Aparium Hotel Group announced the leadership team for Cyrus Hotel, set to open in Topeka, Kan., in early 2019. The Chicago-based lifestyle hotel company named industry veteran Jeff Pavone as GM, Topeka native Stephanie Gassen as director of sales and hospitality pro Raymond Alexander as director of food and beverage.
Pavone brings more than two decades of management experience to his new role, which has tasked him with overseeing all hotel operations including recruitment and community relations. Pavone joins Aparium Hotel Group from Hilton Hotels & Resorts, where he completed the company's certified general manager training program in 2016. Previously, he served as the GM of the Tides Folly Beach in Charleston, S.C., and the director of food and beverage for both the Crowne Plaza Executive Center in Baton Rouge, La., and the Hilton Savannah Desoto in Savannah, Ga. He also worked as the assistant food-and-beverage manager at Augusta (Ga.) Marriott Hotel at the Convention Center. Born and raised in Ontario, Canada, Pavone attended Brock University/Niagara College of Applied Arts & Technology, where he earned a degree in advanced business management for tourism.
Gassen is a lifelong Topekan who has worked in leading sales roles at hotels across Topeka, having most recently worked as the director of market sales for the Residence Inn Topeka and Fairfield Inn Topeka. Previously, Gassen held roles as the sales manager for Courtyard by Marriott Topeka and sales manager for Ramada Hotel & Convention Center. Gassen is the current president of the Topeka Lodging Association, where she has been involved with the planning and development of the Topeka Business Improvement District.
Alexander will oversee operations for hotel’s flagship restaurant as well as banquets, catering and roomservice. Alexander joins Cyrus Hotel with experience working as executive chef, assistant GM of operations and director of food and beverage for organizations such as Hilton, Marriott, Starwood, JQH Hotels and RL Hotels. Alexander received his culinary degree from the SAAF Culinary Academy and his degree in business administration at Brigham Young University.
The 109-key hotel will be the first upscale independent hotel in Topeka and will combine historic buildings with a modern new-build tower. The hotel will also be home to a ground-floor restaurant, bar and outdoor patio and both meeting and event space.