Management Profile

Profiles of key members of the management team at Royal Sonesta Houston.

Pete Ells

General Manager

Pete Ells

Pete Ells joined Royal Sonesta Houston in June 2015, bringing more than three decades of high level hospitality experience to his role as General Manager. Prior to his appointment, he was Managing Director of the famed Ojai Valley Inn & Spa, a AAA Five Diamond resort on California’s central coast, and before that, General Manager of the iconic Royal Palm Resort and Spa in Phoenix. Ells began his career with Marriott International in Bethesda as a Restaurant Manager and would later go on to manage numerous properties under the Marriott, Renaissance and The Ritz-Carlton flags, including the Oakland Marriott City Center Hotel, Courtyard by Marriott Oakland Downtown. Parc 55 San Francisco, The St. Antony in San Antonio, The Ritz-Carlton, Phoenix and The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay in Orange County.

Ells holds a B.S. in Hotel/Restaurant Management from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA. In addition to serving on the American Hotel & Lodging Association Resort Committee, he has been elected to numerous state and local hotel, lodging and visitors bureau boards.

 

Peter Schreurs

Director of Rooms / Director of Food & Beverage

Peter Schreurs brings international flair to his role of director of operations at Royal Sonesta Houston. Initially hired in January 2013 as director of food & beverage, he was previously director of operations at Le Méridien Dallas by the Galleria. Fluent in several languages, the hospitality veteran began his career in his native Belgium with Holiday Inn and Hilton and secured his first luxury post at the famed Hyde Park Hotel in London in a restaurant management role. From there, Schreurs emigrated to America, initially spending seven years at another landmark hotel, The Plaza in Manhattan, where he was promoted through the ranks from managing The Palm Court and Oyster Bar to serving as assistant food & beverage director as well as director of banquets.

More recently, Schreurs has held the roles of director of rooms at The Westin Riverwalk, San Antonio, director of operations at the Resort at Singer Island (now Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island Beach Resort & Spa) and director of food & beverage at Turnberry Isle Miami.

 

Rick Reed

Director of Sales & Marketing

Rick Reed

Rick Reed began his employment at Royal Sonesta Houston in March 2017 as director of sales and was promoted to director of sales & marketing several months later. A 30-year management veteran, his most recent director of sales & marketing posts have included 21c Museum Hotels, initially supporting the launch of the brand’s Bentonville, Arkansas location, Sheraton Suites Houston near The Galleria, where he served on the opening team, and Capella Hotels Group’s The Hotel at Auburn University & Dixon Conference Center. Reed, who began his hospitality career as a bellman and concierge at The Houstonian Hotel Club & Spa, has also led sales and marketing efforts for Houston’s acclaimed Derek, ICON and Ritz-Carlton (now St. Regis) hotels in addition to The San Luis Resort & Conference Center in nearby Galveston.

Reed graduated summa cum laude from the University of Houston’s Conrad Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management. While based in Alabama, Reed was an adjunct professor in Auburn’s Hotel and Restaurant Management Program.

 

Robert Graham

Executive Chef

Robert Graham

One of Royal Sonesta Houston’s newest additions, Robert Graham tipped his toque as Executive Chef in September 2016. Graham, who brings more than two decades of premier hospitality experience, around the country and the world, to his new role, was previously the Executive Chef at the private El Dorado Golf & Beach Club in San Jose Del Cabo, Mexico. From 2011 until 2015, he was based in Florida and served as the Executive Chef of The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota, as well as the prestigious Isleworth Country Club – recognized as one of the Top 100 Platinum Clubs of the World – in Windemere. The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company alumni also spent seven years as Executive Chef of The Ritz-Carlton, Phoenix and supported pre-openings for The Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes, The Ritz Carlton New York, Battery Park, The Ritz-Carlton Bachelor Gulch in Beaver Creek and The Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay.

Graham formally began his career in the culinary arts at Long Island New York’s legendary Piping Rock Country Club, where he worked as a Chef Garde Manger and Sous Chef. His early training continued at landmark restaurants, including The Watermark in Sydney, Australia, and Manhattan’s Tavern on the Green.

 

Antoinette Riddick

Director of Human Resource 

A longtime Pennsylvania resident, Riddick relocated to Texas after three years in the same role at sister hotel, Sonesta Philadelphia Downtown Rittenhouse Square. Riddick, who has spent more than 20 years in the hospitality industry began her career as a reservations coordinator at the Crowne Plaza Philadelphia Downtown and then as the reservations manager at the Park Hyatt Philadelphia, now Hyatt at The Bellevue. She returned to the Crowne Plaza in 2004, first in the capacity of human resources manager and later as director of human resources, remaining in that role through the property’s transformation to Sonesta Philadelphia Downtown Rittenhouse Square.

Riddick attended Peirce College in Philadelphia where she studied Human Resource Management and holds a Professional in Human Resources Certification.

 

Courtney Briggs

Director of Revenue 

In addition to serving as Royal Sonesta Houston’s director of revenue management Briggs also provides regional support for sister property, Sonesta Bee Cave Austin Hotel. Briggs, who began her career more than two decades ago as a front desk clerk at the Adam’s Mark/Houston Marriott Westchase, where she was employed for nearly 12 years, quickly rising through the ranks with roles including executive housekeeper, front office manager, transient corporate sales manager and group housing manager. More recently, she has held director of revenue management positions with the JW Marriott Denver Cherry Creek and in Houston, Hotel ICON, The Alden (now The Sam Houston Hotel) and Hyatt Hotels Corporation.

Briggs is a graduate of The Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management at the University of Houston.

 

Lance Sloan

Director of Finance 

Prior to becoming part of the Sonesta family in 2015, Sloan spent 23 years as a financial leader at the now DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Houston - Greenway Plaza. He was first hired as controller while the property was under the Stouffer Renaissance flag. In 1997, during the Renaissance brand’s transition to Marriott, the hotel was renamed the Renaissance Houston, and he was promoted to director of finance and accounting. He later led the financial conversion from Renaissance to DoubleTree in addition to training the accounting staff on new Hilton operating systems.

Sloan holds a B.B.A. in marketing and finance from Baylor University in Waco, TX and continued his education with MBA studies at Baylor and the University of Wyoming in Laramie. He served on the Marriott Business Council from 2000 until 2013.

 

Robert “Jay” Lynch

Director of Engineering

Lynch’s 30-plus year career has taken him to top destinations around the country, most recently PGA National Resort & Spa in West Palm Beach, FL and the Eden Roc Miami Beach Hotel, both of where he was director of engineering. From 1995-2013, Lynch was employed by Marriott in chief and director of engineering capacities at the San Francisco Marriott Union Square, Monterey Marriott, Renaissance Houston (now DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Houston - Greenway Plaza) and the Houston Marriott Medical Center/Museum District. During a portion of this time, he was Marriott’s Business Counsel Leader for Greater Houston.

His introduction to the hospitality world was with Hyatt. Lynch served as an assistant director of engineering at the former Hyatt Regency Memphis, Hyatt Regency Sarasota, Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort, Spa and Casino, plus the Hyatt Regency Orange County.