ATLANTA, January 17, 2024—Hospitality Ventures Management Group (HVMG), an Atlanta-based, privately-owned third-party hotel operator and investor, today announced that Mike “Woody” Woodward has been named executive vice president and chief growth officer. In his new role as a member of HVMG’s executive team, Woodward will lead the organization’s growth and investment team and be responsible for strategies that lead to both third-party management agreements and property acquisitions. In addition, he will have a strong focus on owner and investor relationships.
“From the restaurant industry to hotels, Woody has been a rising star and thus far has had a phenomenal hospitality career, implementing highly successful sales and growth strategies across multiple brands and companies,” said Robert Cole, CEO, HVMG. “With an extensive track record of success sourcing new opportunities, building teams and both cultivating new and maximizing existing relationships, his ingenuity and tenacity have led to almost unprecedented growth with the two hospitality companies he had been with over the past 18 years. Woody’s expertise, enthusiasm, authenticity and competitive nature are just a few of his key attributes that we thought would be ideal and a great fit as we ambitiously pursue our growth objectives in the coming years, and I am thrilled to welcome Woody to our team.”
Prior to joining HVMG, Woodward was senior vice president of franchise development for Focus Brands, a developer of global food service brands such as Schlotzsky’s, Carvel, Cinnabon, Moe’s Southwest Grill, McAlister’s Deli and Auntie Anne’s. While there, he led the top-level franchise sales team, which overall consisted of 20 team members. He and his team added close to 500 agreements in 2023, a record year for Focus Brands.
Previously, Woodward was senior vice president of franchise development for Wyndham Hotels and Resorts, where he was promoted several times during his 16-year tenure and ultimately responsible for the growth of 20 hotel brands. He led all aspects of the 22-person franchise sales and development functions, including the independent brand franchises, sales and real estate teams. Under his leadership, Wyndham experienced unit growth that positioned it at the time as the world’s largest franchisor.
Woodward also has held sales management positions with Pfizer and Phoenix Life Insurance Company. During his 20-year career, he has received multiple RVP of the Year, All-Star and President’s Club awards. Woodward earned his Bachelor of Arts in economics from the University of Connecticut while playing all four years for the Men’s basketball team.
“Helping companies expand and grow to the next level is a passion of mine, as it combines the best elements of strategic planning and relationship building,” Woodward said. “HVMG has a stellar reputation as one of the leading third-party operators in the hospitality industry, and I look forward to growing with the company.”
About Hospitality Ventures Management Group
Hospitality Ventures Management Group is a privately owned, fully integrated hotel investment and management group that specializes in turning around and repositioning underperforming hotels, as well as maximizing the performance of stabilized hotels. HVMG currently operates 56 hotels and one convention center in 18 states totaling more than 9,300 guest rooms. HVMG operates independent and boutique hotels and resorts, as well as full-service, select-service and extended-stay hotels under the Marriott, Hilton, Hyatt, Hard Rock, and IHG brands. Visit www.hvmg.com for more information.