WHO WE ARE

| 

Oliver Companies is a privately held company with over 20 years of niche-market expertise in the lodging and hospitality segment of the commercial real estate industry. When you deal with us, you will likely be dealing directly with one or more of the principals—and a combined 125+ years of experience in the business—your business. Whether your project involves managing a current property, purchase of a new location, refurbishing an existing franchise property, or ground-up construction, we’ve been there, done that, and we have the success stories to prove it.

 

At Oliver Companies, we are bigger on the inside than we look on the outside. As a client, you get large corporation/large project experience and capabilities combined with small company personal service from the key players themselves. Our size makes us nimble and flexible; we can offer business arrangements to work as partners, co-investors, project construction managers, or property managers. Meet the players that define Oliver Companies:

KENT OLIVER | CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD

Over a 31-year career, Kent has developed dozens of real estate projects, and still provides expert guidance to the development and management teams of the Oliver Companies.

We make communities as much as the communities make us. At Oliver Companies, supporting our local network is a way of giving back to the enrichments given to us.

 

American Cancer Society

 

ALS Blizzard Tour

 

Hermantown Chamber

 

Lake Superior Zoo

 

Richard I Bong Veteran Memorial

 

Twig Hockey Association

 

Proctor Public Schools

 

Animal Allies Humane Society

East Girls Basketball Association

 

 

GIVING BACK

| 

SETH OLIVER | CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

Seth was raised in a construction and real estate family and his experience started during his high school years. Seth’s father was in the midst of several large local projects and enlisted Seth's weekends and summers. During that time, Seth learned everything he could from organizing years of paperwork to running a jackhammer on site. In 2003 Seth consolidated the Oliver hospitality business from his father and partners into Oliver Companies, Inc. In the first 5 years of operations, the company grew from 7 hotels earning $8.5 million in room revenue to 16 hotels earning over $30 million in room revenue. In 2007, Seth started the construction division (Kaizen Companies) within Oliver Companies, and in 2017, when Kaizen Companies revenues overtook that of Oliver Companies, Seth spun out Kaizen into its own company. Seth is also the lead investor in VIP FF&E, a Chicago-based interior design and procurement company that subsequently acquired Boston Trade Interior Solutions. Throughout Seth’s career, he has infused core principals of continuous improvement and honoring of those who helped get him this far. Living under those principles, Seth built a 2,000 – plus member team that was able to expand the Oliver Companies portfolio and increase operational excellence. In 2017 Hilton sought out Seth to join their owner advisory board. Seth received his undergraduate degree from The College of St. Scholastica with a major in Business Administration.

COLLEEN ANDERSON | CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER

As Chief Financial Officer for Oliver Companies, Inc., the hotel management division, and Kaizen Companies, Inc., the development, design and construction division she is responsible for the fiscal management aspects of the company.  She is responsible for cash and asset management of existing properties and the physical and financial analysis of potential properties to add to the company portfolio.  She is responsible for obtaining financing for acquisitions and existing projects.  Responsible for debt compliance, investor relations and communications. Colleen has a degree in Accounting from the College of St. Scholastica along with over 20 years of accounting experience, 15 of those in the hospitality industry. In her spare time Colleen enjoys spending time with her three children and enjoys boating, kayaking, traveling, cooking and gardening. 

LINDA SARON, CHA | CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER

As the Chief Operating Officer, Linda is responsible for the overall performance of Oliver Companies hotel portfolio in all key metrics. This includes top line revenue performance, profit and EBIDA, guest experience, team member satisfaction, and the overall care and maintenance of all physical assets. Linda leads a team of leaders that provides service and support to the hotel teams to maximize returns for key stakeholders in such disciplines as revenue management, sales, operations, human resources, and facilities. A graduate of Iowa State University, Linda has over 20 years of hospitality experience, joining the industry after a college job sparked her passion for the industry.   While she has worked primarily in the Hilton and Marriott family of brands, Linda also has experience with independent and IHG brands.  Linda’s true passion is helping others maximize their talents. Through her leadership and team development Linda has won awards such as Connie Pride, Lighthouse Award, MVP, and General Manager of the Year. In her free time, Linda enjoys hiking, traveling, and baking.  She and her husband Brent reside in Phoenix with their two children.

TOM LYNN | GENERAL COUNSEL

In this role, Tom counsels the Company’s entities and officers in a wide variety of legal issues, focuses on contract formation and interpretation, and provides support to the various entities. Tom is a graduate of Cornell Law School and worked at two law firms in Manhattan before joining the Minnesota Wild in April of 2000 and serving until 2009 as its chief legal officer and Assistant General Manager. He thereafter maintained a solo legal practice in Saint Paul until joining Oliver Companies, and also serves as a National Hockey League Players Association Certified Agent in representing and assisting professional and amateur hockey players.

JOHN PAUL VILLARREAL | REGIONAL MANAGER

As Regional Manager for Oliver Companies, Inc. the Regional Managers primary responsibility is to develop leadership and management skills in General Managers while guiding the property to higher levels of profitability and quality of service.  With visits to the property at a minimum of once every quarter and more frequent virtual check-ins, he is therefore able to maximize results and leverage the team to meet or exceed goals. Mr. Villarreal has a degree from the C.T. Bauer College of Business and has over 20 years in hotel operations, including 12 as General Manager and/or Area Manager.  John Paul is bilingual in Spanish and English, allowing him to communicate with many levels of day to day hotel operations. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his family, enjoying outdoor water activities as well as running and hiking.

PETER AINSWORTH-JOHNSON, CHA | REGIONAL MANAGER

A Certified Hotel Administrator, Peter Ainsworth started in the industry as an Entertainment Coordinator after completing a Principles of Business Degree course in Jamaica. After moving to the USA in 1994, he continued in the industry expanding his knowledge base in Embassy Suites, Hilton Garden Inn and Full Service Holiday. Peter has served as Quarterback (general manager) and Area General Manager for over twenty (20) years operating award-winning hotels. Team Awards earned include Hilton Garden Inn Success Award, Top Community Service Award, Holiday Inn Torchbearer Award, Newcomers Award. In addition, he has earned General Manager of the Year Award two consecutive years with the Ohio Hotel & Lodging Association. He also served as Manager Director of Food & Beverage for a high-end Italian Steakhouse and 28,000 sqft Event Center. Peter is also an entrepreneur at heart and opened and operated a free-standing restaurant as managing partner. He is passionate about developing leaders for the future of the industry and enjoys coaching and mentoring leaders to become their best selves. Peter enjoys his four sons and loves to golf. He especially loves it when they golf with him. He loves to work out, swim, play volleyball, ride his motorcycle and read motivational books.

NICOLE MURPHY | CONTROLLER

As Controller, Nicole leads the Oliver Companies accounting team. She is responsible for preparing and overseeing financial statement reporting, accounts payable, sales tax audits, and she manages the accounting systems. Nicole graduated from University of Wisconsin-Superior with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting. She brings 8 years of accounting experience and 6 years of hospitality accounting to the team. In her free time, Nicole enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, and watching sports. She has also worked with Mentor Duluth.

TOM JOHNSON | DIRECTOR OF IT

Tom is responsible for the planning, procurement, implementation, and support of all of the technology initiatives across the entire portfolio. A graduate of North Dakota State University, Tom brings nearly 30 years of experience in multifamily residential and commercial real estate-related management and technology projects. In his spare time, Tom enjoys spending time with his family, attending live music events, sporting events, traveling, boating, and cabin life. 

THERESE WENSMANN | CORPORATE DIRECTOR OF SALES & MARKETING

Therese Wensmann is Corporate Director of Sales & Marketing for Oliver Companies. In this role, she builds the sales structure and culture, implements new sales processes, and aligns sales strategy while leading the sales efforts across the portfolio. Therese has 18 years of industry experience. This includes launching her career with Marriott International in the Chicago land area with Marriott Full Service and Courtyard by Marriott brands then joining forces with a hospitality management company overseeing sales efforts for Marriott and Hilton Brands. She has received high accolades for building team culture, planning and execution of new hotel openings, and building and leading a positive, successful sales environment throughout her tenure in the industry. She attended DePaul University, Chicago, IL and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Business Management and minor in Marketing. In her off time, Therese enjoys spending time with her husband and children, has 3 granddaughters, is a fitness junkie and enjoys travel and spending time with friends and family.

ANDY MAYER | CORPORATE DIRECTOR OF FACILITIES

As Corporate Director of Facilities for Oliver Companies, Inc., Andy oversees all preventive maintenance and deep cleaning activities for all hotel properties. He is also responsible for identifying and resolving recurring issues and implementing maintenance and safety related programs. Andy Mayer is a Licensed First Grade Stationary Engineer, He has completed Technical Refrigeration at Southeast Community College and is EPA universal certified. Andy has passion for teaching and served as an instructor at Metropolitan Community College for Maintenance Engineering. He is a member and instructor for the National Association of Power Engineers. He was a Planning Board member for the City of Elkhorn Nebraska. He has worked in the Hospitality Industry for over 25 years. He has also worked as a Facilities Coordinator for THT Designs and was instrumental in the construction of the 300,000 square foot building. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his family, golf, working on projects around the house and restoring his classic car. He enjoys traveling, especially when he can spend time relaxing on the beach.

SCOTT RUHMAN | DIRECTOR, RISK MANAGEMENT

Scott has oversight and responsibility of the Risk Management Function including procurement and management of property, casualty, terrorism, liability, pollution, cyber, professional and self-insured employee benefits policies, risk control, safety management as well as claim and litigation management including property losses, workers compensation, general liability, auto liability, and employment practices insurance. He prepares personal property taxes, completes all insurance audits, and works with carriers to maximize the benefits for employees. Scott has over 35 years of accounting experience in healthcare, manufacturing, and energy.  He also has extensive knowledge in the food and beverage industry focusing on cost controls while maintaining guest satisfaction. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his four children, helping his wife at their restaurant as well as hunting and fishing. 

SHANNON SCHROEDER, CRME | CORPORATE DIRECTOR OF REVENUE

Shannon has more than 20 years of hospitality experience with over 18 years in a revenue generating position.
She has driven strategy for both owned and managed portfolios during her career, inclusive of full service and
select service properties for Marriott and Hilton. Her experience expands from property level leadership, and
multi-brand revenue management supports, to asset development. This has allowed for a strong history of
facilitating team training and development within the core disciplines of Revenue Management, eCommerce,
and Sales. Shannon is primarily responsible for overseeing the development of revenue management leaders
and implementation of revenue strategies including pricing, market positioning, trend analysis, forecasting, and
budgeting.

AMY JOHNSON, ED.D, M.A.M. | DIRECTOR OF ORGANIZATION DEVELOPMENT

Scott has oversight and responsibility of the Risk Management Function including procurement and management of property, casualty, terrorism, liability, pollution, cyber, professional and self-insured employee benefits policies, risk control, safety management as well as claim and litigation management including property losses, workers compensation, general liability, auto liability, and employment practices insurance. He prepares personal property taxes, completes all insurance audits, and works with carriers to maximize the benefits for employees. Scott has over 35 years of accounting experience in healthcare, manufacturing, and energy.  He also has extensive knowledge in the food and beverage industry focusing on cost controls while maintaining guest satisfaction. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his four children, helping his wife at their restaurant as well as hunting and fishing. 

SHEENAGH TARAY | HUMAN RESOURCES MANAGER

Sheenagh is responsible for the oversight of all aspects of human resources including compliance, recruitment, employee relations, engagement, compensation, benefits, training and development. Sheenagh is dedicated to providing approachable human resources support and driving positive employee experience. Sheenagh holds a Human Resources Management B.B.A from the University of Minnesota Duluth. In her spare time, Sheenagh enjoys exercising, cooking, baking, traveling, and spending time with friends and family.