Last updated: 09:00 PM ET, Fri April 29 2016

Welcome Aboard: New Hires and Promotions for April 29, 2016

People | Barry Kaufman | April 29, 2016

Welcome Aboard: New Hires and Promotions for April 29, 2016

AccorHotels Appoints Blanc as CFO for North America, Central America and Caribbean Region

Global hospitality leader AccorHotels has announced the appointment of Antoine Blanc as chief financial officer for North America, Central America and Caribbean Region (NCAC), effective immediately. In his new role, Blanc supports the NCAC Executive Team in developing and maximizing operational performance, reinforcing partner relationships, sustaining profitable growth, and complying with the company's financial standards and procedures.

Most recently, Blanc served as the group's CFO for Mexico, a role he was appointed to in 2012. Prior to this role, he held various positions to support strategic projects in the group's Corporate Finance Department in Paris. A graduate of Paris Dauphine University with a Master in Finance, Blanc joined AccorHotels in 2007 as an auditor.

Rocky Mountaineer Appoints Jonathan Hope as Director Of Sales, North America

Rocky Mountaineer is pleased to announce the appointment of Jonathan Hope as director of sales, North America.

Prior to joining Rocky Mountaineer, Hope led his own consultancy, assisting companies with defining their strategic goals. He also has nearly 20 years’ experience in sales and marketing at Walt Disney Studios, holding several senior roles, including vice president, home entertainment sales, where he managed the activities of the Canadian Sales, Retail Marketing and Trade Planning teams, becoming a significant contributor to the company's growth.

Jetsuite Announces Appointment of Gary Soloff As Vice President, Sales & Marketing

JetSuite has announced the appointment of Gary Soloff as its vice president, sales & marketing. Soloff brings 18 years of sales and marketing experience in the aviation sector, with roles at The Cessna Aircraft Company, Bombardier Aerospace and Southwest Airlines. At JetSuite, Soloff will oversee sales, marketing, guest services and overall customer experience.

As managing director, sales & marketing at Air New Zealand USA, Soloff led multi-channel sales and marketing efforts for the airline’s North American region. Past positions include regional sales director at CitationAir, director marketing at Bombardier Aerospace, as well as sales and marketing roles at Hallmark Aviation/Swissport and Southwest Airlines. Soloff is a graduate of the University California, Riverside and attended the Southern Methodist University Cox School of Business. 

Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau Names Welcomes Payano, Docal

The Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau (GMCVB) has named Pam Payano to the position of corporate sales manager, announced William D. Talbert, III, CDME, GMCVB president and CEO.

Prior to joining the GMCVB, Pam was marketing project manager at TURKEL Brands where she worked with the GMCVB’s Convention Sales Department on campaigns to attract meetings and conventions to Miami.  Her branding and marketing responsibilities also included tourism campaigns which generated new business for Greater Miami. Pam also held progressive positions in brand management and client relations at Mood Media, DMX. 

Pam earned a Masters of Business Administration from Florida International University and a Bachelors of Arts in Interpersonal/Organizational Communications from the University of Central Florida. She is fully bilingual in English and Spanish.

In addition, GMCVB has named Joe Docal to the position of director of travel industry sales Latin America and the Caribbean.

Prior to joining the GMCVB, Joe was with Global Marketing & Sales, a private organization specializing in the representation of destinations. Their client roster includes:  Jamaica Tourist Board, California Travel & Tourism Commission, Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau and others.

Joe began his career in the rental car industry with Hertz and National Car Rental after serving in the U.S. military.  His extensive experience includes managing a GSA (General Sales Agents) network in Latin America and the Caribbean for other travel brands and a long tenure at several cruise brands within Carnival Corporation as Director of Sales

John “JP” Oliver Appointed Vice President And Managing Director Of The New Confidante Hotel In The Unbound Collection By Hyatt

John “JP” Oliver has been named vice president and managing director of The Confidante and vice president of lifestyle – Americas, Hyatt. Oliver’s hospitality career spans nearly 30 years, beginning with management positions at various Hyatt hotels. Most recently he served as regional vice president southeast for Morgans Hotel Group, overseeing the Delano, Shore Club and Mondrian hotels in South Beach. Previously, Oliver spent more than 15 years in various positions with LXR Hotels & Resorts, formerly Wyndham International.   

Hurtigruten Appoints Cathy Swift as Marketing Director North America

Hurtigruten has announced the appointment of Cathy Swift as the line’s new marketing director North America. Swift joins Hurtigruten with more than 26 years in marketing that makes use of a strong background in lifestyle and content development as well as website building. Her past successes with experiential brands and telling their stories includes stints as marketing director at TCS World Travel where she launched new initiatives, a web site and a digital marketing program. At Story Worldwide, she managed a global content marketing program for 4.5 million Lexus owners in 50 countries. Other experiences include marketing projects at Microsoft,, Disney and more.

Jim Sichta Appointed Vice President of Operations for Charlestowne Hotels

Charlestowne Hotels, a full-service hospitality management company, announces the appointment of Jim Sichta as vice president of operations. Sichta brings a substantial and knowledgeable background to his new role with over 31 years in hospitality management and a wealth of experience in virtually every facet of hotel operations.

Working in hospitality since 1985, Sichta started as a front desk host, quickly working through a multitude of line level positions and eventually becoming general manager at the Best Western Aloha Tropics Hotel in Palm Springs. He later became resident manager and director of international and leisure sales for the Palm Springs Marquis, a Princess Resort, before becoming partner and regional director for Touchscreen Marketing in Hawaii, a hospitality marketing and advertising company. For the past 13 years, Sichta served as chief operating officer and partner for Broughton Hotels, an international hospitality company, consulting with both independent boutique hotels and branded properties.

Stan Kantowski Named General Manager At The Mission Inn Hotel & Spa

The Mission Inn Hotel & Spa announces the appointment of Stan Kantowski as general manager. With more than two decades of management experience in the hospitality industry, Kantowski brings a diverse expertise to the historic Mission Inn Hotel & Spa.

Kantowski grew up in Poland and moved to Italy as a young adult to study Roman law. Shortly after, he moved to Chicago, Illinois and earned his master’s degree in education from Loyola University. Kantowski began his hospitality career at the Hyatt Regency in Kauai, Hawaii as a food & beverage manager. From there, he further developed his hospitality management skills in various capacities at top hotels, including positions as director of food & beverage, financial analyst, and director of operations.

In addition to his master’s degree from Loyola University, Kantowski holds a doctorate degree in business administration from the University of Southern California. His unique educational background and operational knowledge allow him to unite teams to achieve common property goals.

Meliá Hotels & Resorts Appoints New Leadership To Strengthen Success In The Americas

Meliá Hotels International is pleased to announce the appointment of Pablo Cogolludo as general manager of Meliá Nassau Beach All Inclusive in the Bahamas and Ernesto Hernandez as general manager of Meliá Panamá Canal in Panama. These versatile and skilled hospitality leaders will oversee two of the Meliá brand’s properties in the Americas.

Pablo Cogolludo brings more than 20 years of experience within the hospitality industry to Meliá Nassau Beach All Inclusive. After graduating from the Hotel School in Barcelona, Pablo began his career with Ritz Carlton where he enhanced his knowledge and passion for food & beverage and obtained leadership roles in cities such as Barcelona, Washington D.C. and New Orleans.

Formerly the operations manager of Meliá Puerto Vallarta, Ernesto Hernandez now brings his knowledge and dedication to Meliá Panamá Canal as general manager. Hernandez has extensive hospitality management experience; his most recent position was the operations manager of Meliá Puerto Vallarta and before that he was the director of food & beverage at Meliá Cozumel All Inclusive Golf & Beach Resort. Previous positions include the general manager of Villas del Palmar & Villa del Mar in Puerto Vallarta, executive assistant manager of Barceló La Jolla de Mismaloya and resident manager of Barceló Karmina Palace.

Kim Thompson Named Director Of Sales At Hawks Cay Resort

Kim Thompson, a seasoned sales professional in the hospitality industry, has been appointed as the new director of sales at Hawks Cay Resort in the Florida Keys.  In her position, Thompson will develop and execute key sales initiatives for the 60-acre resort destination.

Thompson has more than 25 years of experience in the hospitality industry, working with both global hotel brands and independent properties including Wyndham Hotel Jacksonville Riverwalk, Casa Monica Hotel, and One Ocean in Atlantic Beach, all in Northern Florida. A Florida native, Thompson has a great passion for the Atlantic Ocean and coastal lifestyle. She currently resides in Marathon. 

The Resort At Pedregal Promotes Chef Yvan Mucharraz To Director Of Food & Beverage

The Resort at Pedregal in Cabo San Lucas is pleased to announce the promotion of Yvan Mucharraz from executive chef to director of food and beverage. In his new role at the 113 room luxury resort, Mucharraz will be responsible for all Food & Beverage operations, including both front and back of house responsibilities. He will manage the property’s distinctive dining destinations, including signature restaurant Don Manuel’s, sought after seafood restaurant El Farallon with its new Champagne Terrace, poolside casual eatery Crudo, and the Beach Club, featuring delectable sandwiches, salad and snacks, in addition to overseeing all in-room dining and banquet services. Mucharraz will lead a team of 120 staff members, making the food & beverage division one of the largest on property.

Miraval Group Appoints 28-Year Travel Industry Veteran to Lead Marketing

Miraval Group today announced the appointment of Thomas P. Botts, a 28-year travel industry veteran, as senior vice president and chief marketing officer, responsible for developing and executing all marketing strategy designed to drive customer acquisition, retention and profitability across its growing luxury resort, spa and wellness portfolio.

Botts previously served Denihan Hospitality Group as executive vice president & chief customer officer, responsible for brand management, sales, revenue management and business intelligence. Earlier, he was managing partner of New York-based Hudson Crossing, a strategic advisory firm he co-founded.

Botts entered the hospitality industry with Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, where he served as vice president of global travel industry sales & strategy and vice president of distribution strategy & operations. Earlier in his career, he worked for and Delta Air Lines in multiple e-commerce, revenue management and customer service roles of increasing responsibility.

Botts earned a bachelor of science degree in logistics and marketing in 1991 at the University of Missouri, Columbia. He serves as an advisor or board member of Adara Media, Duetto Research, GuestDriven, RocketMiles (acquired by Priceline Group), Vacatia, and Thayer Ventures.

Mary Lightbourne appointed as Turks and Caicos’ Deputy Director of Tourism

The Turks and Caicos Tourist Board is pleased to congratulate Mary Lightbourne on her successful appointment as the new deputy director of tourism.

Lightbourne is no stranger to the Turks and Caicos Islands Tourist Board as she brings with her 23 years of a diverse track record of work experience, of which 15 were spent at the Tourist Board taking on progressively responsible roles. She was previously employed as the Registrar of the Turks and Caicos Islands Community College and most recently employed with the Turks and Caicos Islands Government in a senior-level position as the Head of Secretariat to the Minister of Education.

Davide Bertilaccio Appointed Managing Director Of Rosewood Castiglion Del Bosco

Davide Bertilaccio has been appointed managing director of Rosewood Castiglion del Bosco, the historic Tuscan resort founded by Massimo and Chiara Ferragamo.  In this role, Bertilaccio will oversee all aspects of the resort, including the two on-property restaurants and spa.  

Boasting more than 25 years of experience in the hospitality industry, Bertilaccio brings a wealth of expertise to his new position. Prior to joining Rosewood, Bertilaccio served as area general manager of FRHI Hotels & Resorts, overseeing the company’s three Kenyan properties, including the Fairmont Norfolk Hotel in Nairobi where he was also general manager.  Additionally, he has held prominent positions at Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts and the Alain Ducasse Group, and served as general manager of Dubai’s Armani Hotel and the Hotel Savoy in Florence, a Rocco Forte Hotel.

Coral Hospitality Appoints Christopher Schaeffer As New President

Coral Hospitality has announced the appointment of Christopher Schaeffer to president. Schaeffer previously served as CFO and SVP of Business Development for the full-service hospitality management and investment company. CEO and co-founder Lee Weeks will continue leading the company, with an enhanced focus on development and strategic initiatives. Coral also announced the addition of a new corporate controller and digital marketing coordinator, underscoring its commitment to providing exceptional services to their current and future clients.

Schaeffer joined Coral Hospitality in 1999. In his previous role, he was responsible for developing strategic plans, financial solutions and providing sound advice to the company’s management team, as well as implementing operating and financial structures to maximize Coral’s investments. He began his hospitality career in financial and operational roles with four and five-star properties. He eventually moved into an executive finance position, operating and overseeing seven properties in the United States and Caribbean. In his expanded role, Schaeffer will be responsible for ensuring our strategic development and maintain a leadership position in the reorganization and repositioning our properties for growth.

Corinthia London appoints Trycionka Director of Sales & Marketing

Five-star hotel, Corinthia London, announces the appointment of Stéphane Trycionka as director of sales & marketing. With 11 years of experience in the luxury hotel industry, this role will see Stéphane in charge of driving international sales to the flagship Corinthia Hotels’ property.

His international profile and wealth of contacts are a tribute to his time spent working for a number of other prestigious hotels, including the Hôtel Fouquet’s Barrière, The Oetker Collection & Le Bristol, Hôtels Plaza Athénée & Le Meurice. In addition to his hospitality background, Stephane also has extensive experience in communications. He worked as internal communications manager at YSL Beaute in France, the perfume and cosmetic division of the GUCCI GROUP, today part of L'OREAL.

Travel Leaders Corporate Names Travis Harper as Vice President of Sales and Parker Schlank as Vice President of Consulting & Analytics

Travel Leaders Corporate – the leading name in business travel – is announcing that Travis Harper has been hired as the vice president of sales, while Parker Schlank has been appointed to the newly created position of vice president of consulting & analytics. As vice president of sales, Harper will develop the sales and marketing strategies across Travel Leaders Corporate. Schlank will focus on further building out Travel Leaders Corporate’s award-winning Travel Consulting offering while also being responsible for the company’s analytics, data management and client reporting.

Harper joins Travel Leaders Corporate with more than a decade of successful sales experience. Most recently as an Enterprise Account Executive with Salesforce, he was responsible for driving revenue expansion for the company’s marketing-driven software with Fortune 500 accounts and managing the entire sales process. Prior to that, Harper was with PR Newswire, advancing over his eight years there to the position of Executive Account Director where he expanded market share and managed the entire sales process for his territory. He was twice was named PR Newswire President’s Club winner for excellence in sales performance.

As the vice president of consulting & analytics, Schlank will focus on continuing to provide clients with a unique level of sophisticated data that is unmatched in the industry. As someone with a keen perspective on using data to benefit Travel Leaders Corporate’s clients, he is well positioned to continue developing solutions that are capable of delivering analytical insights for clients and across Travel Leaders Corporate. His previous roles within Travel Leaders Corporate included Controller, Vice President of Finance, Data & Strategic Partnerships and most recently as Vice President of Growth.

Elite Island Resorts Appoints Chief Marketing Officer

Leading Caribbean resort group Elite Island Resorts has appointed Kari Tarnowski as its chief marketing officer (CMO).  She will be based in the company’s Deerfield Beach office.

With over 20 years of experience in marketing management and promotion, Tarnowski will be responsible for overseeing the day-to-day marketing activities of Elite Island Resorts across a variety of platforms including e-commerce, digital and loyalty marketing, customer relationship management, brand management, advertising, public relations and social media.

Prior to joining Elite Island Resorts, Tarnowski was senior vice president of marketing for Sandals Resorts.  Her past experience also includes senior marketing positions with Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Silversea Cruises, and

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