Marriott, other companies appoint sales and marketing leaders

Hotels and hospitality companies have made numerous appointments to their sales and marketing divisions in recent weeks. Here are some names to know.

Marriott International

Marriott International appointed Sandy Narvaez market director of leisure sales for Hawaii and French Polynesia. Narvaez brings over 16 years of travel and hospitality experience to this expanded role, where she will oversee leisure segment strategies for Marriott Hotels and Resorts in the Hawaiian Islands and French Polynesia. 

Narvaez’s responsibilities include leading the leisure team’s efforts in leveraging Marriott International’s reach to increase individual hotel revenue, maintaining relationships with key travel agents and wholesale accounts, establishing travel marketing and action plans and facilitating the integration of individual property efforts into the overall Marriott Bonvoy Hawaii strategy. Having previously worked as the director of sales and marketing of The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Waikiki Beach since the property’s full completion in 2018, Narvaez has experience leading strategic global sales and marketing efforts and overseeing leisure sales programs. Narvaez was also the director of sales and marketing at Hilton Waikiki Beach and DoubleTree by Hilton Alana Waikiki and previously managed OTA, corporate and wholesale segments.

Montage Deer Valley

In Park City, Utah, the leadership team at the Montage Deer Valley appointed Scott Gubrud as director of sales & marketing. With nearly three decades of leadership experience in luxury hospitality, Gubrud will be responsible for overseeing the resort’s sales and marketing team’s growth and development as well as repositioning the resort following its renovation. 

Gubrud joins Montage Deer Valley from Epic International, a full-service meetings and events company in Scottsdale, Ariz., where, as president and CEO, he oversaw all operational functions and client management, focusing on corporate meetings and events, incentive travel and travel management. 

Before his time with Epic International, Gubrud spent more than 20 years leading the sales and marketing efforts at properties in Colorado’s Vail Valley including Four Seasons Resort Vail, Park Hyatt Beaver Creek Resort and Spa and Vail Cascade Resort & Spa. During his time in Colorado, Gubrud also sat on the board of the Vail Local Marketing District Advisory Council and served as president of Destination Colorado.

The Pierre, New York

The Pierre, a Taj Hotel, New York, named Christopher Cestari as director of luxury leisure and corporate sales. In his new role, Cestari will focus on new business opportunities in the luxury leisure and corporate market segments while building upon existing relationships with current clients. He will report to Director of Sales & Marketing Mary Beth O’Connor. 

Cestari has more than 20 years of experience in sales management in New York hotels and the cruise industry. He has worked at the Hotel Plaza Athenee, St Regis New York and the Regent Hotel & Resort in roles ranging from regional sales manager to director of sales. In his most recent role as a business relationships lead northeast for Explora Journeys, Cestari was responsible for generating business for the launch of a new fleet of ships. Christopher began his career at Cunard Line in Manhattan, relocating to California, Florida and onboard the QE2. 

Viceroy Chicago

Erik Grazetti is Viceroy Chicago’s new director of sales and marketing, joining the property from The Peninsula Chicago, where he led sales and marketing at the hotel during the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

During his 30 years in the hospitality industry, he has been part of five opening hotel teams, holding marketing roles at The Jefferson Washington D.C., Loews Chicago Hotel and Sofitel Chicago Water Tower. In his past leadership roles, he has been individually responsible for selecting, hiring and training sales, marketing, catering and conference service teams.

Kimpton Surfcomber

Amanda Rodriguez is the new director of sales and marketing at the Kimpton Surfcomber Hotel, a recently renovated boutique hotel in the Art Deco District of Miami’s South Beach neighborhood. Rodriguez has more than 15 years of experience in the industry.  

A graduate of Florida International University’s School of Hospitality Management, Rodriguez worked her way through college at the front desk of The Delano in South Beach. In 2010, she joined the team at The Standard Miami, initially as the executive assistant to the property’s GM and later as sales manager. In 2018, Rodriguez became the property’s director of sales and catering, managing all sales aspects of the hotel to achieve annual sales targets.

Level Hotels & Furnished Suites

Level Hotels & Furnished Suites has brought on Stephen Chavez as the new director of sales for all of the company’s Southern California properties. With more than 20 years of experience working in the hotel industry, Chavez will oversee three locations in Downtown Los Angeles, one in Long Beach, and a new location set to open in Hollywood, Calif., this summer.

Chavez started his career in 2000 at the Wyndham Checkers in Downtown Los Angeles as a sales manager. He then joined the opening sales team of The Standard - Downtown LA before joining Joie de Vivre, as the original director of sales. Over the course of 10 years at Joie de Vivre, he helped open multiple California hotels, including the Hotel Erwin in Venice Beach and Shorebreak Hotel in Huntington Beach. He also worked on projects in Scottsdale and Palm Springs.

Chavez briefly worked as the VP of sales at the Pali Group in West Hollywood before joining the Sportsmen's Lodge in Studio City as GM, where he led operations, sales, and marketing. During the worst of the pandemic, when the hospitality industry was at a standstill, Chavez worked on Project Room Key, which helped provide shelter for unhoused people at the Sportsmen’s Lodge.

Timbers Co.

Timbers Company, a developer and operator of boutique resorts and private residence clubs, appointed Gino Marasco as managing director of hospitality sales. In this new role, Marasco is responsible for leading sales and revenue strategies for the vacation rental and hotel division of Timbers Company. He will also support the strategic expansion of the brand's hospitality portfolio including new residences joining Timbers Resorts’ collection of vacation rentals as well as its sister brand, Soleil Hotels & Resorts, an upcoming collection of hotels, resorts and residences.

Marasco brings over two decades of experience in the hospitality industry and has held several leadership roles at The Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin; The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island; and The Cloister and The Lodge on Sea Island, Ga. Most recently, he was corporate director of sales and marketing at Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, where he led multi-brand sales and marketing strategies across Wyndham's lifestyle and upscale brands.

The Canopy by Hilton San Francisco SoMa

The Canopy by Hilton San Francisco SoMa in San Francisco appointed Heidi Calhoun as lead sales enthusiast - director of sales and marketing. Calhoun most recently worked at  Galveston at The Tremont House - A Tribute Portfolio Hotel in Galveston, Texas. She previously worked at the Canopy by Hilton Washington, D.C. Embassy Row and the Canopy by Hilton Austin Downtown.