Horizon Hotel Group LLC, is a national independent hotel asset management and consulting company, specializing in the renovating, repositioning and rebranding of hotels and resorts. Providing property owners and investors with management solutions that maximize opportunities and create competitive advantages.
With personalized service from hospitality professionals with over one hundred years of combined experience, we will review your property and tailor a program that will meet your needs. With the broad base of experience we will focus on achieving extraordinary results in shareholder value, employee satisfaction and superior guest satisfaction. Horizon’s strength is that we provide each property with personalized service characteristic of that received when working with a small company, yet enhanced by the breadth and depth of skill embodied in our collective experience.
Horizon Hotel Group LLC, plans strategically for the future while producing extraordinary results today.
Our Leadership Team
James Gould - Principal
Jim has more than thirty years of experience managing hotels in upscale markets. Prior to starting Horizon Hotel Group, Jim was Regional Vice President of Operations for Portfolio Hotels & Resorts overseeing full and limited service properties. He is known as a transitional leader, developing award winning teams that produce exceptional results that provide value to customer, employee and shareholder.
While at Portfolio Jim oversaw such brands as IHG, Marriott, Hyatt and Hilton. In addition to his regional responsibilities Jim helped grow Portfolio from five hotels to twenty-four hotels over a two year period. Jim was the main contact for the group's institutional investors such as Prudential, Och Ziff and Fidelity Investments. Jim worked on and oversaw due diligence, asset sales, and consulting projects as well as securing new management contracts.
Before joining Portfolio Jim was general manager of Sofitel Chicago O'Hare, Rosemont, Illinois. He made his mark at the Sofitel by improving guest, employee satisfaction and market share to the highest levels in the history of the hotel. Jim developed and maintained the relationship with the owner, Cornerstone Real Estate Advisers. At Sofitel Jim also worked with the corporate office both leading or participating in the development of Sofitel’s “Business Continuity Plan”, the “Database Marketing Program” and the development of the Sofitel Chicago Water Tower. During Jim’s time as general manager the Sofitel Chicago O’Hare won: the Planners Choice Award, Pinnacle Award and Merit & Distinction Award for outstanding service for meetings and conferences held at the property.
In 2010 Jim served as the Chairman of the Illinois Hotel & Lodging Association, receiving the Volunteer of the Year for 2011 award from the IHLA and American Hotel Lodging Association. In addition he served as the 2011 Chairman for the Schaumburg Business Association. Jim also served as the Vice Chairman for the Woodfield Chicago Northwest Convention Bureau from 2008 – 2011.
Dafna Ronis - Vice President of Business Development/Marketing
Dafna has more than thirty years of experience in the hospitality industry, including all areas of hotel management and worldwide travel management. Prior to joining Horizon Hotel Group, Dafna was Director of Business Development for Portfolio Hotel & Resorts working on special assignments overseeing hotel operations, sales, marketing, public relations and revenue management. Before her ascension to this role, Dafna served as General Manager for Portfolio at the Courtyard by Marriott, Beachwood Ohio.
During her time with Portfolio Dafna was involved in the acquisition process for multiple properties. Dafna was an integral part of the due diligence process. Dafna served as task force general manager for such brands as IHG, Marriott, Hyatt and Hilton. In addition she served in the capacity of task force in sales, marketing and revenue management.
Prior to joining Portfolio, Dafna held positions of Assistant General Manager, Director of Sales and Marketing, Director of Catering at branded and boutique properties in the Untied States and abroad.
Dafna has served on a number of Boards of Directors including the Sherman Oaks Chamber of Commerce, HSMAI, Founding Committee, San Fernando Valley Visitors and Convention Bureau, AFMDA, Overseas Connections Committee (at Jewish Community Federation of Cleveland); Tourism Advisory Committee to Bridge to the Future, Chairwoman, Radisson Local Sales Team.
In addition Dafna is fluent in five languages.
Colin McDonald - Vice President of Acquisition/Development
With 30 years of experience in the hospitality industry, Colin brings broad experience in the luxury hotel sector. Colin’s experience and expertise covers all facets of the hospitality development process from conceptual development and technical review to feasibility, operations planning, and financial evaluation.
Colin has been involved with major luxury brands of Four Seasons and Accor’s luxury Sofitel Hotel brand. He was VP, Development Sofitel North America and Dir. of Development Four Seasons. Colin was instrumental in the initial business plan which brought Four Seasons into the Residence Club business and created the blueprint for expansion of the Sofitel brand in North America. He has been directly involved in business planning , contract negotiation and financing for many of the most exciting new hotels and resorts developed in North America over the past two decades.
Colin has an MBA from the Australian Graduate School of Management, Sydney, Au. and has an undergraduate degree in Applied Science (Economics) from the Univ. of New South Wales, Sydney.
Most recently, Colin founded Enfield Services LLC, a boutique consultancy providing underwriting and owner/investor support services in the hospitality field.
Nick Tywan - Vice President of Asset Management
Nick has over 30 years’ experience in the hospitality, parking and airline industries; and specializes in consulting and asset management. He holds an outstanding record of improving profit margins, enhancing revenues, extending market penetration, developing new revenue sources, and managing significant cost containment. His experience includes new development, procurement, re-branding, acquisitions, due diligence, market & financial analysis, and restructuring.
His property experience includes working for several large hotel companies and condominium hotels as a Vice President of Operations. During his career he has consulted and operated various brand affiliations including Shangri-La, Ritz Carlton, Conrad, St. Regis, Marriott, Renaissance, Omni, Sheraton, Hilton, Holiday Inns, Embassy Suites, Radisson, Hawthorn Suites, Hampton Inn & Suites, and various independent properties.
He is also in demand by the Parking and Airline Industry as a consultant and asset manager.