Fred Cerrone serves as Chairman and CEO of Hotel Equities with a portfolio of 95 properties nationwide. His four-decade career started as a desk clerk at Boston’s largest hotel and included work as an award-winning GM, an astute management company executive and a successful hotel owner. After many years in key positions with top hotels, he launched Hotel Equities in 1989 and Marriott tapped him as one of their first franchise partners.
In 2012, he co-founded Hotel Development Partners (HDP), an Atlanta-based joint venture between Hotel Equities, IRE Capital and McCarthy Investments to acquire and develop premier-branded hotels. He serves as COO of HDP which has ten properties under management in Atlanta and Charleston and three properties under development in Miami Beach and Atlanta.
Marriott International named Hotel Equities the sole recipient of its prestigious “Spirit to Serve Award for Community Service” in 2012. The award recognized the company’s values as expressed through employee volunteerism plus in-kind and cash donations. Hotel Equities is also a two-time winner of the Marriott Partnership Circle Award.
Chairman of Marriott’s Fairfield Inn Franchise Advisory Board, Fred holds an MBA from Georgia State University and an undergraduate degree in Hotel and restaurant Management from Miami Dade College.
Celebrity Chef, Restauranteur
Ford Fry is a celebrity chef and award winning restaurateur based in Atlanta, Georgia. Fry's portfolio of restaurants includes JCT. Kitchen & Bar, no. 246, The Optimist, King + Duke, St. Cecilia, The El Felix, Superica, Marcel, State of Grace, and BeetleCat. Fry was raised in Texas and studied at the New England Culinary Institute in Vermont. He then worked as a chef in fine dining restaurants in Florida, Colorado, California, and Georgia before opening his first restaurant, the JCT. Kitchen & Bar in 2007. Several of Fry's restaurants have received a variety of accolades. In October 2015, CBS This Morning described Fry as "one of the most prolific chefs and restaurateurs" in the United States.
Fry’s goal is to continue creating restaurants that are relevant, timeless and inspired, in spaces that are unique and soulful. He wants to run restaurants that are measured by customer satisfaction and growth, not just by sales. And he strives to teach his employees how to take the next steps in their careers by cultivating their talents and watching them come into their own. "I love finding talent in the region, and putting these people in an environment where they can learn and grow," says Fry of his management philosophy.
Fry is known for creating dishes that are approachable and uncomplicated yet entirely new to his guests. He also sources local ingredients not only because they taste better but because it allows him to partner closely with suppliers and honor local harvests. Fry is also the founder of The JCT. Kitchen & Bar Attack of the Killer Tomato Festival which benefits Georgia Organics. This annual event presents an opportunity for chefs and attendees alike to meet producers and develop longstanding relationships to further support the local food movement. Fry also serves as a founding chef of the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival, which debuted in May 2011.
Fry currently resides in Roswell, Georgia, with his wife and two sons. In his spare time, he enjoys playing guitar and spending time with his family.
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