On the Move: This Week’s Comings and Goings

Recently, three companies announced new leadership. AJ Capital Partners has hired Tim Franzen to take over as president of Graduate Hotels after previously working as executive vice president of acquisitions and development at AJ Capital, which launched the Graduate chain in 2014. Franzen is filling a role that has been vacant since Christian Strobel left as president more than a year ago.

Additionally, Amanda W. Hite, STR’s president since 2011, has been promoted to president and CEO. This is Hite’s 11th year with STR, serving as president and COO for the last five years.

Choice Hotels also announced the promotion of two executives and a planned transition of the chief financial officer position. Chief operating officer Patrick S. Pacious has been promoted to president and chief operating officer. Scott E. Oaksmith has been promoted to senior vice president, finance and chief accounting officer, and David L. White will be transitioning from the company and will pursue other professional opportunities.


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

Hilton Sandestin BeachGolf Resort & Spa has appointed Angelina Covington as hotel operations manager and Max Messmer as director of food and beverage. Covington is a 32-year veteran of the hospitality industry and joined Hilton Sandestin Beach in 2003. Messmer has over 15 years of experience in the food and beverage industry and has worked as director of food and beverage at the Courtyard Resort at Coconut Beach in Kapaa, Hawaii, before joining Hilton Sandestin Beach.

Hotel Nikko San Francisco has announced the appointment of Brian Healy as executive chef. Healy will be responsible for overseeing the menus and staff of Anzu, the hotel’s signature California-inspired Japanese restaurant, in addition to in-room dining and banquet operations for the hotel’s group events and corporate meetings.

Fred Schwartz has recently been promoted to senior vice president for midscale development, Americas, at Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group. He first joined the company as vice president of owner relations in January 2015 after spending 18 years as president of the Asian American Hotel Owners Association.

Michael Hammes has been appointed director of food and beverage at Omni Barton Creek Resort & Spa. In his new role, Hammes will oversee all of the food and beverage operations within the resort including Hill Country Dining Room, 8212 Wine Bar & Grill, and Bartons Lounge.

Longtime hotel manager Rebecca Hubbard has been appointed the new general manager of Lotte New York Place. Hubbard has been with the property almost five years. Prior to her position at Lotte New York Palace, Hubbard opened Trump Soho as the executive assistant manager, overseeing the daily operations and budget of the room department.

Midas Hospitality has recently added Randy Rushakoff as dual general manager and Susan Wing as dual director of sales for Marriott’s new dual-branded properties—Residence Inn/Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott – Charlotte Airport in North Carolina. These hotels will open August 2016.

Marco Polo Hotels has announced the appointment of Dany Lutzel as general manager of Niccolo Chongquing. The hotel is scheduled to open the first quarter of 2017. Prior to Niccolo, Lutzel was general manager at Kempinski Chongquing and general manager of Radisson Blue, St. Gallen in Switzerland.