Execs on the Move at Two Roads, Benchmark, Choice Hotels

NATIONAL REPORT—The following companies bolstered their leadership rosters—Two Roads Hospitality, Benchmark and Choice Hotels. Here’s a look at executives on the move:

Two Roads Hospitality Appoints VP of Strategic Partnerships

Two Roads Hospitality has appointed Mitch Lazar as VP of strategic partnerships. As part of the marketing team, Lazar will oversee business expansion through strategic alliances, sponsorships and brand partnerships to drive new customer acquisition while increasing guest engagement and retention.

Most recently, Lazar was the EVP of corporate development at Craftsy, which Comcast NBC Universal acquired in May 2017. During his four-year tenure in this role, he built and managed more than 100 partnerships with major brands, publishers and retailers, including Walmart, Lowe’s, Meredith Corporation, King Arthur Flour, MasterChef and more.

Benchmark Adds Two VPs

Benchmark has named Rikki Boparai as VP of operations. His promotion builds on 17 years of service to the independent hospitality management company, having served in regional and on-property leadership positions. Boparai most recently held the position of managing director for Benchmark’s Gemstone Collection, Florida, overseeing luxury resorts in Orlando, Vero Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, as well as on the Caribbean island of Curacao.

In addition, Benchmark has named Patrick Berwald VP of food and beverage. He comes to Benchmark with a two-decade career of food and beverage leadership. Berwald was previously corporate director of food and beverage for New York-based Loews Hotels, where he was responsible for the overall food and beverage departmental strategy, financial performance, operating inefficiencies, capital projects and concept development throughout the luxury brand portfolio.

Choice Expands Upscale Brands Development Teams

David Hale and Chris Leiser have joined Choice Hotels International Inc. as part of the Cambria Hotels and Ascend Hotel Collection development teams in the Midwest region.

Hale, newly appointed director of franchise sales for the Ascend Hotel Collection, Midwest, and Leiser, director of development for Cambria Hotels, Midwest, will both be responsible for leading the growth of the company’s upscale portfolio throughout the region. In addition to building relationships with current and prospective owners and developers, they will oversee the area’s strategic business plan, site selection and the successful property onboarding for their respective brands.

Combined, Hale and Leiser bring more than 30 years of experience to Choice Hotels. Prior to joining Choice, Hale served as VP of sales, hotel business development for Spire Hospitality. Leiser comes to Choice from Wyndham Hotel Group, where he most recently served as senior sales director for the company’s upscale and full-service brands in the Pacific and previously the Midwest region.