Christina River Exchange is named after the Christina River in Wilmington, DE and celebrates the areas historical robust trading routes dating back to 1638.
Meet Our Team
Our procurement team has over 10 years of interior design and global hospitality procurement experience - AND we have over 20 plus years of experience in development and construction management. This combined expertise allows us to take a more comprehensive, integrated approach and gives us the ability to solve the most complex FF&E challenges. You can have the peace of mind that your FF&E needs are being handled by a professional and knowledgeable team.
Co-Founder | Director
Michelle Schwandt is Co-Founder & Director of Christina River Exchange, responsible for leading and managing day-to-day project, operations and business development functions within the company. Michelle is focused on leveraging CRE’s expertise in all major hotel brands and relationships industry-wide to exceed Client’s expectations with respect to budget, quality and schedule. Prior to co-founding CRE, Michelle was a Senior Executive Vice President for MBNA America, holding leadership positions in Marketing/Business Development, Customer Service and Education. Earlier in her professional career, Michelle completed nine years of active duty in the U.S. Army, was an Army Aviation Officer, and served one tour of duty in the Gulf War. Her current affiliations include Board of Trustees for Christiana Care Health System, Serviam Girls Academy Board of Directors and Chair, Leadership Council for the Center for Heart and Vascular Health at Christiana Care.
Alma Mater: The United States Military Academy
What I enjoy most about my job: The opportunity to work with so many terrific people during a project – and then seeing it through to completion as a team.
My Favorite Project: The Renaissance Hotel, Philadelphia. An amazing project team and a stunning renovation completed – who could ask for more?
My Favorite Activity Outside of Work: Spending time with my husband and daughter fishing, boating and playing golf.
Brenda joined CRE as a Procurement Specialist in November 2017. Brenda received her A.S. in Design and B.S. in Business Management. Her combined experience in both design and business provides her a strong ability to effectively work with Clients through all aspects of the FF&E Cycle to achieve budget, design and schedule. Brenda also has an in-depth knowledge of floor plans and specifications which goes hand in hand with successful procurement management. Brenda’s projects include the Hotel DuPont Lobby and Meeting Room, Canopy Pike & Rose, Canopy Portland, Virgin Nashville, Homewood Suites Wilmington, and Doubletree Wilmington.
Alma Mater: West Chester University (B.S.) and Harcum College (A.S.)
What I enjoy most about my job is: Being able to interact with different people every day. It’s rewarding to develop such strong relationships with the people you work with - whether they’re a vendor, designer, or freight forwarder, we all share in the common goal of completing a successful project!
My favorite Project: The Hotel DuPont Lobby, Wilmington. Being able to see the transformation of this iconic hotel in downtown Wilmington was both exciting and fulfilling to witness.
My Favorite Activity Outside of Work: Anything that relates to Interior Design. I have a passion for helping my friends and family give their homes and workspaces the facelifts they deserve!
As a Procurement Specialist, David manages the procurement cycle for both new-build and property improvement projects in the commercial/multi-residential and hospitality sectors. His interest and pursuit of a M.S. in Operations and Project Management lends to his ability to successfully work with Clients throughout the F&FE procurement phase of a project. David’s projects include The National, Concord Plaza, Sheraton Raleigh, Sheraton DFW, Crowne Plaza, and Virgin New Orleans.
Alma Mater: Millersville University and Southern New Hampshire University (current)
What I enjoy most about my job: Seeing the end-result of a project. It’s a great feeling to see the product installed and knowing you were part of opening a property.
My Favorite Project: The National, Philadelphia. Being part of so many projects located across the country, I get to see how each project is influenced differently based on the surrounding areas and the design intent.
My Favorite Activity Outside of Work: Enjoying the outdoors - hiking trails through the woods and discovering overlooking views.
Zach joined CRE in 2019 and comes from a previous position working in Finance/Accounting and Client Account Management. Through his educational background in business administration and professional experience in accounting, Zach has seamlessly transitioned his skill set to CRE’s FF&E procurement team. Zach is also leading the integration efforts of our new procurement software platform. Zach is currently working on DE.CO Food Hall and assisting with Virgin Nashville and Doubletree Wilmington, among other projects.
Alma Mater: Penn State University
What I enjoy most about my job: I like that my job is multi-faceted, and I learn something new every day. It’s very rewarding to know my efforts are part of a larger project and are critical to the completion of a hotel. Also, CRE atmosphere is a great work environment!
My Favorite Project: DE.CO Food Hall
My Favorite Activity Outside of Work: Watching and playing sports! I also enjoy relaxing in my free time.
As CRE’s Accounting Specialist, Rodney overseas all aspects of CRE’s Accounting to include invoice processing, project funding requests, accounting reconciliation, company compliance and tax issues, and all accounting reporting functions. His tenured professional experience in both Purchasing and Customer Service gives him a unique ability to lead CRE’s accounting area with a vast knowledge of the procurement cycle and provide exceptional Client-oriented service. Rodney is also leading the implementation efforts of CRE’s newly integrated procurement and accounting software platform.
Professional Affiliations: AMA Purchasing Agent Certification
What I enjoy most about my job is: I enjoy working with my team and the bond that we have created.
My Favorite Project: Building the CRE Accounting area from the ground-up!
My Favorite Activity Outside of Work: Watching TV, from AGT-America’s Got Talent to Greys Anatomy