Our Team


  • Nick Massad, Jr.
  • Vicki Massad
    Vicki Massad
  • Robert Sponaugle
    Robert “Bob” Sponaugle
  • Craig Kaplan
    Craig Kaplan
  • Nick Massad III
    Nick Massad III
  • Cindy Decker
    Cindy Decker
  • Margo Kaplan
    Margo Kaplan

  • Taylor Tritt

  • Ashley Bailey

  • Debi Riano

Nick Massad, Jr.

President & CEO

nmassad@amliberty.com

As a 1973 graduate of the Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel & Restaurant Management at the University of Houston, Mr. Massad was assigned to a position as Food & Beverage Director at an American Liberty owned Sheraton Hotel in Dallas, Texas. He later served as General Manager of several of the company’s properties, before becoming its first President in 1983. He, along with his wife Vicki, purchased all of the stock in American Liberty in 1990, and Mr. Massad has since served as the company’s Chief Executive Officer. Currently, American Liberty owns and/or operates hotels, inns and resorts throughout Texas and Louisiana, with additional hotels in various stages of development. Mr. Massad has held the positions of Chairman of the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau, President of the Houston Hotel and Motel Association and has served on the Executive Committee of the Texas Hotel & Motel Association. He is presently a member of the Dean’s Advisory Board of the Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel & Restaurant Management at the University of Houston and has served as its Alumni Association president. He has traveled extensively, both domestically and abroad; and has been a guest lecturer to several hospitality and tourism universities in the People’s Republic of China.

Mr. Massad has also served on the franchisee councils of Sheraton, Holiday Inn and Hawthorn Suites, representing licensees in North America and abroad. Mr. Massad was awarded the Founding Dean’s Award and is a past Chairman of the Eric Hilton Distinguished Lecturer’s Club. In 2004, he established the Massad Family Scholarship Endowment at the College. In 2006, he received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Hilton College Alumni Association and was the commencement speaker for the December graduating class that year.

In 2007, the Nick Massad Family were privileged to donate $1.5 million to the college, the largest gift ever given to the college from a source other than the Hilton Foundation. The gift was be used to rebuild the library and archives of the Conrad N. Hilton College located on the second floor of the Hilton Hotel. The library was renamed the Massad Family Library and Hospitality Industry Archives. Ironically, it was a $1.5 million donation from Conrad N. Hilton which opened the school in 1969.

Vicki Massad

Executive Vice President

vmassad@amliberty.com

Vicki joined American Liberty Hospitality in 1973 and brings abundant management experience to the team. Her background includes Rooms Division experience with business transient and convention hotels, guest service, training, and yield management procedures for several properties of varying sizes and business profiles. Today her day- to-day operations assignment requires her to direct management and capital improvement strategies for owned and managed properties throughout ALH’s portfolio. Vicki’s standards of excellence in property inspections and service audits distinguish her as an industry leader in quality assurance. Interfacing directly with property managers, investors, owners and franchisors, she uses her professional experience to produce desired financial returns. Vicki motivates ALH’s team members to stretch for optimal results while using her owners’ perspective of preserving the asset. In 2003, she was named an honorary alumnus of the Conrad N. Hilton college of Hotel and Restaurant Management at the University of Houston. She is the mother of three children, all graduates of the Hilton College. In 2008, she was awarded the Distinguished Alumna Award for her outstanding service to the College and to the hospitality educational community. Vicki has served as a Best Western Governor for nearly a decade and really enjoys the relationships that come from working with brands and fellow owners. Vicki is originally from Waxahachie, Texas.

Robert “Bob” Sponaugle

Chief Financial Officer & Sr. Vice President

rsponaugle@amliberty.com

As CFO and Sr. VP for American Liberty Hospitality, Mr. Sponaugle oversees all accounting aspects and financial operations for all hospitality projects owned and managed by ALH. Bob joined American Liberty in 1996 with over 20 years of experience in the field of hotel finance & accounting, development and timeshare operations.

Mr. Sponaugle was Vice President Finance and then Vice President Development for Sunbelt Hotels, a division of Lane Hospitality, for 16 years, a position requiring supervision of all accounting systems and internal controls for a 63 hotel management company. His prior work experience included Controller responsibilities for Hilton Corporation, first with the Shamrock Hilton in Houston and other corporate properties in the US. His career included financial management of a chain of historic boutique hotels, including the Lancaster Hotel as well as numerous properties abroad.

Bob’s expertise includes a thorough understanding of state of the art information systems which allow timely assessment of statistical trends to assist management and ownership in making critical operating and capital decisions. He is a member of Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP) serving on its Board of Directors and has been awarded certification as a Certified Hotel Accountant (CHAE) and Certified Hospitality Technology Professional (CHTP). Bob graduated from the University of Colorado with a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance and is originally from the Washington D.C. area.

Craig Kaplan

Vice President of Corporate Operations

ckaplan@amliberty.com

Craig joined American Liberty Hospitality in 2003 at Cypress Bend Resort in Many, Louisiana. Prior to ALH, he gained experience and training with Hilton, Choice, Wyndham and Intercontinental Hotels Group in a variety of disciplines including Sales and Marketing, Front Office Operations, Housekeeping, and Accounting. Craig is a valued member of the ALH family. Craig worked both on property and in the corporate office before his appointment as Vice President over the properties in ALH’s portfolio. In addition to his operational duties, Craig handles the negotiation and development of vendor relations and national purchasing programs. Mr. Kaplan studied Hospitality & Tourism at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, Kentucky. He is originally from Gurnee, Illinois.

Nick Massad III

Vice President of Development

nmassad3@amliberty.com

Nick started in the hotel business as a young child, raised in and around hotels by his parents, Nick and Vicki. Prior to graduation from the Hilton College at the University of Houston, he began working for the Four Seasons Hotel company, and held various management positions in both operations and revenue management. After more than six years with Four Seasons, Nick moved to Dallas to work three years for Hilton Worldwide in their corporate office for revenue management.

In late 2010, Nick returned to Houston to join the family business and join the American Liberty opening team of the Embassy Suites Houston-Downtown. He helped lead the Embassy Suites to achieve financial goals and service success.  The team earned multiple awards from Hilton, including two of the coveted Connie Awards.  Hilton’s Connie Award is the most prestigious hotel award named for their founder, Conrad Hilton.  American Liberty then acquired the Sam Houston Hotel in downtown Houston, and Nick moved over as General Manager, and ultimately prepared the hotel to join Hilton’s Curio Collection.  While at the Sam, Nick began working on new development projects for the company and in 2015 moved to American Liberty’s corporate office as Vice President of Development.  Nick handles the complete development process for new ALH endeavors, including financing, construction and pre-opening management.

Cindy Decker

Vice President of Revenue Management

cdecker@amliberty.com

Cindy Decker is a 1996 graduate of the Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel & Restaurant Management at the University of Houston and is passionate about all things revenue management. After graduation Cindy worked in the front office, and sales and marketing for Marriott before moving into inventory control and revenue management. Cindy enjoyed a very successful career with Marriott’s revenue management division where she received many awards. Cindy  lead her team of analysts to win 2012 Global Team of the Year and International Global Revenue Management Leader of the Year in 2013. She oversaw annual revenue of over $600 million of 150+ hotels on the East Coast and Caribbean/Latin American markets. Cindy is well known for her expertise in market strategy within the hotel industry. She joined the ALH family in 2015 as Vice President of Revenue Management. Her sharp and proven skills and leadership are key to her role on the ALH executive team. Cindy is originally from Monterrey, Mexico.

Margo Kaplan

Director of Human Resources

mkaplan@amliberty.com

Margo is a 2003 graduate of the Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel & Restaurant Management at the University of Houston. Like her family, Margo grew up in and around hotels. She worked for American Liberty Hospitality in various positions in her youth prior to graduating college and then joined full time in 2003. Margo worked in full and limited service properties in Texas and Louisiana in sales, catering and food and beverage management. At the Hilton Garden Inn Galleria Margo enjoyed working as the Food & Beverage Director. In 2006 she was promoted to GM at the Best Western Plus Westchase Mini-Suites. After starting a family with her husband, Craig, Margo moved into a support role at ALH’s corporate office. She has been the company’s Director of Human Resources since 2013. Margo is very active with the Hilton College and has served on its Alumni Board for over ten years. She served as the board’s President for 2 consecutive terms. She has also served on the college’s Deans Advisory Board and worked on many committees to improve and enhance alumni connectivity for Hilton College and the University of Houston’s Alumni Association. Margo grew up in Katy and Houston, TX.

Taylor Tritt

Corporate Operations and Development Manager

ttritt@amliberty.com

Taylor is passionate about the hotel business and, like her family, grew up in and around hotels. She loves the ever-changing hospitality industry and the city of Houston where she was born and raised. Taylor proudly earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Hotel & Restaurant Management from the Hilton College at the University of Houston in 2003. Prior to working in the corporate office, Taylor was a Guest Service Manager, Director of Sales, and General Manager for various brands such as Hilton Garden Inn, Holiday Inn Express, and Best Western. In her current role, Taylor supports the operations team for all ALH hotels and works closely with Nick Massad III on hotel projects under development. Taylor’s favorite things are people, traveling, and being outdoors.

Ashley Bailey

Digital Sales & Marketing Manager

abailey@amliberty.com

Ashley Bailey, a native Houstonian and University of Texas Alumni, majored in Advertising and Marketing with a minor in Business Foundations, and has already developed a reputation as someone who gets concrete results fast. Her award winning campaigns have earned her numerous published articles showcasing her talent. A expertise in Search Engine Optimization, SEO, has led her to a successful career in e-commerce, social media marketing and website design. Ashley is a results driven marketing executive with experience leading e-commerce and multi-channel marketing, sales, and operations in highly competitive markets. Proven ability to develop highly effective and measurable strategies to drive revenue growth, build market presence, increase customer acquisition, and expand brand awareness. She joined the ALH family in 2017 as the Corporate Digital Sales & Marketing Manager.

Debi Riano

Executive Assistant

driano@amliberty.com

Debi Riano is a native Houstonian and has been involved in the hospitality industry since graduating high school in 1976. Debi joined American Liberty Hospitality in November of 1981. Debi began her career in guest services and had a variety of disciplines including Front Office Manager, Guest Services, Accounting, General Manager and is currently the Executive Assistant to President and CEO, Nick Massad, Jr. Debi is a valued member of the ALH family and her sharp and proven skills are key to her meaningful role on the ALH Corporate team.

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