This Week’s Comings and Goings

Comings and Goings

RLH Corporation has named Vinod Sankar senior vice president and chief digital officer, a newly-created position for the company. Sankar will manage global digital strategy, technology innovation, and online customer experience. Before RLH Corporation, Sankar was vice president of product development and partnerships for MSG Ventures.

Ryan Maher has been promoted to vice president of business development for Concord Hospitality Enterprises, where he will grow development, acquisition, and third-party management opportunities. Maher is also vice president of business development for Concord Hospitality’s subsidiary, Common Oaks Lodging, LLC.

MGM Resorts has named Atif Rafiq president of commercial and growth, and he will develop new customer experiences, business models, and revenue strategies. Rafiq is also responsible for leading commercial, digital, sales, and marketing outlets and unifying the groups to align with MGM 2020, the company’s plan for transformation and revenue growth.

Brian Parker is senior vice president of development and construction for Vision Hospitality Group. During his career, Parker has led various new-build and renovation projects, as well as owned and managed Concord Property Group, LLC. Parker also assisted in completing Marriott’s AC, SpringHill Suites, and Residence Inn in Nashville, Tenn.


InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has announced Jamie Cole as senior vice president of global channels. Cole will lead digital and voice channels, as well as IHG’s third-party distribution strategy. Cole previously worked for Mandarin Oriental, where he led digital marketing and eCommerce.

Carmel Valley Ranch, a resort in Carmel Valley, Calif., welcomes managing director Matt Bailey to grow daily and long-term operations. Bailey was president and chief operating officer for Aqua-Aston Hospitality prior to this role.

Julian Payne has been named general manager of the Wave Resort at Pier Village in Long Branch, N.J. Payne currently works as general manager for Pier Village’s Bungalow Hotel. In this position, Payne will be overseeing daily operations, guest and employee satisfaction, and human resources for both the Bungalow Hotel and Wave Resort.

Proper Hospitality has named three new general managers for lifestyle hotels opening later this year. Karin Kopano will be general manager of the Santa Monica Proper Hotel, Cristiano Buono will be general manager of the Austin Proper Hotel & Residences, and Stephane Lacroix will be general manager of the Downtown LA Proper Hotel.

Hudson Hotel, an sbe property in Manhattan, welcomes Geoffrey Allan Millsas, vice president and general manager for the property. He has 30 years of hospitality management experience, and he has completed profit improvement plans, repositioning projects, and business restructures throughout his career.

Jake Megrikian is director of sales and marketing for The SLS Hotel, a Luxury Collection Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif. Megrikian will manage revenue and profitability for the property following its 2018 redesign. During Megrikian’s hospitality career, he worked in management positions for the Mariott and Hilton brands.

Sonesta Resort Hilton Head Island, S.C., has appointed Lindsay Wooten to conference services manager, a position in which she will coordinate meetings, conventions, and events for the property. Wooten was catering sales manager at The Ridge Hotel in Lake Geneva, Wis., prior to joining the Sonesta Resort Hilton Head Island team.

Brooke Grant is supervising marketing efforts, internal communications programs, and digital and social media outreach as marketing manager for the Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort & Spa in Austin, Tex. Before joining the Texas property, Grant was previously working at the Grand Hyatt Baha Mar in Nassau, Bahamas.

NOPSI Hotel, New Orleans, Lou., has named Neal Swidler executive chef, and he will lead culinary operations, food and beverage outlets, in-room dining, catering, and banquet offerings for the property. Swidler most recently was executive chef of Broussard’s Restaurant, also in New Orleans.

Joanne Tan has been promoted to associate vice president of sales and employee engagement for Basecamp Hospitality. Tan was previously director of sales, and in her new position, she will be supervising sales development for the company’s portfolio. In her time with Basecamp Hospitality, Tan has managed group sales, service expectations, and staff performance.

Hotel brokerage and investment-banking firm Hodges Ward Elliott has named Bhavesh Patel vice president. Patel is focusing on growing the firm’s brokerage practices and overall performance by cultivating new and existing relationships. Patel will be based in the Atlanta office.

Data streaming integration service Hapi has named John Figliolini vice president of business development for Data Travel, LLC, the Hapi platform’s developer. Figliolini is responsible for developing partner and hotel client relationships, marketing strategies, and market share maximization for the company.

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