Corporate Team

Corporate Team



A graduate of Cornell’s School of Hospitality Administration, Alpesh was formerly with Ernst & Young’s Hospitality Advisory Services group in New York City. As a hospitality consultant at E&Y, he partnered with several major hotel developers, operators, and lenders on a wide range of activities, which included conducting feasibility studies for new hotel developments, structuring debt and equity financing for portfolios or single assets, and assisting owners with public/private hospitality projects.

In 2003 Alpesh relocated back to Knoxville to take over the family business, which, at the time, was a small operation managing five lodging operations in the economy segment. With the ultimate goal of only owning or managing high quality assets affiliated with premium brands, Alpesh decided to restructure Kana completely. To that end, the company sold all its existing assets, and began an aggressive development strategy.

Alpesh’s upbeat, and hands-on management style, mentoring and leadership qualities have had a significant effect on the strong performance and growth of the Kana Hotel portfolio. His day to day oversight at the company includes new hotel development, on-going capital projects, and long-term company planning.  Alpesh currently sits on various Hilton and Marriott Advisory Councils.

Alpesh presently resides in Knoxville with his wife Ami, and four children.


With over 32 years industry experience, Kevin has served in various capacities including General Manager, Regional Manager, Vice President of Operations, and ultimately, President for InnDeavor Hospitality Company, New Generation Hospitality, and later, INNovative Hotels. Kevin has operating experience with Hilton & Marriott brands, Radisson, Sheraton, Park Plaza, Holiday Inn, Hotel Indigo, and various other franchise affiliations.

Kevin served as President and lead the formation of a Mid-Atlantic based aggressively growing Management and Hotel Ownership group. Kevin added 11 properties within 18 months under the flags of Sheraton, Indigo, Hampton Inn, Holiday Inn and Holiday Express, and other branded products. Kevin served on the task force for the emerging Hotel Indigo Brand by IHG in 2008, and was appointed to the Indigo Brand Committee in 2009. Kevin later formed INNovative Hotels which grew from a small asset base of only two properties to, at its peak, servicing 34 hotels across many brands.  He has served as Chairman of the Hilton Garden Inn Owners Advisory Council, served on the Embassy Suites OAC, Tru by Hilton OAC, and currently sits on the Hom2Suites by Hilton OAC and the Springhill Suites by Marriott FAC.


Shawna maintains over 20 years of experience in Hospitality Revenue Management at both the property level and with multi-property portfolios. Shawna moved from single property Revenue Management early on to multiple asset oversight with a large Hotel Management Company based in Maryland. After advancing to Regional Revenue Manager, overseeing 10 hotel assets across several brands, she was recruited by Maryland based CHA Management. In this capacity, she served as Corporate Director of Revenue, responsible for their 17 hotel properties from Vermont to Colorado. Shawna was a co-founder at INNovative Hotels, assisting in growing the company to servicing 34 hotels across many different brands and markets. Her strong analytical ability, combined with knowledge of hotel sales, operations and reservation systems, assist in driving top-line revenues and increasing overall market penetration at each property. She is a Marriott and Hilton certified Revenue Manager and maintains intimate knowledge of the Marriott, Hilton, IHG, Starwood, Choice and Best Western systems, allowing her to maximize franchise contribution and generate competitive price positioning in volatile markets.


Stephanie Smith began her hospitality career with Kana Hotel Group in 1995 at the Holiday Inn Express – Knoxville East, serving as a guest service representative, guest service manager and finally general manager. Throughout Kana Hotel Groups’ spectacular growth, her administrative responsibilities grew and changed. In 2007, she assumed the duties of a field based Regional Director of Operations, overseeing new hotel openings, operations, guest service and marketing. Stephanie is an executive leader who empowers others to succeed. She is unquestionably a people-person who forms strong bonds and relationships in every area of commitment.

Stephanie is a native of Knoxville and currently resides in the Strawberry Plains community.


Kelley came to Kana in 2011 with 20 years of diverse experience in customer service, print production, and supervision. Her hospitality experience includes working with the Days Inns Worldwide Reservation Center where she worked as a Reservation Agent, and later as an Assistant Supervisor in the Guest Services Department. Kelley is the first point of contact at the corporate office. She provides information and assistance to all departments, while assisting Alpesh Patel and Kevin Mahoney with special projects as well as new Hotel openings / development.



  • CARRIE FRITZ – Senior Corporate Director of Revenue 
  • LAURA ECHEVARRIA – Corporate Director of Revenue Management
  • MICHELLE COLLINS – Corporate Director of Revenue Management
  • JENNIFER RICHARDSON– Corporate Director of Revenue Management
  • INGER OLIVER – Corporate Director of Revenue Management
  • MELISSA BURKE – Senior Corporate Director of Sales
  • SARAH GELLER – Corporate Director of Sales
  • LAYNE MATTHEWS – Corporate Director of Sales


  • TED JANUSZKIEWICZ – Regional Director of Operations
  • KATHY PENNINGTON – Regional Director of Operations
  • KENNY GOLDMAN – Regional Director of Operations
  • CASEY ANTHONY – Regional Director of Operations
  • BRETT MILLER – Regional Director of Operations
  • DAVID ALLISON – Regional Director of Operations
  • LAWRENCE OLIVE – Regional Director of Operations
  • KATIE ARD – Regional Director of Operations


  • KIKI PERRY – Corporate Controller
  • CINDY DENNIS – Senior Controller
  • MOLLY PAONE – Controller
  • BEN HUMPHREY – Controller
  • TAMMY MCBRIDE – Controller
  • NIKKI ALEXANDER – Controller
  • SHERRI COLVARD – Controller
  • LISA PETROSKY – Controller
  • LISA SMITH – Controller
  • LISA DUNCAN – Director of Loss Prevention
  • SHEILA BOOE – Accounts Payable
  • LISA BIDDLE – Accounts Payable