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People in the News | Davide Barnes, New Hotel Manager
 at the Four Seasons Hotel in Philadelphia
By Thomas J. Brady, The Philadelphia InquirerMcClatchy-Tribune Business News

Oct. 16, 2006 - Of all the adventures Davide Barnes has had in the hotel industry, going to a room by himself to evict a mobster and his two big bodyguards had to be one of the more hair-raising.

But then, overcoming the "craziness" that he says is always present in the hotel business probably helps explain why he was recently named hotel manager at the Four Seasons Hotel in Philadelphia.

"My heart was going about a million miles a minute," Barnes recalled of that long-ago experience at another hotel, during an interview at the Fountain Restaurant last week.

In his short time at the Four Seasons -- he started Oct. 2 -- he's already had one humorous request: A bride-to-be, indicating the Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul, where she was to be married, "jokingly asked if I could do anything about the scaffolding over there." Despite his love for making the impossible come true, he admits he wasn't able to help her.

Like many hotel managers, Barnes likes to stay on the move, starting each morning by strolling through the eight-floor hotel at One Logan Square. "I like to make sure everything's going well," he said, adding he has done so much walking that "I've lost weight since I got here."

Barnes came to the 364-room Four Seasons Hotel from the Chaminade Resort & Spa in Santa Cruz, Calif., where he was general manager.

The Four Seasons, which opened on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in 1983, has 550 employees and about 125,000 overnight guests a year.

Barnes, 35, was born in Los Angeles and reared in San Juan Capistrano, "where the swallows return every year." He began working in luxury hotels while still in college, as a counselor in children's activity programs.

His first job after earning his bachelor of arts degree in language studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz, was as a front-desk agent. (The "e" in his first name, by the way, is from an old Sicilian spelling he adopted at his grandmother's request.)

When not making sure that his guests are pampered, Barnes likes to spend as much time as he can with his wife, Maggie, and their 3-year-old daughter, Mia. He also enjoys playing tennis and running along the Schuylkill while listening to a mix of alternative rock and other tunes on his iPod. He has already run up the steps of the Art Museum, raising his arms a la Rocky, "just so I could say I did it."

While searching for a home in the area, he and his family are staying in the hotel.

"Mia's in this Eloise world of living in the Four Seasons," he said. "She's absolutely in heaven, spoiled beyond belief. She thinks all you have to do is press a button and food comes," he said with a laugh. "We're going to have to deprogram her."

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Analytical Graphics Inc., Exton, has named Robert Hammett vice president of sales for North America. He had been business development director for Defense Department programs.

Shannon Jordan-Crossin has been promoted to vice president of marketing at NutriSystem, Horsham. She had been director of marketing and advertising.

LCOR Inc., a Berwyn real estate development, investment and asset management company, has named Robert R. Kilroy a senior vice president. He had been a senior investment officer of Fidelity Investments' real estate group in Boston.

The University City District has named Ann Mintz director of fund-raising and development. She had been president and chief executive officer of the Chester County Historical Society, West Chester.

Edward L. Woyden Jr. has been named a vice president with Gannett Fleming, an international planning, design and construction management firm in Valley Forge. He continues as the company's water and wastewater national practice manager.

Teresa Bryce has been named executive vice president, general counsel and secretary of Radian Group Inc., a Philadelphia global credit risk management company. She had been senior vice president, general counsel and secretary at Nexstar Financial Co., St. Louis.

Robert M. McLaughlin has been named senior vice president and chief financial officer of Airgas Inc., Radnor. He had been interim chief financial officer and before that vice president and controller.

David Dinenberg has been promoted to executive vice president and managing director of Grasso Holdings Inc., a real estate firm with affiliates involved in construction, development, residential sales, leasing and property management. He had been senior vice president.

Bob Ayd has been named executive vice president of merchandising and chief merchandising officer at QVC, West Chester. He had been senior vice president of design, development and global sourcing.

Bob Myers has been promoted to senior vice president of QVC.com. He had been vice president of merchandising for QVC.com.

Novavax Inc., Malvern, has named Penny Heaton chief medical officer. She had been senior director of vaccines clinical research at Merck & Co.'s Research Laboratories.

The Birth Center, Bryn Mawr, has named Nancy Feldman Kirsh executive director. She had been an independent consultant to health-care and nonprofit organizations.

Isolagen Inc., Exton, has named Bryant Pearce senior vice president, operations. He had been vice president, manufacturing and tech transfer, at Clearant Inc., a Santa Monica, Calif., biotech company. He was based in Gaithersburg, Md.

Innovative Solutions & Support Inc., Exton, has named Steve Long senior vice president of business development and operations. He had been general manager of Parker Aerospace's electronics systems division, Smithtown, N.Y.

June E. Griffith has been named director of business development of IEI Group, a Philadelphia interior design/interior architectural firm. She had been director of marketing and sales at Mitchell Associates, Wilmington.

Doug Matthews has been named executive vice president of operations at Right Management. He had been president and chief executive officer of the Employer Research Association, a Cincinnati nonprofit organization.

Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Delaware Valley has named Anne Stanley program director. She had been executive assistant to the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.

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Copyright (c) 2006, The Philadelphia Inquirer

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