Mainsail appoints three execs 

Mainsail Lodging & Development has appointed Susan Marlow as chief people officer; Denis Cruzas as corporate director of retail; and Vicente Lavayen as corporate director of beverage.

The three have assumed their newly created executive positions at the Tampa-based hospitality company, which develops and operates lodging products throughout the U.S. and Caribbean.

Prior to joining the company, Marlow was most recently VP, HR and talent acquisition for Welbilt. In her new role, she is responsible for the overall strategic direction of Mainsail’s HR, including talent acquisition, retention, training, compensation and benefits programs, leadership development and maintaining Mainsail’s culture. The company created the new position to bring a more deliberate approach to managing its growth as an organization and continue to focus on its employees.

“Our people have always been our greatest asset and differentiator, and Susan is ideally suited to ensure that is always the case,” said Joe Collier, president/founder, Mainsail Lodging & Development. “Hiring Susan as CPO represents a major shift in how we envision our future, including our commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging within the Mainsail family.”

With more than 20 years of retail experience in the hospitality industry, Cruz joins Mainsail from the South Seas Island Resort on Captiva Island, where he was director of retail. In his newly created position, he plans and directs strategies for delivering inventory to on-property retail outlets and curates products for each property in Mainsail’s portfolio. Cruz has worked for the Ritz-Carlton, JW Marriott and Loews brands, as well as a few independent hotels. He will be based at Luminary Hotel & Co. in Fort Myers, FL, where he will engage with Mainsail’s entire portfolio to elevate retail offerings and programming.

“The retail experience has become an increasingly important part of the guest experience as they look for ways to own and share their favorite Mainsail hotel brands,” said Juli Corlew, VP/managing partner, Mainsail Lodging & Development. “With his knowledge and insight, Denis will help drive revenue and find new ways to further connect our guests with our various brands.”

Lavayen began his career with Mainsail in May 2019, bringing with him more than two decades of food and beverage experience to Tampa’s Epicurean Hotel. In his new role on the corporate team, he supports Mainsail’s entire portfolio while maximizing beverage supplier partnerships.

He is a former managing partner of South Tampa’s On Swann, where he developed beverage programs for it and another new restaurant, Oak & Ola. A former GM for TAPS Restaurant Bar & Lounge in Tampa, his other industry highlights include Hudson at Waterway East, JB’s on the Beach and the Boca Raton Resort & Club.

“When Vicente first joined Epicurean, it was clear his skills and leadership would help take the beverage program to another level,” said Charles Albanos, VP, operations, Mainsail Lodging & Development. “His penchant for creating a stylish beverage program focused on unique cocktails, driving sales and maximizing profit has really paid off in Tampa and will soon impact dining outlets and events at our other properties.”