This Week’s Comings and Goings

Comings and Goings

Kristin Intress has been named CEO for WorldHotels, effective immediately. Intress is returning to the company, where she previously held the same position. During her 25-year career, she has worked for the technology, hospitality, and healthcare industries, has purchased several restaurants, resorts, and medical companies, and has served in the military.

Aly El-Bassuni is now Hichief operating officer for the Americas for Radisson Hotel Group; he was previously senior vice president, franchise operations for the Americas. El-Bassuni was drive operational strategies for the property’s franchised hotels, and he will continue to lead guest experience and safety and security for the company’s brands in the Americas.

Corinthia Hotels has named Christian Renz chief commercial officer, and he is responsible for sales, marketing, and revenue operations for the company’s portfolio. Before joining Corinthia Hotels, he was senior vice president of sales and revenue management for Rocco Forte Hotels. During his career, he worked for Kempinski Hotels and The Walt Disney Company.

Effective January 1, 2020, Hilton executive Dino Michael will be adding global brand head of the Conrad brand to his current title of brand head for the Waldorf Astoria brand. In both positions, Michael will lead initiatives, strategies, and development for the Conrad and Waldorf Astoria brands.


Tom Riley has been named senior vice president of business development for Hospitality Ventures Management Group (HVMG), and he will assist in acquisitions, development, and third-party management. Before HVMG, Riley was vice president of development for Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants.

Raúl Ramírez has been promoted to senior vice president of international strategic planning and global head of financial planning and analysis for Choice Hotels International. Ramírez will now lead global strategic and financial planning, development outside the United States, and internal revenue analysis.

Hersha Hospitality Management (HHM) Group has named Wolfgang Jonas general manager for The Plaza Hotel Pioneer Park in El Paso, Texas. In addition, Amy Hussmann has been named director of sales. The pair will work together to prepare the hotel for its planned spring 2020 opening.

Barbara Christoph is general manager for Highgate Hotels’ Arthouse Hotel New York City. This is a homecoming for Christoph, who started her career at the On The Ave Hotel, the property’s former name, in 2007. Before returning to the hotel, Christoph spent years working across Manhattan at boutique and lifestyle properties.

Managed by McKibbon Hospitality, the Springhill Suites by Marriott Lakeland, Fla., has hired general manager John Loute. The hotel is opening in spring 2020, and Loute is tasked to lead opening teams and manage operations. Loute was recently general manager for the La Quinta Inn & Suites – Lakeland.

White Lodging has hired Thomas Dolan director of sales and marketing for the JW Marriott Charlotte, opening in spring 2021 as the first JW property to open in the Carolinas. In addition, Mike Armstrong has been named marketing manager for the Milwaukee Hotel Collection for White Lodging.

Preston Reid is managing director for Berkadia’s hotels and hospitality team. Reid will be finding and leading investment sales opportunities throughout the southeastern United States. Before joining Berkadia, Reid worked for HFF as a senior director for its hotels and hospitality group.

W Miami has named Ricardo Jarquin executive chef, and he will create menu options for the property’s restaurant outlets and in-room dining. His position also includes managing the food and beverage aspects of group bookings for meetings and events. He was previously executive chef for the Silverado Resort, a Dolce Hotel, in Napa, Calif. 

Fernando Reyes is executive chef for The Westin St. Francis. His responsibilities include managing all culinary outlets for the property’s restaurants, banquets, and in-room dining. Reyes was executive sous chef for the Marriott Operations Support Resources team prior to joining The Westin St. Francis.

Conrad Washington, DC, is welcoming Troy Knapp as director of food and beverage, and in this position, he will lead the property’s restaurant, rooftop, club, banquets, and events outlets. During his career, Knapp was director of food, beverage, and culinary operations for the Park Hyatt in Washington, D.C.

Opening in December 2019, Higgins Hotel & Conference Center in New Orleans, La., has named Virgile Brandel executive chef. The property has four dinging outlets for which Brandel will lead menu development and culinary operations. Brandel was executive chef of Atrio Restaurant & Wine Room at the Conrad Miami before joining the new property.

The Portofino Hotel & Marina, a Noble House Hotel in Redondo Beach, Calif, has named a new leadership team: Jeff Perkins is general manager, Darin Matsuda is hotel manager, and Riley Eastman is director of food and beverage outlets. The three will work to heighten the hotel’s California experiences.

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