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The Woodlands (Houston), Texas, November 8, 2013 - Benchmark Hospitality International, a leading U.S.-based hospitality management company, has named Kirsten Ponza executive chef for Chaminade Resort & Spa, a Benchmark Resort® located in Santa Cruz overlooking scenic Monterey Bay.  Kevin Herbst, Benchmark's general manager at the resort, made the announcement.


"I am so pleased to announce Kirsten's promotion to executive chef," said Mr. Herbst.  "She brings incredible talent and spirit to her new and well-deserved position here at Chaminade, and we're anticipating great things originating in the resort's kitchens.  We congratulate Kirsten on this appointment!"

Kirsten Ponza was previously executive sous chef for Chaminade Resort & Spa, a position she excelled at for the past year.  She has held three other culinary positions of increasing responsibility for the award-wining resort, including pastry chef, and is a marvelous example of how Benchmark Hospitality helps employees grow their professional careers.  Ms. Ponza has also served as sous chef for Whose Catering Company of Toronto, Canada.

Ms. Ponza is a graduate of Fanshawe College in London, Ontario, where she earned her Culinary Management Degree.  She resides in Santa Cruz.

About Chaminade Resort & Spa

Chaminade Resort & Spa,, offers world-class hospitality on the California Coast. Built high on a bluff, the mission-style luxury resort commands a panoramic view of the Monterey Bay and the Santa Cruz Mountains. Chaminade's superior location offers a sense of peaceful seclusion only minutes from world-renowned golf, beaches and downtown Santa Cruz. The remarkable setting combined with the renowned quality and personalized service of Benchmark Hospitality International keeps guests coming back time and time again. At Chaminade, our goal is to exceed the expectations of guests during their stay at one of the finest conference resorts in the Bay Area.

About Benchmark Resorts & Hotels®

Benchmark Resorts & Hotels® represents the finest in lodging, dining, recreational and meeting accommodations. Many are certified by the International Association of Conference Centers, the leading professional organization governing the multi-billion dollar conference center industry on five continents, and many have also been recognized with the coveted Benchmark Conference Centers® certification of meeting excellence.  Benchmark Resorts & Hotels deliver highly specialized service that anticipates guests' needs and ensures a hospitality experience unsurpassed and long remembered.  To become a fan on Facebook, visit, or follow us on Twitter at

Contact: Ken Ellens - KEN ELLENS COMMUNICATIONS / 201-758-2864-Phone or 201-951-9511-Cell

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