XERO GRAVITY CORPORATE STRUCTURE
Larry Walshaw - CEO - Xero Gravity Extreme Sports Resorts, LLC
Larry Walshaw is the CEO of the Xero Gravity Action Sports and Entertainment Complex.
A seasoned veteran and trusted businessman located in Jacksonville, Florida, Larry has been involved in over $2 billion in development and real estate transactions since 1985.
Founder and developer of Business Condos USA, a national commercial real estate development company specializing in the ground up development and sale of business condominiums, Larry built a $200+ million enterprise, which he subsequently franchised nationally in 2005. Business Condos USA became one of the leading national developers of business condominiums in the country and was twice nominated as Developer of the Year by the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties Association (NAIOP). Business condos USA was previously ranked as the 4th largest developer in North Florida.
An experienced executive with extensive brokerage, sales, development, and finance experience, Larry is a specialist in development, marketing, and sales. Recognized as a top producer locally and nationally, Larry has earned numerous top 50 national broker awards as a previous franchisee of Sperry Van Ness, a national real estate brokerage firm, top 10 power broker awards for the Jacksonville, Florida market, and consistently placed in the top 15 of Jacksonville's commercial real estate firms.
Larry is a licensed Florida Real Estate Broker Florida and holds a 220 insurance license. He is involved in many local charitable activities and currently serves as Board Chair with Daniel Kids, Florida's oldest non-profit for children since 1884. He is a 1982 graduate of the University of Tennessee and lives in Atlantic Beach, Florida with Michelle, his wife of 28 years.
Steven Pollak - Senior V. P. Development & Asset Management (Hospitality)
35 years in the hospitality industry, Mr. Pollak has developed a reputation for outstanding analysis, insight, and leadership with Clients. His background is diverse with expertise in operations, market and financial projections, site selection, investment structuring and advice, and asset management. Steven is known for his detail evaluations and “thinking outside the box”, thus determining creative solutions for most objectives or issues.
Steven recently co-founded Vandeveer Hospitality Advisors (VHA), a unique firm of four senior executives who are specialists in his/her respective field. VHA specializes in the following disciplines: Physical Asset Evaluation Planning and Implementation; Investment Underwriting and Strategic Advice; Sales and Marketing Guidance & Recommendations; as well as Operational/Financial Evaluations and Asset Management.
Steven was the Director of Development and Advisory Services for 13 years and a member of the Executive Committee for the John Hardy Group, a leading development services company in the hospitality industry. He was responsible for the overall coordination of the company’s hotel acquisition and new development efforts as well as performing a variety of advisory consulting services including condominium conversion analyses, evaluation of properties’ operations and financial statements, development of operating proformas, investment structuring and advice, management and franchise contract negotiation, and resort master-planning. Steven was also responsible for the largest fee contract for JHG: the due diligence of 135 hotel properties within a twelve-week timeframe. He developed the project methodology, implementation plan, documentation processes, quality control, and final management review of the end-product.
Prior to joining JHG, Steven was Asset Manager for Bristol Hotels and Resorts with responsibility for the development and implementation of construction accounting and project management systems for $120 million of renovations and capital projects.
He has worked for two hotel companies as Vice President or Director of Development and Acquisitions where he conducted market, operational and financial due diligence on a wide variety of hospitality assets, negotiated management and franchise contracts, and assisted in financial structuring.
Steven worked over eight years for a variety of hospitality consulting companies, performing portfolio acquisition analyses, feasibility studies in over 75 markets nationwide, operational review of city clubs and five star hotels with RFP creation and analysis for institutional clients . Steven is a graduate of Cornell University and attended the Graduate School of Hotel Administration at Florida International University.
Jim Hunt - Chief Operating Officer
Jim has more than 25 years of experience working with various leading entertainment companies including Village Roadshow, Herschend Family Entertainment and Viacom. He has managed all aspects of commercial and entertainment based developments and led many international projects from concept through feasibility, design, construction and opening.
Jim has spent his diversified career in numerous capacities including General Contractor, Specialty Contractor, Operator, Developer and Consultant. Because of this well rounded knowledge base, coupled with his understanding of both domestic and international development, Jim brings an insightful and valuable perspective to the Xero Gravity project.
Among his other significant previous positions, Jim served as VP of Construction/Maintenance/Engineering for Paramount Parks, a Charlotte based theme park and Attractions Company. He was also EVP/Managing Partner of Pegasus Properties, a land development company, and Concorde Construction, a general contracting company.
Jim holds a Bachelor of Building Construction degree from the University of Florida and continues his education in the MBA program at the University of North Florida.
Chris B. Palkowitsh - Corporate Director
Chris is responsible for asset, capital, and overall direction of the corporate, sports facilities, and product business. Chris’s expertise and experience historically and currently comes out of the aerospace, defense, oil and gas industries. This involves the structuring of enterprise facility delivery teams that are capable of delivering complex programs and projects through alternative capital and sole sourcing methods for government, military (intelligence), and private industry groups. In addition, Chris also has large scale hospitality development experience with major hotel brands that will prove invaluable to Xero Gravity Extreme Sports Resorts, LLC in our resort development endeavors.
In Addition, Chris sits on and chairs many advisory boards for U.S. Corporations in the aerospace, defense, engineering, construction, and agriculture sectors that gives him a unique vantage point for how companies will do business in the future as well as overall economic direction.
Chris, also having had major back surgery in 2010 brings with him an interest to develop programs for handicap individuals that will enable them to participate in many of the various venues within our facilities. Due to this injury Chris works out 3-4 hours a day. Chris also has interests in archery, shooting, and dirt biking. He also attended the University Of Tulsa, as well as many military institutions and currently serves as the Director of Economic Opportunities for a major SEC University and serves as the Director for a U.S. Military branches Innovation, Science, & Technology Directorate.
FACILITY DEVELOPMENT TEAM
Park Operations/Management - Parques Reunidos - The second largest operator of Worldwide Theme Parks overseeing 72 parks. Located in Madrid, Spain, Parques Reunidos operates theme or amusement parks, nature and animal parks, water parks, family entertainment centres and cable
Hospitality - Hyatt - Xero Gravity is developing a 250 room stylish Hyatt Place Hotel with innovative designs which is a great fit for guests. Modern comforts plus a first of its kind Rooftop Pool and Bar will provide our guests unique viewing to the many sporting events in the development. Hyatt Place is ranked the #1 Select-Service Brand by Business Travel News 2012 Hotel Chain Survey.
Construction - Skanska – Skanska is one of the world's ten largest construction project development and construction groups, with expertise in construction, development of commercial and residential projects as well as public-private partnerships employing 57,000 employees in selected home markets in Europe (Sweden, Norway, Finland and Estonia, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, the UK), the U.S. and Latin America.
Legal – Thompson-Hine - Founded in 1911 with approximately 750 people in seven offices, including more than 350 lawyers and licensed to practice in more than 30 states and serve clients in all 50. With offices in Atlanta, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, New York and Washington, D.C. , Thompson-Hine counsels clients across 33 practice and industry groups, covering 144 areas of law and provides project development delivery services via Project Management Consultants (PMC), a wholly owned subsidiary of Thompson Hine.
Architecture – Smallwood, Reynolds, Stewart, Stewart - An internationally established design firm providing innovative professional services for corporate, commercial, hospitality, residential, industrial, government and educational projects. The majority of their services are commissioned by repeat clients in the real estate and development industry. Founded in 1979, the firm is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, with additional offices in Tampa, Florida; the Republic of Singapore; Beijing and Shanghai, China; Abu Dhabi and Dubai, U.A.E. Smallwood, Reynolds, Stewart, Stewart & Associates, Inc., its subsidiaries and affiliated companies offer design services* in Architecture, Interior Design, Master Planning, Graphic Design and Landscape Architecture.
Land Planning - Genesis Group - Genesis Group provides engineering, landscape architecture, planning, surveying, GIS, and urban design services for private land developers, government agencies, institutions, and industrial clients throughout the Southeastern United States and Internationally since 1987. Services include, Land Development & Entitlements Applied Sciences, Community Design & Regional Planning GIS / Geospatial, Public & Civic Infrastructure Genesis CE&I Services, Transportation & Mobility Eminent Domain, and Parks & Recreation Survey & Mapping.
Project Management – CH2M HILL – The global leader in consulting, design, design-build, operations, and program management, CH2M HILL has 26,000 employees on six continents working on some of the most complex and exciting projects on the planet. From our Colorado headquarters to the many large cities and small towns around the world where our employees live and work, CH2M HILL has the human and technical resources, the international footprint, and the depth of know-how and experience to help clients achieve success in any corner of the world.
Environmental/Permitting - Cardno - One of the world’s largest infrastructure and environmental services company, with expertise in the development and improvement of physical and social infrastructure for communities around the world. Cardno's team includes leading professionals who plan, design, manage and deliver sustainable projects and community programs. Having more than 270 worldwide offices and representing an employee base of over 7,500, the diverse skills and experience of Cardno's global team provide Xero Gravity an integrated environmental service solution.