EXECUTIVE TEAM 2019-09-05T16:12:43+00:00

Deborah L. Cannon
Qualifying Broker

Ms. Cannon began with Hyatt Hotels and focused her career growth in the field of Sales and Marketing. From her start with Hyatt Hotels she progressed to Director of Sales and Marketing of the elegant, 5 star Peabody Court Hotel in Baltimore (Member Leading Hotels of the World). She then moved to Beaumont Hotels, as Regional Director of Sales and Marketing, and later Corporate Vice President of Marketing and Sales for Brookshire Hotels. She established her own company, Cannon & Associates, a full-service marketing company and later joined Cornerstone Management & Development (national, hotel Management Company) and served as its Vice President for over ten years. She then formed CUSA, LLC and serves as its President. Ms. Cannon directs all hotel marketing and sales, and corporate contract development. Ms. Cannon’s experience ranges from roadside, limited service inns and hotels to full service convention and resort hotels. CUSA also has experience with boutique hotels, spas, golf courses and mixed use facilities.  Ms. Cannon is a licensed real estate broker.

Charles S. Taylor
Chief Operating Officer

Mr. Taylor began his career with Hyatt Hotels Corporation working in four and five star hotels from 230 to 1200 rooms. Mr. Taylor accepted the position of Manager of the internationally recognized 1000 room Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C. after leaving Hyatt Hotels, and later the position of General Manager of the four star Whitehall Hotel for Lex Hotels of Great Britain. Joining Beaumont Hotels in 1979 as Regional Director, Mr. Taylor has overseen all facets of operations to include:  spa, conference center, food & beverage, golf course/country club and resort properties.  Mr. Taylor remained with Beaumont until 1986, at which time he became President and partner of the newly formed Brookshire Hotels. After five years of building Brookshire Hotels into a nationally recognized management company and completing a private placement with a Wall Street investment group, Mr. Taylor established Cornerstone Management & Development, a full service management company located in Columbia, Maryland.  He later moved that company to Atlanta, Georgia.  Mr. Taylor serves as serves as the Chief Operating Officer for CUSA, LLC.

Melissa Mancini
Vice President of Operations

Ms. Mancini joined CUSA at its inception and is responsible for all operational and sales & marketing oversight of hotel properties. Ms. Mancini has an exceptionally diverse background including operational management, sales & marketing, human resources and training/systems implementation. She has worked with hotels from roadside inns to full service convention hotels and has both corporate and on-site operational experience. She has held a variety of positions from front office to sales to reservations to human resources to General Manager. She joined Brookshire Hotels in 1988 and was responsible for all sales systems and tracking programs. Ms. Mancini graduated from Towson State University with a degree in Marketing.  Ms. Mancini held property and corporate positions with Cornerstone Management & Development and currently serves as the Vice President of Operations for CUSA, LLC.

Kimberly Houze
Corporate Director of Sales and Marketing

Ms. Houze has over 15 years experience in the sales and marketing field. She began her career with Hilton Hotels Corporation, working there for ten years, then moving to Intercontinental Hotels. Her experience ranges from full service hotels, golf/country club, spa, resort properties, convention centers, and limited service hotels. She is also well versed in catering, food and beverage, revenue, and yield management. Ms. Houze is a graduate of the University of Florida with a degree in Journalism and Public Relations and a minor in Business. She has worked on numerous Hospitality Organizations, Chambers of Commerce, and Convention Organizations and Visitors Bureaus.

Ed Samson
Chief Financial Officer

Mr. Samson has over 25 years of executive leadership experience in real estate investment and property operations including finance, corporate strategic planning and analysis, portfolio development, syndications, limited partnerships, acquisitions/dispositions, and asset management.  Mr. Samson has held position in various capacities as Chief Operating Officer, Chief Financial Officer, President and Vice President of Property Management Operations.  Placed financing and re-structured debt in excess of $300M.  Experienced with all aspects of property management and financial operations of multi-family, commercial, hotel, retail, conventionally financed, tax credit and affordable housing real estate.  His responsibilities encompassed 50,000+ multi-family units, 2.5M+ Sqft. of commercial properties and 7,000+ rooms in the hospitality industry.  Mr. Samson holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration with emphasis in Business Management and Finance and a Master’s Degree (MBA) in Business Administration from Pepperdine University in Los Angeles, California

Doug Covell
Accounting Manager

Mr. Covell has over 25 years of Accounting/Finance and Operations experience in the Hospitality industry.  Mr. Covell started his career with Embassy Suites Hotels as an Assistant General Manager in the Los Angeles area.  After working in Operations for ten years, he transferred to the Promus Hotels (later acquired by Hilton Hotels Corporation) corporate offices in Memphis.  For the next ten years he worked in the Quality Assurance department, Hotel Finance department and Internal Audit department.  After resigning from Hilton Hotels Corporation after twenty years, he returned to Operations as a Controller at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Seattle, WA, Hotel Lucia in Portland, OR, and Hilton Hotel in Irvine, CA.  He also filled the role of Corporate Accounting Manager for a small family owned hotel company in Portland.  In addition, he was a Corporate Senior Property Accountant for a family owned independent chain of hotels located on the West coast. Prior to joining CUSA, he served most recently as Senior Staff Accountant for Atrium Hospitality in Alpharetta, GA.  Mr. Covell holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration with emphasis in Finance from California State University-Long Beach and a Master’s Degree (MBA) with emphasis in Finance from The University of Memphis.

Steve Grainger
Corporate Controller

Mr. Grainger, a graduate of Oakland University (MI), has over 35 years experience in the Hospitality industry. With a background in Operations,  Mr. Grainger moved to Finance with Hilton Corporation. After Hilton, he served as Director of Finance with Omni Hotels for several years before joining Orient-Express Hotels, a Five-Star luxury company based in London.  He served as Director of Finance of North America, managing Domestic and International properties of over $200M in revenues. After Orient-Express, he worked as Senior Vice President of Finance and COO of Ginn Clubs & Resorts, a private Resort and Planned Community Developer based in Florida. Following this work, he continued as Corporate Controller with a private developer of hotels, commercial, and multi-family units based in Charleston, SC.  He then joined Crestline Hotels and Resorts, serving as Director of Centralized Accounting, with successful integration of 106 hotels, including Hilton, Marriott, Hyatt, and IHG properties. Prior to joining CUSA, he served most recently as Director of Finance of the Mandarin Oriental Atlanta. As Corporate Controller, he has ongoing responsibilities for accounting services of CUSA.

Dante Mancini
Corporate Director of Operations Multi-Family and Commercial

Mr. Mancini has worked with CUSA since 2005 as a Commercial and Multi-Family Property Manager. Dante began his career with Enterprise Rent A Car in property management and regional operations for over ten years. Mr. Mancini’s operational experience covers all aspects of Commercial and Multi-Family property operations. His specialties include: insurance negotiation, revenue management and cost control. Dante is a graduate of Towson State University in Maryland with a degree in Business.

Adam Biesecker
Corporate Director of Development

Adam joined CUSA Hospitality in 2016 and brought with him over 30 years of top tier business development experience.  Adam’s background is in technology sales, he successfully developed strong and lasting relationships with tech giants like Cisco, Dell, IBM, AT&T, Verizon, and many more.  In 2016 Adam decided he wanted to tackle a different vertical of business and was presented the opportunity to come work with CUSA.   “After I met with Debbie Cannon and Chuck Taylor, the leadership of CUSA, I knew that our values and business practices lined up and I wanted to be part of this wonderful team.”  Adam’s philosophy on sales is simple, do the right things for your clients.  Don’t mislead them and always be accessible to them.  Look out for their best interests even if at times it feels as though it’s not in your best interest.  Adam is a graduate of GA State University with a bachelor’s degree in business marketing. He has been married for 32 years to the love of his life Jana, and they have three incredible children.  Adam volunteers in several ministries, he leads a homeless ministry in Atlanta, he is also on the board of Kids3 Foster Care Ministry and Abiding Word Counseling.

Todd Neuenschwander
Corporate Director of Operations Hotel Division

Todd, a native Californian and son of a hotelier studied at the prestigious Culinary Institute of America. After graduation, he joined Hilton Hotels as a chef in a large Southern California mountain resort with nine unique restaurants, lounges and retail shops. A decorated gold culinary awards winning chef for food presentation and ice carving displays, Todd accepted the position Executive Chef at an exclusive Four Star, Four Diamond Radisson resort on Miami Beach.   Todd expanded into food and beverage operations management in major full service brands such as: Courtyard by Marriott, DoubleTree by Hilton, Hilton Garden Inn and Radisson Hotels. After spending many years in the Orlando market and working for one of the world’s busiest restaurant, Rain Forest Café at Downtown Disney,  he began fulfilling his childhood dream and became a full service hotel General Manager. Most recently, Todd worked for Radisson and Hilton Garden Inn Brands in premier markets including Atlanta, Georgia and San Francisco, California. Currently, Todd oversees operations and food & beverage within CUSA’s hotels and is the Corporate Director of Operations for CUSA, LLC

Christina Elias
Corporate Director of Operations

Christina Elias, a native of Pennsylvania, is a graduate from The University of Pittsburgh with a Degree in Business Administration and Hospitality and brings more than 30 years of experience in the Hotel Industry to her position as Regional Operations Manager. She began her career as part of the IHG team in Morgantown, West Virginia. Christina’s experience ranges from full service hotels, to beach properties and limited service facilities. She is well versed in all aspects of Revenue Management, Hotel Accounting, Operational Management.

Holly Forsyth
Regional Director of sales

Holly Forsyth has been with CUSA, LLC. since 2008 as both an on-site Director of Sales and Regional Director of Sales across multiple branded and independent properties.  Mrs. Forsyth utilizes her background in hospitality, customer service, and food & beverage in her Sales and Marketing position with CUSA.  She enjoys creating and executing successful revenue and sales management efforts. Holly’s passion for travel and tourism is one of her strongest assets when working with clients, county chambers, and Convention & Visitor Bureaus alike.

Kathy Frazier-Kenney
Regional Director of Sales

Kathy Kenney is a Florida Native with over 20 years’ experience in the Hospitality Industry. Kathy originally joined CUSA in 2008 and in 2014 as the Director of Sales at the Clarion Suites Maingate at Walt Disney World in Kissimmee, Florida. Prior to CUSA, Kathy held Director of Sales positions within the hospitality industry including full service, limited service, branded and independent hotels as well as local winery.

Her extensive experience with previous roles as Executive Director of Sales and Marketing, Director of Catering and Senior Sales Manager, Sales & Catering Manager, Operations Manager in brands such as Choice Hotels (Clarion Suites, Comfort Suites and Suburban Extended Stay), Sheraton 5 Points, Best Western, Howard Johnsons, Travelodge, and Ramada equips her with valuable skills in all markets.

Kathy’s experience includes developing and executing marketing plans and leveraging brand tools to help analyze and improve optimal revenue growth to include driving revenue through a direct sales effort, tradeshows, maximizing rates and revenues and specifically development of International Markets.

Kathy has always had a passion for hospitality and community collaboration which has led her to a number of volunteer opportunities and to community leadership roles. Kathy works with Government Organizations, County Chambers of Commerce, Destination Management Companies, and Convention and Visitor Bureaus. Kathy volunteers for many nonprofit organizations giving back to the community.

Marsha R. Heard
Regional Director of sales

Marsha began working in hospitality in 1976.  I started my career at the Hilton Hotel in downtown Tallahassee, Florida.  My markets at that time were SMERF and Government.  Since the major industries there were FSU Sports and State Government, I learned a lot very quickly.  Within a few years I had progressed to become a Director of Sales.  A title I have held throughout my career at Hilton, IHG, Wyndham and Choice Hotels.

I have worked with CUSA since January 2015.  I started with the Comfort Suites at the Airport, and as smaller properties came available, I was able to fulfill the function of a Director of Sales in several hotels in the CUSA portfolio.  I currently have four hotels, My Place Hotel, Greenville, SC, Kennesaw Inn, Kennesaw, GA., Microtel Inn & Suites, Woodstock, GA., and Comfort Inn, Demopolis, AL.  These are diverse properties and markets so each one has its own set of challenges which really keep me on my toes.

I am a Georgia native, born in Forsyth, Georgia and raised in Bainbridge, Georgia.  I attended Huntingdon College and Georgia Southwestern as well as independent studies at Florida State University.  Mother of a son Russ, Army Veteran and father of 4 and a daughter Julia, brilliant child who is the mother of one.  I have 7 grandchildren (3 are steps) and 1 great grandson who just arrived late in May.

I love what I do, since no two days are alike and I get to work with great people at CUSA As well as getting to know quite a number of my better clients.

For fun I scuba dive, fly small aircraft and love to read, and spend time with my close friends!!  I live in Cobb County on the Chattahoochee River with my cat, Cece-Silly Cat.