People on the move at Travel + Leisure and Sonesta

Travel + Leisure has named a new chief technology officer, while Sonesta has named a new leadership team in the Windy City.

Travel + Leisure Co. appoints Esfahani CTO
Travel + Leisure Co. has appointed Sy Esfahani to the position of chief technology officer.

He has more than 30 years of experience as a technology leader for global travel, hospitality and finance companies. In this capacity, he oversees and aligns enterprise-wide technology with the company’s strategic goals. He is responsible for integrating innovative new technologies and data analytics capabilities to deliver a dynamic, flexible and integrated modern IT environment.

Esfahani was most recently chief information officer at Qatar Airways Group, where he led the technology transformation to deliver exponential digital capabilities as part of delivering “5 Star” customer touchpoints. Prior to that, he was global chief information officer for MGM Resorts International, where he focused on improving operations and customer experience within various lines of business across the 20 resort brands. With his team, he launched the first fully operational mobile and kiosk check-ins capable of offering digital keys to guestrooms.

Earlier in his career, he led the CIO and key technology leadership function for financial services companies Fiserv, ACI and tradeshow production company GES.

He joins Travel + Leisure Co. as the company builds upon its cornerstone brands and embarks on a four-year strategy to accelerate growth with new membership and subscription travel businesses. He joins the Travel + Leisure Co. executive committee, reporting to President/CEO Michael D. Brown.

Sonesta names Chicago leadership team
Sonesta International Hotels Corporation has named its new Chicago leadership team, led by Area General Manager Paul Cardona and Area Director, Sales and Marketing Fantasy Greene.

Cardona brings more than 20 years of hotel industry experience to the Sonesta family of hotels. He began his hotel career in food and beverage, where he worked his way up to become the director of food and beverage at several luxury properties throughout the U.S. After a 14-year career primarily focused on food and beverage operations, he expanded his management responsibilities to include all other aspects of hotel operations. He has since led multiple teams to success in various executive level positions at several well-known Miami and Chicago hotels, including general manager at the Park Hyatt Chicago, SLS South Beach, Le Meridien Hotels, Virgin Hotels Chicago and most recently Thompson Chicago.

Today, Cardona is the area general manager for a portfolio of Sonesta hotels in the Chicagoland market: The Allegro Royal Sonesta Chicago Loop, Royal Sonesta Chicago Downtown, Royal Sonesta Chicago River North, Sonesta ES Suites Chicago Downtown Magnificent Mile and Sonesta Chicago O’Hare Airport.

Greene brings more than 20 years of sales and hospitality experience to the role. After spending time at White Lodging and TMI Hospitality managing sales and marketing operations for Marriott, Hilton and other major hotel brands, she has established herself as a successful leader who has managed large-scale teams and portfolios of more than 30 properties.

After playing a crucial role in the transition from Kimpton Hotels to Sonesta, Greene now oversees a multifaceted and complex sales team for the Chicago market. She will develop and lead the growing sales team to cross-sell the three Royal Sonesta properties in Chicago by leveraging each of their unique assets.