Executive Bios

Mokhtar Ramadan

President & Chief Executive Officer
Mr. Ramadan, co-founder, is responsible for the overall leadership, direction and development of the Company. Prior to founding HMC, Mr. Ramadan served as Regional Director of Sales and Marketing for Compaq Computer GmbH from 1987 to 1988 and Texas Instruments France as Director of Sales from 1980 to 1987.  Mr. Ramadan received a degree in Business Administration & Electronic Engineering and an MBA.

Marwan Ramadan

Group Senior Vice President & President EMEA
Mr. Ramadan, co-founder, has served as Senior Vice President for Europe, Middle East and Africa since 1997. From 1994 to 1996, Mr. Ramadan served as the Company’s Group Vice President, Americas. From 1988 to 1993, Mr. Ramadan led the Company’s international expansion efforts, initially targeting Canada and Europe. Mr. Ramadan holds a Masters of Economics.

Fadi Ramadan

Group Senior Vice President & President Americas
Mr. Ramadan, co-founder, is responsible for the day-to-day management and strategic direction of the Company. Prior to his promotion to Senior Vice President in 2000, Mr. Ramadan served as the Group Vice President for the Americas (1997 to 2000), Group Vice President for EMEA (1992 to 1996), and Vice President of Operations (1988 to 1991). Prior to joining HMC, Mr. Ramadan worked for a predecessor company, serving as Manager of Sales and then as Director of Operations worldwide.

Kevin Joseph

Vice President Area Director Middle East, West Asia & Africa

Born in South Africa of Lebanese parents, Kevin grew up in a home ‘where respect for all ‘was the norm. His Master of Business Leadership is in Marketing and he pursued this career spending time in several countries across all continents including UK, Ireland, France, Canada, USA, South Africa and, more recently, Australia. He worked primarily in the fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) category until he and his family settled in Sydney, Australia 10 years ago.

He then used his leadership and change management expertise to lead medium sized organisations in Australia to levels of success that they hadn’t previously achieved. These skills took him into the hospitality, banking and education categories where he left his mark of success in each instance. He is a great believer that in this ‘highly connected world of rapid knowledge transfer’ business success is achieved through Brand Trust and People Engagement in an organisation.

Of closer relevance to his new role with HMC, Kevin assisted in the successful opening of 5 large +300-seater restaurants in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Bahrain and Kuwait, all of which still operate with much success.

When asked what’s his success formula, Kevin quickly answers, “the ability to align each team member’s personal goals with the overall goal and Vision of the organisation; engaging the team to all fly in an efficient V-formation, supporting each other in their quest for success”. He concludes by saying “and to Exceed our customer’s expectations… ALWAYS.”

During his career he has had the privilege of attending many courses around the world including INSEAD (France), Disney Institute (Orlando) and Stanford (California). He has learnt under world leading mentors including Mr Nelson Mandela and Sirs Dominic Cadbury and Richard Branson. He is currently a Fellow of the Institute of CEOs in Australia.

Kevin married his high school sweetheart at the age of 21 and still calls his wife, Margaret, his very very best friend. They have 2 grown children who also live in Sydney.

Octavio Gamarra

Vice President & Managing Director, Asia Pacific
Mr. Gamarra is responsible for the expansion and overall leadership for HMC in Asia Pacific. For the last two years he was engaged as a Consultant by Citibank Asia Pacific and EMEA and worked closely with the leadership in 25 countries. Prior to that he worked for over 20 years managing luxury hotels such as Dusit Hotels and Resorts in Thailand as Senior Vice-President and Ritz-Carlton, Hotels where he managed iconic properties like the Ritz-Carlton, Singapore and the Ritz-Carlton, Osaka.

Carmen Morgades

Vice President Europe and General Manager Southern Europe
Carmen joined HMC in 1992 as a trainee manager just after graduating from the University of Barcelona with a B.A. degree in Marketing. From 1993 until 1995 she served as Program Manager in several Latin American Countries. In 1995 Carmen was promoted to the position of Director of Operations for Latin America and was instrumental in HMC’s growth in the region. In 1997 Carmen transferred back to Europe to start operations in Italy. Since then she was promoted in 1999 to the position of Director of Operations Southern Europe. In 2001 she was promoted to the position of Vice President Europe and General Manager Southern Europe. In 2005 Carmen was directly involved in the successful launch of HMC Portugal.

Samira Demeis

Vice President Business Development for Europe, Middle East and Africa
Samira originally joined HMC in 2003 as Director of Business Development for the region. Prior to HMC, Samira’s career was in the Hotel industry and spanned over 19 years in various countries and Senior Management positions. Initially with Best Western Australia in the role of National and International Sales and Marketing Manager, then with Accor in the positions of Director of Sales and Marketing, Executive Assistant Manager and General Manager before moving to Asia. In Asia Samira resided in Korea and China as Director of Business Development / Executive Assistant Manager for the Hilton Group.

Janet Connolly

Vice President of Operations, Asia Pacific
Janet Connolly began her career with HMC in 1993 as a Program Manager in the UK. Since that time, she has had the opportunity to work around the globe in each of HMC regions, including North America, Europe, South America, extensively in Asia Pacific and Australia, and, now in the Middle East. In 1995, Janet was an essential part of HMC’s founding Asia Pacific team, where she was responsible for launching programs in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia. Over the years, Janet has progressed through the ranks of HMC and she now leads Operations in the Middle East. Janet is also HMC’s dedicated trainer for all HMC Operations personnel & new employees. Prior to joining HMC, Janet worked with companies such as Thomson Holidays (GUI) and Portland Direct Call Centre in Manchester. Janet trained with Trust House Forte hotel group while attending Tame side College of Technology, where she received a HND in Hotel Management.

Peter Griffiths

Vice President of Operations, Latin America
Prior to his current position with HMC, Mr. Griffiths has served as the Vice President of Operations for the Asia Pacific Region for a total of five and a half years in two tenures coupled with a two year stint in the same capacity in the Middle East based in Dubai. Mr. Griffiths has been with the Company a total of 20 years, originally helping in the Company’s growth throughout Western and Eastern Europe. Prior to joining HMC, Mr. Griffiths spent six years with Thomson Travel, the U.K.’s largest tour operator, where he served as both an Overseas Regional Manager based in Southern Europe as well as a Sales Development and Training Manager based in their London Corporate office. Mr. Griffiths holds a B.A. from Liverpool University and a Post Graduate Certificate in Education Leeds Polytechnic.

Sylvia Hu

Corporate Treasurer & Worldwide Controller
Ms. Hu has served as the Worldwide Operations Controller over the last four years and as the Corporate Treasurer since the beginning of 2005. Ms. Hu has been with the Company a total of eight years in Finance and Accounting. Prior to joining HMC, Ms. Hu spent three years with Starbase Corporation, a software company, where she served as an Assistant Controller. Ms. Hu holds a MPA from University of Texas at Austin.

Richard Cawker

Vice President Finance & Administration EMEA
Richard Cawker joined HMC in October 1997 originally based at the Corporate Headquarters, California he later moved to Europe to help manage the rapid growth in the EMEA region. Prior to joining HMC Richard worked for Chantrey Vellacott, Chartered Accountants in London as a Senior Manager where HMC were amongst his client portfolio. Richard is an Associate Member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. He also has a BSc Hons from Lancaster University.

Peter Gorla

Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer
Mr. Gorla joined HMC in May of 2004. As the company’s senior marketing and product development executive, Peter focuses on bringing value to HMC’s hotel partners through the enhancement of our E-Commerce and CRM products. In addition, Peter also has executive responsibility for VOILÀ Hotel Rewards, the company’s points-based frequency guest program. Prior to joining HMC, Mr. Gorla was the Chief Marketing Officer for Taunovo Bay, a Fijian resort to be managed by Rosewood Hotels & Resorts. Before Taunovo Bay, Peter co-founded the successful Internet start-up MUSICVIDEOS.com, which was acquired by LAUNCH.com (now Yahoo! Music) where Mr. Gorla served as the Vice President of Product Development. Mr. Gorla received a Bachelor of the Arts from University of California at Santa Barbara.

Khaled Aboudan

Chief Technology Officer
As part of HMC’s senior management team, Khaled Aboudan is responsible for the technical direction, software development and technical assets of HMC. Khaled has been with HMC for 9 years. During this time, he has built the company’s enterprise software foundation and moved the company to modern web-based application architectures. Today, HMC’s business relies on this foundation which is made up of core software business components in addition to sophisticated array of web, application and database servers. Prior to joining HMC, Khaled had worked for several consulting firms and software development houses in North America and the Middle East. Khaled holds a master degree in Electrical Engineering and Digital Signal Processing from the California State University in Long Beach, CA and a bachelor degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the University of California in Irvine, CA. Khaled is Sun Java Certified Programmer and Architect.

Abed Chawa

Chief Information Officer
Abed joined HMC in 1990. He was one of the key people who built HMC’s IT Department to what it is today. Over the years, the IT department has grown from 3 staff members to over 20 IT professionals around the world. Abed is a 20 year veteran who had his hand in all major projects and contracts including non IT initiatives. During his time at HMC, Abed has earned extensive experience in all diverse and extensive IT disciplines and has been highly regarded for his creativity, commitment, professionalism and leadership. As part of HMC’s global management team, Abed Chawa is responsible for the IT Department infrastructure including hardware, software and personnel worldwide. In addition, he manages the company’s most important asset: the database.

Abed is a graduate of Northern Arizona University, USA in the field of Computer Information Systems. He had lived in the USA for 17 years and has travelled extensively around the world which gave him excellent international exposure to different cultures around the globe. He is fluent in English as well as Arabic. Now, and for the past 10 years, he is based in Dubai.