Selina names new COO; more people on the move

Former Club Med executive Eyal Amzallag has joined Selina as its new COO, while Crestline, HEI, Staypineapple and Coast Hotels have personnel news.

Selina appoints Eyal Amzallag as COO
Selina has appointed Eyal Amzallag as COO.

In this role, Amzallag reports to Selina’s cofounder/CEO Rafael Museri, and is responsible for overseeing the operations of the company’s growing portfolio of hotels, which includes 150 open or secured properties across 25 countries and six continents. He will also help ensure that each Selina location delivers on the evolving needs of the company’s rapidly expanding and loyal community of digital nomads.

“Eyal’s international experience, entrepreneurial spirit and track record of scaling a global hospitality brand made him the perfect choice for this important role,” said Museri. “His industry insights and relationships, as well as his deep appreciation for our differentiated value proposition and product offering, will help accelerate our ability to bring Selina to more locations, travelers and local partners around the world. We are glad to add a hospitality professional of Eyal’s caliber to our expanding roster of talent at the corporate and property levels.”

Amzallag brings a wealth of relevant on-property and managerial experience, having progressed through the ranks at Club Med over the past two decades. Most recently, he served as managing director South Europe, Middle East & emerging markets. In this role, he used his international experience and understanding of different cultures, laws and regulations to create strategies that enabled Club Med to successfully launch in new markets and scale rapidly in others, including the switch by Club Med to operating as a digital-only business. Prior to this, he held the following positions: managing director of Russia and CIS; country manager, Scandinavia; and resort general manager. His multidisciplinary expertise spans budget creation and execution, customer service, digital transformation and business and product development.

Working closely with Selina’s executive leadership team, Amzallag will leverage his diverse skill set to ensure the company achieves its near- and longer-term goals, the company reports.

Crestline promotes Mónica Bernstein to EVP/general counsel
Crestline Hotels & Resorts LLC has promoted Mónica Bernstein to EVP/general counsel.

She joined the company in 2019 and assumed responsibility for all legal issues arising with respect to hotel operations, hotel development, corporate governance and asset management. She reports directly to Crestline’s President/CEO James Carroll.

“As our company continues its growth trajectory, and we enhance our position as a leading hospitality management company, Monica’s counsel has been invaluable,” said Carroll. “Mónica continues to help us successfully navigate the expansion of our company’s portfolio in a sound and prudent manner.”

She joined Crestline from Interstate Hotels, where she served as VP, legal before being promoted to SVP, assistant general counsel. Prior to Interstate, she was an associate with Williams & Connolly LLP in Washington, DC.

Papelian joins HEI Hotels & Resorts as managing director of investments
HEI Hotels & Resorts has hired Thomas Papelian as managing director of investments.

Papelian joins HEI after a long and successful tenure at Marriott International, where he notably increased their managed and franchised footprint of full-service hotels in the U.S. As an SVP with Marriott’s full-service hotel development team, he led the strategic growth and development initiatives of the company’s full-service, luxury and boutique hotel brands throughout the eastern region of the U.S. A high-level producer during his 16-year tenure with the company, he demonstrated extensive expertise, structured numerous noteworthy transactions and negotiated long-term agreements with some of Marriott’s largest owners and development partners.

With HEI in the midst of closing 10 joint venture acquisitions in partnership with several institutional investors, adding a seasoned veteran like Papelian to its investments team will significantly enhance HEI’s transaction activity, the company reports.

Staypineapple appoints Jennifer Atwood corporate director of sales
Staypineapple, a hospitality company based in the Pacific Northwest, has appointed Jennifer Atwood corporate director of sales.

In her new role, Atwood oversees Staypineapple’s sales and group services department and its core reservation center team based throughout the U.S. Her responsibilities also include planning and executing sales strategies for the company’s unique collection of hotel properties.

With more than 30 years of experience in the hospitality industry, she joins Staypineapple after holding senior roles in hotel sales, catering and conference services. Most recently, she was director of sales and marketing for The Crowne Plaza Seattle. Prior to that, she held the position of corporate director of sales for Red Lion Hotels Corporation and had oversight for sales and catering at more than 20 properties. Atwood has also served as director of catering and conference services with DoubleTree by Hilton.

Coast Hotels president relocates to Vancouver
Coast Hotels Limited, a fully owned subsidiary of APA Hotel Canada Inc., has revealed that its president, Jin Sasaki, has permanently relocated from Japan to its corporate headquarter in Vancouver, B.C.

He was appointed president in September 2018 and has been guiding the strategic direction of the company from APA Hotels’ headquarters in Japan while frequently traveling to Canada.

“It’s an honor and a privilege for me to join the talented leadership team in Vancouver and leverage new opportunities that will advance distribution for Coast Hotels in major gateway cities throughout North America,” said Sasaki. “With the unwavering commitment of APA Hotels to the growth of this portfolio of one-of-a-kind properties and an unmatched dedication to guests, we are well-positioned for the long-term success of the company.”