Who’s Where in Travel: New Hotel Appointments Around the World

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It’s been another busy week for executive appointments in travel, particularly in the hotel industry. 

This week Velas Resorts announced the company is opening its first U.S. sales office, based in Southern California, to handle all meeting and incentive bookings for its properties in Los Cabos, Vallarta Nayarit and Riviera Maya. Leading the team will be Cynthia Kunz as global sales director - meetings and incentives. Prior to joining Velas Resorts, Kunz most recently served at sales vice president and partner of Incentive Travel Solutions. Also this week the company appointed Geraldine Zaragoza as the hotel manager of Casa Velas in Puerto Vallarta

In other hotel news this week, hotel management company Spire Hospitality named Dawna Comeaux its new senior vice president. In her most recent position as executive vice president of operations and sales for Pillar Hotels and Resorts, Comeaux led a team representing all major hotel brands, including 250 hotels across 40 states with more than 8,000 team members.


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Also this week, Dream Hotel Group appointed Jeff Donnelly as its new vice president of development. Donnelly brings nearly 10 years of hospitality experience to Dream Hotel Group. He most recently served as principal partner and founder of JD Advisors, a consultancy he formed to service developers, capital groups and hotel operators in new hospitality ventures. He also worked with SBE Entertainment.

Finally, a number of individual properties made new leadership appointments this week:

  • Johanna Philipps was named director of sales and marketing at Rosewood Sand Hill.
  • Fontainebleau Miami Beach named Farzanah Johnson director of national accounts.
  • Kimpton Marlowe appointed Jamie Mantegazza as its new hotel manager.
  • Kempinski Hotel Bahia appointed Axel Bethke as its new general manager. 
  • Kokua Hospitality named Candice Cancino general manager at Carmel Mission Inn.
  • Jamie Choi was named the new director of sales and marketing at Hilton Waikiki Beach.
  • Paradisus by Meliá announced the appointment of Jaime Piedras as general manager of the soon-to-debut Grand Reserve at Paradisus Palma Real.
  • Brown’s Hotel, a Rocco Forte Hotel in London, announced the return of Stuart Johnson, was appointed managing director of the hotel.
  • Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia hired Patrick Brophy as its new general manager.

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