Ralph Nader - amber consulting
A renowned figure in the hospitality industry and regionally acclaimed trendsetter in day beach luxury concepts, Ralph Nader completed his studies at the “École Hôtelière de Lausanne”. Upon his return to Lebanon, he developed a number of stylish hospitality projects across the country. His ambitious endeavor drew much public appeal that ultimately gave way to his wider vision of luxury projects. His charismatic management style was reflected in his repeatedly successful restaurant, day beach and resort ventures in the late 90s and early 2000s.
A definite pioneer in his field, his main strength lies in managing companies, leading operational teams as well as preceding consumer needs. In 2006 Ralph created Amber Consulting, which offers a comprehensive range of specialized consulting services for hospitality projects by assisting and helping clients in identifying new opportunities and providing comprehensive understanding of today’s market. With the creation of Amber, Ralph re-affirmed “the need for a deep understanding of traditions and an intuition towards new trends in the global market” to be able to provide luxury living experiences. Ralph is today C.E.O of Amber Consulting S.A.L.
Raja Nasri - Turnkey ventures
Lebanese Born Raja Nasri completed his studies in Business Administration at the American University of Beirut and pursued an MPS degree in 1984 at the prestigious Cornell University.
For 20 years Raja sought challenging and rewarding regional and corporate positions at Le Meridien Hotels -on unit- and was appointed VP of Sales and Marketing for the Middle East region.
In 2004, Raja left the corporate life to start his own consultancy company, which mainly dealt with mid-tier and budget hotels development. His collaborations include Coral Hotels (part of HMH) and Ramada Hotels in the Levant and North Africa (with Ramada Beirut & Fez currently operational and Ramada Encore Tangiers under construction). His extensive know-how in the hospitality field and his passion for the job pushed him to join the academic life, in 2005, as a coordinator for the Hospitality Management Degree at USJ (Saint Joseph University) the largest private Lebanese university.
Raja is a firm believer in the growing need for mid-tier and budget hotels in the Middle East, in general, and in the Gulf, in particular.
Raja is married with 2 kids and lives in Lebanon.
Serge Chamelian - h-hotelier
Serge Chamelian started his Hospitality Management specialization in Switzerland. After holding several managerial roles in the Swiss Hospitality Industry, Serge acquired his MBA degree from IMHI (ESSEC-Cornell), France.
In 2004, Serge joined Optims-France, the Leading Revenue Management and Distribution Company, where he was in charge of the consulting department, responsible for evaluating and assessing Revenue Management (RM) and Pricing needs for large corporate clients, and for the training and education in RM for the tourism sectors such as hotels, ferries, and rails.
In 2006, Serge joined Amadeus, the Leading Technology Partner for the Travel and Tourism Sectors. In his role as Director of Business Development – EMEA, Serge was responsible for generating worldwide strategic business partnerships. He was also in charge of the on-going commercial development of the Amadeus Revenue Management business unit for hotels, ferries, rails among many others. Serge developed his skills in the field of Revenue Management, Pricing, and Distribution, as he spent 6 years working with large corporate clients, such as Accor, Whitbread, Concorde, Le Meridien, among many others. He is an active lecturer at SKEMA (ex-Ceram) Business School, the largest ‘Grande Ecole’ in France, USJ, ‘Universite Saint Joseph’ in Lebanon and ‘LAU’, Lebanese American University.
In 2009, Serge established h-hotelier s.a.r.l. (www.h-hotelier.com) with Lucien Semaan and Rania El Haddad PhD. h-hotelier is a Hospitality and Tourism Services company offering Business Intelligence applications and IT consultancy services in internet distribution, ecommerce, revenue management, pricing and Travel/Web 2.0. h-hotelier currently holds its client base of approximately 120 hotels in Europe, the Middle East, and South Africa. With his partners, Serge is developing some innovative concepts with promising opportunities for the local market.
h-hotelier’s portfolio offers several IT solutions, among which a Revenue Management simulation game targeting mainly the academic sector and large hotel companies as a training tool. This unique of a kind, risk free hospitality simulation platform reinforces competitive and strategic thinking to engage students or professionals with a hand on experience managing the distribution and pricing of a virtual hotel competing against others.
Jamil Fakhri - The Unit
Jamil started his career in real estate development, banking and general consulting. His involvement in real estate sector industry started by consulting for third parties such as high net-worth individuals and institutions and thereafter moved to creating financing structures as well as best suitable development strategies for several real estate projects. Jamil is a Certified Management Accountant, holds a Bachelor of Architecture from the American University of Beirut (AUB), an MBA and an MSF from the Ecole Superior des Affaires (ESA) and is currently completing an Executive Masters in Islamic Finance program at ESA.
Christian Fernaine- UMC
CEO and co-founder of UMC (Ulysses Management & Consulting) since 2003, With a combination of specialist capabilities in Investment Strategy, Feasibility Studies, Financial Management and Architecture, Mr. Fernaine have provided significant value and contribution to a number of projects both regionally and internationally.
Having gained his primary experience in the US and France prior moving to Lebanon in 2007, since than; Mr. Fernaine acquired diverse exposure in markets including France, Italy, Belgium, Luxemburg, Switzerland, Spain, Serbia, Guadeloupe, USA, Morocco, Algeria, KSA, UAE, Qatar, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Jordan and Oman.
Prior to UMC, during the collaboration with T&L Europraxis Mr. Fernaine were responsible for the management of new and existing hospitality projects, which has enabled him to broaden his understanding of hotel development and operations, manage a complex team of specialist consultants and take on the role of Client Representative. Mr. Fernaine involvement in HVS & PKF asset management division has motivated him in taking asset management and development courses while remaining at the forefront of current market trend.
With a diverse range of capabilities, Mr. Fernaine is able to successfully manage and execute project that require versatile expertise.
Prior to gain his hospitality experience, he received a BS degree from Notre Dame University – Beirut and a MBA in hospitality from ESSEC/Cornell - France. Speaks Arabic (mother tongue), English and French (fluent).
Nabil Nassar- Lumen Hospitality
Holder of a BSc from Institut Vatel Hospitality Management School in France and an MBA from INSEAD Business School in France and Singapore, Nabil carries 15 years of international experience specializing in the hospitality industry with a focus on hospitality management and food & beverage concept development. After graduating from Institut Vatel, Nabil worked for 8 years in operations with Hilton Hotels International, holding food & beverage management positions in France, Venezuela, Brazil, and finally the United Kingdom. After spending a year in Singapore, where he worked in the Business Development Division of Banyan Tree Holding headquarters, Nabil returned to the Middle East in 2009, strong of his international exposure and MBA, to lead the offices of a hospitality boutique consulting firm in Saudi Arabia.
Late 2012, Nabil co-found Lumen Hospitality Consultants, which has become a serious MENA player in the hospitality, retail and service industry scene. Nabil specializes today in business restructuring and turn around, business planning, concepts development and market feasibilities, as well as franchising and joint venture setup.
Patty Karam- Vektor & PI
Certified Coach from the Coaches Training Institute (CTI) in London, accredited by the International Coach Federation (ICF); Human Resources
Management and Leadership Instructor at the Saint Joseph University
(USJ); with fifteen (15) years of extensive experience in the service
industry, the hospitality management and the human resources
management fields, Patty Karam occupies since almost four (4) years, the
position of Managing Partner at Vektor & Pi, a company founded on the
basis of “achieving through people” and aiming at instigating and facilitating organizational change through the right pool of talent and pointed leadership.
Throughout the diverse tools used to attain business goals; such as experiential learning, coaching and consulting services, Patty, her partners and team members strive to target higher profit and growth to all professional sectors, soliciting their expertise. She considers that passion mixed with the right behavior are the ingredients to success; as the technical skills can be taught through self directed learning and any personal, professional encounter, experience and exposure. Be it on a personal level and/or by means of Vektor & Pi, Patty continuously drives initiatives to support and develop the local community and the environment. She strongly believes that such acts cannot simply be a responsibility or a moral obligation but it shall be each
and everyone’s prime purpose in life -our mission as human beings.