Hotel Online Special Report

Global Update: Who’s Where and Doing What
December  2001
Heads Above the Rest
The Newsletter of The Boutique Search Firm
The Americas
Jean-Louis Palladin, justly hailed by many as the nicest guy in the fine dining industry, passed away after waging a valiant fight against lung cancer for over one year. Palladin inspired an entire generation of stellar chefs and will be missed.

Bruce Hearn has been named Managing Director of Carénage Bay Resort and Golf Club by Rosewood Hotels, where he takes over from Rich Verruni, who left the company. Hearn, a Cornell graduate, was most recently with Lindblad Expeditions as Director of Hotel Operations for four ships.  One of the world's leading expert on Caribbean hotelkeeping, he also ran Island Outpost¹s Jamaica properties, was the General Manager of Windjammer Landing on St. Lucia, the Bitter End Yacht Club and St.  James¹ Club in Antigua and opened the Wyndham Virgin Grand in St.  Thomas. His career originally started with Rockresorts at Little Dix Bay and Caneel Bay Plantation. Ironically, these two properties are now part of Rosewood.

At the Kor Group, Ellen Miller is already gone as General Manager of Avalon (that makes her the property¹s third General Manager in slightly over two years) replaced by Paul Birchall. The latter joined the group two years ago and was previously the General Manager for both the Estrella Inn in Palm Springs and the Viceroy in Santa Monica. Henri Birmele has been named General Manager of the Viceroy, which is due to open in the spring. A Swiss, Birmele was previously with St. Regis as Hotel Manager, first at the Washington DC St. Regis, then as the troubled Los Angeles property, which he left in October.

David Dressler is Director of Food and Beverage at Shutters on the Beach, replacing Jeff Jackson. Dressler, a Canadian, was recently a free-lance food and beverage consultant, but previously worked with Four Seasons in Newport Beach, New York, Beverly Hills and Carlsbad. He is a graduate of the Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne.

At Sonoma Spa Resorts, big changes include the departure of Charles Henning (he is going to Vero Beach to manage a high-end private club) and that of Ulrich Krauer. The latter is being replaced by Thomas Becker who is promoted from Resort Manager to General Manager of Sonoma Mission Inn.  Becker, prior to joining the property in 2000, spent three and a half years with Sun International in Mauritius, and nine years with Mandarin-Oriental in Singapore, San Francisco and Hong Kong. 
Aloha Knaefler has been named Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Sonoma Spa Resorts, in charge of marketing Sonoma Mission Inn and its sister property Ventana Big Sur. Knaefler previously directed sales and marketing for ANA Hotels on the US market. 

Also at Sonoma Spa Resorts, Pete Gibbons was named company Vice President of Merchandise and Retail. He was previously with Disney stores and also logged some time in Product Management for Starbucks Coffee Company in Seattle. Tu Tran, Vice President of Business Development for Sonoma Spa Resorts, will also assume responsibility for overseeing the accounting and financial services departments for both Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa and Ventana Inn & Spa. Mr. Tran¹s career in the hospitality industry spans two decades with ANA, Hyatt, Hilton Hotels and Holiday Inns. Wendy Waha now assumes the responsibility of General Manager of the Sonoma Club, an exclusive, recreational lifestyle club. She replaces Charles Henning.

The $1 billion, 2,010 room Borgata Casino Resort in Atlantic City, scheduled to open Summer 2003, is a joint venture development of Boyd Gaming Corporation and MGM Mirage. It announced the appointment of five executives who will be among the senior brass at the resort: 

Kevin Sullivan, Senior Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer, Auggie Cipollini, Vice President of Finance, Cassie Fireman, Vice President of Talent, David Farlin, Vice President of Information Technology, Joseph Corbo, Vice President and General Counsel.
Anthony Suttile is the new General Manager of the 163-room Claridge Hotel in Chicago. Suttile just completed a three-year assignment as General Manager for the Oshkosh, Wisconsin, Pioneer Resort & Marina. He also previously served as Vice President and General Manager for MetroGolf-Chicago, and was also the General Manager for the Ambassador West and the Knickerbocker hotels for Grand Heritage Hotels International. 

Changes (again) with Millennium Hotels and Resorts, where Tony Kinnear, Senior Vice President of Operations, is now based at the Millennium Knickerbocker Hotel in Chicago, where he also serves as General Manager.  He ran that hotel from 1995 to 2000 under the Regal flag prior to the acquisition by Millennium. Prior to that, he was Vice President of Operations for Trusthouse Forte Hotels, based in San Diego. Daniel Pirrallo, formerly General Manager of the Knickerbocker now holds the same post at the Millennium Boulder in Colorado. 
Olivier Bottois has left Four Seasons after a nine-year stint. His last position was that of Director of Food and Beverage at the company flagship, Chicago's Ritz-Carlton. Bottois also took part, in the same position, in the takeover of what became the Four Seasons Atlanta. Prior to joining the company in 1992, Bottois worked in such stellar luxury hotels as the Peninsula New York, the Connaught in London, Vierjarheszeiten in Hamburg and the Ritz in Paris.
John Groom has been named President of Caesar's Palace Las Vegas. He had served as Caesar¹s Palace's interim president since September 5. The 35-year old gaming landmark is currently building a 4,000-seat theatre. Groom originally joined Caesar¹s in 1979 in Atlantic City and has a pure casino background.
Sharon Rothstein has been named Senior Vice President, Global Brand Marketing, for Starwood. Most recently, she served as Vice President, Brand Marketing for Starwood's STARS division. Before joining Starwood, she served as Chief Executive Officer of Rothstein also spent 13 years with Procter & Gamble and Nabisco. 
At the soon-to-open 83-room Delamar in Greenwich Connecticut, Klaus Peters started as General Manager September 11, 2001. He was previously at Islamorada¹s tony Cheeca Lodge after a long career with Hyatt and Sheraton. He joins Director of Sales and Marketing Noelle Carroll who joined in the summer after three years in the same capacity at New York¹s Warwick. Peters succeeds Tim Kirwan who was very, very briefly in the position.
Christopher Perry has been named Vice President of Sales & Marketing for the Boutique Hotel Group's five Manhattan properties. He replaces Milvi Vehik who held the post for the past two years. Perry is a well-known second-generation hotel marketer, who previously was the Director of Sales and Marketing at the Barclay Inter-Continental New York for four years.  He also served with Hilton Hotels Corporation in Atlanta and New York, as well as with Ritz-Carlton.
Matthew Nuss has been named Vice President Operations of the Valencia Group. He was most recently General Manager of the Omni Houston hotel.  Previous assignments with Omni included General Manager of the Omni Austin Southpark and Omni Berkshire Place in New York City, Resident Manager of the Omni Royal Orleans and Controller of the Omni Houston.  Also, Carlos Flores has been named Corporate Controller of the Valencia Group. Flores' most recent position was Regional Controller for Wyndham.  Prior to that he was the Controller of the Camino Real del Paso Norte in El Paso, Texas.
The Pinehurst Company (formerly known as Club Corporation of America) has announced the appointment of Michael Thomas, as President of Barton Creek Resort. Thomas comes to Barton Creek from Daufuskie Island Resort, where he has served as President since 1998.  Prior to his joining The Pinehurst Company, Michael Thomas served as President and General Manager of the Tides, in Virginia. He also was General Manager of Miami¹s exclusive Fisher Island.
KSL has named Ted Axe to serve as the new Vice President and General Manager of La Costa Resort and Spa. Axe will make the transition from his current role as Vice President and General Manager of KSL's Claremont Resort & Spa in Northern California to return to La Costa Resort and Spa where he served as Director of Operations from 1996 to 1998. 
At KSL's La Quinta, Executive Chef James Footit, a former Ritz-Carlton and Hyatt man, is moving on to the Hotel Del Coronado for Destination Resorts. He is replaced at La Quinta by Lee-Ann Kamekona, who had once been a Sous Chef there under John Zaner and most recently served as Executive Chef of the Outrigger Wailea Resort. Also at La Quinta, at the recently opened gourmet Azur, a by-product of New York¹s Le Bernardin, Jasper Schneider is manning the stove under the once-a-month tutelage of Bernardin Chef and co-owner Eric Ripert. Azur's front of the house is manned by Pierre Vilay, a once Maitre d'Hotel at Le Colonial in Los Angeles and the Hotel Bel-Air.
The Doral Park Avenue Hotel has named Tara Harding Corporate Group Sales Manager. She previously was on the sales side of New York Cruise Lines (Circle Line & World Yacht).  
Jennifer Tzonas has left her position of Director of Sales at the New York Palace to become the Director of Sales and Marketing at the Hotel Sofitel New York. At the Palace, John Fredsall has been hired as Director of Sales and Marketing. A former Holiday Inn man he was recently with Accor.
Jeff Doane, who left his position of Director of Marketing at the new Four Seasons San Francisco after one year, has returned to Fairmont, this time as Director of Sales and Marketing at the Fairmont San Francisco. He replaces David Wiener who is now Regional Director of Sales and Marketing for Fairmont Hotels and Resorts for the US Western Region.
Nora Gainer has joined Preferred Hotels & Resorts Worldwide as the Director of Marketing Programs. She comes to Preferred after six years with Swissôtel Management, where she was Director of Marketing Communications for North and South America. Prior to Swissôtel Management, Nora worked for the Italian Trade Commission.
Jean-Luc Naret has left as Managing Director of the ultraplush Sandy Lane. Naret, a most seasoned resort operator, had joined the property in May 2000 after leaving his mark on two major resorts in Mauritius: La Résidence and Le Saint Géran. At Sandy Lane, he brought to fruition a major $450 million renovation project, with a three-year closure of the entire resort. The 112-suite Sandy Lane with two Golf Courses and a 45,000 sq.ft. spa, opened March 17, 2001. Colm Hannon takes over as General Manager of Sandy Lane Hotel and Michael Davern as General Manager of Golf & Sandy Lane Properties.  
Rick Masucci, General Manager at the Hyatt Regency Bethesda, passed away on November 2, 2001.
Michel Willaume, who won the Pastry World Cup in Lyon earlier this year (with teammates En-Ming Hsu from the Four Seasons Chicago, and Ewald Notter from the Confectionery Arts School in Maryland) has left the Ritz-Carlton San Francisco where he had been the Pastry Chef for four years, to launch his own venture, called Mondrian Pastry, a French Gourmet Pastry Shop and Café in Great Neck, Long Island. Prior to San Francisco, Willaume came from the Hotel Arts Barcelona, a Ritz-Carlton Hotel property, where he was the Pastry Chef for almost five years.  
Michael Brake has been appointed as General Manager of the Grenada Grand Beach Resort, a 250-room beachfront resort and convention center located on Grand Anse Beach in Grenada. Previously he was associated as Area Manager with two Ramada hotels in Toronto.
Paul Tormey took Daniel Kaile's spot as the General Manager of the Fairmont Hamilton Princess. He was previously the Hotel Manager at the Plaza in New York, also a Fairmont hotel. 
Rajan Lai has been promoted to Vice President Human Resources the Americas for Raffles International. He also assumes the role of Director of Human Resources for the Swissôtel Chicago. In his dual role, Lai reports to both Thomas Klein, Raffles Vice President Americas and Joseph Violi, General Manager Swissôtel Chicago.
Mark Earle has been appointed Senior Vice President for HVS Capital, after a 22-year-career with Marriott. He was most recently Vice President of Resort Development for Marriott International¹s fractional ownership division. Earle has a master¹s degree from Cornell University¹s School of Hotel Management. 
Karim Meslem has been named Regional Sales Manager based in New York for London¹s Savoy Hotel Group. Prior to his move to New York, he served as Senior Sales Manager for The Savoy Group in London. He joined from Méridien Hotels. A native of France, Meslem began his hospitality industry career in Lyon.
Gildas Renaux has been appointed Chief Operating Officer for the Elegant Hotels Group in Barbados, and will report to Marcello Pigozzo, Chief Executive Officer of the group. Prior to this appointment, Renaux was an Area General Manager for Hoteles Sol Melia for whom he managed six hotels in Morocco, under Pigozzo. Renaux's previous experience includes the role of General Manager for Puente Romano and Sa Talaia, both in Spain. Still with Elegant Hotels, Gary Peters has been named Executive Vice President of Development. He too came from Sol Melia. Last but not least, Reto Torriani has been appointed General Manager of Elegant Hotels¹ Tamarind Cove in Barbados. Torriani, whose most recent posting was in Tunisia, also was previously the General Manager of the Leela Palace in Goa, and the opening General Manager of the Bora Bora Pearl Beach Resort in Polynesia. He also opened as General Manager, the Chedi in Ubud.
Omni Hotels promoted James Kuthy to Vice President of Development and Business Analysis and appointed Scott Johnson as Vice President of Development. Kuthy, who joined Omni Hotels in 1994, most recently served as Regional Controller for the company. He previously worked at the Marriott Yosemite and the Del Mar Hilton. Johnson most recently directed the business development department for an on-line financial services company based in Fort Worth and served as an aide to President Bush during the 2000 presidential campaign. 
Mike Fegley has been named Vice President of Field Sales for Six Continents Hotels and Resorts, Americas Region, reporting directly to Chuck Brownfield, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Sales, Americas.  Prior to joining Six Continents Hotels, Fegley held senior management sales positions with the Holiday Inn, Ramada, Inter-Continental Hotels, Renaissance and Wyndham hotel brands. His most recent position was Vice President of Sales with Radisson Hotels & Resorts.
Mike Goodson has been named Senior Vice President, Finance, for the Americas at Six Continents Hotels and Resorts. He has been with the company in various finance positions for the past thirteen years.
Joel Letofsky has been named Controller of the Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center, (formerly Opryland Florida) anticipating a successful January 2002 opening. He was previously the Assistant Director of Finance at Bacara, following a successful six years career with Park Place Entertainment in Las Vegas and Orlando. He is a graduate of the Cornell School of Hotel Administration.
Melissa Trumbull has joined China Grill Management at Ian Schrager's Royalton as Restaurant Director. As such she will be responsible for the opening of the Blue Door, with consulting Chef Claude Troisgros. Until September 11 of this year, Trumbull, who is a Cornell graduate, was the Restaurant Director at Windows on the World.

Asia & the Pacific
Eric Brand is the new General Manager of the Sukhothai Bangkok, taking over from Greg Meadows who moseyed over to the soon-to-open Conrad Bangkok (Meadows had opened the Conrad Hong Kong as number two to Dario Regazzoni). Brand is no stranger to Bangkok where he served, several years ago, as Hotel Manager at the Oriental. Since he left Bangkok in 1995, he served two years as General Manager of the Hotel Shilla in Seoul and four years as General Manager of the Windsor in Melbourne.
Kelvin Mah has been appointed Director of Sales for Meliá Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia. He previously held senior sales positions with a number of international hotel chains, including Renaissance, Park Inn International and Mutiara Hotels & Resorts. 
The departure of John Segreti, Chief Operating Officer of Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts, has been a subject of animated conversation in Asia: adored by some of his key employees, openly hated by others, he was a controversial leader in the last two of his eleven years with Shangri-La.  Giovanni Angelini will assume operational responsibilities and will become the new chief of the company, a role he actually inherited when David Hayden left after nearly seven years of building Shangri-La into one of Asia¹s leading hotel brands. Hayden is still on the board of Shangri-La Asia.
Shangri-La transferred Alain Borgers from General Manager at the Shangri-La Edsa Plaza in Manila to the Shangri-La Surabaya. It is Borgers¹ fifth assignment with Shangri-La, a company he joined in 1994 after a distinguished fourteen-year career with Hilton International. 
At Peninsula, Rainie Chang leaves the Peninsula New York where she was the Resident Manager to take the same position at the Peninsula Hong Kong to replace David Bachelor, who went to the Peninsula Manila as General Manager. Chang is not going to be replaced in New York for the time being.  She originally started at the Peninsula Hong Kong in 1994 as Front Office Manager.
Effective January, Paul Van Frank is going to be the new General Manager at Begawan Giri in Bali, where he replaces Peter Wynne. Van Frank, who is Belgian, was for the past four years the General Manager of the exclusive Kemer Country Club in Turkey.
Philipe Guitton will be the new General Manager of the year-old Sheraton Moorea, taking over from Frédéric Habert, who is being reassigned by Starwood. Guitton comes from Green Cay Village in St. Martin, where his successor is Yanick Noblet, formerly of the Salako in Guadeloupe. 
At the Sheraton Tahiti, Fabrice Blondeau is Resident Manager in charge of food and beverage. Until last month, he was the Food and Beverage Operations Manager at the Four Seasons George Cinq in Paris. Blondeau also was the Food and Beverage Director at the Paris Warwick.
Frank Grassmann is the new Food & Beverage Manager at the Dusit Thani in Bangkok. Prior to his present assignment, he worked for two years as Food and Beverage Manager at the Dusit Laguna Resort in Phuket. Before coming to Asia he spent two years at the Riyadh Inter-Continental Hotel as Food and Beverage Manager.
Africa & the Middle East
Accor promoted Marc Thépot to the position of Area General Manager for the group's hotels in Morocco. He was previously Director of Operations for Accor in the Pacific Asia region.
Jumeirah International has taken over management of its former Hyatt Carlton Tower, and has named Andrew Abram as its General Manager. 

At the Royal Méridien Bahrain, Area Vice President for the Middle East Sami Zogbi has a whole Italian management crew coming in: General Manager Francesco Borello comes from the Sheraton Damascus; with him comes his Director of Food and Beverage Rafaello Solferino. They are due to be joined by Nicola di  Giacomo, a 55-year-old chef from the Sheraton Heliopolis.
Jean-Pierre Marcadier has been named General Manager of the Hyatt Regency Casablanca, replacing Ed Andrews, who is transferred to the new Hyatt Regency Brussels.
Georges Abi Aad is the new Director of Sales & Marketing at the Crowne Plaza Beirut, due to open early next year.  Abi Aad, who graduated in computer science and business management from Saint Joseph University, has a decade of professional experience in sales and tourism within the Gulf region.

Christophe David has been transferred by Hyatt International from Executive Chef of the former Park Hyatt Buenos Aires (now a Four Seasons hotel) to the Park Hyatt Vendôme slated to open in Paris in July 2002. The unique property is being designed by Ed Tuttle, of Amanresorts fame, and is expected to be a stunner.

Changes continue at Méridien under its new regime: Tim Savage has left, who was the company's Human Resources Director with administrative responsibility over 30,000 employees in 52 countries. Méridien President Bernard Lambert, a highly-respected 25-year company veteran, is expected to leave this week along with Finance Director Simon Fraser. The heads of Méridien's North American and Middle East divisions, Fabio Piccirillo and Michel Noblet have already left the company.  Also at Méridien, Karyn Marasco has been named Regional Managing Director, Americas & Caribbean. Since 1997, Marasco had served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Lodgian. Previously, she spent eighteen years in various managerial and senior level operations positions with Westin Hotels & Resorts.

Mirko Sosnowski has left his position of International Sales Manager at the Four Seasons New York to become the Director of Sales at the Kempinski Hotel Atlantic in Hamburg. Prior to transferring to New York he had held a position of Sales Manager at the Four Seasons Berlin.

Edited by 
Benoit Gateau-Cumin
The Boutique Search Firm
[email protected]
A California Corporation
3916 Sepulveda Boulevard Suite 203
CULVER CITY, California
Tel. 310-398-9320
Fax. 310-398-9541
[email protected]

Karen Jolley, Vice President, 
Europe, Middle East, Africa 
The Boutique Search Firm
BP 16 26111 Nyons CEDEX, France
Tel:  (33) 4-75-27-10-31
eFax:  (1) 240-331-0079
[email protected]

Also See:
Global Update: Who’s Where and Doing What / November 2001
Global Update: Who’s Where and Doing What / June 2001
Global Update: Who’s Where and Doing What / May 2001
Global Update: Who’s Where and Doing What / April 2001
Global Update: Who’s Where and Doing What  / February 2001
Global Update: Who’s Where and Doing What / The Boutique Search Firm / Nov 2000

To search Hotel Online data base of News and Trends Go to Hotel.Online Search

Home | Welcome! | Hospitality News | Classifieds | Catalogs & Pricing | Viewpoint Forum | Ideas/Trends
Please contact Hotel.Online with your comments and suggestions.