People on the Move: Kempinski, Accor, Valor

Kempinski Hotels has appointed Timur Sentuerk chief operating officer, Europe, Middle East & Africa, as well as member of the management board.

With 30 years of experience in the industry, Sentuerk has worked with leading brands such as Langham Hospitality Group, Pan Pacific Hotels Group, Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, Oberoi Hotels & Resorts, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, and others. In his career, Sentuerk has gained diverse experience across a variety of companies within the industry, including privately-owned, joint ventures, start-ups, publicly listed companies, and state-owned enterprises.

Sentuerk joins Kempinski Hotels from his most recent role as chief people officer at Pure Data Centres, a private equity funded start-up in London.

“Throughout his career, Timur Sentuerk has amassed great operational and corporate leadership experience and possesses a strong understanding of the global luxury hospitality operations and stakeholder relationships driven by his tremendous passion for people,” said Kempinski Group CEO Bernold Schroeder. “As we will see new hotel openings and takeovers in the EMEA region in the near future, Timur is joining us at an important point in our journey.”

From top left, clockwise: Timur Sentuerk (Kempinski Hotels), Shelley Perkins (Accor Pacific), Dwayne Marshall (Valor Hospitality Partners) and Laura Maldonado (Kimpton RiverPlace Hotel)

Elias Assaly has taken the reins at The St. Regis Washington D.C. as general manager. His appointment marks his return to the St. Regis team, having previously served as the opening general manager of The St. Regis San Francisco. Assaly most recently served as the area vice president and general manager at Northwood Hospitality.

Stephanie Burdette has joined Mr. C Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, California, as assistant general manager. She previously served as director of front office at Ojai Valley Inn and Hyatt Regency Westlake, California.

The Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club, Florida, has appointed John Cerovac as its executive chef, where he will oversee the resort’s entire food and beverage program. Most recently, he was the executive chef at the Delta Hotel, Toronto, Canada.

The Notary Hotel, an Autograph Collection property, Center City, Philadelphia, has appointed Alexis Chacon the new sous-chef of Sabroso + Sorbo, the property’s signature restaurant. Chacon has worked at several Marriott restaurants in Florida and Philadelphia, working his way up from kitchen supervisor to his current position as sous-chef.

Expotel Hospitality, Metairie, Louisiana, has elevated Bret Chittenden, the firm’s former executive vice president of operations, to chief operating officer. He has been with Expotel for more than two decades.

The recently opened Hillsboro Beach Resort, Deerfield Beach, Florida, has appointed Ann Durso its new general manager. Prior to joining the resort, she served as general manager at Gale Chicago, Illinois.

The Joseph, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Nashville, has promoted Joey Fecci to chef de cuisine at its signature Italian restaurant, Yolan. Previously head sous chef, Fecci has been a part of Yolan’s original opening team since August 2020.

CoralTree Hospitality, Denver, Colorado, has promoted Andre Fournier to chief commercial officer, a new position for the company. Fournier has been with CoralTree since its inception as executive vice president overseeing revenue, sales and marketing.

Ralph Grippo has been named president of Terranea Resort, Rancho Palos Verdes, Southern California. He is replacing Terri A. Haack, who has been leading Terranea since the property opened in 2009. Most recently, Grippo served as principal of the Bellwether Financial Group, Southern California.

Terri A. Haack has been named senior vice president of Los Angeles-based real estate investment, management and development firm Lowe, as well as its wholly-owned subsidiary CoralTree Hospitality. Haack, a 20-year veteran of the firm and a member of its shareholder group, previously served as president of Terranea Resort, Rancho Palos Verdes, Southern California.

Kimpton Pittman Hotel, Dallas, Texas, has named Christina Hanvey as its new director of sales and marketing. Most recently, she was the associate director of sales at the Kimpton Hotel Van Zandt, Austin, Texas.

The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Waikiki Beach, Hawaii, has appointed Cohco Harbour as sales manager. She joined the resort in 2017 as a front desk agent.

Highgate Hawaii, Honolulu, Hawaii, has appointed new professionals to its new food and beverage team: Chase Heu as area director of food and beverage for Highgate Hawaii, and Alexandre Petard as executive chef for ‘Alohilani Resort Waikiki Beach. Prior, Heu served as the director of operations for Morimoto Management, and Petard as executive chef for BLT Steak Waikiki.

Dan Johnson has been appointed general manager of Hyatt Regency Indian Wells Resort & Spa, California. With a 27-year background at Hyatt Hotels, Johnson comes to Hyatt Regency Indian Wells from Grand Hyatt Vail, where he led the property’s transition from Hotel Talisa.

Crestline Hotels & Resorts, Fairfax, Virginia, has promoted Deanne Johnson-Anderson to senior vice president of human resources and Kyle Hamill to senior vice president of sales and marketing. Before joining Crestline in 2004, Johnson-Anderson worked with Starwood Hotels overseeing the human resource efforts for the Mid-Atlantic region. Hamill joined the company in 2018, after having served as vice president of sales and marketing for Urgo Hotels & Resorts, Bethesda, Maryland.

The Scottsdale Resort at McCormick Ranch, Arizona, has announced the resort’s new senior leadership team, which includes Area General Manager Alan Klein, Area Executive Chef Ken Arneson and Director of Sales and Marketing Tim Keough. Klein was the former general manager of Driftwood’s other Arizona property, Canopy by Hilton Tempe Downtown. Arneson formerly served as executive chef at Canopy Tempe’s two dining destinations. Keough most recently worked at Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resorts, Phoenix, Arizona.

Preferred Hotel Group, New York, has announced a new appointment and two leadership promotions within its Latin America team. Ricardo Lambertini has been appointed regional director, consultant – South America; Antonio Vera has been promoted to regional director, Mexico & Central America; and Stefania Ymay has been promoted to regional director, Mexico. Before joining Preferred, Lambertini served as the vice president of sales and business development in South & Central America for Luxe Hotels; Vera served as director of sales and marketing for Fairmont Hotels & Resorts; and Ymay worked for Grupo Aeromexico.

Vu Ngoc Linh has been named the very first sustainability officer at Alma Resort, Cam Ranh, Vietnam. Tasked with tracking the property’s energy use and lessening its carbon footprint, Linh previously served as assistant restaurant manager at Eastin Grand Hotel Nha Trang, Vietnam.

General Manager Laura Maldonado has taken the reins at the Kimpton RiverPlace Hotel, Portland, Oregon. Most recently, she held the same position at The Gates South Beach – A Doubletree by Hilton hotel in Miami, Florida.

Valor Hospitality Partners, Atlanta, Georgia, is expanding its corporate leadership roster with the addition of Dwayne Marshall as chief development officer. Marshall joins Valor following senior leadership roles with Chesapeake Hospitality, Marriott International, IHG and more.

Danielle McNair is now serving as director of sales and marketing at The Westin Riverfront Resort & Spa Avon, Vail Valley, Colorado. McNair joins the resort from the Viceroy Snowmass, Colorado, where she most recently served as the director of business development. The Westin Riverfront has also hired Catherine Dierolf as a leisure sales manager. She previously worked at

Robert Megargle has been named managing director of The Charleston Place, South Carolina, tasked with overseeing the property’s transition to an independent luxury boutique hotel under Beemok Hospitality. Megargle previously helmed the Four Seasons San Francisco as general manager.

The Ritz-Carlton, Turks & Caicos has appointed Tony Mira as general manager. Having joined The Ritz-Carlton team in 2006, Mira was most recently the general manager at The Ritz-Carlton, Marina del Rey, California.

Woodside Hotel Group has appointed Andrea Murray the new managing director of The Lodge at Bodega Bay, California. Most recently, she held the role of general manager for Olema House, California.

Jordan Nye has been named general manager of the Kimpton Schofield Hotel, Cleveland, Ohio. Having worked at Kimpton since 2016, Nye joined the Kimpton Schofield in March 2021 as director of sales and marketing.

Accor has appointed Shelley Perkins to the role of senior vice president of talent and culture. Perkins joins Accor Pacific, Sydney, Australia, from the Rosewood Hotel Group, where she was based in Hong Kong for the past three years as chief talent and culture officer.

Mar Monte Hotel, Santa Barbara, California, has welcomed Executive Chef Gunnar Planter, who will oversee the hotel’s two restaurants, Costa Kitchen & Bar and Café Lido. Before joining the team at Mar Monte Hotel, Planter opened Ebullition Gastronomy, a fine dining gastropub in Carlsbad, California, and served as executive chef.

Hotel Indigo Los Angeles Downtown, California, has appointed Mike Powers general manager. Having worked with the Hilton brand for over a decade, Powers most recently served as general manager at the Doubletree by Hilton Los Angeles Downtown and San Pedro-Port of Los Angeles.

Cinko at Grand Hyatt Baha Mar, Nassau, The Bahamas, has added three new members to its culinary team: Chef de Cuisine Jerson Reyes, Executive Sous Chef Julio Acosta, and Food and Beverage Manager Sandro Anglas. Reyes has been part of several culinary teams in Peru, including his first Hyatt stint as the chef de cuisine of the Hyatt Centric San Isidro Lima. Acosta held multiple roles at Washington, D.C.-based restaurants like China Chilcano and Oyamel Cocina Mexicana. Anglas joined the Hyatt family in 2015 as an assistant outlet manager at Grand Hyatt Rio De Janeiro.

Sally Shaffer has been appointed general manager at the new Hilton North Scottsdale at Cavasson, Arizona, which is scheduled to open in October. Previously, Shaffer spent nine years as a general manager for Hilton in the Phoenix and Scottsdale markets.

Rob Tanenbaum has joined Starwood Capital Group, Miami, Florida, as managing director and head of North American hotel asset management. Prior to that, he served as chief operating officer and executive vice president at two leading U.S. hotel REITs.

Rob Torres has rejoined Expedia Group Media Solutions, Seattle, Washington, as senior vice president. Torres previously spent over 15 years at Google as the managing director of advertising and marketing for the company’s travel division. He now returns to Expedia Group, where he spent seven years as vice president of strategic accounts prior to his tenure at Google.

Newly opened Hyatt Place Chelsea, New York City, has named Ziya Turgut the property’s food and beverage manager and head chef. Most recently, Chef Turgut oversaw the reopening of food and beverage operations at The Gansevoort Meatpacking NYC, New York.

InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown, California, has appointed David Wolfskill chef de cuisine of the recently-reopened La Boucherie. Prior to joining the culinary team at the property, Wolfskill managed the openings of California-based restaurants Vita Italian Bar & Grill and Monaco Encino.