Hotel tech, operations companies name new execs

More hospitality companies are naming new leaders as they adapt to new normals. Here are just a few recent appointments.

Donohoe Hospitality Services

Thomas Penny, III, president of Donohoe  division Donohoe Hospitality Services, has appointed Dana English as the company’s new CFO. 

English joins Donohoe Hospitality from Real Hospitality Group, where she was CFO, led a team of 25 accounting professionals and was responsible for 110 branded and independent hotels.  

“Dana is an accomplished leader, and we welcome her experience and passion for excellence,” said Penny. “As we lead Donohoe Hospitality through one of the most challenging times in history, Dana will help strengthen our internal systems, identify efficiencies, streamline processes and further cultivate a relationship of support and trust with our business leaders in the field.”   
Mr. Penny continued, “Dana’s appointment comes at a pivotal point for Donohoe Hospitality as we prepare to welcome seven new hotels and over 1,000 hotel rooms in Las Vegas; Baltimore; Reston, [Va.]; D.C.; and Portland, Maine.” 

English has more than 23 years of experience. In addition to her tenure at Real Hospitality Group, she was senior manager at CPA firm Cohen Reznick where she helped build the hospitality advisory practice. She also served as corporate controller at Modus Hotels and held multiple senior leadership positions with Marshall Hotels and Resorts. She began her career at the front desk at a family owned hotel. 

English is a Certified Public Account. She graduated with honors from Salisbury University’s Perdue School of Business with a B.S. in Accounting and has served as an adjunct professor at her alma mater. She is a past president and chair of the board of the D.C. chapter of Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP). 

Oyo Hotels & Homes

Oyo Hotels & Homes has named Kasra Moshkani as its head of business in the U.S. Moshkani, who has overseen Oyo’s Eastern U.S. business as Region Head since October 2019, will lead the US business, with support from Abhinav Sinha, who will focus more on his role as global COO of Oyo Hotels & Homes. Kasra took on this new role starting September 1.

Kasra has more than 15 years of experience in building companies and has market expertise in general management, operations, strategic planning, corporate finance, and investing. His past tenures include Uber Technologies, Grail Partners & Advisors and MyClean. He also co-founded HireBrite, an HR-tech startup. A native of Miami, Kasra is an alumnus of Harvard University and The University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Moshkani’s appointment comes as a positive move as OYO reiterates its commitment to the US hospitality industry and chalks its path to recovery in the coming months. In over a year, Oyo has established its footprint across 37 states in the U.S. with more than 300 hotels and nearly 20,000 rooms. It also operates the Oyo Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas and Oyo Hotel Times Square in New York. Following the downturn, the chain is reporting what it calls “slow and steady recovery,” driven primarily by the Southeast. Over the last three months, the company’s revenue per available room has reached nearly 92 percent of its pre-COVID levels. The company has also added more than 8,000 rooms to its chain in the U.S. since January. 

“The U.S. holds immense strategic importance with respect to OYO’s global presence,” said Abhinav Sinha, global COO - Oyo Hotels & Homes and operating partner, Oyo U.S., said. Since the company opened its first hotel in the U.S. last year, the properties have had more than 1.4 million guests. 

“Kasra and his team have been a pleasure to partner with on our first Oyo property,” said David Buddemeyer, one of Oyo’s asset partners and president of Driftwood Hospitality Management, who has worked with Kasra. “They always listen to my team's feedback and make sure we're set up for success. I'm excited about the impact Kasra will bring for Oyo across the U.S.”

Volan Technology

AI-based safety and contact tracing software company Volan Technology has named of Shannon McCallum as VP of hospitality. Leading the company’s newly formed hospitality division, McCallum will leverage her hotel operating expertise to drive new business standards for client experience, talent development, sales and financial performance.  

“As a quickly growing technology company with endless potential in the hospitality safety sector, we knew we needed someone with a deep understanding of the needs of the hotel and events industry as we navigate this new normal,” said Michael Bettua, CEO, chairman and co-founder of Volan Technology. “Shannon’s stellar reputation and 30 years of experience make her uniquely qualified to steer our company forward in this industry and beyond. We couldn’t be more thrilled to have her on the team.”

McCallum most recently served as VP of operations for both Aria Resort & Casino and Vdara Hotel & Spa as part of her nearly ten years with MGM Resorts International in Las Vegas. Overseeing more than 20 departments, McCallum was responsible for more than 5,000 guestrooms. She also spent 15 years with Fairmont Hotels and Resorts, holding several management and executive roles with the brand. 

McCallum currently serves as chair of the Nevada Hotel and Lodging Foundation and is a member of the Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals Association. She also sits on the HITEC Education Session Development Committee and was a member of the Forbes Travel Guide Standards Advisory Council representing Global Gaming properties. She was recognized as Hotelier of the Year for the State of Nevada in 2015.