Shangri-La Resort, Oklahoma’s premier waterfront golf and outdoor recreation destination, has announced the hiring of hospitality veteran Lance Funderburk in the newly created position of general manager.
“The addition of Lance Funderburk in this important leadership role represents a commitment to dramatically move our resort forward,” said Shangri-La Resort President & CEO Barry Willingham. “His 20-plus years of leadership experience in the hospitality industry provides our team with a seasoned veteran who has the skill set to step immediately into this vital spot to help us move our club forward as an even bigger tourism attraction for our region.”
Prior to joining the Shangri-La team, Funderburk served as Director of Operations at Grand Wailea, a Waldorf Astoria Resort on Grand Wailea Beach, Hawaii. In that position, he utilized his leadership and team-building skills to head all operations activities of the $1.2 billion resort, with oversight of approximately 1,500 employees.
A native of Macedonia, South Carolina, Funderburke served as a sergeant in the United States Marine Corps, prior to beginning his hospitality career at Kiawah Island Golf Resort in South Carolina. He has served in leadership roles at hotels and resorts in Maui, Honolulu, South Carolina, and Virginia Beach, expanding his skill set to encompass management and oversight of the full slate of hotel operations. His career has included key positions in a variety of hotels from privately owned facilities to major brands such as Wyndham, Starwood, Resort Trust, Diamond, and Hilton.
“Once I got here to meet with (Executive Chairman) Jason Sheffield and (President & CEO) Barry Willingham, it was the people who changed my mind. Riding from the Tulsa airport to Monkey Island with Barry, it was clear he and I share the same values and goals. Everyone was so friendly, so nice, so genuine. It’s a great culture. The Shangri-La team, the members, the guests and local residents – everyone seems to have everyone else’s best interest at heart,” Funderburk says. “With the marina, golf courses, the hotel, and The Anchor, there is so much to do and everything is so beautiful. I’m excited about the Shangri-La team and the tremendous opportunities ahead of us.”
Shangri-La’s visionary owner Gibbs has transformed the resort into the pride of Northeast Oklahoma and put the lakefront vacation oasis on the map nationally with an investment of more than $100 million into the property’s accommodations and upscale leisure amenities since taking it over in 2010. Crescent Hotels & Resorts recently added the Shangri-La Resort & Marina to the growing list of properties Crescent manages under the Latitudes: Lifestyles by Crescent collection.