This Week’s Comings and Goings

Comings and Goings

Blair Wills has been promoted to president and chief executive officer of StepStone Hospitality based in Providence, R.I. Wills’ position prior to his promotion was president and chief operating officer. Before joining StepStone, Wills worked as a vice president for hotelAVE and led asset management for the company’s portfolio.

My Place Hotels of America has named Matthew Campbell chief operating officer/chief legal officer and Adam Altman general counsel. Prior to the announcement, Campbell was executive vice president and Altman was associate general counsel. Both Campbell and Altman will support the company’s brands, including its newly launched Trend Hotels & Suites.

Tim Sheldon will be retiring from Marriott International in early 2021 following a 35-year career with the company. Sheldon, who is currently president, Caribbean and Latin America, led the company’s expansion in the region over the past five years, growing its portfolio in the region to 268 properties with another 132 projects in the pipeline.

Laura Presnol has been named vice president of talent and culture and Vicki Maldonado is director of talent acquisition, both newly created roles for Davidson Hotels & Resorts. Presnol will lead talent acquisition, training, and development across Davidson’s verticals, and Maldonado will research solutions, cultivate relationships, and network.


Biran Patel, BHP Investments Company partner, is the new chairman of AAHOA. Patel joined AAHOA in 2003 and has since served as an ambassador and a member of the Board of Directors as a regional director for North Texas. Patel was also secretary in 2017.

Christopher McDonough has been named chief design officer for Mark Cook Associates based in Chicago. As chief design officer, McDonough is leading the firm’s project execution and quality for its design, architecture, and installation. McDonough was most recently a principal for The Gettys Group.

The Skirvin Hilton Hotel by Marcus Hotels & Resorts has promoted Skip Harless to general manager. In addition, the Hilton Madison Monona Terrace reopened with Carl Dees serving as general manager while continuing to work as vice president of operations for the company.

David Malmberg has been appointed general manager of the JW Marriott Charlotte. Currently, Malmberg is the general manager of the Westin Austin at the Domain. During his career, he also served as general manager for the Courtyard and Residence Inn Austin Downtown Convention Center.

Kimpton Cottonwood Hotel in Omaha, Neb., a Pivot Hotels & Resorts property opening in August 2020, has named Mara Bouvier general manager and James Schelnick director of sales and marketing. Bouvier and Schelnick are leading operations for the property and directing business to its amenities and dining outlets.

Kevin Woods has been named executive chef and Emily Brakenhoff has been named food and beverage director for the Brenton Hotel in Newport, R.I. Woods will develop menus and lead culinary operations for the property’s dining outlets, and Brakenhoff will lead the hotel’s beverage program and front-of-house operations.

Ambassador Chicago, a Joie de Vivre Hotel, has named Jenna Haymond director of sales and marketing. During her career, Haymond has worked in boutique and branded hotels. She started working for the Hampton Inn & Suites Chicago-Downtown in 2010 as a group sales manager and, before leaving, held the position of area director of sales.

David Stone has been named director of weddings for La Fonda on the Plaza in Santa Fe, N.M. Stone was regional director of special events for Heritage Hotels and Resorts before joining La Fonda on the Plaza. During his career, Stone served as director of catering and conference services and wedding coordinator for La Posada.

Khim Neang is spa director for The Woodstock Inn & Resort in Woodstock, Vt., where she will lead daily spa operations, marketing plans, team members, and guest experience strategies. Before joining The Woodstock Inn & Resort, Neang was spa and health club director at the Heritage Hotel Golf, Spa, and Conference Center in Southbury, Conn.

Food and beverage staffing platform Qwick has named Salle Yoo to its Board. During Yoo’s career, she was chief legal officer, corporate secretary, and general counsel for Uber Technologies, Inc., where she led legal, regulatory, insurance, and safeties teams for the company.

The ONE Group Hospitality, Inc., has named Maria Woods general counsel. Woods has also been named corporate secretary because Linda Siluk, chief administrative officer, has resigned from the ONE Group Hospitality. Woods was general counsel for Lucky’s Market, a natural and organic grocer company, before joining ONE Group Hospitality.


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