Leading Meeting Professionals

Professional Convention Management Association

February 16 2015

People On The Move

By PCMA

Frits van Paasschen

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. today announced that Frits van Paasschen has resigned by mutual agreement with the Board of Directors as President, Chief Executive Officer and a Director. Adam Aron , a Starwood Director since 2006, has been named Chief Executive Officer on an interim basis while the Board conducts a search for a permanent CEO that will include both internal and external candidates. van Paasschen will continue with Starwood as a consultant to assist in the transition.

Christie Hicks

Past PCMA Education Foundation Board Chair and 2005 Supplier Partner Honoree at the PCMA Education Foundation Dinner Celebrating Professional Achievement, Christie Hicks, senior vice president of Starwood Hotels & Resorts' sales organization, will step down after 15 years with the company, Starwood president and CEO Frits van Paasschen announced in a Thursday email to employees. Long time PCMA Member, Hicks has agreed to stay on in her current position until Starwood names a replacement, according to van Paasschen.

Denise Suttle

The Event Service Professionals Association (ESPA), an organization dedicated to elevating the event and convention services profession, announced it has elected PCMA Member, Denise Suttle, CMP, assistant director of convention services at the Albuquerque CVB, to serve as president of ESPA.

Kathy Denkenberger

PCMA Member, Kathy Denkenberger CMP, of Saratoga Convention and Tourism Bureau, was announced as second vice president of ESPA’s 2015 Board of directors.

Mitch Jordan

The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel promoted Mitch Jordan to director of sales. Most recently, Jordan was account director at the hotel.

Jason Kreul

White Lodging is pleased to announce Jason Kreul has been hired as Senior Vice President of Full Service Operations. Jason brings more than 20 years of hospitality experience to White Lodging, most recently the senior vice president of operations at Winegardner & Hammons.

Betsy Baker and Denise Smith

Resorts Mountains and Cities is excited to welcome two new members to its Destination Management team. Betsy Baker has been appointed Regional Director of Sales and Marketing, and Denise Smith joins RMC as Senior Operations Manager.

Enrique Calderon

Longtime industry veteran Enrique Calderon has assumed the top spot at Grupo Posadas, where, as director general and CEO, he will be charged with overseeing the company’s hotel management business, whose six brand and 120-plus properties include Fiesta Americana, Fiesta Americana Grand, Live Aqua, Fiesta Inn, Hotels One and Explorean By Fiesta Americana. He replaces Rafael de la Mora.

Bent Hadler

CEO of Hadler DMC Scandinavia, Bent Hadler has been inaugurated as the president of ADMEI (Association of Destination Management Executives International).

Jason LaCkore

Turnberry Isle Miami announced the appointment of Jason LaCkore as director of group sales.  A seasoned hospitality professional, LaCkore has a wide range of sales experience with renowned hotel brands and fortune 500 companies.

Marsha Morton

The Brando, in French Polynesia’s atoll of Tetiaroa, announced the promotion of Marsha Morton to director of sales & promotions for North America.  Prior to her time at The Brando, Morton most recently held the position of director of sales & marketing, North America for the InterContinental Resorts of French Polynesia.

Raphael Bernard

InterContinental Resorts French Polynesia and Maitai Hotels announced the promotion of Raphael Bernard to the role of director of sales & marketing North America.

Philipp Weghmann

Preferred Hotel Group, a global provider of sales, marketing and distribution services to independent luxury hotels, has announced the appointment of Philipp Weghmann to Executive Vice President of Europe, effective immediately.

Kristian Sonnier

Kristian Sonnier, a 20-year public relations and communications veteran, has been named vice president of communications and public relations of the NOCVB.

Jim Clark

Jim Clark, CEO of the Steamboat Chamber Resort Association, has been elected president of the Travel Industry Association of Colorado board of directors at the association’s Jan. 26 meeting. Clark has been a member of TIAC for 10 years and has worked for decades in the Colorado tourism sector. 

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