People on the Move: Choice Hotels, Hilton, Deutsche Hospitality

Choice Hotels International announced two new franchise development directors have joined the company’s emerging markets team: Jacquelyn Peterson and Marcus Thomas. Together, Peterson and Thomas bring more than three decades of hospitality expertise to Choice, where they will help further the company’s efforts to extend hotel ownership opportunities to underrepresented populations.

Peterson joins Choice Hotels as an emerging markets director. In this role, she will build on her experience of empowering small business ownership by focusing specifically on bridging the gaps between veteran and female entrepreneurs and hotel ownership. Peterson earned her bachelor’s degree in hotel, restaurant and tourism management from the University of South Carolina and a master’s degree in leisure studies from the University of Georgia. She joins Choice after her tenure as franchise development manager at Tropical Smoothie Café, in Atlanta, Georgia.

Thomas also joins Choice as an emerging markets director, where he will be responsible for driving new development and expansion opportunities for the company’s African American, Latin American and Native American emerging market segments. Thomas brings more than 10 years of sales and business consulting experience in the hospitality, technology and real estate industries to the position, most recently serving as a senior consultant for Konica Minolta, a Tokyo-based multinational technology company. Thomas earned a degree in business administration and international business from Sam Houston State University.

From top left, clockwise: Jacquelyn Peterson (Choice), Marcus Thomas (Choice), Ryan Kirby (The Westin Tempe) and Justin Jaret (Waldorf Astoria Orlando).

Hotel Valley Ho, Scottsdale, Arizona, has appointed Maria Arenas to pastry chef at ZuZu. Arenas joins the hotel after being the lead pastry chef at several restaurants in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve in Dorado, Puerto Rico, has named Jose Ballester executive chef. Chef Ballester is returning to Puerto Rico with more than 20 years of experience with Marriott International, most recently as multi-property executive chef for Higashiyama Niseko Village, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve in Japan, and The Ritz-Carlton Koh Samui in Thailand.

Mark Burns has been appointed general manager of Accor’s Pullman Cairns hotel in Australia. Most recently, Burns was general manager of the Fullerton Hotel Sydney.

The Radcliffe Moab, Utah, has named Colton Call as the general manager. Prior to joining The Radcliffe, Call served as the general manager at glamping company Under Canvas in Moab.

Conrad Tulum Riviera Maya & Hilton Tulum Riviera Maya All-Inclusive Resort, both in Tulum, Mexico, welcomed two new members to management team: Giancarlo Goeta and Felix Schlokat. Goeta has been named commercial director and his latest experience was as regional director of sales and marketing with Hilton for the Caribbean and Latin America. Schlokat is the new hotel manager. His latest role was that of managing director for the Hard Rock Hotel Los Cabos, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

Hilton promoted Justin Jaret to complex director of food & beverage for its Orlando properties Waldorf Astoria Orlando and Signia by Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek, both in Orlando, Florida. Jaret previously served as complex director of restaurants.

Andrea Jörger Joins Horwath HTL Switzerland as new managing partner. Before taking on this new role he served as managing director of the Swiss office with four operations, the last two years of which were spent as chief development officer responsible for Europe.

Little Gem Resorts, Massachusetts, named Urmas Karner general manager at The Nantucket Hotel. Karner’s previous role was as general manager at the Somerset on Grace Bay Resort, Turks and Caicos.

The Westin Tempe, Arizona, has named Ryan Kirby general manager. Kirby has overseen sales teams with both the Aloft brand and Saguaro hotels, with properties in Scottsdale, Tempe, Silicon Valley, and Palm Springs within the Westin group.

The Viceroy Hotel Group has appointed Sezin Kutlu as the new area director of revenue management for Hotel Zelos, Hotel Zetta, and Hotel Zeppelin in San Francisco. Most recently, Kutlu worked as area director of revenue strategy at The Estate in Yountville, California.

The Westin Riverfront Resort & Spa Avon, Vail Valley, Colorado, has hired Natalie LaVire as catering sales & events manager. LaVire joins from the Grand Hyatt Vail.

Waldorf Astoria Chicago has welcomed Nicholas Marino as its new executive chef. Marino rejoins the hotel after serving as executive chef at the neighboring Omni Chicago Hotel.

Florida-based Dimension Hospitality has promoted Don Molinich to chef and B, (executive chef responsible for all food and beverage) for the DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Scottsdale Paradise Valley, Arizona. Prior to this role, Molinich served as a member of DoubleTree’s corporate culinary counsel.

Daniel Padilla has been named director of sales and marketing for the JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort & Spa in Tucson, Arizona. Padilla’s previous role was that of director of sales and marketing at the W Austin, Texas.

KSL Resorts, Irvine, California, has promoted its former senior vice president of investments and business development, Michael Palmeri, to chief investment officer.

Pacifica Hotels, Aliso Viejo, California, announced the appointment of John Pedlow as chief operating officer. Pedlow was promoted after his tenure as SVP of operations for Pacifica.

Ponte Vedra Inn & Club, Florida, appointed Aleco Preovolos director of tennis at the resort’s tennis facility, The Racquet Club. Preovolos was previously the assistant director of tennis at the resort.

Timbers Company, Winter Park, Florida, announced the appointment of three corporate team members.  Mark Roland is the new corporate director of finance. Most recently, Roland served as the vice president of finance and accounting with Kolter Hospitality, Florida. With more than three decades of experience in branded hospitality development, planning, design and project management, David Knight joins Timbers Company as development director. Justin Vining is joining the team as corporate operations manager. He takes on this position after his tenure as general manager of TWA Hotel in New York City.

Kennebunkport Resort Collection (KRC), Kennebunkport, Maine, has appointed Peter Rudolph as the executive chef of the Cape Arundel Inn & Resort and waterfront, fine dining restaurant, Ocean. Chef Peter joined KRC from The Press Hotel in Portland, Maine, where he was executive chef of Union Restaurant.

Pathfinder Hospitality, Austin, Texas, has promoted Danielle Schneider to chief executive officer. Schneider has been with Pathfinder Hospitality since June 2013, in several leadership positions.

Marie-Noële Schwartzmann will become the new chief development officer of Deutsche Hospitality, Frankfurt, Germany. Schwartzmann joins Deutsche Hospitality from the Louvre Hotels Group, where she has spent the past four years as vice president international operations.

Sage Hotel Management, a Denver-based Sage Hospitality Group company, announced new hires and internal promotions within its senior leadership team. Previously serving as vice president of Sage’s Premier Collection’s West Coast portfolio, Dani Stern has been promoted to senior vice president of The Premier Collection. Marco Perry is joining the organization as senior vice president leading The Sage Independent Hotel Collection, after holding management roles with hotel brands including Joie de Vivre/Commune Hotels & Resorts, Rosewood Hotels & Resorts, Aman Resorts, Soho House and Mandarin Oriental Group. Steve Santomo has been promoted to vice president of The Premier Collection after his tenure as general manager of the group’s Embassy Suites Denver Downtown. Maryam Seifi has been promoted to vice president of Sage’s Upscale Collection. Her most recent role was within the organization as corporate director of operations. Kim Corrigan has been promoted to vice president of operations planning. Before joining Sage’s executive leadership team in 2019, she served as the general manager of both Chicago’s The Blackstone and Denver’s Halcyon. Jan Lucas has been promoted to vice president of procurement and strategic sourcing. Prior to this promotion, she held the role of vice president of Sage’s Upscale Collection.

Nickolas Tanner has been appointed director of revenue management at The Westin Cape Coral Resort at Marina Village, Florida. Tanner has been with the Marriott International family since 2015, most recently serving as senior revenue manager.