People on the Move: Peachtree, Primestar, Pacifica

Peachtree Group, Atlanta, Georgia, has strengthened its executive leadership team with the promotion of Brian Waldman to chief investment officer and Jeremy Stoler to executive vice president, debt capital markets.

Waldman will manage Peachtree’s multi-billion-dollar investment portfolio and direct investment strategies across its operating, lending and real estate divisions. Stoler will focus on supporting Peachtree’s operating companies and growth into other real estate sectors.

“With Brian and Jeremy, we are fortunate to have extremely talented, respected leaders who are highly experienced and energized to drive our growth,” said Greg Friedman, Peachtree’s CEO and managing principal. “These announcements also come at a pivotal time for Peachtree as we further position ourselves to expand into other real estate sectors and businesses.”

Throughout his 20-plus-year career, Waldman has had experience investing and managing a broad range of asset and portfolio types. He joined Peachtree in 2015 and has contributed significantly to Peachtree’s growth and investment performance.

Stoler has spent his 25-year career in real estate handling securitization and fund management and originating more than US$30 billion of mortgage debt. Prior to joining Peachtree, he founded a real estate advisory firm for institutional clients. Before that, Stoler was executive vice president and head of capital markets for a family office.

From left: Jeremy Stoler (Peachtree Group), Will Oakley (Jumby Bay Island), Brian Waldman (Peachtree Group), Jasmine Warren (The Opus), Ilemona Salifu (Park Hyatt Washington, DC)

Corporate Management

Primestar Group, Berlin, Germany, has appointed Hendrik Engel as director of operations of the new brand June SiX Hotels. Previously, Engel held various positions in the national and international private and chain hotel industry. He opened Europe’s largest Holiday Inn Express Hotel in Düsseldorf, Germany, as general manager in 2021.

Dieter Esslinger has been appointed managing director of Primestar Hospitality, Berlin, Germany, together with Oliver Kupka. Esslinger has been working for the group since 2017 and supported the expansion of the franchise segment over the last years, lastly as authorized signatory.

Crescent Hotels & Resorts, Fairfax, Virginia, and Toronto, Ontario,  has named Tom Gilliland executive vice president of operations. Gilliland previously served as vice president of franchise operations for Marriott International, Bethesda, Maryland.

Hospitality Ventures Management Group, Atlanta, Georgia, has named Jim Haggerty vice president of design and development. Haggerty most recently served as senior vice president of brand development with Atlantic City, New Jersey-based Vivamee Hospitality.

Pacifica Hotels, Aliso Viejo, California, has promoted Gatlynn Hicks to corporate regional director of operations. Hicks has been part of Pacifica Hotels since 2019, most recently leading the team at Seacliff Inn, Aptos, California.

The board of directors of Kohler Co., Kohler, Wisconsin, has elected president and chief executive officer David Kohler to the additional role of chair of the board, following the passing of executive chairman Herbert Kohler, Jr. David Kohler has been with the company for 31 years and was elected to the role of president and chief executive officer in 2015.

HVS has appointed Stephen Still as associate director in their London office. Previously, Still was based in the Cayman Islands, providing valuation advice across the Caribbean and Americas region.

Sonesta International Hotels Corp. has appointed Jason Yarbrough as senior vice president of lodging development, select-service brands. Most recently, Yarbrough served as senior vice president, development, Americas, Radisson Hotel Group Americas.

General Managers, Managing Directors

JW Marriott Hotel Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, has welcomed Yudit García as general manager. Previously, García served as general manager of the Courtyard Santo Domingo.

Voytek Klasicki has been appointed general manager at Cape Panwa Hotel, Phuket, Thailand. Klasicki spent the last 15 years working for Centara Hotels and Resorts, Bangkok, Thailand.

McKibbon Hospitality has named Ally Martin general manager of the new Hyatt House Orlando Airport, Florida. Martin has been with McKibbon for more than 10 years, most recently as general manager of Homewood Suites Orlando Airport at Gateway Village.

Will Oakley has been appointed as managing director of Jumby Bay Island, Oetker Collection’s (Baden-Baden, Germany) private resort off mainland Antigua. Previously, Oakley served as general manager of Glenapp Castle Hotel, Ballantrae, Girvan, U.K.

Sensei, Los Angeles, California, has made several appointments to lead the team at Sensei Porcupine Creek in Rancho Mirage, California, slated to open in November. Julie Oliff has been named general manager. She has been with St. Regis for over 10 years, serving as general manager of the St. Regis Residences in Rye, New York.

DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Hotel Doheny Beach, Dana Point, California, has appointed Donovan Stephens as general manager. Stephens joined from Chesapeake Hospitality, Greenbelt, Maryland, where he most recently served as general manager of the 342-room DoubleTree Pittsburgh Downtown, Pennsylvania.

Pacifica Hotels, Aliso Viejo, California, has promoted Denise Waggoner to general manager of The Belamar Hotel in Manhattan Beach, California. Most recently, Waggoner served as general manager at Hotel Hermosa, Hermosa Beach, California.


Tiffany Li has been appointed as director of operations at Sensei Porcupine Creek, Rancho Mirage, California. Li most recently served as director of rooms at 1 Hotels, Miami, Florida.

Food & Beverage

The Plantation on Crystal River, Florida, has made appointments to its food and beverage team: food and beverage director Todd Aurich, manager of restaurant outlets Adrienne Larson, and beverage manager Lisa Washburn. Previously, Aurich was business relationship manager at M&C Assemblies in St. Petersburg, Florida; Larson was most recently with Outback Steakhouse, Tampa, Florida, where she served as a key employee and hourly manager; and Washburn worked as a stay-and-play assistant at Black Diamond Ranch, Lecanto, Florida.

Four Seasons Resort and Club Dallas at Las Colinas, Texas, has welcomed Chris Dikovics as the new chef de cuisine. Most recently, Dikovics served as private chef for celebrity rapper Drake and worked in Thomas Keller’s Per Se, New York, before taking his talents to the Fairmont Hotel in Austin, Texas.

The Reverie Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam,  has appointed Marcelo Geraldini as its new executive chef. Geraldini joined The Reverie Saigon as executive sous chef in 2017.

Sensei Porcupine Creek, Rancho Mirage, California, has named Cameron Petrelli director of food and beverage, Seeun We executive chef and Takahiro Masuno head sushi chef at Sensei by Nobu. Previously, Petrelli was the director of food and beverage at Davidson Hospitality Group, Atlanta, Georgia. Masuno was previously with the Ojiya Corp. in both California and Hawaii, having served as general manager and executive chef at the brand’s numerous restaurant locations.

AHC Hospitality, Grand Rapids, Michigan, has selected Adam Tanner as assistant vice president of food and beverage. Most recently, Tanner led the food and beverage program of the Mandarin Oriental Taipei, Taiwan, as its executive chef.

Halekulani, Honolulu, Hawaii, has made several appointments within its food and beverage department. Orchids’ Chef de Cuisine Christian Testa and La Mer Chef de Cuisine Alexandre Trancher have been promoted to new executive chef roles. Additionally, Pauline Lam joins the hotel as executive pastry chef. Most recently, Lam served as campus executive chef for San Jose State University, California.

Sales & Marketing

Primestar Group, Berlin, Germany, has appointed Khrisna Canares to lead the sales and marketing department with a focus on digitalization. Canares most recently held the role of CSO at the Austrian hotel group Alpin Family. Primestar also appointed Keith Battaglia as director of sales at Half Moon Bay Lodge, Half Moon Bay, California. Previously, Battaglia was director of sales and marketing at The Ameswell Hotel, Mountain View, California.

McKibbon Hospitality has named Vanessa Faberlle market director of sales of the new Hyatt House Orlando Airport. Since 2012, Faberlle served in the same role within the group at the Hampton Inn & Suites and Homewood Suites Orlando Airport at Gateway Village, Florida.

Ilemona Salifu has been appointed director of sales, marketing, and events of Park Hyatt Washington, D.C. Salifu has been with Hyatt for over 15 years, most recently serving as the area director of sales, marketing, and events at the Hyatt Regency Baltimore, Maryland.

DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Hotel Doheny Beach, Dana Point, California, has appointed Sabrina Schroeter as director of sales and marketing. Schroeter most recently served as the director of sales for DoubleTree Irvine Spectrum, California.

Pacifica Hotels, Aliso Viejo, California, has appointed Adrienne Snow as director of sales at Jamaica Bay Inn. Most recently, Snow served in various roles at The Redondo Beach Hotel Tapestry Collection by Hilton, California.

The Venetian Resort Las Vegas, Nevada, has welcomed Tony Yousfi as chief sales officer. Yousfi was previously senior vice president of sales, catering, and conference services for Fontainebleau Las Vegas.

Spa and Wellness

The Opus, Westchester, New York, has welcomed Jasmine Warren as the new spa director of The Opus Spa. Warren joined from Heyday Skincare in the New York City Metropolitan Area.

Andrea Wieland has been appointed director of Wellness at Sensei Porcupine Creek, Rancho Mirage, California. Wieland is a licensed psychologist with a PhD and MBA and was formerly the president of Winning Systems, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.