Hotel companies update leadership teams

The DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Columbia in South Carolina is part of HP Hotels' portfolio. Photo credit: HP Hotels

A range of hospitality companies have bolstered their ranks with new leaders in recent weeks. Here are a few.

HP Hotels

Third-party hotel management company HP Hotels has named Kerry V. Ranson, formerly the firm’s chief development officer, as its new CEO.  
 
As CEO, Ranson will continue to lead the company plan to grow and further diversify its third-party property and asset management portfolio, as well as its advisory services. He will also be responsible for managing and helping develop the firm’s executive leadership team, work closely with the HP Hotels’ advisory committee and serve as HP Hotels’ liaison to brand partners and industry groups. 
 
A native of New Orleans, Ranson has more than 25 years of experience in the hospitality industry, including having served as chairman of the board of the IHG Owners Association. Ranson was one of the co-founders of HP Hotels and was instrumental in building an initial portfolio of six properties managed, which subsequently grew to include more than 40 hotels in 16 states. Ranson returned to HP Hotels as the company’s chief development officer in 2016 after leaving for five years to pursue other interests. 

Aimbridge Hospitality

Aimbridge Hospitality has selected Andrew Rubinacci as EVP of its revenue strategy division. Rubinacci will shape the company’s revenue strategy initiatives while capitalizing on big data and innovation within the company’s revenue group to drive market share gains for its portfolio. He will establish efficiencies through strategy and automation while leveraging industry relationships to optimize channel mix and segmentation to grow revenue and share.

Rubinacci, a 25-year veteran of the hospitality industry, most recently served as EVP and chief commercial officer of Omni Hotels & Resorts. He joined Omni in 2018 as SVP, revenue and distribution and helped modernize revenue management, distribution, call centers and digital platforms, including bringing on best-in-class partners and evolving the brand’s reporting to drive greater efficiencies and stronger business results. In 2019, he was promoted to EVP and chief commercial officer, where he oversaw all marketing, digital and loyalty.

Before Omni, Rubinacci was with IHG Hotels & Resorts for 16 years, including as SVP of revenue management and distribution for four years leading revenue and distribution strategies for all IHG channels globally. He was also the VP of revenue management, reservations and distribution at Meristar Hotels, where he oversaw the corporate revenue management department for 277 hotels, more than 58,000 units and $1.7 billion in revenue. 

McKibbon Hospitality

McKibbon Hospitality has appointed three key corporate leaders: Weejen Lynch as VP of engineering, Jihad Lotfi as VP of revenue management and Kiel Lombardo as director of food & beverage for lifestyle hotels.

Lynch brings more than 25 years of engineering, maintenance and operations experience to McKibbon in his new role. In his most recent position as owner and CEO of Lynchpin Consulting Group, he supported hotels, resorts, timeshare units and facilities with his engineering maintenance and process improvement expertise. This venture was preceded by his time as VP of engineering and process improvement for Bluegreen Vacations in Orlando, where he supported the engineering needs of 49 resorts nationwide. Over his career, Lynch has held various high-level leadership positions with Walt Disney World and Lockheed Martin. 

Lotfi most recently worked with Hotel Equities as regional director of revenue management, supporting the revenue management and marketing strategies of more than 30 hotels. Before Hotel Equities, Lotfi held the position of VP of revenue generation preceded by a stint as corporate director of revenue management at The Witness Group. Lotfi also spent eight years working at White Lodging. 

Lombardo joins McKibbon from Luminary Hotel & Co. in Fort Myers, Fla., where he served as executive chef, overseeing multiple food-and-beverage outlets, crafting menus, managing pricing, ordering and operations of 38,000 square feet of banquet space. Before his time in Fort Myers, Lombardo was based in Tampa, Fla., where he launched RL Hospitality Consulting, assisting with restaurant design and concept branding and served as co-owner and creator of Platt Street Borough and director of chefs at Roy's Restaurant.

McKibbon Hospitality manages 84 hotels across the country. 

Best Western

Best Western Hotels & Resorts has appointed Jay Hubbs as VP of advertising, marketing, innovation and analytics. In the newly created role, Hubbs will lead the brand’s digital advertising, media buying and co-op marketing efforts. 

Hubbs was most recently with Remington Hotels, where he led the company’s digital marketing efforts and headed up all revenue responsibilities for the company's independent hotels. Before his time at Remington, Hubbs was a senior director with Expedia Partner Services and a VP of sales at ReviewPro. During the early part of his career, Hubbs worked for Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, overseeing revenue management strategy for the company’s key New York City hotels, as well as held various revenue management and operational roles for management companies at hotels across the country.

“I am pleased to welcome Jay Hubbs to our powerhouse sales and marketing team,” said Dorothy Dowling, Best Western's SVP and chief marketing officer. “In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the sales and marketing landscape is evolving at an incredible pace in the hospitality industry, making this a critical time to amplify our efforts in the digital arena. I believe Jay’s experience will complement the existing team at Best Western Hotels & Resorts, and he will play an important role in propelling us forward as we focus on our recovery in the months and years ahead.”