Executive Team

Rubén Rodriguez
Rubén RodriguezChief Executive Officer

Rubén Rodriguez is chief executive officer at Great Wolf Resorts Inc., an affiliate of Centerbridge Partners LP. Rubén and our management team are focused on accelerating the growth of the Great Wolf Lodge brand and expanding into new markets throughout the United States and the world.

Prior to his current role, Rubén served in senior roles for several hospitality and consumer-focused companies. Most recently he served as executive vice president of ship operations for Carnival Cruise Lines, where he led hospitality operations, onboard revenues, marine operations and shared services across 24 countries

Rubén also served as a partner and managing director at The Boston Consulting Group, a global strategy and management consulting firm, where he advised consumer-focused companies on growth and marketing strategies. Separately, he served The Charles Schwab Corp., initially as senior vice president of corporate strategy, after which he assumed responsibility for Schwab’s southeast retail division. He also served as vice president and general manager of eToys International, where he launched the company’s international business unit.

Rubén earned his Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering at Princeton University, his Master of Science in civil engineering at the University of California at Berkeley as a National Science Foundation Fellow, and his Master of Business Administration at Stanford University Graduate School of Business, where he was an Arjay Miller Scholar.

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Erin Wallace
Erin WallaceChief Operating Officer

Erin Wallace joined the company with nearly 30 years at Walt Disney Theme Parks & Resorts in leadership roles across hotel and theme park operations, revenue management, industrial engineering, new business development, F&B and merchandise strategy and technology innovation. Erin's career with Disney culminated with an EVP role in 2011-2015 in which she led key operations and commercial functions for their global theme park business, across domestic and international properties. More recently, Erin served as COO of The Learning Care Group, leading operations of over 900 early childhood education centers across the U.S. Erin holds a bachelor's degree in Industrial Engineering from the University of Florida and an MBA from Rollins College.

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Scott Wilson
Scott WilsonChief Commercial Officer

Scott Wilson is responsible for driving occupancy levels, room rate and ancillary revenues at the company’s resorts, with direct functional accountability for marketing, sales, revenue management, contact centers, e-commerce, and data and analytics. With 25 years of experience, many in the travel and hospitality industries, Scott most recently came from United Airlines where he served as Vice President of eCommerce, Merchandising & Distribution and was responsible for all of United’s digital channels, delivering over $13B in ticket and ancillary revenues and end-to-end customer self-service capabilities. Prior to that Scott served as Vice President of eMarketing for Marriott International. Earlier in his career, Wilson spent seven years at American Online, Inc. in a variety of strategic marketing roles. Wilson graduated from the University of California at Berkeley, with a bachelor’s degree in Political Economics and has an MBA from Carnegie Mellon University with a focus in marketing and operations research.

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Greg Miller
Greg MillerExecutive Vice President and Chief Development Officer

Greg Miller oversees both U.S. and international development for Great Wolf Resorts. He joined the company from Caesar’s Entertainment, where he most recently served as Executive Vice President, Development. During his tenure, he led over $3 billion of large-scale projects of leisure resorts and casinos including new builds, conversion projects and renovations. Prior to joining Caesar's, Greg had a successful career with Universal Studios Theme Parks & Resorts, where he held senior roles in both development and general management, culminating as President of Universal Studios Port Aventura in Spain. Greg holds a bachelor’s degree from Notre Dame and earned his MBA from Northwestern University.

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Gregory Kryder
Gregory KryderChief Financial Officer

Gregory Kryder leads the company's financial operations, information services, legal and company procurement. He has more than 18 years of financial management experience. For the last 14 years he has held several leadership positions across key business units at Diageo plc, the world’s largest producer of spirits and a major producer of beer and wine. Prior to joining Diageo plc, he worked for the global strategy consulting firm, Boston Consulting Group, which included spending 15 months based in Australia. Gregory is a graduate of Purdue University, with a bachelor’s degree in engineering. He also received two master’s degrees in engineering and business administration from Stanford University.

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Bryan Robinson
Bryan RobinsonSenior Vice President and Chief People Officer

Bryan Robinson joined to company with a strong background in human resources, organizational design and talent development, having most recently served as Vice President of Human Resources for the Chicago Cubs. He played a key role in the revitalization of the broader Cubs organization and the team’s performance as not only a sports brand but also a leisure experience at Wrigley Field for its guests and employees. Before joining the Cubs, Bryan held senior human resources roles with General Electric, across multiple business units and geographies. He holds bachelor’s and graduate degrees in Human Resources and Labor Relations from Michigan State University.

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Alan Genin
Alan GeninSenior Vice President of Revenue Management

Alan Genin oversees revenue management and distribution at Great Wolf Resorts Inc. As chief revenue strategist and yield executive, he is directly responsible for revenue management, e-commerce, distribution, operations analytics and business science, and he leads the company’s central reservations team. During more than 15 years of service to the company, Alan has held senior leadership positions in revenue management, guest services, customer contact and e-commerce. He earned his Bachelor of Science in hospitality and tourism from the University of Wisconsin at Stout and his Master of Business Administration in corporate finance from Upper Iowa University.

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Nikki Donofrio
Nikki DonofrioSenior Vice President of Strategic Brand Marketing

Nikki Donofrio oversees all aspects of marketing, sponsorships, public relations and group sales. Her expertise in strategic planning, brand extensions and partnership marketing play a vital role the growth of the company’s proprietary brands and amenities. Prior to joining Great Wolf Resorts, she was the vice president of marketing for Six Flags, Inc., overseeing the company’s marketing plans including advertising, promotions, creative, media and new product launches for 20 parks throughout North America. Before Six Flags, she held a variety of marketing and sales positions at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia and at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Nikki earned her Bachelor of Science and master’s degree in communication and information studies from Rutgers University in New Jersey.

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Craig Johnson
Craig JohnsonGeneral Counsel and Senior Vice President

Craig Johnson serves as the company’s in-house legal counsel and is actively involved in the company’s goal of developing new Great Wolf Lodge properties in the U.S. and abroad, as well as serving a role in corporate governance, contracting and general compliance. Craig’s responsibilities also include overseeing the company’s risk and safety functions. For several years prior to joining Great Wolf Resorts in 2013, Craig assisted the company in his capacity as outside counsel while working as a corporate attorney in the Madison, Wisconsin, office of Michael Best & Friedrich LLP. In that role, he focused on general corporate law and mergers and acquisitions. He earned his Bachelor of Arts at the University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point and his Juris Doctor from the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

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Jay Markham
Jay MarkhamSenior Vice President of Finance and Treasurer

Jay Markham oversees financial performance and analysis as well as the treasury function for the company. In his previous roles for the company, he served as interim chief financial officer and vice president of finance. Prior to coming to Great Wolf Resorts, Jay worked for Golub Capital LLC starting in 2010, primarily serving Golub Capital BDC Inc., a publicly traded business development company, where he was the corporate controller primarily responsible for accounting and financial reporting. Beginning in 2006, he worked for Ernst & Young LLP, most recently as a senior auditor, primarily responsible for planning and performing International Financial Reporting Standards and U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles public and private company audits in the banking, broker-dealer and hedge fund industries. Jay is a certified public accountant and earned his Bachelor of Science in analytical finance and his Master of Science in accountancy at Wake Forest University.

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Ed Malinowski
Ed MalinowskiChief Information Officer

Bringing with him a wealth of technology, security, and innovation experience, Edward Malinowski joined the company in 2017 and serves as its Chief Information Officer. Edward’s primary responsibility is overseeing the systems and technologies which drive Great Wolf today, and establishing and implementing a technology vision which will accelerate the global growth of the brand and keep its guests howling for years to come. Prior to joining Great Wolf Resorts, Edward was the CIO for Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts, headquartered in Hong Kong. He is an advisor to a number of international technology and hospitality associations and is regularly sought out to speak on emerging trends in both the IT and InfoSec spaces. Edward earned his bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from Bradley University.

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Melissa Blettner
Melissa BlettnerSenior Vice President of Creative Kingdoms

Melissa Blettner has over 30 years of experience in the hotel and resort industry. She graduated from University of WI - Stout with a major in Hotel and Restaurant Management and a Minor in Business Administration. Prior to joining Great Wolf Resorts, she worked with Holiday Inn, Embassy Suites and a family owned ski resort in WI.

In 1997, Melissa joined Great Wolf Lodge in Wisconsin Dells as the Assistant General Manager. Over the last 19 years she has held many positions at Great Wolf Resorts including Operations Manager, Director of Central Reservations, Director of Brand Operations, Vice President of Brand, Vice President of Business Development and currently Senior Vice President of Creative Kingdoms.

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Valerie McGee
Valerie McGeeVice President of Retail and Attractions

Val McGee joined the company in 2000, serving as lodge retail director, corporate director of retail service and, most recently, as vice president of merchandising. She is responsible for management and development of all retail and entertainment venues, including operations, purchasing, profitability and staff development. She has more than 20 years of leadership, negotiating and purchasing experience in the hospitality and entertainment industry.

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Derrek Kinzel
Derrek KinzelRegional Vice President of Operations

Derrek Kinzel brings a broad range of experience and education in guest services and resort management to the company. In previous roles for the company, he served most recently as general manager in opening the 398-suite Great Wolf Lodge Grand Mound in Washington. He came to Great Wolf Resorts in 2001 as director of guest services and was later promoted to general manager at Great Wolf Lodge Sandusky in Ohio. Derrek earned his Bachelor of Science in hospitality management from The Ohio State University.

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Mark Rucker
Mark RuckerRegional Vice President

In his new role as RVP, Mark has operational oversight of the following lodges: Colorado Springs, Garden Grove, Grand Mound, Grapevine, Kansas City and Poconos. In addition, he is responsible for driving the Rooms & Related initiatives across the enterprise.

Previously, Mark was Vice President of Experience Planning & Integration-Park Operations for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. He had been with The Walt Disney Company for 32 years, serving in over 15 different leadership roles and was a Disney executive for 17 years. He led teams in areas such as Operations, Operations Integration, Information Technology and Planning, Finance, Transportation, and Industrial Engineering. Some of his Disney roles included: Vice President, Parks & Lodging Line of Business at Walt Disney World; Vice President, Lodging Line of Business; Director of Rooms, Walt Disney World; General Manager of Park Operations for Epcot; Director of Transportation and Resort Support; and General Manager, Water Parks and Miniature Golf.

He received his bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering from the University of Missouri – Columbia and his MBA from Webster University, and he has participated in the Gallup Leadership Institute. Mark has also been a recipient of Disney’s esteemed Partners in Excellence award, served as Board of Director and the Treasurer of the World Waterpark Association, served as President of the Institute of Industrial Engineers, Central Florida Chapter and currently serves on the Board of Directors for Clean the World Foundation. On a personal level, Mark remains connected to his alma mater as a member of the University of Missouri Alumni Association.

Mark is happily married to his wife, Stephanie, of 27 years and has two daughters; Kristin and Lauren.

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John Suley
John SuleyVice President of Food & Beverage

John Suley is Vice President of Food and Beverage Operations for Great Wolf Resorts. As vice president, Suley is responsible for the restaurant, bar and culinary operations for all of the individual lodges. In this role, Suley oversees everything from concept development for all food and beverage experiences to food and beverage marketing, revenue performance, training and development for all food and beverage employees and crew members, and the development of food and beverage innovations for new builds.

Prior to joining Great Wolf Resorts, Chef Suley’s professional background included being the vice president of Food and Beverage Operations for Royal Caribbean International, associate vice president of Food and Beverage Operations for Celebrity Cruises, as well as having culinary experience in the upscale, international dining scene. With a wealth of experience to his name, Chef Suley has notably been recognized for his unique culinary vision with several nominations and awards, some of which include being named 2010 James Beard Foundation “Rising Star Chef” nominee and 2007 “Rising Star Chef of American Cuisine.” Suley is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America.

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Alfonso de Gortari Moreno
Alfonso de Gortari MorenoVice President of International Development

Alfonso de Gortari oversees the International Development for Great Wolf Resorts Inc., an affiliate of Centerbridge Partners LP. Alfonso joined the company from JLL Hotels, where he was SVP - Country Lead for Mexico, responsible for leading the growth and execution of the hotels platform in the country.

Alfonso has more than 13 years of experience in the lodging and real estate industries, having held development, advisory and principal investment positions, as well as leading the creation and development of other national and international business ventures. Prior to JLL, Alfonso held the position of Development Subdirector for 6 years in Grupo Posadas. During his time in the sector, he has achieved the negotiation of 40 hotel management contracts and invested in over 23 hotel projects for a total US $171 Million. Alfonso holds an Industrial Engineer degree from the Instituto Tecnologico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey and his MBA from EGADE, with studies in the Business University at Monaco, Montecarlo, IUM.

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Rodney Jones
Rodney JonesVice President of Design and Construction

Rodney Jones joined the company in 2000 with 35 years of experience in retail and hotel development and construction. In his previous role for the company, he served as senior director of design and construction. His strong construction management skills and expertise in resort and water park development make him invaluable in the development of new projects.

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Jason Colton
Jason ColtonVice President of Project Finance & Treasury

Jason Colton oversees the company’s capital markets and treasury operations. He brings more than 17 years of experience in capital markets, finance and real estate investing including his role as Senior Vice President of Investments at General Growth Properties, a $40 billion publicly traded REIT. In this role he oversaw acquisitions, dispositions and other capital markets activities. Prior to joining General Growth he was a member of the capital markets team at DDR Corp, an $8 billion publicly traded retail REIT. He also spent four years at M3 Capital Partners, a boutique investment bank specializing in raising private equity for real estate operating companies. Jason is a Certified Public Accountant (inactive) and earned an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business along with a Bachelor of Arts in accounting and finance from Georgetown University.

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Bert Omer
Bert OmerVP of Procurement and Supply Chain

As the head of the procurement and supply chain functions, Bert is responsible for supplier relationships, supply contracts, category management, and cost efficient operations. Prior to joining Great Wolf Resorts, Bert worked for Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG) where he was the Head of Procurement for global hotel operations. Prior to IHG Bert worked in Global Procurement for Kimberly Clark Corporation and Ernst & Young LLP as a manager in their Advisory practice. Bert earned his Business degree from the Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland, College Park.

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Keri Moritz
Keri MoritzVice President of Field HR

Keri Moritz is Vice President of Human Resources for Great Wolf Resorts, Inc. She provides executive leadership for field human resources leading implementation of organizational strategy, promoting operational effectiveness and elevating team performance. Keri joined us with extensive experience leading organizational transformation, driving large scale growth, recruiting and strategic human capital planning and program development. Prior to her current role, she was the executive leader for one of the largest Burger King franchisees in the United States helping grow the business more than 120% in 24 months. Additionally, Keri has had a successful history of providing senior leadership and consulting for several leading top Fortune 500 companies. Keri holds a Bachelor degree in Communications and Public Policy and Analysis from Minnesota State University.

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Rachel O’Connell
Rachel O’ConnellVice President of Talent

Rachel leads talent management and organizational development for Great Wolf Resorts including talent strategy, engagement, talent acquisition, performance management, learning, leadership & executive development, high potential programs and succession planning. Prior to joining Great Wolf Resorts, Rachel most recently served as Asst. Director of Human Resources for the Chicago Cubs where she was responsible for building and leading talent management for four entities in the sports and leisure space, including Wrigley Field, an entertainment venue, F&B and retail outlets and a hotel. Before joining the Cubs, Rachel served as HR Leader for Angie’s List focusing on talent management through their IPO, mergers & acquisitions, and through a period of rapid growth. This followed her experience as HR Director for KPaul Corp., a government reseller of technology equipment and software, which was recognized as #10 on the INC 500 list. Rachel holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communication and a Master’s degree in HR Management, both from Purdue University and is an Executive Scholar in Leadership through Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.

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