Dave Berkus is a well known and respected leader, mentor and trusted authority within the hospitality industry. He has a proven track record in operations, product development and marketing of complex technologies, creating lasting change within the lodging industry. He has consulted to senior management of hospitality groups around the world in matters of strategic technology planning and implementation, and to boards and CEO's of hospitality technology companies addressing strategic planning and merger and acquisition issues as well.
As an entrepreneur, he formed, managed and sold successful technology businesses. As a mentor, Mr. Berkus was recently named "Director of the Year" by the Forum for Corporate Directors for his board and CEO coaching efforts with more than 50 companies over the past decade.
Mr. Berkus was the founder of Computerized Lodging Systems Inc. (CLS), which he guided as CEO for over a decade that included two consecutive years on the Inc.500 list of America's fastest growing companies. For his accomplishments in advancing technology in the hospitality industry, he was inducted into the Hospitality (HFTP) "International Technology Hall of Fame", one of only thirty people so honored worldwide over the years.
His "Hotel CompuSystem" front and back office system was one of the very first PMS systems, created in the mid 70's. Mr. Berkus was the first and most vocal advocate for adoption of open systems standards in the hotel industry. Through his relentless leadership, CLS became the first company to shrink a full PMS system to the then-new IBM-PC. Mr. Berkus is also considered the "father of UNIX" in hospitality - creator and evangelist for the first true open systems environment in the industry.
Growing CLS to become the largest supplier of computer automation to the lodging industry, by the time of his sale of CLS to MAI Systems in 1990, the firm had twice been named to the Inc. 500 list of fastest growing American companies, with six foreign subsidiaries with twenty-six foreign distributors worldwide.
Mr. Berkus personally created and developed such industry innovations as:
After his sale of CLS to MAI in 1990, Mr. Berkus continued to run CLS as its President until 1993. In September 1993, he co-founded Hotelware Corporation, dedicating the Company to innovative new products within the wireless segment of hospitality technology, and was the first to develop and deploy wireless check-in systems and wireless cellular guest links between hotel switch and cellular phones.
As consultant to AremiSoft Corporation, Mr. Berkus introduced the company into the United States. Later as consultant to Sulcus Hospitality Technologies and to Rio Systems, Inc., Berkus helped engineer the acquisition of Sulcus by Eltrax and Eltrax by AremiSoft, then the acquisition of Rio Systems by AremiSoft (becoming SoftBrands, since acquired by Infor Systems). In the back office systems world, Mr. Berkus consulted to and negotiated the sale of Unisolve to Great Plains Software (now Microsoft). He has also consulted with a number of the industry's technology firms regarding marketing, strategic planning for growth, technology renewal and market expansion.
A graduate of Occidental College, Mr. Berkus currently serves as a Trustee of the College. Mr. Berkus is author of "Extending the Runway" and "BERKONOMICS", books addressing best practices in the use of limited resources in growing the technology-based enterprise and managing complex projects. Mr. Berkus serves on ten technology company boards, six as chairman, and is Chairman of the Advisory Board of ABL/TECHNOLOGY, a networking organization of CEO's in high tech businesses.