Welcome Aboard: New Hires and Promotions for October 23, 2015
Canary Santa Barbara Appoints Peggy White as Senior Sales Manager
Kimpton’s Canary Santa Barbara announced today the appointment of Peggy White as senior sales manager. White comes to the Canary from Loews Hollywood Hotel, where she served as a national sales manager. Her previous hospitality roles include serving as a national sales manager for the Ritz Carlton Laguna Niguel, Vail Cascade Resort and St. Regis Aspen. White also spent time as a task force sales manager at Inland Pacific Associates and an associate real estate broker at Frederick Realty Interests, both in Denver, Colo.
Swan and Dolphin Hotel Adds Two Group Sales Managers
The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel has added two new members to their sales team in the positions of group sales managers.
Kristina Moehle has been promoted to group sales manager at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel. Moehle began her career with the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel in May 2012, where she was part of the guest services team. Most recently, she served the hotel as a catering sales coordinator. Moehle is a graduate of The University of Central Florida’s Rosen College of Hospitality Management.
The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel has also appointed Kelly Hartig group sales manager, overseeing small meetings accounts in the Midwest and West Coast. Hartig comes to the hotel from the Country Club of Orlando, where she held a role as catering sales manager. Previously, she supported a number of sales teams at the Walt Disney World Resort. Hartig holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a master’s degree in international business from the University of Florida.
The Westin Dallas Park Central Welcomes Jeremy Berlin As General Manager
The Westin Dallas Park Central has named Jeremy Berlin as general manager. With more than 15 years of diversified industry experience, Berlin has a proven track record of success in leading outstanding hotel performance and guest satisfaction.
Previously Berlin served as general manager of The Westin Dallas Fort Worth Airport Hotel in Irving, Texas. As general manager, Berlin was responsible for the management of 250 associates and overall day-to-day operations of the 506-room property. Berlin effectively oversaw all capital projects and developed lucrative, long-term capital, marketing, and budget plans. Recognizing Berlin’s tremendous aptitude as a leader and his achievement in generating revenue, Starwood Hotels & Resorts nominated Berlin for the Chief Sales Officer of the Year award in 2013.
Mexico’s Velas Resorts Appoint New Hotel Managers at Puerto Vallarta Properties
Mexico’s “Beyond All-Inclusive, Beyond All Compare” Velas Resorts has appointed Juan Carlos López Ruiz hotel manager of Velas Vallarta, and Karina Zuñiga hotel manager of Casa Velas, effective immediately. In their new positions, López and Zuñiga are responsible for overseeing day-to-day resort operations at the family-friendly all suites resort and spa located on Banderas Bay and 80 suite boutique adults-only hotel and ocean club, respectively.
López joins Velas Resorts with over 30 years of hotel experience throughout Mexico at such properties as Las Palomas, Plaza las Glorias, Hotel Villa Bejar & Spa Tequesquitengo, Krystal Vallarta (formerly Hotel Posada de Vallarta) and various of InterContinental Hotel Groups (Holiday Inn, InterContinental, amongst others.) Zuñiga brings with her over 20 years of hotel experience in Mexico at Fiesta Americana, Las Brisas Hotel Collection, Quinta Real, and Grupo Mayan, as well as Sandals in Ocho Rios, Jamaica.
Boston Park Plaza Appoints David Berkoski As National Accounts Director
Boston Park Plaza is pleased to announce the appointment of industry veteran David Berkoski to the position of national accounts director. Berkoski brings over 27 years of sales, marketing and operations management experience to Boston Park Plaza, where he will manage client relations, sales initiatives and new business opportunities for the property.
Berkoski began his hospitality career at the Palmer House in Chicago, IL where he was promoted and then transferred to the O’Hare Hilton, before making the move to Orlando, FL to open The Hilton Walt Disney World. Berkoski’s sales experience began at the Peabody Orlando Hotel as national sales manager, which included the responsibility of overseeing meetings space sales in a variety of markets.
M&R Appoints Manager of Holiday Inn Express in Manhattan
M&R Hotel Management has announced the appointment of Glenda Gomez as general manager of the 177-room Holiday Inn Express Manhattan Midtown West at 538 West 48th St.
Gomez, an 11-year hospitality industry veteran who has managed branded as well as independent hotels in New York, will oversee the hotel’s operations, sales, marketing, security, maintenance, housekeeping and accounting. Gomez previously served M&R Hotel Management for two and one half years as general manager of the Holiday Inn Express LaGuardia Airport in Queens. Prior to joining M&R, she was director of front office operations for The Alex Hotel in New York City. From 2007 to 2011, she was overnight audit manager and front office manager at the Gardens NYC, an Affinia Hotel.
Emerald Waterways Expands, Appoints Regional Sales Manager and Group Sales Manager
Emerald Waterways, Europe’s newest river cruise line, has announced the hiring of two new sales managers: Linda Gruneklee will serve as regional sales manager for the Southeastern United States and Theresa Mullen is the new group sales manager.
Prior to joining Emerald Waterways, Gruneklee held the position of business development manager for MSC Cruises. Gruneklee’s cruise experience is extensive, having worked with Norwegian Cruise Line for 24 years, most notably as business development manager in North and South Carolina for 16 years.
Mullen has enjoyed a 15-year career in travel prior to joining Emerald Waterways as Group Sales Managers. She’s worked as a travel consultant specializing in cruises and, after a river cruise on the Seine introduced her to the joys of river cruising, she accepted a position with Viking River Cruises as a reservation agent. From there Theresa started her own travel company, The Travel Renaissance. As an involved member of the travel industry, Mullen has volunteered with the New England Chapter of the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) and with the New England Chapter of Professional Travel Agents of North America (PTANA). Mullen enjoys spending time with her family, rowing, kickboxing and traveling.
Natalie Kramer Appointed Creative Director at New Lux Hotel Miami Beach
Natalie Kramer, currently hotel director for The Townhouse and Beach Place Hotels, has additionally been appointed hotel and creative director for the newly opened Lux Hotel Miami Beach. Kramer oversees all aspects of the three properties, supervising the hotel managers and controllers and reporting to the partners. Kramer’s scope of work includes sales and revenue planning, marketing, events and design - including uniform selection and decor. Kramer studied hospitality management at Florida International University.
New Leadership Team in Place at Kimpton’s Shorebreak Hotel
Kimpton’s Shorebreak Hotel introduced today the new leadership team at the famed Huntington Beach property. From the seasoned general manager to the professional skimboarder/Chef, below are the new faces of Surf City USA’s iconic 157-room hotel:
Brent McNally is the general manager at Kimpton’s Shorebreak Hotel, responsible for the hotel’s day-to-day operations, guest relations and financial performance. With more than 10 years of hospitality experience and a strong background in hotel openings and transitions, McNally is well known for his ability to build teams that cultivate and embrace the spirit of a hotel’s location and surroundings. Brent comes to the Shorebreak Hotel from Cypress Hotel, Kimpton’s Silicon Valley property, where he spent nearly three years as an assistant general manager. Prior to relocating to California in 2012, McNally served in management roles at Kimpton’s Miami, Fla. and Scottsdale, Ariz. hotels.
Gene Smallwood is the director of sales and marketing at Kimpton’s Shorebreak Hotel, responsible for revenue management, leading the sales organization and overall hotel financial success. A results-oriented and creative strategist, Smallwood comes to the Shorebreak from Park Hyatt Aviara Resort, where he spent five years in various sales leadership roles. Most recently, Smallwood served as the hotel’s associate director of sales. Gene started his hospitality career as an account executive at the Hyatt Hotels Corporation.
Blake Brissette-Mathias is the general manager of Food and Beverage at Kimpton’s Shorebreak Hotel, responsible for managing all food and beverage operations, including banquets, catering, in-room dining and the Zimzala Restaurant & Bar. Brissette-Mathias is a skilled food and beverage leader, with more than eight years of experience driving strategy and food and beverage initiatives for several brands.
Brissette-Mathias comes to Shorebreak from Fox Restaurant Concepts, where he spent three years in various leadership roles. Most recently, he served as the general manager at the Culinary Dropout - The Yard in Phoenix, Ariz. Brissette-Mathias started his hospitality career as in intern at China Grill Management, and was quickly promoted to restaurant and bar manager.
Chef Damon Kelly leads Shorebreak’s Zimzala Restaurant & Bar, and is responsible for daily culinary direction and creating an exciting and approachable menu, filled with coastal and surf-inspired cuisine. A SoCal native, Chef Kelly is into locally sourced produce, putting it to tantalizing use in dishes that change each season. Prior to Zimzala Restaurant & Bar, Chef KElly served as the chef de cuisine at Commune Hotels and Resorts.
The Peninsula Hotels Appoints First Female General Manager Of A Tokyo Luxury Hotel
The Peninsula Hotels announced the appointment of Sonja Vodusek as general manager of The Peninsula Tokyo. Currently general manager of The Peninsula Manila, Vodusek joined The Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels, Limited (holding company of The Peninsula Hotels) as hotel manager at The Peninsula New York in 2010. She relocated to Manila seven months later as general manager in 2011. A native of Yarrawonga in Victoria, Australia, she received separate diplomas in hotel and business management from the Blue Mountain International Hotel Management School (BMIHMS) in Sydney and the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, respectively. Prior to joining The Peninsula Hotels, she had 16 years of experience holding various executive management positions in the luxury hospitality sector at Four Seasons hotels in the United States, Japan, Ireland, Australia and the Czech Republic.
Omni Hotels & Resorts Appoints David Chase As Managing Director Of Omni Berkshire Place
Today Omni Hotels & Resorts announced the appointment of decorated industry veteran David Chase as the managing director of the Omni Berkshire Place in New York City. In this role, he is responsible for managing sales, marketing, food and beverage, and all operational efforts to ensure optimal guest satisfaction at the luxurious Midtown Manhattan property.
Chase is an energetic leader who has more than 25 years of experience working with some of the world’s top luxury brands. Most recently, Chase served as the general manager of The New York Palace for four years where he oversaw a $146 million renovation that completely transformed the landmark hotel with a revamp of all 909 rooms and suites, upgrades to the lobbies of The Towers and main hotel, and the opening of six new restaurants and bars. Before his time at The New York Palace, he was the general manager at Trump SoHo where he opened the hotel and oversaw all managerial aspects of the property on behalf of the Trump Hotel Collection. Chase has also served in top leadership positions with several Ritz-Carlton properties, the W New York and The St. Regis New York.
Kevin J. Abramowicz appointed Regional General Manager of COMO Hotels and Resorts for Thailand and Bhutan
Zurich-born Kevin J. Abramowicz has joined COMO Hotels and Resorts as the new regional head of the company’s four hotels in Bhutan and Thailand. They include Metropolitan by COMO, Bangkok, where Abramowicz will be based, as well as the company’s newest property in Thailand, Point Yamu by COMO in Phuket. He will also oversee the two Uma adventure lodges in Bhutan in the Paro and Punakha Valleys. All four properties are regionally linked through Bangkok, with short connecting flights (three hours to Bhutan, one hour to Phuket).
With over 14 years in the hospitality industry, Abramowicz comes to COMO with an abundance of first-class experience. He has worked in the U.S. at The Setai on Miami Beach and at the Delamar Greenwich Harbor in Connecticut, as well as for Langham in Hong Kong. His most recent role was as general manager of The Legian & The Club at The Legian Bali, where he led a team that achieved several first-class awards and recognitions.
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