U.S., Caribbean hotels appoint sales, marketing leaders

A number of hotels across the country and internationally have named new sales and marketing leaders. Here are some names to know.

Gant Aspen

In Colorado, The Gant Aspen has promoted Bree DiBernardo to director of sales from her prior role as senior sales manager. DiBernardo began her tenure at The Gant in 2020 as reservations agent and quickly ascended the leadership ranks to event manager, sales manager and most recently senior sales manager. Her track record underscores her ability to drive revenue growth within the reservations, sales and events departments. DiBernardo remains committed to continual learning and is a recent graduate of Aspen’s Roaring Fork Leadership Academy, a program dedicated to building effective leaders through training, practice and application.

Before working at The Gant, DiBernardo was group sales manager at The Westin Snowmass Resort in Snowmass, Colo., where she was responsible for maximizing revenue for the hotel, procuring new business and leading the group sales team. DiBernardo began as a catering and conference services coordinator followed by manager at Manor Vail Lodge in Vail, Colo., where she developed and led a team responsible for the execution of all conferences and social events. Beyond the mountains, DiBernardo also was group sales manager for The Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner in McLean, Va. 

In her new role as director of sales for The Gant, DiBernardo is responsible for spearheading the resort’s leisure and group sales efforts to achieve revenue targets, developing and implementing strategic sales plans, managing the group and leisure sales team and fostering relationships with clients to nurture business growth.

Grace Bay Resorts

Grace Bay Resorts in the Turks and Caicos appointed Carol Maldonado as the new cluster director of sales. Maldonado will oversee the sales team across the entire Grace Bay Resorts portfolio including Grace Bay Club, Point Grace, West Bay Club, Private Villa Collection, Rock House and South Bank, opening May 1.

Maldonado founded a sales and marketing representation company for luxury hotels in Europe. She pioneered new brands and led sales teams for major organizations like The Leading Hotels of the World and the Mytha Hotel Anthology with the Dogus Holding Tourism Group. In her 14-year tenure at The Leading Hotels of the World as senior director of travel trade, Maldonado was responsible for overseeing all luxury travel industry sales opportunities in North America and achieved year-over-year revenue increases across 430 hotels. 

Hyatt Regency Aruba Resort Spa and Casino 

The Hyatt Regency Aruba Resort Spa and Casino appointed Lanette Torres as director of sales, marketing and events. Torres has more than 15 years of experience in sales and events management, having driven hotel revenue through market analysis, sales strategies and initiatives, as well as brand development and marketing partnerships.

Torres’ career in hospitality began in 2006 as a group sales manager at the Mandarin Oriental Miami where she established her extensive set of skills in strategic revenue planning and account procurement and management. Over the years, she worked with a variety of hotel groups including Accor Hotels, Hilton Hotels and Resorts, Morgans Hotel Group and Thompson Hotels before starting her career with Hyatt Hotels Corp. In 2015, Torres was appointed senior sales manager of The Confidante Miami Beach in the Unbound Collection by Hyatt, where she was responsible for the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and International markets, in the corporate, incentive, SMERF and tour and travel segments. She was appointed director of group sales two years later. In 2021, Torres became the director of commercial services at The Confidante where she led sales (group and transient) and events (sales and planning) teams to achieve revenue goals for target segments.

Kimpton Claret Hotel

The upcoming Kimpton Claret Hotel, opening this spring in Denver, appointed Beth Harty as director of sales and marketing. Harty has more than two decades of hospitality experience in Denver. She began her career at Magnolia Hotel Denver where she worked her way up to director of sales before joining Kimpton in 2005. Since then, Harty has worked at several Kimpton properties in the intermountain west including Hotel Monaco Denver and Hotel Monaco Salt Lake City before joining Kimpton Hotel Born in downtown Denver, where she helped open the hotel in 2016.

Kimpton Santo

White Lodging, the owner and operator of the upcoming Kimpton Santo—the first Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants in San Antonio—appointed Jeremy Lander the property’s first director of sales and marketing. The hotel is slated to open in late 2024. 

Lander is a certified hotel sales leader and brings more than 25 years’ experience in hospitality sales to his role at the Kimpton Santo. He will oversee a team responsible for sales, digital and traditional marketing, and on-site activations. before his role at Kimpton Santo, Lander worked with Omni Hotels & Resorts in properties across San Antonio and Austin. 

Margaritaville Resort Lake Tahoe

The recently opened Margaritaville Resort Lake Tahoe—the brand’s first lodging in a ski destination—appointed two new leaders to its executive team: Michael Punchios as director of sales and Jessica Dringman as director of marketing. 

Punchios comes to Margaritaville from JW Marriott Las Vegas Resort & Spa, where he was associate director of sales. Other roles include director of sales and marketing for Hilton Lake Las Vegas Resort & Spa, national sales manager at Green Valley Ranch Resort Spa & Casino, director of business development at Nextech AR Solutions. His career in the hospitality industry first began with the Disney College Program, followed by helping to launch Disney Cruise Lines' first ship, Disney Magic. 

Dringman joins the team from her previous role as director of marketing at Davidson Hospitality Group, where she provided both on-property and task force marketing leadership to a range of Davidson Hotel and Resort properties including the Davenport Hotel Collection, part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection in Spokane, Wash.; Newport Beachside Hotel & Resort in Sunny Isles , Fla.; Wyndham Grand Jupiter (Fla.); and Wyndham Orlando Resort. She also held marketing positions at T-Mobile, Booz Allen Hamilton and Microsoft. 

Newbury Boston

The Newbury Boston, managed by Highgate, appointed Laura Ward director of sales and marketing. In addition, the hotel promoted Melissa Kelly to director of sales and Brittany Ostrander to director of group sales.

As director of sales and marketing, Ward will develop sales strategies and lead the sales, catering and event service team, as well as direct the marketing efforts for the Hotel. She joins The Newbury from her most recent position as director of sales and marketing at Intercontinental Boston. She held sales leadership roles at Intercontinental Boston, Boston Harbor Hotel and Four Seasons Hotel Boston.

As director of sales, Kelly will oversee the entire sales strategy for the property. Kelly has spent nearly 12 years with The Newbury Boston. Starting as senior group sales manager at The Taj Boston, Kelly has held a variety of progressive sales leadership roles at the hotel. She was part of the opening team for The Newbury Boston and worked throughout the property’s transformation and launch in the market. Before her work at The Newbury, Kelly was group sales manager at The Hawthorne Hotel. 

In her new role as director of group sales, Ostrander will oversee the group sales team strategy including day-to-day office operation. Ostrander joined The Newbury Boston shortly after its reopening as group sales manager and quickly moved into the role of assistant director of group sales. Before joining The Newbury, she worked at a number of luxury hotels in Boston, including Encore Boston Harbor, Boston Harbor Hotel and Ritz-Carlton Boston. 

Source Hotel + Market Hall

Denver’s Source Hotel + Market Hall appointed Michelle Drugan director of sales & marketing. The Source Hotel + Market Hall is managed by Crescent Hotels.

Drugan has more than 15 years of luxury sales experience, most recently working as the associate director of sales and marketing at Denver’s Hotel Teatro. She previously was the director of business travel sales at The Marker San Francisco and a senior area leisure sales manager at Auberge Resorts Collection.