People on the move: Iberostar Hotels & Resorts, Mandarin Oriental, Highgate, Hyatt, Thompson Savannah


Phil McAveety, former executive vice president and chief brand officer of Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, has been named CEO of Iberostar Hotels & Resorts.

McAveety was previously responsible for global brand and digital strategy for Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, which included brands such as Sheraton, Westin, St Regis and W Hotels. He was previously the Global Brand Director for Camper International in Spain. He then worked for Nike Inc. for nine years in various roles, including Vice President of Marketing for Nike Europe, Middle East and Asia. Before joining Nike in 1997, he worked for nine years at the advertising firm Leo Burnett International, where he held several positions.

From left to right: Amanda Hyndman (Mandarin Oriental), Phil McAveety (Iberostar Hotels & Resorts), Mike Kass (Highgate) and Michael Murphy (Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa).


Mandarin Oriental has promoted Amanda Hyndman, who joined the company in 2007, to chief people officer, and Francesco Cefalú, who joined the company in 2016, to chief development officer. Hyndman’s experience in the luxury hotel sector spans over 30 years, and she has held various senior management positions in the UK, Hong Kong, Bangkok and Washington, DC. Hyndman will supervise the creation of Human Resources strategies that support the brand’s growth and colleague career development in her new role.

Cefalú, who joined the firm as regional development director for EMEA, has directed the company’s development strategy in EMEA, culminating in several successful agreements in Lake Como, Muscat, Kuwait, Zurich, Tel Aviv, Vienna and Cortina. Cefalú will be responsible for directing the development of the Group’s pipeline of hotels and residences worldwide in his new role.



Highgate has appointed Mike Kass as area managing director for the Hawai’i region. In his new role, Kass will serve as general manager at ‘Alohilani Resort Waikiki Beach and support Royal Lahaina Resort & Bungalows, located on Maui’s world-renowned Ka’anapali Beach.

An experienced hospitality industry executive with over 25 years of experience, Kass joins Highgate from Marriott International. He most recently served as general manager for The Westin Maui Resort & Spa. Prior, Kass served as general manager of the San Francisco Marriott Marquis, the largest Marriott hotel on the west coast, where he oversaw a $140 million hotel refurbishment. Kass has also held hotel management positions with The Ritz Carlton Hotel Company at Kapalua Resort in Kapalua, Hawaii and Dove Mountain Resort in Tucson, Arizona.

Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa welcomes its new leader Michael Murphy, a 24-year Hyatt veteran who has led teams from Washington to Nevada, California to Texas. Murphy returns after working at Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe, having worked at the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa from 2010 to 2014.

Michelle Geiger has been named area general hotel manager for Hyatt Centric Beale Street Memphis and Caption by Hyatt Beale Street Memphis. Geiger served as corporate director of operations for Hyatt Hotels Corporation, America. Here, she was responsible for the operations of full-service Timeless properties in the Americas. She grew her hospitality career by holding various managerial positions at Hyatt properties in Chicago, Rosemont and Houston. Her culinary passions then led her to serve as the director of food and beverage at multiple Hyatt hotels in Wichita, San Antonio, Jersey City and Chicago.

Thompson Savannah has announced the addition of new team members, including Hyatt Hotels & Resorts veteran Keith Butz as general manager, hospitality veteran Olivia Williams as director of culture and programming and Georgia native Victoria Shore as executive chef. The collective expertise of the hotel’s new leadership enhances a strong culinary vision for the hotel’s four bars and restaurants, all designed to introduce travelers and locals alike to the vibrancy of Savannah.