People on the Move: Omni, Kerzner, Ocean House Collection

Kurt Alexander has been appointed president of Omni Hotels & Resorts, Dallas, Texas. Alexander will assume his new role on May 1, 2022, after spending the last five years as the company’s CFO. He will replace Peter Strebel, who will become chairman of Omni Hotels & Resorts.

Since joining Omni Hotels & Resorts in 2014, Alexander has held a number of positions within the company, including vice president of finance and director of strategic planning and asset management. He also participated in the company’s Executive in Development program when he joined the company, which allowed him to work across functions at the hotel level. Prior to his work at Omni Hotels & Resorts, Alexander spent a decade working in professional services, including public accounting and investment banking, both of which involved work in the travel and hospitality space.

“I’m very honored by this opportunity and humbled by the support, confidence, and encouragement that I have received from Blake and Peter,” Alexander commented. “I have been fortunate to be on Peter’s team and to have a front row seat to his leadership over the last four years – particularly during COVID. I look forward to partnering with him and our incredible family of associates as we continue to deliver memorable experiences to our guests and compelling returns to our owners.”

From top left, clockwise: Kurt Alexander (Omni Hotels & Resorts), Christina Yuschalk (McKibbon Hospitality), Richard Collins (Marriott International) and Breann Levinson (Hyatt Regency Westlake)

Ocean House Collection has appointed Daniel Abrashoff general manager of Weekapaug Inn, Westerly, Rhode Island; and T. Michael Chandler the company’s group human resources director. Abrashoff previously held the same position at Devil’s Thumb Ranch Resort & Spa, Tabernash, Colorado. Chandler was a senior human resources consultant at the Seaport Hotel, Boston, Massachusetts.

Margaritaville Hotel Nashville, Tennessee, has hired Robert Avila as the hotel’s new general manager. Prior to that, Avila served as vice president of operations for Hotel Equities, Atlanta, Georgia.

General Manager Jeremy Belnap has taken the reins at The Ranch at Rock Creek, Philipsburg, Montana. Most recently, he led Magee Homestead, part of the Brush Creek Luxury Ranch Collection, Saratoga, Wyoming.

Marriott International has appointed Richard Collins its area vice president for Sub-Saharan Africa. A 20-year veteran with Marriott International, Collins most recently held a multi-property role as area general manager for Marriott in Abu Dhabi.

Virgin Hotels, Miami, Florida, has announced Jason Doebrich as vice president of information technology. Prior to Virgin Hotels, Doebrich served 12 years as director of information technology and telecommunications for the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group.

Kerzner International has appointed three general managers for One&Only Resorts. Tessa Gorman has taken the helm of One&Only Portonovi, Montenegro; Jerome Colson of One&Only Kéa Island, Greece; and Jerome Pichon of One&Only Desaru Coast, Malaysia. Gorman was previously at Bulgari Resort in Bali, Colson at One&Only Desaru Coast in Malaysia, and Pichon was at the Arts Club Dubai.

Dorchester Collection’s Mayfair hotel, 45 Park Lane, London, England, has appointed Elliott Grover as executive chef. Most recently, he assumed the same role at Duck & Waffle.

Hotel Haya, Tampa, Florida, has added two members to its executive team to work at the property’s anchor restaurant, Flor Fina. Nathan Hardin has been named executive chef, after having served in the same role at Armature Works’ restaurant Steelbach. Director of Food and Beverage Jeff Carlson also joins Hotel Haya after having worked for notable hotel brands across the U.S.

Jean Imbert has been appointed the chef of Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, a private luxury train service by Belmond, operating from London to Venice and other European cities. Chef Imbert previously led the kitchen at the Hôtel Plaza Athénée, Paris, France.

Goldener Hirsch, Auberge Resorts Collection, Park City, Utah, has appointed Nicolas Lebas executive chef. Most recently, he served in the same capacity at Barnsley Resort, Adairsville, Georgia.

Breann Levinson has been named general manager of the Hyatt Regency Westlake, California. Levinson began her hospitality career at the Hyatt Regency Westlake as a catering and sales assistant, and worked at the property for 11 years in various capacities. She returns to Westlake following a period of managing operations in several different markets.

Alex Malmborg has joined The St. Regis Deer Valley, Park City, Utah, as executive chef. Malmborg was most recently senior manager of food and beverage operations at Vail Resorts/Park City Mountain Resort, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Rosewood Sand Hill, Menlo Park, California, has partnered with Chef Seamus Mullen to serve as the property’s culinary director. Mullen is an award-winning New York chef, restaurateur and cookbook author.

Etéreo, Auberge Resorts Collection, Riviera Maya, Mexico, has appointed Vinod Narayan as general manager. Prior to joining the Etéreo team, Narayan served as resort manager at Esperanza, Auberge Resorts Collection, Los Cabos, Mexico.

Deborah Porter has been named director of events for Lansdowne Resort, Leesburg, Virginia. Porter has over 20 years of experience in the industry, including the Hilton Washington Dulles Airport, B.F. Saul Hospitality Group, and Hyatt Fair Lakes.

Peachtree Hotel Group, Atlanta, Georgia, has added experienced executives to its management teams, which now include: Matthew Ram as senior vice president, acquisitions; and Susan McClure as vice president leadership and executive development – Peachtree Hotel Group. Will Woodworth joined Peachtree Hospitality Development as vice president, investments. The Peachtree Hospitality Management team has also expanded with the additions of Nicole Havens as vice president, revenue management; and Kelly Mascari as vice president, operations.

The Chanler at Cliff Walk, Newport, Rhode Island, has named Christopher Roberts its director of food and beverage. Prior to his role at The Chanler, Roberts was the restaurant general manager of Rocks 21 located inside the Inn at Mystic, Connecticut.

Dimension Hospitality has appointed Anthony Salah to the general manager position at the DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Scottsdale Paradise Valley, Scottsdale, Arizona. Salah previously held the same position at the Hyatt Regency Westlake, California.

The Kimpton Saint George Hotel, Toronto, Canada, has promoted two key team members: Nabeel Toubayly from assistant general manager to general manager, and Ameera Azad from senior sales account executive to director of sales and marketing.

Hilton Aventura Miami, Florida, has welcomed German Villa as the new director of sales and marketing. Prior to that, Villa led luxury resorts and teams, including Hyatt Regency Bonaventure Resort & Spa. Joining Villa as a member of the Hilton Aventura Miami team is Executive Chef Marcos Flores, with previous roles at Le Meridien by Marriott in Dania Beach, Florida, and the Westin Diplomat in Hollywood.

Sylvia Wardzala has been tapped as the general manager of the New Castle Hotels & Resorts’ newly acquired Holiday Inn Resort Jekyll Island, Georgia. Before joining the company, Wardzala served as the complex general manager for Crestline Hotels & Resorts, overseeing three hotels in Jacksonville, Florida.

Christina Yuschalk has been promoted to corporate recruiter by McKibbon Hospitality, Tampa, Florida. Yuschalk most recently served as general manager of Hilton Garden Inn Hilton Head, South Carolina. Joining her is Chris Williamson, who has been named McKibbon Hospitality’s new director of learning and development. Prior to that, Williamson spent over 15 years with Hilton as a corporate trainer providing sales and brand management guidance.