On the Move: This Week’s Comings and Goings

The American Hotel & Lodging Educational Foundation (AHLEF) welcomes Kara Johnson Filer as director of donor relations and development. Filer has more than a decade of extensive nonprofit experience to the Foundation in her new role overseeing the expansion of AHLEF’s donor and member relations activities. 

Here’s a look at other notable comings and goings that took place this week.

Michael Capizzi will oversee the operation management teams and relationships with owners as vice president of hotel accounting for HP Hotels. Capizzi will also support the company’s internal controls and processes at corporate levels. Capizzi’s 20-year hospitality career includes serving as a hotel property accountant for IHG.

AJ Capital Partners (AJ) welcomes Phillip Allen as chief development officer and Pedro Zevallos as senior vice president for university partnerships. Allen served in the same position for 21c Museum Hotels, where he grew brand and real estate operations before selling to Accor Hotels. And Zevallos was most recently vice president of U3 Advisors, a real estate advising firm.


The dual-branded Courtyard by Marriott/Residence Inn Syracuse Downtown at Armory Square, a New Castle Hotels & Resorts property, welcomes Julie Martin Barfield as general manager. Barfield recently served as director of operations for the Sheraton University Hotel and Conference Center, as well as director of finance.

Lance Marrin is now responsible for activities, guest satisfaction, and hotel functions as general manager of the Hyatt Regency Bellevue. Marrin has worked with Hyatt for the majority of his 30-year hospitality career.

Peter Wright will lead operations as general manager of Union Station Hotel Nashville, a Marriott Autograph Collection hotel. Wright previously served as general manager of Hotel ICON, also part of the Autograph Collection, in Houston, Tex. Wright also has experience with The Leading Hotels of the World.

As director of sales and marketing Caribbean resorts, Brad Cirino will oversee all relevant operations for the Hyatt Centric Key West Resort & Spa and the Hyatt Regency Aruba Resort, Spa & Casino. Cirino will create strategies to grow occupancy rates, group revenues, and average daily rates.

Mike (MJ) Jackson will implement strategies to increase average daily rate and grow group sales and destination services teams as senior director, group sales at Discover The Palm Beaches in West Palm Beach, Fla. Jackson recently served as national sales manager with Destination DC from 2005 to 2017.

Cassandra (Casey) MacVeagh will serve as director of rooms for The Abbey Resort and Avani Spa, a Benchmark Resorts & Hotels in Lake Geneva, Wis. MacVeagh has over 20 years of hospitality experience, previously working as general manager for the Wingate by Wyndham Appleton, Wis.

With over a decade of hospitality experience, Michael Chin will manage daily hotel operations and lead front-of-house employees to continue efficient services as hotel manager of The Drake, a Hilton Hotel. Chin has a wealth of Hilton experience, working as senior manager for hotel openings and brand support for lifestyle and luxury brands.

David Messersmith has joined JMJ Development, one of the largest builders of luxury real estate properties in the U.S., as director of hospitality, where he will lead the firm’s entire hospitality development platform. Before JMJ, Messersmith oversaw the hospitality portfolio for Gatehouse Capital, and prior to that was a vice president at a luxury hospitality design firm.

Victor Parra will oversee sales, operations, and custom offerings as operations manager of Artaic, a mosaic manufacturer. Parra’s responsibilities include ensuring high product quality and safe factory operations, as well as continue sales efficiency and delivery. Parra has 15 years of experience in the industry, previously working with Marble of the World.

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