William (Bill) E. Heinecke
Chairman and CEO of Minor International MORE
One of the best known expatriates in Southeast Asia, Bill Heinecke is the driving force behind the leading global brands under the Minor Group umbrella. His visionary spirit, unwavering commitment and hands-on management style are the cornerstones of his unparalleled successes, which are deeply rooted in Thailand. Bill created his very first company here at the young age of 17. Today, Minor International (MINT) owns and operates a diversity companies, focused on three primary business sectors: restaurants, hotels and lifestyle retail brands. MINT operates over 1,700 restaurants, over 300 retail trading outlets, and over 130 hotels across 35 countries from Australia to Brazil.
Bill’s first hotel venture was in 1978 with the Royal Garden Resort in Pattaya, Thailand. Minor Hotels is now one of the largest hotel owners and operators based in Asia, with a current portfolio of 136 properties in 22 countries. The company’s hotels, resorts and serviced suites are operated under Minor Hotels’ Anantara, AVANI, Elewana, Oaks, PER AQUUM and Tivoli brands – as well as management agreements with Four Seasons, JW Marriott, Marriott, Serendib and St. Regis. In addition, its spa brands – including Mandara Spa and Anantara Spa – have consistently been named among the best in the world.
Chief Executive Officer, Minor Hotels
Chief Operating Officer, Minor International
Dillip Rajakarier serves as Chief Executive Officer of Minor Hotels as well as Chief Operating Officer of Minor International. With an accomplished hotel and finance background, he oversees the strategy, operations, and development of Minor’s hotel division. He joined Minor Hotels in 2007 as Chief Finance & Investment Officer and took on the Chief Operating Officer role the following year. In 2011 he was promoted to CEO.
Dillip has been instrumental in expanding the hotel portfolio, including Elewana properties in Africa, Anantara Kihavah Villas in the Maldives, strategic hotel investments in Sri Lanka, Life Resorts in Vietnam, the PER AQUUM brand, six properties in a strategic partnership with Sun International in Africa, and six Tivoli hotels in Brazil and Portugal, along with the rights to the Tivoli brand in Brazil. He also oversaw the acquisition of Oaks Hotels & Resorts, which operates over 50 hotels across Australia, New Zealand, the Middle East, and Thailand. He also spearheaded the AVANI Hotels & Resorts launch in 2011 in Sri Lanka, which now includes properties across 11 countries, with more to come.
Before joining Minor Hotels, Dillip was Deputy Chief Financial Officer for Orient-Express Hotels, Trains & Cruises.
Chief Operating Officer MORE
Robert Kunkler joined Minor Hotels in 2012 as Senior Vice President – Operations, overseeing the performance of all operating and new, opening properties across the company’s highly acclaimed suite of brands. In March 2014, Mr Kunkler was promoted to the position of Chief Operating Officer taking on additional executive responsibilities across the group.
Hailing from Freiburg, Germany, Robert is a veteran of the hospitality industry, having worked in Germany, the UK, Singapore, the Philippines, South Africa and the United Arab Emirates before joining Jumeirah in 1999 as a member of the pre-opening team for the iconic Burj Al Arab. Since joining Minor Hotels, he has been instrumental in achieving operational excellence across all brands, in addition to raising guest satisfaction to the highest standards, ensuring the group’s position as an industry leader.
Chief Commercial Officer MORE
As Chief Commercial Officer, Michael Marshall heads Sales, Marketing, and Revenue & Distribution for Minor Hotels. With his proven track record in hospitality sales and marketing spanning two decades, he is integral to Minor Hotels’ pursuit for perfection. Michael, a British national, began at Minor Hotels as Senior Vice President – Commercial Operations in 2012, coming from Millennium Hotels & Resorts where he was Vice President – Sales & Marketing for the Middle East and Africa, based in Abu Dhabi. In 2014 he was promoted to his current position of Chief Commercial Officer.
Michael’s career in hospitality started when he joined the InterContinental Hotel Group in 1989. He developed his expertise there with several regional marketing and sales positions, and then became Director of Marketing Programmes for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. After 16 years, he left InterContinental Hotel Group, working firstly as a marketing consultant within the industry, then in senior sales and marketing positions for several hotel groups.
Chief People Officer MORE
Caroline Stevens, Chief People Office for Minor Hotels, is committed to building a sustainable and rewarding workplace while ensuring guests receive an exceptional experience. She joined Minor Hotels in 2011 as Vice President – Human Resources from Hilton Worldwide where she was Vice President for the Middle East and Africa. Caroline is a key part the team that grew Minor Hotels from 6,000 employees and under 50 properties to over 18,000 people working at over 130 hotels and resorts across multiple brands.
Originally from the Seychelles, Caroline is a naturalized Australian citizen. She began her human resources career path as a training officer in finance and then hospitality. She moved up through various training and personnel positions at properties in Australia, eventually becoming Director of HR for Hyatt International, then for Jumeirah’s Burj Al Arab, during which time they were awarded the 2004 Dubai Quality Award, and then for Hilton Worldwide before coming to Minor Hotels.
Chief Financial Officer, Minor Hotels
Chief Financial Officer, Minor International
As Chief Financial Officer of Minor Hotels as well as Minor International, Brian Delaney promotes strength in numbers, and not just through finance. His perceptions and insights from extensive accounting and financial management experience help Minor Hotels achieve its overall excellent performance. He joined in 2015 from Oaks Hotels & Resorts where he was Chief Financial Officer with a lead role in business planning and ownership over the company budgeting processes.
An Irish citizen, Brian earned a number of advanced accounting degrees and became a Chartered Accountant at the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland. He began his career in 1998 with Citigroup and continued to develop his understanding of financial growth from Helaba Bank, JPMorgan, and AMP Capital in Dublin and Sydney. There he learned the intricacies of strategic acquisitions before applying his skills in the hospitality sector with Oaks Hotels.
Senior Vice President – Finance MORE
Wayne Williams supports the growth of Minor Hotels in his role as Senior Vice President – Finance. The first person in this newly created role, Wayne personifies the Minor Hotels pursuit for perfection. He joined in 2006 as Group Financial Controller for the Marriott Resorts and Anantara Resorts in Thailand. He gained recognition early in his career with internal awards and was soon promoted to Group Financial Controller then to Vice President – Finance before being named to his current role.
Wayne has been in the hospitality sector since the early 1990s, establishing his bona fides at properties in Australia, Vanuatu and Thailand before becoming part of the Minor Hotels team. A qualified CPA in hotel finance for more than two decades, Wayne regularly participates as a panelist at hospitality industry seminars, sharing his knowledge and experiences on strategic planning and risk management issues unique to hotels and resorts.
James A. Kaplan
Senior Vice President – Development
With his legal background and over 25 years in hospitality development, James A. Kaplan, Senior Vice President – Development, leads Minor Hotels’ exploration and development of strategic portfolio growth and new projects. James, an American, joined Minor Hotels from Fairmont Raffles Hotels International (FRHI) where he held the position of SVP – Development for Asia Pacific and India, based in Singapore.
During the 1990s, he owned and operated Kaplan Consulting Group in Hong Kong, representing financial institutions, hotel management companies, landowners and governments. After an international real estate advisory firm bought the company in 1998, James joined Marriott International Inc. In 2002 he moved to Kerzner International Inc. where he was soon promoted to SVP – Global Business Development and relocated to London. While in London, James also spent time with InterContinental Hotels & Resorts and then assumed the role of SVP – Development, EMEA, at FRHI. In 2011 James relocated back to Asia in his most recent position before joining Minor Hotels.
Senior Vice President – Projects & Development
Rajiv Puri is the Senior Vice President – Projects & Development for Minor Hotels. A Canadian citizen and qualified professional engineer, Rajiv joined Minor Hotels in March, bringing with him more than 27 years’ experience in industrial, retail and institutional project management. With this extensive expertise, he has overseen the completed renovation or new construction of over 40 major hotel projects around the world, with a further 65 currently being designed or under construction.
Before his role with Minor Hotels, Rajiv oversaw hotel development projects for various Marriott brands, including Ritz Carlton, Bulgari, Edition, JW Marriott, Marriott and Renaissance. His broader experience includes architectural and engineering project consulting services for hotel properties and real estate developments in the United States and Canada. Rajiv is a frequent guest expert in panel discussions at hospitality, real estate and design events.
Thomas B. Meier
Senior Vice President – Hotel Operations – Asia MORE
Thomas B. Meier, a Swiss National and graduate of the École Hotêlière de Lausanne, joined Minor Hotels in 2016 after a 15-year tenure with Fairmont Resorts & Hotels International (FRHI). Thomas held General Manager roles with both the Swissôtel and Raffles brands in Cambodia, Singapore and China between 2000 and 2008. He was subsequently promoted to Vice President Global Operations for Raffles Hotels, spanning the US, Caribbean, Europe, Middle East and Asia. Most recently, he served as Vice President Hotel Openings & Integration for all FRHI brands – Raffles, Fairmont and Swissôtel across Europe, Middle East, Indian Ocean, Asia Pacific and China. Prior to his career with FHRI, Thomas held leadership roles in Thailand and Nepal.
With the rapid growth of Minor Hotels, Thomas provides invaluable support and guidance to our leadership throughout Asia.
Vice President – Project Development – Thailand MORE
As Vice President – Project Development, Thailand, for Minor Hotels, Pleumjit Chaiya brings 20 years of architectural and design excellence to new constructions and renovations of all Minor Hotels’ properties in Thailand. From designing and planning to building and opening, she ensures that the physical projects exemplifies the Minor Hotels passion for excellence, creativity, and innovation.
A Thai national, she began her career in the 1990s, developing her skills at a number of architecture firms in Thailand, the US and Canada. In a previous term at Minor International, she served as Director of Project Development and Construction overseeing new and renovation projects across Thailand and in the Maldives. She then joined Pace Development as Chief Project Officer to head the Mahanakhon mixed-use project before returning to reprise her essential role at Minor Hotels.
Marion Walsh Hedouin
Vice President – Marketing Communication & Public Relations MORE
Marion Walsh Hedouin, Vice President – Marketing Communications & Public Relations, leads the messaging of all the Minor Hotels brands, making sure each property's unique signature offerings reach their targeted audiences, while maintaining the consistency and collaboration that unites them all.
Marion joined Minor Hotels in 2006 as Brand Director of PR, overseeing the four Anantara properties at the time, before becoming Group Director of PR in 2008, and then being promoted to her current role in 2013. During her time with Minor, Marion and her team have been instrumental in developing brand awareness, establishing a global PR network, and developing a number of very successful PR campaigns and hotel launches. Marion began her career as Public Relations Manager at Restaurant Alain Ducasse and then was Director of Communications for the InterContinental Grand Stanford, Hong Kong, before joining Minor Hotels.
Vice President – Digital, eCommerce & Distribution MORE
As Vice President – Digital, eCommerce & Distribution, Marcos Cadena drives Minor Hotels’ strategic digital roadmap. He leads Minor Hotels’ centre of expertise for developing and executing the company’s digital strategy, customer engagement and brand innovations through digital media including the web, mobile and social.
He guides a team of specialists in optimization tactics to grow sales for Minor Hotels’ key markets (Asia Pacific, China, Australia, Europe, Brazil, the Americas and Africa), SEM, SEO, PPC, mobile development, CRM, social media, and TPI, GDS and central services architecture including CRM and loyalty programmes.
Prior to joining Minor he founded hospitality IT and electronic distribution consultancy EHL Junior and led the digital strategy department of Kempinski Hotels. In addition to his professional experience, he draws from an impressive academic background with degrees and advanced professional training from the University of Freiburg, École Hôtelière de Lausanne, the IE Business School and the Haas School of Business at the University of Berkeley.
Vice President – Revenue & Distribution MORE
Bryan Bailey spearheads Minor Hotels’ distribution and revenue management strategies, leading the company’s team of experts in optimising price and channel mix to maximise revenue and continued growth. Having spent 20 years within the airline, hotel management and tourism industries, Bryan brings to Minor a strong background in commercial functions and people management.
He joined Minor Hotels in 2012 from Virgin Australia Group of Airlines. Prior to Virgin, he held key positions with Hilton Hotels in Sydney and Dubai as well as Scandinavian Airlines System in Sydney, Stockholm and Copenhagen.
Vice President – Talent MORE
Tracey Lloyd, currently Vice President of Talent, joined Minor Hotels in 2011 in the role of Group Director of Talent, bringing with her a long career in hotel industry talent and human resources with Hilton, Hospitality International and Forte Hotels. Her career has seen her overseeing human resources in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific – regions she nows looks after as part of Minor Hotels’ own international portfolio.
In addition to her extensive professional experience, she possesses a number of educational qualification in fields including psychology, training and development, and employment law in practice, from universities throughout the United Kingdom.
Vice President – Engineering MORE
Following a career with Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts as well as Grand Hyatt in Jakarta, China and Singapore, Desmond Khoo directs the engineering operations of Minor Hotels’ portfolio of properties, ensuring the highest levels of compliance in standards and procedures.
Setting corporate standards and leading a team of Directors of Engineering and Chief Engineers across Minor Hotels’ brands, he plays a key role in overseeing property audits to maintain engineering processes and regulatory compliance, monitoring energy conservations and sustainability efforts, and conducting property improvements evaluations to support the continued development and enhanced performance of our global hotels and resorts worldwide.
Vice President – Sales & Marketing – Asia MORE
Stephane Laguette leads Minor Hotels’ sales and marketing forces in Asia, building on our decades of success in this key market where our portfolio began and continues to expand. He brings to the leadership role thirty years of experience with international hospitality brands across Europe, the Middle East, South America, and Asia.
After a tenure with Starwood in sales and marketing roles in the Caribbean, Abu Dhabi, Mexico and Thailand, he progressed to a career with Accor, culminating in a role as Vice President of Sales, Marketing, Distribution and Communication for Sofitel Asia-Pacific, followed by a position as Vice President of Sales & Marketing for Premier Inn International.
Defining regional strategies and guiding the team by uniting his own local and international expertise, Stephane plays a vital role in solidifying and building upon Minor Hotels’ achievements at its home base – driving revenue growth, multiplying sales leads and evolving marketing activities with an eye on new techniques as well as proven tactics.
Vice President – Sales and Marketing – Middle East, Sri Lanka, Seychelles MORE
Backed by more than 20 years of experience in international sales and marketing within the tourism and hospitality sectors in the Middle East, Europe and US, David Garner joined Minor Hotels in 2011 initially as Regional Director of Sales and Marketing for the Middle East before his appointment to Vice President.
David reinforces the positioning of Minor Hotels brands across the Middle East, Sri Lanka and Seychelles, attracting a wider audience to our world-class properties. He plays a vital leadership role in driving the commercial growth of our brands and properties across the region.
He brings to Minor Hotels experience gained in key previous roles including senior positions with: IHG in the UK and Global Sales Office, the Qatar Tourism Authority where he helped elevate the nation to one of the Gulf’s emerging tourism and business destinations, and Emirates Airlines Group where he served as Commercial Director of the Emirates Hotels & Resorts division.