Lawrence C. Gates is President of the company. Mr. Gates leads all aspects of the businesswith particular focus on new development, acquisitions, construction oversight and financing. He is also an attorney practicing law in Johnson County, Kansas (suburban Kansas City) for 39 years. He founded the law firm of Gates, Shields & Ferguson, P.A. in 1980. Mr. Gates has been active in real estate development for over 35 years, including development and/or ownership of residential subdivisions, apartment units, office buildings, hotels and group homes for developmentally disabled adults. He is a member of the Residence Inn Association and has served on its Construction Committee. He served on the Board of Directors of Mercantile Bank of Kansas City and of Firstar Bank of Kansas and is presently Chairman of the Advisory Board of US Bank of Kansas City and sits on the Kansas City Area Market Board for the Bank. He has served on other bank boards in the past. He is also a member of the Board of Directors, Vice Chairman and on the Executive Committee of Community Living Opportunities, a not-for-profit agency involved in providing living and working opportunities for developmentally disabled adults. He is Chairman of the Bishop Miege High School Foundation.
Richard J. David is Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for the company. He is responsible for the overall operation of the management company, in particular the operations of each Rockgate hotel. Mr David began his career very early as a bus-boy, dishwasher, waiter and manager of his father's fine dining restaurant in Ithaca, New York. He is a 1980 graduate of Syracuse University with over 32 years of hospitality management experience, including full-service hotels and restaurants. Mr. David joined Rockgate Management Company in 1996 as the General Manager of the Residence Inn in Albany, New York. His past experience includes regional management responsibilities and, most recently, Director of Operations for Intel Hospitality Management Company based in Syracuse, New York. Mr. David has earned his professional designation of C.H.A. (Certified Hotel Administrator) and is proficient in all phases of hotel management, including food and beverage sales and marketing. He has overseen major hotel renovations and new hotel construction as well.
Catherine "Gayle" Gerhold is the Chief Financial Officer and Controller for Rockgate Management Company. She joined the company in 2001 and after serving as an Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for a small manufacturing firm and Senior Accounting Analyst for a telecommunications firm. Her prior experience includes being an Accounting Supervisor and Staff Accountant for a packaging company and a financial firm. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration from the University of Missouri-Kansas City and has been actively involved in corporate accounting for over 32 years.
Joseph L. Gates is Vice President for Development and Operations with over 15 years of operations experience. Mr. Gates began his career working the front desk of a Fairfield Suites (now SpringHill Suites) in Overland Park, Kansas. He attended Cornell University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Administration. While in college, he worked a three-year summer intern for Marriott International. Upon graduation in 2004, he took a management position with Marriott in St. Louis at the newly opened Renaissance Grand, a 918-room luxury hotel and conference center. After 11 months, he was promoted to the position of Guest Services Manager of the hotel. Upon joining Rockgate in 2006, Mr. Gates opened and managed the La Quinta Inn and Suites in Overland Park, Kansas. In 2010, he also became General Manager of the Holiday Inn Express in Kansas City, Missouri, and is currently in a dual management role for the Company. He is part of the Rockgate Development Team working on new projects and works with Mr. David on overall operational issues and innovations.
William “Bill” Essmann is Director of Food and Beverage for the Company. He joined Rockgate in 1999. He received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Food Service and Lodging Management from the University of Missouri at Columbia after attending Colgate University in Hamilton, New York. He has been involved in the hospitality business with particular emphasis on food and beverage since 1981 having served as an Assistant Manager for various outlets of Westin Hotels, a General Manager and a Multi-Unit Manager for a restaurant chain and, most recently, as General Manager of the highly regarded EBT Restaurant in Kansas City, Missouri. In addition to his company role, Mr. Essmann has the responsibility for overall supervision of the Courtyard by Marriott and the Adams Pointe Conference Center at Blue Springs, Missouri.
Julie Hammer has served as Executive Assistant to Mr. Gates for 12 years. She is responsible for coordination of new development analysis and data for financing, construction and capital formation. She also provides assistance to the Accounting Office as well as overall office management. She received her Bachelor of Arts Degree from Queens College, City University of New York, in 1976.
Marriott Guest Service and Related Awards Achieved by Rockgate Management
Courtyard by Marriott Kansas City/Blue Springs
Springhill Suites Albany, NY
Residence Inn by Marriott Buffalo, NY
Residence Inn by Marriott Albany, NY