John Cantele, President (Full Bio)
John Cantele has built a career of success in the hospitality industry by creating relevant brands and moving them forward in providing unparalleled levels of service quality and enterprise value. Today, he is recognized as a transformative leader in the industry—a forward thinker who draws upon his unique experience as an owner-operator, franchisor, franchisee, investor, management company executive, and member of public company brand councils to elevate the customer experience as well as company financial performance and market share.
“John has extensive experience across all aspects of select service hotels, both managed and franchised,” explains La Quinta President and CEO Keith Cline. “He was instrumental in growing multiple select service brands at Hyatt where he used his entrepreneurial approach as a longtime owner/operator to help optimize brand distribution and implement significant operational enhancements.”
These comments reflect the impact John has had on the industry. Today, he continues that momentum as a Co-founder and Principal of LeximaS. John leads LeximaS in partnership with hospitality leaders, David Emery and Kay Auer. Leveraging their extensive industry experience, John, David, and Kay provide third-party management and underwriting services. Drawing upon his background in hotel operations, John represents the company’s third-party management business.
John joined the La Quinta Holdings, LLC, executive leadership team in 2016. Sought out to co-lead the transformation of the brand, he quickly transitioned into his role as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. As the operational, sales, and revenue management lead for the company, he was pivotal in positioning the business for sale to Wyndham in 2018. From 2018 to 2019, John served as the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for CorePoint Lodging Inc., a publicly traded REIT created to own the La Quinta real estate assets.
The trajectory of John’s career began in companies like Guest Quarters Hotels and Residence Inn, where he gained valuable multi-property sales experience. He then joined Summerfield Suites Hotels, a transition that would provide him with valuable General Manager experience and a path of advancement into the role of Vice President of Operations. In this position, John launched the extended-stay brand, Sierra Suites. The business was acquired by Patriot American Hospitality, Inc., and Wyndham in 1998. Over the next two years, John co-led the post-merger integration of the Summerfield Suites and Sierra Suites brands as a Vice President of Operations for Patriot American/Wyndham.
In 2000, John helped launch LodgeWorks, a hotel management company specializing in upscale and extended-stay brands. As a Founding Partner and the Senior Vice President of Operations, John led the operation repositioning of Sierra Suites into Hotel Sierra and co-led the company’s shift into the boutique hotel market with the AVIA brand while successfully managing more established brands including Hilton, Starwood, and Hyatt. He was among a senior executive team that helped position LodgeWorks assets, management contracts, and the Hotel Sierra and AVIA brands for sale to Hyatt Hotel Corporation in 2011.
John joined Hyatt in 2011 to co-lead the operational integration of the Summerfield Suites and Hotel Sierra brands into the Hyatt infrastructure and continue to lead growth of the business as Hyatt House. His role of Senior Vice President of Hyatt House was expanded in 2012 to include Hyatt Place.
As Hyatt turned its focus to two of its fastest-growing brands, Hyatt Place and Hyatt House, John was promoted into the position of Global Head Select Hotels—a responsibility which spanned North America, Asia, Africa, and Latin America as well as more than two thousand employees and a multimillion-dollar P&L. He was a member of a leadership team that fueled extensive global growth. in July 2015, the Hyatt Place brand was recognized J.D. Power as highest in guest satisfaction among upscale hotel chains.
John holds a B.S. in hospitality management from the University of Wisconsin, Stout. He is a sub-committee member for the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA), a member of the Kansas State University Hospitality School Advisory Board, and a member of the Board of Directors (Past President) for the Wichita Country Club. He has been invited to speak on various industry conference panels and events. In addition, he is a former member of the La Quinta Brand Council and Hyatt Brand Council as well as the former co-chair of the Hyatt Place and Hyatt House Brand Councils.