DeFoor Hospitality Group was created in the spring of 2021 with the goal of managing the hotel portfolio for DeFoor Brothers Development. DeFoor Hospitality Group got their start by taking over the management of The Westin Chattanooga, Marriott's 2019 Hotel of the Year and Chattanooga's only AAA Four-Diamond hotel.
Several months after The Westin Chattanooga the management company added Hotel Indigo Chattanooga to their management portfolio. This urban chic hotel is located in the heart of downtown Chattanooga and is quickly becoming the go-to boutique hotel in Chattanooga.
In the summer of 2021, DeFoor Hospitality Group added three new properties to their management portfolio. The Marriott Downtown Chattanooga is Chattanooga's largest hotel and is attached to the Chattanooga Convention Center. Hotel Bo Chattanooga is the portfolio's retro-style motel perfectly located in the heart of the West Village. Finally, The Islander Inn offers a laid-back beach vibe in sunny Florida on the coast of Vero Beach.
DeFoor Hospitality Group is quickly becoming a small but mighty force in the hospitality industry.
Executive Leadership Team
Tom Underwood – Executive Vice President of Operations
As Executive Vice President of Operations, Tom has the overall responsibility of the operations for all DeFoor Hospitality Group’s current and development projects. He also provides day-to-day oversight for the operations team at each hotel and oversees the home office staff for sales and marketing, human resources and accounting.
Prior to joining DeFoor Hospitality Group, Tom was the General Manager of The Westin Chattanooga. Tom oversaw the construction and pre-opening of the hotel and continued to manage the hotel to number three in the world for guest satisfaction and the 2019 Hotel of the Year in the Distinguished Category for Marriott brands. Before joining The Westin Chattanooga, Tom spent five years as the General Manager of the Marriott Downtown Chattanooga, where he helped to revive this convention center hotel. Tom’s prior experiences includes eleven years with White Lodging in various roles as well as positions at Chateau Elan Winery & Resort and San Francisco Marriott Marquis.
Tom is from Salisbury, MD. He attended Johnson & Wales University in Providence, RI, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Hotel and Restaurant Institutional Management.
Richard Pauley – Senior Vice President of Sales & Marketing
As the Senior Vice President of Sales & Marketing, Richard is responsible for the company’s overall sales strategy, distribution and revenue management platforms driving market share throughout the portfolio, sales training and development. He also oversees all marketing initiatives, global distribution, advertising and promotion.
Prior to joining DeFoor Hospitality Group, Richard was the first employee and opening Director of Sales & Marketing for The Westin Chattanooga. Richard worked with the sales team to launch the hotel at 300 percent of the opening group business goal set by Marriott Hotels. Also, he was instrumental in helping the hotel win 2019 Hotel of the Year in the Distinguished Category for Marriott Brands. Before joining The Westin Chattanooga, Richard spent ten years with Benchmark Hospitality in multiple positions, including Director of Sales & Marketing at The Chattanoogan and Director of Group Sales at French Lick Resort & Casino.
Richard is from Columbus, OH and attended Northern Kentucky University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Organizational Studies & Marketing.
Brandon Deering – Vice President of Finance
As the Vice President of Finance, Brandon is directly responsible for the accurate and timely financial reporting for all hotels to our ownership group, creating new and more efficient and effective ways to streamline the financial process and to work with the hotel accounting teams to increase profit opportunities throughout the hotel.
Prior to joining DeFoor Hospitality Group, Brandon was the Senior Vice President – Financial Advisor for Pinnacle Financial Partners where he managed a loan portfolio over $100 million. Before joining Pinnacle Financial Partners, Brandon was the Assistant Vice President – Senior Credit Risk Manager for CapitalMark Bank & Trust. Brandon also is the Founder and Manager of BCD Consulting and is the Head of Capital and Strategy for DAO Council.
Brandon is from Chattanooga, TN and attended the University of Tennessee where he earned his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration – Marketing & International Economics Degree. He went on attend Mississippi State University and earned his Master of Business Administration – Finance Degree. In Brandon’s spare time, he sits on the Board for Manker Patten Tennis Club, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Chattanooga, and the Association for Visual Arts.