Andrew Cajka has over thirty years of experience in the Hospitality Industry. He has experience in development, general management, and corporate headquarters positions. In 1998, Andrew established Southern Hospitality Group in Greenville South Carolina. He has developed and managed franchised hotels with Hilton, Marriott, Holiday Inn, USFS, Cendant Corporation and now Hyatt Hotels.Previous to SHG, Andrew spent fourteen years with the Hyatt Hotels Corporation. As General Manager of the Hyatt Regency Greenville he was recognized and nominated as Hyatt 1996 General Manager of the year.
Prior to Greenville, he was the Corporate Director of Rooms Operation in Hyatt’s headquarters in Chicago, Illinois. As Corporate Director of Rooms, he was responsible for guiding quality assurance, financial management, career succession, product development and hotel openings. He successfully led the opening of fourteen Hyatt Hotels & Resorts by coordinating with the ownership, general contractor and Hyatt’s opening team. Grand Hyatt Wailea, Hyatt Regency Kauai, Hyatt Regency Aruba, Hyatt Hill Country, Hyatt Regency Orlando Airport and Hyatt Boston Harborside are examples during his tenure. He was also appointed to serve on an executive task force with Hyatt’s owners and executive committee, facilitated by the Boston Consulting Group. This strategic plan set the course for the company’s vision. He was later selected to lead one of the Hyatt’s corporate initiatives, “Best Practices,” to improve hotel revenues and profitability, while not negatively affecting guest and employee services.
In other experiences with Hyatt, Andrew worked as Hyatt Executive Assistant Manager in New Orleans, 1300 room Property, Nashville 500 rooms, and Greenville 330 rooms. Before joining Hyatt, he was the General Manager of the Ramada Hotel in Baltimore, Maryland. During his tenure as Food & Beverage Director and later General Manager, recognition was received from the Ramada Corporation as Best Restaurant, Best Beverage Outlet and Hotel of the Year in the Ramada chain for 1984.
Civic involvement is an integral part of Andrew’s commitment to his community. He is Treasurer and Past Chairman of the Convention & Visitors Bureau, past Chairman of the Greenville Hospital Foundation, Past Chairman Children’s Hospital Development Council, Past Chairman Accommodation Tax Board and Past President Downtown Council of the Greenville Chamber of Commerce, Thornblade Board of Governors, Metropolitan Arts Council, Board of Trustees St. Joseph High School, Secretary and Treasurer of the Greenville County Research & Technological Development Corporation and Chairman of the Audit/Risk Management and Compliance Committee for Greenville First National Bank.
Andrew is originally from Bay Village, Ohio and a graduate from Bowling Green State University. Andrew and his wife Donna have three children: Drew 26, Austin 23, and Aly 21.
John Cajka has over twenty-five years of experience in the Hospitality Industry. His primary role has been focused on the hotel operations for the Southern Hospitality Group. His vast experience in the hospitality industry ranges from general management, sales, marketing, food and beverage. John is responsible for overseeing the operations and sales and marketing of opened hotels.
Prior to joining the Southern Hospitality Group he held positions with Winegardner and Hammons Management Company. He was the General Manager of the Homewood Suites Columbus, Ohio. He was also the Assistant General Manager at the Holiday Inn Worthington.
John was employed by the Hyatt Hotels Corporation for nine years. His tenure with Hyatt began at the 634 room Hyatt Regency Columbus and later promoted to the 1200 room Hyatt Regency O’Hare. He held positions as executive housekeeper and front office manager. While residing in Chicago, John was elevated to the room’s division manager at the 311 room Hyatt Lisle. He was later recruited to oversee a new Hyatt restaurant concept consisting of several independent eateries.
The entry into the hotel industry was due to previous restaurant positions, which began at age thirteen. Initial experience was gained from positions as a dishwasher, cook, and waiter in a fine dining restaurant.
He has been actively involved in civic duty by serving as the vice president of the Simpsonville Chamber of Commerce. He also has served on the accommodation tax board for both the city and the county of Greenville.
John’s commitment to customer service is evident through his teaching of classes on customer service and housekeeping at Columbus State Community College. He has been a guest lecturer regarding the industry for community organizations and other educational venues.
He graduated from Bowling Green State University with a degree in Business Administration in 1988. John and his wife Amy have been married for fifteen years and have two children, John Jr. 22 and Jane 16 years old.