Bob Jackson is the CEO and a Board Director of Lais Hotels Properties Limited (LHPL). In this role since 2009, Bob brings a successful track record of more than 25 years of experience in corporate and executive leadership. He is responsible for the overall financial and operational performance of the business. And, expansion through business/property acquisition and development. Along with the Board and Executive team of LHPL, Bob has been highly successful in expanding the size, scope and value of the company.
Bob joined LHPL in 2004 when he was appointed General Manager of the Prince of Wales; where he concurrently directed the Sales and Marketing effort for the entire group. He also assumed the position of General Manager of Queens Landing in 2005. And in 2007, was appointed to the position of Vice President of Operations and Managing Director for the group.
Beginning his career in Toronto, Bob grew through the hotel ranks in progressively senior positions before relocating to Niagara Falls in the late 90’s. He then spent 7 years in executive positions with Canadian Niagara Hotels Inc., before joining Lais Hotel Properties in 2004. Bob is a graduate of the University of Windsor, the Cornell Hotel School Professional Development Program, and is the recipient of an Honorary Bachelor of Applied Studies degree from Niagara College. He also previously served as the Chair/Director of the Niagara College Foundation Board, Board Director of The Niagara Wine Auction Foundation, and mentor for Big Brothers Big Sisters of North & West Niagara.
In 2010, Carlo Robazza joined the group as Director of Finance for Lais Hotel Properties Limited (LHPL) and the newly formed Vintage Hotels Management and Development Group and has since progressed through the ranks to his current role of CFO and Board Director for LHPL. In addition to his role as the senior executive responsible for the company’s finance function, Carlo plays a key role in the company’s governance, growth and expansion and is responsible for the financial health and performance of the business in Canada, as well as, its interests in the United States and abroad.
Carlo is a graduate of the University of Guelph with a degree in Management Economics, earned his CMA in 2001, and received his CPA in 2014. His career has centered around working in the hospitality industry in both operations and finance with over 25 years of management experience and a proven track record of leadership.
VP of Human Resources
Dianna Dymond is Vice President of Human Resources for Lais Hotel Properties Limited (LHPL). Dianna joined LHPL in March 2003 and through her tenure she has received subsequent promotions, Human Resources Manager in 2005, Director of Human Resources in 2015, and assumed her role as Vice President of Human Resources in October 2020.
Dianna is responsible for creating strategic Human Resources direction and is responsible to lead talent acquisition, learning & development, compliance and drive impact for the overall employee experience. Achieving business goals through employees is a vital element in the success of the group.
Dianna is a graduate of the Business Administration-Human Resources Management Program at Niagara College and a member of the Human Resources Professionals Association of Ontario holding CHRL & CHRP designations. She is currently an Executive Advisory committee member for WSPS Tourism & Hospitality. She has served previously on the Board of Directors for Big Brothers Big Sisters and Association Chair of the Hospitality Human Resources Professionals of Niagara.
Dianna is passionate about fostering and empowering positive relationships and cultivating opportunities for growth.
VP of Sales & Marketing
April is Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Lais Hotels Properties Limited (LHPL). April joined LHPL in 2008 as Director of Sales and Marketing and, after an immediate impact was quickly promoted to Vice President of Sales and Marketing in 2009. April brings a successful track record of over 25 years’ experience in the hotel industry in various sales, marketing and leadership roles. She is responsible for the optimization/maximization of all corporate revenue streams. This includes the planning, development and execution of all marketing strategies. And, the development of a highly impactful sales team.
April has been instrumental in positioning LHPL as a leader in the luxury market. And, she has continuously expanded and leveraged the reach of the group as more properties and concepts have been introduced.
Previously, April held dual roles as Director of Sales and Marketing at the Marriott Renaissance brand and Great Wolf Lodge in Niagara Falls. She currently sits on the board of directors for the Tourism Partnership of Niagara and the Twenty Valley Tourism Association. And, was previously second Vice President of Niagara on the Lake Tourism, and a former board member of Bethlehem Housing in St. Catharines.
VP of Operations
Paul MacIntyre is the Vice President of Operations of Lais Hotel Properties Limited (LHPL). In his current role since 2015, Paul is a veteran of the hospitality industry with a 30-year track record where he has held diverse leadership and operational roles. Under the umbrella of the LHPL group, he is responsible for the operational performance of the Niagara’s Finest Hotels brand and Vintage Hotels properties. And all aspects of new investment projects from conception to execution and the transitional leadership management of newly acquired properties. Paul has been instrumental and highly successful in the transition and expansion of the groups newly acquired hotel assets and, in the development, opening and construction of the stand-alone restaurant portfolio and The Gardens at Pillar and Post.
Paul joined LHPL in 1999 as the General Manager of the Oban Inn; where he concurrently assumed the role of Food and Beverage Manager and Spa Manager for the Prince of Wales. He then assumed the role of General Manager of the Prince of Wales in 2002, transitioning to the General Manager of the Pillar and Post in 2004. During his tenure at Pillar and Post, Paul was also appointed as the Director of Spas for Vintage Hotels, and interim General Manager for the Millcroft Inn & Spa.
Paul is a graduate of Brock University and the Cornel Hotel School General Manager Program. He is the Chair of the Niagara-on-the-Lake Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Niagara-on-the-Lake. He has previously served as a Board Director for the Red Roof Retreat, Premiers Spas of Ontario and the Green Belt Tourism Strategy Committee.
VP of Corporate Revenue
Michelle Miller is Vice President of Corporate Revenue for Lais Hotels Properties Limited (LHPL). In her role since 2011, Michelle brings a successful track record of over 30 years of experience in the hospitality industry in hotel operations, general management and revenue management. She is responsible for the growth of strategic revenue, leading the Luxury Travel Team and supporting corporate revenue streams. Michelle has been instrumental in the application of disciplined data-mining and analytics, budgeting and forecasting in support of the group.
Michelle joined LHPL in 1990 as an integral part of the opening team for Queen’s Landing Hotel. She progressively advanced through roles in Food and Beverage Management and Front Office Management prior to assuming the role of General Manager of Prince of Wales and Moffat Inn in 2006.
Michelle is a graduate of Niagara College’s Hotel & Restaurant Operations program and Cornell University’s General Manager’s program. She is the former Board President and present campaign liaison with one of our key charities, Big Brothers Big Sisters of North & West Niagara.
GM, Prince of Wales, Moffat Inn
Kelly Exelby brings more than 10 years of industry experience in the high-end hospitality sector. Kelly commenced her career with Vintage Hotels as Senior Manager of Spa Operations in 2008, and under her leadership the spa was ranked as Number 1 Spa in North America.
Prior to commencing employment with Vintage Hotels, Kelly owned and operated “White on White” a very successful high-end boutique concept retail store in St. Catharines where she achieved many accolades including “Entrepreneur of the Year”. “White on White” was featured in House & Home and Style at the Home magazines and Kelly also made appearances on House & Home with Lynda Reeves on HGTV. Previous to that, Kelly was the Assistant General Manager of Sheraton on the Falls, a 700-room, Four-Diamond Hotel in Niagara Falls. In that role, Kelly was integral in leading the hotel’s construction and renovations from a 370-room property to a 700-room property, as well converting the hotel into a Sheraton brand.
Executive Chef, Prince of Wales
Chef Chris Smythe was born and raised in Niagara. His culinary journey began as an apprentice at the Prince of Wales Hotel. When Smythe was promoted to Executive Sous Chef of Pillar and Post his combined passion for success and his ability to mentor upcoming chefs moved him into an executive role in the kitchen. He later assumed the role as Executive Chef of Riverbend Inn & Vineyard, where he took Farm to Table Cuisine to new heights!
Venturing into his role as a restaurateur, Chef Smythe opened The Spotted Calf Bistro in February 2009. While he embraced the challenge of entrepreneurship, he found he missed the high paced environment of a larger corporate operation. Chris returned to Vintage Hotels in 2010 and soon was appointed Chef de Cuisine at Queen’s Landing. In September of 2011, Chef Smythe was promoted to Executive Chef at Prince of Wales’ Noble Restaurant, having come full circle.
GM, Pillar and Post
With over 20 years in the luxury hotel and restaurant industry, Ryan brings with him a wealth of experience in providing world-class customer service. Ryan’s previous management and director roles garnished many accolades including: Condé Nast Traveler – Top 30 Hotels in Canada, TripAdvisor.com – #1 Hotel in Canada, Ontario’s Finest Inns, Hotels, and Spas – #1 Hotel in Ontario, CAA/AAA 4-Diamond Award, and Company of the Year – NOTL Chamber of Commerce. Ryan has also sat on numerous industry and community boards, most recently joining the advisory board of directors for Hotelier Magazine, the largest hospitality trade magazine in Canada. He attributes his success to great mentorship, building strong teams, and a commitment to exceeding all expectations in customer service.
Executive Chef, Pillar and Post
Chef Mark was ‘Born to Cook’. With both parents leading remarkable culinary careers, his path to culinary was destined. Mark’s apprenticeship began under a Austrian Chef at ‘Roland’s Steak House’ in Peterborough. Looking for a finer culinary, Mark continued his apprenticeship at Queen’s Landing.
In 1994 after graduating from Niagara College he became the youngest Certified Chef in the Niagara Region. At age 20 he made his first foray into kitchen management as Chef of the Moffat Inn. After a few years at the Moffat, Mark’s passion for fine dining drew him to Pillar and Post. Over the course of sixteen years, Mark rose to the position of Chef de Cuisine gaining expertise in all culinary departments of Vintage Hotels. In 2013, Mark was promoted to Executive Chef.
Although European-born, Lily Kszan has called Niagara home since childhood. An early interest in hospitality led to her studies in Hotel and Restaurant Management, after which she held her first management position as Restaurant Supervisor at the Minolta Tower in Niagara Falls. Lily spent the following 12 years furthering her hospitality experience in a number of progressive management roles with Canadian Niagara Hotels.
Lily first joined Vintage Hotels as Food & Beverage Manager for Queen’s Landing in April 2006. She was subsequently promoted to the position of Assistant General Manager of Queen’s Landing in 2008. Her success in leading an exceptional team resulted in her promotion to General Manager of Queen’s Landing in September 2009 where she oversees Vintage Hotels’ largest conference hotel.
Executive Chef, Queen's Landing
Chef Sean Chaudier considers cuisine as an art form and takes pride in creating colourful, impeccably flavourful dishes. He is passionate about his craftsmanship and sees enthusiasm in cooking and customer satisfaction as the ultimate goal. Born and raised in Canada, he highlights the best in traditional Continental foods with a French touch.
Chef Chaudier is a versatile and dynamic Chef and has for over ten years whetted the appetite of discerning customers in world class hotels in North America, China, Dubai, and the Caribbean. He is a veritable, innovative and passionate culinary Chef. He is very well respected amongst his peers’ world wide and well sought out for his opinions and views to exceed and excel the culinary experience.
Chef Chaudier received his culinary training at the prestigious George Brown Culinary University and he acquired the Red Seal Certification from Canada. Over the past 10 years Chef Chaudier worked for five-star hotels and resorts the likes of Hyatt Regency, Shangri-La, Hilton Whistler, Jumeirah Dubai, award-winning Cranberry Golf Resort Collingwood and Rockwater Secret Cove Resort Vancouver. Chef Chaudier is excited to now be a part of the Queens Landing Hotel team as the Executive Chef and looks forward to serving the patrons of this great hotel.
GM, Inn On The Twenty
Christophe Hermez’s Food and Beverage career spans over 25 years and several countries. Born and raised in Arras, France, Christophe’s first culinary exposure was in a 3-star Michelin restaurant and from there he knew where he wanted his career to go. Christophe enrolled in the Hotel Management School Champagne-Ardenne in Chalons, France and graduated in 1989. After graduating, he worked as a Maitre d’hotel in some of the finest restaurants in France, Wales and Belgium.
Being an adventurous type, Christophe had an opportunity to work in Canada in 1999 and decided to accept the position of Restaurant Manager at the Four Diamond Inn, Langdon Hall. Christophe always wanted to experience Canada and decided to further his professional career here. From Langdon Hall, Christophe moved onto the position of Restaurant Manager at the Oban Inn in beautiful Niagara-on-the-Lake. During his time at the Oban Inn, Christophe completed the internationally recognized Sommelier Certification program in 2003. Christophe has held management positions at various Vintage Hotels’ properties since he joined the company in 2001. Christophe has held the positions of Food and Beverage Manager at both the Prince of Wales Hotel and Queen’s Landing Hotel before accepting the position of General Manager at the newly acquired Vintage Hotels property, Inn On The Twenty and all its associated properties in Jordan, Ontario.
Executive Chef, Inn On The Twenty
After his first job in a kitchen at the age of 15, Chef Pete knew he was destined to be chef. Since graduating Niagara College Culinary Management in 2005, he has worked in some of the Niagara’s finest restaurants including Inn On The Twenty, The Restaurant at Vineland Estates, and Riverbend Inn. In 2014, Chef Pete set out on a new adventure as owner and chef of Dani’s Bistro VQA Vine Bar in downtown St. Catharines. After several successful years and the new reality of pandemic life, he made a difficult decision to step away from ownership. As of fate, he returned to his roots at Inn On the Twenty Restaurant in a new role as Sous Chef in 2021. Chef Pete accredits much of his culinary influences to his time as a young cook at Inn On The Twenty Restaurant under guidance of past chefs and looks forward to leading the team as Executive Chef.
Innkeeper, Millcroft Inn & Spa
Bill Cutt joined the Vintage Hotel team in July of 2011, as the Innkeeper at the Millcroft Inn & Spa. While originally hailing from the South of Mississauga, Bill has spent the past 20 years in the hotel industry in Banff, Alberta.
Prior to his return to Ontario, Bill was the General Manager of the Sunshine Mountain Lodge in Banff, and prior to that enjoyed time with Canadian Mountain Holidays, the Relais & Chateaux Post Hotel & Spa as well as the Fairmont’s Banff Springs Hotel. With over 20 years of experience in the hospitality industry he is a hands-on, fully engaged leader with a passion for hospitality excellence.
Executive Chef, Headwaters Restaurant
Chef Nicolas Petitjean’s culinary journey began with his education at Cfa Polyvalent De Marzy. Like any dedicated chef, he learned tremendously from his mentors, his first being Jean Crotet (with whom Petitjean credits he learned all his skills and work ethic) and his two sons Guillame and Christophe, and his most challenging being Gilles Arzur, Executive Chef at Four Seasons Mauritius.
Prior to joining the Millcroft Inn and Spa as Executive Chef, he held various culinary leadership roles with the Four Seasons including Bora Bora in 2008, Beverly Wilshire in 2011, and Hampshire in 2014 before landing Toronto in 2015 and opening one of the top ten worldwide hotels at the Four Seasons Philadelphia in 2019. Beyond his Four Seasons tenure, Petitjean has cooked alongside the best, including La Maison Troisgros, an establishment impressively embellished with three Michelin Stars.
Petitjean’s favourite dishes to create reflect his background and pride for his hometown of Burgundy: escargots, oeuf moeurette, and boeuf bourguignon. Returning to tradition in this fashion—paying homage to the well-known dishes of his home—fuels his approach and method of operation to being a chef. “We need to be passionate by what we are doing in terms of creating new dishes, taking in consideration the ‘vibe’ of the guests, incorporating a maximum of local product, and being part of the culture of where we are.”
It’s a contemporary balance that Petitjean has been able to strike: respecting tradition yet being intuitive to the flow and change of the current culinary scene. As he interprets it, the culinary arts are “like a circle”; he sees food trends coming back time and time again. “A combination of classic and renewal fit obviously for me.”
General Manager, Niagara's Finest Hotels
Jamie Drummond brings more than 20 years of hospitality experience to his role as General Manager of Niagara’s Finest Hotels brand where he is responsible for the management and operations of seven divisions of the company, that includes four hotels and five restaurants located in Niagara-on-the-Lake.
Jamie joined Lais Hotel Properties Limited (LHPL) in 2008 as the Food and Beverage Manager of Pillar and Post. He was also a part of the opening teams for the Millcroft Inn and Spa and the Parlour Inn. Jamie was appointed to the General Manager of the newly acquired Niagara’s Finest Hotel collection in 2018.
Prior to joining LHPL, Jamie held roles of Restaurant Manager, Director of Sales and Director of Conference at the Sheraton Hotel in Niagara Falls.