Team


PRAVIN PATEL - Founder

Pravin was born and raised in Tanzania, East Africa. In 1972 he migrated to the United States for higher education. After settling in the San Francisco Bay Area at the age of 18, he began working in a small motel while attending Armstrong University in Berkeley, CA. At the age of 24, Pravin and his family purchased their first motel in Oakland, CA. At the age of 30, he found himself working on his first ground-up development by borrowing from friends and family. At this point it was evident; he had a great passion for hospitality.

Shortly after, Pravin, with his wife Sima, developed one of the first Holiday Inn Express Hotel franchises in Northern California. Shortly thereafter, they developed the Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites at the Oakland Airport. This hotel was the first major hotel development for the Oakland Airport area in 10+ years. Pravin continued to pursue his passion for hospitality development and has added several other hotels the company’s portfolio. He continues to head up future construction and development for the company.

Pravin is an outstanding contributor to the lodging industry, not only in the city of Oakland, but also in and around the state of California. After coming from humble beginnings, he feels the need to be active in his community as well as taking part in industry leadership. He has served on the board of the California Lodging and Industry association (CLIA) and is a former president of the Oakland Hotel Motel Association. Pravin enjoys all sports and Cricket is his passion. He enjoys travel and music in his free time.

SIMA PATEL - CEO 

Sima Patel Sima Patel’s life story is a lesson in hard work and the fulfillment of the “American Dream”. She was born in Surat, India and moved to the United States in 1979. With no prior training or formal education, Sima immediately began working in a family lodging business. In 1985, Sima and her husband Pravin Patel developed their first lodging property. They currently own and operate several Branded and Boutique hotels in the San Francisco Bay Area and continue to develop great brands of hotels.

Sima’s commitment to the community can be seen in the number of organizations in which she participates. In 2007, she received the Richard L. Spees Destination Oakland Award presented by the Oakland Convention and Visitor’s Bureau. Sima has kept close ties with industry and government leaders in her city, county and state. Because of those relationships, she was instrumental in securing funding for the Oakland Convention and Visitors Bureau through a voter referendum and assisted with forming a Tourism Improvement district in Oakland. Sima advocates the economic value of tourism to her city and state lawmakers and is a true champion for tourism in Oakland.

Sima is the past Chair of the Oakland Convention and Visitors Bureau Board of Directors and currently serves as a director on their Executive committee and Board. Her other community commitments include membership in the Oakland Rotary Club and the Oakland Airport Area Business Association. Sima made history by being the first Indian woman in the country to chair a state lodging association when she became the Chairperson of the California Lodging Industry Association (CLIA) in 2004. A past recipient of the prestigious Women Hotelier of the Year Award presented by the Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA), Sima has been active in the Indian American Community and founded a community for South Asian women called SAAHELI (‘Girlfriend’ in her native language of Gujarati).

In 2006, Sima was elected by her industry to serve on the California Travel and Tourism Commission ( Visit California). After serving two elected terms, Sima was appointed again on Visit California Board by the Governor of California Mr. Edmund G. Brown. In October , 2016 Sima Patel became Visit California’s first industry-elected Chair of its Board of Directors after an unanimous – and spirited – confirmation by the Board’s 12 Governor-appointed Commissioners at Visit California’s Oct. 14 Board Meeting. She takes the helm of the largest state tourism marketing organization in the country. Earlier this year, Sima was named one of the 100nMost influential women in Business by the San Francisco Business Journal. As an Indian woman, a business person and a community leader. Sima continues to expand her reach as she gains momentum in her career as a hospitality professional. Her interests also include Women’s Empowerment and Gender Equality. In her free time, Sima enjoys traveling, cooking, and experiencing nature.

DHRUV PATEL - President and COO

Dhruv Patel was born in Oakland, CA and attended the University of San Francisco where he double majored in Finance and Entrepreneurship. He joined the family business shortly after graduating in 2008 and has worked on all aspects of the business including operations, sales, revenue, and HR. In 2010, as General Manager, Dhruv led the Hampton Inn & Suites Oakland Airport to the prestigious “Circle of Excellence Award”. This award is reserved for the top 10% of all Hilton properties worldwide in terms of quality, product, and service. 

Dhruv has developed a love and passion for the industry and continues to expand his career in all aspects of the business. His primary focus is on filling the company’s development and acquisition pipeline as well as ensuring the existing portfolio continues to outperform and remain market leaders. He currently serves on several boards including California Hotel and Lodging Association (CH&LA), California Travel Industry Association (CALTIA), Alameda Chamber Of Commerce, and Harbor Bay Business Park Association.


Dhruv is a member of Oakland Rotary #3 and served on the City Of Alameda Economic Development Task Force. Dhruv is very well versed in methodically assessing properties and markets. His strengths lie in hotel sales and revenue management, acquisitions & re-positionings, site sourcing, as well as cash flow and pro forma analysis. He has also developed a strong background and in depth understanding of the construction, design, entitlement, and development process.

Dhruv is an avid golfer and was captain of the Bishop O’Dowd golf team where he led his teammates to 4 consecutive HAAL championship titles.




 

ANDRE ROOK - Director of Procurement & Purchasing

Born and raised in the East Bay, Andre received his B.A. in English from California State University, East Bay. While in school, he worked part-time at the Comfort Inn and Suites in Castro Valley (now the Holiday Inn Express & Suites Castro Valley) and discovered his passion for hospitality. 

After graduating in 2012, Andre began his career with Ridgemont Hospitality as the Assistant General Manager of the Hampton Inn and Suites Alameda. As the years progressed, he took on General Manager responsibilities at that location, and then in early 2016, joined the Ridgemont corporate office team as Director of Property Support. In 2017, Andre transitioned to his new remote role as Director of Procurement and Purchasing, when he and his family relocated to beautiful Meridian, Idaho. 

Andre loves spending time with his wife, Amanda, and their four children: Knox, Evangeline, Charlotte, and Aiden. 


 
 

NICK BOHLENDER - Manager of People & Culture

Nick is responsible for two of Ridgemont Hospitality's most important assets: its people and its culture at the corporate office and all hotels. 

Nick has worked on and off in the Hospitality industry for over 18 years in everything from small select-service properties to a full-service property with nearly 800 rooms. He credits his start in operations as the key to his well-balanced approach, as it provided him with a great understanding of the range of employee roles and responsibilities. 

In his free time, Nick enjoys going to Broadway shows with his wife, taking his son to football games, and having tea parties with his daughter. Grateful for an amazing life, Nick enjoys giving back to his community. He graduated Summa Cum Laude with a degree in Hospitality Management, has a certificate in Human Resources, and is HRCI accredited.

 

CAROLYN BALDWIN - Regional Director of Revenue Management

Born and raised in California, Carolyn's love for adventure and travel landed her at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where she received a B.S. in Hospitality Management. While in school, Carolyn worked as a Concierge at Bellagio Las Vegas, allowing her to learn about all the various departments of a large hotel. After graduating, Carolyn moved back to California, where she worked at St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort as a Reservations Supervisor, before moving into the role of Sales and Revenue Systems Analyst. Carolyn thrived in a role surrounded with trends and data, making Revenue Management a perfect fit. She moved on to be a Director of Revenue for a property in Costa Mesa, CA before relocating to the Bay Area. Carolyn has been the Director of Revenue for multiple properties in San Francisco before joining the Ridgemont family.

 

KYLE OVERACKER - Director of Operations

At the turn of the decade Kyle joined Ridgemont Hospitality as General Manager at the Holiday Inn Express & Suites. He has since stepped into the role of Regional Director of Operations where he continues to dedicate our team's efforts to the delivery of excellence, integrity and accountability on behalf of our guests. Kyle believes in the strength of our team, our community and our company values. Now, more than ever through the unprecedented challenges and new reality facing the Covid-19 pandemic, Kyle is focused on helping to lead our operations team into the next decade as we work to set ourselves apart by enriching the lives of our team members and guests through the warmth of hospitality.



 

SANDY MERLOT - Senior Director of Sales

Hospitality professional with extensive experience and knowledge in management, customer relations, hospitality, event planning & execution, catering & banquet operations, marketing, sales, promotions & administration. Accustomed to and thrive in high-tempo environments with exceptional leadership skills and experience in cultivating contacts. Flourish in times of challenge and excel in positions that base rewards on achievement. Extremely adept at motivating others while conveying vision & project goals. 




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