DALLAS, May 14, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Ashford Hospitality Trust, Inc. (NYSE: AHT) ("Ashford Trust" or the "Company") today announced that David Kimichik, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer, will retire on June 13, 2014, following a career spanning over 32 years with the Company and its predecessor. Deric Eubanks, currently the Company's Senior Vice President of Finance, will succeed David as Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer reporting to Ashford Trust Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Monty J. Bennett. Mr. Kimichik will transition his responsibilities to Mr. Eubanks over the next month allowing for a seamless transition and will continue to be available to the Company as needed over the next several months.
Monty J. Bennett, Ashford Trust's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, commented, "Kimo has been with us since graduating from Cornell University in 1982. He played an integral role in our predecessor's purchase of hotel loans from the RTC in the early 1990s and has been the CFO of Ashford Trust since its IPO in 2003. During his tenure, he has been instrumental in our growth as a public company including the recent spin-off of Ashford Hospitality Prime. His extensive understanding of the hospitality industry and our business in particular has been a large part of our success over the years. We are all very grateful to Kimo for his contributions which have been a key part of the Company's tremendous growth and success. I want to personally thank him for his many years of service to Ashford and wish him a long and enjoyable retirement."
"Deric has been with the Company since our 2003 IPO and has played a central role in our history as a public company. He is a strong leader whose exceptional business and financial acumen was essential in successfully executing several key initiatives including our interest rate hedging strategy, the purchase of the CNL and Highland portfolios, and the recent spin-off of Ashford Prime. He's already well respected by the investor and analyst community for his solid grasp of our industry and corporate strategy. Deric is well-suited for this key leadership role."
Mr. Kimichik is currently the Chief Financial Officer of Ashford Hospitality Advisors and serves as the Chief Financial Officer of both Ashford Hospitality Trust and Ashford Hospitality Prime. He has served as the Chief Financial Officer for Ashford Trust since its inception in May 2003. In addition to his duties as Chief Financial Officer, he has served as Director of Asset Management with responsibility for leading a team of Asset Managers in the daily supervision of the Company's Hotels and annual capital improvement activities. He is also part of our active acquisitions team, responsible for the Company's underwriting function which generates financial projections for potential transactions. Ashford Trust and Ashford Prime currently own 124 hotels that Mr. Kimichik has underwritten.During the 1980s, Mr. Kimichik ran the Company's affiliated hotel property management company. In the 1990s, Mr. Kimichik was the President of Ashford Financial Corporation and oversaw the acquisition of over 170 properties representing over $1 billion in value. His underwriting of acquisitions for Ashford Trust include the 21 hotel portfolio acquired from the Fisher Brothers, the Gordon Getty Trust and George Soros for $250 million in 2005, the 30 hotel portfolio acquired from CNL Hotels and Resorts for $465 million in 2006, the 51 hotel portfolio acquired from CNL Hotels and Resorts for $2.4 billion in 2007, and the 28 hotel Highland Hospitality portfolio acquired in 2011 for $1.3 billion. Mr. Kimichik holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University. Mr. Eubanks is currently the Senior Vice President of Finance of Ashford Hospitality Advisors and serves as the Senior Vice President of finance of both Ashford Hospitality Trust and Ashford Hospitality Prime. In this role, he is responsible for assisting the CEO and CFO with all corporate finance and financial reporting initiatives and capital market activities including equity raises and debt financings. He also oversees the Investor Relations function and is responsible for supervision and executing the Company's hedging strategies.