Virgin Hotels, the luxury-lifestyle hotel brand by Sir Richard Branson, is pleased to welcome Leslie J. Shammas as Vice President Development Services.
Shammas will be responsible for garnering partner relationships with key stakeholders on an international and domestic level. Stakeholders such as developers, engineers, architects, designers, and more. Leslie will spearhead various initiatives with the goal of ensuring hotel projects are successfully achieved with brand, in budget, and on schedule. She will also support the technical services team with a brand and guest perspective so as to create the ultimate Virgin Hotels experience. With a passion in project development and innovation, Leslie brings more than 30 years of leadership experience in project design and management, owner relations, and brand development. Leslie will work closely with Teddy Meyer, Virgin Hotels’ VP Design and Creative Director.
Prior to Virgin Hotels, Leslie served as a Development Services Consultant at Montage International. From 2017 – 2020, she worked for Canyon Ranch Wellness Resorts, with the Design and Development team. Starting as the Global Director to then later became Vice President, spearheading the design endeavors. Leslie provided design and construction leadership for all the architectural and interior renovations at the existing properties, while simultaneously lending her support on new development and acquisitions for proposed properties. Before her work at Canyon Ranch, Leslie spent over eleven years at Fairmont Raffles Hotels International. As the Executive Director of Design and Construction, she provided owners and developers with support throughout the planning and building of new properties, major renovations, and resort residential projects, both domestically and internationally. During her time there, she established expectations and standards for every property to be aligned with the brand ethos. Prior to that, Leslie was a Senior Associate at WATG Architects, an international hospitality firm, where she managed numerous projects and brands throughout the world.
“We are thrilled to welcome Leslie to the team. Her expertise and extensive background in representing both ownership and brand operators bring value to each project while supporting on budgets and schedules throughout the process,” states James Bermingham, CEO of Virgin Hotels.
Leslie J. Shammas holds a Bachelor’s degree from California Polytechnic University in Architecture, as well as a minor in Speech Communications. In 2010, she managed the Fairmont Pittsburgh project which became the first LEED Gold Hotel in the U.S. Leslie went on to be recognized as an industry hospitality and Spa expert who has spoken at Boutique Design West, Hospitality Design Expo, and ALIS Conferences. Leslie also recently obtained a WELL AP Certification.