On the Move: Choice, Hotel Equities and Commonwealth

NATIONAL REPORT— Hotel Business has been rounding up appointments. Here’s what we found:

Choice Promotes Thiergart

Choice Hotels has promoted Ralph Thiergart to VP and general manager of extended-stay brands.

In this new role, he oversees the extended-stay portfolio and operations, highlighted by the recently acquired WoodSpring Suites, as well as MainStay Suites and Suburban Extended Stay.

Thiergart has been part of Choice’s franchise services team since 2005, most recently serving as VP of franchise services. During his tenure, he led the company’s domestic franchise onboarding and field-based property performance teams, as well as brand standards and compliance organization. In addition, he facilitated the creation of the company’s franchisee training platform, Choice University, and worked closely with Choice’s franchisee advisory councils.

“WoodSpring Suites is the nation’s fastest growing economy extended-stay hotel brand and the acquisition adds more than 240 properties across 35 states to the Choice portfolio,” said John Bonds, SVP, enterprise operations and technology, Choice Hotels. “Sustaining the brand’s success and integrating best practices across Choice’s extended-stay brands is imperative to our success. Ralph is a compelling leader with extensive understanding of Choice’s owner base and industry operations. Coupled with his background in the extended-stay segment, it makes him the ideal leader to successfully grow the WoodSpring Suites brand and expand Choice’s presence in the extended-stay category.”

Earlier in the year, Choice Hotels acquired the WoodSpring Suites brand and franchise business. The addition nearly triples the size of Choice’s extended-stay footprint and creates more options and opportunities for the company’s franchisees and guests.

“Extended-stay has reported some of the most impressive gains in industry demand, and WoodSpring Suites fits perfectly into Choice’s well-segmented family of brands as a new-construction, highly profitable, economy extended-stay brand,” said Thiergart. “I look forward to taking on this new role overseeing Choice’s extended-stay operations, including MainStay and Suburban, and solidifying Choice’s position as a leader in extended-stay.

Thiergart has more than 30 years of industry experience. Prior to joining Choice Hotels, he oversaw sales and marketing for the Lexington brand, and led sales, marketing and operations at hotel management company Dimension Development. Earlier in his career, he held influential franchisor and franchisee representative roles in the early development of both the Residence Inn and Homewood Suites brands.

Hotel Equities Adds Brown

Atlanta-based Hotel Equities recently named Toi Brown as the corporate director of human resources for the firm, which has more than 100 hotels in 23 states and Canada.

Brown is responsible for advising and supporting the Hotel Equities overall human capital strategy and its compliance programs. Her principal areas of focus include comprehensive recruitment of key staff, workforce and succession planning, administering policy and risk mitigation and enhancing associate and owner relations.

She joined Hotel Equities from Jackson Pierce Public Affairs where she spent the past 11 years leading a diverse human resources team. She and her team served a five-state area and provided high-level support to clients on human resources policies and procedures regarding management practices, onboarding, compensation, compliance and more to support business objectives and contractual agreements.

Prior to Jackson Pierce, Brown served as training and development manager for Jamestown Properties. She worked with C-suite, senior managers and department heads to determine training needs, identify training gaps and execute an overall strategy.

Commonwealth Hires Gabriel

Commonwealth Hotels LLC has hired Megan Gabriel as field director of sales and marketing.

In this role, she is responsible for maximizing hotel revenues through creative sales, marketing and revenue management strategies. She will be providing sales and revenue support to hotel property leaders in the Midwest and Florida region.

Gabriel’s career spans over 16 years working within multiple markets and Marriott and Hilton select- and full-service brands. She started her hospitality career in 2003 with Winegardner & Hammons while she completed her undergraduate degree at Northern Kentucky University. Since then, she served time with Aimbridge Hospitality and most recently held the title of regional VP of sales and marketing within Janus Hotels & Resorts.