Benchmark, Pendry, others name new hotel leaders

Benchmark named Thomas Donovan vice president and managing director of the Turtle Bay Resort in Kahuku, Hawaii. Photo credit: Benchmark (Jack Johnson was previously chief engineer for General Growth Properties of Honolulu.)

Benchmark, a global hospitality company, named Robert E. Booth director of sales and marketing for The Equinox Golf Resort & Spa, a Gemstone Collection property located in Manchester Village, Vt. Booth previously held the position of director of sales and events for Paloma Resort Properties in Lake Geneva, Wis. He has served as director of group & corporate sales for PGA Tour Experiences of Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. Earlier in his career, Booth held sales leadership positions for The Inn at Palmetto Bluff in Bluffton, S.C.

Benchmark also named Thomas Donovan vice president and managing director of the Turtle Bay Resort in Kahuku, Hawaii. Donovan brings more than 25 years of experience in the hospitality industry to his new role. He most recently served as managing director at The Resort at Pelican Hill in Newport Coast, Calif. He served in the same role for the Grand Wailea Maui, a Waldorf Astoria Resort. Previous to this, Donovan was vice president and general manager for The Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Kapalua, also on Maui.

Montage Big Sky

Michelle Caporicci is the new GM of the upcoming Montage Big Sky (Mon.). With more than 20 years of experience in the hospitality industry, Caporicci most recently served as GM and regional VP of Auberge Resort Collections in Telluride and Aspen, Colo. Before this, she held the role of managing director for St. Regis Langkawi, Westin Langkawi and Langkawi International Convention Center in Malaysia. Additional roles have included regional VP of sales and marketing for The Ritz-Carlton, Asia Pacific in Hong Kong; general manager of The Ritz-Carlton, Guangzhou in China; hotel manager of The Portman Ritz-Carlton, Shanghai in China; and corporate senior director of meetings and special events for The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co.

Pendry Hotels & Resorts 

Pendry Hotels & Resorts appointed Danielle Choi director of sales and marketing for Pendry Manhattan West, which is slated to open in New York City in this summer. Choi has nearly a decade of marketing experience in the hospitality industry, most recently serving as director of sales and marketing at Gramercy Park Hotel. Before that, Choi served as the director of global sales for Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts.

Stephen Blackford is the new general manager of Pendry Chicago. Blackford brings nearly a decade of hospitality experience, specifically in the Chicago area, to his role with Pendry Hotels & Resorts. Most recently, he served as managing director of St. Jane Hotel. He also held the general manager role at The Ambassador Chicago, The James Hotel Chicago and Affinia Chicago.

Adero Scottsdale

Adero Scottsdale, an Autograph Collection hotel in Scottsdale, Ariz., appointed Dieter Schmitz GM. Schmitz has more than 15 years of hospitality experience, specializing in hotel openings and the launch of new hotel brands. During his tenure with IHG, he played a leading role in the launch of Even Hotels, Hotel Indigo and the next generation of the Crowne Plaza brand. In his most recent role, he served as regional general manager for Riggs Washington DC.

Hotel Emblem San Francisco

Kylie Ranger is the new director of sales and marketing at Hotel Emblem San Francisco. Most recently, she was area director of business and leisure travel for several of Viceroy Hotels & Resorts’ San Francisco-based hotels, including Hotel Zetta, Hotel Zelos and Hotel Zeppelin. Before coming to Viceroy, Ranger held sales and event roles across a range of corporate, leisure and entertainment organizations in Los Angeles, and for 8Hotels Collection.

Hyatt Regency Houston

Hyatt Regency Houston hired John Schafer as managing director. Schafer joined the hotel from Grand Hyatt New York, where he previously served as general manager and area vice president. With more than 40 years of experience working with Hyatt Corp., Schafer has served as general manager and managing director at large convention hotels throughout the country, from the Manchester Grand in San Diego and Hyatt Regency Chicago, to the Hyatt Regency and Grand Hyatt hotels in Denver.

Amway Grand Plaza

AHC Hospitality announced the promotion of Ross Bartlett to regional general manager of the Amway Grand Plaza, Curio Collection by Hilton in Grand Rapids, Mich. Most recently serving as the assistant general manager at the hotel, Bartlett will continue to provide day-to-day leadership for the property as well as lead AHC’s newest project in the city, the Morton Hotel, and oversee the security and parking departments for AHC Hospitality. 

Shoreline Hotel Waikiki

Shoreline Hotel Waikiki in Oahu, Hawaii, welcomed a new general manager, Jeff Perkins. Perkins has more than 25 years of hotel leadership experience working with luxury brands such as The Ritz Carlton, The St. Regis and The Beverly Hilton. He also previously served as the general manager for Queen Kapiolani Hotel and served as the resort manager for Hawaii’s Kahala Hotel & Resort and Turtle Bay Resort.

The Plaza Hotel Pioneer Park in El Paso, Texas, has a new director of sales and marketing.
Photo credit: Plaza Hotel Pioneer Park

Plaza Hotel Pioneer Park

Sabrina Guerrero has been named director of sales and marketing at the Plaza Hotel Pioneer Park in El Paso, Texas. With more than 20 years of experience in the hospitality industry, she began her career in the hospitality industry in 2000 at Hyatt Regency Los Angeles and has developed through operational and managerial positions at Hyatt Hotels & Resorts in California and Arizona. Before joining The Plaza Hotel Pioneer Park, she served as director of sales, marketing, and events for Royal Palms Resort and Spa in Phoenix. 

Deer Path Inn

Deer Path Inn in Lake Forest, Ill., announced the appointment of Patrick Lacassagne as general manager/innkeeper. Lacassagne brings more than a decade of hospitality experience to Deer Path Inn from hotels all over the world. He’s held many roles during his career, including hotel manager and director of food and beverage. 

The Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach Resort & Club

The Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach Resort & Club in Dana Point, Calif., appointed George Munz general manager and Pat Rizco director of engineering.

Munz joins the hotel following 30 years with The Ritz-Carlton brand, where he served as general manager at some of the brand’s top resorts and hotels across the United States. Most recently, Munz served as general manager at The Ritz-Carlton Washington, D.C. for five years. Before that, Munz served as general manager at The Ritz-Carlton’s Half Moon Bay in California and Ritz-Carlton, Phoenix. Munz also held roles as a director of sales and marketing and as a hotel manager at The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel, also in Orange County.

Rizco joins the hotel with more than 30 years of experience. Mostly recently, he served as director of engineering at The Resort at Pelican Hill. Before that, Rizco also held director of engineering roles at Paradise Point Resort & Spa in San Diego and The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel in Orange County. 

Marriott Dallas Uptown

Robbie Tawil is the new general manager of the Marriott Dallas Uptown. Tawil has more than 35 years of experience with Marriott and the hospitality industry, including previous leadership roles in management and operations. During his tenure with Marriott, Tawil has served as GM of the Marriott Conference Center in Norman, Okla., GM of the Worthington Renaissance, director of operations at the Dallas Renaissance, director of food and beverage at the Worthington in Fort Worth and director of operations at Dallas Marriott Downtown.

The Forester

The Forester, a Hyatt Place Hotel in Lake Forest, Ill., appointed Marlena Karwowski general manager. She has served in a variety of roles, including assistant reservations manager at Hyatt Regency McCormick Place, reservations and communications manager at Hyatt Regency Chicago, director of sales at Hyatt House Evanston, director of sales at Hilton Garden Inn Evanston, task force manager of sales at Hyatt Place Iowa City and task force manager of sales at Hyatt Place Milwaukee.

Hotel Jerome

Hotel Jerome, Auberge Resorts Collection in Aspen, Colo., welcomed Patrick Davila as general manager. Davila has more than 20 years of experience in luxury hospitality. He most recently was the director of operations and served as interim general manager at Meadowood in St. Helena, Calif. Davila also held leadership positions with Alden Hotels in Houston, Patina Group in Los Angeles, Postrio in San Francisco and Restaurant Daniel and Café Boulud in New York.