Our Team - Hotel & Marketing Management Team

Hotel Associate at Hotel St. Francis
Southwestern Hospitality Welcomes all of our guests

Our Team

A tradition of Southwestern hospitality

Each Heritage Hotel & Resort property is designed to tell a specific story that reflects the soul of our communities. These stories provide our guests a better understanding and appreciation of the region to which they are traveling.

Employees of Heritage Hotels & Resorts, Inc. are cultural ambassadors of our communities.  Here are some of our key team members whose shared vision propels Heritage Hotels & Resorts to be a leader in the hospitality industry.

To connect with our team see Contact Us.

Click on each of our team members to learn more: 

James M. Long – Founder/CEO

James M. Long has founded numerous highly successful companies throughout his career including American Property, Heritage Hotels and Resorts, Inc. and Southwest Brands. The collective companies founded by Mr. Long have assets in excess of $500 million and employ over 2,500 employees. Mr. Long is also one of the leading cultural entrepreneurs in the State of New Mexico with a focus on cultural preservation and advancement. His personal interests in this area have expanded to include the non-profit sector, where Mr. Long has assumed significant leadership roles and raised several million dollars for such undertakings. As the President of the Board of the Spanish Colonial Society, an 87 year old organization based in Santa Fe, Mr. Long is currently leading the effort to raise the profile and expansion of the Spanish Market, the leading Hispanic arts event in the US. Mr. Long, was appointed as an International Trustee of the Prado Museum Foundation in Madrid in 2012 and is one of only three people to serve on this international board from the United States. He also founded the New Mexico Multi-Cultural Foundation to provide economic and other support involving the cultural heritage of New Mexico. Mr. Long also serves on a number of other local, regional and national boards and foundations. Mr. Long is a native New Mexican whose family (Aragon) has resided in New Mexico for several centuries. He got his BA from the University of New Mexico in Architectural Design.

Adrian Perez – President

Adrian Perez has been active in the hospitality industry for over 20 years and is a graduate of the University of New Mexico School of Business.  He began his hospitality career with American Property Management Company, a company co-founded by James Long in 1991 where he oversaw operations of 11 hotels within the APMC portfolio across the country.  In 2001 he joined the Heritage Hotels and Resorts team as the General Manager of Hotel Albuquerque at Old Town, then a Sheraton hotel. In March of 2010, Mr. Perez was named President of the company where he oversees the company’s assets and day to day operations of Heritage Hotels and Resorts. Mr. Perez has been active on numerous boards throughout the community including the Albuquerque Hispano Chamber of Commerce, the Albuquerque Convention and Visitors Bureau, the New Mexico Lodgers Association and the Association of Commerce and Industry.

 

Beverly Bendicksen – Chief Financial Officer

Beverly Bendicksen oversees the finances for Heritage Hotels & Resorts, Inc., Synergy Ventures, Inc. and Southwest Brands, LLC which includes Keva Juice and Garduno’s Restaurants & Cantina operations.  Her previous experience includes serving as Senior Vice President in Commercial Banking with First National Bank of Santa Fe, Southwest Division Manager for Private Banking at Bank of the West, and Special Limited Partner & Director with Blue Sage Capital, LP.  Bendicksen brings her experience in commercial and private banking, private equity investment, and financial consulting and management to oversee the investment and financial operations of these five companies. Currently serving as a Director and Treasurer of the Board of the Albuquerque Museum Foundation, Bendicksen’s community service also includes serving as Chair of the Investment Committee for the Albuquerque Community Foundation.  Bendicksen received her B.S. in Mathematics from the University of New Mexico and received her M.B.A. summa cum laude from the Robert O. Anderson Graduate School of Management at the University of New Mexico.

Felene Koen - Corporate Controller

Felene Koen has more than 20 years experience in Accounting, Finance and Controller of various hotels anbd management companies including Tishman, Interstate, Capstar, The Griffin Group and the Doubletree Albuquerque Hotel. She began with Heritage Hotels & Resorts at our flagship Hotel Albuquerque at Old Town and was promoted to Corporate Controller where she oversees the accounting and financial operations of our seven hotels and 12 restaurants and bars. Felene has a degree in business from the University of Phoenix.

Caryl Helsel – Vice President of Revenue and Information Technological Strategies

Helsel brings 28 years of experience and leadership in the hospitality industry to her role at Heritage Hotels & Resorts. Prior to joining, she was Vice President – Demand & Distribution at TravelClick. She was responsible for driving demand for over 6,000 iHotelier hotels via executing against an aggressive strategy to grow OTA, consortia and metasearch demand via key strategic alliances and strong hotel campaign management. Helsel was with ARAMARK Parks and Destinations, a division of the 13 billion dollar ARAMARK Corporation where she was Corporate Director of Revenue Management and Reservations. She led a team of 75 people who collaborated to maximize revenue via all distribution channels and for all product types, including lodging, houseboats and destination activities. Previously Helsel had her own consulting company inspire resources, led distribution and guest loyalty as Vice President for Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants and worked globally as Director of Reservations at Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group. Helsel co-authored the most successful publication to date for the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) titled Defining Revenue Management: Top Line to Bottom Line followed by the second edition The Evolving Dynamics of Revenue Management, which serves at the foundation of the Certified Revenue Management Executive industry certification program. Helsel served on the board of directors for the Hotel Electronic Distribution Network Association (HEDNA) from 1997-2001 and as President in 2000 and 2001. Helsel was honored with the HEDNA Award of Excellence and as one of Travel Agent Magazine’s “Most Powerful Woman in Travel.” Helsel graduated Suma Cum Laude with a BA in Communications from Tennessee Temple University.

Tina Marcelli – Senior Vice President

Tina Marcelli has been with Heritage Hotels & Resorts for over ten years. Before moving to the corporate role of Senior Vice President she was our Vice President of Operations and also was the General Manager of Hotel Albuquerque at Old Town. Tina works closely with our hotel, bar and restaurant operations teams to ensure top quality service is delivered to every guest at Heritage Hotels & Resorts. Tina also works closely with our Community Partnerships program to ensure all of our team members are well versed in the mission and cultural causes supported by Heritage Hotels & Resorts. 

Jason Cosyleon – Vice President of Design & Development

Jason started with Heritage Hotels & Resorts as an intern with a background in design and architecture. He was promoted numerous times and now as the Vice President of Design and Development he oversees all of the renovations and construction projects at Heritage Hotels & Resorts in New Mexico.

Helga Bydnas –  Santa Fe Regional General Manager

Regional General Manager Helga Byndas has been with Heritage Hotels and Resorts since 2000. Her previous position within the company was as the General Manager for Hotel Encanto de Las Cruces. As an award-winning leader, she has held many positions in the hospitality industry, including Director of Sales, Revenue Manager and Front Office Manager. She currently resides on the board as the current treasurer of the New Mexico Lodging Association. Her community service to the industry also includes her activity within the Las Cruces Chamber of Commerce, sitting on the advisory panel for the LCCVB Spaceport committee.

Belia Alvarez – Hotel Encanto de Las Cruces General Manager

Belia Alvarez has more than 15 years of hospitality experience in Las Cruces. Most recently, she was the General Manager of the Las Cruces Hilton/Hampton Inn & Suites. From 2005-2007 she was the Director of Sales for Hotel Encanto de Las Cruces. Alvarez also serves as Executive Director for the Miss NM USA Organization, an NBC Universal and Donald J. Trump joint venture and has had this position since 1999. A native of Las Cruces, Belia is also very involved with many local organizations. Alvarez currently serves as President of the Las Cruces Convention & Visitor’s Bureau Advisory Board, as a board member for the Mountain View Regional Medical Center Healthy Women program, and as President-Elect for the Lodgers Association. Alvarez has also received many awards including the 2012 New Mexico Lodger's Association Administrator of the Year Recipient and the 2011 Hampton Inn & Suites Stand Out Ambassador-Selected by the Hampton Brand and The Marcus Buckingham Group.

Molly Ryckman – Hotel Albuquerque at Old Town General Manager

Molly Ryckman has been with Heritage Hotels & Resorts for more than eight years. Most recently she was the Director of Sales at Hotel Albuquerque at Old Town and has been promoted to be the General Manager of Hotel Albuquerque at Old Town. Prior to this, Molly was in the sales department at the Albuquerque Convention & Visitors Bureau. 

Gerald Zamora – Nativo Lodge General Manager

Gerald Zamora has an extensive background in hospitality with a focus on nightclubs. Most recently he was the Director of QBar and Casa Esencia at Hotel Albuquerque at Old Town. Gerald has past experience overseeing successful nightclubs in Las Vegas Nevada including TAO. 

Chadwick Ozment – Resident Manager Palacio de Marquesa Taos

Chadwick has a number of years of experience in hospitality with a focus on travel agencies. He moved to Taos from our Hotel Encanto de Las Cruces to be the Resident Manager at Palacio de Marquesa Taos. Chadwich has amazing customer-service skills and at our eight-room luxury inn he is able to give each and every guest a personal welcome.  Chadwick's experience include working at American Airlines reservations, Corporate Travel Agent with American Express Travel and with Boeing Travel Management Co and for Carlson Wagonlit Government travel.  


Maresa Thompson – Corporate Marketing & Creative Director

Maresa has over 16 years in the tourism and hospitality marketing industry. Prior to joining Heritage Hotels & Resorts she was at the Albuquerque Convention & Visitors Bureau for 13 years.  Maresa is proud to have contributed to national and international award-winning teams whose awards include HSMAI Adrian Awards Interactive Best in Show, WebAward, MarCom Award, and several others. In 2013 she was recognized by Albuquerque Business First as a Top 40 Under Forty in the most competitive applicant pool to date. Recognized as an expert in her field, she has presented at several local, regional and national interactive and marketing conferences. Thompson is a New Mexico native and received her BA in Communications & Journalism from the University of New Mexico.

Stacey Nash, PHR, CHRE – Corporate Director of Human Resources

Stacey has more than 20 years experience in Human Resources and oversees the employment aspects for Heritage Hotels & Resorts and our seven New Mexico hotels and our 12 bars and restaurants. Stacey has professional certificates of Professional of Human Resources and Certified Human Resources Executive. Stacey has a degree from the University of New Mexico and also teaches Human Resources courses at the University of New Mexico and also assists special needs students at Central New Mexico Community College.

Miranda Evjen – Corporate Senior Manager of Interactive Marketing

Miranda Evjen has extensive experience managing successful social media and digital marketing campaigns. She began her career in advertising and public relations at Rick Johnson & Company, Inc. then moved to Central New Mexico Community College where she lead the creation of the college mascot and worked to build the social media presence from zero to tens of thousands of fans. Miranda is involved in many community organizations and has presented at local and national marketing conferences. Miranda, born in northern New Mexico, is a proud lobo with a BA from the University of New Mexico in Mass Communications and Spanish.