This Week’s Comings and Goings

Comings & goings

IHG Hotels & Resorts announced that Joel Eisemann, chief development officer, Americas, will be retiring from IHG Hotels & Resorts in June. Julienne Smith, currently senior vice president, Development – Luxury & Upscale, and Development & Owner Support, has been appointed as Eisemann’s successor and will join the Americas regional leadership team.

Extended Stay America expanded its development team with the addition of two regional vice presidents—Terry Sanders and Mike McGaughey—who will be responsible for continuing franchise development throughout the Western and Midwestern United States, respectively. Sanders was previously executive vice president of Aimbridge Hospitality. McGaughey was previously director of development for new construction at Wyndham.

KAYAK tapped hospitality industry veteran Indy Adenaw as the managing director of KAYAK Hotels to lead its global expansion and pipeline growth. He brings more than 15 years of experience. Previously, Adenaw was senior director, brand management and global brand leader at Marriott International, where he crafted the business case for Moxy Hotels.

McNeill Hotel Company hired Lindsey Chang to serve as the company’s vice president of acquisitions and capital markets. Chang will be leading the company’s acquisition efforts and working to raise both debt and equity capital on behalf of McNeill Hotel Company. She previously served as senior vice president at RobertDouglas.


RobertDouglas added two professionals to its team in the company’s New York City office. Andrew Heilmann joins as senior vice president with responsibility for executing capital markets transactions ranging from investment sales and structured financing to M&A and joint venture equity raises. Max Chipouras joins as a senior analyst.

Miraval Resorts promoted Dina Fenili Niekamp to director of sales, marketing, and brand. She is responsible for driving consumer awareness with a focus on the brand’s global expansion. Niekamp brings more than 16 years of hospitality experience, most recently as director of brand and marketing. Before Miraval, Niekamp was the director of sales and marketing at the Kimpton Gray Hotel in Chicago.

Sandcastle Resorts and Hotels named Gary Koester executive vice president. Koester has been a part of the Sandcastle team since 2014, having assisted with property expansions at the Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa. With more than two decades of hospitality experience, his initial focus in his new role will include leading that property’s $30 million renovation beginning this October.

Crown Hotel & Travel Management appointed Linda Thornley to vice president and corporate director of operations and Josh Emett to chief financial officer. Thornley has been with the company for 11 years and will oversee all phases of hotel operations and new openings. Emett has been with Crown for more than two years and will guide the company on implementation and improvement of internal financial efficiencies and strategies.

The Viceroy Hotel Group added Miju Kim as the new area director of group sales for Hotel Zelos, Hotel Zetta, and Hotel Zeppelin, part of Viceroy Hotels & Resorts’ Urban Retreats collection. With over 10 years of luxury hospitality experience, Kim has been recognized for creating market-leading customer relationships and maximizing revenue through creative and strategic tactics.

YOTEL appointed Matt Sommers as general manager of YOTEL Washington DC on Capitol Hill. With more than a decade of experience at luxury and top-rated hotels across the United States, Sommers will oversee operations of the 377-room hotel including its Art and Soul restaurant and Deck 11 rooftop lounge. Sommers previously served as general manager of Capitol Hill Hotel.

THesis Hotel Miami appointed Marijana Simmons as its new director of sales and marketing, where she will lead the sales and marketing team, devise strategic plans, and oversee revenue management. Simmons joins THesis Hotel with more than 15 years of experience in hospitality sales, hotel management, and real estate, most recently as the director of sales and marketing at EVEN Hotel in New York City.

Hyatt Centric Las Olas in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., welcomed Peter Waxon as group sales manager. Waxon will coordinate the daily operations of the group sales program with a focus on building relationships with potential clients to drive group business to the hotel. With more than 20 years of experience in the sales and hospitality industries, Waxon most recently served as the senior sales group manager at Fort Lauderdale Marriott North.

W South Beach added Isabel Gracia as director of sales and marketing and Constanza Montalva as director of programming. With more than 20 years of sales and marketing experience, Gracia was previously director of sales and marketing at Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve in Puerto Rico. Montalva, a Miami trailblazer with more than 10 years of marketing, events, and sales experience, will lead W South Beach’s programming events and brand partner activations.

Sheraton Denver Downtown added Keith Steigerwald as director of food and beverage. Steigerwald has been with the Marriott brand for 14 years and brings over a decade of experience in overseeing hotel F&B operations. In his new role, Steigerwald is responsible for delivering a Colorado-focused F&B experience to guests. He will oversee the hotel’s in-room dining, 16thStreet Commons Coffee Bar Bar, Spritz Pool Bar, and Bezel Cocktail Lounge.

Grand Wailea, A Waldorf Astoria Resort, appointed Ryan Fox as executive chef of its signature restaurant Humuhumunukunukuapua’a. Fox brings more than 13 years of fine dining experience, with a focus on French Eclectic and Pacific Northwestern cuisine. Most recently, he founded and served as executive chef at Nomad.PDX in Portland, Oregon. 

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