Jumeirah, hotels appoint sales and marketing leaders

A number of hospitality companies and hotels have appointed sales and marketing leaders since April began. Here are a few names to know for the spring.

Chicken Ranch Casino Resort

The Chicken Ranch Casino Resort, slated to open this summer in Jamestown, Calif., appointed Katie Kirkland group sales manager. 

During her 14-year career, Kirkland previously worked at Club Med Resorts, Black Oak Casino Resort and Development Counsellors International. She helped Visit Tuolumne County expand into three international markets as sales and marketing director.

Crystal Coast Oceanfront Hotel 

The newly renovated Crystal Coast Oceanfront Hotel in Atlantic Beach, N.C, appointed Amber Camacho the new sales manager.

Originally from southern California, Camacho began her career as an event production assistant. Before joining Crystal Coast Oceanfront Hotel, she was the event coordinator and social media manager at New River Harley-Davidson in Jacksonville, N.C, and prior to that, Camacho was event coordinator and social members coordinator at Whiskey Bravos in Cape Carteret, N.C. Camacho received specialized training in corporate event coordinating and live event management from QC Event Planning School. 

EOS Hospitality

EOS Hospitality has appointed Brittany Norton as the new area director of sales for its Key West, Fla., properties, including Oceans Edge Resort & Marina, The Perry Hotel & Marina and Havana Cabana.

Norton has more than ten years of experience in hospitality sales. Recently, as director of sales and catering at Hawks Cay Resort, she led teams, developed sales strategies, and managed client relationships. At Islamorada Resort Collection and Ocean Properties, she worked on various operational and marketing aspects and navigated crises like Hurricane Irmal. 

Fenway Hotel

Mainsail Lodging & Development promoted Grant Hart to director of sales at the company’s historic Fenway Hotel in Dunedin, Fla. In this role, Hart will handle training and supervision of the sales and event planning team to generate and execute meeting business in the corporate, government, sports and social market segments. 

With more than a decade of hospitality experience, Hart began her journey in the industry in Sarasota, Fla., at Tijuana Flats. She has since spent more than seven years in sales at several of Mainsail Lodging & Development’s properties. Most recently, Hart was director of sales at Hotel Forty Five in Macon, Ga., where she was responsible for securing room blocks for corporate and leisure groups and generating leads for the hotel’s 1,600 square feet of event space. Her other roles with Mainsail properties include senior sales manager for Luminary Hotel & Co. in downtown Fort Myers, Fla., and destination sales executive for Waterline Villas & Marina on Anna Maria Island, Fla. Hart also worked as a cluster group sales manager, where she negotiated, sold and contracted group business for all Mainsail properties.

Grove Resort & Water Park

Spire Hospitality appointed Jessica Sherbert director of sales of The Grove Resort & Water Park, a 106-acre property six miles from Walt Disney World Theme Parks in Orlando.

Sherbert joins property from the Marriott Village Orlando, where she spent the past four years as director of sales and marketing developing and implementing the marketing and sales strategy at the 1,100-room complex. 

Sherbert began her hospitality career as the business development manager for the steakhouse at Shula’s Hotel in Miami. Jessica’s first director role was building the team and opening a new property in Palm Beach Gardens in 2008. She has been working in Orlando since 2011, holding multiple director positions with full-service properties within both Hilton and Marriott portfolio hotels.

Jumeirah Group

Jumeirah Group, a hospitality member of Dubai Holding, has appointed Gregg Nielsen as global director of sales. His appointment comes at a time when the company is actively identifying new assets to expand its presence in key locations and gateway destinations around the world.  

Nielsen spent time with luxury travel company Virtuoso as senior account manager. Before that, he worked for Travelsavers as the point of contact for more than 80 travel suppliers. Nielsen joined Jumeirah Group on April 1 and will be responsible for handling the total account management for regions east of Chicago in the United States and Canada.

MDM Hotel Group

Hotel owner and operator MDM Hotel Group appointed Sonia Fong VP of sales and marketing for all of MDM’s properties.

The 25-year industry veteran was most recently SVP of convention development with Louisville Tourism, where she led a team of 22 across four regional offices. The new role is a homecoming for Fong, who held several key positions with the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau, including senior director convention sales, senior associate vice president of sales and vice president of sales and services before joining Louisville Tourism

Ocean Edge Resort & Golf Club

The Ocean Edge Resort & Golf Club on Massachusetts’ Cape Cod named Lauren Parker its new director of sales. In her new role, Parker is responsible for spearheading leisure and group business for the resort.

Parker brings 18 years of relevant industry experience to her new role. She began her career in hospitality as senior catering sales manager for Levy at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, where she worked for eight years and climbed the ranks. Along the way, she held several director positions at Levy, Encore Boston Harbor, and The Charles Hotel in Cambridge, Mass. Before joining Ocean Edge Resort & Golf Club, she was director of sales & marketing for The Charles Hotel.

The Omni Homestead Resort

Juan Ayala is the new national sales manager at The Omni Homestead Resort in Hot Springs, Va. He started out as a busboy at an Embassy Suites in Southern California. Alongside his hotel career, Ayala earned a business marketing degree from California State University, Fullerton. 

Throughout his career, Ayala held sales manager positions at the Hilton Irvine, in Calif.; Buttes Marriott in Tempe, Ariz.; South Seas Island Resort in Captiva Island, Fla.; and most recently at Colonial Williamsburg Resorts in Williamsburg, Va. 

The Pensacola Beach Resort

The Pensacola (Fla.) Beach Resort appointed Misty Pacheco director of sales. Pacheco has assumed the position immediately and has already started managing sales for the property, soliciting new business opportunities for the 161-room resort. 

Pacheco has more than 24 years of experience in the hospitality industry. Her most recent role was director of catering and convention services at The Hilton Pensacola Beach & Holiday Inn Resort, where she coordinated events for up to 2,000 attendees. Before joining the team in Florida, Pacheco worked in hotels in New York City, where she managed meetings and social functions. In her new role, Pacheo will work with the hotel team to secure and host various events at the property's recently renovated 1,200 square feet of event space.

TradeWinds Island Resorts

TradeWinds Island Resorts—the Island Grand Resort and RumFish Beach Resort in St. Pete Beach, Fla.—has appointed Kerry Mitruska director of sales and marketing. In this position, Mitruska will develop and lead new business opportunities for the property. He will also support prospective accounts and mentor and collaborate with inside sales team members. A member of the resort executive team, Mitruska will maintain relationships with area visitor bureaus, travel agents, meeting planners and other travel trade industry representatives.

Mitruska was most recently director of sales and marketing for Hammock Beach Golf Resort & Spa in Palm Coast, Fla., where he oversaw sales, marketing, revenue management, reservations, catering sales, conference services, golf sales and public relations functions. Before that, Mitruska was director of sales & marketing for the Hilton Daytona Beach Oceanfront Resort. Mitruska has also worked as director of sales and marketing for Saddlebrook Resort in Tampa; director of sales & marketing for Radisson Blu Resort, Marina & Spa in St. Martin; and director of sales at Boca Raton Resort & Club. His international experience includes work with The Ritz-Carlton Hotels in Australia, as well as The Four Seasons-Regent Hotels in Bangkok, Thailand. 

Viceroy Los Cabos 

Viceroy Los Cabos, the oceanfront resort in San José del Cabo, Mexico, has appointed Susan Williams director of sales and marketing. She will spearhead sales, revenue management and strategic and tactical marketing for the property.

Williams comes to Viceroy Los Cabos following a career with Hyatt Hotels & Resorts. She most recently oversaw the sales and marketing efforts for the Thompson Zihuantanejo in Mexico. Her tenure at Hyatt included stints director of sales and marketing at hotels in Boston and Jersey City. Williams was a director of global sales, representing over 1,000 Hyatt Hotels globally.