In response to the rapid growth in hotel development in Latin America
and the Caribbean, Benjamin West, the hotel industrys largest global
purchasing firm for furniture, fixtures and equipment (FF&E) and
operating supplies and equipment (OS&E), today announced that the
company will open a new office in Miami. The new operation will be led
by Liliane Stacishin-Moura, who has joined the company as Director-Latin
America & Caribbean.
The new office brings to six the number of locations the company has
opened to serve its clients worldwide. In 2011, Benjamin West worked on
projects in 23 countries on four continents.
Latin America has reached the tipping point of hotel development, with
international and regional brands, as well as independents, ramping up
to serve these rapidly growing economies, said Alan Benjamin, president
of Benjamin West. According to Lodging Econometrics, three of the top
20 development marketsBrazil, Mexico and Argentina–are in that region.
All but one country has shown quarter-over- quarter improvements in the
development pipeline since the bottom of the cycle in late 2009.
Renovations, which were delayed because of the economy, have been
accelerating since the recovery began in the region in 2010. Chile and
Columbia have great potential and the Caribbeans primary economic
driver is tourism which requires on-going investment to introduce new
product and upgrading existing hotels. Brazil, the Latin American leader
in economic growth, is the worlds fifth largest country in terms of
both population and geographical area with a burgeoning demand for
quality hotels, fueled by the hosting of the World Cup in 2014 and the
Summer Olympics in 2016. Our clients are aggressively expanding into the
region and we will be there to serve them.
Miami is the current business center for much of Latin America
development and where many of the major brands maintain substantial
development offices, he said. As our activity increases we will open
one or more regional offices in Latin America so that we can provide the
services our clients expect.
Stacishin-Moura, a Brazilian native and educated in the U.S., has an
extensive background in design and real estate development, as well as
environmental science. Prior to joining Benjamin West, she was founder
and partner in Find Development Resources International headquartered in
Los Cabos, Mexico. She led the companys international business
development, brokering and financing for the companys hospitality and
Previously she was director of international business development for
the E Group, a landscape architecture and environmental design firm,
where she spearheaded the companys international expansion into Latin
America, China and Southeast Asia.
She began her career as an environmental research chemist and published
research on phytoremediation. Fluent in Portuguese, Spanish and English,
she holds a Masters Degree in International Management and an MBA from
the Thunderbird School of Global Management and a bachelors degree in
chemistry from Utah State University.
Latin American hotel development is governed by multiple
country-specific regulations and requirements, which makes the
specification, purchasing and installation of FF&E and OS&E different in
virtually every country in the region, she said. Knowing how to source
product and navigate tariffs and regulations creates opportunities for
Benjamin West to expedite the hotel development process. We have strong
relationships with the international, regional and local hotel brands,
ownership groups and management companies and unparalleled buying power.
Through our RPM proprietary cloud-based software program, we provide
real time accounting/financial controls to monitor a project 24/7.
Stacishin-Moura added that sustainability is an important and growing
issue in Latin America. Many Latin American countries that rely heavily
on their natural beauty and resources for their economic well-being are
becoming more tuned-in to the environment, she noted. The depletion of
rain forests and other issues have made sustainability a high priority,
which is reflected in many owners FF&E design and purchasing decisions.
As a founding member of the Hospitality Sustainability Purchasing
Consortium, we are on the leading-edge of sustainable design and
purchasing. Benjamin West has an extensive history in sustainability
within the hotel industry, which combined with our local knowledge and
familiarity with brand standards, give us and our clients a competitive
edge to get projects approved and in the ground faster.
About Benjamin West
In addition to the new offices opening in Miami, Boulder,
Colo.-headquartered Benjamin West also has offices in Chicago, Dallas,
Hong Kong and London. The firms staff of more than 70 professionals
ranks Benjamin West as the worlds largest hotel FF&E and OS&E
purchasing firm. The firm provides a full range of purchasing services,
including budget development, specification review, technical analysis,
bidding, expediting, and project accounting for hotels in the
mid-market, upscale and luxury segments. Additional information about
the company may be found at its Web site: www.benjaminwest.com.