Solid Rock Ventures (SRV) was formed to provide investment and development advisory services to third party clients that do not have the desire to create the high-level infrastructure required. Building on the 25 years of experience at Solid Rock Advisors, the SRV team is uniquely qualified to employ its years of experience, relationships and success for the benefit of its clients, assisting them in achieving its goals and investment or development strategies. The company and its principals have been involved in well over 200 hotel industry transactions. A list of projects is provided on the Properties tab of the Overview page.
Experience, strong business relationships, hard work, institutional knowledge and our focus on customer service make us uniquely qualified to deliver success for our clients in disciplines such as:
- Investment Strategy Development and Implementation
- Acquisitions Sourcing, Underwriting and Closings
- Market Analysis
- Due Diligence
- Development Planning and Management
- Dispositions Advisory and Management
Greg Rice, is a Principal and Founder of Solid Rock Group and is a real estate professional with 40 years of diversified experience in real estate development, leasing, brokerage sales, acquisitions, property management, and asset management. For the last 25 years, Mr. Rice has focused almost exclusively on hotel and resort real estate.
Since founding Solid Rock Advisors in 1991, Mr. Rice has the led the firm’s involvement in transactions totaling $8 billion in volume and involving 190 different properties. These properties have included some of the world’s finest hotels, such as the Four Seasons New York, Las Ventanas in Los Cabos, and the Santa Barbara Four Seasons Biltmore. Mr. Rice has also been involved in significant financial restructuring and loan placements, and has supervised several hundred million dollars of renovations for TY Warner Resorts and Hotels, whom he has represented in all their transactions since 1990. He also acts as an investment advisor to a number of other firms and individual investors.
Mr. Rice’s depth of experience in leasing, sales, acquisitions, financing, syndication management, and construction make him highly qualified within the real estate industry. He maintains contact with an extensive number of buyers and network brokers to ensure his clients the best possible exposure to the marketplace. Greg has a thorough knowledge of leases, contracts, and the required due diligence process in a closing.
Salim Damji is a Principal of Solid Rock Group and leads Solid Rock Advisors East in New York City. Mr. Damji has over 20 years of diverse hospitality-focused experience, including in operations, asset management, acquisitions and development. As a hotel owner/operator, Mr. Damji has a unique perspective on hotel development and asset management and regularly advises owners, developers and investors on acquisitions and dispositions of hotels. With experience as an Advisor with Andersen Consulting and JP Morgan, in Capital Markets at CBRE and in Acquisitions and Development at Starwood Hotels, Mr. Damji brings a comprehensive understanding of hotel investment strategy to the Group’s practice. His experience includes extensive underwriting, having worked on valuations of single assets to full portfolios (of upwards of 200 hotels) and expertise in rebranding, repositioning and strategic planning. His asset management experience includes a 5-star hotel in San Antonio, Texas, from pre-development through its eventual sale, which he assisted in negotiating and which resulted in a 50% profit to shareholders over one year. In May 2016, Mr. Damji represented Cindat, backed by investors including China Cinda Asset Management Co. and Taikang Life Insurance and its affiliate on $571M joint venture of seven premium limited service hotels in Manhattan.
Mr. Damji graduated from Cornell Hotel School with a Master’s in Hospitality Management. He also holds a Master’s of Science in Business from Erasmus University in Rotterdam, The Netherlands and an undergraduate degree in Commerce from the University of British Columbia.
Charlie Muller, President and Principal of Solid Rock Asset Management and Solid Rock Ventures & Development, brings more than 35 years of hotel and recreational real estate experience to the firm. He is responsible for leadership of Solid Rock Group’s investment services platform, including acquisitions, asset management and technical services. His career includes experience gained as Principal in his own advisory firm, Vice President of Development at Omni Hotels & Resorts, Managing Director of a small private equity firm, and Chief Operating Officer at CNL Hotels & Resorts and CNL Lifestyle Properties. While with these organizations, Mr. Muller has played a leadership role in the acquisition of over 70 hotels and 120 recreational properties valued at over $5.6 billion. He has also managed the development or co-development of 10 hotels, redevelopment of 4 hotels, and pre-development of 2 hotels with over $980 million in combined project costs. Prior to these roles his experience also included more than 15 years of broad-based hotel and resort experience in operations, technical services and asset management.
Mr. Muller received his B.S. in Hotel Administration from Cornell. He participates regularly in the Lodging Industry Investment Council, was a former member of the Urban Land Institute, having served on both the Recreational and Hotel Development Committees, and was a member of the Market, Finance and Investment Analysis Committee of the American Hotel & Motel Association. His community involvement has included board positions at Frontline Outreach, Fellowship of Christian Athletes (central Florida Chapter), and The First Academy, a Christ-centered college preparatory school in Orlando, Florida.
Stephen Schafer is the Chief Financial Officer of Solid Rock Asset Management and Solid Rock Ventures & Development. Mr. Schafer brings over 20 years of real estate and hospitality experience to the team. He has an extensive background in Corporate Finance, Capital Markets, Asset Management, Financial Reporting, Underwriting and Valuation, Financial Planning & Analysis, Treasury, Investor Relations, and Strategy.
Prior to Solid Rock, Mr. Schafer was with FelCor Lodging Trust (NYSE: FCH), one of the nation’s largest hospitality-focused real estate investment trusts, with an asset value of $3.0 billion at peak. He most recently served as Senior Vice President of Strategic Planning where he advised the CEO and Board of Directors on the strategic direction and related financial and investment strategies, established the on-going internal views of the real estate and lodging industries to guide the company’s capital allocation plans, analyzed acquisition targets, structured over $1.5 billion of debt and equity financings, provided extensive advice to the asset management, development, finance and accounting teams and led all investor relations functions.
Mr. Schafer earned a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) in Business Economics from the University of Arizona and holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of Texas at Dallas. He has been involved with the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts, American Hotel & Lodging Association, Financial Executives International and the National Investor Relations Institute.
James McCrimmon is a Principal and Managing Director who offices in Colorado. Mr. McCrimmon began his real estate career at BANC Property Services in Denver in 1989, and has been with Solid Rock since its inception. Over the past 25 years Mr. McCrimmon has been involved in the sale, financing and management of a wide variety of real estate projects spanning all property types and value ranges, from office and industrial properties to international resorts. For the past fifteen years, he has focused almost exclusively on Hotel and Resort transactions, and has worked on the valuations, analysis and feasibility studies, financing and sale transactions for hundreds of projects. Mr. McCrimmon’s current focus is on domestic and international financing and brokerage and his additional responsibilities also include management of support staff and oversight of various company investments. Recent transactions have included NNN retail transactions and associated CMBS financing, international luxury resort refinancing and client acquisitions of full and select service hotels.
Philip Tinsley, Vice President of Development at Solid Rock Group, brings over 15 years of diverse commercial real estate development and finance experience to the team, with an extensive record of success in managing all aspects of the real estate development process across multiple industry sectors. Mr. Tinsley has played a key role in the acquisition, development and management of over 2.5 million SF and $1.0 billion of mixed-use, hotel, multi-family, condominium, senior housing, residential, retail, and office projects. Before joining Solid Rock Group, he led the development team at CP Homes, a division of Pacrim USA, focused on senior housing projects. He also spent seven years at Matthews Southwest, a full-service private real estate development company, where he played a key role in the development of South Side on Lamar, a mixed-use development in Dallas featuring a NYLO Hotel, Gilley’s Dallas entertainment venue, 120,000 SF of office and retail, and over 700 multi-family units. While at Matthews Southwest, Mr. Tinsley participated in the development of the 1,000-room Omni Dallas Hotel, developed for the City of Dallas. He has worked closely with cities and governmental entities on TIF districts, NCTCOG grants, and public-private partnerships. Prior to Matthews Southwest, Mr. Tinsley spent close to 5 years with UBS Investment Bank and Merrill Lynch & Co. in New York where he advised companies on mergers & acquisitions and corporate finance. He attained his dual JD / MBA degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law and the Katz Graduate School of Business, holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Queen’s University, holds the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation, and is a member of the Pennsylvania State Bar.
Paul Whitehead, Vice President of Investments, brings 12 years of diverse hospitality-focused experience to the team. He most recently worked at Crow Holdings Capital Partners, where he participated in Hotel Acquisitions and Asset Management. He was responsible for sourcing hospitality investment opportunities by formulating acquisition strategies, identifying target markets and coordinating the acquisition process by facilitating and conducting all facets of due diligence, and transitioning acquired target to asset management program. Mr. Whitehead had direct asset management responsibility for three full-service Upscale and Upper Upscale assets comprising 1,034 hotel rooms, $61 million of annual revenue, and $240 million in total value. He led weekly and monthly operations performance reviews and developed strategic plans for managed assets. Prior to his time at Crow, Mr. Whitehead worked for Behringer Harvard in Acquisitions and Asset Management. He created proprietary, integrated and stand-alone asset and joint venture financial models to identify and evaluate acquisition targets. On the asset management side, he created a detailed operational analytics models to identify performance trends, isolate budget variances, and aid in accurate month-by-month forecasting for four assets comprising 1,192 hotel rooms and $300 million in total value. Mr. Whitehead has a B.S. in Business Administration from the Hankamer School of Business at Baylor University.
Katie Krieger is Manager of Investments and is responsible for evaluating and underwriting potential acquisitions, particularly hotels. Most recently at Pillar Hotels & Resorts Ms. Krieger was responsible for market research, evaluation and underwriting support in the closings of hospitality acquisitions. Prior to Pillar, she worked at Tishman Hotel Corporation as an Analyst. Her responsibilities there included the preparation and analysis of various monthly reports, managing annual Capex projects and monitoring compliance of management agreements. Katie holds a B.A. from the School of Hospitality Business with Real Estate Specialization from Michigan State University.
Sebastian Paquette, Director of Special Projects, works with our development group. His primary areas of focus are in real estate development, investor relations, and the sale and financing of office buildings. Solid Rock’s development division specializes in the repositioning of existing properties, new development, infill, and unique opportunities in hotel and residential sectors. In addition, the office group provides advisory and brokerage services to office asset transactions across a wide variety of markets. Prior to Solid Rock, Mr. Paquette spent 7 years at investment bank, Goldman Sachs, in the Global Investment Research division advising portfolio managers on equity investments. Mr. Paquette has also worked at investment house, Putnam Investments, as a quantitative analyst. Mr. Paquette received his Bachelor’s degree from Boston College and is a Chartered Financial Analyst.