Janeen M. Sprague - Founder, Owner, Chief Executive Officer
Janeen M. Sprague is the founder, owner, and Chief Executive Officer. Janeen's passion for hospitality, service, and entrepreneurship developed at an early age. Her parents were charter members of Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC), and she grew up working in her family's KFCs and other restaurant ventures. Soon after graduating from Franklin College with a Bachelor of Arts degree, she purchased her own KFC restaurant in Taylorsville, Indiana near Interstate 65. She later owned a second KFC and a Dairy Queen restaurant, before building her first hotel, a Holiday Inn Express in Indianapolis, Indiana. Through the years, Janeen has developed, owned, and operated 17 hotels under franchise brands Hampton Inn, Hampton Inn & Suites, Holiday Inn Express, Holiday Inn Express & Suites, Comfort Inn, and Hilton Garden Inn. She is currently developing Sprague Hotels first Residence Inn by Marriott hotel.
Janeen's approach has been to design, build, and operate the best hotel product in the market. Janeen takes great pride in the long list of awards and accomplishments of Sprague Hotel Developers and her employees. In 2014, Sprague Hotel Developers was certified by the Women's Business Enterprise National Council as a Women's Business Enterprise (WBE).
Janeen also has business interests outside of the hospitality industry. She started a billboard advertising company to promote her KFC restaurant. When she later married Richard L. Sprague, she formed JR Promotions, LLC with her husband. Richard now oversees the daily operations of JR Promotions, LLC as his primary occupation. Currently, JR Promotions has approximately 1000 billboard faces.
Janeen is also a real estate investor and licensed real estate broker. She has been involved in the purchase and development of large commercial parcels in Greenwood, Indianapolis, Columbus, and Seymour, Indiana. Janeen, along with her husband, own approximately 55+ apartment rental units in Columbus, Indiana, as well as commercial units in Columbus, Greenwood, and Brownsburg, Indiana. The Spragues have also received notoriety for their restoration of historic buildings including awards for the Best State Restoration Project and Best State Tax Rehab Project.
Janeen has been actively involved in the community. She has served on the Columbus Indiana Visitors Center Executive Committee and the Board of the Directors of the Columbus Area Chamber of Commerce. She was also Treasurer of the Bartholomew County Visitors Information Promotion Committee, which oversees the allocation of innkeepers' tax for hotels in Columbus area. She was a Big Sister in the Big Brothers/Big Sisters Program for 4 years. She also has served as the middle school boys' tennis coach for the 4 years and the Columbus East High School Girls Tennis Assistant Coach for 3 years. She is a strong advocate for her alma mater Franklin College, the USO, and Volunteers in Medicine.
Andrea Stewart - Chief Operating Officer
Andrea Stewart is the Chief Operating Officer. She has been involved in the hotel business since 1989. Andrea's experience has come from working in all of the departments in a hotel operation. Her first 8 years were at a full service Holiday Inn. From there she went on to open and manage a Hampton Inn. After that she worked for a company that remodeled hotels, Bradleycorp. In 2000, she was recruited by Sprague Hotel Developers to manage its Hampton Inn in Columbus/Edinburgh, IN.
At the Hampton Inn in Columbus/Edinburgh, she successfully led the staff to start achieving Outstanding Quality Assurance Evaluations for the hotel and win awards. In 2005, she was brought into the corporate office as Regional Manager. Now, as the COO, Andrea is responsible for overseeing operations at all of the hotels and reports directly to the owner. She leads the corporate operations team and assures that they are receiving adequate direction and achieving their tasks. She is still heavily involved in the daily operations of each hotel. Andrea, along with the corporate team, have a focus on making sure each hotel can operate successfully, carefully monitoring the property operations through P&L reviews, monthly hotel audits, invoice review and approval, assisting in any maintenance, electrical, and plumbing issues, and conducting company meetings for property managers as well as brand meetings. Andrea has played a role in implementing company human resources as well as employment policies. She is responsible for the hiring, annual reviews, and discipline actions with property general managers.
Andrea is a critical part of the development team and enjoys taking part in new projects. Her practical experience in operations has allowed her to be particularly attuned to issues facing new build properties and ways to assure that future issues are avoided. During the opening process, Andrea is instrumental in organizing the hotel's operations, overseeing and training the new management.
Andrea has made her home in the Columbus/Edinburgh/Taylorsville area since moving there 15 years ago. She is excited to be part of the growth of Sprague Hotel Developers and looks forward to doing as much as she can to ensure the continued success of the business.
Lori Swaim - Chief Financial Officer
Lori Swaim is the Chief Financial Officer. She has over 29 years of management experience ranging from restaurant and retail management to her current role as CFO of Sprague Hotel Developers. 23 of those years were spent with Sprague Hotel Developers. She began working Janeen M. Sprague as a counter girl at Janeen's Kentucky Fried Chicken. She later became the restaurant's general manager. Humble beginnings and a long climb up the ladder have reinforced Lori's belief in the value of integrity and hard work, and she later was brought on by Janeen as a financial. Committed to exceling in her new position, Lori completed a Bachelor's degree in accounting while continuing to work.
Since she began her role at Sprague Hotel Developers, Lori has taken the accounting function from outside sources and moved the process internally for better management and control of hotel finances. Lori worked one-on-one with CEO, Janeen M. Sprague, to implement a company health insurance program. Additionally, an annual review of property/casualty insurance is completed to ensure the hotels secure the most comprehensive hotel coverage at the most aggressive cost available.
Lori works directly with the company's CPA firm to install accounting software to improve company efficiency in accounts payable, payroll and account reconciliation. As the company developed additional hotels, Lori has hired and trained accounting support staff to keep up with business demands and additional duties.
The company's growth has expanded Lori's knowledge of human resources, and she has been integral in the development and updating of company handbooks. A paid-time-off policy was born from researching handbooks and best practices of like companies. Lori works directly with accounting staff to ensure all company and governmental procedures are understood and followed.
Nicholas Sprague - Director of Business Development and General Counsel
Nicholas Sprague is the Director of Business Development and General Counsel. In this role, he is responsible developing strategic plans and initiatives to drive new hotel development and greater revenue, while also helping the company maintain its reputation for operating award-winning hotels. As General Counsel, Nicholas oversees the various Sprague entities day-to-day legal affairs including drafting and reviewing of contracts, educating staff about compliance, risk management and other regulatory burdens to the hotels, and developing employee handbooks and other company policies.
Nicholas is a 2011 graduate of Kenyon College in Ohio with a Bachelor of the Arts in Political Science. In December 2014, he completed his JD at the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law and his MBA at the Indiana University Kelley School of Business. He was admitted to practice law in Indiana in May 2015. Nicholas also earned the American University Hospitality and Tourism Law Certificate in the summer of 2014 in Washington, D.C.
While Nicholas was completing his undergraduate and JD/MBA, he served as Marketing and Technology Director from May 2008 through May 2015. In that role, he negotiated all hotel contracts related to Internet and technology services, and oversaw marketing strategy for the hotels. He also served as a member of corporate management team, which met regularly to coordinate and effectively implement sales, operations, financial, revenue management, and human resources efforts.
Prior to college throughout high school, Nicholas held positions at various hotel properties starting in housekeeping and continuing on as a front desk agent and later a trainer and banquet captain. Nicholas believes his work in entry level positions is what allows him to understand the industry and to better determine how to achieve the objectives of the company.
Nicholas's goals are to follow in his mother's footsteps in hotel and real estate development and to help Sprague Hotel Developers continue to be the premier hotel development and management in Indiana and beyond. Nicholas is an active community member serving on the Board of Columbus, Indiana Young Professionals and as Treasurer of the Bartholomew County Visitors Information Promotion Commission. Nicholas also volunteers as a mentor in Big Brothers Big Sisters. He hopes to continue Sprague Hotels community outreach efforts which have included partnerships with the USO, Columbus Regional Hospital, and St. Francis Hospital.
Judy Hoovler - Director of New Project Construction
Judy Hoovler is currently the Director of New Project Construction. In this capacity, she does everything from order new wall vinyl for the newly renovated guestrooms to filling out the proper forms to apply for a sign variance. Judy's position encompasses several projects at once which require a high level of organizational skills and patience.
She has developed these skills from being in the hotel business for over 25 years. Starting in college, she worked her way through a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree while working the Front Desk and Night Audit.
Before assuming her current position, she worked for Sprague Hotel Developers at several properties as General Manager, winning awards including Torchbearer and Newcomer award with Holiday Inn Express. She later transitioned to the corporate office as Regional Manager. Judy has worked for the company for 16 years.
Because of Judy's Art Degree and her own interests in art, she enjoys the creative side to her job, which allows her to work closely with the owner on the hotel design. She appreciates that the CEO Janeen M. Sprague and Sprague Hotel Developers tends to move towards the current and cutting edge in design and quality, and Judy likes keeping up on the latest trends in hotel design and construction.
Judy enjoys raising her daughter and stays active in her life and in the community. Judy served on the Board of a local non-profit child care provider for several years and currently volunteers at the local swim club where her daughter is a member.
Chiquita Snyder - Director of Sales and Revenue Management
Chiquita Snyder is the Director of Sales and Revenue Management. She has over 24 years of service in the Hospitality Industry, specifically within hotel operations. Twelve of her 24 years of experience have been with Sprague Hotel Developers. Currently, Chiquita's position is Director of Sales & Revenue Management.
Chiquita began working in a full-service hotel in 1991 and has worked every department to learn the operations. Beginning her career as a waitress and working her way into management has provided her with great insight into hotel operations, accounting, customer service and employee relations.
As the Director of Sales & Revenue Management, Chiquita is currently responsible for working with Hilton, IHG and Choice brands to ensure company goals are met. In this position, she has completed training of all three brands property management systems and revenue management systems. She holds weekly meetings with General Managers to discuss short-term (within 90 days) strategies and quarterly meetings to discuss long-term strategies. Her responsibilities include monitoring STR Reports, Historical Data for each property, Competitor Shops, Special Events, Guest Surveys and Revenue Management Systems to ensure that revenues are maximized based on market and guest perception of value received.
Throughout her years of service, she has been responsible for creating annual budgets, forecasts, sales and marketing plans, creating cost control procedures and action plans for service improvements. She has also been responsible for team development beginning with hiring management thru interviewing all candidates for positions throughout the hotel and implementing training programs to ensure teams are trained per brand and company standards.
Chiquita believes strongly that excellent customer service begins with happy employees and works diligently to promote positive employee relations in all the hotels. Having worked the various departments, she has a strong knowledge of each position's responsibilities and a great appreciation for each team member.
Kathy Zumhingst - Director of Quality Assurance and Hotel Support
Kathy Zumhingst is the Director of Quality of Assurance and Hotel Support. She began her professional career developing training programs to gainfully employ economically disadvantaged individuals since 1984. Kathy successfully operated nationally recognized Federal and State funded programs. Kathy first became introduced to the Hotel Industry in 1997 where she began working for Courtyard by Marriott in Columbus, Indiana. With her background in career development, she conducted Motivational Training Workshops for Marriott hotels in the Columbus and Bloomington, Indiana area.
In November of 2000 she was hired as the Executive Housekeeper for the Hampton Inn in Seymour, Indiana owned and operated by Sprague Hotel Developers. Kathy quickly identified herself as a motivator trainer and was brought in by the company to conduct training for best practice techniques to other housekeeping departments within Sprague Hotels. Kathy also became involved in preparing other hotels for their Quality Inspections resulting in numerous Outstanding and Exceptional QA inspections. After receiving five consecutive Outstanding inspections at the Hampton Inn Seymour, she was promoted to the Director of Sales for Sprague Hotel Developers.
In March 2005, Kathy began to take a greater role in operations, overseeing the daily operations of several hotels with various flags. She has since assumed the position of Director of Quality Assurance and Hotel Support. She continues to lead quality and motivational workshops with hotel staffs. She takes great pride in the Sprague Hotels' commitment to quality and award-winning properties and has found it to be a wonderful opportunity and experience to be part of fast growth and success of the company.
For the past 18 years Kathy Zumhingst has resided in Seymour, Indiana. She plays an active role in the Seymour and Columbus community, including her church Central Christian Church.
Jeanette Lincoln - Regional Director of OperationsJeanette Lincoln is the Regional Director of Operations. She has over 24 years of hospitality, beginning her hospitality career as a Guest Service Agent/Night Auditor, opening a new hotel in Fort Wayne, IN. With her dedication to hospitality, she was promoted to the Assistant Manager position and then to the General Manager role within a year and a half. Jeanette remained at this property for eight years, going through a brand change to AmeriSuites in 2000. In 2004, Jeanette transferred to the AmeriSuites Keystone at the Crossing in Indianapolis, where she served as the General Manager for five years, overseeing a multi-million dollar renovation/rebranding to Hyatt Place. After leaving the industry for six months, due to a family member illness, she returned as the General Manager of Comfort Inn & Suites City Centre. In 2012, Jeanette expanded her knowledge into the extended stay segment, as the General Manager of the Candlewood Suites Indianapolis Airport. In 2017, Jeanette was promoted to the Regional Director of Operations with her the management company, overseeing multiple properties under the IHG, Marriott, and Choice brands. Throughout her career, Jeanette has served as a company trainer for four different companies and was responsible for training new operation managers and training hotel teams on customer service programs. She served as a Task Force Manager for two companies, dedicating her time to hotels in need of support. In addition, she played an instrumental role in developing and implementing an employee engagement program, believing in the synergy that Happy Teams = Happy Guests.
Jeanette brings to Sprague Hotel Developers an extensive knowledge in hotel operations for a variety of brands and market segments. As a Regional Director of Operations, she provides guidance, training and support to her hotel teams in all aspects of hotel operations. Her leadership is focused on, but not limited to guest service excellence, revenue generation, profitability, accountability, team engagement and team member retention.
Jason Belk - Corporate Director of Sales
Jason Belk joined Sprague Hotel Developers in October 2017 at the Holiday Inn Express & Suites Columbus/Edinburgh where he assisted with leading the team to several Torchbearer Awards. Although, Jason began his career in a much different industry, he has brought new ideas and insight to the hotels. Before joining the hotel industry, Jason was a collegiate baseball coach, recruiting coordinator and athletic department media liaison for 10 years. Upon graduating from high school, he went on to play college baseball at Chandler-Gilbert Community College (Chandler, Arizona) where he received his A.A. degree. He then went on to play baseball for University of Iowa (Iowa City, Iowa) and received his B.A. before attending Saint Ambrose University (Davenport, Iowa) where he earned his master's in organizational leadership (MOL).
In his role as Corporate Director of Sales, Jason works directly with the hotels' sales teams to oversee the sales efforts and achievement of goals.
Jason is a Columbus Chamber of Commerce Ambassador, Franklin Chamber of Commerce Ambassador, Kiwanis-Meridian member among others. His passion for community involvement has always been a staple to his job responsibilities. Jason has led volunteer efforts with Big Brothers, United Way and others. These projects led to him receiving the 2020 R.O.S.E. (Recognition of Service Excellence) Award for his efforts.
Jason believes strongly that excellent customer service begins with a happy, friendly and motivating workplace culture. Jason firmly believes that an organization's success directly correlates with their ability to lead and develop others. Having worked various departments in his time with Sprague Hotel Developers, he has a strong knowledge of each position's responsibilities and a great appreciation for each team member.