As a leading and vibrant global organisation, our success is due to the passion, talents, skills and expertise of our people.
Co-founder and Managing Director
As organisations continue to speak of innovation and efficiency as tired catch phrases, few can boast leadership in speed-to-market quite like Mike Ford. Born and raised in South Africa, the seasoned IT executive found himself calling Sydney home in 2001 after arriving there at the tail-end of a year-long backpacking adventure. He established the SiteMinder business just five years later, while digitising health claims as a delivery program manager at ICS Global, and concurrently serving as Founder and Director of Australian Leisure Operators which operated a backpacker hostel accommodation business in Sydney.
Since founding SiteMinder from his home, Mike has pushed the business to the forefront of the global hotel distribution technology. It’s not surprising that he continues to attract the industry’s top software developers to the company’s Sydney headquarters, with his innovative-yet-laid-back approach and championing of a corporate culture that has retained its roots despite its global growth.
Mike has a Bachelor’s Degree in Commerce (Hons), Business Management and Information Systems from Rhodes University and an MBA from the University of Southern Queensland. When he is not planning the next positive disruption in the travel industry, Mike can be found spending time with his baby son or unwinding at his local surf break on Sydney’s northern beaches – although, he is the first to admit he is no Kelly Slater.
Co-founder and Chief Technical Officer
Hailing from South Africa, Mike Rogers’ three key personal interests are motorcycles, 3D design and – yes, you named it – technology. Mike first began developing software in the mid-1990s, working on mainframe platforms at a time when ‘the cloud’ still only meant the fluffy things in the sky. He later went on to work in the UK, the US and Australia, in various industries including enterprise resource planning (ERP), finance, health, gaming and hospitality, serving in technical director and solutions architect roles for companies such as ADVANCED BusinessLink and ICS Global, where he stumbled upon SiteMinder’s other co-founder, Mike Ford.
From the very initial proof-of-concept, Mike has been responsible for the design and build of SiteMinder’s best-in-class technology and remains heavily entrenched in its continual development today.
Chief Financial Officer
John Burke joined SiteMinder from TCV where he held the role of Associate for three years, focusing primarily on software investments. During this time, John was actively involved with the company’s investments in Genesys, ExactTarget and Merkle.
Prior to TCV, John spent several years at Ernst & Young in the transaction advisory services and assurance groups. While at Ernst & Young, he worked on a variety of buy-side and sell-side transactions by private equity firms and strategic corporate buyers.
Today John is a driving force at SiteMinder, responsible for the business’ complete financial function and risk-related management. In early 2015, John led SiteMinder’s first ever acquisition, of Globekey. Working closely with the Board of Directors and the Senior Executive team, his analysis on performance and ability to establish sound targets is fundamental to SiteMinder’s strong strategy and foundation for growth.
John holds a B.S.C. in Accounting from Santa Clara University, where he graduated with high distinction.
Chief Operating Officer
Alex Stewart is a seasoned leader in the online and technology space. For more than a decade, Alex was associated with Ninemsn – Australia’s largest online consumer portal – where he served as Director and Chairman of the Board, as well as a number of executive roles, including Director of Sales, Director of Content and, most recently, Chief Operating Officer. During most of his time at Ninemsn, Alex also held senior management positions within Microsoft for 13 years, helping to build Microsoft’s online advertising sales business in the U.S., growing its MSN businesses across the Asia Pacific and reigniting its consumer product and marketing focus in Australia. Prior to that, he worked for a number of years in strategic consulting, specialising in healthcare, telecommunications and high tech, including for Bain & Company in the U.S.
Alex is a passionate leader with a strong drive for operational excellence. As COO, he is today responsible for leading SiteMinder’s Service Delivery, Infrastructure & Operations, People & Culture and Learning & Development teams.
Alex has a Bachelor’s Degree in Commerce and Law (Hons) from the University of Queensland, a post-graduate diploma in Applied Finance from the Securities Institute of Australia, and an MBA in Entrepreneurial Finance from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton Business School where he was named a Palmer Scholar. He is known to be an expert behind the barbecue and, when not playing X-Box with his two sons, is an active trail runner with a dream to one day write a novel.
Chief Product Officer
Ask any 14-year-old what they want to be when they grow up and their response is likely to be pie in the sky, yet Ken Aoyama was programming computers and running his own company. By the age of 22, he was the Chief Technical Officer of a second startup.
Over a distinguished career spanning more than 30 years, Ken has been the recipient of several awards and is credited an inventor on multiple US and Japanese patents, including Microsoft’s Mobile Easy Sign-in (2009). He joins SiteMinder from Tokyo Stock Exchange-listed Cybozu where he served as Head of Engineering and Chief Global Business Officer to enter the US, Chinese and Australian markets, double revenue and acquire more than 10,000 new customers for the business. Ken was also responsible for developing Cybozu’s first cloud-based aPaaS platform, Kintone, which today is recognised in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for aPaaS. Prior, he spent over a decade at Microsoft where he held the role of Program Manager for SharePoint, Office and Windows Mobile.
As CPO for SiteMinder, Ken leads and empowers the product and engineering team behind the disruptive brand to deliver its strategy, development and fast innovation of product; and enhance its SaaS offering. He has a Master’s degree in Computer Science from Keio University, serves as an official mentor for the Japan Australia Entrepreneurship Initiative and, in the little spare time he has, dabbles in triathlons, skin diving, architectural design and music production.
Chief Marketing Officer
David Jaros is no stranger to exploring new horizons, having moved from coast to coast in the USA, from Boston to San Francisco, San Diego, Philadelphia, New York City, Dallas and Austin.
David kicked off his career in the technology space over 20 years ago, as a computer programmer for large mainframe clients at Computer Sciences Corporation. There, he rose quickly through the ranks, adopting senior level positions and gained valuable experience in both the technology and marketing sectors.
Prior to joining SiteMinder, David spent more than five years at fin-tech startup Noesis Finance, where he acquired the role of Vice President of Marketing and was later promoted to Chief Marketing Officer.
Late 2016 saw David leave US soil to assume the role of Chief Marketing Officer at SiteMinder, based at the company’s head office in Sydney, where he leads the strategic, global direction and enforcement of the leading brand. Today, he is an integral asset to SiteMinder’s global marketing function and his impressive knowledge of the SaaS space plays a fundamental role in strengthening SiteMinder’s market position as the leading provider of cloud-based software to hotel.
David holds a BA in American History from the University of California, Berkeley, and an MBA in Finance from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. He is an avid Boston Red Sox and New England Patriots fan and extends his sporting wisdom to his son’s soccer team which he coaches in his spare time.
Executive Vice President Of Global Sales
As Executive Vice President of Global Sales, Kevin O’Rourke is responsible for driving the sales behind SiteMinder’s go-to-market strategy as well as its expansion into new markets around the world.
Kevin brings a strong track record of enhancing the sales functions of large, dynamic organisations with an over-15-year sales career that began at JDS Uniphase. Prior to joining SiteMinder in 2015, he was Senior Vice President of Global Sales with Lanyon, a leading provider of group and transient RFP management solutions for hotels, and, before that, spent 10 years at EMC Corporation where he held several sales executive roles before ultimately leading the organisation’s commercial database sales in North America.
Today, Kevin’s knowledge and passion about the travel industry is an asset to SiteMinder customers as they navigate through the increasingly complex challenge of marketing and selling rooms on the web, and the various revenue opportunities that brings.
Kevin holds a Bachelors of Science degree in Environmental Science and is a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point. Between 1994 and 2000, he was a field artillery officer with the US Army, serving in assignments in Europe and North America.
Executive Vice President, Global Enterprise Sales & Business Development
Born and raised in the balmy breezes of Miami Beach, David Chestler packed up his beach towel, donned his cowboy hat and boots, and made the move to Dallas, Texas, in part to help establish SiteMinder’s operations for the Americas. David’s passion for hotel technology has allowed him to forge a rich career with nearly 25 years in the industry. Prior to SiteMinder, he held senior positions at BirchStreet Systems, Pegasus Solutions, Utell International, RateGain and Visual Data Corp – to name a few – and most recently worked at Sceptre Hospitality Resources, a U.S. eCommerce firm.
Today David is strategically focused on SiteMinder’s partner development, global account development and new revenue opportunities. He is a member of the HEDNA Board of Directors, is active with HSMAI and Skål, and, in 2014, was announced one the first co-chairs of HTNG’s newly-established Software Resource Team.
David holds a B.S. in communication, marketing and sociology from Florida International University with family, golf, cooking, gardening and travel high on his list of favourite things in the world.
Managing Director, EMEA
Dai Williams has seen the company grow from 10 employees to more than 400 globally. Previously responsible for increasing global sales and creating valuable long-term partnerships, he has been instrumental in expanding the SiteMinder brand over the years.
Establishing SiteMinder’s regional London office in 2010, Dai is today responsible for leading the expansion of the company’s EMEA region. Challenged with managing one of SiteMinder’s largest operations, he has been influential in defining both the short and long-term strategic goals for EMEA – working across the business with cross-functional teams, and successfully identifying both key business conditions as well as individual market requirements.
Dai’s passion and knowledge of the travel technology industry has inspired him to continually challenge the norm, constantly seeking to make SiteMinder the exception when it comes to online distribution.
Managing Director, the Americas
From his humble beginnings as a banquet waiter with SPHC, Parkroyal on St Kilda Road to then becoming restaurant manager, a concierge and working in reservations and front desk, Fig Cakar has risen through the ranks with an intimate understanding of a hotelier’s true challenges and needs.
Fig first began his sales career as a sales administrator in 1999 at Legends Hotel on Australia’s Gold Coast where he worked for nine months before landing the position of International Sales Manager for Concord Hotel GC. His passion for business development led to his appointment as the Director of Sales for Turtle Beach Resort just two years later. A move to London in 2003 provided him his first real insight into hotel distribution, as he took on the position of Contracts Manager for GTA’s Turkey and Caribbean markets. Fig established key markets for the company – including Barbados, Jamaica, Bahamas, St Lucia and Antigua – before then setting up an Australian office for Destinations of the World as General Manager Australia. During difficult economic times, Fig went on to brief stints as Director of Global Distribution at Roamfree.com and Director of Sales & Distribution at Rydges Hotels and Resorts prior to spending five years with Agoda, where he served as Senior Market Manager and then Regional Director, setting up the company’s Sydney followed by New York office in 2012.
Today Fig is responsible for developing, managing and optimising the day-to-day operations of SiteMinder’s Americas headquarters in Dallas while ensuring the ongoing, successful adoption of the company’s technology solutions across the Americas. Fig has a Diploma in Hospitality Management from the Australian College of Travel and Hospitality and loves spending time with his kids and family, “just watching them grow”. He’s keen on surfing, golf and hanging out with mates, too.
Managing Director, Asia
Glenn has thrived in the digital industry for 15 years with cross-functional experience in travel, search, display and online distribution solution management. His extensive knowledge and professional background has seen him hold executive positions with international blue chip companies such as iSentia, Doubleclick and Yahoo!7 in Australia, before joining SiteMinder in early 2012 as the Sales and Marketing Director for APAC.
With significant experience introducing start-up business models into new markets, Glenn was subsequently tasked with the exciting opportunity to further expand SiteMinder’s global footprint. Relocating to Thailand, Glenn launched the regional office in Bangkok and since his appointment has been integral in bringing onboard over 2,500 hotels in South-East Asia.
Glenn’s success managing more than 34 staff is a direct result of his passion for providing quality leadership. His ability to mentor and support employees through best practice business principles has helped him to create high-performing teams, execute growth strategies and profit objectives. Glenn’s ethical business practices have cemented his position both within the company and in the view of his clients.
In his downtime, he enjoys playing tennis, golf, surfing, listening to music and – most recently – learning new languages! He is also an avid bonsai grower, having amassed a collection over the past 35 years.