Barton School Dean’s Advisory Board Adds Hospitality Industry Executive

The W. Frank Barton School of Business at Wichita State University is adding John Cantele, co-founder and principal at Lexima Hotel Management Services, to its Dean’s Advisory Board.

“I’m looking forward to bringing my perspective to the board as we help prepare Barton School students for successful careers in business,” said Cantele.

As principal at Lexima, Cantele leverages his extensive 35 years of industry experience to provide third-party management services for the company. Prior to co-founding Lexima, he served as the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for CorePoint Lodging Inc., a publicly traded real estate investment trust created to own the La Quinta real estate assets. In 2016, he served as the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for La Quinta Holdings, LLC, where he was the operational, sales, and revenue management lead for the company and pivotal in positioning the business for sale to Wyndham in 2018. In 2000, Cantele helped launch LodgeWorks and worked as the company’s Senior Vice President of Operations. During his time there, he led the operation repositioning Sierra Suites into Hotel Sierra and co-led the company’s shift into the boutique hotel market with the AVIA brand, while successfully managing more established brands including Hilton, Starwood and Hyatt.

He has also served as the Global Head Select Hotels and Senior Vice President of Hyatt Hotels Corp., Vice President of Operations for Patriot American Hospitality, Inc./Wyndham and Vice President of Operations at Summerfield Hotel Corp.

 “John has built a career of success in the hospitality industry by creating relevant brands and moving them forward in providing unparalleled levels of service quality and enterprise value,” said Dr. Larisa Genin, Dean of the Barton School. “His unique experiences and expertise will be essential as the Barton School continues to bloom.”

John holds a Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Management from the University of Wisconsin, Stout. He is a sub-committee member for the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA), and a member of the Board of Directors and president for the Wichita Country Club. He is a former member of the La Quinta Brand Council and Hyatt Brand Council as well as the former co-chair of the Hyatt Place and Hyatt House Brand Councils.

“John is a transformative leader in the industry,” said Margaret Dechant, chair of the Barton School Dean’s Advisory Board as well as CEO and partner at 6 Meridian. “He is a forward thinker who draws upon his unique experience as an owner-operator, franchisor, franchisee, investor, management company executive, and member of public company brand councils. We look forward to embracing his perspectives.”

The Dean’s Advisory Board, which consists of 50 diverse industry leaders from around the world, works to advance the mission and strategic priorities of the Barton School through strengthening, enriching and enhancing the student experience.