About Us


Russ works with hotel, restaurant and national association clients on strategic planning, transactions, franchising and operational manners, including mergers & acquisitions, joint ventures, corporate organization, management agreements, franchise, beverage licensing, intellectual property, sales, marketing construction, sustainable practices and procurement.  Russ has worked with national and international developers and hospitality companies on global transactions including mixed-use resort projects throughout the United States.

Russ has assisted the start up of small cap companies with strategic and business planning, corporate organization and compliance, employment, capitalization and joint venture partnerships.  In addition to hospitality law, Russ has experience in the areas of real estate, technology, employment, commercial litigation and bankruptcy.

Prior to co-founding Sandman Savrann, Russ was a partner at Graham & Dunn and served as a principal in the Hospitality Industry Group.  Russ’ substantial knowledge of the hotel industry is a result of his term as Vice President and Associate General Counsel and Assistant Secretary of Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, Inc from 2000-2005, where he represented several business groups, including development, sales and marketing, group business, intellectual property (worldwide), operations, food & beverage, architecture, design and construction, technology (Galaxy Hotel Systems and STARS) and procurement.

As Acting General Counsel, Director or Legal Affairs and Corporate Secretary at The Ground Round, Inc., from 1994-2000 Russ served within the executive management team of a national franchise company that owned, managed and franchised over 200 casual dining restaurants throughout the USA and Canada.  During Russ’ term, Ground round was a public company, was taken private, sold and refinanced.


Paul’s 20-year career in the hospitality industry has included a variety of senior level roles with both public and private hotel firms.  Most recently, Paul led a hotel management and development firm that he founded in 2009.  Including the ownership of a full-service, hotel and conference center, along with management over-site of a large independent convention center. Current clients include one of the most successful condominium hotel firms in the industry and a historic destination hotel that includes 1,600 acres of land and will begin a major renovation and brand repositioning in the Fall of 2014.

Paul’s roots are grounded in hotel operations; a career that began as a bellman and valet for a resort property during his college years to fund his education.  Operating and overseeing hotels for industry icon Kemmons Wilson, founder of Holiday Inn Worldwide, followed post graduation.

Growing hotel portfolios through acquisitions, franchising and/or securing management contracts have been Paul’s focus for the majority of his career.

As the head of Franchise Development of the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast Regions for US Franchise Systems and the Hawthorn Suites brand, Paul worked with hotel legend Mike Leven, now COO of the Las Vegas Sands Company, former CEO of Holiday Inn Worldwide and the former CEO of Days Inn Hotels, as well as a roster of some of today’s top franchise industry execs.  During Paul’s years with USFS, he was one of eight franchise development directors, which grew the Hawthorn Suites brand from 18 hotels to a record 225 franchised locations, in a short four-year span.

At the age of 29, Paul was the head of Development at Coakley and Williams, a Maryland based Hotel Management Company with a 30-plus year history of being recognized as one of the top hotel ownership and third-party operators in the industry.   In less than 3 years, Paul doubled the management portfolio for CW Hotels from 15 to 30 properties.

With experience in acquiring, owning and operating hotels in urban and suburban markets, as well as, franchising, asset management and executing management contracts, all over the last two decades, Paul brings a well-rounded approach to his business ventures with a proven ability to execute.


As President and Founder of WTS International, Mr. Henkin has over 30 years of experience in the planning, design and management of health clubs, spas and fitness facilities of all types. He has also coordinated and developed numerous needs assessment studies for prospective spa and/or health club properties. WTS International has grown during the past three decades to become one of the world’s largest and fastest-growing fitness and spa consulting and operating firms. At present, the firm has approximately 1,000 employees worldwide and provides its services to hotels, resorts, luxury residential properties, exclusive golf and country clubs, day spas and real estate developments throughout the United States and overseas.

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