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My father is a pretty spectacular gentleman if I ever met one. I may be biased, but his unique charisma, charm and ability to relate on a personal level to every employee of Casa de Campo, as well as to Presidents, Kings and Queens has nothing short of amazed and inspired me. Though again, I may be biased but I have a feeling I am not alone with this sentiment.
Knowing my father was ready to journey beyond Casa de Campo, the place he helped make such an iconic paradise, I’ve had some time to reflect before he embarks on his new ventures… After more than 33 years working tirelessly to make the Casa de Campo resort a world class destination, the success of the rest speaks for itself. As a true gentleman would, he is the first to share, or give away credit for these accomplishments. Watching him work tirelessly and passionately for the ongoing improvement of Casa de Campo and its villa owners, I feel as if I have received a master class in what real vision, leadership and persistence can achieve.
Celebrating the opening of the Casa de Campo International Port in 2000
So what has this gentleman done? Turns out quite a lot really, and I’m incredibly proud of him. So I thought I would share a little bio that helps frame the man I have looked up to for so many years:
Dr. Claudio Silvestri
Dr. Claudio Silvestri, Chairman and CEO of The Silvestri Group, is renowned for his success in strategic planning, investment promotion, asset management and destination development, with substantial experience in tourism, hospitality and real estate. Leveraging his visionary skills for identifying and acting upon emerging trends, and with his signature charm and persistent attitude at the forefront, Dr. Silvestri directs The Silvestri Group’s real estate holdings, investments, and property management, as well as business advisory services for the tourism, hospitality, energy, wellness and publishing industries.
Dr. Silvestri has held management positions in prestigious hotels including the Grand Hotel in Rome, The Savoy in London, George V in Paris and the Plaza and Americana Hotels in New York. He was Hyatt International’s Director for Mexico and managed the company’s commercial enterprise with Valores Industriales, S.A., through which he led the group’s growth, securing key acquisitions and management contracts that doubled the company’s portfolio of hotels in Mexico.
In 1982, Dr. Silvestri was handpicked as President & CEO for Gulf & Western Hotels by Charles Bluhdorn, the legendary businessman who created a multi-billion dollar conglomerate that included Paramount Pictures, Madison Square Garden, and Simon & Schuster. Mr. Bluhdorn tasked Dr. Silvestri with introducing luxury tourism to the Dominican Republic through the expansion and global positioning of Casa de Campo, the company’s 7,000 acre resort on the southeastern coast of the Dominican Republic. After the 1984 acquisition of Gulf & Western’s holdings in the Dominican Republic by sugar tycoons, Alfonso and Jose Pepe Fanjul and partners, the company became the Central Romana Corporation. Dr. Silvestri continued with the company as President & CEO of Premier Resorts & Hotels, with the mission to grow the company’s tourism holdings.
Always pushing his vision forward and facilitating team collaboration, Dr. Silvestri’s ability to manage complex negotiations with strategic stakeholders within the organization, external partners and government entities for over 30 years, has been instrumental in initiatives that have resulted in the creation of tourism business units such as an international airport, cruise port and cruise ship island concession. This powerful vertical alignment allowed for the increased utilization and positioning of other outstanding Central Romana Corporation’s assets, such as the concert amphitheatre, cultural centre, world-class sporting facilities and marina.
After his tenure with the company, Dr. Silvestri continues to harness his passion and expertise through The Silvestri Group’s projects and endeavors, involving his established relationships throughout the world. His accomplished career has brought him in contact with international government officials, top multinational corporate executives, as well as dignitaries, celebrities and members of royal families. The success of his tireless work on these and other initiatives has been recognized countless times by governments, prestigious universities and international tourism organizations.
Those are some extraordinarily big, immaculately kept, handcrafted Italian leather shoes to fill.
So what’s next? Well it might be a shocker to hear that my father has no plans of retiring (I’m not even certain he understands the concept). Quite the contrary, he will be joining me at The Silvestri Group as Chairman and partner, working out of our new corporate headquarters in Plano, Texas.
While I cannot find the words to express how proud I am of his accomplishments, I’m even more excited about this next chapter and how we will be able to work together to accomplish many more great things!