People on the move

The Marriott-Sorenson Center for Hospitality Leadership at the Howard University School of Business has found its inaugural executive director, while OTO Development and 21c Museum Hotels have found chefs to fill food & beverage posts. Read all about those personnel moves and more below.

Marriott-Sorenson Center names Ashli Johnson its first executive director
The Marriott-Sorenson Center for Hospitality Leadership at the Howard University School of Business has appointed Ashli Johnson as its inaugural executive director.

“I am delighted that Ashli will be leading the Marriott-Sorenson Center for Hospitality Leadership,” said Mieka Wick, executive director, The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation. “She brings a rich set of experiences from both academia and hospitality as well as a deep commitment to creating exposure and advancement opportunities for young people of color within the hospitality industry. This mix of practice and passion is the perfect match for the Marriott-Sorenson Center. I am confident that Ashli will further help establish the center as a premier hub for developing the next generation of hospitality leaders and as a platform for investment and innovation in the industry.”

Johnson brings nearly 20 years of leadership, consulting and academic experience with top hospitality brands to her new role. A champion for equity and inclusion in the hospitality industry, she founded the Hospitality Leaders Today— HLT100 as a leadership development program for Black collegiate students in 2016, and Hospitality Hued as an accelerator for Black hospitality professionals in 2019. Before coming to Howard University, she served in leadership roles for recognized hospitality programs, including Virginia State University, Georgetown University and the University of Central Florida. She also served as the assistant dean of the University of Houston’s Hilton College of Hotel & Restaurant Management, prior to leading education programing for AAHOA.

Michael Rosen joins OTO Development as VP, F&B
Michael Rosen has joined OTO Development as VP, food & beverage, a newly created position. He comes aboard to foster the creation and operation of F&B brands.

“The goal, especially with OTO’s original brands, is to redefine what it means to be a ‘hotel restaurant,’” said Rosen. “One signature drink, one chef-inspired dish at a time, we want to create dining experiences in spaces that just happen to be inside a hotel.”

A professional chef, Rosen is a two-time winner of Esquire magazine’s Best New Restaurant award. His resume includes stints as executive chef at brands ranging from Walt Disney World to Marriott to Stanford University; corporate leadership roles at JHM Hotels and Sonesta; and tenure at his own restaurant advisory firm.

His industry service includes terms on the Marriott Food and Beverage Advisory Board, the South Carolina Hotel Association board of directors and the Greenville (SC) Technical College Culinary School Advisory Board, as well as the American Hotel & Lodging Association Advisory Board. Volunteer outreach focuses on the Feeding America BackPack Program.

21c Museum Hotels promotes Vanessa Miller to F&B post
21c Museum Hotels has promoted Vanessa Miller, executive chef & director, food & beverage, Metropole at 21c Cincinnati, to senior director of 21c food & beverage.

Prior to joining 21c, Miller held several leadership roles throughout New York City restaurants, including director of restaurants for Spring Place, a members-only club focusing on fostering creative, shared workplaces and community, and director of culinary operations at Citizens Coffee. Similar to her role with 21c, she also served as the director of food and beverage + executive chef at The Royalton, a member of Morgans Hotel Group, which is also part of the Ennismore family of brands.

While Miller will continue to be involved in Metropole and will remain based in Cincinnati, in her new, expanded role, she will also provide direction to the F&B leaders of all 21c properties across the U.S.

Brent Jaynes of Leisure Real Estate Advisors joins HBI
Hotel Brokers International (HBI), the hospitality industry’s leading hotel real estate sales organization, has revealed that Brent Jaynes, managing director/cofounding member, Leisure Real Estate Advisors LLC, has joined its professional network of highly experienced lodging investment specialists.

Leisure Real Estate Advisors is a full-service hospitality real estate investment and consulting firm located in Lenexa, KS (metro-Kansas City). The firm’s investment advisors are licensed in eight states including Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma and South Dakota, and collectively represent more than $1.5 billion in transactions. Joining Jaynes in HBI membership are David Jones, partner, and Nihar Patel, senior hospitality advisor.