On the Move: This Week’s Comings and Goings

Benchmark Hospitality International has announced the appointment of Thomas Faust as vice president of sales. Faust will oversee the company’s global sales initiatives, as well as Benchmark’s Personal Luxury-and Benchmark Resorts-properties throughout Florida, in San Antonio and on the Caribbean island of Curacao.

Here’s a look at more notable comings and goings that took place in the industry this week:

Mark Ernst has been promoted to assistant general manager of the newly renovated Royal Sonesta New Orleans hotel. Ernst previously served as the hotel’s food and beverage director, and in his new role will be second in command to the hotel’s general manager, Alfred Groos. Ernst will remain primarily in charge of food and beverage operationd while also overseeing and leading the rooms division of Royal Sonesta New Orleans.


Pacifica Hotels has announced the promotion of Matthew Kou as vice president of investments and acquisitions of the company. Kou joined Pacifica in February 2014 and has played a key role in growing Pacifica’s portfolio through asset acquisitions, full-property renovations, and transitioning branded properties to independent status.

Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa has announced the expansion of its team with a new regional group sales director, Karin Cohen, and new sommelier, Dan Chapman. Cohen brings more than 27 years of experience to her new role, most recently serving as managing director and regional director of sales for Connect Worldwide’s New York office. Chapman brings 17 years of wine experience to his new role, having overseen the wine program at multiple destinations including the Four Seasons Resort Aviara, The Lodge at Torrey Pines, and George’s at the Cove.

Nicholas Farina has been appointed hotel manager of Loews Regency New York hotel, Park Avenue in Midtown Manhattan. In his new role, Farina will oversee all day-to-day operations and overall guest experiences while ensuring the implementation of strategic hotel initiatives.

AJ Capital Partners has appointed a new member to its executive team. Eric Hassberger joins the team as senior managing director of both the AJ Capital Partners and Graduate Hotels teams, focusing on the strategic direction for Graduate and the future growth of the company both within and outside of the Graduate platform.

Omni Hotels & Resorts has named Holly Turner as general manager for Omni Mandalay Hotel at Las Colinas in Texas. In her new role, the 19-year hospitality veteran will manage all operational aspects at the Dallas-area property, including sales, marketing, food and beverage and future growth efforts.

The JW Marriott Camelback Inn Resort & Spa has promoted Filippa McDougall to director of golf at the Camelback Golf Club. McDougall previously served as the head golf professional and in her new role she will be the strategic business leader of the Camelback Gold Club, responsible for all golf operations, including guest and employee satisfaction, sales and revenue management, and the financial performance of the department.

First Hospitality Group, Inc. has added two new members to their team and promoted one to fill general manger positions for the company. Justin Salisbury will re-join the FHG team as general manager of LaQuinta Inn & Suites Minneapolis-Minnetonka. Felicia Nguyen has been hired as the new general manager at Hampton Inn Ann Arbor-North, and Shozib Khan has been promoted from assistant manager at Crowne Plaza Milwaukee West to general manager.

Olivier Servat has been appointed general manager of the ME Miami, Melía Hotels International’s very first hotel in the United States, and Sylvia Martinez has been named the new director of sales and marketing of the 129-room property.