Bray Whaler Celebrates 30 Years of FF&E and OS&E Procurement
Bray Whaler Celebrates 30 years in business as one of the hotel industry’s leading FF&E procurement firms.
In honor of our 30th birthday in November, we’ve given our website a makeover. We hope you enjoy browsing through photos of some spectacular recent projects. More than ever, we are reminded that our success is sustained by long term relationships with clients, project managers, designers, architects and vendors. We can’t thank you enough for your trust and support.
Bray Whaler’s historical highlights:
We were born in Ronnie Bray’s basement in 1986 under the name Bray Associates.
Our first project was the Greenway Ramada Renaissance in Richardson, Texas (under construction on the left side of the photo below).
Joe DiPalma was our first client. He introduced us to Bob Korsmeier, who founded bkg Service Corporation. Bkg is a cherished client to this day and we have recently finished a renovation of Denver’s iconic Brown Palace Hotel, Marriott Autograph Collection with bkg, along with many boutique hotels and resorts.
Our second employee was Debbie Taylor, still with us today, and currently working on one of the first Pullman hotels in the U.S., Hotel Pullman Miami Airport (formerly The Sofitel).
From 1989 – 1992, in addition to growing our domestic portfolio, we were active in Japan, doing projects with Mitsubishi Estate, Meridian and the Nikko hotel group.
From 1992 – 1995 we became the internal procurement group for Richfield Hotel Management, which was one of the largest hotel management companies of the time, operating 150 hotels under 26 different brands.
Bray Whaler was reborn with its current name in 1996 as Elisa and Ronnie again flexed their entrepreneurial wings, leaving Richfield, but continuing to handle the group’s procurement needs.
Aspen Skiing Company became an important client in the late 90’s. We are honored to still be working with this fantastic team– most recently on the five-star, five-diamond Little Nell in Aspen and the new Limelight Hotel in Ketchum, Idaho among others.
Elisa Whaler became the sole owner of the company in July 1999, and Ronnie remained active as Executive Vice President. At that time, Bray Whaler had 14 full time employees. Today, we number 49 team members and counting.
In 2010, we opened an office in Dallas, Texas led by Principal and Executive Vice President Jennifer Fisk. This was in conjunction with the construction of the Omni Dallas, a 1,000 room convention center hotel with 110,000 square feet of event space and a Mokara Spa. This LEED Gold-rated facility is connected via sky bridge to the Dallas Convention Center. The Texas hospitality market continues to be strong and we are pleased to be working on many current projects with Omni Hotels & Resorts.
In 2015, Nicole Oren was promoted to Principal and Maggie Halmo to Director of Projects, making us perhaps the only purchasing company in the industry run by five women. (We are a fully certified WBE and have been since our inception).
Thirty years hence, our 2016 aspiration is to continue to exceed our clients’ expectations, to remain young at heart, and to lay the foundation for the next 30 years. (There are a lot of smart, young go-getters in our ranks!)
All of us at Bray Whaler wish you a healthy, happy and uplifting 2016!