Crist Inman Founder & Managing Partner
Crist founded La Paz Group as an outgrowth of his work leading the Tourism Competitiveness & Sustainable Development project, based in Costa Rica starting in the mid-1990s. The sustainable tourism development model used in that project was an outgrowth of his doctoral dissertation at Cornell University. His empirical research and several years of implementation led to the founding principles of La Paz Group. Entrepreneurial conservation is the name subsequently given to the idea that investors have a role to play in, and can expect attractive return on investment from, conservation of both natural and cultural patrimony.
After several years of destination strategy advisory, Crist transformed La Paz Group into a management company. In 1999 the first client for property management services was Lapa Rios and the client roster grew quickly after that. In 2010 Crist established the company’s practice in India and spent the next six years developing the Xandari brand in India on behalf of its owner-investors. Since completing that engagement he has been focused on a strategy for linking under a common brand properties around the world that adhere to the La Paz Group principles of entrepreneurial conservation. Prior to La Paz Group and his graduate studies Crist worked in organizational development within the hospitality industry, and started his career in hospitality operations for hotels and restaurants.
Seth Inman Project Manager
Seth started working with La Paz Group prior to his university education, responsible for assessment of conservation-focused tourism initiatives, including: Feynan Ecolodge in the Dana Biosphere Reserve, Jordan; the Patagonian Expedition Race, Chile; Reserva Chaihuin, a 150,000-acre private forest in Los Rios, Chile; Huilo Huilo, a resort located in a 260,000-acre private nature reserve in Panguipulli, Chile; and Kalamota, an island resort and heritage conservation project located in Croatia. While attending Cornell University he worked for three years at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, where he was responsible for outreach and communications for the Celebrate Urban Birds program. Starting in June, 2014 he joined La Paz Group based in Costa Rica in a management rotation program at Xandari Resort & Spa, and as of July, 2016 he is co-managing Villa del Faro in Baja California Sur, Mexico.
Jocelyn Toll Project Manager
Jocelyn started working for La Paz Group after graduating from Boston University’s School of Hospitality Administration. Her first posting was at Xandari Resort & Spa as Coordinator of the property’s qualifying for the highest level ranking on Costa Rica’s Certification for Sustainable Tourism program; additional responsibilities including social media content creation and reception department services. As of July, 2016 she is co-managing Villa del Faro in Baja California Sur, Mexico. Prior to joining La Paz Group she worked in China for Naked Retreats creating social media content. She also worked in various hospitality operations jobs in Boston during her university years.
Ludovic Lainé President & Managing Partner
Ludovic was previously the Managing Director of the New York office for YPB&R (now Y Partnership), the leading marketing, advertising, and public relations agency specialized in the travel and leisure-industry. During his time at YPB&R, Ludovic guided the development and execution of the marketing strategy of prestigious accounts such as The Leading Hotels of the World. He also helped launch YPB&R’s branded content department through innovative multi-media platforms that blended advertising with entertainment and resulted in the marketing messages reaching the targeted audiences effectively and unconventionally.
Prior to his position at YPB&R, where he worked from 2001 to 2004, he held various leadership positions in luxury hotels, and destination resorts & spas in the United States, Europe, and the Asia/South Pacific region. Ludovic holds an MBA-accredited Masters of Management in Hospitality from Cornell University where he specialized in strategic marketing, spa development, and sustainable development.
Gwenaëlle Lemoine Director of Global Strategies and Experiential Marketing
Gwenaëlle brings 15 years of experience in communication, promotion and public relations in the hospitality and luxury sectors. Prior to her current position she was, for 12 years, part of the Paris-based Marketing & Communication division of Relais & Châteaux, the global collection of individually owned and operated boutique hotels, luxury resorts and gourmet restaurants. During her tenure with Relais & Châteaux, she successfully promoted the 475 international properties within the consumer press, trade media and luxury tourism market.
Gwenaëlle is well versed in the science and art of developing market research-driven strategies that result in tangible outcomes for clients including brand awareness, targeted market penetration and sustained audience engagement. Very hands-on, Gwenaëlle evenly divides her time between the office and the field. She is experienced at organizing and managing events such as roadshows, press trips, and culinary-centric activities with renowned chefs. Gwenaëlle also has extensive property-level experience in the United States where she began her career in catering, sales and reservation for Sofitel Hotels & Resorts in Washington DC. She holds a Bachelor of Science in tourism and hospitality and a master in tourism development from the Tunon International School in France. She is fluent in English and French.
Ann-Kee Tan Managing Director
Ann-Kee has more than 20 years of experience in the hospitality industry, starting in his native Singapore and continuing throughout the Asia Pacific region. During the first phase of his career at the property level, he held various positions in operations, sales & marketing, and general management at prestigious hotels such as the Pansea Puri Bali Resort, now part of the Orient-Express Hotels collection, where he was part of the team responsible for renovating, repositioning, and reopening.
Throughout these various management positions Ann-Kee has effectively led teams towards change, focused on achieving investors’ financial expectations while integrating sustainable business practices and obtaining positive economic and well-being impacts on local host communities. He is a charismatic leader and influential facilitator well respected for his achievements within multi-cultural environments, for his business development skills, and for his conceptual and strategic thinking. Ann-Kee earned his MBA in International Hospitality Management from IMHI in France. He is fluent in English, Mandarin, and French, and conversant in Bahasa (Indonesia).
Satoko Nagahara Director of Development & Managing Partner
A native from Japan, Satoko Nagahara has spent a significant part of her education in the United States. After a first professional experience with a law firm (Sakura Kyodo), she worked for five years at HSBC in Tokyo, starting as Legal Adviser and later continuing as Assistant Vice President, Global Banking, Project and Export Finance. During that period, Satoko participated in the documentation and negotiation for the execution of projects up to US$20 billion including a US$690 million solar thermal project in Spain. She was involved in originating and executing projects throughout the world including in Chile, Indonesia, Sri-Lanka, Bangladesh, Vietnam and the United Kingdom, working closely with government-owned institutions such as Japan Bank for International Corporation (JBIC) and Nippon Export and Investment Insurance (NEXI).
Satoko then left the legal and banking industries to pursue her calling: Influencing change in the tourism and hospitality industry through sensible developments and programs that contribute to preserving the natural environment and the cultural heritage of the destinations where these initiatives occur. Her specific area of interest covers the entire property development spectrum, from financial modeling, ownership structuring and management agreements to the implementation of operational procedures and quality standards. When in an operational setting she thrives at making guests and peers feel special and has a natural talent for bridging smoothly cultural differences. Properties she has been with include Hotel Okura Japan, Amankora Bhutan (Aman Resorts) and Ritz Carlton Millenia Singapore.
Satoko holds a Master of Management in Hospitality from Cornell University School of Hotel Administration, USA. She is a graduate from Keio University (Japan) with a Bachelor in Law and holds a Juris Doctor degree from Keio Law School.
Amie Inman Design Director
Amie has been responsible for La Paz Group’s design and aesthetics since the firm was founded. Her most recent assignments 2012-2016, were to oversee all design, from architecture through interior design, for Xandari Harbour and Xandari Pearl, in Kerala, India; and a soft refurbishment at the original Xandari in Costa Rica. An avid food historian and researcher, Amie has also designed several resort cuisine programs as well as “local experience” programs for the Xandari properties.
Prior to La Paz Group she was a production manager with the design company MacKenzie-Childs, Ltd. There she was responsible for custom-painted furniture. This followed her career as editor for Toronto Star Corporation in their New York book publishing offices. A native of Alaska, in addition to her native English she speaks Spanish, and is a graduate of New York University’s School of Arts.
Belize team coming soon!