Davidson, ESA name new leaders

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Two American hospitality companies have appointed new leadership.  

ESA's new managing director

Extended Stay America has named Mark Williams managing director, franchise development.

In his new role role, Williams will be responsible for continuing to grow ESA’s footprint throughout North America through franchise conversions and new-build properties. Williams will report directly to Judi Bikulege, chief investment officer, who will lead the company’s franchising business. Before joining ESA, Williams served as SVP for Radisson Hotel Group, overseeing franchise development for the Eastern U.S. and Canada. He also has held senior franchise management positions at Red Lion, Vantage Hospitality, G6 Hospitality and Best Western International.

Mark Williams.
Photo credit: ESA

“With the recent opening of five newly constructed hotels and an additional seven in various stages of construction, ESA has successfully demonstrated we can build and deliver our new prototype on time and on budget. This provides our franchisees the opportunity to build a great product at an attractive price.” said Bikulege. “We are excited to have such a highly respected and experienced franchise development executive such as Mark join our team to continue to grow our franchise system.”

“As the only franchisor in America focused exclusively on the extended-stay segment, we have unique expertise in delivering extended-stay customers to our franchisees. Together with the leading brand name in the segment, ESA has a demonstrated value proposition for the franchisee community. In addition, the resiliency of our business model has been amply demonstrated in our performance during the Covid-19 pandemic” stated Bruce Haase, CEO and president, Extended Stay America. “We continue to invest in our franchising business to deliver greater value to our franchise partners.”

Pivot's new EVP

Hospitality management company Davidson Hotels & Resorts appointed Jeff Toscano EVP of Pivot Hotels & Resorts. In this role, Toscano is responsible for maximizing profitability, driving team performance, improving asset value, building brand equity and enhancing the guest experience through experiential, differentiated programming at all lifestyle and luxury hotels, resorts and restaurants in the Pivot portfolio.

Jeff Toscano
Jeff Toscano

Most recently, Toscano was with Hyatt Hotels Corp., where he served as SVP of operations for the East region of Hyatt’s newly formed lifestyle division. During his tenure, he played an integral role in leading and supporting the integration of legacy Two Roads Hospitality lifestyle and resort brands following Hyatt’s acquisition of the organization in 2018. 

Previously, he served as EVP of operations at Two Roads Hospitality, where he was responsible for ensuring a high level of operating standards and provided authentic, innovative and unconventional guest experiences while never compromising the quality of team member engagement and customer service deliverables for lifestyle properties and resort communities. Before that, he served as senior vice president of lifestyle hotels at Highgate where, in addition to overseeing operational performance, he held an all-encompassing role including oversight of the development of new hotel projects, from acquisition to design and construction to branding and marketing strategy to the operational hotel opening and eventual asset stabilization. Further, he has held senior level corporate roles at Amsterdam Hospitality, Denihan Hospitality Group and Starwood Hotels & Resorts. 
Toscano received a bachelor of science degree from Purdue University in hospitality and institutional management. He is also an advanced GMP graduate of Cornell University.