Mr. Patrick brings more than 30 years of experience in the vacation ownership industry Zealandia Holding Company, Inc. As CEO, he is responsible for setting the company's strategic vision and direction, driving the company's culture and leading the company's executive team.
Prior to co-founding Festiva, he served as Chief Financial Officer of Peppertree, Treasurer of Equivest Finance, Inc. and was on the executive committees of both companies. In addition, Mr. Patrick acted as an advisor on key resort acquisitions for Equivest; was responsible for all aspects of the company's accounting, finance, human resources, and legal departments; and monitored other related vacation ownership entities, including a dozen Homeowners' Associations.
Before joining Peppertree in 1996, Mr. Patrick was a partner in Painter, Patrick and Russell, P.A., a Certified Public Accounting firm that served as Peppertree's outside auditor. For 19 years, he was responsible for all audits and reviews that included Peppertree Resorts and its many affiliates.
Mr. Patrick is a Trustee with the American Resort Development Association (ARDA) as well as a member of their board of directors. He also serves on the Asheville Art Museum Board of Trustees and the Western North Carolina Nature Center Board of Directors. He is a former member of the North Carolina Association of Certified Public Accounts and the American Institute of Certified Public Accounts. Mr. Patrick also served previously as director for the Asheville Chamber of Commerce.
He is a graduate of East Carolina University.
Scott Sonnone began his relationship with Festiva in 2008 as a member of Zealandia Holding Company, Inc.'s board of directors, Festiva's parent company. As President, Mr. Sonnone is charged providing strategic leadership for the company by working with other management to establish long-range goals, strategies, plans and policies.
In 2004, Mr. Sonnone founded Sweetwater Capital, LLC; a regional investment banking and private equity firm based in Asheville, NC. Prior to the formation of Sweetwater, Mr. Sonnone headed the Mergers & Acquisition practice of Carolina Financial Group, an investment-banking boutique serving middle market companies throughout the Southeast. Most recently, Mr. Sonnone served as CEO of Cane Creek Cycling, a manufacturer of cycling components based in Fletcher, NC.
Mr. Sonnone also served previously as Vice President of Corporate Development for TestAmerica Incorporated, an environmental laboratory company; a professional at Sagaponack Partners, a private equity fund that provides growth capital to established small and medium sized companies; and has also held corporate finance and mergers & acquisition positions at Montgomery Securities, Wasserstein Perella & Co. and Chemical Bank.
Mr. Sonnone holds a B.A. in Economics from Trinity College.
As Chief Operating Officer, Ms. Claussen is tasked with providing the leadership, management and vision necessary to ensure the company has the proper operational controls, administrative and reporting procedures, and the people and systems in place to effectively grow the organization in a way that maximizes financial strength and operating efficiency.
Ms. Claussen received her undergraduate degree in Political Science from Appalachian State University. She then went on to receive her Juris Doctor, Business Distinction, from Campbell University School of Law and her Master of Business Administration from Appalachian State University. Claussen's primary practice areas include business, commercial and employment litigation, mergers and acquisitions, regulatory compliance and general corporate transactional work.
Ms. Claussen is a member of the North Carolina Association of Women Attorney's Western Chapter, a Mountain Area Volunteer Lawyer with Pisgah Legal Services and a member of the Mountain Area Workforce Development Board Youth Council. She is a member of the North Carolina State Bar and the Missouri State Bar.
As Chief Financial Officer, Mrs. Laster is responsible for directing the overall financial plans and accounting practices of Festiva Hospitality Group, Inc. as well as overseeing financial and accounting system controls and standards. Mrs. Laster has successfully developed and implemented procedures to insure accurate and timely financial reporting, established all accounting department goals, and oversee the accounting department personnel.
Before joining Festiva in 2001, Mrs. Laster was Vice President/Controller for Peppertree Resorts. There she managed the department that handled finances and accounting for 15 resorts and payroll for more than 1,000 employees. She also managed accounting procedures for all of Peppertree's Homeowners' Associations and affiliated companies such as the Great Smokies Holiday Inn SunSpree Resort.
Mrs. Laster received an Associate's degree in Accounting from Asheville Buncombe Technical School.
Don McQuade began his career with Festiva in March of 2009 as a sales director in Portland, Maine where he grew up and attended the University of Maine and graduated from Northeastern University. Mr. McQuade was promoted to regional vice president of sales in December of 2009 to oversee the Maine and New Orleans markets and later, the Branson and Florida markets. Prior to joining Festiva, Mr. McQuade Spent 12 years in Sedona, Arizona working for a single developer in timeshare.
As Senior Vice President of Sales, Mr. McQuade has recruited and built a dynamic sales team, implemented new policy and procedure, and while he works closely with Festiva's executives and employees in the corporate headquarters, most of his time is spent in the field at our sales offices, directly overseeing the daily operations as well as overall performance of our sales team.
Mr. McQuade brings over 20 years of experience in the industry and will be based in Orlando, FL where Festiva’s corporate offices reside.