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"It's not the impressive buildings we construct that make this company great. It's the heart of the people in this company that distinguish us as exceptional."
- Bruce Thompson | Chief Executive Officer
Gold Key | PHR has placed a great emphasis on attracting and retaining the best talent in our industry. Our Executive Leadership is composed of seasoned professionals who have learned our business from the ground up and worked for some of the world's most respected hospitality companies. The result is a cohesive team who consistently outperforms the market and exceeds our financial goals while delivering great service to thousands of guests.

Executive Leadership

Bruce Thompson Chief Executive Officer

Bruce Thompson

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Chief Executive Officer

Bruce Thompson has been a leader in the travel industry for more than 30 years. His first venture grew to become the largest ski operator on the East Coast. That company evolved into Professional Hospitality Resources (PHR), as Thompson expanded into hotels and restaurants. In 1986, he entered the vacation ownership industry, co-founding the highly successful Gold Key Resorts. Today, his companies generate annual revenues exceeding $140 million and employ over 2,400 associates. Thompson's companies own and manage hotels, resorts, commercial real estate and restaurants in Virginia and North Carolina. In 2011, he launched a large mixed use development at the Virginia Beach oceanfront.

Thompson has been an ardent supporter of the travel industry, serving as a director of the American Resort Development Association (ARDA) and on the board of many tourism and development organizations. Thompson served for seven years on the Governor's Travel Advisory Committee, American Resort Development Association Board, Resort Area Advisory Commission, Resort Leadership Council, Virginia Beach Festivals Committee and the Virginia Small Business Financial Authority. He was chairman of Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell's Transition Team for Film and Tourism and was appointed to the Governor's Economic Development and Jobs Creation Commission. In July 2010, Thompson was appointed by the Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS) Foundation Board of Trustees to serve on the EVMS Board of Visitors. In recognition of his accomplishments in the timeshare industry, Thompson was awarded "Best Industry Leader" in 2012 by Perspective Magazine, the leading trade publication for the timeshare and fractional ownership industry.

Thompson is a vocal proponent of community service. Since 2008, he has organized the largest Walk to Defeat ALS efforts in that organization's history, raising more than $5 million to support the ALS Society, patient care and medical research. In 2009, he designed and secured funding for the world's first fully accessible oceanfront park for the disabled, JT's Grommet Island Beach Park and Playground for EveryBODY, which opened on the Virginia Beach oceanfront in May 2010. Thompson received the 2009 ARDA Ace Philanthropic Award, the 2009 Outstanding Community Visionary Award from Amerigroup Foundation, the Virginia Center of Inclusive Committees Humanitarian Award and Gold Key Resorts (a company piloted by Bruce Thompson) received the 2010 ARDA Ace Community Service Award. After many years in support of the Virginia Beach Neptune Festival, Thompson was crowned King Neptune XXXVIII in 2010. He is a member of the Hampton Roads Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Foundation. In April of 2012, Thompson received the Lenora B. Matthews Lifetime Achievement Award from Volunteer Hampton Roads, recognizing his continued commitment to the community.

Robert Howard Chief Investment Officer

Robert Howard

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Chief Investment Officer

MISSION:  To evaluate and manage the company's various assets and their contributions to the financial performance and return on the Company's investments and to seek out and evaluate new growth opportunities that will enhance the company's return on investment across its portfolio.

EXPERIENCE:  Joined Gold Key|PHR in 1990 as Controller and subsequently promoted to Executive Vice President of Finance and Accounting in 1994, Chief Financial Officer in 2000, and Chief Investment Officer in 2010. For several years was with Ernst and Whinney in the corporate audit practice and with a regional accounting firm where he provided audit, tax and consulting services.

EDUCATION:  B.A. Accounting, Washington & Jefferson College.

PROFESSIONAL AND EXTRACURRICULAR:  Member of the Virginia and Tidewater Chapters of the Virginia Society of Certified Public Accountants. Recognized by Virginia Business among its "Super CPA" and "CFO of the Year." Served on the Fund Distribution Panel for United Way and the Tidewater Community College's Accounting Advisory Committee. Past member of the Executive Advisory Council to the Dean of Business and Public Administration, Old Dominion University, and past member of the boards of directors of a regional community bank and of Liberty Tax, Inc. (TAX).  Currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Virginia Lottery.

Brian Carson Chief Financial Officer

Brian Carson

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Chief Financial Officer

MISSION:  Provide Gold Key|PHR Hotels and Resorts management with the financial tools to measure performance, cash flow planning and budgets at an extraordinary level of detail.

EXPERIENCE:  Partner with Goodman & Company (now Dixon Hughes Goodman) for more than a decade, specializing in Corporate financial audits, financial reporting, income tax reporting and financial forecasting. Focused primarily on the timeshare, hospitality, hotel management commercial real estate and construction industries. Also worked in the firm's merger and acquisitions area.

EDUCATION:  B.S. Accounting, Virginia Tech.

PROFESSIONAL AND EXTRACURRICULAR:  A Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Charter Global Management Accountant (CGMA), Member of the Virginia Society of Certified Public Accountants, Leadership Hampton Roads, Tidewater Chapter of the Virginia Society of Certified Public Accountants and many other industry and trade associations. Currently serves as a Board Member of the Virginia State Board of Accountancy, the First Tee of Hampton Roads, and Virginia Beach Vision. Recognized by Virginia Business magazine among its Super CPA and CFO of the Year.