Matt Armstrong is a seasoned hospitality and gaming executive with experience in the hotel, casino and retail industries. Armstrong’s expertise encompasses the disciplines of project development, construction management, property management, marketing, project financing and tenant leasing. As President of Experientia Development Partners, Armstrong is currently involved in a number of major re-development projects for tribal gaming entities along the eastern seaboard of the United States.
Armstrong also still retains responsibility with The Gordon Group as President, a development company led by Sheldon Gordon, one of the most successful retail developers in the United States. Together they just recently completed a very innovative retail development at Foxwoods Casino Resort in Mashantucket Connecticut and are currently working together on the country’s first waterfront luxury outlet mall in West Haven, CT. Matt has held this positon with the Gordon group from 2008 to 2017.
From 2005 thru 2008, Armstrong was Senior Vice President of Development with Morgans Hotel Group, formerly Ian Schrager Hotels. in early 2006 and was charged with leading the team on the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Las Vegas acquisition, integration and expansion. Armstrong led the development and construction of the property which included upgrading the demographic profile of to align with Morgan’s targeted consumer base and identified new partners to manage the live entertainment venue, restaurants, retail spaces, nightclub and casino. Armstrong also had primary responsibility for managing new property development, construction and renovations including retail and food & beverage operations at Morgan’s other 12 properties around the world including the Mondrian in Miami, New York and LA, Royalton in New York, Shore Club in Miami, Sanderson in London, Delano in Miami, Ames in Boston and The Hudson Hotel in New York.
From 2000 to 2005 Armstrong served as Senior Vice President, Development for Liberty Media. In this role Armstrong was responsible for the management and oversight of the construction of several network operation facilities in Singapore, Los Angeles, New York and London.
Armstrong earned an MBA from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University and a BA in business and economics from St. Lawrence University. Armstrong resides in Greenwich, CT with his wife and two children.
Jeff Hartmann is the co-founding member and serves as President of Experientia Development Partners, LLC (“EDP”), a private real estate company. In this capacity, he develops, implements and oversees EDP’s corporate strategy as well as all capital markets activities.
With more than two decades in CFO, COO and CEO capacities, Jeff Hartmann has played a crucial role in the creation and development of the hospitality industry. His career spans the landmark casinos of Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun in Connecticut, and Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs in Pennsylvania.
Clients have benefited from his breadth of experience and expertise, including understanding the risks and opportunities in real estate, real estate due diligence including financial modeling, understanding the use and selection of cap rates, development proforma analysis, development feasibility analysis, ground leases, working with REITS and Private Equity Funds.
Jeff has addressed wildly divergent opportunities along the way. From acquiring the WNBA Connecticut Sun franchise for the Mohegan Sun to leading the Mohegan Sun Executive team in developing the property master plan as well as developing a mixed-use entertainment zone at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino in North Carolina.
Jeff has worked closely with major Wall Street firms including Goldman Sachs, Citibank, Wells Fargo and Bank of America. As Chief Financial Officer of the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority, he played a pivotal role in securing $4-billion in public and private financing, including the only $1-billion syndicated bank credit facility for a Native American tribe.
Since co-founding Experientia Development Partners in 2013 with Matt Armstrong, Jeff Hartmann has served as President of the firm, which specializes in mixed-use real estate and hospitality projects. Today, Jeff and his associates at the Experientia are creating next-generation mixed -use that reflect the shifts in shopping and consumer spending habits.
It may come in the form of consulting for property owners, advising on real estate financing or mixed-use real estate profitability. That next challenge may turn on 30+ years of financial acumen, or the insights garnered from working with elite finance, hospitality, and real estate professionals.
Jeff began his career as a Certified Public Accountant with PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP, working from 1984 to 1991 in the Philadelphia and New York offices as a specialist in real estate and casinos.
He earned his Bachelor of Arts from Rutgers University and earned a Certificate in Real Estate Development from New York University Schack Institute of Real Estate. Jeff maintains Key Gaming licenses in New Jersey, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania.
He currently serves as the Chairman of the Board for Read to Grow, a literacy-based charity located in New Haven, Connecticut. Jeff also volunteers his time to serve on the Board of Directors for the Connecticut Sports Foundation Against Cancer and Fans 4 the Cure.
Nick Marona is a seasoned passionate real estate executive with over a decade of experience as a trusted Landlord advisor. He provides full service retail leasing services including planning, concept development, merchandising strategies and execution with a focus on unique retail, restaurant and entertainment destinations. In addition, he has partnered with a diverse group of retail and restaurant clients on the strategy and execution of their national expansion plans.
Most recently Nick spearheaded the curation of the Food, Beverage & Entertainment program on behalf of Forest City Enterprises at its $350 Million redevelopment of Ballston Quarter in Arlington, VA. The project includes over 100,000 square feet of F&B space including an 18,000 square foot market food hall, programmed with some of the best emerging concepts in the DC Metro.
In addition to Forest City, Mr. Marona has represented a vast array of landlords on the creation and execution of merchandising strategies for their properties, including QIC, Mohegan Sun Casino, HB Nitkin Group, Marx Realty, Urban Atlantic and others. Well versed in the major retail markets throughout the U.S., Mr. Marona has negotiated retail transactions for clients in Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Costa Mesa, Denver, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York City, Palo Alto, Paramus, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Santa Monica, Scottsdale and Washington, D.C., among others.
Prior to his real estate career, Marona was one of the first franchisees of Five Guys Burgers & Fries. He developed and operated a total of seven locations in Fairfield County, Connecticut. He successfully sold his territory back to corporate in 2012 and remains an investor in other emerging restaurant concepts nationally.
Cassandra has over six years of real estate finance and capital market expertise spanning a range of asset classes with a central focus on hospitality and retail development. She is well informed in the areas of real estate finance, commercial underwriting, collateral valuation, capital markets research and real estate development. Prior to her position with The Hartmann Group, Cassandra was employed at UC Funds as a Senior Financial Analyst. In this role she provided flexible capital solutions and leveraged equity to a real estate portfolio of $1B. Cassandra’s approach to real estate is also supported by her prior experiences in traditional financing as a former member of TD Bank Group’s CRE Division and her work in real estate development and acquisitions with Tishman Speyer of New York.
Cassandra is a graduate of The Sawyer School of Business at Suffolk University, where she obtained her Master’s in Business with a concentration in finance in 2016. Cassandra is also a graduate of Emmanuel College, where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in English and Political Science in 2012.
Amy has over 15 years of professional creative experience holding graphic designer and art director roles in two of Connecticut’s most prominent creative agencies as well as operating a successful freelance design business. Much of her design background is in the gaming, hospitality, resort and entertainment industry. Amy’s diverse portfolio includes everything from brand and identity design, marketing collateral, PR communications infographics and digital graphics to presentation and proposal development.
Living in this entrepreneurial golden age, Lucy finds it incredibly fulfilling to empower business owners, consultants, and creatives to ‘level up’ with a striking & effective website. Lucy graduated from NYU with a BFA in Film and TV and a minor in Business, so she comes to web building with an eye for framing while understanding how + why customers buy.
As a media maker + web designer, she works with high-vibe clients to create an experience that resonates and feels human… because we are human for cryin’ out loud!
Way too much of what we see from brands is stuffy and out-dated. But media can be medicine and design can be delightful, so why the heck not use their powers for good?
Lucy’s intention for her work—whether it’s a brand video, landing page, or simply an email to a client—is to uplift and shift.
Her production experience includes Nickelodeon in NYC, the BBC in London, Lead With Love and JAS Labor Day Experience in Aspen. And she can’t lie: it feels pretty cool that two short films she produced have won awards from both Tribeca Film Festival and the Student Academy Awards.