Work has never just been about crunching numbers for Jeff Sheppherd, CoralTree’s Regional VP of Finance. Sure, he has a passion for meeting financial goals and moving the needle, but his penchant for training, team building, motivation and leadership have deeply defined his work and bring meaning to his day-to-day oversight and accomplishments. It’s that human connection that drew him to work in the hospitality field.
After a successful run working as an accountant, tax manager and controller, Sheppherd followed his love of travel and made a pivot. In his first hospitality role as CFO for Magnolia Hotels, he was instrumental in receiving an economic development grant to transform a 1926 historic landmark in downtown Houston into a thriving boutique hotel. In 2004, he joined Intrawest, then a developer of destination resorts, as Director of Accounting. He continued to advance in his career when he was named Vice President and Regional Controller for Destination Hotels & Resorts, a position he held for nearly five years. Sheppard owned and operated his own consulting business afterward and was called to Pyramid Hotel Group in 2015 as Regional Controller. Finally in May 2019, Sheppard joined CoralTree as Regional VP of Finance.
One of his career highlights involved securing financing for a $50M hotel renovation, which resulted in an enticing investment to the investor group. But it’s not just dollars and margins that define his success—one of Sheppard’s most satisfying career moments was when he was given the opportunity to spearhead a leadership program for CoralTree portfolio controllers and assistant controllers. He found it rewarding to mentor and build a strong team of leaders who will move up in the organization and take on more complicated roles.
For Sheppard, problem-solving for the hospitality world comes naturally, shaped by a lifelong love of travel. One of his most powerful memories comes from a family tradition of visiting the island of Maui over the holidays with all of his aunts, uncles and cousins in tow. On their first visit, a hurricane hit New Year’s Eve, and the family spent the evening as the rain pounded the roof playing games by candlelight.
To this day, he and his family visit Maui every other year, and travel remains a core part of his identity—lowering stress, increasing his overall health, and creating meaningful relationships and opportunities for adventure and allowing for quality time with family and friends.