We’re a multi-disciplinary team whose experience and expertise spans decades (and even generations) across all facets of lifestyle and hospitality. Many of us are founders ourselves, driven to create lasting, positive impact for our communities and for the planet. With a collective 1B+ of real estate project development under our belt and seasoned market acumen, we offer strategic brand growth and operating expertise for some of the most innovative and beloved brands across our industry.
Our Leadership Team
Paul BrennekeExecutive Chairman
Paul Brenneke is the Executive Chairman of Sortis Holdings and led its expansion into alternative investment fund management with the Sortis Income Fund, Sortis Opportunity Zone Fund, and the Sortis Rescue Fund. With over 30 years of experience in commercial real estate, he has been involved in the acquisition and development of over $2 billion in properties in the Western United States. He’s the CEO of real estate development company Third & Pine in Seattle, a co-founder and board member at medZERO, a SAS healthcare payment platform, and a founder and board member of Gratis, a free self-directed checkbook IRA platform in collaboration with Solera Bank in Denver.
Kelly SawdonHotels & Lodging
Kelly Sawdon is a Partner at Ace Hotel Group and Atelier Ace, and was acting Chief Brand Officer from 2007–2020, where she lead the strategic and creative growth of over 10 domestic and international hotels and dozens of restaurants and bars, music venues, and retail partnerships. She joined Ace following a position as Global Director of Production at Neverstop, pioneering the concept of experiential marketing. Leading creative and operational teams over the course of her career in hospitality, she oversaw the development and management of high-profile special projects and clients that include Nike, Uniqlo, Target, Microsoft, and many more.
Adam Shearer, CTO of Sortis Holdings and Founder/CEO of WLCR, leads the integrated marketing and innovation team for Sortis Holdings. As an experienced entrepreneur, technologist, and designer Shearer has contributed full-funnel innovation and thought leadership to some of the most recognizable companies in the world, including Nike, Intel, Pabst, and Pleasing, and continues to share his expertise on human-computer interaction through speaking engagements, consultative services, and to visionary companies looking to accelerate their impact in an ever evolving digital world. In addition to WLCR, Shearer is also a private investor and/or cofounder of several challenger brands and companies.
Ryan Smith is Sortis Holdings’ CFO and brings more than 25 years of corporate finance and public accounting experience with a keen eye towards consumers, brands, and operations. During his more than two decades at Nike, he developed extensive financial management capabilities and applied his strong accounting skills. The breadth of his numerous leadership roles included managing institutional investors and buy/sell-side analysts, developing public company reporting, leading segment and divisional product and commercial finance teams, and creating and optimizing shared service delivery teams. He partners with management teams to create value through growth and profitability-focused strategies. While leveraging his strong finance functional capabilities, he brings intellectual curiosity and optimism to his leadership style.
David VialliHotel & Lodging
David Vialli is a Partner at Sortis Hospitality, focusing on development and asset management. With over 20 years experience in the hospitality sector, he was instrumental in the launch, expansion, and operational development of the Hoxton Hotels across North America, Ian Schrader’s lauded EDITION, and was GM of the iconic Los Angeles Standard Hotels. Leveraging his expertise to strategically grow and scale these valuable brands, he was also key in the redevelopment of the Westin into the Dossier and the $80 million dollar renovation of the Woodlark Hotel.
Butch BannonFood & Beverage, Beauty & Wellness
Butch Bannon is the co-founder of Flip Switch Management Group, a brand-forward investment and operations management company whose current portfolio include Proud Mary Coffee, See See Motorcycles, Blue Star Donuts, Rudy’s Barbershops, Bamboo Sushi and Happier Camper. An entrepreneur, founder, and investor with over 15 years of experience across innovation, technology, and active lifestyle markets — and across 19 countries — he played a key role in strategic sales, initiatives, and innovation programs for leading global brands that include Red Bull, P&G, Nike, Adidas, and Columbia Sportswear.
Teddy AlbertsonFood & Beverage, Beauty & Wellness
Teddy Alberston is an entrepreneur and consultant who develops financial and operational systems for innovative consumer product companies and hospitality groups. After starting his career in venture capital and start-up funding with Greenough Consulting, he transitioned into developing and executing financial systems for the restaurants in the Payley Hospitality group, and later, Tusk and Ava Genes of Submarine Hospitality. He’s held roles as CEO and CFO at both these groups, and is an owner of See See Motorcycles. He also held a key role in opening Headwaters at Portland’s iconic Heathman Hotel, The Crown by Imperial, and three restaurant concepts that reside in The Hoxton Hotel.
Joshua McFaddenCulinary Creative
Joshua McFadden is the founder of Submarine Hospitality in Portland, Oregon. He helps oversee Ava Gene’s, Cicoria, Tusk, and the Woodsman Tavern. In addition, he helped design and program Takibi and Grand Stark Deli. He brings technical, operational, and creative vision to a thoughtful evolution of hospitality. His first book, Six Seasons: A New Way with Vegetables, won a James Beard Award in 2018. His second book, Grains for Every Season, was released in November of 2021.
Sam BuffaFounder of Fellow Barber
Sam Buffa is the Founder of Fellow Barber, initially launched in 2006 under the name F.S.C. Barber. With a background as both a marketing executive and a professional Enduro racer, Buffa identified a crucial gap in the market - a space for haircuts that was between a corner barbershop and a high-end salon - and the idea behind Fellow was born. His vision expanded into a signature product range in 2014, and in 2022 the company merged with Seattle’s iconic Rudy’s Barbershop. Buffa has also extended his talents into the restaurant industry, opening Brooklyn restaurant Vinegar Hill House with partner Jean Adamson in 2008, as well as designing notable establishments Frechette, The Nines, and James Murphy’s club Night Move.
Ryan SuddendorfHealth, Wellness and Beauty
Ryan Suddendorf has been in the service industry for over 15 years. He joined Rudy’s as the COO in in September 2020 and has been integral in streamlining operations and integrating systems while re-opening the company. In June 2021 he replaced the CEO, and took the company through an acquisition and conversion of 11 barbershops. He has also lead the leasing, design, buildout, and opening of two new locations in Oregon and Washington. In his new role as COO of Health Wellness and Beauty he is overseeing the operations while working with the Sortis finance and accounting team, the CEO, and CBO to merge and grow both Rudy’s and Fellow. He brings a passion for building teams and motivating people while focused on data driven analytics.
Robert Beauchemin is the President of BC Group Inc. which he founded in 2003. With extensive experience in development, real estate, and construction management across all building types — including mixed-use, retail, office, medical, historic, residential, and hospitality — Bob is fluent in every aspect of the business from feasibility studies, operations turn-over, and ownership while managing multiple complex projects. He has a degree in Construction Engineering Management and is a LEED Accredited Green Building Professional.
Dusti GuzmanChief Human Resources Officer
Dusti Guzman has had a broad range of experience in his roles as Chief Human Resources Officer at Sortis Holdings and Head of Global Human Resources at Azumi Ltd. He is passionate about his work in developing and leading teams responsible for human resources, talent acquisition, talent training and development, benefits, risk management, HRIS, and organizational development. Prior experience includes a similar role at McCormick and Schmick's Restaurants, Starr Restaurants, Sprinkle Cupcakes, and Innovative Dining Group. Having celebrated three decades in the hospitality industry, he prides himself on never losing his operational roots to support business goals.