On the Move: This Week’s Comings and Goings

Extended Stay America has named its CFO, Jonathan Halkyard, as CEO, effective January 1. Halkyard is a seasoned corporate executive with extensive knowledge of Extended Stay America, having served as the company’s chief financial officer since January 2015 and, prior to that, as ESA’s chief operating officer since September 2013.

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

Amy Travieso will be AHLA’s new vice president of government affairs. Travieso comes to AHLA from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, where she currently serves as the lead Democratic liaison for the Chamber’s Technology Engagement Center (C-Tec). Before joining the Chamber, she spent 10 years in the House of Representatives. She will begin her new position on January 2.

Dream Hotel Group has appointed Ariel Freeman Sannet as vice president of development. In this role, Sanett will be responsible for developing Dream Hotel Group’s portfolio of brands—Dream Hotels, Time Hotels, The Chatwal, and Unscripted Hotels—leveraging her extensive relationships in the U.S. and abroad.


Waterford Hotel Group has announced the appointment of Michael Heaton as the company’s president. Heaton will succeed Waterford’s long-serving President, Robert Winchester, who recently announced plans to hand over the reins in preparation for his upcoming retirement.

The advisory board of The Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International’s Washington, D.C. chapter has welcomed Linda Caruso, director of sales and marketing for the Hyatt Centric Arlington in Arlington, V.A., and Suzanne Shogren, regional director of ownership group services for Cvent.

In a partnership with JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts, Nora Tobin has been named the brand’s Wellness Ambassador. The health and wellness expert will have a series of guided fitness videos, healthier eating programs, and visit the properties to share wellness tips for guests looking for a luxurious yet healthy stay.

 David Lemmond will manage daily operations, sales and marketing teams, and guest experience as general manager of The William Vale in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn, N.Y. Lemmond has worked in boutique and lifestyle hotels for 20 years, most recently working on Andre Balazs’ Standard Hotels.

Drew Salapka will lead the revenue generation team and create strategies to grow the Hotel Equities portfolio as senior vice president of revenue generation. Salapka has served as vice president of sales and revenue generation since 2014, working with the firm’s regional directors.

To strengthen the many employees working both full and part-time, Corinthia Hotels has appointed Rachel Begbie as the brand’s first director of learning, development, and wellbeing. Begbie will develop wellbeing programs and implement learning strategies to increase staff retention.

Dream Hotel Group’s newest lifestyle brand, Unscripted Hotels, welcomes Hans Luther as general manager for the first concept property, Unscripted Durham. Luther has 15 years of experience in hospitality and has launched two lifestyle hotels in Las Vegas and New York.

Nikol Smith will plan and generate a local and social event business and manage catering sales teams as director of catering sales for Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center. With more than 19 years in hospitality and hotel management, Smith most previously served as director of meetings and special events for The Ritz-Carlton St. Thomas.

Hotel Contessa, a Benchmark Resorts & Hotels property, welcomes Lorena Chappell as director of sales and marketing. Prior to her new position, Chappell recently served in the same position for the Sheraton Austin Georgetown Hotel & Conference Center and the W San Diego.

Wilson Associates is expanding the North American team in two different areas. In the Wilson Associate’s Dallas Studio, Veronica Sandoval will serve as project designer, Louie Sison will work as senior designer, Rachel Frazier has been hired as project designer, and Carrie Jones joins the team as project manager. In the Los Angelis Studio, Jezzica Lindkrantz joined the team as project manager in August, and Erni Taslim has served as associate design director since September.

Watergate Resorts is continuing to grow by promoting a new executive team: John Saft, who recently served as senior vice president, will new develop growth opportunities and oversee sales and marketing strategies as chief business officer; Tom Sparks will supervise daily activities at all Watergate properties as senior vice president of resort operations; Brian Waltrip will be responsible for brand standards and guest experience programs as vice president of resort operations; Mara Frazier will continue her role as executive director of the Watergate Resorts Foundation but will also serve as vice president of community & public affairs; and Bob Cahill will ensure safe environments and create safety initiatives as vice president of security.

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