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Archive for the ‘Personnel Profile’ Category

NASHVILLE, TENN.—Arizona volunteer Rashmi Bhakta was awarded P&G Professional’s “Community Hotelier of the Year Award” in conjunction with the Asian American Hotel Owners Assn. (AAHOA). Bhakta was chosen as the grand prize winner after submitting an essay detailing her participation with and support of Child Crisis Arizona. The charity will receive a $10,000 award in Bhakta’s name. Bhakta, who was not able to attend in person, was recognized on stage during the 2016 AAHOA Annual Convention and Trade Show awards presentation at the Nashville Convention Center. Amiti Bhow, who nominated Bhakta for the honor, accepted the recognition on Bhakta’s behalf. The Community Hotelier of the Year Award recognizes an AAHOA member who demonstrates dedication and care for their community and expresses a desire to make a positive impact in the future with a $10,000 donation to the winner’s charity of choice. Bhakta supports Child Crisis Arizona by organizing fundraising events like the Family Garba Night which had both philanthropic and cultural goals and raised more than $9,000 for the organization.
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HIGHLANDS, N.C.—Old Edwards Hospitality Group announces the appointment of Ezra Gardiner as Head Farmer. Ezra will oversee Old Edwards Gardens at Sequoia Lake and The Gardens at Cherrywood including greenhouses and hoop houses. Ezra will be responsible for cultivating vegetables and herbs to support the culinary offerings throughout Old Edwards, including Madison’s Restaurant and Wine Garden, the Spa Café, the country inn at Half-Mile Farm and the Grill Room at Old Edwards Club, as well as weddings and special events. Gardiner was raised in Ashe County, N.C., an agricultural community of small homesteads and sustenance farming where growing things for aesthetic and for the tables and cellars was a part of daily life for most. Gardiner says, “North Carolina is a great place to grow vegetables, especially here in Highlands—one of the most ecologically diverse places in the world. Our latitude is similar to places like northern Egypt, meaning that we have a lot of sunlight even in the winter and that we can grow under minimal protection throughout the year.
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SPRINGFIELD, MO.—John Q. Hammons Hotels & Resorts (JQH) announced the addition of David (Dave) Bishop to the capital planning and asset management department in the company’s Springfield, Mo.-based corporate offices. With 20 years of experience in progressive facilities management, Bishop joins JQH as Corporate Director of Facilities Management beginning March 1, 2016. JQH is a leading private, independent owner and manager of hotels in the United States, including operating more than 1 million square feet of meeting space. “We are pleased to add Dave’s unique education and experience to the JQH family,” said Bill George, JQH’s Vice President of Capital Planning and Asset Management. “His impressive track record for effectively completing a range of property projects and earning his associates’ respect will bode well in his role as Director of Facilities Management for JQH’s diverse national hotel portfolio.” Prior to JQH, Bishop served nine years as director of facilities, buildings and grounds for the Springfield Public Schools R-12 district.
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CRYSTAL CITY, VA.—The Hyatt Regency Crystal City has launched a new culinary initiative that includes partnerships with regional farms and providers. The new menu features modern interpretations of southern classics made with seasonal ingredients from local farms such as Kreider’s Farms in Lancaster, Pa.; Meadow Creek Dairy in Grayson, Va. and others. The new menu items are now available at the hotel’s Cinnabar restaurant. David Carlson, who recently joined the Hyatt Regency Crystal City team as chef de cuisine, has always had an interest in finding ways to incorporate more locally-grown produce in menu items. Carlson has over 15 years of culinary experience and has developed restaurant menus in Florida, Texas and Doha, Qatar. Carlson is passionate about cooking with fresh, local ingredients and also sources from a number of local suppliers including Olli Salumeria, in Mechanicsville, Va.; Edwards Ham in Surry, Va.; Uptown Bakery in Hyattsville, Md. and Moorenko’s Ice Cream in Silver Spring, Md. “David is very talented in creating delicious dishes that showcase local products,” said General Manager Derrick Morrow.
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YOUNTVILLE, CALIF.—Bardessono Hotel & Spa, the LEED Platinum Certified wine country retreat in the heart of Napa Valley, announces the appointment of Nate Lindsay as the new Executive Chef. Lindsay will oversee all aspects of the culinary experience at Bardessono and for Lucy Restaurant & Bar, the hotel’s award-winning, signature restaurant presenting innovative, garden-inspired cuisine that embodies the property’s “exceptional by nature” modern aesthetic and eco-spirit. “We are delighted to welcome Chef Lindsay to Bardessono and excited to watch Lucy thrive from his fresh culinary vantage, talent and enthusiasm,” said Sileshi Mengiste, Divisional Vice President, Luxury Division Remington Hotels. “Chef Lindsay brings a balanced approach to food thanks to his successful background of intuitive leadership and creative talent—all critical traits to help ensure continued growth and success at Lucy and Bardessono.” Most recently, Lindsay was the Executive Chef at the farm-to-fork restaurant, Jardenea, at Melrose Georgetown Hotel in Washington D.C. Lindsay embraces the philosophy of serving inventive dishes.
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STAMFORD, CONN.—As Director of Sustainability and now as Vice President Sustainability, Global Citizenship, Andrea Pinabell has pushed and led Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide toward one of the lodging industry’s most ambitious goals—a reduction of energy consumption and carbon emissions by 30 percent and water consumption by 20 percent by 2020 (baseline 2008). According to Starwood’s 2014 Global Citizenship Report, the company has reduced energy use by 12 percent, carbon emissions by 16 percent, and water use by 17 percent per built hotel room across all owned, managed, and franchised properties. Starwood now has more than 1,270 properties in some 100 countries. Pinabell, who is part of a group of four sustainability-focused associates at Starwood headquarters, is backed by dedicated sustainability teams in each of Starwood’s four divisions. “The way we are structured, we also have sustainability champions at each of our hotels,” Pinabell says.
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NAPA VALLEY, CALIF.—Mark Harmon, Founder and Managing Partner of the Auberge Resorts Collection, was honored by the Napa County Historical Society and inducted into its Lodging Hall of Fame on Thursday, November 12. Named for the company’s Napa Valley flagship hotel, the five-star Auberge du Soleil, Auberge Resorts Collection has played a pivotal role in putting Napa Valley on the map as a destination that is world-renowned for hospitality and culinary excellence. Harmon, who formed the company in 1998, has led Auberge’s growth in Napa Valley and beyond, to destinations as far-flung as Fiji and Costa Rica. The group’s resorts have garnered the highest accolades, and Auberge was recently recognized in Travel + Leisure as one of the top 10 hospitality brands in the entire world. Auberge Resorts’ Planet Auberge program ensures that the company’s resorts minimize their property footprints.
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OAK BROOK, ILL.—The Hilton Chicago/Oak Brook Hills Resort & Conference Center has announced the appointment of Erica Tomei as Pastry Chef. In her new role, Tomei will head dessert and bakery operations for the resort’s catering functions, restaurant outlets and retail shops. The winner of the American Culinary Federation’s 2014 wedding cake competition makes Oak Brook Hills a one-stop-shop for house-made wedding cakes, pastries and other baked specialties, something few hotel kitchens can offer. “For me, Erica completes the equation,” said Executive Chef Sean Patrick Curry, who recruited Tomei from her post at the Chicago Marriott Naperville, where the two previously worked together. “Whether it’s a business luncheon or a dinner banquet, I want our guests to have a full restaurant experience. The pastry chef rounds out that vision. It’s no longer me telling perspective clients, ‘Let me see if I can [outsource] something.’ It’s ‘yes, tell me what you want’!”
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MCLEAN, VA.—As Vice President, Sustainability & ADA Compliance for Hilton Worldwide, Maxime Verstraete is responsible for ensuring the company’s more than 4,400 properties meet the highest standards in the industry. He oversees key initiatives to help reduce carbon and waste, limit water and energy usage and ensure sustainable sourcing practices. Based in Hilton Worldwide’s headquarters in McLean, Va., Verstraete is part of a nine-person corporate responsibility team that overseas sustainability efforts around the globe. With Hilton almost 11 years, Verstraete says he has been involved in sustainability in one shape or form since 2005. Today, he oversees LightStay, Hilton’s proprietary system developed to calculate and analyze environmental impact. Hilton officially launched LightStay in 2010 after two years of testing. “It is a brand standard globally,” Verstraete says.
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LONDON—ITP (the International Tourism Partnership) announced that, following an extensive search and interview process (including with Wolfgang M. Neumann, Chairman of ITP’s Governing Council), Fran Hughes has been appointed ITP Director, effective October 1, 2015. Confirming the appointment, Business in the Community’s Director of Environment and Market Solutions Stephen Farrant said, “Fran is a long-standing champion for responsible tourism. Her passion for ITP’s unique role, her knowledge of the industry and the key issues, coupled with her irrepressible enthusiasm and determination make her a natural for this appointment.” Before joining ITP as Head of Programmes in early 2012, Fran worked for CTS Horizons, Explore Worldwide, The Travel Foundation and as an independent sustainable tourism consultant. She holds an MSc in Environmental Strategy. “I am delighted and excited to take on the role of Director,” Hughes says. Hughes will report to Stephen Farrant.
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