Ken Cruse - Founding Partner & CEO

Ken Cruse is a Founding Partner & CEO of Alpha Wave Investors, LLC ("AWI)

Prior to forming AWI Mr. Cruse was Chief Executive Officer and a director of Sunstone Hotel Investors (“Sunstone"), a ~$5 billion total enterprise value publicly traded REIT (NYSE: SHO). Mr. Cruse joined Sunstone April 2005 as Senior Vice President—Asset Management, and was appointed Senior Vice President—Corporate Finance on September 1, 2006, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer on January 1, 2007, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer on February 18, 2010, President and Chief Financial Officer on December 17, 2010 and as President and Chief Executive Officer and a director on August 5, 2011.

For the eight years prior to joining Sunstone, Mr. Cruse worked in a variety of roles for Host Marriott Corporation, the predecessor of Host Hotels and Resorts, Inc., most recently as Vice President, Corporate Finance. 

Mr. Cruse is actively involved in various industry and professional organizations. He is a former member of the board of directors of Morgans Hotel Group (Nasdaq: MHGC). Additionally, Mr. Cruse is a member of GenNext and the Southern California Chapter of Young Presidents Organization. He is also a member of the Dean's Advisory Council for Colorado State University Warner College of Natural Resources. He previously served as a director of the American Hotel & Lodging Association ("AH&LA"), and has been a member of the Executive Committee, Strategic Planning Committee and CEO Council for AH&LA. Mr. Cruse is also a past member of the Real Estate Roundtable. 

Mr. Cruse is a member of the board of directors for Miracles for Kids, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit serving children with life-threatening illnesses and the families that care for them. Additionally, Mr. Cruse along with his family, is an avid donor and volunteer for various charitable organizations: Mr. Cruse holds a B.S. degree from Colorado State University and an M.B.A. degree with honors from Georgetown University. 

Mr. Cruse brings a deep knowledge of all aspects of real estate investment, asset management, finance and operations along with proven experience of generating superior investor returns as a CEO of a large, highly-successful public company.     

During Cruse’s tenure as CEO of Sunstone (August 2011 through Mid-January 2015), the company:  

  • reduced its leverage by more than any other lodging REIT, 
  • acquired over $1 billion of high quality hotels, 
  • sold over $300 million of legacy hotels, 
  • enhanced the competitive positioning of its portfolio through a comprehensive, well-timed renovation program, 
  • was consistently ranked among the Best Workplaces and the Fastest Growing Public Companies in Orange County, and 

Under Cruse’s leadership Sunstone’s shareholders realized a +200% cumulative return – meaningfully outperforming its lodging REIT peers - Host Hotels and Resorts, LaSalle Hotel Properties, and DiamondRock Hospitality Company.