HVMG, Driftwood, others announce new leaders this week

Several hospitality companies have promoted and appointed new executives in recent days.  

Coast Hotels

Coast Hotels, a fully owned subsidiary of APA Hotel Canada, has appointed David Ferguson as director, development. Ferguson will focus on growing Coast Hotels’ portfolio of franchised and managed hotels in North America, specifically targeting Canada. Ferguson has a background in hotel management, consulting and valuation, having worked for several hospitality companies. Most recently, he was director and practice co-lead for CBRE Hotels Valuation and Advisory Services group in Canada.

Driftwood Capital 

Driftwood Capital, a commercial real estate firm, has added Jay Cooper as managing director of development and construction. Cooper will oversee all of Driftwood Capital’s new, ground-up hospitality developments and value-add hotel renovations along with providing commercial construction and development services to other hospitality-driven real estate sponsors. Cooper, who has held senior leadership roles at Kolter Hospitality and Turner & Townsend, has more than 20 years of experience working across site management, design team consultancy, project management, owners’ representation and development. He also has experience in sustainable construction practices, infrastructure work and historic building restoration.

Foley Entertainment Group

Foley Entertainment Group, which operates Hotel Californian in Santa Barbara, Calif., has promoted Mia Giobbi Thomas to VP of sales and marketing in the company’s hospitality division, overseeing the revenue-generating and marketing programs of the company’s hotel and restaurant portfolio. Giobbi manages the implementation and development of sales and marketing campaigns, while overseeing brand awareness for the portfolio. She also is responsible for business and market expansion, strategic direction for promotion and advertising, sales success, customer satisfaction and leadership of the sales and marketing department for Foley Entertainment Group.

Hospitality Ventures Management Group

HVMG has promoted Cory Chambers to the newly created role of chief commercial officer and SVP of business intelligence. Chambers will be responsible for leading the HVMG revenue excellence team in maximizing market share growth and bottom-line profitability. Central to the new role will be driving HVMG’s business intelligence strategic initiative of creating forward-looking, predictive analytics. A 20-year hospitality veteran, Chambers previously was VP of revenue generation at White Lodging, where he oversaw sales, revenue management, eCommerce and communications for the company’s full-service portfolio. His previous roles with White Lodging include corporate director of sales and marketing and pre-opening director of sales and marketing at the JW Marriott Indianapolis.

Marcus Hotels & Resorts

Marcus Hotels & Resorts has appointed John Wise as VP of food and beverage. Wise will oversee all hotel catered events and more than 40 restaurants, bars and lounges across Marcus Hotels & Resorts’ 16 properties. Wise spent more than 27 years with Bartolotta Restaurants in Milwaukee, where for more than two decades he served as director of operations and managing partner of the company’s multi-restaurant operations. His leadership responsibilities included the recruitment and retention of service professionals, hundreds of annual catering and special events, new concept development and special partnerships.

SH Hotels & Resorts

SH Hotels & Resorts has launched its European corporate office helmed by Robert Koren, who joins the company as SVP and area managing director of Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Koren will oversee all aspects of SH Hotels & Resorts operations, development, and owner relationships in the region. He will oversee operations for Treehouse Hotel London and Skt Petri Copenhagen (converting to 1 Hotel Copenhagen in 2025); the soon-to-open 1 Hotel Mayfair and Treehouse Manchester as well as spearhead openings for the company’s pipeline of new properties.