Movers and Shakers Week Ending 06.07.24

McWhinney Names Omar Palacios Executive Vice President of Hospitality    

Omar Palacios

McWhinney, a Colorado-based real estate investor and developer in commercial, multifamily, hospitality, residential and mixed-use assets, today announced that Omar Palacios has been named executive vice president of Hospitality. Palacios will oversee all aspects of development, acquisition, transactions, financing, design, construction, and the transition to asset management. Dave Johnstone, the current executive vice president and chief investment officer of Hospitality, will move into a strategic advisory role before formally retiring at the end of the year. 

With his extensive hospitality legacy, Johnstone has been instrumental in overseeing McWhinney’s hospitality acquisitions, developments, asset management, and dispositions since 2015. His notable projects include Santa Monica Proper, Austin Proper, Hyatt Place Boston Seaport, Hyatt Centric in Austin, and the Cal Neva Resort in Lake Tahoe. Johnstone’s contributions will be invaluable as he works closely with Palacios to ensure a seamless transition. 

In his new role at McWhinney, Palacios will lead the company’s hospitality development team, evaluate acquisition opportunities, manage project teams, oversee project life cycles and ensure project alignment with McWhinney’s strategic plan goals, all with the aim of driving the company’s future growth and success. 

“Dave has demonstrated exceptional leadership and vision, playing a vital role in McWhinney’s acquisition and development of irreplaceable hospitality assets across the U.S.,” said Keith Hurand, chief development officer at McWhinney. “Omar’s appointment reflects our commitment to continuing Dave’s legacy of forward-thinking leadership and to elevating our hospitality portfolio. His role is pivotal in shaping our hospitality endeavors, driving strategic development and execution with the goal of creating places people love and meeting the highest standards of excellence, innovation and guest satisfaction.” 

Palacios joins McWhinney Real Estate from Geolo Capital in San Francisco, where he served as chief operating officer, chief financial officer and partner from 2015 to 2023. During his tenure at Geolo Capital, Palacios played a key role in the firm’s transition and growth, leading various strategic initiatives and overseeing numerous successful transactions across multiple sectors. Palacios is relocating from California to Colorado and officially assumed his role on May 28. 

“I am honored to join McWhinney and contribute to the company’s ongoing success in the hospitality sector,” said Palacios. “Dave has built a great portfolio and team. He’s also been instrumental in establishing McWhinney as a key player in hospitality, and I’m excited at the opportunity to extend the firm’s growth. I look forward to collaborating with the team at McWhinney and leveraging our collective expertise to identify and execute strategic opportunities that drive value and deliver exceptional experiences for our guests and partners. Lastly, I’d like to thank Chad and Troy McWhinney for the opportunity to continue building on their success in the commercial real estate industry.” 

Semple Brown Design shares Recognitions

Semple Brown Design is pleased to continue its four-decade history of cultivating leadership in the design profession. First, Semple wants to recognize the significant contributions of Mary Kay Sunset, who is assuming the role of principal emerita and working on a select number of projects.

Second, Semple recognizes several individuals whose leadership and dedication to its profession, clients and firm have distinguished them within Semple Brown and significantly contributed to its continued success.

These team members have played a critical role in providing the design quality, client service, and workplace culture that have defined Semple Brown for over 40 years. We look forward to their contributions in years to come.

Associate Principals

  • Dalton Davis
  • Georgia Brown Elbot
  • Nathan Gulash
  • Erin Killian
  • Kaylyn Kirby
  • Brad Smith

Senior Associates

  • Michelle Han
  • Dan Kinnett
  • Leilani Rose

“We are delighted and honored to recognize these talented and driven members of our amazing staff. Each has made their mark in unique and impactful ways and we’re grateful for the initiative they’ve demonstrated and advancements they’ve made possible for Semple Brown Design,” said Bryan Schmidt, president.

These individuals will join Principals Tom Gallagher, Bryan Schmidt and Chris Wineman as well as Firm Founders and Directors Rusty Brown and Sarah Semple Brown in continuing to build on the more than 40 year legacy of Semple Brown.

Saunders Construction, Inc. Announces Key Leadership Changes: Brian Archibald Joins as CFO and Matt Hamann Promoted to Director of Support Services

Brian Archibald
Matt Hamann

Saunders Construction has announced the appointment of Brian Archibald as chief financial officer (CFO) and the promotion of Matt Hamann to director of support services. These leadership changes reflect Saunders’ commitment to innovation and growth across the organization.

As CFO, Archibald will lead Saunders’ accounting and finance departments, ensuring the company’s financial strength by optimizing administrative resources and executing financial strategies for an exceptional employee and client experience. His responsibilities will include managing Saunders’ financial platforms, corporate risk management, cultivating key external business partner relationships, providing insights to leadership and project teams, and implementing meaningful innovations.

Archibald brings 17 years of experience in accounting and finance, with a passion for providing insights, problem-solving, and implementing meaningful change. He has managed the financial aspects of multifaceted, global organizations, collaborating with C-Suite executives and boards across construction, software, renewable energy, and public accounting industries. His experience and expertise make him an excellent fit for Saunders.

“I am thrilled to welcome Brian to the Saunders team,” said Greg Schmidt, chairman and CEO. “His passion for our industry, coupled with his financial acumen and leadership skills, will be invaluable as we continue to grow and innovate. I have no doubt that Brian will make a significant impact on our organization.”

“I am excited to join Saunders and contribute to its community-driven success,” said Archibald. “I look forward to working with the talented teams at Saunders and helping to drive the company forward.”

In addition to welcoming Archibald, Saunders is thrilled to announce the promotion of Matt Hamann to Director of Support Services. In his expanded role, Matt will bring his extensive experience and leadership skills to oversee critical project services, including virtual design, building specialty systems, and design management, to better support our project teams and deliver exceptional client experiences.

Over the past year, Matt has been instrumental in managing the design phase for our Design-Build projects within the Integrated Technologies Group (ITG). His focus on design management strategies and collaborative project delivery has set a new standard for project execution. Moving forward, Matt will work closely with the Preconstruction Services Department during the design phase of many projects, ensuring they begin with comprehensive plans and documents that pave the way for a seamless construction process.

With over 19 years of experience in architecture and construction, including a decade in various roles at Saunders, Matt brings a wealth of knowledge and a proven track record of success. His combined experiences position him to drive better outcomes for our teams and clients.

“I am excited to work with Matt in his new role,” said Graham Coddington, Vice President. “His leadership and expertise will be invaluable as we strive to provide exceptional experiences for our people and clients.”

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