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Salamander Hospitality to Expand Management Services Division

Middleburg, VASalamander Hospitality, the entrepreneurial company owned by noted business leader and philanthropist Sheila C. Johnson, today launched an expansion of its management services division, which focuses on four- and five-star level hotels and resorts.

“Our team’s collective experience in building, renovating and operating high-end properties is built upon a track record of extraordinary success,” says Prem Devadas, president of Salamander Hospitality. “It is an appropriate time in our development as a company to increase our portfolio of management contracts.”

In addition to its experience in full-service management of luxury properties, Salamander Hospitality’s specialties include conceptual design and development services for new properties and major renovations, market feasibility studies, food and beverage concepts, centralized accounting services as well as development and management of golf and spa assets.

The company has recently added a corporate director of public relations and corporate controller to its staff, as well as making additions to its national sales and marketing team. Salamander Hospitality has also appointed Todd Gray, owner of the acclaimed Equinox restaurant in Washington, DC, as its culinary director; and Andre Halston, former field executive chef at The Capital Grille restaurant group, as its corporate chef.

“Our business model is based on offering a wide range of services in a lower fixed-fee structure and delivering incentive-driven results for the owner,” says Dale Pelletier, the company’s chief financial officer.

Salamander Hospitality already manages a diverse group of properties, including Woodlands Inn near Charleston, SC; Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club in the Tampa Bay/St. Petersburg area of Florida; the gourmet food stores Market Salamander in Middleburg, VA, and at Innisbrook; and the lifestyle shop Salamander Touch in Middleburg. The company is also managing the development and construction of the luxurious Salamander Resort & Spa in Middleburg, less than one hour’s drive from Washington, D.C.

Since taking over the management of Innisbrook in 2007, Salamander Hospitality has supervised a $26 million renovation project and a turnaround in the fortunes of the famed 900-acre resort, including recently gaining admittance into the renowned Preferred Hotels & Resorts and Preferred Golf programs. At Woodlands, the company has overseen a substantial refurbishment project to a property that has top ratings for lodging and dining from AAA and Mobil.

In addition, it has already provided consulting services and feasibility studies for The Colosseum in Blacksburg, VA, the state’s first luxury condominium hotel near Virginia Tech’s campus, assisted with the conceptual design process and pre-opening marketing for The Royal Cosmopolitan hotel and residences in New Orleans, LA, and performed feasibility studies for other developments throughout the country.

“As an operator, our desire is to share our entrepreneurial philosophy, success and expertise with other owners and investors who seek optimum results,” says Devadas.

Salamander Hospitality was founded in 2004 by Johnson and Devadas. As President and Managing Partner of the WNBA’s Washington Mystics, and a partner in Lincoln Holdings, LLC, Johnson is the first African-American woman to have a stake in three professional sports teams, including the Washington Wizards (NBA) and the Washington Capitals (NHL). She is also a TV pioneer, having co-founded BET (Black Entertainment Television). At Salamander Hospitality, Johnson draws on her extensive relationships within the entertainment industry, as well as providing her renowned vision for design and service excellence.

The rest of the team is lead by Devadas, Pelletier and Chuck Pomerantz, vice president of business development and operations.

A 25-year hospitality veteran, Devadas previously managed the lodging portfolio for CCA Industries whose holdings include The Jefferson Hotel in Richmond, VA, The Hermitage Hotel in Nashville, TN, and Kiawah Island Golf Resort near Charleston, SC. As managing director, he re-positioned The Jefferson Hotel and The Hermitage Hotel through extensive renovations and achieved Mobil Five Star and AAA Five Diamond awards for the respective properties. At Kiawah Island he directed the development and successful opening of The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island, a new 255-room ultra luxury hotel in August, 2004, which also subsequently gained Mobil and AAA’s top ratings.

Pelletier oversees Salamander Hospitality’s financial, accounting, tax, information systems, treasury, planning and reporting activities. His 30 years of extensive experience with over 70 hotels includes full service, limited service, all suites, resorts and condominium hotels, both at the property and corporate levels. Pelletier also served as chief financial officer for MEI Hotels, a hotel development, ownership, management and investment group, where he was responsible for all financial activities for the company’s managed and asset-managed hotels, construction and development projects and three private equity funds. Prior to working at MEI, he was chief financial officer for the US operations of City Hotels, an international hotel and airline company listed on the Brussels stock exchange, with hotels in the US and Europe.

Pomerantz is responsible for the development and growth of the management division of Salamander Hospitality. A veteran of over 25 years in the hospitality industry, he spent his first 15 years in food and beverage management, serving as food and beverage director at the Sheraton Manhattan, and as owner and operator of three restaurants in the Washington, D.C. area. Most recently, he led the pre- and post-operating team of the 1500-room Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center as vice president and hotel manager. Prior to achieving one of the most successful openings of a property of this size in history, Pomerantz was an area director of operations for Wyndham Hotels and Resorts in the eastern region of the United States.

The rest of Salamander Hospitality’s executive team includes:

  • Matt Owen, corporate director of public relations
  • Ruthie Simmons, national sales manager
  • Julie Soltes, corporate director of human resources
  • Thaddeus Fox, corporate director of technology
  • Todd Gray, culinary director
  • Andre Halston, corporate chef
  • Hayato Nogaki, food and beverage director
  • Kate Jones, corporate controller

For more information on Salamander Hospitality, call (540) 687-3710 or visit

Current Salamander Hospitality managed properties:

Situated on 900 wooded acres of rolling hills and 70 acres of lakes in the Tampa Bay/St. Petersburg area of Florida, the newly renovated Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club is located just 25 minutes from Tampa International Airport. Innisbrook features 72 holes of championship golf, 620 spacious guest suites and rooms, four restaurants and three bars, the Innisbrook Golf Institute, 11 tennis courts, fitness and racquetball center, six heated swimming pool complexes, a nature preserve, three conference halls with 65,000 square feet of meeting space and a new 18,000-square-foot spa opening in spring 2009. The resort’s Copperhead course hosts the PGA TOUR’s Transitions Championship every March. For more information, call (727) 942-2000 or visit

Located in the charming village of Summerville and just a short drive from historic Charleston, SC, Woodlands Inn is an immaculately restored 1906 classic revival mansion set amidst 42 acres of parkland grounds. It is one of only four properties in North America to hold the Mobil Five Star and AAA Five Diamond ratings for both its accommodations and dining room. In 2008, it was also ranked by readers of Travel + Leisure magazine as number one in the US and Canada for service, and number three worldwide. For more information, call (843) 875-2600 or visit

Located in the beautiful and historic village of Middleburg, VA, the under-construction Salamander Resort & Spa is an ultra-luxury, 168-room property which sits on 340 acres in the midst of Virginia’s horse and wine country. However, it is only 35 minutes from Washington Dulles Airport to the east and 30 minutes from Winchester Regional Airport to the west. For more information, call (540) 687-3600 or visit

Market Salamander is an acclaimed retail provider of quality chef-prepared and specialty packaged food and wine. A chef-in-residence concept combined with an open-kitchen design affords its food-savvy clientele an opportunity to interact with the staff and share their passion for premium ingredients, support of local farmers and search for fresh, seasonal products. Headed by Culinary Director Todd Gray, Market Salamander is located in Middleburg, VA, and at Innisbrook, FL. For more information, call
(540) 687-3710 or (727) 942-2000, or visit

Salamander Touch is a fine goods and linen store in Middleburg, VA, for the luxury resort lifestyle. Custom fine Italian linens inspired by Sheila C. Johnson, decorative pillows, fine leather goods and Mistral-scented bath, body and home products are a few of the unique items within the Salamander Touch collection. For more information, call (540) 687-4138 or visit

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