This Week’s Comings and Goings

Comings and Goings

Richard Kelleher, principal and co-founder of Pyramid Hotel Group, is transitioning his responsibilities as chief executive officer to Warren Fields, current co-founding partner and chief investment officer. Kelleher will be chairman of the board. Principal and chief operating officer Jim Dina is also moving to Pyramid Hotel Group’s Board of Directors.

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

The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) has named Andrew Usyk vice president of government affairs. In this position, Usyk will support policies facilitating international travel and tourism and increase transparency for online hotel bookings. Before AHLA, Usyk was a senior staffer in the U.S. Senate for eight years.

CHMWarnick announced that managing director Chad Sorensen (CHAM, ISHC) has been named chief operating officer. In his new role, Sorensen will be responsible for overseeing the company’s asset management operations, with a focus on continued improvement in business practices while leveraging technology to benefit the company’s clients.


Radisson Hotel Group announced the appointment of Jennifer Schneider as vice president of revenue optimization in the Americas. In this role, Schneider will drive the overall revenue optimization vision and strategy in the Americas to increase top-line revenue for the organization.

Virgin Hotels has appointed Harris White to chief financial officer, and he will work with the brand’s growth investments and management contracts. He will also strategically plan the brand’s expansion agenda and financial vision. White oversaw financial and accounting initiatives for Sage Hospitality before joining Virgin Hotels.

James Struthers has been promoted to president of KSL Resorts. Prior to his promotion, Struthers was chief financial officer for 14 years. As president, Struthers’ responsibilities include focusing on growth strategies, team members, innovation, and improvement for the company overall.

First Hospitality, a Chicago based hotel management, acquisition, and development company has named five new executives to its leadership team: Charlie Muller is senior vice president of investments; Don Fraser is senior vice president of operations; Danny Py is vice president of restaurants and bars; Deborah Cooley is vice president of hotel group reporting and analytics; and Travis Bowman is vice president of learning and performance management.

Jim Tierney has been named senior vice president of development and owner relations for the Hyatt Place and Hyatt House brands in North America for the Hyatt Hotels Corporation. This is a promotion for Tierney, who most recently served as Hyatt’s vice president of development and owner relations for the Hyatt Place and Hyatt House brands in the eastern United States.

Maya Hotels has named Krishna Deva vice president, and her main priority will be implementing growth strategies as the company expands. Deva was most recently a management consultant for global management firm Boston Consulting Group, where she worked in the aerospace and defense, pharmaceutical, and financial divisions.

Benchmark, a global hospitality company, has named Mitch Garrett vice president of business development for the company. Before Benchmark, Garrett was vice president of acquisition and development for Trump Hotels, where he oversaw expansion in both the United States and the Caribbean.

Kelly Snyder is the new general manager of Emery, an Autograph Collection boutique hotel in downtown Minneapolis. Snyder’s new position encompasses sales and marketing, budgets, and daily operations. Snyder most recently served as general manager of LQ Management in Bloomington, Minn.

La Quinta Resort & Club, a Waldorf Astoria Resort in La Quinta, Calif., is welcoming Robert Hickam to oversee operations for The Citrus Club, a members-only club and golf course. Hickam was most recently general manager of the Tahoe Mountain Club, where he managed golf and mountain-top lodge operations.

Karan Kakar is now general manager of Nautilus by Arlo in Miami Beach, the brand’s first property outside of New York City. Kakar has over 15 years of hospitality experience for luxury, mid-large convention hotels, and resorts. As general manager, Kakar is re-imagining the property and connecting guests to the brand’s experience.

The Notary Hotel, an Autograph Collection boutique hotel in Philadelphia, opening in July 2019, is welcoming general manager Jim McSwigan. Prior to The Notary Hotel, McSwigan was general manager of the Courtyard Philadelphia Downtown and Atlanta Marriott Perimeter Center.

Gregg Harper has been named general manager of The Woodlands Resort in The Woodlands, Tex. Harper will manage sales and marketing, operations, food and beverage, and engineering for the hotel. Before The Woodlands Resort, Harper was general manager for The Westin at The Woodlands for two years.

Kimpton The Rowan Palm Springs in downtown Palm Springs, Calif., has appointed Peggy Trott to general manager. Most recently, Trott was general manager of the Palm Springs’ Colony Palms Hotel. She also has Kimpton experience, working with the brand in cities including Philadelphia, Aspen, Seattle, and Salt Lake City.

David Meisner is the new general manager of the Austin Marriott Downtown, opening in summer 2020. While the property works towards opening, Meisner is currently general manager of White Lodging’s Aloft and Element hotels in downtown Austin. His new position will start in August 2019.

Hotel McCoy in Tucson, Ariz., has promoted Lynette Lopez to assistant general manager. Lopez was hired in 2018 for the front desk team, and was quickly promoted to lead front desk associate. Lopez has 10 years of customer service and hospitality experience prior to joining Hotel McCoy.

Frank Majowicz is now executive chef of the Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort & Spa, located just outside of Austin, Tex. Majowicz has been an executive chef with the Hyatt Corporation for nearly 40 years, most recently working for the Hyatt Regency Houston. His experience has taken him across the country at various Hyatt properties.

Justin Budyak is the new complex director of sales and marketing for The Brown Palace Hotel & Spa and adjacent Holiday Inn Express Denver Downtown. Budyak will be responsible for generating maximum revenue through marketing strategies and sales for both hotels. Budyak was most recently area director of sales and marketing for Pyramid Hotel Group.

Jessica Tankersley is the new event services manager for Chateau on the Lake Resort, Spa, and Convention Center in Branson, Mo. Tankersley is assisting association professionals, executives, and specialist to coordinate meetings, programs, and events. She was a marketing and sales representative for OMG! Marketing before her new position.

The St. Jane Hotel Chicago has made three new hires to help the hotel grow its presence through the city. Kristine Subido is executive chef of the hotel’s Free Rein restaurant. Pete Zudyk is vice president of sales and marketing, joining the property from Chicago’s Ace Hotel. And Stephen Blackford is managing director, assisting with operations for the property.

Brokerage and investment-banking firm Hodges Ward Elliott has named Daniel Peek president of the company’s hotel group. Peek will build the firm’s hospitality brokerage platform through developing and growing client relationships and increasing transaction volume throughout the hospitality sector.

Total Customized Revenue Management, LLC, has named David Beaulieu director of client services, where he will lead project teams, revenue consultants, and analysts. Additionally, former senior consultants Marcela Trujillo and Jennifer Koll have been promoted to senior revenue and communications manager and brand systems manager, respectively. And Alicia Herbert has been promoted to distribution and systems manager.


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