Last updated: 10:00 PM ET, Fri June 03 2016

Welcome Aboard: New Hires and New Promotions for June 3, 2016

People | Barry Kaufman | June 03, 2016

Welcome Aboard: New Hires and New Promotions for June 3, 2016

SLS Hotels Appoints Thomas As General Manager Of SLS Hotel At Beverly Hills

The award-winning SLS Hotel at Beverly Hills has named Christophe Thomas to the position of general manager. Thomas brings 25 years of experience in the hospitality industry to the property, where he will oversee operations for the 297-room hotel with 500 associates.

Thomas initially joined Starwood Hotels & Resorts in 2008 as general manager of the W New York Union Square where he earned the hotel the second highest Guest Experience Index score and sustained it thereafter for several years. In 2013, Thomas moved west to lead the team at San Francisco's landmark The Palace, a Luxury Collection Hotel, to oversee its multi-million dollar renovation and repositioning. During his tenure with the four star and four diamond property, he was a recipient of the Lifetime Achievement - Hotel Executive honor at the 11th Annual Hotel Hero Awards; his extensive renovation efforts were also recognized in the 2015 Forbes list of the 23 Most Anticipated Hotel Renovations in the world.

Sonesta Names Miano As Chief Financial Officer And Treasurer

Sonesta International Hotels Corporation has named Stephen Miano as the company’s chief financial officer & treasurer.  Miano, a 25 year veteran of the hospitality industry, brings to Sonesta both domestic and international experience, with a history of managing finance operations in the Americas, Middle East, Asia, and Europe.  He previously worked in senior finance leadership roles at Rosewood, Four Seasons and most recently Commune Hotels + Resorts as their chief financial officer, where he led the company’s financial, information technology, legal and administration, and risk management disciplines.

Corinthia Hotels Appoint Parker Head Of Sales For The Eastern Region, USA, For The Luxury Hotel Group

Corinthia Hotels has announced the appointment of Diane Parker as head of sales for the Eastern Region, USA. Working closely with, Stephane Trycionka, director of sales and marketing at Corinthia London, and with the directors of sales and marketing at Corinthia Hotels in Budapest, Lisbon and Malta, Diane’s territories will cover the Eastern Region of the USA and Canada, Chicago and the Mid-West, as well as Brazil. Diane will cover travel trade, corporate and entertainment business from these territories.

Diane has more than 15 years’ experience working within the hospitality sales industry and joins Corinthia Hotels from her previous role as Director of Leisure Sales for Chicago & Toronto at The Trump Hotels Collection, which she held for six years. In this role, Diane was responsible for key accounts including Virtuoso, American Express FH&R, Signature and other luxury travel providers.

Travel Industry Leaders Art Jimenez And Shaun Malay Join Travel Leaders Group

Travel Leaders Group is today announcing the addition of two major travel industry experts to its hotel division and its airline relations teams – Art Jimenez as vice president of marketing for the hotel division, and Shaun Malay as vice president of airline relations.  Jimenez, who is widely respected within the travel agency industry for his previous role as senior director of leisure sales for the Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority (LVCVA), will report directly to hotel division senior vice president Erick Rodriguez. Malay, who comes directly from FlightCentre USA as its vice president of airline contracting and strategy, will report directly to airline relations senior vice president Peter Vlitas.

Hotel Granduca Houston Announces the Appointment of Janis to Director of Sales & Marketing

Hotel Granduca Houston announces the appointment of Anne Janis to director of sales & marketing. Drawing on more than two decades of industry sales experience, much of it earned at one of the world's premier luxury hotel companies, Janis brings with her an extensive hospitality background. In her new role, she is responsible for leading the onsite sales and marketing team, pinpointing sales targets, and creating and executing innovative strategies to drive occupancy and increase revenues at the crown jewel of the Granduca Hotels hospitality group.

Janis joins Hotel Granduca Houston following 14 years with Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, including seven years as regional director of sales managing a global portfolio of over 95 Four Seasons properties from the luxury hotel group's Worldwide Sales Office in Dallas, Texas. During that time, Janis worked with a number of Fortune 100 clients and international delegations, and orchestrated sales development trips and tradeshows involving global Four Seasons hotel partners and key client accounts.

Ka’anapali Beach Hotel Announces Appointment Of Iokepa Nae`Ole As Manager Of Hale Huaka’i

Ka`anapali Beach Hotel, Hawaii’s Most Hawaiian Hotel, announces the appointment of Iokepa Nae`ole as manager of Hale Huaka’i, the newly launched beachfront ocean activities center offering a Hawaiian perspective to several popular ocean activities such as surfing, stand up paddle boarding, conch shell blowing and more.

Born and raised in the Kahului area of Maui, Nae`ole is known around the islands as “Kepa.” Exploring Maui’s North Shore at a young age, he learned how to swim, dive, surf, fish and paddle outrigger canoes as well as participated as a member of the Hawaii State Champion Hawaiian Canoe Club. After a stint serving in two separate branches of the U.S. Military, Nae`ole returned home to rediscover his cultural identity and worked closely with well-known Kumu (teachers), earning his own title as Kumu. Nae`ole is fluent in the Hawaiian language and has spent numerous years as a teacher of the  Hawaiian Language Immersion Program, where he worked with children from preschool to high school.

Nae`ole most recently worked as an educator for The Nature Conservancy of Hawaii where he led interpretive hikes and community service trips and introduced thousands of locals and visitors to the wonders of Maui’s rain forests. He helped create and run Maui’s first alternative education middle school programming which integrated core curriculum with environmental stewardship and traditional cultural values. Most recently, Nae`ole participated in the production of, “Hawaii-Message in the Waves,” a BBC documentary that shed light on the threats to the health of fragile marine ecosystems.

Caribbean Tourism Organization Appoints Experienced Tourism Professional As Sustainable Tourism Product Specialist


The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) has appointed Dominican native Amanda Charles as sustainable tourism specialist effective today. Charles is a tourism professional with several years of experience, having worked most recently as the adviser to the directorate of sustainable tourism at the Association of Caribbean States (ACS) in Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago, a position she held for five years. While there she coordinated the directorate’s sustainable tourism program and managed the financial, technical and logistical aspects of the directorate’s projects and activities.

Indu Brar First Female General Manager In Fairmont Empress' 108-Year History

Indu Brar, the new general manager of Fairmont Empress, is the first female general manager of the property since its opening in 1908. She will oversee the iconic hotel's two-phased $30+ million renovation plan that will be completed in June 2017 and includes all guestrooms, restaurants, lobby, Willow Stream Spa and meeting space.

Brar was raised in Calgary and got hooked on the hotel business with her first job - on the switchboard at the Chateau Airport hotel. She worked her way up the hotel ladder with progressive positions and in 1997 became the director of rooms at what is now Fairmont Hotel Macdonald, followed by Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. She was promoted to director of operations in 2003 and, in 2007 became the general manager of Fairmont Winnipeg.

In 2010, she moved to New York as hotel manager at The Plaza, a Fairmont Managed Hotel for a year and a half before heading to Boston as general manager of the Fairmont Battery Wharf. 

In 2013, the west coast called and she took on the role of general manager at the Fairmont Waterfront where she oversaw the hotel's renovation guestrooms, meeting rooms, and restaurant.

Hyatt Times Square Appoints New Director Of Sales, Marketing & Events

Hyatt Times Square New York has announced the appointment of Vincent de Croock as the director of sales, marketing & events where he will be responsible for elevating sales as well as pioneering strategies to drive occupancy and increase the hotel’s revenue. A driven, strategic and accomplished sales professional, de Croock will also be tasked with growing strategic accounts, fostering partner relationships and overall elevation of the hotel’s profile.

Prior to this role, de Croock was the director of sales & marketing at De L’Europe in Amsterdam, in which he managed a team of 19 to achieve 14 consecutive record-setting months in room revenue. No stranger to the Hyatt family, he began his career in hospitality in 2005 at the Park Hyatt Madrid as Sales Manager and later senior sales manager. He later moved to Park Hyatt Washington in Washington, DC where here served as associate director of sales at Park and later director of sales & marketing at the Hyatt Regency Coral Gables in Florida. De Croock was also the opening director of sales & marketing at Andaz Peninsula Papagayo Resort in Costa Rica.

AHC+Hospitality Appoints Kristen Burnett As Director Of Catering

Kristen Burnett has been appointed director of catering for the Amway Grand Plaza in downtown Grand Rapids, MI. Burnett joined AHC+Hospitality in March to help increase sales for executive events, in addition to managing the catering sales department and providing a high level of guest service to groups in the regional area.

In her new role, Burnett will work with the team to visit clients, set up calls with prospective groups and build relationships with businesses and social groups in the area. Given her familiarity with the market, she plans on working with locally-based corporations and international groups who have local offices in West Michigan.

Burnett joins the sales and marketing team with diverse background in the hospitality field. Previous experience includes five years at the four-diamond property, Royal Park Hotel in Rochester, MI selling corporate and wedding markets. She previously served as senior sales and event manager for Meadow Brook Hall in Rochester, MI and senior catering sales executive of the Detroit Marriott Troy. With 14 years of total experience, Burnett has worked with large-scale events and won the National Association for Catering and Events Award in 2010 for the “Best Catered Event” category.

Kimpton’s Surfcomber Miami, South Beach Welcomes Back Sean Flanigan As General Manager

Kimpton’s Surfcomber Miami, South Beach is pleased to announce the return of Sean Flanigan as the general manager of the “backyard bliss,” design-inspired oceanfront hotel that combines the best of South Beach with the welcoming elements of surprise and delight the Kimpton brand is known for.

Flanigan has a vast portfolio of managerial experience with Kimpton hotels, having served as hotel manager for Hotel Monaco Philadelphia, Surfcomber Miami, and most recently, The Muse New York in Times Square, one of U.S. News & World Report’s “2016 Best Hotels in New York City.” In that role, he was responsible for a $15 million dollar renovation to the fashionable New York City boutique hotel, which included completely re-imagined guest rooms and a refresh to the hotel’s chic and timeless design.

Flanigan has also been part of the opening teams for several Kimpton hotels including Ink48 in New York, the Palomar Philadelphia, the Palomar Phoenix, and EPIC, Miami – Kimpton’s flagship property in the Florida market. Now back at Surfcomber, Flanigan is anxiously looking forward to getting back involved in some of Surfcomber’s more popular guest programs, such as Run with the Manager, a Tuesday evening run with participating hotel guests.

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