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Chief Executive Officer

Alan Michaels has a background includes investment, finance, asset management and disposition, marketing, management, and market research in various areas of real estate. He applies his experience to the field of hospitality to assist in analysis, acquisition, and management of hotel properties. Mr. Michaels is is a Joint Principal in GLA, and is the current principal and Chief Executive Officer of Merit Hotel Group. Mr. Michaels has experience in successfully arranging debt and equity financing for several major commercial real estate transactions with Merit Hotel Group and other organizations. Mr. Michaels uses his wide array of skills and experience to enhance the success of Merit Hotel Group and its clients. 

Mr. Michaels' involvement has spanned from project conception through entitlements to completion, and he plays a major role in the success of each operational phase of projects. He regularly handles a diverse range of issues including land use and zoning, joint venture structuring, financing, leasing, and other management and operational responsibilities. Mr. Michaels also manages companies with over 75 full-time employees. 

Mr. Michaels currently owns and operates the Merit Hotel Group, a company he founded in 1988. The Merit Hotel Group has owned and operated several mainstream brand and independent hotels. Merit currently owns and operates the SpringHill Suites by Marriott in Aberdeen, Maryland.

Our asset management engagements assist in maximizing the performance of the management company, as well as the value of the hotel asset. Joint engagements with Global Lodging Advisors included a 900-room convention hotel in Washington, D.C. and a full-service chain with eight hotels in Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates. Other engagements have included development of a land valuation model for an affiliate of Morgan Stanley Real Estate Services. Further engagements have included reviews of several Washington area full service hotels such as Sheraton and Hyatt. 

Mr. Michaels has also successfully arranged a $60,000,000 debt, equity, and construction financing for a variety of real estate developments throughout the Washington, D.C. and Baltimore marketplace. Mr. Michaels majored in Electronic Technology and Business Administration at the City University of New York, Queensborough College (1969-1972). He has also attended numerous managerial technical and behavioral seminars.

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Principal of ABC Realty Advisors, LLC

Partner in H&T Advisors, Private Equity Firm




Managing Director, Commercial Real Estate

Supervised and assisted on a variety of debt and equity transactions (public and private). Underwrote and closed on a $60MM Private Equity placement for commercial business in the Bakken. Wrote the business plan, raised the equity, and executed the spin-out of the “commercial business” for a $150MM top-line

NYC energy Oil & Gas provider, including the addition of a full-service “new product” asset-back lending platform, and Commercial FHA Project Loan and CMBS platform(s) for energy

conversions to natural gas.


GE CAPITAL  2001‑ 2009

Managing Director/Regional Manager

Senior Banker in GE Capital (GECC) Strategic Capital Group for seven years, closing/participating in over $3B in transactions in all product types. Responsibilities included structuring debt transactions at asset and entity level for GECC's top public and private clients. Originated and closed $1.2B in 2007 alone, in a variety of structured debt and equity transactions. Managed several direct and indirect reports. Completed GE’s 7-day Advance Manager Course in Crotonville NY in 11/08. Completed several other GECC management and training classes.


Managing Director  1997 - 2000

Senior Banker in GECC’s “Large Loan” Structured Finance Group specializing in transactions over $35 Million. Responsibilities included originations and supervision of underwriting, closing, servicing and asset management coordination.  Products included equity, secured and unsecured lines of credit, fixed and floating rate loans, bridge loans, mezz loans, and acquisition loans. Clients included REITS, opportunity funds, publicly traded c-corps, limited partnerships, REOCs, etc. Was GECC’s top producer in terms of volume and profitability 1997-2000, originating and closing over $2.0 Billion of product and generating in excess of $15 Million of net income – which exceeded the profitability for the rest of GECC’s Large Loan Group on a combined basis. Led GECC’s capital markets in the buy out of Met-life Capital, a $7 Billion GECC acquisition completed in 1998 and received GECC’s Presidential Award for team leadership.  Involved in an array of other GECC management, organizational responsibilities, and projects. Also involved in rating agency and bond investor presentations.

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© 2023 by Merit Hotel Group


Mark Elawadi is an international hospitality veteran with over 25 years of industry experience. His experience encompasses hotel management, project development and asset management. He also has specific experience in turnaround, contingency and crisis management, as well as financial workouts in complex situations.

Whether planning new development projects still in their infancy, or implementing revenue management strategies for established companies, Mr. Elawadi approaches each project from a value-creation and asset performance standpoint. Among his career accomplishments, he has been recognized and praised for his leadership abilities in turning around underperforming hotel assets to create successful enterprises. Additionally, his expertise in crisis management, contingency planning, and profitability planning provides an added level of management capability and strategic planning that is highly valued within the industry. He has worked on 5 continents.

Prior to founding GLA, Mr. Elawadi held executive positions -including pre-opening, opening and operating experience - with some of the finest hotel management companies worldwide. His roles have included executive positions with Conrad Hotels & resorts, Marriott Hotels, The Cumberland Hotel (London, UK), Resort Properties Group (Spain), Grand Hyatt Hotel (Washington DC), as well as Renaissance & Ramada for the Middle East, Africa, and Central Asia. Most recently, Mr. Elawadi led the development for a Luxury Resort, Spa and Marina in Turks & Caicos and a Luxury Resort & Spa Condominium project in the Dominican Republic and overseeing a portfolio of Hilton and Marriott hotels.

Other career highlights worldwide include:

  • Managed hospitality funds of over $250 million that were invested in hospitality assets.

  • Responsible for setting up the acquisition, asset management and restructure of the Kuwait Hotel Company hotel assets valued at over one billion US$.

  • During his operating career, his large-sized hotels achieved some of the highest GOP, REVPAR and EBITDA.

  • Selected by George Washington University to develop educational hotel financial management courses for Hotels general managers for the continued executive education programs.

  • Recipient of numerous industry excellence and service recognition awards, including a nomination for Hotelier of the Year in 2002. He has also served on numerous industry association boards.

  • He served as an expert witness for a major international arbitration case that involved one of the largest hotel operators.

  • Sales and marketing of Real Estate residential, condo resort, fractional and whole ownership totalling over 983 million USS in Tenerife Spain.

Mr. Elawadi holds a Bachelor of Science degree from a leading University in Cairo and he is an American Hotel & Lodging Association Certified Hotel Administrator. He has also successfully completed executive education and professional development programs at George Washington University.

Vice President, Operations

Tim Engle has over 20 years of experience with all aspects of hotel property operations, and has been a mainstay of Merit Hotel Group's Operations. 


Mr. Engle is a highly focused and experienced manager whose greatest strength is his strong commitment to providing the highest level of loyalty and service to his employers, colleagues, and hotel guests. 

Mr. Engle has honed his ability to develop and maintain a close working relationship with senior managers, which has allowed him to gain an in-depth understanding of an employer's needs, goals, and ambitions. He prides himself on his habit of constantly reviewing processes and identifying ways to improve efficiency and service, thereby reducing his overall operating costs and, by extension, increasing the profitability of Merit Hotel Group and its investors. 

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