Who’s Where in Travel: Sales Promotion at Cunard, New Director at Melia

Hiring sign
Photo by zakokor / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Cruise lines and hotel companies made some big executive appointments this week. 

Cunard promoted Steve Smotrys from director of sales, Cunard North America, to vice president of sales, Cunard North America. In his new role, Smotrys will work closely with John Chernesky, senior vice president North America sales and trade marketing for Princess Cruises and Cunard North America, and the regional sales directors to provide leadership and guidance to the field sales team. Smotrys joined Princess Cruises as a yield management analyst in 2000 before moving to the role of sales planning manager for Cunard in 2013. 

Alvaro Tejeda Schroeder

In hotel news, Melia Hotels International’s vice president for the Americas, Alvaro Tejeda Schroeder, stepped down after almost 30 years with the company. Philippe Cassis will take over the role of regional vice president of the Americas as of August 20; his experience includes several regional SVP roles with Starwood Hotels & Resorts and Sun Resorts and, more recently, COO of Belmond.


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Salamander Hotels & Resorts named Chris King its chief development officer, responsible for implementing new business development strategies to support the continued growth of the company’s luxury portfolio in the U.S., Canada and the Caribbean. He joins Salamander after four years with Brookfield Asset Management in Washington, D.C., where he was vice president of real estate investments and oversaw $2 billion in hotel transactions.

Outrigger Hospitality Group made a number of new corporate and management appointments: 

  • Brent Teraoka has been named director of marketing and hotel performance for the Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort, Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort and Hawaii Vacation Condos by Outrigger properties.
  • Lilly Hajime was promoted to HRIS (Human Resource Information Systems) manager, where she plays a key role in the implementation, administration and optimization of HR and payroll-related systems.
  • Laverne Bisara is the new director of revenue management at the Outrigger-managed Embassy Suites by Hilton Waikiki Beach Walk.
  • Carly Clement has been appointed the position of resort manager of Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort.
  • Vince Robinson has been named hotel manager for the Outrigger-managed Embassy Suites by Hilton Waikiki Beach Walk.

A number of individual properties made also new leadership appointments this week:

  • W Hotels Worldwide announced that Greg Durrer has been named the general manager of the brand’s upcoming W Aspen property, which is set to open at the end of August.
  • Capella Hotel Group announced the appointment of Ronan Henaff as general manager of Capella Shanghai, Jian Ye Li
  • The recently opened Silversands Grenada appointed a new general manager, Narelle McDougall.
  • Aqua-Aston Hospitality announced the appointment of Duane Dickson to the role of general manager of Aqua-Aston’s managed Orlando properties, Tuscana Resort Orlando and The Fountains at ChampionsGate.
  • Pendry West Hollywood, which debuts on the Sunset Strip in spring 2020, announced the appointment of Karen Dailey as director of sales and marketing.

In destination news, Jamaica Minister of Tourism, Hon Edmund Bartlett, appointed a new director of visitor safety and experience, Major Dave Walker, to further review the initial report from the recent island-wide security audit of the tourism sector, which began last year. Following this review, Major Walker will submit a final report with recommendations on the way forward by the start of the winter tourist season in December.

Switzerland Tourism named Claudio Zemp its new director of Americas. Zemp was most recently the organization’s market director for India, where he played a central role in developing the popular campaign featuring Switzerland Tourism brand ambassador and Bollywood star Ranveer Singh.

Visit Seattle hired of Cameron Hart as national account director, making him responsible for selling the Washington State Convention Center, Seattle and area hotels to corporation, associations, and other large groups on the West Coast

Visit Winston-Salem made two new appointments to its sales team. Romona Williams is the organization’s new national sales manager responsible for booking faith-based, multi-cultural, and association meetings and conventions. She takes over for Kareen Robertson, who had held the position for the past year. Robertson was recently named convention services manager. 

Finally, this week the Center for Responsible Travel (CREST) is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Gregory A. Miller as the organization’s new executive director. He assumes leadership from CREST Co-Founder Dr. Martha Honey, who is retiring as executive director after 16 years.

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