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MCLEAN, VA-Almost a year after J.E. Robert Cos. acquired Highland Hospitality for $2 billion, the company has named Roger Swadish as COO of the firm. Besides leading the day-to-day operations of the firm, Swadish has also been charged with executing JER’s business plans across the 29-property hotel portfolio.

Swadish has spent 25 years with Hilton Hotels Corp., where he most recently was as area VP based at La Quinta Resort & Club and PGA West. As acting managing director of the resort, he led a full-scale repositioning of the resort, which is part of Hilton’s Waldorf-Astoria Collection. He also oversaw the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa and two San Francisco Doubletree hotels while at La Quinta. Prior to that, Swadis oversaw fourteen hotels including the New York City and Boston area properties. He was also area VP of Operations for Doubletree Hotels.

“We are thrilled to have Roger Swadish join the Highland team,” Alex Gilbert, managing director and head of US Funds Investment Management for JER, says in a prepared statement. “Roger brings a wealth of hospitality operating experience to our organization which is in perfect alignment with JER’s asset management objectives.”

Highland was acquired by affiliates of JER in July 2007. According to the agreement originally outlined by the companies, JER assumed Highland’s approximately $260-million existing debt and acquired all of its outstanding common stock and operating partnership units for $19.50 per share. JER added hotel properties under the Crestline Hotels and Resorts, Marriott International, Hilton Hotels, Hyatt Hotels, Ritz-Carlton and McKibbon Hotel Management under Marriott, Hilton, Ritz-Carlton, Westin, Hyatt, Sheraton, Renaissance, Crowne Plaza, Courtyard, Hilton Garden Inn, Wyndham and Residence Inn flags.

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