On the Move: First Hospitality Group Gets New President; More…

NATIONAL REPORT—Hotel Business is tracking personnel moves across the industry, including the appointment of David Duncan as president of First Hospitality Group.

New President at First Hospitality Group

Rosemont, IL-based First Hospitality Group Inc. has hired David Duncan as president.

In this role, Duncan will primarily focus on developing and expanding the company’s portfolio. He joins First Hospitality Group with more than 25 years of global operating experience managing high performing teams as a president, CFO, and managing director in both public and private organizations across the globe.

Previously, Duncan served as an CFO of coastal resort and golf properties in Southern California at JC Resorts in La Jolla, CA. Prior to that, he served as president of Denihan Hospitality Group, a private real estate owner and hotel operator. He has managed teams from three to more than 3,000 people nationwide and has been involved in more than $10 billion dollars of real estate and capital market transactions.

Benchmark Promotes Jarrad Evans

Benchmark has named Jarrad Evans SVP of business development & strategy.

Evans was previously the company’s VP of business development & strategy. In this position, he successfully leveraged relationships with ownership groups and equity partners nationwide to bring in nine new-build projects and to add 11 existing properties to Benchmark’s signature brands: Benchmark Resorts & Hotels, Gemstone Collection, and Benchmark Conference Centers.

Earlier, he was VP of acquisitions for ClubCorp, owner-operator of golf and country clubs, business clubs, sports clubs, and alumni clubs. He has also served as VP of business development for Troon Golf.

Hotel Equities Expands Regional Team

To support recent portfolio growth, Atlanta-based Hotel Equities (H.E.) appointed two new regional directors of sales, Polly Ann Elliott and Kristen Vasquez. The additions further expand the firm’s regional sales and marketing team supporting a portfolio of more than 100 hotels throughout the U.S. and Canada.

Elliott brings a vast amount of experience in sales, leadership and training to a portfolio of hotels where she has oversight of sales and marketing strategies in the firm’s East region, according to the company. She joined H.E. in 2017 as the area director of sales for a portfolio of hotels in Charleston, SC, where she maximized revenues and increased group bookings for all assets.

Preparing for further growth in the Texas market, Vasquez is strategically positioned in Houston to oversee a portfolio of hotels in the firm’s central region, the company reports. She joins H.E. with more than 10 years of above-property sales experience and has knowledge of more than 20 brands within Marriott, Hilton, and Hyatt hotels.