Yaron AshkenaziChief Executive OfficerAshkenazi, a highly seasoned international hotelier, joins Oxygen Hospitality from Berlin, Germany, where he most recently served as CEO for the country’s second largest hotel management group. As CEO of Oxygen Hospitality, Yaron is responsible for the strategic direction and daily operations for the vertically integrated company’s vision of repositioning attractive, value-driven assets into properties differentiated by infusing technology into real estate for elevated ease of use, guest experience and operational performance.
Prior to Oxygen Hospitality, Yaron managed and repositioned an extensive portfolio of 120 hotels, with 15,000 rooms, in Germany, Belgium and Austria welcoming over 3 million guests annually and employing 3,300 people. Renowned hotel brands under his management included Wyndham, TRYP by Wyndham, Days Inn, Radisson Blu, Best Western, Mercure, Ibis, Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn. His proven operational and financial excellence resulted in leading the Company to become the largest management company of Wyndham Hotel Group properties in Europe.
In that CEO role, Ashkenazi positioned his group of hotels as a “AAA” in the Treugast Investment Ranking. Numerous projects, innovative ideas and implementation of advanced technology are attributed to his leadership. He positioned the Company in the market as a professional, independent service provider (B2B) of management services and also caused a sensation in 2016, when his company became the first hotel management company in Europe to have a virtual reality website.
He is a frequent speaker at conferences on leadership and operations development within the international hospitality industry. A native born Israeli, Yaron began his 29-year hospitality leadership career in Tel Aviv. He holds a degree from Technion – Israel Institute of Technology in Hotel, Motel and Restaurant Management and a bachelor’s degree from The Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
Merv ChiaChairmanMerv Chia is an experienced business entrepreneur with a strong background in finance and corporate restructuring. Merv is President of the Company’s Canadian subsidiary, Oxygen Hospitality Group Canada Inc. based in Vancouver, Canada, and is President of NEX Industries Corp., a private investment company, formerly NEX Industries Ltd., since 1999. He is the former Chairman and CEO Newton Energy Corp UK (2000-2017); former President of CET Energy Technologies (2000-2005); Founder of Pan Terra (2003),former President and CEO, Supreme Pacific Holdings (amalgamated) 1988-2016.
Merv built two large enterprises, first in food processing, and subsequently, a conglomerate of companies in light industrial manufacturing and construction; in electronic control systems; in energy, mechanical and technology services and real estate development. He has deep experience in corporate acquisitions and turnarounds, having acquired over twenty businesses and reorganized and restructured over $230 million in investment syndicate assets.
Merv has held 7 corporate board directorships, chaired the Investment Committee of a $300 million financial services company, managed a private equity technology fund, consolidated four companies that went public in 2004, and chaired a TSX listed international energy company.
Merv worked internationally and was based in Europe for almost 3 years. He currently chairs a Municipal appointed board, served as a Red Cross technical advisor in West Africa (2008-2013) and is a former YPO member.