Best Western elects new board chairman; more people on the move

Executives in the hospitality industry have taken new roles. Here’s a look:

Best Western board elects John L. Kelly as new chairman
Best Western Hotels & Resorts’ board of directors has elected John L. Kelly as board chairman for 2022. Kelly, who previously served as vice-chairman of the board, brings decades of hospitality experience and 28 years of Best Western ownership to his new role.

Kelly owns and operates the Best Western Plus Yukon in Yukon, OK. The property has achieved high quality assurance scores, achieving nine perfect scores in the past nine years, according to the company. The property has also received numerous accolades from Best Western Hotels & Resorts including eight consecutive outstanding quality awards and four MK Guertin Awards.

During his time as a Best Western owner, Kelly has served in numerous leadership roles for the brand, receiving the All-Star Governor Award in 2007 and 2011. He previously served as a member and former chairman of the Best Western Reservation and Technical Committee and has represented the board of directors on the brand’s Membership Development Committee. Kelly was elected to the board in 2016 to represent the interests of hotel owners in District V, which includes Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi.

In addition to the election of Kelly as chairman of the board, the board of directors also elected Danny Lafayette as vice-chairman and Phil Payne as secretary-treasurer. Recently, Viral (Victor) Patel and Mahmood (Mike) Merchant were also appointed to the board as directors for District III and District VI, respectively.

Hyatt names Franziska Weber SVP/head of global communications
Hyatt Hotels Corporation has appointed Franziska Weber as SVP/head of global communications, effective immediately. Weber, who joined Hyatt in 2017, will oversee integrated global communications across all stakeholder groups for the company. She will report to Mark Vondrasek, Hyatt’s chief commercial officer.

Weber began her communications career at Lufthansa Group in her homeland of Germany. Prior to joining Hyatt, she worked for Weber Shandwick and Gagen MacDonald, advising clients on internal and external communications, business transformation and culture change efforts. After joining Hyatt in 2017 to lead internal communications, Weber’s role quickly expanded to include oversight of corporate and strategy communications. Since taking on interim leadership of Hyatt’s global communications function in July, she has overseen communications for the launch of Hyatt’s Environmental Social Governance (ESG) framework World of Care, the Thompson Hotels brand’s Culture Lives Here campaign and Hyatt’s acquisition of Apple Leisure Group, which created one of the largest collections of luxury all-inclusive resorts in the world.

In her role, Weber will lead integrated communication initiatives supporting Hyatt’s strategic growth vision, its role as a leader in the luxury all-inclusive space as well as Hyatt’s commitments to diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) and holistic well-being, according to the company.

Tim Dooley joins Lodging Dynamics as VP of finance
Hotel management company Lodging Dynamics Hospitality Group has appointed Tim Dooley as its VP of finance.

In his 30 years of accounting and finance experience, Dooley has served across multiple segments in the hospitality industry. He spent nearly half his career with Marriott International, implementing strategic financial initiatives in multiple domestic and global markets. In addition, as an executive leader of finance for several other companies, he developed, implemented and worked with hotels representing Hilton, Hyatt and IHG brands.

Donohoe Hospitality Services taps Chef Malcolm Mitchell for F&B post
Donohoe Hospitality Services, a division of Donohoe, has named Chef Malcolm Mitchell corporate director of restaurants and bars. In the newly created role, he is responsible for overseeing the F&B experience for the existing portfolio, as well as creating new concepts for upcoming developments. This includes optimizing efficiency, maximizing returns, administering talent management strategies and improving overall dining experiences, according to the company.

With more than 25 years of culinary experience, Mitchell was previously executive chef/owner of The M Chef Group—New York. He has appeared on several national cooking shows, including “Food Networks Beat Bobby Flay,” “NTDTV Celebrity Chef Chinese Competition” and as a Season 8 “Next Food Network” semi-finalist. He also served as an adjunct professor for Prince Georges Community College in Largo, MD.