This Week’s Comings and Goings

Comings and Goings

Justin Jabara has been named president of Meyer Jabara Hotels (MJH), effective immediately. Jabara’s goals for MJH include expanding its portfolio, cultivating new partnerships, and supporting recently rolled-out initiatives. His most recent position was vice president of development and acquisitions.

Wellness lifestyle brand Canyon Ranch has named Jeff Kuster CEO. Kuster has over 30 years of global leadership experience, most recently serving as group president of North America for Ralph Lauren Corporation. Other companies and groups that Kuster has worked for include McKinsey & Company, Doctors Without Borders, and the Peace Corps.

Leiya Cohen is general manager of Dream Hotel Group’s Dream Midtown, where she will lead operations for the property. Before joining the Dream Midtown executive team, Cohen was hotel manager for The Time New York, a property that is also managed by Dream Hotel Group; she also has over a decade of hospitality experience.

The InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown has announced two new hires to its leadership team. Zaw Oo is hotel manager, leading daily operations and guest experience initiatives. In addition, Daniel Fennessey is executive chef, and he is responsible for leading the property’s culinary division.


John Davidson has been named general manager of Chateau on the Lake Resort, Spa & Convention Center in Branson, Mo. Davidson will lead all aspects of operations for the resort. Prior to his new position, he was vice president and chief operating officer for the Shangri-La Gold Club, Resort & Marina on Monkey Island, Okla.

Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants has named Jessica Malecki general manager of Hotel Fontenot in New Orleans. As the hotel opens in March 2020, Malecki will manage pre- and post-opening operations, build the property’s teams, and ensure brand standards to provide positive guest experience.

Hotel Contessa, a Benchmark Resorts & Hotels property, has promoted Alex Cormier director of food and beverage. Previously, Cormier was outlet manager for the property. Before joining Hotel Contessa, Cormier was general manager for Ruggles Green of Houston and food and beverage manager for Redstone Golf Club.

Timothy Wagner is director of food and beverage for the Carté Hotel, a lifestyle property in San Diego. In this position, Wagner will manage banquet, culinary, and room service operations for the hotel and its two food outlets, restaurant Watercolors and rooftop bar Above Ash Social. Wagner has 23 years of hospitality leadership experience.

Michael Marshall is executive chef of Harrah’s Resort Southern California, and he will lead its food and beverage teams, culinary development, and dining experiences. Marshall has Harrah’s experience, coming from the Harrah’s Cherokee Casino and Resort in Cherokee, N.C., where he also held the position of executive chef for 10 years.

The Fontainebleau Miami Beach has named Elizabeth Wilde and Giancarlo Avila directors of national accounts. In addition, Lauren McDonald is returning to the hotel as catering sales manager. The property’s new hires are responsible for bringing in group sales, meetings, and convention guests.

JW Marriott, Anaheim Resort, has appointed a new executive team: Matt Harrison is resident manager, Rita Joshi is director of finance, Clint Chadburn is director of engineering, Dario Espinoza is director of human resources, Scott Kimmel is director of food and beverage, and Amol Agarwal is executive chef.

Frits van Paasschen is joining the board of directors for Sonder, a technology-driven hospitality firm. During his career, he has worked as the CEO for The Coors Brewing Company and Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide. As a member of the board of directors, he will offer insights to help Sonder’s growth.

Driftwood Capital, formerly Driftwood Acquisitions & Development, has named new hires to its executive team: David Steiner is managing director of capital markets, Nelson Parker is managing director of Driftwood Capital’s new GP Development Fund, and Paul Sacco is CIO for the company.

Laundry and linen service for the hospitality industry PureStar has named Alex Dixon west regional president. In this new position, he will lead operations and service lines on the West Coast. During his career, he held positions including president and COO for Circus Circus Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.

Philipp Posch is senior vice president of hospitality for Caruso, a privately held real estate development company. Posch is responsible for the management and growth of the company’s portfolio from its first resort, the Rosewood Miramar Beach. Posch most recently was general manager for Hudson yards, an Equinox Hotels property.



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