Smith New SVP at IHG; More Personnel Moves

NATIONAL REPORT—Hospitality companies are making personnel moves, including IHG naming industry veteran Julienne Smith to the role of SVP, development in the Americas region. Here’s a look:

IHG Appoints Julienne Smith SVP

IHG has appointed Julienne Smith as SVP, development in the Americas region.

In this role, Smith leads a team responsible for increasing IHG’s presence in the U.S., Canada and the Caribbean for new-builds and conversions to the Crowne Plaza, Hotel Indigo and Even Hotels brands. She also leads the transactions and asset management team, which is focused on growing and enhancing IHG’s relationship with owners and their hotels.

Through direct and focused engagement with current and potential IHG owners, Smith and her team will drive new management and franchise agreements, as well as the renewal of existing agreements, to enhance value for owners and achieve IHG’s distribution and system size goals.

Smith brings more than 17 years of development experience to IHG, previously serving in leadership roles at Hyatt Hotels Corporation after starting her career at Marriott International. Most recently, she was SVP, development and owner relations at Hyatt, where she primarily oversaw the growth of Hyatt’s select-service hotel brands and grew the company’s footprint through franchise and management contracts.

Benchmark Promotes Griffin

Benchmark has promoted Shaun Griffin to the position of regional director of finance.

Griffin’s responsibilities include overseeing the financial operations of several of Benchmark’s Florida properties, including Costa d’Este Beach Resort & Spa, Cardozo South Beach, Beachwalk Elite Hotel and Resort and Marenas Beach Resort.

He was previously controller for Benchmark’s Costa d’Este Beach Resort & Spa, a Gemstone Collection property located in Vero Beach, FL. He originally joined Benchmark in 2018.

LWHA Makes Promotions and Additions

LW Hospitality Advisors (LWHA) has promoted Jonathan Jaeger to senior managing director of the firm. Jaeger has more than 15 years of experience providing an array of hospitality operational, valuation and real estate advisory services.

Sean Cuthbertson has been named EVP of the firm. He has more than 15 years of advisory, valuation and appraisal review experience of a diverse range of commercial property types including hotels, office, apartments, student housing, subdivisions, condominiums, NNN leased properties, skilled nursing facilities, shopping centers and industrial facilities. Most recently, he served as VP/senior commercial review appraiser with M&T Bank, and previously as VP/senior appraiser with CB Richard Ellis (CBRE).

American Marketing Group Names New Leadership Team

American Marketing Group Inc. (AMG), parent company of 18 travel and hospitality brands including Travelsavers, Agent 24, Travel Helpline, Forte Global, Nest and The Affluent Traveler Collection, is expanding its preferred hotel program with a new leadership team under the direction of recently appointed SVP of hotel programs, Samantha Jones.

A hospitality and hotel industry insider with more than twenty years of experience, most recently leading North American sales for Carlson Wagonlit Travel’s hotel distribution division, RoomIt by CWT, Jones has worked with Radisson Hotel Group, IHG and Millennium Hotels and Resorts. At AMG, she has full oversight of the preferred hotel program and is responsible for advisor outreach and supplier relationships including accommodation and content providers.

Rounding out the leadership team is Senior Director Trisha Hall and business development executive Jeffrey Kerzman, both alumni of travel services company Thor Inc.