Philosophy

The philosophy of North Point Hospitality is simple. The organization seeks to grow through developing and acquiring upscale, brand defining, full service and focused service hotels in high barriers to entry markets with top-tier franchise partners such as Hilton and Marriott.

Our growth strategy for success is simple: be in the best markets with the best brands at the best locations. Operationally, our success comes from our belief of taking great care of our associates, who in turn will take great care of our guests.

Mission

The mission of North Point Hospitality is as clear and concise today as it was when our company was founded in 1978. Our mission is to reward our stakeholders, our guests, our investors, our associates, our brand partners and those who have entrusted us with the oversight of their assets, through a measured and balanced approach to growth and a commitment to the culture of superior service.

Vision

The vision of North Point Hospitality is that our company continues to be recognized as an award winning owner, developer and manager of brand defining hotels in key business markets and leisure destinations. That through a continued divestiture of leisure products, our measured and balanced approach to growth will yield resources that are reinvested in the company for the benefit of our stakeholders. That our guest experience, our culture of superior service and that our associates, at all levels, are provided the leadership, training and autonomy needed to create that culture regardless of hotel location or brand affiliation.

“It is not about being a big hospitality company, it is about being a great hospitality company. From development to operations, we want our team members, our guests, our brand partners, and our lenders to see us as focused on greatness. We consider falling short of that as simply unacceptable.”


Whip M. Triplett
Executive Vice President

Leadership

JK Patel

Founder

At the age of 38, JK Patel immigrated to the United States in 1978 from Kisumu, Kenya with his wife and two young children. In Kenya, Mr. Patel had worked with Barclays Bank where he served as Senior Loan Officer. That strong financial background served him well when he bought his first hotel in Aiken, South Carolina in 1979, a full service Ramada Inn. Since then, Mr. Patel has developed, owned and operated more than thirty hotels throughout the Southeast. Today, Mr. Patel still enjoys an active role in the day to day operations of the company.

In 1996, JK Patel had the distinct honor of serving as chairman of the Asian American Hotels Owner’s Association (AAHOA), an organization that currently boasts a membership of more than 8,000.

JK Patel currently lives in Atlanta, Georgia with his wife Geeta. He enjoys traveling and being a grandfather to his four grandchildren.

JK Patel

Founder

Jay Patel

President & CEO

As president and CEO, Mr. Patel is responsible for the overall direction and guidance of the company. Mr. Patel is also personally involved in all strategic growth decisions related to site selection and brand options in potential markets. His relationships with franchisors and lenders pave the way for future hotel developments.

Mr. Patel joined North Point in 1991 after graduating from Winthrop University with a B.S. degree in Marketing. Since that time, the company has developed from ground up 35 hotels with a total project cost of over $404,000,000.

Understanding the link between business and community, Mr. Patel was instrumental in forming the Alpharetta Convention and Visitors Bureau and served as the first Chairman of the Board of that organization. He remains on the board today as well as serves on the Board of Directors of the Greater North Fulton Chamber of Commerce and the Michael C. Carlos Museum at Emory University.

Jay Patel

President & CEO

Whip Triplett

Executive Vice President

Whip Morrison Triplett serves as Executive Vice President for North Point Hospitality Group and joined the company in August 2001. In that capacity, Mr. Triplett oversees the daily operation of the company, which includes hotel operations for all North Point owned and managed hotels, construction of current projects and due diligence of potential hotel development opportunities.

A 1992 graduate of Auburn University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management, Mr. Triplett has more than 30 years of hospitality experience.

With a commitment to community, he served as the 2006 Chairman of Visit Savannah, the 2011 Chairman of the Savannah Tourism Leadership Council, and chairman of the 2016 Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce. Additionally, he has served as President of Leadership Savannah and he currently holds a position on the Hilton Product Advisory Council. In 2014, he and his wife, Stephanie, established an endowed scholarship in the School of Hotel and Restaurant Management at Auburn University, where he currently serves as Chair of that program’s advisory board.

Mr. Triplett prefers to spend his free time with his wife and their two children; his son, Tristan and daughter, Brooks.

Whip Triplett

Executive Vice President

Ed Stelling

Vice President & General Counsel

Ed Stelling joined North Point Hospitality Group in January 2013 and serves as Corporate Counsel for the Company. In that role, Mr. Stelling has responsibility for legal matters associated with site acquisition and development, contract negotiations, and legal issues related to the management of the Company and the Company’s operation of hotels.

Mr. Stelling graduated from the University of Georgia with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History before returning to the University to earn his Juris Doctor degree. He enjoys spending his free time with his wife Ginny and their two beagles, Harry and Maddy.

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Ed Stelling

Vice President & General Counsel

Steve Mikulenka

Vice President of Finance – Accounting

As Vice President of Finance, Steve Mikulenka ensures the accurate and timely financial reporting for all entities in the North Point Hospitality Group portfolio in accordance with the Uniform System of Accounts for the Lodging Industry, which is published by the Educational Institute of the American Hotel and Lodging Association and complies with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles. Steve also works closely with buyer representatives regarding the confirmation of property purchase and sale agreement allocation schedules. Before joining North Point Hospitality Group in 2001, Steve Mikulenka was the controller for Chateau Élan Winery & Resort in Braselton, Georgia. Prior to that, he worked for Interstate Hotels & Resorts at the Sawgrass Marriott Resort & Beach Club and also for Ponte Vedra Beach Resorts, both in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. Before this, Steve was the Internal Audit Manager for Destination Hotels & Resorts. Earlier in his career, he held controllerships with Capitol Hotel Group at various properties.

Steve earned his Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Texas A&M University in 1987 prior to joining the I.T.T. Sheraton Corporation at the Sheraton Dallas Hotel.

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Steve Mikulenka

Vice President of Finance – Accounting

Gina Peper

Vice President of Sales & Marketing

Gina Peper serves as Vice-President of Sales & Marketing for North Point Hospitality Group and joined the company in December 2001. During that time, she has assisted in opening 14 new hotels and 3 brand conversions. Gina is responsible for the overall Sales & Marketing efforts for all North Point owned and managed hotels, as well as the pre-sales efforts for hotels under construction.

A graduate of Georgia Southern University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Relations, Gina has almost 20 years of hospitality experience. Gina is serving a 2-year term as the current president of the Savannah Downtown Business Association, was named 2019 Community Service Star and 2018 New Guard. She was in the 2013–2014 Leadership Savannah class and was a 2014 “Big Wig” for the Susan G Komen of Coastal Georgia fall campaign.

Gina currently lives in Savannah and is an active member at the Church at Godley Station. In her free time enjoys spending time with her husband Wes and three children, Caroline, Kailey and Jacob.

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Gina Peper

Vice President of Sales & Marketing

Christy Shapard

Vice President of Human Resources

Christy serves as Vice President of Human Resources for North Point Hospitality and is responsible for ensuring a strategic and dynamic approach to the Human Resources needs of the organization. Christy has more than 15 years’ Human Resources Management experience. Prior to joining North Point in March 2018, she translated the HR function in the fields of Banking, Healthcare, Higher Education, and Telecommunications.

Christy is a Certified Human Resources Professional who holds a bachelor’s degree from University of Richmond and a master’s Degree from Old Dominion University. She is a Savannah native and stays busy with the lives and interests of her 4 children.

Christy Shapard

Vice President of Human Resources

Niraj Patel

Vice President Finance – Analytics and Strategies

Niraj Patel serves North Point Hospitality as the Vice President Financial Analytics and Strategies. In this role, Niraj builds productivity and profitability through his ability to design and deliver next-generation finance management tools for all North Point’s properties. He brings over 20 years of experience in accounting to provide effective analysis and report building. Niraj leads all matters related to property taxes, insurance, construction budgeting and cost tracking, loan packages and monthly construction draws. Mr. Patel is especially strong in problem solving and analyzing data to find accounting information to allow officers to course-direct business at a moment’s notice. Consistently managing employees to increase results, boost revenue and profitability are but a few of the hallmarks of his career. Niraj builds highly effective teams, manages business units successfully and eliminates business roadblocks in record time. Niraj has a rich and successful record of demonstrating the use and application of technical best practices to companies to improve recordkeeping and produce reports that meet audit and regulatory requirements.

Niraj earned his Bachelor of Commerce degree from Carleton University and his CPA membership is through the American Institute of CPAs.

Niraj Patel

Vice President Finance – Analytics and Strategies

Michael Sturgis

Director of Revenue Management

When Michael Sturgis joined the North Point Hospitality team in January of 2002, his initial duty, like everyone else, was to roll up his sleeves and assist in any way needed during the final crazy weeks leading up to the grand opening of NPHG’s first Savannah property (the then Radisson Hotel). Once that project was completed, Michael served as the Night Audit Manager for a year, and was then given the opportunity to take over as Controller for the (then rebranded) DoubleTree Hotel and the newly opened Hilton Garden Inn. Thanks to NPHG’s tradition of promoting from within, he was soon introduced to the opportunities available in the field of Revenue Management.

As the company continued to grow, adding three more properties in Savannah and a hotel in Nashville, Michael specialized his contribution to the company’s expansion by focusing more on his Revenue Management role for all NPHG hotels, including our three properties in Alpharetta. This past decade with North Point Hospitality has provided its fair share of character building challenges (learning to juggle the responsibilities of overseeing up to nine properties) and life changing rewards (Michael met his wife when she joined the company five years ago, and they recently celebrated the birth of a beautiful daughter). With one foot in Accounting and the other in Revenue Management, Michael is our “numbers guy” who fortunately we pay to do what he loves.

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Michael Sturgis

Director of Revenue Management

Melaina Jaudon

Corporate Sales Analyst

Melaina serves as the Corporate Sales Analyst for North Point Hospitality. Her position is responsible for developing and maintaining the overall sales revenue processes throughout all properties. A seasoned sales professional, she has extensive experience with both Hilton and Marriott brands. Melaina joined the company in 2009 and has served as Director of Sales for multiple North Point properties. She attended the University of Georgia receiving her Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology. She and her husband Chad are Savannah natives and are proud parents of their daughter, Rylee.

Melaina Jaudon

Corporate Sales Analyst

Carla Forbes

Corporate Director of Human Resources

Carla Forbes currently serves as the Corporate Director of Human Resources, specializing in Training & Employee Relations. She began her career with North Point Hospitality in 2009 as a Front Office Manager for the DoubleTree by Hilton Savannah Historic District & the Hilton Garden Inn Savannah Historic District, moving on to a Human Resources and Accounting Role. She has an extensive background in hospitality and has worked for several brands since attending East Carolina University. Carla and her husband, Lin, have lived in Savannah since 2009.

Carla Forbes

Corporate Director of Human Resources

Emily Doherty

Director of Communications

Emily serves as the Director of Communications and is responsible for developing communication strategies for print, digital and social media. A seasoned marketing and communications professional, she has extensive experience working for non-profits and the private sector. Emily received the 20 under 40 Generation NEXT award for her business leadership and community outreach through Savannah Morning News and Savannah Magazine in 2017. Originally from Indianapolis, Emily attended Savannah College of Art & Design and loved Savannah enough to stay and call it home. She and her husband Tim are proud parents of their son, Patrick.

Emily Doherty

Director of Communications

Mike White

Director of Design & Construction

Mike White serves as a Project Manager for North Point Hospitality Group.  He has over 12 years of construction and military leadership experience.  Mr. White was a combat helicopter pilot and company commander while he served in the Army; deploying to combat multiple times.  As a construction professional he has managed numerous projects from minor interior remodels to large retail developments.

Mr. White is a graduate of the Georgia Institute of Technology where he earned his B.S. in Building Construction and received his commission as an Army Officer.

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Mike White

Director of Design & Construction

Kiwannee Mitchell

Senior Project Manager

Kiwannee Mitchell serves as Senior Project Manager for North Point Hospitality Group. He is an accomplished construction management professional with nine years of experience in the construction industry. He has managed multiple small- to large-scale hotel and condo projects, as well industrial, infrastructure and ground improvement projects.

Kiwannee is a graduate of Auburn University where he earned his B.S. in Civil Engineering. He received his Masters of Construction Engineering Management from The University of Alabama at Birmingham. He is also a certified Project Management Professional (PMP).

Kiwannee Mitchell

Senior Project Manager

Amanda Mitchell

Content Marketing Manager

Amanda Mitchell serves as Content Marketing Manager for North Point Hospitality Group and joined the company in April 2018. Amanda is responsible for creating and managing the delivery of print, digital, and social content across all marketing channels for a variety of brands within North Point.

A graduate of Valdosta State University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Graphic Design, Amanda has more than 16 years of marketing experience at global and local levels. Amanda resides in Savannah with her husband Matt and daughter Carsen. In her free-time she and her family enjoy trying new restaurants, bicycling, hiking, camping, and exploring the east coast.

Amanda Mitchell

Content Marketing Manager

La Toya Holmes

Regional Controller

La Toya Holmes serves as a Regional Controller for North Point Hospitality Group and joined the company in August 2010. Ms. Holmes brings with her over 12 years of hospitality experience. La Toya earned her Bachelor of Science Degree at Lincoln University in 1995. Prior to North Point Hospitality Group, La Toya worked as an Accountant for Hospitality Ventures, located in Atlanta, Georgia. La Toya also held positions as an Accounting Manager, Credit Manager and Senior Accountant for Starwood Hotels and Resorts, Amerimar Enterprises and Lodgian, Inc.

La Toya enjoys spending quality time with her son, Keith and volunteering as “Team Mom” in his sport activities.

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La Toya Holmes

Regional Controller

Rebekah Juday

Corporate Director of Human Resources

Rebekah Juday currently serves as the Corporate Director of Human Resources for North Point Hospitality. Ms. Juday began working with North Point Hospitality as a Human Resources and Accounting Manager in October 2012 before moving to the corporate office. Rebekah graduated from Western Governor’s University with both her Bachelor’s degree in Business – Human Resource Management and Master’s degree in Business Administration. Outside of the office, she enjoys traveling as well as spending time with friends and family.

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Rebekah Juday

Corporate Director of Human Resources

Kendall Jackson

Marketing Manager

Kendall Jackson came back to North Point Hospitality in November 2018, having worked previously as a Front Desk Agent at the DoubleTree Savannah in 2016. A seasoned content manager, Kendall handles sales and marketing analytics to define revenue targets and evaluate hotel production. In addition, Kendall assists in maintaining the company’s web presence and other marketing efforts as well as supports the marketing team by creating content for all properties for digital and print outlets.

Kendall received his Bachelor of Arts in English from Armstrong State University and completed his Master of Arts in Professional Communication and Leadership at Georgia Southern University. An avid Atlanta Falcons fan, he spends his free time watching football, gaming, reading and eating as much sushi as possible.

Kendall Jackson

Marketing Manager

Shayl Patel

Assistant Project Manager

Shayl Patel currently serves as Assistant Project Manager on the development team for North Point Hospitality. Shayl began with North Point in 2012 as a Houseman in Midtown, Atlanta and then became part of the front desk team. Shayl who is an Atlanta native who graduated from Georgia State University in 2018 with a B.B.A. in Hospitality Administration. As a member of the development team, Shayl, has contributed on projects totaling north of $40,000,000. In his free time Shayl enjoys sports, cooking, and spending time with his friends and family.

Shayl Patel

Assistant Project Manager

Kevin Giesse

Accounts Payable Manager

Kevin Giesse joined North Point Hospitality Group in March 2014 as a Night Auditor. Soon after, he became the Accounting and Human Resources Manager in Midtown, Atlanta. He now serves as the Accounts Payable Manager for North Point Hospitality Group at the corporate office. Mr. Giesse started his hospitality career in 2007, and graduated from a German hospitality management school in 2010. He collectively has 10 years of hospitality experience with Hilton and one of Germany’s largest hotel chains, Maritim.

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Kevin Giesse

Accounts Payable Manager

Joe Bynum

General Counsel Emeritus

Joe Bynum

General Counsel Emeritus

General Managers

Gary Carney

Gary joined the North Point Hospitality team in September 2001, bringing over 17 years of hospitality experience to the team. His first assignment was general manager of the rebranded Hampton Inn Alpharetta-Roswell. In 2005, Mr. Carney was assigned to the rebranded Doubletree Alpharetta, a two-time Connie award winning hotel. Later in 2005, he was promoted to the position of area general manager, overseeing the three Alpharetta properties; the DoubleTree by Hilton Atlanta-Alpharetta, Hampton Inn Alpharetta-Roswell and the Hampton Inn & Suites Alpharetta-Windward. North Point Hospitality has always been a second family to Mr. Carney and he enjoys working for such a supportive, family-oriented company!

Gary spends his leisure time group hiking throughout Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, South Carolina, and beyond.

Gary Carney

Bryan Cornelius

Bryan Cornelius joined North Point Hospitality in January 2002 and is currently the General Manager of the Homewood Suites Savannah Historic District/Riverfront. During his tenure, Mr. Cornelius has worked in several of our company’s hotels in Savannah, four of which he was a part of the opening team as well as assuming his first general manager role at the age of 24.

Prior to North Point Hospitality, Bryan began his hotel career while still in high school working in a variety of departments from the front desk to housekeeping. At the age of 22, he was featured on the cover of Executive Housekeeping Today magazine due to his success at an early age – also being recognized as the youngest member of the International Executive Housekeepers Association, Inc. In his already 20 years of hotel experience, Bryan has assisted in the opening of seven hotels and two brand conversions, including four as the general manager.

During his free time, Mr. Cornelius enjoys golf, the beach and traveling with his wife and two young children.

Bryan Cornelius

Felton Clark

Felton has always had the spirit to serve. His first hotel job was at the Hyatt Regency where he worked as a busboy, but always looked for the opportunity to advance. He served as a guest services agent at the front desk for two years before finding an opportunity to join North Point Hospitality.

He onboarded with North Point just one month after it opened the doors to its first Savannah property, at that time the Radisson Hotel. He took on a few roles from night manager to hotel trainer to front office manager over the next three years. He then served as dual front office manager after aiding in the opening of the Hilton Garden Inn Savannah Historic District. He then served a short time as assistant general manager of our Hilton Garden Inn Savannah Midtown while preparing and opening the sister property, the Hampton Inn & Suites Savannah Midtown. Mr. Clark served as general manager to that hotel for eight years before relocating to the North Carolina area to serve as general manager of the Springhill Suites by Marriott Lumberton, NC.

Felton Clark

Juan Mera

Juan Mera got his start in hospitality as a bellman at the Canyon Ranch Resort in Tucson, AZ. From there, he was promoted to night auditor, a desk agent, and finally, front office manager. Mr. Mera then moved on to work for Remington Hotels, where he served as a rooms division manager and sales manager. He then went to work for Meristar Hotels as a rooms manager at the Latham Hotel in Georgetown, and from there, got his first general manager job at the Hampton Inn Atlanta Gwinnett.

Juan joined North Point hospitality in 2004 and has served as the opening general manager at several North Point hotels, including the SpringHill Suites Buckhead Atlanta, Hilton Garden Inn Savannah Midtown, Hilton Garden Inn Nashville Midtown and the Hilton Garden Inn/Homewood Suites Atlanta Midtown, a dual-branded property opened in 2012. Juan has also served as the area general manager where he oversaw the DoubleTree by Hilton Savannah Historic District, the Hilton Garden Inn Savannah Historic District and the Quality Inn Savannah Historic District. He most recently accepted the position as opening general manager for the first tri-branded Marriott hotel in the country, the SpringHill Suites/Residence Inn/AC Hotel by Marriott Nashville Downtown.

From the moment he joined North Point Hospitality, he immediately loved it and the opportunities to open so many hotel projects.

Juan is from Lima, Peru and enjoys traveling as much as he can and spending time with his wife, Harumi, and his family.

Juan Mera

Carlton L. Hollis

Carlton L. Hollis currently serves as general manager of the Hampton Inn Alpharetta-Roswell, where he has the responsibility of overseeing the total daily operations of the property. Mr. Hollis joined the company in March 2008 and, to date, has 30 years of experience in the hospitality industry. He has had the privilege and honor to oversee, for almost a year, two different properties within the company simultaneously. Prior to his employment in this industry, Mr. Hollis served in the automobile industry for nearly eight years as a sales consultant and finance manager.

Mr. Hollis graduated from Saint Augustine’s University where he earned the Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration. During his matriculation at Saint Augustine’s, he utilized his leadership skills in various organizations including Omega Psi Phi Fraternity.

He is very active in his church as a Catechist, usher, fundraiser and volunteer. Mr. Hollis enjoys spending quality time with his wife, Donna; daughters, Carletta and Kelly, son, Joe; and grandchildren, Kameron, Kendall, Olivia and Jax.

Carlton L. Hollis

Paul Komanecky

Paul Komanecky joined the North Point Hospitality team in September 2008 as the general manager of the Hilton Garden Inn Savannah Historic District. Since then, Mr. Komanecky opened the Fairfield Inn & Suites Savannah Midtown in 2016 for the company before heading back downtown to serve, once again, as general manager of the Hilton Garden Inn Savannah Historic District.

Mr. Komanecky took his first general manager position in 1980 and since then, has managed Choice, Holiday Inn, Jameson, Sheraton and Hilton branded properties. He spent seven years with Kitchin Hospitality as a district manager as well.

He enjoys spending his free time with his wife, DeAnn, his two children, David and Lara, and his three grandchildren.

Paul Komanecky

Matthew Facenda

After joining the North Point Hospitality family back in August 2010 as a front desk associate, Mr. Facenda came to realize he wouldn’t want to work anywhere else! From the moment he came aboard, North Point has shown in all aspects that they care about more than just their hotels. They truly care about each one of their employees and want to see them succeed. Throughout his career with North Point, he has had the opportunity to open the dual-branded Hilton Garden Inn/Homewood Suites Atlanta Midtown as the assistant general manager and then to open the Springhill Suites by Marriott Lumberton, NC as the general manager in 2015. He is currently the general manager of the Fairfield Inn & Suites Savannah Midtown.

Matthew Facenda

Jake Warner

Jake Warner currently serves as the General Manager for the Hilton Garden Inn Savannah Historic District. Jake first joined North Point Hospitality in 2009 as an executive chef after many years of working in fine dining restaurants. Since then, he has served as Director of Food & Beverage before being promoted to the Area Director of Food & Beverage where he oversaw the food and beverage operations for the three hotels within the North Point Hospitality portfolio. Jake has over 20 years’ experience in the tourism & hospitality industry here in Savannah, GA.

Jake enjoys spending his free time with his wife and two boys at the beach or out on the water.

Jake Warner

Selina Gibbons

Selina began her hospitality voyage in 1997 as a Housekeeper and Breakfast Hostess. In 2003, Selina was presented with the TLC Leadership Council Award for Excellent Service, while working with the Hampton Inn Savannah Historic District. In 2013, Selina joined our Northpoint Hospitality family and has obtained multiple positions within the Company varying from Front Desk Clerk, Front Office Assistant, Executive Housekeeper and Front Office Manager. In 2018, Selina became the General Manger of the Quality Inn Savannah Historic District. With over 20 years’ experience, Selina exemplifies North Point Hospitality’s proclamation, Serve from the Heart and uses her drive for hospitality and her energy to push her team to greatness. Her passion for providing exceptional hospitality services has qualified her as a valuable team member to the North Point Hospitality family.

During her spare time, she values moments with her husband, children and her menagerie of pets. Selina is active within her community by dedicating services to volunteer organizations.

Selina Gibbons

A.J. Ward

A.J. has been serving in the hospitality industry since he was 19 years old, starting his career as a bell boy. Over the last two decades, he has worked in virtually every department from housekeeping to front desk to reservations all the way to his current role as General Manager of Marriott’s first tri-brand hotel in the United States. He has taught hospitality management courses as well as worked with high school vocational programs focused on hospitality and food service courses. He is passionate about training others to serve from the heart and helping to create the next generation of hospitality leaders.

Originally from Chicago, A.J. is an avid Cubs fan and enjoys woodworking and furniture building in his free time. He and his wife Janeen enjoy doting on their young daughter, Anna.

A.J. Ward