2015 in Review: Major Career Moves

This year, we have followed the most notable hires, promotions, successions, and retirements in lodging. Here are several significant shakeups that took place over the last 12 months:

Kimberly K. Schaefer: After joining Great Wolf Resorts at its inception 18 years ago and working as chief executive officer since 2009, Schaefer stepped down in September to assume the role of chief brand officer. She will transition to the board of directors in early 2016. Ruben Rodriguez, former executive vice president of ship operations for Carnival Cruise Line, took the reins as CEO.

Eric Danziger: After stepping down as president and CEO of Wyndham Hotel Group in March 2014 to become president and CEO of Hampshire Hotels Management, the industry veteran made another big career move in August when he left to become CEO of Trump Hotel Collection.


Wayne Goldberg: After serving as president and CEO of La Quinta since 2006, Goldberg resigned from the company in September. Keith Cline, chief financial officer, immediately became interim president and chief executive officer. Cline served as La Quinta’s executive vice president and chief financial officer since January 2013, and helped lead the company through its initial public offering in April 2014.

Thomas Mangas: A little more than a year after being named executive vice president and chief financial officer of Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Thomas Mangas made another career jump within the company when he was appointed its new CEO this month. Adam Aron, interim CEO since February 2015, left the position to become CEO and president of AMC Entertainment Holdings.

Roeland Vos: Formerly a board member of Belmond, Vos was named the company’s president and CEO in September. He succeeded John Scott, who resigned from his position. Vos previously served as president of the Europe, Africa, and Middle East division of Starwood Hotels & Resorts from 2001 to 2013.

Trudy Rautio: Rautio, one of the industry’s most influential female leaders, retired from her position as president and CEO of Carlson after 18 years of service. Under her supervision, Carlson launched two new hotel brands—Radisson Red and Quorvus Collection—sold the TGI Fridays brand, and acquired 100 percent ownership of Carlson Wagonlit Travel. David Berg assumed the CEO role on May 1 after being promoted from his previous position as chief operating officer.

Carlos Flores: Having served as executive vice president of Sonesta International Hotels Corporation since 2012, Flores was appointed president and CEO in January. He succeeded Bill Sheehan in overseeing day-to-day operation of the company, directing the senior leadership team, and liaising with property owners. He has more than 20 years of experience in senior management.

Mike Brower: This seasoned executive was promoted to chief operating officer of G6 Hospitality after serving as the company’s executive vice president of operations since 2012. Brower formed and continues to serve as chairman for the Motel 6/Studio 6 Operations Committee.

Filip Boyen: After taking on the role of managing director of Hill, Goodridge, & Associates, the management company of Small Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH), Boyen assumed management of the SLH brand as its new CEO in October. Boyen most recently served as chief operating officer of Belmond. He carries a 30-year history in hospitality and hotel management.

Geraldo (Gerry) Lopez: Extended Stay America appointed Lopez its new president and CEO in August. The company’s previous president and CEO, Jim Donald, transitioned to the role of senior adviser. Prior to joining Extended Stay America, Lopez was president and CEO of AMC Entertainment Holdings, and held various senior and executive roles at Starbucks Corporation, Handleman Company, and PepsiCo.