New Global Head at Hilton; COO at RLH; More Personnel Moves…

NATIONAL REPORT—Hotel Business has been tracking new appointments across the hospitality industry. Here’s more:

Hilton Names New SVP/Global Head 

Hilton has appointed Vera Manoukian as SVP/global head, Hilton Hotels & Resorts. Effective June 11, 2018, Manoukian will oversee the brand portfolio for Hilton Hotels & Resorts and will be responsible for promoting, elevating and growing the brand.

With more than 30 years of hospitality experience, she most recently served as president/COO at Denihan Hospitality, where she led branding, sales, marketing and operations and managed the company’s growth and development pipeline. She previously served as SVP of operations for Starwood Hotels & Resorts, where she was responsible for its largest geographic region, seven brands, 68 full-service and luxury properties and $3.4 billion in revenue.

Manoukian will be based at Hilton’s global headquarters in McLean, VA, and report to Dave Marr, SVP/ global head of full-service brands.

RLH Corporation Appoints EVP and COO

RLH has appointed Gary Sims as EVP/COO. Sims brings more than 30 years of experience with brands around the globe, including more than 10 years of franchise and management sales experience at Starwood Hotels and Resorts. He will oversee all franchise operations, sales, hotel management and human resources. Sims will be based in the company’s headquarters in Denver and is expected to begin in his position on June 25, 2018.

Sims joins RLH Corporation from Omni La Costa Resort & Spa in southern California, where he served as managing director of the 650-room luxury golf resort. He led all operations and strategy for the resort, driving incremental revenue and service.

Interstate Hotels & Resorts Appoints Head of eCommerce

Mike Wylie has been appointed head of e-commerce at Interstate Hotels and Resorts. 

After leading e-commerce efforts for Hilton and Wyndham, he launched Standing Dog Interactive, a digital marketing agency. He grew Standing Dog to $8 million in revenues, and landed more than 1,000 Marriott properties as accounts. Specializing in independent and major hotel brands, he developed the hospitality industry’s first reputation management application, Review Analyst, according to the company. He was also named one of the 25 Most Extraordinary Sales and Marketing Minds in Hospitality and Travel by HSMAI.

Based in Dallas, Wylie is responsible for leading all aspects of digital marketing, including overseeing electronic marketing efforts, website initiatives and third-party online travel agents for multiple properties around the globe.

“We are excited that Alvaro is joining us in this crucial role,” said Sam Nazarian CEO and founder at sbe. “We’re on a journey of expansion across our hotel and restaurant brands, and his 20 years’ experience in the hospitality sector working at some of the biggest hotel groups in the world will help us continue this trend and keep our portfolio of brands at the forefront of the hospitality world.”

Prior to joining sbe, Alvaro was responsible for the sales and marketing operation of full service Hyatt hotels and resorts in Latin America and the Caribbean.

HVMG Hires Director of Acquisitions and Financial Analysis

Andy Wardner has joined Hospitality Ventures Management Group (HVMG) as director of acquisitions and financial analysis. In his new role, Wardner helps evaluate and underwrite new hotel acquisitions and third-party management opportunities. He also provides feasibility insight and performs valuation analysis for targeted opportunities, which include independent and boutique hotels and resorts, as well as full-service, select-service and extended-stay hotels under the Hilton, Marriott, Hyatt and IHG brands.

Previously, Wardner was managing director of Paramount Lodging Advisors, where he was responsible for brokering hotel transactions, particularly full-service hotels and business development throughout the Southeast.

Chesapeake Hospitality Expands Team with Two Hires

Chesapeake Hospitality has hired Gary Sams as director of construction and project management and Stacy Duncan as director of IT. Chris Sims, executive VP of Chesapeake Hospitality, made the announcement.

Sams brings more than 25 years of project management and construction experience in commercial and public/private projects. Specifically, his construction experience includes several new build and major renovation projects to minor soft good renovations with hotels and resorts across the United States, ranging from $3 million-$100 million. Prior to joining Chesapeake, Sams spent his career at IDC Construction as director of pre-construction & estimating. In his new role, Sams is tasked with the direction, supervision and operation of the Chesapeake construction and project management division.

Duncan has held several positions in the information technology sector including her 16 years responsible for the IT structure and operation of 110 Wendy’s restaurants. Most recently, Duncan served as IT director for A&A Global industries where she provided IT support for the company’s business needs. As director of IT with Chesapeake, Duncan is responsible for working with leadership to ensure each hotel property has secure computer operating systems and effective support resources in place.