as Hotel Management and Casino Enterprise Management, has ignited a steady stream of industry attention.
“We have real momentum now at DreamCatcher. This is an exciting time,” says Hnedak. “HBG’s in great hands as I eagerly embark on a new mission to make DreamCatcher Hotels a thriving competitor in a very dynamic market.”
About Hnedak Bobo Group (hbginc.com)
Hnedak Bobo Group, an award-winning provider of architecture and interior design specializing in hospitality and mixed-use/multi-housing has been creating highly-competitive properties for 34 years. HBG also owns and operates a competitive hotel property and continuously leverages that knowledge into unique, market-driven project delivery solutions. With a strong philosophy emphasizing great design and planning must always support the client’s unique business opportunity, HBG is a key strategist in their client’s market success.
About DreamCatcher Hotels (www.dreamcatcherhotels.com)
During the economic downturn, hotel developers faced challenges previously unseen in the industry. These challenges sparked the idea for DreamCatcher Hotels. Founded in 2010 by award-winning architecture firm, Hnedak Bobo Group, DreamCatcher Hotels has changed the way hotels are developed by offering owners a turnkey solution, from architecture and construction to the selection, purchase and installation of all in-room products, furniture and fixtures, with a guaranteed up-front price.