The Woodlands (Houston), Texas, August 2016 … The newly merged Benchmark Resorts & Hotels and Gemstone Hotels & Resorts, recognized global leaders in the management and marketing of resorts, hotels and conference centers, have appointed Michele Farkas regional director of human resources. Ms. Farkas will be based at The Grove Resort & Spa, an 878 room all-suite property opening January 9, 2017, near Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. She will have additional oversight of Benchmark/Gemstone properties in the Midwest and along the east coast. Bill Lee, The Grove’s general manager, made the announcement.

“I am thrilled to welcome Michele to The Grove Resort & Spa,” said Mr. Lee. “In an important way she brings the company’s acclaimed ‘Be The Difference’ guest service culture to our resort family during the critically-important preopening phase. We look forward to her active role within our senior leadership team and across other areas of the region.”

Michele Farkas is a long-time Benchmark human resources executive, having served for two decades as director of human resources at the company’s Chicago flagship property, Eaglewood Resort & Spa. Over the years, Ms. Farkas has also held lead field staff responsibilities for Benchmark, managing hotel openings, transitions, and new additions. Her tenure continues in this newly expanded regional role, lending her expertise to unique and distinctive properties in the growing Benchmark/Gemstone portfolio, including Doral Arrowwood of Rye Brook, New York, Hotel Roanoke of Roanoke, Virginia, The Chattanoogan in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and the group’s hotels and resorts across Florida, among others.

Prior to joining Benchmark, Ms. Farkas served as regional human resources manager for the Teknon Corporation of Farmers Branch, Texas. She attended Indiana University with a focus on business management and is a Certified HR Executive and Certified Hospitality Trainer from the American Hotel and Lodging Association.

Ms. Farkas is a published photographer and has authored three fine art photography books, two Work/Life Balance books and a Human Resources book. She has relocated to the Orlando area.