New Travel Sales Contacts in Hawaii

Grand Wailea, A Waldorf Astoria Resort
Grand Wailea, A Waldorf Astoria Resort recently named a new sales manager.

Advisors, it might be time to update that contact list in Hawaii.

The Aloha State, particularly Honolulu, has been busy lately with some notable travel industry hires and promotions, including a new sales manager at the popular Grand Wailea, A Waldorf Astoria Resort and a new vice president of sales, marketing and revenue for Aqua-Aston Hospitality.

Travel Agent breaks down those appointments as well as recent promotions and hires at the Hawaii Convention Center (HCC).


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Here are the details:

Grand Wailea, A Waldorf Astoria Resort Names New Sales Manager

Grand Wailea, A Waldorf Astoria Resort in Honolulu has announced the appointment of Carin Martens as its new director of national accounts for the West Coast. 

A seasoned hospitality and marketing professional, Martens comes to Grand Wailea most recently from Pacifica Host Hotels, where she served as regional director of sales and marketing. She also held positions in sales for both the InterContinental Hotels Group and DOLCE Hotels and Resorts.

At Grand Wailea, Martens will apply her knowledge and experience in the West Coast market to her new regional position, where she will assist the sales team in creating measurable plans and implementing new tactics to drive financial goals and increase revenue. 

Her success in sales and marketing, strategy implementation and client relationship management position her to excel in her new role with the resort.

“I look forward to working with the sales team at the renowned Grand Wailea, A Waldorf Astoria Resort,” said Martens in a written release. “I’m excited to apply my experience to my new role and serve a vital function in the resort’s continued growth and success in the key West Coast market.”

The newly refreshed resort is located on 40 acres. Grand Wailea provides open spaces for the active vacationer, beauty and seclusion for romantic getaways, and family fun – ranging from a fully equipped camp for children and a teen lounge to rope swings and a jungle-style river pool. Accommodation options include Grand Wailea’s 776 rooms and suites and an enclave of 120 luxury villas.


Aqua-Aston Names New Senior Vice President of Sales, Marketing and Revenue

Ed Skapinok has been named senior vice president of sales, marketing, and revenue for Aqua-Aston Hospitality

Based in Honolulu, Aqua-Aston is a hotel and resort management and marketing group, with a portfolio of nearly 50 properties in Hawaii and the continental United States.

As senior vice president, Skapinok will lead the marketing, sales, revenue management and reservations initiatives for the company. In this role, he is also responsible for negotiating key contracts, customer acquisition and retention and driving revenue for the company.

“Ed has been widely recognized for his accomplishments as a sales and marketing leader with both global hotel operators and independent properties,” said Kelvin Bloom, president of Aqua-Aston Holdings, in a written release. “We are thrilled to welcome him to our team and look forward to seeing our business grow under his leadership.”

Prior to joining the company, Skapinok spent six years as vice president of sales and marketing at Hostmark Hospitality Group in Schaumburg, IL, where he oversaw a portfolio of 50 full- and select-service hotels, resorts, restaurants, and spas. 

While there, he led efforts to recruit and develop top talent for the company’s diverse multi-brand portfolio, established new standards for pricing, and worked to continually improve the effectiveness of all promotional efforts.

Previously, Skapinok worked as vice president of national sales for boutique hotel operator Larkspur Hotels & Restaurants, where he directed sales for a portfolio of 23 lifestyle boutique and upscale extended stay hotels in top markets, including San Francisco, Manhattan Beach, Seattle, Portland and Silicon Valley


Hawaii Convention Center Announces Promotions, New Additions to Team

AEG Facilities, the management company of the HCC in Honolulurecently announced the following promotions and new additions to its team.

Mari Tait has been promoted to director of operations where she will be responsible for overseeing all aspects of the HCC’s operations, engineering maintenance, housekeeping, landscaping, security/guest services and information technology departments. 

She previously served as the center’s operations manager and originally joined the team as executive housekeeper in 2001. A graduate of the University of Hawaii at Manoa’s School of Travel Industry Management, Tait’s career also includes time with the Hyatt Regency Waikiki, Kahala Hilton Hotel, Queen Kapiolani Hotel and Hawaiian Regent Hotel.

Natalie Shiinoki has been promoted to marketing manager responsible for overall management of the center’s branding, advertising, public relations, digital and social media efforts. She previously served as HCC’s sales and marketing coordinator and originally joined the center as international sales coordinator in 2011. 

Shiinoki graduated from Ateneo De Manila University with a bachelor’s of science degree in management. In addition to English, she is also fluent in Filipino (Tagalog) and Chinese (Fookien and Mandarin).

Michellee Phelps joins HCC as manager of communications and special events. She brings to the team a wealth of hospitality experience serving as global brand services manager for Outrigger Enterprises Group, head of project management for MVNP and entertainment events specialist with the Walt Disney Company.She will take on all responsibilities pertaining to communications and special events at HCC. Phelps holds a bachelor’s of arts degree in communications/advertising with a minor in business from California State University Fullerton.

Brian Takenaka joins HCC as IT manager and will be responsible for the day-to-day management of the center’s information technology infrastructure, including the oversight of system projects and hardware. He previously worked at Outrigger Enterprises Group for 29 years most recently serving as the company’s systems operations director where he was responsible for corporate IT operations supporting roughly 50 hotels across Hawaii, Asia Pacific and Guam.

Visit and keep visiting for all your latest travel news. Be sure to follow Travel Agent’s Joe Pike on Twitter @TravelPike and Instagram @pike5260.

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