The Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau announced Devon Whitaker as its new National Sales Director. In her new position, Whitaker will be responsible for the DC/MD/VA market, booking between 1,501 to 4,500 total room nights per group. Whitaker brings to the PHLCVB over a decade of experience in the hospitality industry. In her most recent position, she served as the National Sales Manager for Destination DC where, for the last three years, she exceeded sales goals and expectations. She will begin her new position in August.
Stephanie Naegele was hired as vice president of convention sales operations at Visit Orlando.
The School of Management at the University of San Francisco announced Thomas Maier as a new faculty member in the Department of Hospitality Management. Maier brings to USF more than 20 years of industry experience, a wealth of current research, and a honed experiential teaching methodology. He earned his Ph.D. in Leadership Philosophy at Gonzaga University, and his M.A. in Human Development at Salve Regina University. Prior to academia, Professor Maier was a senior level executive in the international hotel, restaurant, and food and beverage industries. His research interests include applied leadership, restaurant revenue management theory, and business analytics.
Starwood announced the promotion of three longtime leaders to new senior positions within the Americas. Recognizing Starwood’s growing franchise business, Colleen Keating has been promoted to the newly created position of Senior Vice President, Franchise Operations and Compliance, Lynne Dougherty will assume the new role of Senior Vice President, Owner Services and Administration, and Vera Manoukian has been promoted to Senior Vice President of Operations for the North Region. Vital members of Starwood’s team, all three leaders have been instrumental in the company’s continued growth and success in North America.
Shelborne Wyndham Grand South Beach in Miami has named Michael Choiniere director of sales and marketing. Previously, Choiniere was vice president of sales and marketing for The Abaco Beach Resort at Boat Harbour in the Bahamas.
Gorav Arora has been appointed director of sales and marketing at Novotel Hyderabad Convention Centre in India. Arora most recently was director of sales for Trident, Hyderabad.
Tawny Paperd has been appointed director of sales and marketing at Four Seasons Hotel Seattle. Paperd most recently was director of sales and marketing at Hotel 1000.
Puntacana Resort & Club in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, has appointed Lizette Hassell director of sales and hospitality of the property’s three hotels: Tortuga Bay, The Westin Puntacana Resort & Club and Four Points by Sheraton Puntacana Village. Hassell most recently was director of sales and marketing for the five-star De L’Europe Amsterdam.
Pan Pacific Hotels Group, Singapore, has appointed Kumiko Shafer director, global sales, North America. Most recently, Shafer was director of business development with Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts in San Francisco.
Sanjeev Tandon has been appointed director of sales and marketing at Dusit Thani Laguna Phuket, Thailand. Tandon previously was director of sales and marketing for Mövenpick Hotel Al Khobar and Mövenpick Beach Resort Al Khobar.
DMAI Marketing Hall of Fame Inductees
The first class of the Destination Marketing Hall of Fame was announced Destination Marketing Association International convention in Las Vegas. The new hall of fame was created to honor and celebrate individuals who have made significant contributions to the industry and shaped travel marketing.
The inductees were:
Rossi Ralenkotter, president and CEO, Las Vagas Convention and Visitors Authority
Milton J. Carmichael, president, CEO and founder, Detroit Convention and Tourists' Bureau
Leonard E. Rolston, past president, Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau
Peggy Flower, executive director of convention sales, Greater Omaha Convention and Visitors Bureau
George D. Kirkland, CAE, former president, Los Angeles Convention and Visitors Bureau
Gary Grimmer, former chairman of the board of International Association of Convention & Visitors Bureaus (now DMAI) and former chairman of Business Events Council of Australia