George J. Newton III

Mr. Newton is the founder of Expotel Hospitality Services, LLC and has served as its Chairman since its creation in 1999. With over 40 years of hotel development, redevelopment and management experience he has the knowledge and skill set to advise and consult on any aspect of the hospitality industry from branding to market and site evaluation to enhancing profitability. His involvement with independents and branded hotels runs the gamut 100 room boutiques to 1,500 room flagship hotels. As a CPA with a strong background in public accounting, Mr Newton understands that effective management demands timely and meaningful information and has held Expotel up to that challenge. Mr Newton has a unique ability to shape and finesse a deal to the client’s advantage.

Larry Spelts, Chief Development Officer

Larry Spelts
Chief Development Officer, President

Larry Spelts is the Chief Development Officer and President of Expotel Hospitality with over 20 years in the industry. 

He joined the Expotel Hospitality family in 2017. Larry has made a successful career in the development and management of all types of hotels from flagged to independent and from midscale to luxury. In addition to working with hotels in prestigious groups such as Relais & Châteaux and Rosewood Hotels, he has been involved in a variety of flags and soft brands including Hilton, IHG, Wyndham, Starwood and Choice. Having worked in all phases of hotel operations and development, Spelts brings unique insight to the strategic and financial opportunities and challenges of hotel operations. Since joining his prior firm, Charlestowne Hotels, in 2009, he developed relationships with a variety of clients resulting in more than 25 properties coming under Charlestowne’s management including over a dozen hotel development projects. Spelts is passionate about hotel development which has included new build, historic adaptive reuse, and conversion projects.  His interest in the built environment led Spelts to become a founding trustee of the American College of the Building Arts, to play an active role in Urban Land Institute with whom he currently serves on the Rethinking Southern Cities initiative council. 

His hospitality career is complemented by an MBA degree from New York University’s Stern School of Business.  A focus upon both qualitative and economic performance, combined with diverse experiences with a variety of hotels, restaurants, and clubs, has made Spelts an industry leader.  He is a frequent panelist at hotel industry conferences and serves on the board of advisors of Radical Innovation in Hospitality Design, an annual hotel design competition.  His personal interests include cooking, travel, music, and supporting organizations that create opportunity for the less fortunate.

Chris Schott
Chief Financial Officer

Christopher Schott joined Burrus Investment Group in 1986 as its Corporate Controller. He now serves as the firm's Chief Financial Officer, member of the Board of Directors of the affiliates and Secretary/Treasurer and corporate general partner of each of the affiliate's partnerships including Expotel Hospitality Services.

In 2001 his role was expanded to include the duties of Chief Financial Officer for Expotel Hospitality Services. Chris is a Certified Public Accountant and a licensed Real Estate Agent. He was previously an audit senior at the firm of Deloitte & Touche and a controller for a local real estate company. He is a member of the New Orleans Chapter of the Louisiana Society of Certified Public Accountants, and serves on the Board of Directors of The Burrus Foundation. A native of New Orleans, Chris is married and the father of four children.

Bret Chittenden
Executive Vice President of Operations

Bret Chittenden joined Expotel in 1997 as Assistant General Manager at the Best Western Inn Airport. He was promoted in March 2000 to the General Manager of Hampton Inn Metairie. Over the next several years, he acted as General Manager for several other full service hotels in the New Orleans Market. He was then promoted to area Operation Manager of the New Orleans market in 2007 in which he was responsible for overseeing five properties.

As of January 2011, he began serving as the Regional Director of Operations for New Orleans. Bret is responsible for managing and overseeing operations of the Gulf Coast Region for Expotel Hospitality Services. As well as implementing internal capital planning, financial performance and quality assurance compliance of Expotel hotels in the region.

Bret is a graduate of the University of New Orleans and is a licensed Real Estate Agent. He serves on the Board of Directors of The Greater New Orleans Hotel & Lodging Association. A native of New Orleans, Bret is married and the father of three children.

Richard Ganucheau
Vice President, Technology & Risk Mgmt

Richard Ganucheau joined Expotel's parent company, Burrus Investment Group, Inc. in 1989 to start their in-house property management division for company owned real estate. In 1990 he assumed the role of Technology Manager to oversee every aspect of their computer and telecommunications projects. Richard has since been a hands-on manager who continues to achieve a difficult balance between cost containment and quality.

Since its inception in 2001, Richard has continued his responsibilities for Expotel and the task of overseeing Risk Management and IT for the hotel portfolio. Richard displays a very broad approach to both disciplines of Risk Management and IT performance for the hotel portfolio. His ingenuity and expertise in both fields lends a resilient resource to the hotels of Expotel.

Richard graduated from Louisiana State University with a Bachelor of Science in Finance. He resides just outside of New Orleans in Mandeville with his wife, Jeanne-Marie, and their two daughters.

Ron Pitisci
Vice President of Finance

Ron Pitisci began working in accounting and became General Manager of a Time-share property in the French Quarter. Ron has spent twenty-five years in executive management (eighteen of which are in hospitality) in areas of accounting, IT, sales and operations. His last twelve years, he has extensive experience in the field of accounting with companies ranging from independent and branded luxury hotels, restaurants, including senior level accounting roles within public held companies of NYSE.

Ron graduated from Southeastern University with a B.A. degree in Business Management and is a Six Sigma Certified Green Belt. He is married with two children and resides in New Orleans.




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