Executive Team

At Strand Hospitality Services, we believe that the only thing as important as our principles are our principals - the leaders of a hospitality management team that is among the most respected in the industry. We know that our associates will only be as dedicated as their leaders, and our frequent presence at each property and easy-access by our employees will ensure that only the highest quality service is provided. Our theme, "Proven Excellence In Hospitality Management," begins with our executives. We invite you to learn a little about each of us below.

John Pharr


Phone: (843) 222-2740

"Our formula for your success is simple yet profound: we treat each property as our most important property, each client our most important client, each guest our most important guest. In the final analysis, our business depends entirely on your success."

For many in the industry, John Pharr and Strand Hospitality Services are synonymous. With the company from the start when he was general manager of the Holiday Inn Downtown on the oceanfront in Myrtle Beach, Pharr has been at the helm of Strand since 1984. Under John's leadership, Strand has earned a place among the leading hotel management companies in the southeast.

His skills as an administrator combined with his unparalleled knowledge of the hospitality business have made him an icon in the travel and tourism industry and it surprised no one when he was named Hotelier of the Year by the Myrtle Beach Hospitality Association, which represents hundreds of hotels and more than 75,000 rooms along the grand strand.

John earned his MBA from Webster University and his undergraduate degree from Michigan State University. John retired as a Colonel in the United States Air Force Reserve, where he worked with the Air Force on lodging and hospitality projects worldwide. He also served as an Air Force Academy Admissions Counselor. 

Pharr is a member of the Myrtle Beach Rotary Club. He serves on the board of National Golf Course Management, one of the largest golf course management companies in the United States. He currently serves on the board of Myrtle Beach National Companies and has done so for over 30 years. In addition to this he serves on the appointed board for the Michigan State University School of Hospitality Business and the advisory committee for the Real Estate Investment Management Program. He was formerly on the board of directors of the American Hotel and Lodging Association. He is a former member of the Wingate Inns Presidents Advisory Council.

John Pharr and Strand Hospitality have been involved in almost 60 receiverships or bank owned properties over the past 7 years. John is a licensed Real Estate Broker in both North and South Carolina. 

Jay Keller
Chief Operating Officer


Phone: (704) 726-1085

Jay is a 25+ year veteran of the hospitality industry, and has a vast range of experience that includes 8 years as V.P. of Operations and 15+ years of multi-property expertise. His responsibilities include the oversight and development of all the operating strategies, senior level management, owner relations and financial results of the properties managed by Strand Hospitality Services. In addition, he heads all national purchasing programs, development and capital improvement needs for the company. Jay has been a part of developing and opening 22 hotels and has directed over 100 million dollars in full-scope renovations.

Jay believes in the leadership philosophy of 3 P's: Passion, Purpose and People. To be a great leader, you need to know your "why". To give life to your ideas, you need the support and shared passion of your team. To inspire people, you need to spark movements, not just produce a well-designed product backed by a creative marketing campaign. Only then you will ignite and excite people in unimaginable ways. And that is what leads to a long-term success.

Prior to Jay's time with Strand, he held the position of Regional Manager for Brilyn Hotels and also served as a District Manager with Prime Hospitality. He started his career in Food and Beverage, earning his Certified Chef designation and heading several F&B operations with revenues in excess of $1.5 million annually. He has vast working knowledge as a hotel General Manager with experience in larger, full-service facilities and brand experience with most major companies such as Hilton, Marriott, IHG and Choice. Jay is C.H.A. certified and has an Associate degree from Sinclair in Business Administration as well as continued education through Ohio State University. 

Jay and his family reside in Charlotte, North Carolina. 

John Johnson
Chief Financial Officer


Phone: 843-222-2742

"At Strand Development, we pride ourselves on providing our owners with effective and accurate financial reporting on a timely basis - there is no room for error, no room for tardiness. We know that our continued relationship is contingent upon producing solid bottom line results and it is, therefore, our top priority."

As Director of Finance/Controller for Strand Development Company, LLC, John is responsible for all aspects of financial and administrative management at all Strand properties. These duties include daily cash and revenue management, implementation and review of property internal controls, preparation and review of monthly financial statements, analysis of general ledger accounts, preparation and review of key management reports, operating and capital budgeting, maintenance and review of all capital asset projects and records, and management of the Company's human resources.

John joined Strand's hospitality management team in 1998 after working a number of years in the public accounting field. While in public accounting, he provided tax and audit services primarily for entities in the real estate development and hospitality industries.

He earned his Bachelor's Degree in Accounting from the State University of New York College at Geneseo in 1992, and is a licensed CPA in South Carolina. John is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the South Carolina Association of Certified Public Accountants, the Grand Strand (Myrtle Beach Area) Chapter of Certified Public Accounts, and Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals.

John and his family reside in Myrtle Beach.

Andrew J. Pace
Senior Vice President


Phone: 404-787-2807

Andrew is responsible for the strategic growth initiatives of Strand Development Company, including third party management assignments, joint-venture development opportunities, and acquisitions. Most recently he has served as Vice President of Hotel Equities, a diversified hotel development and management firm in Atlanta, Georgia. With an Executive MBA from Mercer University in Atlanta, Andrew has extensive experience in hospitality management and  real estate development, having also served as President of Development & Acquisitions for Longhouse Hospitality, owner and operator of the Sun Suites, Crestwood Suites, and Jameson Inn Hotels. He also founded, developed and managed SuiteOne Hotels, a chain of seven extended stay hotels. Andrew serves on the Advisory Board of Georgia State University's Cecil B. Day School of Hospitality and also has served as a Governor-appointed  member of the Georgia State Board of Architects for 13 years.