Smith to replace retiring Eisemann at IHG; more personnel moves

IHG, Sonesta and McNeill Hotel Company have made changes to their senior executive teams.

IHG’s Eisemann to retire; Julienne Smith named successor
IHG Hotels & Resorts has revealed that Joel Eisemann, chief development officer, Americas, will be retiring from IHG Hotels & Resorts in June. Julienne Smith, currently SVP, development – luxury & upscale, and development & owner support, has been appointed as Eisemann’s successor and will join the Americas regional leadership team.

Since joining IHG in 2011 as chief development officer, Eisemann (pictured above) rebuilt and elevated IHG’s development teams in luxury, upscale, and mainstream for the Americas, as well as the Americas’ development & owner support team, the company reports. He also advanced a broad set of new development leaders and mentored many across the company to support IHG’s growth ambitions. Over the last 10 years, he has helped grow the IHG brand portfolio from nearly 3,500 open hotels in 2011 to 4,300 open hotels and more than 900 hotels in the pipeline across the Americas region at the end of 2021.

During his tenure, Eisemann led the expansion of IHG’s franchised and managed brand portfolio in the Americas, including the launches of avid hotels, Atwell Suites, voco Hotels, EVEN Hotels and, most recently, Vignette Collection. His career spans 42 years, including nearly 29 years at Marriott International.

Smith (pictured above) has 20 years of development experience, having joined IHG in August 2019 from Hyatt Hotels Corporation, where she held several leadership roles after starting her career in the hotel industry at Marriott International. At IHG, she has been responsible for increasing the company’s presence in the U.S., Canada and the Caribbean for new-builds and conversions for the InterContinental, Crowne Plaza, Hotel Indigo and EVEN Hotels brands, in addition to bringing voco Hotels and Vignette Collection to the Americas. Smith also leads the development & owner support team, which is focused on growing and strengthening IHG’s relationship with owners and hotels.

Sonesta appoints Shane Platt as SVP, lodging development, upscale brands
Sonesta International Hotels Corporation has named Shane Platt SVP of lodging development, upscale brands.

“We are excited to welcome Shane to Sonesta and our talented and growing development team,” said Brian Quinn, chief development officer, Sonesta. “He brings deep industry experience in franchise sales and a record of successfully driving the development of new and existing brands within the hospitality industry. We expect he will play an integral role in the additional growth of Sonesta’s upscale brands.”

Platt joins Sonesta from Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, where he served as SVP franchise sales and development. Prior to that, he held leadership roles within the franchise sales and development teams at Best Western International and Choice Hotels International.

Lindsey Chang joins McNeill Hotel Company
McNeill Hotel Company has hired Lindsey Chang to serve as VP of acquisitions and capital markets.

In her new role, Chang will be leading the company’s acquisition efforts and working to raise both debt and equity capital on behalf of McNeill Hotel Company.

Prior to joining McNeill, she served as SVP at RobertDouglas, where she provided capital solutions through debt and equity structuring and investment sales for lodging and specialty leisure properties, portfolios and companies throughout the Americas in excess of $2.5 billion. Prior to her time at RobertDouglas, she served as a financial analyst in Wells Fargo’s Hospitality Finance Group.