Last updated: 03:00 AM ET, Tue July 07 2015

Welcome Aboard: New Hires and Promotions for July 7, 2015

People | Barry Kaufman | July 07, 2015

Welcome Aboard: New Hires and Promotions for July 7, 2015

New General Managers Appointed for Dream Downtown and Dream Hollywood

Dream Hotels, a Début Hotel Group brand, announces the appointment of Ayo Akinsete as general manager of the forthcoming Dream Hollywood with Dan Daley succeeding Akinsete as general manager of the renowned Dream Downtown. 

Previously the general manager of Dream Downtown, Akinsete will bring powerful leadership, invaluable hotel operations know-how and the Dream culture to the company’s new property in Los Angeles. In addition to his tenure at Dream Downtown, Akinsete held positions at multiple properties. He was operating, supplies and equipment manager and then manager in training at the Gansevoort Park Avenue in New York, as well as hotel manager at SLS Hotel South Beach in Miami, where he received extensive training and honed his management leadership skills. 

A hospitality professional with a track record of operational successes, Daley will serve as general manager of the prominent Dream Downtown, responsible for overseeing all operational and financial aspects of the hotel to promote growth and assure optimum performance.  Daley began his career in food and beverage working as a manager for Gerber Group's Stone Rose Lounge, before being promoted to director of nightlife. Following his time at Stone Rose, Dan was appointed general manager of TAO Strategic Group's LAVO Restaurant and Nightclub. He joined Hampshire Hotels Management in August 2014.

Walt Disney Parks And Resorts Names Jill Estorino As Executive Vice President, Global Marketing & Sales

Jill Estorino has been named executive vice president of Global Marketing & Sales for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts (WDPR).  Estorino replaces Leslie Ferraro who was named president of Disney Consumer Products in May. Estorino most recently served as the senior vice president, Marketing & Sales, Asia Pacific. In that role, she was accountable for integrating all marketing and sales activity for that important and growing region, in partnership with Hong Kong Disneyland and Shanghai Disney Resort site leaders.

In addition, she represented Disney parks with the travel trade organizations in Asia Pacific and led marketing and sales teams in the development of strategies for each of the sites, as well as in spearheading incoming business from Asia to the domestic Disney parks in California and Florida.  Prior to joining the team in Asia, Estorino was senior vice president, Marketing Strategy for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts’ domestic parks.

Experience Kissimmee Names Misty Johantgen as Chief Operating Officer

Misty Johantgen, a mainstay in Central Florida tourism for more than two decades, has been selected to fill the Chief Operating Officer post at Experience Kissimmee, the official tourism authority for Osceola County.

A 20-plus-year hospitality industry veteran, Johantgen was most recently the senior vice president of member relations & support services for Visit Orlando. In this role, she oversaw the sales, service and retention efforts for Visit Orlando¹s more than 1,100 members; advertising sales for over 50 publications and programs; and management of the organization¹s trade shows and events.  In addition, she oversaw the organization¹s print and digital services as well as web and applications efforts.

New Director of Romance at Wyndham Grand Rio Mar Beach Resort & Spa

Wyndham Grand Rio Mar Beach Resort & Spa elevates its seasoned wedding team with the appointment of Brian Lewis Postle as the resort’s new director of romance. With more than 20 years of hospitality experience, Postle heads up the 500 acre resort’s wedding and honeymoon specialists.

As Director of Romance, Postle will be instrumental in creating a one-stop shop for all bridal needs from the proposal down to the ring exchange and happily ever. Prior to joining Wyndham Grand Rio Mar Beach Resort & Spa, Postle managed Destination Wedding programs for Wyndham Nassau Resort, Wyndham Sugar Bay in St. Thomas and spent almost a decade as Director of Sales at Frenchman’s Reef & Morning Star Marriott Beach Resort in St. Thomas.

Trump Hotel Collection Names Philipp Posch General Manager, Trump International Hotel & Tower Vancouver

Trump Hotel Collection announced today the appointment of Philipp Posch as the general manager of Trump International Hotel & Tower Vancouver, a $360 million mixed-use development that will transform the city skyline when it opens in 2016.  Posch will transition from his current position at Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago, where he has played a key role in the opening of the renowned property, overseeing both the management of the hotel and its two-Michelin starred restaurant, Sixteen.

Prior to joining Trump Hotel Collection, Philipp was a founding partner of Océo Restaurant and La Gazelle Lounge in New York City; the Food and Beverage Manager for the St. Regis New York; and has international experience managing the food and beverage programs at both The Oriental Bangkok and The Oriental Singapore.  Philipp received his bachelor’s degree in Hotel Management from école hôtelière de Lausanne in Lausanne, Switzerland in 2002.

Paul Devitt Joins Grand Hyatt San Francisco as Area Vice President

Grand Hyatt San Francisco recently announced the appointment of Paul Devitt as area vice president and general manager. Devitt, most recently the general manager at Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort and Spa in Austin, Texas, returns to the Bay Area to provide oversight operations at five Hyatt properties in the Bay Area: Grand Hyatt San Francisco, the property where he will be based and solely responsible for, Hyatt Regency San Francisco, Hyatt Regency San Francisco Airport, Hyatt Regency Sacramento, Hyatt Regency and Santa Clara.

Before he was the general manager at Hyatt Regency Lost Pines, he was the general manager at Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach. Previous to those roles, he was the general manager at the Hyatt Regency Newport Beach. His past experience with the Hyatt portfolio also includes his service as the general manager at Hyatt Regency Pittsburg International Airport and executive director of rooms operations at Hyatt Hotels Corporation based in Chicago. Devitt has also served in two senior executive assistant manager roles with Grand Hyatt New York and Grand Hyatt San Francisco.

Azamara Club Cruises Appoints Michael Pawlus Director, Deployment & Destinations

Azamara Club Cruises, the upmarket cruise line known for its destination-immersive voyages for discerning travelers, is pleased to announce the appointment of Michael Pawlus to director, strategic itinerary & destination planning. A seasoned professional with a number of innovations in the area of itinerary planning, Pawlus has more than 25 years of experience in the cruise industry.

Pawlus joins Azamara from Silversea Cruises where he served as director of strategic itinerary planning. Prior to joining Silversea, Pawlus held positions at Seabourn, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Uniworld River Cruises, and Delta Queen Steamboat Company. Pawlus started his career in the cruise industry with Royal Viking Line and Norwegian Cruise Line where he was employed for 14 years. Pawlus holds an MBA in Finance from Texas A&M University and did his undergraduate studies at the University of Michigan.

AccorHotels Appoints Gaurav Bhushan as Chief Development Officer

Gaurav Bhushan has been appointed chief development officer at AccorHotels. Bhushan began his career with AccorHotels in 1995 in Australia where he held various posts in operations and finance. In 2000 he took up his first development position as business development manager for Australia and New Zealand. He was then appointed chief development manager for Australia, New Zealand and Japan, and extended his area of responsibility to become VP Development for North Asia and the Pacific in 2004.

Bhushan has headed AccorHotels' Asia Pacific development teams and coordinated the development of joint ventures and partnerships in the region since 2006. It was in this capacity that he was able to secure the acquisition of Mirvac Hotels & Resorts in Australia and New Zealand and, most recently, the alliance with Huazhu in China.

Roshan Mendis appointed senior vice president of Sabre Travel Network, Asia Pacific

Sabre Corporation announced today that it has appointed Roshan Mendis as senior vice president for Sabre Travel Network, Asia Pacific, following the completion of its acquisition of Abacus International today. In his new role, Mendis will be responsible for the overall Sabre Travel Network business in the Asia Pacific region which will include the newly acquired Abacus business.

 Mendis joins the team following 12 years with, where he was most recently president of the Americas, until its sale in early 2015 to Expedia.  Mendis was also formally president of Zuji, Travelocity’s Asia Pacific brand, based in Singapore, and prior to that, vice president of Travelocity Partner Network. A native of Sri Lanka, Mendis holds an MBA in Marketing and Finance from Rice University, Texas. He earned his Degree in Economics at the Chaminade University in Honolulu, Hawaii. Mendis will relocate from Texas, and be based at Sabre’s Asia Pacific regional headquarters in Singapore.

Regent Appoints Andre Scholl Group Vice President Of Operations 

Regent Hotels & Resorts is delighted to announce the appointment of Andre Scholl as group vice president of operations. Scholl will be based in Taipei and will be overseeing the brand’s hotel operations and owner relations. A focus for the new position is to align Regent’s operational leaders to accelerate the brand’s global growth and talent development.

Scholl joins Regent Hotels & Resorts with more than three decades of leadership credentials. Most recently Scholl was the chief operating officer and vice president of operations of a Hong Kong-based international hotel brand. Scholl has also served as general manager and held other leadership positions for luxury hotels throughout Asia, Middle East, and Europe over the past 30 years.

Godfrey Hotel Boston Names Kathryn Aldrich As Associate Director Of Sales 

The Godfrey Hotel Boston announces the appointment of local hospitality veteran, Kathryn Aldrich, as associate director of sales of the 242 guestroom, upscale lifestyle luxury hotel opening in Boston’s Downtown Crossing fall 2015. Aldrich comes most recently from Hyatt Regency Boston, bringing with her more than seven years of experience with Hyatt Hotels & Resorts throughout the Boston area. 

Before joining the Godfrey Hotel Boston, Aldrich served as sales manager in house at Hyatt Regency Boston. During her time with Hyatt Hotels & Resorts, Aldrich was recognized with the Outstanding Production Achievement Award each year from 2010 to 2014, and nominated for 2012, 2013, and 2014 Transient Sales Manager of the Year.

David Richard Appointed Regional Director Of Sales & Marketing For Starwood Hotels & Resorts In Hawaii & French Polynesia

Starwood Hotels & Resorts has named David Richard its regional director of sales and marketing for the Hawaii and French Polynesia region.  In this role, Richard is responsible for driving the top-line revenue for 14 hotels and resorts, including 11 properties in Hawaii.  This move will further enhance Starwood’s integrated approach to sales and marketing strategy.

A member of the Starwood family for 27 years, Richard has returned to Hawaii after having served as the director of sales and marketing for The Orchid at Mauna Lani from 1996 to 2000.

Most recently he was area director of sales and marketing for Starwood Hotels in Arizona, a position he held since 2009. Richard came to Arizona in 2002, joining The Phoenician as director of sales and marketing before taking on the added responsibility of area director.  

Belmond Charleston Place Announces New Travel Agent Sales Manager

Belmond Charleston Place hotel recently promoted Brenna Emerson to the position of travel industry sales manager. In her new role, Brenna is responsible for the national travel agent marketing and sales program. In addition, she will also manage the hotel’s Executive Privilege Program that assists area businesses with their corporate accommodation needs.

Originally from Greensburg, PA, Brenna Emerson is well versed in hotel management. Her first foray in the industry was at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills California, where she regularly interacted with the property’s celebrity clientele.

She returned to the East Coast in 2002, initially managing Poogan’s Porch, a renowned Charleston eatery prior to doing a stint as the on air television host of, “My Charleston Wedding.” Emerson first joined Belmond Charleston Place in 2012 and has immersed herself in the operations of the hotel, holding positions as front office supervisor and reservation manager prior to assuming her new position as the travel agent sales manager.

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