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Thought Leaders

Jonathan McManus

Partner, Real Estate & Development

Jonathan was born on the island of Oahu, as were his wife Malia and two young sons Jack & Dylan. Jonathan co-developed a number of condominium projects in San Francisco in the 1990s before rediscovering the hospitality business.

Hawaii and hospitality are rooted in Jonathan’s family history as he grew up working in his father’s numerous restaurants in Waikiki, notably the well-known Shorebird and Ocean House. Jonathan returned to Honolulu to pursue several real estate projects and was the managing partner for Waikiki’s first modern-day boutique-style hotel, Bamboo. Incidentally, this hotel became the first Aqua hotel in the management portfolio. Aina Nalu was a 475 room hotel, nine acres in total, in the heart of Lahaina. Jonathan and his partner converted the hotel into 192 “for sale” hotel suites.

In 2008, Jonathan and his business partner teamed up to purchase and transform a former exclusive Japanese private timeshare club, unknown to the travel world, into what he later named “Hotel Wailea.”Hotel Wailea is now a nationally recognized luxury property in the press and is Hawaii’s first-ever Relais & Châteaux hotel and restaurant. Hotel Wailea, Relais & Châteaux, has been named a Top Three Hawaii Resort by Condé Nast Traveler magazine for five straight years. Jonathan’s hotel management company, Private Label Collection, has guided the design, culinary and hotel operations.

Jonathan owned a small private island named Saba Rock Resort in the British Virgin Islands adjacent to Necker & Eustatia Islands. This boutique hotel and restaurant was widely known as one of the most popular destinations in the Caribbean. Following Hurricanes Irma and Maria, both Category 5 storms, he happily sold the island.

In 2016, Jonathan entered into a culinary partnership with Chef Chris Kajioka to assist funding Senia in Honolulu, a top 20 US James Beard awarded restaurant and the newly opened Míro Kaimiki which was a Robb Report Top 20 USA most anticipated restaurant. Their new 2020 restaurant venture is located at the Westin, Maui, to be playfully named “waicoco.”

In 2018, Jonathan and Ben Rafter formed a partnership to acquire Springboard Hotels & Resorts, a hotel management company with 35-plus hotels under management spread across seven states and Hawaii.

Markus Schale

Partner, Operations

Markus currently oversees all operations of the Private Label Collection. Born and educated in Germany and the Netherlands, Markus grew up working in family owned hotels and co-developed his first project in 1998 with his father in France.

Markus obtained a BA in Travel & Tourism Management from Ryerson University in Toronto. Upon graduation, he resided in Canada and held various positions at several hotels, including the five-star Sutton Place hotel in Toronto.

In 1997, Markus joined the bespoke luxury travel company Horizon & Co., where he was quickly promoted to Vice President of Sales & Marketing, and then ultimately appointed President and CEO. In his tenure, Markus established close partnerships with the World Wildlife Foundation, Harvard and the Smithsonian Institute.

Markus most recently oversaw the multi-million dollar renovation and repositioning of Hotel Wailea. Markus assembled a hand picked team to reinvent the resort and added all relevant services for a luxury boutique hotel. Under his management Hotel Wailea has been featured internationally in luxury media, and has garnered numerous awards.

Will Song

Director of Revenue Management

Will joined the Hotel Wailea team in 2014 overseeing the revenue management strategy. In addition, Will is a cofounder of Lights On Digital, providing revenue services to independent hoteliers.

Previously with Aqua Hospitality, Will managed the revenue strategy and distribution channel for 15 properties, achieving record breaking RevPar growth during his tenure. Will is technology agnostic having come from the product management industry and has working experience with multiple PMS and CRS platforms. Will holds a BA in Economics from University of Chicago.

Amber Watt

Director of Digital Marketing

Amber specializes in increasing top-line revenue and brand recognition for independent resorts and boutique hotels. Amber joined the team since 2014 to develop and execute digital strategies and tactics, leading to substantial growth in the web direct channel. Her areas of expertise include marketing and positioning strategy as well as search engine optimization, paid search management, media planning and social media.

Amber was formerly Director of Client Services at Standing Dog Interactive, a hospitality-focused advertising agency, and prior to that she was Corporate Director of Online Marketing for Aqua Hotels & Resorts. She founded her own consultancy in 2012 and has worked with hotels, resorts, vacation rentals, airlines and attractions. Amber received her BA from the University of Colorado.

Kelly Candeur

Director of Sales

Raised and educated in Belgium, Kelly has a strong passion for the European way of living. Following years of extensive travel she developed a great appreciation for creating meaningful experiences. After graduating with honors from Arizona State University with a BA in French and Communications, Kelly carried her language skills into a senior sales role at American Express working with international merchants.

Drawn by blue ocean waters, she made her move to Maui in 2013 and soon became an essential part of the operational team in one of the most established and highest rated restaurants in Maui.

Coupling her European background with the concept of redefining the travelers’ luxury experience, Kelly moved into a senior sales position at Hotel Wailea, Hawaii’s only Relais & Chateaux. She quickly created a strong communication strategy for the travel trade and was key to launching Hotel Wailea to the travel industry. In addition, she designed a corporate group program and developed several key partnership initiatives. Kelly brings her sales skills to Private Label where she takes pride in representing the brand to partners and travel trade.

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