Last updated: 07:00 PM ET, Fri February 26 2016

Welcome Aboard: New Hires and Promotions for Feb. 26, 2016

People | Barry Kaufman | February 26, 2016

Welcome Aboard: New Hires and Promotions for Feb. 26, 2016

Vincent Vienne Appointed As Managing Director Of The Quin Hotel In New York

Vincent Vienne has been appointed as managing director of the Quin, New York’s quintessential luxury lifestyle hotel, located at 57th Street and Sixth Avenue.  Mr. Vienne brings more than 18 years of leadership experience at American and European luxury properties to the hotel. Vienne worked for Pullman Hotels and Resorts in Brussels following his graduation from Hotelschool Ter Duinen, in Koksijde, Belgium.  He rose quickly through the ranks within the Accor Hotels Group, moving to the United States to serve in roles for the Sofitel Luxury Hotels and Resorts brand.  In a range of leadership positions at Sofitel New York City, Vienne helped lead the hotel to three consecutive “Best Luxury Hotel in New York City” awards from Trip Advisor, before taking a position as general manager of Sofitel Philadelphia, where he led the hotel for 5 years.  Most recently, Mr. Vienne returned to serve as general manager of Sofitel New York City. 

Experienced Social Media Professional Joins TPI Team

Travel Planners International (TPI) has announced the appointment of Melissa Bell as manager of marketing and communications for the organization.

Bell oversees all external communications to TPI agents, prospective agents, consumers and the travel industry via social media, email marketing, print and online advertising, and website messaging. She also works closely with the host agency’s executive team to ensure positioning is consistent and supportive of TPI branding. Assisting Bell are new team members Alimah Rodriguez who handles social media and Samantha Morales, graphic/HTML designer.

Bell brings 10 years of diverse marketing expertise to her position with TPI, including experience with Victory Marketing Agency in Fort Myers, FL., and most recently with Orlando-based Think Agency, Inc. where she served as social media manager, communications strategist, and blogger. Among her professional achievements for specific agency clients: increased the engagement rate across all social platforms by 124 percent in six months; built a following of more than 10 million impressions across Twitter and Facebook; and boosted organic Facebook traffic to 39.5 thousand impressions.

Blue Waters Resort & Spa Welcomes New Faces To Its Hospitality Team

Blue Waters Resort & Spa, the luxury all-inclusive resort situated in the Northwestern corner of Antigua, is pleased to announce the appointment of new members to its culinary and spa teams. Recent appointments include:

Edward Boncich, executive chef – A seasoned hospitality veteran with almost 20 years of experience in the kitchen, Executive Chef Edward Boncich was selected by the Blue Waters Resort & Spa team for his expertise with Caribbean flavors, which he is infusing into the menus at the resort’s three signature restaurants. In addition to local influences, Chef Ed also brings an international approach, offering the flavors of Southeast Asian, Italian and Spanish cuisine. Graduate of the prestigious Johnson & Wales University with a degree in Culinary Arts, Chef Ed joins Blue Waters Resort & Spa most recently from Ti Kaye Resort & Spa in St. Lucia and his resume also includes stints at Mesa Grill in New York City and the Bahamas as well as positions with other leading hotel brands including The Ritz-Carlton and Four Seasons. Through his direction, the resort debuted new a la carte menus at its all-day dining Palm Restaurant, offering seafood-rich dishes with Caribbean flair.

Sumendra Nengah, executive sous chef – Also joining the culinary team, Executive Sous Chef Sumendra Nengah was chosen for his extensive hospitality experience at luxury hotels including The Chedi Muscat in Oman and the Canouan Resort at Carenage Bay – The Grenadines. Chef Nengah joins Blue Waters Resort & Spa most recently from the five-star Hotel Majapahit in Indonesia and brings with him expertise in cross-continental and fusion cuisine.

Amaya Ross, spa manager – An Antiguan Acupuncturist with over 25 years of practical experience in the field of acupuncture, Ms. Ross was selected to further enhance the wellness and holistic offerings at the resort’s Spa at Blue Waters. Graduate of the International College of Oriental Medicine in the UK, Ms. Ross is trained in traditional Chinese Medicine and has three years of clinical experience in Taiwan as well as over 20 years of experience in her own practice in Spain. She brings with her both ancient and modern techniques of alternative medicine with a focus on improving the body’s health foundation and mechanical framework, and an approach in using painless insertion of needles alongside Moxibustion and Cupping. She also specializes in vitamin, mineral and diet therapy and is a professional in Swedish massage and Hata Yoga.

The Tourism Corporation Bonaire Welcomes New Director Of Tourism

The Tourism Corporation Bonaire (TCB) is pleased to announce the appointment of the new director of tourism, Maurice Adriaens. As the director of tourism Adriaens will be responsible for overseeing all marketing, public relations and advertising programs for TCB’s Headquarters, North America, Europe and Latin America offices.

A native of Curacao, Adriaens studied at Radulphus College in Curacao, and continued his studies at the University of Wageningen in the Netherlands, where he received his degree in Tropical Agriculture and Marketing. After graduating from the University of Wageningen in 1989, he returned to Curacao to work at the Department of Agriculture for the next five years.

Adriaens’ first entry into government was in 1997. From 1998 – 2001, and again from 2007 – 2010, he served as the Minister of Traffic and Telecommunications of the Netherland Antilles. His duties included aviation, telecommunications and shipping policy. Adriaens also served as a member of the Island Council of Curacao and Parliament.

James Wroblewski Joins W Los Angeles – West Beverly Hills As General Manager

W Los Angeles – West Beverly Hills is pleased to announce the appointment of James Wroblewski as general manager. With 17 years of management experience in the hospitality industry, Wroblewski brings a refined expertise to his new position at W Los Angeles – West Beverly Hills, the fifth ever property for W Hotels and the brand’s entrée into the Los Angeles market.

Wroblewski attended the University of Nevada – Las Vegas, where he earned his Bachelor of Science in Hotel Administration. He began working with Starwood in 1999 as the front office/front desk manager at The Westin Century Plaza Hotel and Spa in Los Angeles. He was quickly promoted to director of housekeeping, and subsequently, Director of Six Sigma. In 2003, Wroblewski began a new role as director of operations at The Westin Pasadena in Pasadena, California, followed by successful tenures serving at the Palms Casino & Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada, the Hard Rock Hotel in Chicago, Illinois, and the W Chicago – City Center. Most recently, Wroblewski served as general manager for the W New Orleans – French Quarter in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Rocco Forte Hotels Announces Peter Kienast As The General Manager Of Hotel De Rome, Berlin

Peter Kienast has been appointed the position of general manager of Hotel de Rome, the Rocco Forte hotel located on the illustrious Bebelplatz in Berlin. German-born Kienast has an impressive 25 years’ experience in some of the most exclusive five star hotels across the world.

Kienast has been with Rocco Forte Hotels for the past five years, joining the team as general manager to The Lowry in Manchester. Under his leadership, the 165 room hotel maintained its number one ranking in STR Global as market leader in terms of yield. Mr Kienast was fully responsible for the hotel’s financial and operational and strategic performance, reporting to the regional manager for UK and Eastern Europe. The hotel also received awards from Conde Nast Traveller and Visit England under Mr Kienast’s leadership.

Trump Hotels Appoints Mark Hawthorn As Chief Accounting Officer

Trump Hotels has announced the appointment of Mark Hawthorn as chief accounting officer of the international luxury hospitality company.  Mr. Hawthorn brings to the growing hotel brand more than 15 years of corporate finance experience specializing in the hospitality industry and international operations.  He joins Trump Hotels during a period of significant brand expansion that includes the openings of Trump Hotel Rio de Janeiro, Trump International Hotel & Tower Vancouver and Trump International Hotel Washington D.C. in 2016.  Trump Hotels also recently announced its expansion to Asia with upcoming projects in Lido and Bali, Indonesia.

Hawthorn joined TRUMP HOTELS on Feb.  22, following his tenure as vice president, treasury for Kerzner International, a global developer and manager of destination resorts and luxury hotels operating the Atlantis and One&Only Resorts brands.  Hawthorn has overseen Kerzner’s global finance and treasury functions and played a critical role in the successful completion of the company’s comprehensive restructuring in 2012.  He has managed the company’s global audit process, resolved technical accounting issues, as well as implemented procedures to enhance controls and accelerate financial reporting. 

Nobu Hotel Eden Roc Announces New Appointments in Sales & Marketing Team

Nobu Hotel Eden Roc is delighted to announce the appointment of two seasoned industry executives to the soon-to-be-opened hotel: Rachael Palumbo, who will hold the position of director of sales & marketing and Tina Gerson to the position of director of sales.

A well-respected hospitality and travel industry executive with extensive experience in international sales and marketing, Palumbo’s move to Nobu Hotel Eden Roc follows over twenty years of proven results in the luxury hospitality sector. Palumbo joins Nobu Hotel Eden Roc after eight years at the historical, ultra-luxe One&Only Ocean Club in Nassau, Bahamas where she oversaw the hotel’s sales, public relations, social media strategy, marketing partnerships and guest relations. Palumbo also spent seven years as director of sales and marketing at several Starwood Hotels and Resorts’ properties, including Westin Le Paradis Beach & Golf Resort, St. Lucia and Martineau Bay Resort & Spa/W Retreat & Spa, Vieques Island.


Gerson brings more than 15 years of luxury hospitality sales focused experience in the Florida region and a powerful network to her role at Nobu Hotel Eden Roc. Prior to this appointment, Gerson held sales director roles at The Diplomat Resort & Spa in Hollywood Florida and spent over ten years  at LOEWS,  Miami Beach where she led benchmark corporate, association and third party accounts from the Midwest and New York markets. Gerson’s unparalleled knowledge of the local Florida and key international travel markets will be instrumental in the realization of Nobu Hospitality’s next chapter for the legendary “Grand Dame of Miami Beach.”

Pina Purpero Appointed As General Manager Of Hyatt At The Bellevue

Hyatt at The Bellevue is pleased to announce the appointment of Pina Purpero as general manager. In her new role, Purpero will manage all aspects of the hotel, its day-to-day operations and oversee a multi-million dollar renovation, set to be complete this spring. Ideally situated on the world famous Avenue of the Arts, one of the most vibrant tourist destinations in the United States, the historic Hyatt at The Bellevue is an appealing combination of luxe modern interiors and old-world architecture, tucked inside a Beaux-Arts building that has earned a spot on the National Registry of Historical Places.

Hyatt at The Bellevue features some of the most spacious and well-appointed guestrooms in the city and its modern seasonal restaurant, XIX (NINETEEN), located on the 19th floor, offers up extraordinary sweeping views of the city skyline. The Grand Ballroom boasts original lighting designed by Thomas Edison and its marble and hand-worked iron elliptical staircase is the most celebrated in the city. This spring Hyatt at The Bellevue will unveil new guestrooms after a multi-million dollar renovation, which was overseen by Purpero.

A hospitality and Hyatt veteran, Purpero began her career with Hyatt Hotels Corporation almost 20 years ago at the Hyatt Regency Scottsdale, and has been a key team member at seven different Hyatt Hotels across the country, leading renovations and launching new concepts for a variety of food & beverage outlets as well as overseeing operations for multiple dining venues and extensive banquet space. At Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego she led and developed the concepts and opening strategy for the opening of a new bar and deli. As Food & Beverage Director of Hyatt Westlake Plaza, Purpero oversaw a successful summer music series, and at Hyatt Regency McCormick Place she led the renovation, merchandising, and reopening of the Market. Prior to joining Hyatt at The Bellevue, Purpero was the Food & Beverage Director at Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort and Spa where she oversaw nine outlets and 290,000 sq. ft. of indoor/outdoor banquet space. Purpero’s new role brings her back to Philadelphia where she previously served as the Food & Beverage Director at Hyatt Regency Philadelphia at Penn’s Landing from 2006-2008.

Jason Williams Appointed General Manager Of Hotel Zephyr Fisherman’s Wharf

Hotel Zephyr, the first property within the new Pivot Hotels & Resorts lifestyle & luxury collection portfolio and one of San Francisco’s newest boutique hotels, today announced the appointment of Jason Williams as general manager. In his role, Williams will lead all operations of the 361-room premier waterfront property, which opened after a transformative $32-million full redesign in summer 2015.

Williams brings more than 13 years of hospitality industry experience to his position. He began his career with the Renaissance Agoura Hills & Hilton San Diego Gaslamp Quarter and moved to Los Angeles where he managed multi-million dollar renovations at the Doubletree Atlanta-Buckhead and Doubletree Los Angeles Westside as hotel manager, and Sheraton Agoura Hills as general manager. Prior to joining Hotel Zephyr, Williams acted as interim general manager for Sheraton Iowa City Hotel, hotelVetro and Valley River Inn. 

Best Western Announces Key Promotions in Marketing and Operations

Best Western Hotels & Resorts today announced the promotions of Tammy Lucas to vice president of marketing and Bruce Wienberg to vice president of operations. These promotions come at an exciting time in the brand’s history – just months after unveiling a new look and new name for the iconic brand.

During her tenure at Best Western, Lucas has led regional marketing, Best Western Rewards®, brand marketing, digital marketing, advertising and, most recently, the brand’s distribution partnerships.

Lucas has substantial marketing, sales and operations experience with a passion for inspiring teams to surpass goals both professionally and personally. In her current role, Lucas leads the marketing and advertising teams by setting the strategy and direction for key deliverables on brand marketing and advertising, Best Western Rewards, digital marketing, digital partnerships, direct marketing and search.

Bruce Wienberg began his career with Best Western in 2003 providing training, consulting and quality assurance assessments for more than 50 hotels in western Canada and the United States.

Wienberg served in various roles and was promoted to serve as the director of International Quality Assurance in 2008. In this role he enhanced global brand standards through assessment audits, quality assurance, brand identity and operational training for Best Western hotels in 100+ countries. He also manages the Customer Relations Department call center working directly with guests, hotel owners and their staff to help provide solutions to accommodations, service, reservations and billing issues. In 2013, he took on the added responsibilities of quality assurance for all North American properties, along with the company’s education and training efforts, guest satisfaction program, member compliance communications and brand identity departments.

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