Who’s Where in Travel: Leadership Changes at Amex Travel, Outrigger

Hiring sign
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Travel companies have made some major leadership changes this week.

Audrey Hendley was named the new president of American Express Travel and Lifestyle Services, effective immediately. Hendley has been with American Express for over 20 years, having most recently led the company’s global commercial payments and consulting services organization. Claire Bennett was the last person to lead the team at American Express Travel, under the title of executive vice president. Bennett left American Express to become chief marketing officer at InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) back in October.

Also this week Outrigger Hotels and Resorts announced a new, permanent CEO: Jeff Wagoner. His appointment is effective April 26. KSL Resorts Co-founder and CEO Scott Dalecio had been serving as Outrigger’s interim CEO since early last year, and will now serve as the company’s executive chairman. Wagoner has served as EVP of hotel operations for Trump Hotels, as well as in several senior level positions within the Wyndham Hotel Group.

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In cruise news, Celestyal Cruises announced three major appointments this week, each of whom officially began their tenure with the company this month. Maria Moreau has been named brand marketing and social media executive, North America; Roger Poulard has been named business development manager, Northeast USA and Eastern Canada; and Kelly Predmesky has been named business development manager, Southeast USA and the Caribbean.

In air travel news, this week American Airlines named Cornelius Boone as its new vice president of team member services. In this role Boone, who most recently served as VP of field hourly talent management at Walmart, will oversee all HR and people functions at the airline.

In other hotel news, this week Two Roads Hospitality appointed Mitch Lazar as its vice president of strategic partnerships. As part of the marketing team, Lazar will oversee business expansion through strategic alliances, sponsorships and brand partnerships to drive new customer acquisition while increasing guest engagement and retention. Lazar most recently served as the EVP of corporate development at Craftsy, which Comcast NBC Universal acquired last May.

Also this week Omni Hotels & Resorts promoted Daniel Surette to SVP of sales and marketing. In his role, Surette will continue to lead the brand’s sales strategy to position Omni as a leader in the luxury hospitality marketplace. In addition, he will oversee revenue management, marketing and loyalty. Surette will continue to report to newly appointed president, Peter Strebel.

Finally, a number of hotels made general manager and leadership appointments this week:

  • Bobby Hotel, opening in Nashville’s Printer’s Alley this May, named Jeff Gillick director of sales and marketing and Steven Weaver as director of food and beverage.
  • Salishan Resort in Oregon named Ken Daugherty as its new general manager, marking Daughtery’s return to the property – one of his first positions in the hospitality industry was working in food and beverage and culinary management at the resort.
  • Sage Hospitality named Pierre-Louis Giacotto as the general manager of The Blackstone in Chicago.
  • Mainsail Lodging & Development promoted Neisja Jones to general manager of Mainsail Housing of Tampa, LLC.

Finally, this week Grace Hotels made two leadership appointments at the Grace Vanderbilt in Rhode Island: Alice Bouman as general manager and Anthony Theocaropoulos as executive chef.

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