Outrigger, Aimbridge, HEI, other companies appoint GMs

A number of management companies have appointed new leaders to properties across the countries. Here are a few names to know as Q4 gets underway.

AC Hotel Irvine

The AC Hotel Irvine, Calif., named Yuni Hunter as its new general manager. In this role, Hunter will oversee and manage the daily operations of the property. 

With more than 16 years of senior hospitality leadership, Hunter has overseen several new hotel openings and managed renovations and reactivations. She has been a GM at the Springhill Suites Los Angeles Downey, Springhill Suites Huntington Beach (Calif.) by Marriott and AC Marriott Beverly Hills as well as with Interstate Hotels.

Aston Islander on the Beach

Aqua-Aston Hospitality appointed Casie Riopta general manager at Aston Islander on the Beach on the Hawaiian island of Kauai. As GM, Riopta leads overall strategy and daily operations at the hotel, working with guest relations associates, maintenance and facilities teams and back-of-house colleagues. Riopta is also responsible for developing and maintaining professional relationships with current and potential owners. 

Riopta brings more than 10 years of hospitality experience to the role, including five years at Aston Islander on the Beach, where she held roles of increasing responsibility at the property. Riopta began her career in hospitality as a guest services agent and rose through the ranks, most recently as Aston Islander on the Beach’s owner services representative and hotel manager. Riopta also worked with Aqua-Aston Hospitality’s parent company, Marriott Vacations Worldwide, at Marriott’s Kauai Beach Club.

Hayes Mansion San Jose

Aimbridge Hospitality has appointed Erin Beadle as the new general manager of The Hayes Mansion San Jose (Calif.), Curio Collection by Hilton. Beadle brings 17 years of hotel management, operations and sales experience to the role.  As general manager, Beadle will oversee all aspects of Hayes Mansion San Jose, including day-to-day operations and leading a property team of 100 associates.

Prior to her new role, Beadle was GM at The Domain Hotel in Sunnyvale, Calif., where she oversaw 137 full-service rooms and navigated COVID-19 regulations and restrictions. Other California leadership roles include GM at the Laguna Brisas Hotel and the Lakehouse Hotel and Resort as well as senior sales manager at the Hyatt Regency Newport Beach. 

Hotel Crescent Court

HEI Hotels & Resorts named Shawn Nayyar the new GM of the Hotel Crescent Court in Dallas’ Uptown neighborhood. Nayyar brings more than 30 years of experience to the hotel. He will focus on hotel’s strategic goals while overseeing all operations of the 226-room property and the exclusive members- and guests-only Crescent Club. 

Nayyar has been with HEI Hotels & Resorts for more than six years. In addition to his hospitality leadership within the United States, Nayyar has worked in Asia, Europe and the Caribbean. Nayyar is a member of Chaîne des Rôtisseurs and SKÅL- International Association of Travel and Tourism Professionals.

Hyatt Centric Buckhead Atlanta

The Hyatt Centric Buckhead Atlanta has named Devraj Gorsia as its new general manager. In his new role, Gorsia will take the helm in overseeing the hotel's operations, with a focus on enhancing guest satisfaction, fostering community engagement, nurturing colleague development and spearheading strategic initiatives.

Gorsia has more than 17 years of experience with the Hyatt brand, working in London; Thailand; Dubai; Chicago; Scottsdale, Ariz.; and now Atlanta. Gorsia rose from director of food and beverage to director of operations at Andaz Scottsdale Resort & Bungalows and was director of operations position at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta.

Hyatt Place Portland-Old Port

Commonwealth Hotels appointed Stacy O'Reilly area general manager of the Hyatt Place Portland-Old Port, Maine, and the Docent's Collection. O'Reilly brings more than 20 years of hospitality experience to her new role as area general manager, having previously worked as the director of sales and marketing for the Harraseeket Inn in Freeport, Maine.

Most recently, O'Reilly held various hospitality leadership roles including the general manager for the Embassy Suites Akron Canton, Ohio, and the Hilton Garden Inn Auburn, Maine. In addition, she held various support roles at the Embassy Suites in Portland, Maine. 

Hyatt Regency Clearwater Beach

Hyatt Regency Clearwater Beach (Fla.) Resort & Spa named Ernesto Fernandez as general manager. In his new role, Fernandez will oversee the daily operations of the 286-room resort including the on-site spa, more than 20,000 square feet of meeting space and multiple on-site restaurants.

Originally from Buenos Aires, Argentina, Fernandez received his degree in business administration from Escuela Nacional de Comercio. Fernandez has more than 23 years of experience in the hospitality industry, working at 10 Hyatt properties across the nation. Fernandez joins the property from Andaz Savannah – a Concept by Hyatt, where he was general manager.

The Inn at Little Washington

Edward Gannon is the new GM at The Inn at Little Washington in Virginia. In this position, he will oversee all operations at the Relais & Chateaux property, including its 23 guest accommodations and its Three-Michelin-Starred restaurant.

Gannon joins The Inn at Little Washington after a tenure with Four Seasons Resorts, recently working as GM at both Four Seasons Resort and Residences Jackson Hole (Wyo.) and Four Seasons Resort Nevis. Following his time at Four Seasons, Gannon most recently was GM of Stanly Ranch, Auberge Resorts Collection in California’s Napa Valley. Gannon held leadership positions at Rosewood Hotels and Resorts' Jumby Bay in Antigua to Caneel Bay in St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands; Winnetu Oceanside Resort in Martha's Vineyard, Mass.; and Rosewood's Sand Hill property in Menlo Park, Calif. Gannon worked his way up from the kitchen to the executive office, and was executive chef at the Four Seasons Hotel Boston and The White Barn Inn in Kennebunkport, Maine.

Margaritaville Hotel San Diego Gaslamp Quarter

Margaritaville Hotel San Diego Gaslamp Quarter appointed Jim Hollister as its new GM. In his new position, Hollister will manage and oversee daily hotel operations, maintain standards for guest satisfaction and provide leadership and direction to the staff.

Hollister joins Margaritaville Hotel San Diego Gaslamp Quarter from Graduate Hotels, where he was regional vice president providing regional operational support to seven West Coast hotels including in Eugene, Ore.; Seattle; Dallas; Tucson, Ariz.; Tempe, Ariz.; Berkeley, Calif.; and Palo Alto, Calif. He held a regional leadership position with Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants in Southern California for 17 years. Hollister was GM at the Hotel Palomar in Phoenix as well as FireSky Resort & Spa in Scottsdale, Ariz. He also held numerous GM positions within Wyndham Hotels & Resorts. 

Le Méridien Houston Downtown

Le Méridien Houston Downtown appointed Daniel Tabares as general manager. With 20 years of experience in hotel operations and extensive knowledge of the Houston market, Tabares will oversee the day-to-day functions of the property, including team member development, revenue management and maintaining guest satisfaction.

Before joining Le Meridien Houston Downtown, Tabares was the general manager of Downtown Houston’s The Laura Hotel, Autograph Collection, where he focused on onboarding and training new team members, shaping company culture and developing strategies for complete efficiency. He also held leadership positions at boutique hotels such as Houston’s C. Baldwin Hotel and Hotel Derek as well as the Q&C Hotel and Bar in New Orleans. Originally from Venezuela, he graduated with his bachelor’s degree from the University of Carabobo.

Moxy Phoenix Downtown

PEG Hospitality Group—a Utah-based hospitality company that is developing the upcoming Moxy Phoenix Downtown—named Eren Bicakci as the property's captain, the brand's take on general manager. The Moxy Phoenix Downtown is set to open at the end of 2023.

Bicakci has more than 20 years of experience in the hospitality industry. He received his start in hospitality overseas in Türkiye where he graduated from the University of Gaziantep,Türkiye with a degree in hotel, motel and restaurant management. Eren spent the majority of his hospitality career in Anchorage, Alaska, beginning his career as a front desk supervisor for Clarion and eventually working his way up to the GM position at the Courtyard by Marriott. After several years working for Marriott, he joined PEG Hospitality Group as the opening general manager for the company’s Hyatt Place Anchorage property.

Outrigger Resorts & Hotels

Outrigger Resorts & Hotels appointed Kiana Beimes as general manager of the Ohana Waikiki East by Outrigger and Ceci Hamao as general manager of the Outrigger Waikiki Beachcomber Hotel. Both Beimes and Hamao will oversee their respective hotel operations in addition to developing strategic plans to ensure profitability and growth.

Earlier this year, Beimes was appointed hotel manager of the Ohana Waikiki East by Outrigger; before that she was area director of front services for the property in addition to the Outrigger Waikiki Beachcomber Hotel. She was also assistant area director for the same hotels and Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort and front office manager at the Beachcomber. Beimes began her hospitality career in 2013 as an intern at Outrigger’s flagship Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort.

Hamao has been resort manager at the Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort since 2022. Before that, she was area director of front services for Outrigger’s six Waikīkī hotels and began her Outrigger career as front office manager. She came to Outrigger from The Modern where she was director of front services and started her hospitality career at The Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort, as guest services manager.

Romer Waikiki at The Ambassador

Highgate appointed Matthew McGuigan as GM of the new Romer Waikiki at The Ambassador in Honolulu. In his new role, McGuigan will oversee all operations and management of the property.

With more than 25 years of experience, McGuigan joins Romer Waikiki from the Ala Moana Hotel by Mantra in downtown Honolulu, where he was hotel manager for the past five years. Before that, was hotel manager at the Roosevelt Hotel Seattle, director of rooms at The Hotel 1000 Seattle and director of front office at the Sheraton Seattle Hotel. Formerly known as The Ambassador Hotel Waikiki, the new hotel is set to get a courtyard restaurant next year. 

Shashi Hotel Mountain View

The Shashi Hotel Mountain View in California's Silicon Valley appointed Justin Rodriguez as general manager. A native of the Bay Area, Rodriguez has worked with the Shashi Group team since July 2019, where he previously held the role of director of food and beverage, managing all dining outlets of the hospitality group. In this new role, Rodriguez will oversee the property’s day-to-day operations, sales and marketing.  

Before joining Shashi Group, Rodriguez was GM at Cotogna, a neighborhood Italian restaurant in San Francisco. Previously, he was service manager at San Francisco’s three Michelin-starred restaurant, Quince, and General Manager of Mountain View’s Michelin-starred local institution, Chez TJ, where he aided in driving profitability, guest satisfaction and facility management improvements.

The Sebastian - Vail

The Sebastian - Vail in Vail Village, Colo., appointed John D’Angelo as its new general manager. In his role, D’Angelo is responsible for overseeing day-to-day operations of the property.

D’Angelo brings more than two decades of hospitality experience, most recently as general manager for Grand Hyatt Vail and Residences at Cascade Village. He held various management positions at the Wild Dunes Resort in South Carolina; Grand Hyatt Baha Mar, Nassau, The Bahamas; Grand Hyatt Nashville; and Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego, among others. 

Stanly Ranch, Auberge Resorts Collection

Laura McIver is the new general manager at Stanly Ranch, Auberge Resorts Collection, in California's Napa Valley. 

McIver has more than 15 years of experience as a GM, including Miraval Resorts in Arizona, Shutters on the Beach in Santa Monica and, most recently, at Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa, a Relais & Châteaux in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.

The Thompson Atlanta-Buckhead

The Thompson Atlanta-Buckhead appointed Donte Johnson as general manager. Johnson is an industry veteran with over 22 years of hospitality experience managing properties across major markets including Washington D.C., Miami, Baltimore and Atlanta. 

As GM Johnson executes commercial strategy and oversees hotel and property operations, including staff management, guest satisfaction and community relations. Throughout his career Johnson has developed and fostered a mission focused on social impact, DEI and community partnerships, working with his team and mission-aligned organizations to connect with the community and support local philanthropy. As a leader in Impact hospitality and member of Hyatt’s Global Diversity Equity and Inclusion Council, Johnson offers insight and guides strategy to advance achievement of local and corporate DE&I goals. 

Johnson currently serves as one of four co-chairs for The American Hotel & Lodging Association’s General Manager Roundtable and is a graduate of McKinsey & Company's Black Executive Leadership Program. He also is a member of Hyatt’s Supplier Diversity Committee, where he identifies potential growth segments and minority vendor partners and provides insight and strategic guidance in support of Hyatt's supplier diversity goals.

Viceroy Chicago

Viceroy Hotels & Resorts appointed Patrick Lacassagne as Viceroy Chicago’s new general manager. In his role, Lacassagne will oversee the overall hotel strategy to maximize guest satisfaction, service standards, colleague satisfaction and financial performance.

Lacassagne’s nearly 20-year global hospitality career began in France, where he was born and raised. Starting as an assistant food & beverage manager at the Hotel Concorde Montparnasse, he went on to hold various F&B roles in Egypt, Morocco and the Caribbean. Most recently, Lacassagne was GM of the NoMo Soho, part of Highgate’s New York City portfolio. Before that, he held GM positions at Chicago’s Deer Path Inn and The Knickerbocker Hotel, New York.