People on the Move: Okura Nikko, Dusit, Rebel

Okura Nikko Hotel Management, a subsidiary of Hotel Okura, Tokyo, Japan, has appointed Kikuhiko Okura as president and representative director.

Okura brings to his new role more than 25 years’ experience in the financial services sector in both the United States and Japan. In 2019, he was appointed corporate advisor of Hotel Okura Co., Ltd., as well as president of Hotel Okura Amsterdam, the home of the Hotel Okura brand in Europe for the past 50 years. He has since served in various executive positions in the Hotel Okura Group. He holds a bachelor’s degree in law from Keio University in Tokyo and a master’s degree in business administration from Cornell University in New York.

“It is an absolute honor to accept this appointment. The hospitality industry is undergoing a period of great change due to the massive and prolonged impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and I feel boundless gratitude to all our partners and patrons for their support as well as an immense amount of responsibility in taking on this position,” Okura said. “In navigating through this time of great challenge, I will strive to continue to focus on our core value—omotenashi; the Japanese spirit of hospitality—with emphasis on our empathy and on a genuine and anticipatory approach to serving our guests. This spirit has underpinned the company’s operations since it commenced business almost 60 years ago and will continue to be our guiding light as we further develop the company as a global operator to serve our guests around the world. I also hope to follow in the remarkable footsteps of my predecessors and industry leaders in contributing to the hospitality industry.”

From left to right: Gilles Cretellaz (Dusit International), Yousef Ghalaini (Boston Hotel at the Seaport), Kikuhiko Okura (Okura Nikko Hotel Management Co.) and Richard Lebowitz (Forbes Travel Guide).

Rebel Hospitality has appointed Jeff Baltzer as chief investment officer. Prior to joining Rebel, Baltzer was senior vice president of development and acquisitions at Magna Hospitality Group in Warwick, Rhode Island.

After 26 years of executive chef experience around Minnesota, Mike Brustad joins the Hyatt Centric Downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota’s team as executive chef of SIX 15 Bar + Lounge.

Mayflower Inn & Spa, Auberge Resorts Collection, Litchfield, Connecticut, has selected Cortney Burns as inspiring chef. Her previous experience was opening Tourists, a hotel property in North Adams, Massachusetts.

CoralTree Hospitality Group, Denver, Colorado, has announced that Dorothea Calabrese has joined the company’s global sales team covering group and corporate business accounts in the northeastern region of the United States. Most recently, Calabrese was a senior buyer for Maritz Global Events, St. Louis, Missouri.

Dusit International, Bangkok, Thailand, has appointed Gilles Cretellaz as its new chief operating officer. In his most recent role, Cretellaz was senior vice president operations Southeast Asia for Accor.

The Central Station, a Curio Collection by Hilton in Memphis, Tennessee, selected Troy Dixon as its new general manager. Previously, Dixon served as director of operations for Hilton Hotels and Resorts properties throughout Portland, Oregon.

Dania Duke has been chosen as the new vice president of Davenport Hotel, Spokane, Washington. Most recently, Duke served as area general manager of Hilton San Diego Gaslamp Quarter and Solamar San Diego, California.

Omni Boston Hotel at the Seaport, Massachusetts, has promoted Yousef Ghalaini from executive sous chef to the position of executive chef.

Lido House, an Autograph Collection Hotel, Newport Beach, California, appointed Brooke Gilliam to the role of spa manager of the hotel’s Boost Spa. Prior to joining the Lido House team, Gilliam held a management role at Montage Laguna Beach.

Hilton Orlando, Florida, has appointed Richard Hess as hotel manager. Hess most recently held roles as director of front office operations and director of rooms at South Florida’s Waldorf Astoria Boca Raton Resort & Club and Waldorf Astoria Boca Beach Club, respectively.

Viceroy Hotels & Resorts has appointed Lindsay Inman as the new general manager of Viceroy Chicago. Inman was with the Langham Hotel in Chicago, where she was hotel manager.

Richard Lebowitz joined Forbes Travel Guide as the senior vice president of travel industry outreach. Lebowitz’s most recent role was that of vice president of strategic partnerships for Sharecare. He has also worked as regional vice president of luxury, lifestyle, and leisure of North America for Hyatt Hotels & Resorts.

Four Seasons Resort Nevis, Saint Kitts and Nevis, has named Karen Mcfarlane as the new spa director. Mcfarlane hails most recently from the Jumby Island Resort, an Oetker Collection hotel in Antigua, where she spent the last 11 years as spa director.

Bridgeton Holdings, New York, has promoted Teach Mayer to general manager for Dawn Ranch, Guerneville, California. Mayer has been with Bridgeton Holdings since 2019, playing a role in the pre-opening and opening of Marram, Montauk, Missouri.

Greenwich Hospitality Group appointed Taryn Miracle as director of sales and marketing at Delamar Traverse City, on the West Bay of Lake Michigan. She comes from Great Wolf Lodge in Traverse City, where she most recently served as director of sales and catering.

Toshihiro Ogita will assume the position of chairman and representative director of Okura Nikko Hotel Management Co., Tokyo, Japan, and will continue to serve as president and representative director of Hotel Okura Co., Ltd.

The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay, California, has promoted Roberto Riveros from executive sous chef to executive chef. Roberto was previously the chef de cuisine for Ozone at The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong, China.

Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, Atlantic City, New Jersey, has promoted Chris Rynkiewicz to vice president and chief financial officer. Rynkiewicz has been with Borgata for 21 years. His latest role was that of executive director of finance.

106 Jefferson, a Curio Collection hotel by Hilton, Huntsville, Alabama, appointed Jeremy Sadler as general manager. Sadler previously served as a general manager for multiple properties across the South and Midwest for Hilton.

Jeff Schmid has been named the director of events of the Richmond Marriott Downtown, Virginia, and Justin Weeks has been named the dual general manager of the Courtyard by Marriott Richmond and the Residence Inn by Marriott Richmond Downtown.

Holiday Inn Club Vacations, Orlando, Florida, has promoted John Staten from president and chief operating officer to the role of president and chief executive officer.