Chairman’s Circle

Steven Angel
Principal, Fulcrum Hospitality

Steven is a founding principal of Fulcrum Hospitality LLC, a boutique firm providing transaction advisory and asset management services to the hotel and gaming industries. Prior to forming Fulcrum, Steven was a Principal at Highgate Hotels, as well as a Managing Director at Goldman Sachs where his responsibilities included hotel and gaming acquisitions and asset management for a series of real estate opportunity funds sponsored by Goldman Sachs.

Steven's industry experience spans over 20 years, first in hotel operations with Stouffer Hotels and Ritz-Carlton, then as a managing consultant with PricewaterhouseCoopers, and finally as a lodging equity research analyst for Lehman Brothers before joining Goldman Sachs in 2004. Steven received a B.S. from Purdue University in Restaurant Hotel Management and an M.B.A. from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Vann Avedisian
Principal, Highgate Hotels
(Shares Nor1 Board Seat with Rob Kline) Vann Avedisian has been actively involved in real estate and private equity investment activities since 1987. He co-founded Oxford Capital Partners, a private equity, real estate investment and asset management firm headquartered in Chicago. He co-directed the firm’s private equity investment activities. Oxford has sponsored primarily real estate principal investments with an aggregate value in excess of $1.5 billion, resulting in total profits in excess of $600 million. In addition to its long-standing private investors, the firm also has institutional investors, including some of the nation’s top endowment and opportunity funds. Recent investments include: the Metropolitan Doubletree Hotel, a 750-room hotel in Midtown Manhattan; The National Conference Center, a 951-room, 1.3 million-square-foot, corporate training and conference center in suburban Washington D.C.; the Hotel Lexington, a 705-room property in Midtown Manhattan; and the Wyndham Chicago Hotel, a 417-room property on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile corridor. Prior to Oxford, Mr. Avedisian was a Vice President of LaSalle Partners Limited, where he directed urban land acquisitions and dispositions on behalf of the firm’s institutional and corporate clients. In addition, Mr. Avedisian was a director and shareholder of Citizens National Bank of Lake Geneva. Mr. Avedisian is a graduate of Middlebury College and Northwestern’s J. L. Kellogg Graduate School of Business. In 1999, Mr. Avedisian was voted one of the Crain’s Chicago Business “40 under 40.”
Thomas D. Ferguson
Managing Director Goldman Sachs & Co.
Tom joined Goldman, Sachs & Co. in 2002 and named managing director in 2007. He has served in a variety of roles during this tenure including his most recent oversight responsibilities for the U.S. real estate asset management duties. In addition, Tom continues to contribute to the asset management of several key Infrastructure Investment Group assets following his role of heading the global infrastructure asset management from 2007 – 2010. Prior to that, he worked on a number of important real estate platforms owned by the Firm on its sponsored funds. He also served as the full-time CEO for one of these investments, American Golf.

Prior to joining Goldman, Sachs & Co., Tom worked for 25 years in real estate investment, finance and operations. For a majority of this time, he was with the Paragon Group, a diversified real estate development and management company in the United States.

Tom is a member of the Salesmanship Club, a nonprofit organization dedicated to education and therapy for at-risk children. He graduated from the University of Arkansas in 1977.

Bob Gailus
Managing Member, Lenox Capital Group, LLC
Robert (Bob) Gailus is an experienced venture investor and advisor. He was a founding member in 1983 of Schroder Ventures/U.S., the venture affiliate of Schroders, the London merchant bank. During the 1983-1993 time period, Mr. Gailus was one of four partners that managed $92 million and made 53 investments. Eight IT investments and 10 biotech / healthcare companies became publicly traded companies. In 1994 Bob founded Software Technology Venture Partners to invest in and advise information technology companies, and in 2000 Bob joined with Bob Levenson, a successful entrepreneur and Fortune 1000 operating executive at ADP, Medco and First Data Corp., to form LENOX Capital Group, L.L.C. Since 1994, he has invested in 14 early-stage IT companies. Three of the companies (SolidWorks, Epicon and ServiceSoft) were acquired by public companies, and CommVault had an IPO in September, 2006. In April, 2005 Bob became a member of The New York Angels. Bob is a graduate of Columbia College and the Columbia University Business School.

Brad Gerstner
Founder & CEO, Altimeter Capital
Brad Gerstner is Founder & CEO of Altimeter Capital Management. Prior to Altimeter, he was an investment partner at PAR Capital where he managed a portfolio of public and private securities including Farecast, Sidestep, ITA Software, Priceline, and Expedia. He currently sits on the board or is a board observer to Orbitz Worldwide,, Nor 1, Silver Rail Technologies (AKA, Real Self, and Room 77.

Prior to joining PAR Capital, Mr. Gerstner co-founded – a vertical search and advertising platform that was acquired by Marchex (MCHX – NASDAQ) in 2006. Before Openlist, Mr. Gerstner served as Co-CEO of National Leisure Group, one of the web’s first and largest sellers of online vacations and cruises. Prior to NLG, he was an analyst at General Catalyst, a Boston venture capital firm.

Mr. Gerstner has a past practice in securities law and served an appointment as Deputy Secretary of State of Indiana. Mr. Gerstner holds degrees from Wabash College, Indiana University School of Law, and Harvard Business School.

Bob Kirk
Former Chairman and CEO, CSX Transportation, Inc.
Robert L. Kirk served as a senior executive with many years experience in aerospace, transportation and capital-intensive industries. He became the first non-British board director for British Aerospace plc (now BAe Systems plc) in 1991 and was also responsible for the company’s interests in North and South America. He previously served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of CSX Transportation, Inc., the nation’s then-largest railroad.

Mr. Kirk served on the boards of United Defense L.P. and Harsco Corporation; a $3B diversified industrial company, as well as numerous other enterprises.

He was Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Allied-Signal Aerospace Co., one of the country’s largest aerospace firms, which subsequently merged with Honeywell.

Mr. Kirk was President and Chief Executive Officer of LTV Aerospace and Defense Co. from 1977 until 1986. His prior experience included engineering and business development positions in the aerospace industry as well as service as an officer in the U.S. Navy.

Mr. Kirk holds a Bachelor of Science and Doctor of Engineering from Purdue University and served on the school’s Engineering Visiting Committee. He was previously selected as an Outstanding Alumnus of the school.

Mr. Kirk was the 1986 chairman of the Board of Governors of the Aerospace Industries Association. He has served as a trustee of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and as a member of the Defense Policy Advisory Committee on Trade of the U.S. Department of Defense.

For his work in organizing the Executive Coalition for the National Initiative on Technology and the Disabled, Mr. Kirk became the fourth recipient of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service’s Distinguished Public Service Award. President Reagan publicly recognized him at a White House ceremony for the Coalition’s work with the disabled.

Mr. Kirk was honored by the editors of Aviation Week for significant contributions to Anglo-American aerospace cooperation. Mr. Kirk is a member of the Trustees’ Council of the National Gallery of Art.

Robert D. Kline
President and Co-Founder, Chartres Lodging Group, LLC.
(Shares Nor1 Board Seat with Vann Avedisian)
Robert D. Kline is President and Co-Founder, is a 20+ year veteran of the lodging industry and a graduate of Cornell University's School of Hotel Administration. He has led over $5.0 billion in transactions and is a pioneer in the development of Asset Management practices. Prior to forming Chartres Lodging (formerly known as 'Oxford Lodging') and serving with Chartres Capital Partners, Mr. Kline founded the Lodging Business for Lend Lease Real Estate Investments and was the founding Head of Acquisitions for Strategic Hotel Capital. Mr. Kline is also a Founding Director of the Hotel Asset Management Association and a frequent lecturer at universities and industry conferences.

He began his career in 1984 upon graduating from Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration and has since led over $7 billion in transactional activity. He pioneered the establishment of a preeminent lodging investment and asset management advisory practice under The Yarmouth Group/Lend Lease, and conducted extensive business throughout the U.S., Asia, Mexico and Europe. Mr. Kline previously served as the initial Head of Acquisitions for Strategic Hotel Capital during its formative years where he oversaw their purchase of $2 billion of luxury hotels across three countries. In 1998 he began investing directly as a principal and has successfully invested over $3 billion of capital on his own behalf and a select group of private investors and institutional funds.

Since his formation of Chartres Lodging (formerly known as 'Oxford Lodging') with Maki Nakamura Bara in 2002, Chartres Lodging has developed into one of the industry’s leading investment and advisory firms. Chartres Lodging currently serves as property and asset managers for 30 hotels, resorts and conference centers located throughout the United States and Japan with a portfolio value in excess of $4 billion. The firm is headquartered in San Francisco and operates from additional offices in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago and Tokyo.

More information:

Joe Robillard
Chief Investment Officer, HHR Asset Management

Joe Robillard graduated from the University of Minnesota with B.A. and B.S. degrees in 1986. He received his M.B.A. from the University Of Chicago Graduate School Of Business in 1992. From 1987 to 1989 he was a Financial Consultant at Merrill Lynch.

In the summer of 1991, he was an intern with HHR Asset Management, LLC. He joined the firm as a Research Analyst in July 1992. In January 1995, he became a Principal with HHR Asset Management, LLC as a General Partner. In the Spring of 2000, he left HHR and founded Pandion Capital Management, LLC to pursue direct private investing. In September of 2001, he returned to HHR Asset Management, LLC to assume the duties of Chief Investment Officer.

He is on the board of Nova Consulting Group, Inc. and Renaissance E.M.S. He is managing member of Pandion Capital Management, LLC & Zenaida Aviation, LLC.

Tom Thornhill
Chairman and CEO, Mendocino Wine Company
Mr. Thornhill is an experienced equity investor and manager. He is currently the Chairman and CEO of Mendocino Wine Company (MWC/Parducci), the oldest and largest family owned winery in Mendocino County California. MWC has multiple brands in national and international distribution and is a leader in sustainable business, wine making and viticulture practices.

In 2006 Mr. Thornhill retired from the financial services business after 25 years in equity research and research management. Most recently he was a managing director at UBS Securities LLC. Prior to joining UBS, Mr. Thornhill was Global Director of Research and was also a member of the Equity Division Operating Committee, Equity Commitment Committee (underwriting) and BAS Capital Funding investment committee (late stage private equity) at Banc of America Securities LLC. Previously he was a partner, director of Technology Research and a member of the Spitfire Capital Fund LP investment committee (late stage private equity) at Montgomery Securities and a senior semiconductor analyst at Lehman Brothers. In the years Mr. Thornhill served as a research analyst he was a member of Institutional Investor’s “All-Star Analyst Team” for twelve years.

Educational Background
Mr. Thornhill holds an M.B.A. from Stanford Graduate School of Business and a B.A. in History/Economics from Grinnell College. Mr. Thornhill is also a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA). Mr. Thornhill has also completed the Organization International de La Vigne et du Vine (OIV) course at UC Davis.

Paul Reeder
President, Par Capital Management Inc.
Paul Reeder is President Par Capital Management Inc. PAR Capital Management is a hedge fund with over $1.5 billion in managed capital. The firm balances its large holdings in publicly traded securities with related private equity stakes in travel and online media. PAR owns major stakes in United States airlines (i.e. American Airlines, US Airways), broadband access providers (i.e. Sabre Holdings), and large Internet portals (i.e. Orbitz, Priceline). Reeder started the hedge fund in 1990, five years after receiving a master’s degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan School of Management.