This Week’s Comings and Goings

Comings and Goings

Katherine Grass is now CEO of Optii Solutions, a provider of labor optimization solutions for hotel housekeeping teams. With more than 20 years of experience in the IT and travel sectors, she joins Optii Solutions from Thayer Ventures, a travel-tech-focused venture capital firm that is Optii Solutions’ lead investor. Grass has held senior-level positions with Amadeus IT Group and Amadeus Ventures.

Jerad Bachar is now the president and CEO of VisitPITTSBURGH after serving as interim CEO and, prior to that, as EVP. With more than 30 years of experience in tourism and economic development, Bachar previously served as an executive director for Bahrain Economic Development Board and a director for the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing.

Nonius appointed Bryan Steele as a non-executive board member. Steele has held CIO/IT director-level positions at Thistle and Guoman Hotels and the Royal Automobile Club and as a consultant in the sector for the past 14 years. He is currently managing director of Jireh-Tek Limited and an executive advisor to the Board of Hospitality Technology Next Generation.

Steven Hiblum has been named general manager of Shelborne, South Beach in Miami, a Menin Hospitality property. As general manager, Hiblum is overseeing daily operations, as well as leading the property’s team, operations, and revenue maximization. Hiblum was most recently vice president of operations for Highgate Hotels.


White Lodging, the management company for Union Club Hotel at Purdue University, recently announced some changes to the hotel’s leadership team. Victoria Wicks is general manager; Brett Ociepka is assistant general manager; and Stephanie Portrey is director of sales and marketing.

Wilson Associates, a global interior architectural design firm, has named four new executives to its Los Angeles team. The new hires include Dane Quay, senior project designer; Jaclyn Wang, senior designer; Niloofar Khalighi, senior designer; and Martin Vasquez, project director. Additionally, Darrell Long, regional managing director and design principal, joined the team in December 2019, and Danielle Hirsch, design manager, joined the team this spring.

Travel management platform CWT has made changes to its executive leadership team. Effective May 1, Michelle McKinney Frymire is chief finance and strategy officer and Patrick Andersen is chief commercial officer and president of RoomIt. Additionally, David Falter is leaving his position of president of RoomIt.

Patina Hotels & Resorts by Capella Hotel Group is launching its first hotel, Patina Maldives. The property is welcoming Simone Broekhaar as director of sales and marketing leading communications and sales strategies. In addition, Marco Den Ouden, general manager, is preparing the hotel to open in 2021.


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