Choice Hotels International has created a new position to support environmental, social and governance while other companies have promoted internally or hired leaders from other businesses to take on new roles. Here are some recent key appointments.
Choice Hotels International
Choice Hotels International has appointed Megan Brumagim to the newly created role of VP of environmental, social and governance. In this new role, Brumagim will lead Choice's sustainability and corporate social responsibility initiatives, championing the pillars of environmental sustainability, human rights, diversity and inclusion, philanthropic and community engagement and corporate governance.
In addition to furthering the company's existing mission-driven initiatives—from its partnerships (including Operation Homefront, to support service members and their families) to its efforts to enhance opportunities for minority-owned businesses—Brumagim will continue to develop the company's ESG blueprint to drive alignment among key stakeholders.
Brumagim joined Choice Hotels in 2015 as the head of the company's Comfort Hotels brand and soon became VP of brand management, design and compliance, where she oversaw the strategy and performance of Choice's largest brands. In addition to playing a pivotal role in some of the company's initiatives, including the transformation of the Comfort brand and the launch of the Rise and Shine prototype, Brumagim led the pandemic response for Choice's core brands and helped develop the company's Commitment to Clean initiative.
Throughout her tenure and before her recent appointment, Brumagim also had a growing role in furthering Choice's sustainability efforts, at both the corporate and hotel levels. Most recently, she led a pilot program to begin tracking property-level energy, water and waste usage to help Choice owners mitigate associated costs and reduce their environmental impact.
Before Choice, Brumagim was senior director of global brand management at Marriott International, and previously held positions in consulting firms McKinsey & Co. and Booz Allen Hamilton. Brumagim earned a bachelor's degree from Harvard University and a master's in business administration from London Business School.
Management company McKibbon Hospitality has promoted and appointed four leaders to its corporate team:
Ben Golson has been promoted to VP of digital marketing and eCommerce, spearheading eCommerce, digital marketing and revenue generation strategy and implementation across McKibbon’s portfolio. Golson joined McKibbon in 2012 as an SEO analyst before his promotion to director of eCommerce in 2014. He holds a B.S. in business administration with a concentration in marketing from the University of South Florida.
Heather Brinson has joined McKibbon as regional director of sales & marketing. Most recently, Brinson served as regional director of sales for Humanist Hospitality Group, where she led revenue attainment, incremental revenue growth and lead generation efforts for a portfolio of 17 hotels. Before her time with Humanist, Brinson was director of sales with Hotel Equities. Brinson earned her B.S. in hotel management from the University of Alabama – Tuscaloosa.
Rebecca Fernandez has joined McKibbon as regional revenue manager. In her new role, Fernandez will work alongside McKibbon’s in-house revenue managers to optimize revenue across the portfolio of hotels, researching market conditions and implementing strategic hotel rates and packages. She most recently was regional revenue manager for Hotel Equities, supporting a portfolio of 11 properties. Before her time with Hotel Equities, she was a revenue generation analyst with Witness Group and revenue manager assistant with General Hotels Corporation, preceded by on-property sales roles. She earned her B.S. in hospitality & food management from Ball State University.
Gianna Esparza has joined McKibbon as eCommerce marketing manager, responsible for supporting eCommerce and digital marketing efforts for a portfolio of McKibbon-managed properties. Esparza joins McKibbon from Hotel Paso del Norte, where she served as digital marketing & analytics manager. Esparza also spent five years as a special event coordinator for Rave Marketing & Events. She earned her B.A. in organizational and corporate communications from The University of Texas at El Paso and her M.S. in digital marketing & analytics from St. Edward’s University.
McKibbon also named two human resources professionals to the company’s expanding corporate leadership team.
Christina Yuschalk has been promoted to corporate recruiter, responsible for leading the charge on McKibbon’s associate recruitment and retention strategies and initiatives. Yuschalk has been with the company for more than five years, most recently serving as GM of Hilton Garden Inn Hilton Head.
Chris Williamson has joined McKibbon as director of learning and development. In his role, he will lead all company and brand-mandated learning and development initiatives, including McKibbon’s leadership workshops and manager-in-training program. Williamson spent more than 15 years with Hilton as a corporate trainer providing sales and brand management guidance for Hilton’s suites and focused service brands. Williamson also pent several years working on-property in hotel sales leadership roles.
Rockbridge has named Tom Healy as president and COO of Rockbridge Hospitality and its operational affiliate, Bridgepoint Hospitality. In his new role, Healy will support the investment group on new acquisitions and developments, RBHD (the company’s development and construction management team) with renovations, development strategy and execution, and will work closely with Rockbridge’s affiliated hospitality management companies.
Before joining Rockbridge, Healy most recently was the COO and EVP of asset management of Diamond Rock Hospitality from 2017 to earlier this year. Before that, he worked at Strategic Hotels & Resorts and served in various corporate and property operational roles for Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide and Hyatt Hotels & Resorts. Healy graduated from Johnson & Wales University, earning a B.S. in hospitality management, and he earned a Masters with Distinction in hospitality and tourism leadership from the University of Strathclyde Business School, Cornell University and Ecole Hoteliere de Lausanne.
Marcus Hotels & Resorts
Marcus Hotels & Resorts, an ownership and management company and a division of The Marcus Corporation, has appointed Chris Schaefer as VP of food and beverage. In his new role, Schaefer will oversee catering, banquets, and more than 40 restaurants, bars and lounges across Marcus Hotels & Resorts’ 17 properties. He will also be responsible for strategic planning, restaurant design and concepting, and talent development throughout the company’s F&B portfolio.
Schaefer most recently was corporate director of food and beverage at Noble House Hotels & Resorts, a Seattle-based hotel ownership and management group. In this role, he was responsible for all food and beverage operations for the company’s 20 properties. Before that position, he served as food and beverage director of Noble House Hotels & Resorts’ Palm Springs, Calif., property. He has led the openings of multiple restaurants and served as a consultant or manager of existing restaurants to increase revenues.
Schaefer received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from University of California, Los Angeles. He also graduated from the California School of Culinary Arts in Pasadena, Calif., in the Le Cordon Bleu program.
Andre Fournier was named chief commercial officer of CoralTree Hospitality, a new position for the company. Fournier has been with CoralTree since its inception as EVP overseeing revenue, sales and marketing. Fournier will continue to oversee all aspects of the company’s marketing, sales, revenue operations and plans. Additionally, he will help develop and lead customer experience and innovation strategies.
Fournier’s first major position in the industry was as VP for a destination management company at Scottsdale Plaza Resort. He then lead the marketing effort for the Vail Cascade Resort, which was managed by Destination Hotels & Resorts. He moved up in the ranks at Destination and returned to Arizona as the company’s regional director of sales and marketing overseeing Pointe South Mountain Resort, Royal Palms Resort and Spa and Tempe Mission Palms Hotel and Conference Center. He returned to Colorado in 2011 as the VP of sales, marketing and revenue for the company.
When Destination Hotels & Resorts became Two Roads Hospitality in 2016, Fournier led the company’s global sales, marketing and revenue efforts. He launched CoralTree Hospitality in 2018 as the company’s EVP of sales, marketing and revenue.
Valor Hospitality Partners
Hotel management company Valor Hospitality Partners has named Dwayne Marshall chief development officer. In his new role, Marshall will lead the execution of the company’s growth strategy in the United States by sourcing, structuring, negotiating and executing third-party management contracts nationwide and assisting with underwriting acquisition and development opportunities for the company and its capital partners. Marshall also will continue to build Valor’s strategic relationships with hotel ownership groups, hotel brands, asset managers, hotel brokers and the hotel investment community at large.
Marshall joins Valor following senior leadership roles with Chesapeake Hospitality, Marriott International, IHG Hotels & Resorts and other companies.
The new leadership position comes on the heels of significant company growth in recent months, with six hotels joining the brand’s international portfolio in 2022 alone.
Virgin Hotels has named Jason Doebrich VP of information technology. Doebrich, who is based in Miami, will be responsible for the brand’s continued growth and innovation in the technology space.
Before Virgin Hotels, Doebrich served 12 years as director of information technology and telecommunications for the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group. In the last year of his tenure, Doebrich was corporate director of information technology and telecommunications for brand’s Americas region. Before his 13 years with Mandarin Oriental, Doebrich oversaw technology for Morgan’s Hotel Group where he was regional director of technology.
Doebrich holds a bachelor’s degree from Florida State University in information systems.
Anneliesse Cooper has joined Atrium Hospitality as SVP of human resources. In this role, Cooper will be responsible for supporting all of the company’s associates within the Atrium-managed hotel portfolio across the United States.
Most recently, Cooper was VP of human resources at Marriott International, supporting the company’s Caribbean & Latin America Region. During her eight years with Marriott, she also was area director of human resources for the Eastern region. She spent nearly 13 years with White Lodging Services, where she led talent acquisition for six years, transitioned to area director for 10 business units and finally became corporate director of human resources.
Cooper holds a Bachelor of Arts from Cornell University in anthropology and women’s studies. She also studied hospitality management and business administration at the University of Houston.
Hotel operations and development company First Hospitality has appointed Chris Lorino to SVP of operations. He is responsible for supporting the company’s senior operational leaders including vice presidents, regional and area directors, and general managers, as well as assisting in the growth of new hotels in the full-service sector.
Before joining First Hospitality, Lorino spent the past four years working for Sage Hospitality, most recently as VP of operations. Lorino also worked for Provenance Hotels as a regional director of operations, supporting acquisitions, renovations and repositioning and management of business activities.