Western States Lodging and Management Announces Exciting Changes to Executive Leadership Team

by | May 6, 2024 | Hospitality, Multifamily Housing, News, Property Development, Property Management, Senior Living

Western States Lodging and Management (WSLM), an industry leading management and development firm focused in hospitality, senior living and multifamily housing, is proud to announce exciting new changes to its executive leadership team including the additions and promotions of Chad Griffiths to Chief Financial Officer (CFO); Jennifer S. Knecht to Chief Revenue Officer (CRO); Marshall Paepke to Chief Strategy & Human Resource Officer (CSHRO); Cole Smith to Chief Development Officer (CDO); and David Webster, Jr. to Chief Operating Officer (COO).

The new executive leadership team has been tapped to extend WSLM’s mission of Serving You like Family. The company’s hallmark Personal Touch Culture is the distinction for associates, customers, and business partners that has powered its growth from two flagship properties to today’s operations of 94 management properties serving thousands of guests and residents across 12 states.

“The Western States partners and I are thrilled to develop this new executive leadership team that will usher our organization to continued growth and excellence as a leader in property development and management,” said Paul Fairholm, president and CEO. “The team is professionally adept for dynamic leadership. They are experts in their fields and masters of strategic development.”

Chad Griffiths, CFO
In his role as chief financial officer, Griffiths will manage and lead financial initiatives for the organization’s development properties. Griffiths brings nearly 20 years of financial experience to the Western States executive team. He is a seasoned, dynamic strategist with an understanding of current and future trends in financial systems and management. Griffiths offers a wealth of experience in financial management. His acumen and experience will keep Western States well positioned for continued success.

Jennifer S. Knecht, CRO
As CRO, Knecht will extend strategic oversight and vision to the revenue and customer experience operations of the company’s five business units. Knecht’s addition to WSLM adds over 20 years of sales and marketing, customer experience and operations leadership. Knecht brings to WSLM a track record of transformational leadership and a toolbox of proven growth strategies. In her recent revenue-leading roles, Knecht developed a series of person-centered customer experience insights formulas, brand architecture frameworks, and a series of growth strategy playbooks which have produced multiple billions in revenue and impact for the organizations she’s led.

Marshall Paepke, CSHRO
Paepke is an accomplished entrepreneur and an expert in leadership development and strategic growth. He has served as an executive coach, a corporate advisor and is skillful in the advancement of leaders and expansion of corporate objectives. As chief strategy and human resource officer, Paepke will lead the strategic vision and employee recruitment of Western States, ushering the organization’s Personal Touch Culture throughout its multifaceted properties.

Cole Smith, CDO
Smith has been tapped to lead the organization’s development and acquisition initiatives. Western States’ strengths span the entire development continuum, including feasibility, design, construction management, acquisitions and asset management. Smith is a seasoned entrepreneur with a passion for real estate, building long-term value, creating lasting change and developing sustainable solutions.

Dave Webster Jr., COO
As COO, Webster will oversee the day-to-day operations of WSLM, ensuring business lines function smoothly and efficiently. He will work closely with other members of the executive leadership team to develop and execute strategies that support growth objectives and maintain commitment to delivering the highest level of service and quality to customers and business partners within the organization’s culture of Personal Touch. With 22 years of experience at WSLM, Webster brings a wealth of expertise and knowledge to this new role. Webster has demonstrated the ability to drive operational excellence, foster innovation, and lead teams to success.

Since opening the doors of its flagship hotel in Woods Crossing, Utah and senior living community in South Jordan, Utah in 1996, Western States Lodging and Management has grown from five partners into nearly 5,000 associates serving across 12 U.S. states, including Hawaii.

Annually, thousands of WSLM customers create lasting memories in the company’s luxury living environments via its Nxt Property Management and Legacy Senior Living brands, while travelers enjoy the comforts of home in its Marriott, Hilton, IHG hospitality, independent hospitality, and conference settings. Western States manages 94 properties, has more than 1.6 billion dollars in assets under management with two developments opening in 2024.


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