Raymond L. “Rip” Gellein Jr., served as Chairman of the Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer for Strategic Hotels & Resorts, Inc. from November 2012 to December 2015.
Prior to his position as Chairman and CEO of Strategic Hotels, he retired from Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide in March of 2008 where he held the position of President, Global Development Group. In this position, Rip had overall management responsibility for the full range of Starwood’s global real estate-related functions. The scope of his responsibilities encompassed Starwood’s $8 Billion owned hotel portfolio, all of its development activities, including hotel, resort and residential development;
its $1B vacation and fractional ownership business; property acquisitions and disposition; hotel management contracts; franchise pipeline expansion; capital planning and allocation; portfolio management; feasibility studies; and design and construction.
Prior to his position as President, Global Development Group, Rip served as Chairman and CEO of Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc., the vacation ownership division of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc., (1999-2006). In this capacity, he led the integration of the company’s successful timeshare operations with the brands, resources and assets of Starwood. He was a Director of Starwood Vacation Ownership Inc. from 1999 to 2008.
Rip was formerly Chairman and Co-Chief Executive Officer of Vistana, Inc., a public vacation ownership company acquired by Starwood in 1999. He joined Vistana in 1980 and was instrumental in leading the company’s development, the sale of the company in 1986, re-acquiring the assets of the Vistana entities from General Development Corporation in 1991 and launching a successful initial public offering of Vistana in 1997.
Prior to joining Vistana, Rip was a Vice President and Division Manager in real estate for the Continental Illinois National Bank and Trust Company of Chicago. (1974-1980)
He holds an MBA in Finance, Accounting and Marketing from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management (1974), as well as a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Psychology from Denison University (1969). Between college and graduate school, Rip taught mathematics and psychology as well as coached basketball, football and golf at two private secondary schools, the last two years at the Groton School in Groton, Massachusetts.
Rip currently serves as Vice Chairman of the Mind and Life Institute and is a member of the Board of Directors of Marriott Vacations Worldwide. In the past he has served as a board member of the Florida Chapter of Junior Achievement, the Roy E Crummer Graduate School of Business at Rollins College and served as the Chairman of the American Resort Development Association (ARDA).