Claude is responsible for Valhalla Associates' business activities in the Middle East and Africa based in Dubai. Prior to Valhalla Associates, Claude was Global Managing Director of NorthCourse, the leisure real estate advisory and asset management arm of Wyndham Worldwide Corporation. In this capacity Claude was involved in numerous mixed-use resort projects world-wide from conception to operation. Claude also served as Head of Planning & Operations at the Qatar Tourism Authority, where he was responsible for the licensing framework for the hospitality sector and drafting the classification systems for hotels and tour operators. He was also head of the business development team, assisting potential investors and developers with tourism-related projects in Qatar. Prior to this Claude worked in various senior roles with Rezidor SAS, Intercontinental Hotels, Meridien Hotel & Resorts and Sheraton. Italian by nationality, Claude is fluent in English, French and Italian and holds a Bachelors' degree in Business Administration.
Andrew is a seasoned hospitality industry professional with 15 years of experience in Leisure Real Estate development, management and operation. He has helped numerous hospitality companies and leisure real estate developers focusing on development strategy, market research, feasibility analysis and financial structuring of mixed-use resort developments. Andrew has earlier been engaged in various Leisure Real Estate projects as an independent consultant with the Pepper Corporation. Andrew has also held the position as Managing Director for NorthCourse Advisory Services in Europe and a number of financial roles with Group RCI most recently as Finance Director - Market Development. Andrew has a BA Joint Honours in Economics and Economic Geography and is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.
Allie Lalova is an operations executive with significant experience in the implementation and operation of points based shared ownership products. Prior to joining Valhalla Associates, Allie held the position as Product Development Director with Group RCI where she for 5 years managed the product development functions across 3 continents. She also spearheaded the development of private labelled points clubs and managed client relationships with for a number of key clients including Qatari Diar, Hilton, Sol Melia, Disney, IFA Hotels & Resorts and Occidental. Prior to RCI, Allie worked as a management consultant with Parker Bridge Consultants where her main assignments were the implementation and management of efficiency programmes of customer contact centres. Allie also has former experience in e-commerce in the travel industry with both PricelineEurope.com and Holiday Hypermarket and sales and customer services experience from a number of UK travel companies.
Natalie has 12 years of experience in the hospitality and leisure real estate industries most recently with Wyndham Worldwide where she held the position as Director of Sales for Morocco Sotheby's International Realty (a Joint Venture between Wyndham and Qatari Diar) focusing on the distribution of Qatari Diar’s luxury property developments. This included the sales and marketing of the Al Houara mixed-use resort in Morocco. Within Wyndham, Natalie also held the role as Director of Business Development for NorthCourse Leisure Real Estate Solutions in Europe. Prior to Wyndham, Natalie worked 3 years in corporate housing as Director of Sales & Marketing with T.R.P Properties, New York and Director of Operations with A Hospitality Company, New York. Natalie’s first 5 years career experiences started in the hospitality industry with Brenner's Park Hotel & Spa, Baden-Baden, Germany and Mandarin Oriental, The Mark Hotel in New York City. Natalie holds a BA in Hotel and Restaurant Administration from Washington State University at Cesar Ritz University Centre in Switzerland and an MBA from University of Oxford, Saïd Business School in the UK.
Dr. Virna Ramazzini
Virna is a senior executive with significant experience in hospitality and leisure real estate management and development. Most recently Virna was General Manager, Hospitality, Leisure & Sport (HLS) with Bloom Properties in Abu Dhabi responsible for the HLS strategy and development within their master plan projects in Abu Dhabi and internationally. Prior to this, Virna was Director Business Development for Ruwaad Holdings in Dubai focusing on the development of business partnerships with international entertainment park operators, hospitality operators, fashion and lifestyle brands for large scale destination projects in the Middle East and Africa region. Virna has also held the position as Director of Operations for the Accor hotel complex in the Dubai World Trade Center, leading a team of 400 employees and 9 years of various management positions in hospitality in Dubai, Sofitel Paris Forum Rive Gauche in Paris and Disneyland Paris Hotel Complex. Virna holds a doctorate in Middle English literature from Bologna University and a Bachelor in Tourism and Travel from the Tourism Management School in Mantova, Italy.
Nikola is an experienced consultant with a broad experience in hospitality and leisure real estate business practices. Most recently Nikola was a consultant with NorthCourse, a subsidiary of Wyndham Worldwide Corporation, where she was based in their Dubai offices responsible for all aspects of the consultancy process, from market research, project feasibility analyses, hotel operator searches, site evaluations to strategic development recommendations for hotel, real estate and shared ownership related developments. Nikola has conducted numerous consulting assignments across Europe and the Middle East. In 2008, Nikola was nominated for employee of the year at Wyndham Worldwide. A British national, Nikola has recently returned to London having been based in the Middle East for the last 7 years and previously residing in Hong Kong and Singapore. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Business and Tourism Management from The Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management, in academic association with the Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne in Switzerland.
Alkis is a skilled hospitality executive with experience in mixed-use real estate development and hospitality management. Prior to joining Valhalla, Alkis worked as a consultant for various real estate developments and architectural firms in Vietnam, Portugal and Switzerland. Earlier, Alkis was Strategic Planning Manager with La Perla International Living, where he was responsible for the acquisition process for the company’s investments in luxury mixed-use resorts globally. With La Perla, he was also directly responsible for the project management and coordination of resort developments in the Bahamas, Morocco and Vietnam. Alkis also developed working experience from various roles with Kempinski’s corporate office in Geneva. Alkis holds a Bachelor of Science in International Hospitality Management from Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne in Switzerland.