Jeff Berkman

  • Jeff Berkman is a Director in the Hospitality Investment Advisory practice at Hodges Ward Elliott.  He specializes in institutional-grade hotel and resort property transactions throughout the country. In the past 13 years, Jeff has been involved in more than $30 billion in hotel transactions including the recent sales of 1 Hotel South Beach, PGA National Resort and the Four Seasons Las Colinas.
  • Jeff joined the firm in 2007. Prior to HWE, he was a senior underwriter for the capital markets group at CWCapital. In two years at CW, Jeff was lead underwriter on over $500 million in fixed and floating rate loans. Before starting with CWCapital, Jeff was an underwriter at Mortgageramp, a division of GMAC Commercial Mortgage. In three years at Mortgageramp, he underwrote several hundred million dollars’ worth of fixed-rate conduit loans on behalf of GMAC, Lehman Brothers, Citigroup, and others.

  • Jeff is a graduate of Tulane University.

Austin Brooks

  • Austin Brooks is a Director in Hodges Ward Elliott’s Hotel Investment Advisory Group.  He specializes in hotel and resort property transactions in Texas and across North America, including investment advisory, debt, and equity placements.
  • Mr. Brooks joined the firm in July 2019. Prior to HWE, Austin spent over nine years at HFF where he completed more than $4.5 billion of transactions during that time.
  • Austin earned a BBA in Finance from Texas A&M University and is involved with The Real Estate Council and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Scott Harrell

  • Scott Harrell is a Director in the Hospitality Investment Advisory practice at Hodges Ward Elliott.  He specializes in institutional-grade hotel and resort property transactions throughout the U.S. Since joining the firm in May 2016, he has been involved in more than $2 billion of total investment sales.

  • Prior to HWE, Mr. Harrell spent more than six years on the acquisitions team at TPG Hotels & Resorts, sourcing, underwriting and closing hotel transactions collectively valued in the hundreds of millions of dollars.  Prior to this, he worked for three years at CWCapital as a senior underwriter for the company’s CMBS conduit financing platform.

  • Mr. Harrell graduated from Florida State University with a B.S. in Finance and Marketing.

Alexandra Lalos

  • Alex Lalos is a Director in the Hospitality Investment Advisory practice at Hodges Ward Elliott. She specializes in institutional-grade hotel and resort property transactions throughout North America, Latin America, and the Caribbean, including investment advisory, debt, and equity placements.
  • Ms. Lalos joined the firm in July 2019. Prior to HWE, she spent more than seven years at HFF where she was instrumental in establishing the growth of HFF’s hospitality practice and South Florida presence. Ms. Lalos has contributed to over $4.0 billion of hospitality transactions across the U.S. and the Caribbean.
  • Ms. Lalos is an alumna of Cornell University School of Hotel Administration and an active member of the alumni community. She has served as president of the South Florida chapter of Cornell Hotel Society and is an active member of the Junior League of Miami.

Bhavesh (B.J.) Patel

  • B.J. Patel is a Director in the Hospitality Investment Advisory practice at Hodges Ward Elliott.  With over fifteen years of experience in hospitality and coming from a family hotel ownership background, Patel joined HWE in March 2019 after serving as a Senior Managing Director with a national firm’s lodging capital markets group in Atlanta for a decade where he focused on hotel investment sales.

  • Throughout his career, he has been involved in half a billion dollars in transactions, including deals such as a Courtyard in downtown Columbia, SC, the WNW portfolio of 8 hotels, and the B Hotel Savannah, GA (former Country Inn & Suites).  Earlier in his career, Patel also served as a Development Manager with NYLO Hotels and as an Associate for Acquisitions and Asset Management at The Procaccianti Group.

  • Mr. Patel graduated from the Cornell Hotel School with a Masters of Management in Hospitality and completed undergraduate degrees in finance and business management at Clemson University.

John Sonnier

  • John Sonnier is a Director in the Hospitality Investment Advisory practice at Hodges Ward Elliott.  John specializes in institutional-grade hotel and resort property transactions, including select-service portfolios, throughout North America.
  • John joined the firm in May 1999.  Prior to HWE, John spent almost seven years as Vice President Development for Interstate Hotels and Resorts in Pittsburgh, PA.  Prior to that, John also held development and consulting positions at Red Lion Hotels, Kenneth Leventhal & Company, Prism Hotels and Pannell Kerr Forster in Dallas, TX where he started the Management Advisory Services practice in 1983.
  • John has been a frequent panelist and moderator at industry events, including the Americas Lodging Investment Summit (ALIS) and The Lodging Conference. John earned a B.A. in Hotel and Restaurant Management at the Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management at the University of Houston.

Michael Straw

  • Michael Straw is a Director in Hodges Ward Elliott’s Capital Markets group. Michael joined the company in 2016 to help form the Capital Markets platform with Group Head Lawrence Britvan and is responsible for all aspects of deal management and execution.

  • Prior to joining HWE, Michael was an Associate in the M&A group at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, LLP, where he advised on over $40 billion of transactions across a variety of industries, including hospitality, gaming and REITs.

  • Michael graduated magna cum laude from Tufts University and received his J.D. from Columbia Law School, where he was a Harlan Fiske Stone scholar.