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HOSPITALIT Y/TOURISM


ROBERT GRAY CHIEF, PAMUNKEY INDIAN TRIBE, KING WILLIAM COUNTY


For more than a quarter century, Gray has sat on the Pamunkey Tribal Council. And in 2015, he was elected its chief. Gray grew up in Philadelphia but moved to the Pamunkey


Indian Reservation in King William County in 1988. As a younger man, Gray served in the U.S. Air Force before


earning his bachelor’s degree from the University of Central Arkansas. He later joined the Virginia Air National Guard and worked as a federal civilian employee for the U.S. Air Force.


Before retiring from the Air Force in 2011 as a chief master sergeant, Gray was deployed for multiple overseas tours. In 2017, he retired from the federal civilian service. As chief of the Pamunkey Tribe, Gray frequently speaks about the HeadWaters


Resort & Casino, the $500 million project that the tribe is developing with Tennessee billionaire Jon Yarbrough alongside Norfolk’s Harbor Park. The casino, set to open in 2023, is expected to generate about 2,000 construction jobs, 2,500 permanent jobs and $185 million in annual revenue, not to mention at least $3.5 million each year for the Virginia Indigenous People’s Trust Fund.


JUSTIN G. KNIGHT CEO AND DIRECTOR, APPLE HOSPITALITY REIT INC., RICHMOND


Knight has spent his career working for Apple Hospitality REIT and the real estate investment trusts that preceded it, all founded by his father, Glade M. Knight. Since 2014, Justin Knight has served as CEO at Apple Hospitality. Today, Apple Hospitality’s portfolio consists of 232 hotels, mostly properties under the Marriott, Hilton and Hyatt brands, across 35 states. Facing the economic crisis caused by the pan- demic, Knight volunteered to decrease his target compensation for 2020 by 60%. In May, Knight reported that the REIT had sold three hotels since the beginning of the year for a combined total of $24 million. Four years ago, Knight suffered serious injuries when the small plane he was piloting, with his son on board, crashed into a cornfield in Buckingham County. A member of the National Advisory Council for Brigham Young University’s Marriott School of Business, Knight received his bachelor’s in political science and an MBA from the university. Knight sits on the board of trustees for


Venture Richmond.


CHRISTOPHER J.


NASSETTA PRESIDENT AND CEO, HILTON WORLDWIDE HOLDINGS INC., McLEAN


COVID-19 dealt quite a blow to the hotel industry. An industry giant, Hilton didn’t escape unscathed. The company closed 2020 with $4.3 billion in revenue — a steep drop from the $9.5 billion it reported in 2019. The drop was big enough for Hilton to fall off the Fortune 500, sliding from No. 338 to No. 596 on the magazine’s list of the top 1,000 U.S. companies by total revenue. At the end of 2020, Hilton said it employed 141,000 people, 32,000 fewer than it reported in 2019. For the first quarter of 2021, Hilton announced a net loss of $109 million. Nassetta, who has led the com- pany since 2007, seems optimistic about its post-pandemic recovery. “We are on pace to see record leisure demand in the U.S. over the summer months,” he said during a May call to investors. In 2020, Nassetta earned $55.87 million in total compensation.


A graduate of the University


of Virginia, Nassetta previously served as CEO for Host Hotels & Resorts Inc. His first real job was unclogging toilets at a Washington, D.C., hotel.


JIM McGLOTHLIN CHAIRMAN AND CEO, THE UNITED CO., BRISTOL


Aſter a long career, this octogenarian sits on the cusp of deliver- ing his boldest endeavor yet. Partnering with high school friend and Par Ventures LLC President Clyde Stacy, along with Hard Rock International, McGlothlin plans to open the $400 million Hard Rock Hotel


and Casino Bristol at the site of the old Bristol Mall in 2022. McGlothlin and Stacy began lobbying for a casino in the birthplace of country


music several years before the Virginia General Assembly passed legislation in 2000 allowing commercial casino gaming in Portsmouth, Danville, Norfolk, Richmond and Bristol — pending approval by local voters in referendums. In November 2020, 71% of Bristol voters said “yes” to the casino, which is expected to create about 2,000 jobs and $130 million in annual revenue. If that weren’t enough, in April, McGlothlin opened the Car Barn, a new business that’s part classic car museum/part car lot. In 2009, a Ukrainian company purchased United Coal, the company McGlothlin co-founded in the 1970s. Today, McGlothlin’s United Co. focuses on coal, oil and gas exploration services, investment management and real estate development, as well as the operation of golf courses and RV parks.


114 VIRGINIA 500


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