People On the Move: IHG, Mandarin Oriental, Chiva-Som

IHG Hotels & Resorts (IHG), Atlanta, Georgia,  has announced the introduction of new team members to its Americas Development leadership team. Following the June 2022 retirement of Americas chief development officer Joel Eisemann, Julienne Smith, previously senior vice president of development, took on the role and helped shape today’s news.

The restructured IHG Americas Development leadership team includes the following:

Matt Frankiewicz has assumed Smith’s former senior vice president of development role after previously serving as vice president, transactions and asset management for the Americas. In this role, Matt will oversee the advancement and growth of IHG’s luxury, lifestyle and premium brands in the U.S. and Canada, and will continue to lead the development and owner support team across all brands in the Americas region. Frankiewicz joined IHG in 2017 after holding various leadership roles during his more than two decades at White Lodging Services and Hyatt Hotels Corp.

Tiffany Cooper has joined the Americas Development leadership team in an elevated role as the senior vice president and head of development for North America and the Caribbean with IHG’s Kimpton Hotel & Restaurant Group brand. Cooper began her career at a Kimpton Hotel more than 25 years ago.

Kevin Schramm will remain the senior vice president, development for IHG’s Essentials and Suites Brands within the U.S. and Canada. During his more than 20 years of development leadership experience, including a decade at IHG, Schramm has overseen the teams responsible for a large portion of his organization’s annual signings.

Paul Adan joins IHG as MLAC senior regional vice president, building on his experience as the managing director for Latin America and the Caribbean at Radisson Hotel Group Americas and regional vice president at Marriott International. Adan will lead the MLAC regional development team.

Additionally, IHG has made the following key changes to the broader regional development team:

Mike Wernet will assume Frankiewicz’s former vice president, development, and owner support position. Before joining IHG, Wernet asset managed a substantial portion of JLL’s diverse hotel portfolio and spearheaded the development of the organization’s North American business intelligence platform.

Scott Duff has joined IHG as its new vice president, development for Canada. With more than three decades of development, branding, and brokerage experience across the Canadian hospitality landscape, Duff will oversee the strategic development and growth of IHG’s luxury, lifestyle, and premium brands while maintaining overall responsibility for its Essentials and Suites brands.

From left to right: Geoffrey Webb (Mandarin Oriental), Matt Frankiewicz (IHG), Raphael Lanfant (Mandarin Oriental), and Celine Du (Mandarine Oriental).

Corporate Management

Spire Hospitality, Irving, Texas, has appointed Donna Cooper senior vice president of commercial strategy and Matthew Schupbach vice president of accounting. Previously, Cooper led the global sales team for Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, Parsippany, New Jersey, whereas Schupbach was the assistant chief financial officer for Dimension Hospitality, Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Main Street Hospitality, Stockbridge, Massachusetts, has welcomed Joe Crimmins and Andres Gutierrez to the leadership team as the new vice president of operations and area director of revenue management. Crimmins brings over 30 years of sales, operating, and development experience acquired in service to Hilton, Intercontinental, Doral, and Destination Hotels. Gutierrez’s background spans over a decade of working with leading organizations such as Omni Hotels & Resorts and The Biltmore Company.

Loews Hotels & Co, New York, has promoted Christi Davis to senior vice president, Loews Sales Organization. Davis joined the company in 2017 as regional director of sales and marketing, overseeing the West Coast and Southeast properties.

McKibbon Hospitality, Tampa, Florida, has promoted Jess Hayden to the newly created role of vice president of operational excellence. Hayden joined McKibbon in 2017 as director of procurement.

Generator and Freehand Hotels, London, England, has chosen Siim Karu as the new chief commercial officer. Previously, Karu was global head of revenue management, followed by a c-suite position at A&O Hostels where he led revenue, IT, BI, and automation functions.

Apple Leisure Group, Newton Square, Philadelphia, has appointed Sergio Rascón as vice president of development. Previously, Rascón held top leadership roles at GE Real Estate where he consolidated both capital investments and financings for real estate assets.

General Managers, Managing Directors

Noble House Hotels & Resorts has hired Drew Berry as general manager of The Portofino Hotel & Marina, Redondo Beach, California. Berry was formerly the complex general manager at Mosaic Hotel, as well as Maison 140 in Beverly Hills, California.

Dream Hotel Group has selected Simon Dewar as general manager of The Chatwal Lodge in Bethel, New York. Most recently, Dewar held the position of general manager of The Lake House in Canandiagua, New York.

Pendry San Diego, California has promoted David Duran as general manager. Duran joined Pendry in 2019 ad director of operations.

NoMo SoHo, New York, has selected Patrick Lacassagne as the new general manager. Lacassagne’s most recent role was general manager of The Deer Path Inn near Chicago, Illinois.

Hyatt Regency Phnom Penh, Cambodia, has appointed Juan Mercadante as general manager. Most recently, Mercadante was selected as pre-opening general manager at the first Andaz brand in South Korea.

Rosewood Baha Mar, Nassau, The Bahamas, has promoted resort manager, Monica Ortiz to managing director.

Kempinski Hotels has appointed Lars Pursche as the new general manager at Kempinski Hotel Bahía, Estepona, Spain. Pursche has been with Kempinski for over ten years; most recently leading the team of Kempinski Hotel Soma Bay, Egypt.

The Cassara Carlsbad, Tapestry Collection by Hilton, Carlsbad, California, has welcomed Rodolfo Salazar as general manager. Before joining the team, Salazar gained hospitality experience by working with brands such as IHG, Choice, LQ, and Marriott.

The Lux Collective has selected Daniele Vastolo as the general manager of Lux Grand Baie, Mauritius. Vastolo joins Lux Grand Baie from his role as general manager of Zulal Wellness Resort by Chiva-Som in Qatar.

Food & Beverage

JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback Inn Resort & Spa, Arizona, has appointed Eric Duchene executive chef and John Fraser senior sous chef of Lincoln Steakhouse & Bar. Previously, Duchene held positions at The Ritz-Carlton, Marina del Rey, California, including executive sous chef in 2016 and executive chef in 2017, while Fraser was executive chef at Rusty’s Southern, San Francisco, California.

Pacifica Hotels, Aliso Viejo, California, has appointed four new general managers. Brian Hutchison has been appointed at Half Moon Bay Lodge; Todd Liphardt at Inn at the Pier, Pismo Beach; Andrew Harris at Marina del Rey Hotel; and Ashley Vincent at Seacliff Inn (all of the mentioned properties are located in California). Hutchinson has extensive experience working in the hospitality and restaurant industries for nearly 25 years. Most recently, Liphardt was the area general manager at Hilton Garden Inn Missoula & Kalispell, Montana. Harris was general manager at The Belamar Tapestry Collection by Hilton, Manhattan Beach, California. Most recently, Vincent was the assistant general manager at Hilton Santa Cruz/Scotts Valley, California.

Fairmont Kea Lani, Wailea, Hawaii, has welcomed Michael Lofaro as executive chef. Most recently, Lofaro was executive sous chef of the Grand Wailea, Hawaii.

Cedarbrook Lodge, Seattle, Washington, has named David Mitchell as its executive chef. Mitchell joins from The Heathman Hotel in Kirkland, Washington, where he was executive chef.

Bar Lab, the culinary and cocktail collective helmed by Gabe Orta and Elad Zvi, has teamed up with Chef Brad Kilgore to take charge of Arlo Wynwood’s food and beverage, Miami, Florida. Most recently, Kilgore became the culinary director of The Concours Club with his signature restaurant Verge, Miami.

Kimpton Pittman Hotel, Dallas, Texas, has appointed Ben Smallman as its new executive chef for Elm & Good. Previously, Smallman was the opening executive chef of Major Food Group’s Sadelle’s, New York.

Semiahmoo Resort, Blaine, Washington, has hired Micah Windham as the hotel’s executive chef. Most recently, Chef Windham held the title of chef de cuisine at Sawgrass Country Club, Ponte Vedra, Florida.

Sales & Marketing

Choice Hotels has appointed Noha Abdalla to the role of chief marketing officer. Abdalla joins from MyEyeDr., where she served as chief marketing officer.

The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco, California, has named Samantha Barnett as the new director of sales and marketing. Most recently, she was the director of hotel sales at the 381-suite Residence Inn, Chicago Downtown Loop, Illinois.

AJS Hotels, Louisville, Kentucky, has welcomed Lance George as vice president of sales and marketing. Previously, George held leadership positions at numerous properties including area sales leader at Marriott International, Northern Mid-America, and director of sales for Marriott Griffin Gate Resort & Spa, Lexington, Kentucky.

Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, Hong Kong, China, has announced three senior appointments to strengthen its global sales leadership. Raphael Lanfant has been appointed global vice president channel sales. Lanfant joins the group from Alibaba, where he was global head of international hotel partnerships. Geoffrey Webb has been appointed vice president global sales partners. Webb joined Mandarin Oriental in 2019 as director of commercial strategy for the company’s flagship property, Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok. Celine Du has been appointed vice president global industry partners. Du joined the group in 2015 as vice president sales and marketing, Greater China, before her promotion to vice president regional sales, Asia Pacific.

Pacifica Hotels, Aliso Viejo, California, has welcomed Cassie Olsen as director of sales at Seacliff Inn. Olsen’s experience includes director of sales and marketing at Seascape Beach Resort in Aptos, California, director of sales and catering at Palo Alto Hills Golf and Country Club, and associate club director, sales and catering at The City Club of San Francisco.

The Ritz-Carlton, Boston has appointed Virginia Rojas as director of sales and marketing. Rojas joined from the new Ritz-Carlton, Mexico City where she was part of the pre-opening guidance team.

SH Hotels & Resorts has hired Toni Stoeckl as chief marketing officer. Most recently, Stoeckl led the launch of AC Hotels, growing the brand from a family company in Spain into an experiential lifestyle brand, and was part of the team behind the launch of Moxy Hotels.

David Walsh has been appointed regional director of sales and marketing for Fairmont Washington, D.C., Georgetown. Previously, Walsh was the director of sales and marketing for Mandarin Oriental Washington, D.C.

Spa and Wellness

Chiva-Som, Hua Hin, Thailand, has promoted Chanyapak Suwankantha as wellness director. Most recently, Suwankantha was resort operations manager.


Ali Raza has been appointed duty manager at the Intercontinental Doha, the City. Most recently, Raza worked as cluster duty manager at Dubai Al-Maktoum Airport – Staybridge Suites.

Atlantis Paradise Island in The Bahamas has welcomed Joe Brunini as chief gaming and customer development officer. Most recently, he served as president and chief executive officer of Parq Vancouver, in Vancouver, Canada.