Meet the Board Our Leadership Team

 

Evans Hotels is a family-owned hospitality collective in San Diego, California. Comprised of Evans family members, the board is actively involved with business development and key decisions.

Anne L. Evans Chairman Emeritus

Anne L. Evans Chairman Emeritus

Anne L. Evans Chairman Emeritus

Anne L. Evans was named Chairman Emeritus of Evans Hotels in March 2014 after presiding over the company as Chairman of the Board for 30 years. She and her late husband William D. Evans founded Evans Hotels in 1953, when they opened the 52-room Bahia Hotel on Mission Bay.

Mrs. Evans, who is a member of the California Tourism Hall of Fame, has served on the Board of Advisors of the University of California - San Diego Rady School of Management and is Emeritus Trustee of the UC San Diego Foundation. She also is a member of the Founders Circle of UCSD Preuss Charter School.

Prior professional affiliations include California Chamber of Commerce (Director), State of California Tourism Commission (Commissioner), San Diego Convention and Visitors Bureau (Chairman), San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce (Chairman), and San Diego Economic Development Corporation (Secretary of the Board). She was also a member of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, Los Angeles Branch, for six years and was Chairman for two of those years.

Mrs. Evans has received several awards and honors throughout her career in the hotel industry, including the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Corporate Directors Forum, Visitor Industry Hall of Fame honors from the San Diego Convention and Visitors Bureau, Hotel person of the Year from the San Diego Hotel-Motel Association, and Women Who Mean Business Award from the San Diego Business Journal.

Mrs. Evans has a B.A. in English Literature from Pomona College.

Grace Evans Cherashore Executive Chairwoman

Grace Evans Cherashore Executive Chairwoman

Grace Evans Cherashore Executive Chairwoman

Grace Evans Cherashore is Executive Chairwoman of Evans Hotels, a company founded in 1953 by her late father, William D. Evans, and her mother, Anne L. Evans.

Mrs. Cherashore began her tenure with Evans Hotels as Chief Financial Officer in 1984 and later served as President and Chief Executive Officer for 21 years. Prior to Evans Hotels, Mrs. Cherashore worked for Wells Fargo Bank in San Francisco in the Real Estate Industries Group.

Outside of Evans Hotels, Mrs. Cherashore currently serves as Vice Chair of the California State Chamber of Commerce and as a member of the Dean's Advisory Council for the UCSD Rady School of Management. Previously, she served as a Director of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, Los Angeles Branch from 2008 through 2013 with one term as Chair. Prior to her Federal Reserve service she served as a Director of Peninsula Bank of San Diego and was a founding Director of San Diego Trust Bank. Mrs. Cherashore was also a Director of San Diego Economic Development Corporation, the San Diego State University School of Business, the San Diego Consortium and Private Industry Council (now the San Diego Workforce Partnership), the San Diego Chapter of the American Cancer Society, and the Bishop's School.

Grace Cherashore has a B.A., magna cum laude, from the University of Colorado, and an M.B.A. from the Amos Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College. She was recently honored by the San Diego Business Journal as the 2013 "Most Admired CEO" for Large Family-Owned Businesses. In 2005 she was honored at the publication's 12th-Annual "Women Who Mean Business" awards.

In 2017, Mrs. Cherashore and Anne Evans received the Distinguished Service Award from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.

David L. Cherashore Executive Board Member

David L. Cherashore Executive Board Member

David L. Cherashore Executive Board Member

David L. Cherashore is an Executive Board Member of Evans Hotels. His primary focus is on the redevelopment of existing hotels as well as seeking new business opportunities and additional properties for the Evans Hotels portfolio.

Mr. Cherashore served as Executive Vice President of Commercial Property and Development at Evans Hotels for 30 years prior to his current role. Before joining Evans Hotels, he worked as Marketing Manager for the Dole Foods Division of Castle and Cooke, Inc.

Mr. Cherashore graduated cum laude from Middlebury College (VT) with a Bachelor's degree in Economics and Geography, and received his Master's degree in Business Administration from Dartmouth College (NH). He serves on the Board of Directors for the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation and the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce. In 2015, Mr. Cherashore received a mayoral appointment to the San Diego County Water Authority Board of Directors where his insight and experience are utilized to promote water efficiency and continue to provide a safe, reliable, and affordable water supply to the San Diego region.

Mr. Cherashore previously served as a board member and chairman of the Resort Hotel Association and the Resort Hotel Insurance Company. He was also a trustee for the La Jolla Country Day School, where he chaired the Buildings & Grounds Committee. He has also served as Executive Committee Member for the University City Planning Group, board member of the University City Foundation for Public Schools, and member of the Board of Management at the La Jolla YMCA.

William L. Evans Executive Board Member

William L. Evans Executive Board Member

William L. Evans Executive Board Member

Bill Evans is an Executive Board Member for Evans Hotels and is responsible for spearheading redevelopment of existing hotels and all business development activities for the company, including growth and expansion of the company's portfolio.

Mr. Evans began his career with Evans Hotels as General Manager of the Bahia in 1984. He later became Executive Vice President and Managing Director of Evans Hotels, a position he held until March 2014. During his time as EVP and Managing Director, Mr. Evans assembled a team of leading architects, historians, artisans, and artists to create The Lodge at Torrey Pines while overseeing all management, operation, and marketing activities for the company.

Prior to joining the family business, Mr. Evans worked with Rosewood Hotels. He first served as Food and Beverage Manager of The Mansion on Turtle Creek in Dallas and then as Food & Beverage Manager at The Remington in Houston. He also worked for Le Bel Age Hotel in Los Angeles as Project Manager before returning to San Diego.

Mr. Evans, who has a Bachelor's degree in Hotel and Restaurant Administration from Cornell University, currently serves as President of the Mission Bay Lessees Association. Previously, he served as the Chairman, Director and Treasurer of the San Diego Tourism Marketing District (SDTMD) and Chairman of the SDTMD Ad Hoc Marketing Advisory Committee. He is also the former President and spent 6 years on the San Diego Convention Center Corporation and is a past President and Chairman of the San Diego Hotel-Motel Association. He is a passionate collector of California Impressionist art, rare specimen palm trees and subtropical plants, and antique racing automobiles.

Susan Billings Evans Executive Board Member

Susan Billings Evans Executive Board Member

Susan Billings Evans Executive Board Member

Susan Billings Evans is an Executive Board Member and also serves as the Retail Purchasing Director for Evans Hotels. In that position, she is responsible for selecting the appropriate product lines to complement the hotels’ motifs as well as managing purchases for all retail shops and spas for the company.

After graduating from Brigham Young University with a degree in Business Financing in 1987, she immediately began a successful career in commercial real estate with the Business Real Estate Brokerage Company in La Jolla and later joined the Irvine based Koll Company. In 1990, she married Bill Evans; Susan made the commitment to dedicate herself to raising their three children – Billy, Rex, and Gracie—before accepting her current position.

The Executive Team

The executive leadership team at Evans Hotels is comprised of accomplished hospitality veterans. The group oversees all business channels including operations, reservations, human resources, marketing, sales, finance and more.

 

President and Chief Executive Officer

Robert H. Gleason President and Chief Executive Officer

Robert H. Gleason President and Chief Executive Officer

Robert Gleason was appointed President and CEO of Evans Hotels in 2014, becoming the first executive outside of the Evans family to run the day-to-day operations of the company. Mr. Gleason oversees and directs all aspects of business strategy and performance growth for Evans Hotels, which includes The Lodge at Torrey Pines in La Jolla as well as the Bahia Resort Hotel and Catamaran Resort Hotel and Spa on Mission Bay.

Prior to his appointment, Mr. Gleason spent the previous 15 years as the Chief Financial Officer and General Counsel of Evans Hotels. Having dedicated more than half of his life to the company, he first joined Evans Hotels as a reservations agent at the age of 18 and gradually worked his way up to CFO prior to earning his law degree.

Outside of his work, Mr. Gleason was appointed by Governor Brown to the California Travel and Tourism Commission, which does business as Visit California to develop and maintain marketing programs that keep California top-of-mind as a premier travel destination. He is also Chair of the Los Angeles Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, Chair of the World Trade Center San Diego, a Trustee of the Francis Parker School, and an Executive Committee Member of the Princeton University Alumni Council. He remains an Advisory Board Member of the L. Robert Payne School of Hospitality & Tourism Management at San Diego State University, where he taught hospitality law and policy for many years.

Prior civic commitments include serving as Chair of the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority, Chair of the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture, a Director of the San Diego Convention Center Corporation, Vice Chair of The Old Globe, and Chair of the San Diego LGBT Community Center.

Mr. Gleason received an A.B. in Economics from Princeton University and a J.D. summa cum laude from the University of San Diego School of Law. He is licensed to practice law in California and the District of Columbia and is a California real estate broker and Certified Hospitality Accountant Executive.

Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer

Dan Fullen Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer

Dan Fullen Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer

Dan Fullen was named Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Evans Hotels in March 2014. Mr. Fullen is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the operations of the company's hotels.

Mr. Fullen brings more than 25 years of experience from some of the West Coast's most notable luxury properties. Most recently, Mr. Fullen spent the last 14 years as General Manager and pre-opening General Manager of The Lodge at Torrey Pines. Through his leadership and operational expertise, he was instrumental in bringing San Diego its first AAA Five Diamond hotel in 2002 and maintaining this honor every year since. Prior to The Lodge, Mr. Fullen spent six years as General Manager at Bahia Resort Hotel. He first joined the Evans Hotels family in 1993 as Corporate Food & Beverage Director. His prior experience includes tenures as Food & Beverage Director at The Sorrento Hotel in Seattle, Food & Beverage Director at The Hotel Bel Air in Los Angeles, and Food & Beverage Manager at The Remington on Post Oak Park in Houston and The Mansion on Turtle Creek in Dallas, Texas.

Mr. Fullen completed his undergraduate education at the University of Cincinnati and earned his M.P.S. from Cornell University's School of Hotel Administration. Currently, he serves as Chairman of the Board of the San Diego Tourism Authority and he is a past recipient of the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International's San Diego Hotelperson of the Year Award. Mr. Fullen served as a member of the City of San Diego's Business Plan Update Committee for the Golf Division from 2011-2012 and has been a board member of San Diego Tourism Authority since 2011.

Chief Administrative Officer and General Counsel

Julia De Beers Chief Administrative Officer and General Counsel

Julia De Beers Chief Administrative Officer and General Counsel

Julia De Beers was named Chief Administrative Officer in March 2017. Ms. De Beers is responsible for overseeing the legal, risk management, human resources, and technology groups.

Since 2014, Ms. De Beers has served as Vice President of Legal Affairs and General Counsel. Ms. De Beers joined the Evans Hotels family after 11 years with the Los Angeles (Century City) office of the law firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, where she served as a member of the firm's litigation and labor and employment practices.

Ms. De Beers received her Bachelor's degree in business administration (cum laude) from the University of Southern California in 2000 and her J.D. (cum laude) in 2004 from the University of Michigan Law School, where she served as the Notes Editor of the Michigan Journal of International Law.

Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing

Ilsa Butler Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing

Ilsa Butler Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing

Ilsa Butler is Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing for Evans Hotels, responsible for overseeing all aspects of sales, marketing, public relations, community relations and brand strategy for the company.

For the last two years, Ms. Butler held the position of Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Evans Hotels. Her previous positions with the company included Corporate Director of Sales and she was part of the pre-opening sales team of its luxury brand, The Lodge at Torrey Pines. Ms. Butler began her tenure with the company in 1987 with the reopening of the Catamaran Resort Hotel and Spa, where she held various positions in Sales and Conference Services and later led the sales teams in the strategic positioning and cross selling of its Mission Bay hotels.

Ms. Butler earned a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from State University of New York (SUNY) – Plattsburgh.  She is a member of the San Diego Tourism Authority Sales Committee, US Travel, CalTravel, MPI and is part of the Group Advisory for Kindred Hotels.  Ms. Butler is a past recipient of the San Diego County Hotel-Motel Association’s and HSMAI’s Gold Key Award for “Sales Person of the Year”.  

Senior Vice President, Business Development

Andy Thomas Senior Vice President, Business Development

Andy Thomas Senior Vice President, Business Development

Andy Thomas is Senior Vice President, Business Development, for Evans Hotels. Mr. Thomas joined the company in 1994 and currently oversees all distribution systems, business development and revenue strategy for the organization.

Mr. Thomas is currently a board member for San Diego Fire Rescue Foundation, a member of the Board of Trustees for the La Jolla Playhouse, a member of the Agilysys Customer Advisory Board, a board member and Director of Marketing for the Rob Benzon Foundation, a member of CA Travel, as well as a member of The Greater San Diego Business Association. He is also a Commission Advisory Panelist for the Commission for Arts and Culture for San Diego.

Previously, he has held advisory rolls for Travelocity.com, Hotels.com, San Diego Tourism Authority Marketing Committee, and San Diego Business Association Tourism Development Group. Mr. Thomas is a past recipient of the Gold Key Award for “Sales Person of the Year" and is an alumni of the University of Denver for Hotel Management as well as Regis College.

Vice President, Human Resources

Dan Ferbal Vice President, Human Resources

Dan Ferbal Vice President, Human Resources

Dan Ferbal was named Vice President, Human Resources in March 2014, overseeing recruitment, employment, compensation strategy, training, employee relations, employee retention, employee benefits and employee well-being programs.

Mr. Ferbal, who is bilingual in Spanish and English, joined the company in 1993 as Recruiting Coordinator and within a year was promoted to Training Manager. He later held the position of Corporate Director of Training and spent seven years in that role. In 2001, Mr. Ferbal spearheaded the recruiting and training efforts leading up to the opening of The Lodge at Torrey Pines in 2002. He was then promoted to Director of Compensation and Benefits, followed by Corporate Director of Human Resources, a position he held until his appointment to Vice President. Mr. Ferbal is presently co-chair of the WE CARE Steering Committee for Evans Hotels.

Mr. Ferbal is an alumnus of San Diego State University and is a past recipient of the San Diego County Hotel-Motel Association's, Gina Cesena Gold Key Award. He is presently a member of the San Diego Hospitality Human Resources Association and a founding board member the Rob Benzon Foundation, where he currently serves as President.

Vice President, Finance and Treasurer

Scott Ward Vice President, Finance and Treasurer

Scott Ward Vice President, Finance and Treasurer

Scott Ward was appointed Vice President, Finance and Treasurer in March, 2014. He is responsible for the management and oversight of all aspects of the Finance Department, including accounts payable, accounts receivable, payroll, and all internal and external financial reporting of the Evans Hotels' properties.

Mr. Ward spent the last nine years as the Corporate Controller for Evans Hotels. He first joined Evans Hotels in November 1995 as Staff Accountant. Shortly thereafter, he was promoted to Assistant Controller followed by Property Controller for Catamaran Resort Hotel and Spa and The Lodge at Torrey Pines.

Mr. Ward holds a Bachelor's degree in Accounting from San Diego State University. He has been a member of Hospitality Financial & Technology Professionals since 1998.

General Managers

Meet our experienced General Managers that lead the day-to-day operations at each of the Evans Hotels properties: The Lodge at Torrey Pines, Bahia Resort Hotel, and Catamaran Resort Hotel and Spa.

 General Manager, The Lodge at Torrey Pines

Bill Gross General Manager, The Lodge at Torrey Pines

Bill Gross General Manager, The Lodge at Torrey Pines

Bill Gross was named General Manager of The Lodge at Torrey Pines on March 31, 2014. He joined Evans Hotels in 2006 as Director of Food and Beverage at The Lodge and was promoted to Hotel Manager in 2009.

Gross, who has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Emory University (GA), spent 18 years with Sheraton Hotels and Resorts prior to working at Evans Hotels. He started at the Sheraton Tucson El Conquistador Resort and was promoted through various disciplines within F&B at several properties. Then in 1999, under the Starwood umbrella, he opened the Westin La Cantera as Director of F&B.

A Certified Meeting Professional, Gross relocated to Southern California in 2001 and worked with Interstate Hotels and Resorts as Lead Director of F&B for the Independent/Luxury Division and simultaneously as Director of F&B at the Laguna Cliffs Resort in Dana Point.

Gross has a Yield Management Certificate from San Diego State University’s L. Robert Payne School of Hospitality and Tourism Management. He is an avid cyclist and a supporter of the Challenged Athletes Foundation and Pedal the Cause, which benefits cancer research.

General Manager, Catamaran Resort Hotel and Spa

Mike Staples General Manager, Catamaran Resort Hotel and Spa

Mike Staples General Manager, Catamaran Resort Hotel and Spa

Mike Staples was named General Manager of the Catamaran Resort Hotel and Spa in 2002. He began his tenure with Evans Hotels in 1995 at the Bahia Resort Hotel, serving as Director of Food and Beverage until 2000 and as General Manager from 2000-2002.

Mr. Staples started his career in the hospitality industry with Hilton, going through its Personnel Development Program before serving as F&B Director at the Terrace Plaza and Director of Banquet Services at Netherland Plaza.

Mr. Staples went on to work for Ramada Renaissance Hotels and Resorts, serving as F&B Director for properties in Long Beach; Springfield, Illinois; and Herndon, Virginia; as well as Assistant GM in Dulles, Virginia. He also worked as GM of The River Club in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington D.C., F&B Director for the Philadelphia Hilton and Tower, and Club Manager of the Germantown Cricket Club in Philadelphia.

Mr. Staples, who was born in San Antonio and is an alumnus of the University of Cincinnati, is the Chairman of the Board of the San Diego County Hotel-Motel Association.

General Manager, Bahia Resort Hotel

Jim Chester General Manager, Bahia Resort Hotel

Jim Chester General Manager, Bahia Resort Hotel

Jim Chester was appointed General Manager of Bahia Resort Hotel in 2018. Mr. Chester originally joined Evans Hotels as the Director of Food and Beverage at the Catamaran Resort Hotel and Spa in July 2009. The following year, he was promoted to the Director of Food and Beverage for both of Evans Hotels’ Mission Bay properties, the Catamaran as well as the Bahia Resort Hotel.

Prior to joining Evans Hotels, Mr. Chester served as the Director of Food and Beverage for the AAA Four Diamond DoubleTree Hotel Sonoma Wine Country from 2004 to 2009. He has also worked as the General Manager of Viansa Winery in Sonoma, and originally began his career in hospitality with the successful ownership and operation of two Domino’s Pizza franchises for nearly a decade.

Mr. Chester is an alumnus of University of Alabama—Huntsville and earned a Gold Key Award for “Hotel Leader of the Year” from the San Diego County Hotel and Motel Association in 2015. An active member in the community, he currently volunteers as a mentor at Mount Miguel High School’s Academy of Hospitality and has previously served on the Board of Directors for Discover Pacific Beach.