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Home / About Us / Management Team

Executive Management


Patrick J. Smith
Founder, President & CEO

Patrick J. Smith is founder, President and CEO of BeautifulPlaces, Inc. Patrick is responsible for the company’s overall strategic vision, financial operations, and business and product development. With BeautifulPlaces, Smith has parlayed 25 years experience in marketing, brand building and Internet technology into a unique concept in luxury lodging for the epicurean lifestyle travel market.

Prior to founding BeautifulPlaces, Smith was CEO of Internet technology start-up Dream Logic, an innovative content delivery solution for companies distributing massive amounts of data around the Internet. Prior to that, he served as Executive Vice President of Bright & Associates, a Los Angeles-based brand and marketing consulting firm, and former subsidiary of Chiat/Day Advertising (now TBWA).

Smith’s ability to push the envelope when it comes to solving problems or exceeding expectations has been a hallmark of his career and has resulted in major successes for the companies and clients he has served, ranging from American Express to Intel, and Aviateca Airlines of Guatemala to the government of Taiwan.

As lead consultant on positioning and brand development for his consultancy’s assignment with Intel, Smith’s recommendations were instrumental in persuading Intel to adopt a strong, consumer-oriented branding strategy, leading to the birth of the “Intel Inside” campaign. He was responsible for conceiving, developing and presenting Bright & Associates’ successful $100 million worldwide branding strategy and marketing program for the economy of Taiwan.

Along the way, Smith has traveled the world extensively, lived in Europe and Asia, immersed himself in international cultures, and developed a keen appreciation for the travel and hospitality industries, and what he affectionately calls “the epicurean lifestyle.” Borrowing a phrase from his craft, Smith says, “BeautifulPlaces was created to provide the first ‘organizing principle’ for the food-and-wine-lifestyle traveler.

Smith graduated from Stanford University with a Bachelor’s degree in history. He earned his Master of Science degree in International economics and politics from The London School of Economics.


Liza Graves
Co-founder, COO & Head of Marketing

Liza is co-founder, COO and Head of Marketing for BeautifulPlaces. In addition to her management role, Graves is a member of the board of directors, where she is actively involved in strategic, marketing and human-resource planning for the company.

Liza brings a wealth of experience in travel and tourism to the company, based on 15 years of experience in a variety of marketing and sales management positions of increasing importance at American Express Company in New York and San Francisco from 1982 to 1997. She served as vice president and general manager for both the Eastern and Western regions of the Establishment Services Division.

In 1997, she joined Charles Schwab, Inc., where she held a number of executive positions, including senior vice president and head of talent management, chief of staff to the president and CEO of Charles Schwab, and senior vice president of marketing for Schwab's Services for Investment Managers Division, where she was in charge of all advertising, marketing and communications for the advisor business.

Graves has been involved in numerous business and tourism organizations in California and New York, and served on the board of directors and executive committee of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce. She previously served on the board of directors for the California Tourism Industry Association and on the executive committee of the board of directors of the Los Angeles Convention and Visitors Bureau.

In addition to her responsibilities at BeautifulPlaces, Graves serves on the advisory board of Prolitec, Inc, a leader in indoor air quality and ambient scenting.

Graves earned a BA in History from Bowdoin College and an MBA in Marketing from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.