NATIONAL REPORT—Leaders are on the move across the industry. Here’s a look at the personnel shifts across hospitality:
IHG Appoints Chief Technology Officer
IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) has named Daniel Blanchard as chief technology officer.
Blanchard joins IHG with more than 25 years of experience in IT business management, strategy, transformation, architecture governance and program management. In his new role, Blanchard will oversee infrastructure and operations, enterprise architecture, IT security operations, application development and corporate support. He will be based out of IHG’s Americas headquarters in Atlanta, and report to George Turner, chief commercial & technology officer, IHG.
Previously, Blanchard served as the VP, IT infrastructure and reliability at Delta Air Lines. At Delta, he led the overall IT reliability transformation for Delta’s worldwide operation. Prior to Delta, Blanchard spent more than 20 years at Marriott International in a variety of information technology leadership roles. He began his career at Boeing.
Valor Hospitality Co-founder Steps Down
Valor Hospitality Partners, which owns, operates, asset manages and consults on more than 80-plus hotels worldwide, revealed Graham Wood’s departure from the company. The co-founder and managing partner of Valor’s Africa and Middle East divisions is joining Sun International Casinos and Resorts, a South African resort hotel chain and casino, as chief operating officer.
“Graham and Valor previously contracted with Sun International Casinos and Resorts to assist its hotels division, and they offered him a permanent senior position as a result of his outstanding work,” said Euan McGlashan, Valor’s global co-founder and CEO. “Valor is fully supportive of his move; we’re honored one of our senior partners’ talent was recognized and wish Graham enormous success in his new endeavor. We look forward to continuing a long, productive relationship with Graham and Sun International Casinos and Resorts.”
As a result, Valor executives Michael Pownall, Tony Romer-Lee and McGlashan have restructured their roles to address needs created by Wood’s departure:
Pownall, co-founder and managing partner, Africa & Middle East, will head global branded operations.
Romer-Lee, co-founder and managing partner, Africa & Middle East, will now oversee Spier Wine Farm and the company’s luxury boutique, and game reserves and lodges.
McGlashan, with his global support team, will dedicate more time leading business development efforts in Africa.
“This leadership revamp comes during a momentous time with Valor’s recent signings, including the new 131-room Voco The Bank, Rosebank with IHG, and Marriott’s 1,000-room dual-branded AC and Residence Inn in Ras-Al-Khaimah, United Arab Emirates,” said McGlashan.
In addition to the leadership team’s restructuring, Valor Africa has appointed company veteran Joep Schoof to director of operations. Schoof, who most recently served as general manager of Spier Wine Farm, has been with the company since it was established in 2015.
Valor also welcomes Willie Williams as director of sales and marketing. Williams brings more than 20 years of senior corporate and independent hotel sales experience in Southern Africa to the team.
Finally, Valor’s U.S. and U.K. teams will commit significant resources across disciplines to ensure Valor’s Africa and Middle East services are bolstered with both local and global expertise.
Outrigger Hires VPs for Brand, Construction
Outrigger Hospitality Group has named Brent Shiratori as VP, global brand group and Oswaldo D. Lopez as VP, construction and project management.
“Growth is an integral part of Outrigger’s strategic business plan, so having expertise in branding and construction is critical to our success; Brent and Oswaldo are both leaders in their respective fields and we’re fortunate to have their skills in our team,” said Sean Dee, EVP and chief marketing officer.
Shiratori will champion brand strategy through creative development and content strategy for web, social, email and paid media, campaigns, communications programs, brand resources, including tools and systems, as well as oversight of the brand intranet environment and media asset management.
Previously with Outrigger for three years, Shiratori founded the brand strategy firm Aidia Marketing and was director of strategic planning at Matsumoto & Clapperton and management supervisor at Carol H Williams Advertising in Oakland. He also worked at Laird Christianson Advertising, CP Advertising and Starr Seigle Advertising.
Lopez will identify, manage and coordinate the implementation of major capital projects for Outrigger Hospitality Group (OHG) including FF&E, budgeting, bidding, construction contracts, project management and scheduling.
Lopez was the development manager and executive architect for Selena International Inc. Prior, he was EVP at Oasis West Realty LLC | Alagem Capital Group; a hotel consultant for Oxford Properties Group (An OMERS Worldwide Company); and held senior management positions at Hilton, The Americas.
Spire Promotes From Within
Spire Hospitality has promoted Shozib Khan to VP of hotel performance and analytics.
Continuing the team of leadership CEO Chris Russell is building at Spire Hospitality, Khan brings more than 20 years of experience working in various positions in hotels and in a corporate capacity.
Most recently, Khan held the position of Spire’s director of financial planning, and over the last 18 months since taking on that role, he has significantly elevated the capabilities of the department. Alongside Russell, Khan will play a key leadership role in maximizing value through improved operations, analysis, service and overall company objectives.
Phoenix American Hospitality Adds Brad Cooke as Internal Wholesaler
Phoenix American Hospitality, a Dallas-based opportunistic hotel fund manager, has added Brad Cooke to its distribution team as an internal wholesaler. In his new role, Cooke will partner with Ron Rodriguez to manage the company’s sales efforts throughout the Western states, as well as Texas and Louisiana.
Cooke brings nearly a decade of experience to his position at Phoenix American Hospitality. Previously, he was a regional sales consultant at Plano Capital Group where he raised over $150 million in equity capital through the sales of Reg. D private placement real estate offerings. While with Highland Capital Management, he gained experience selling business development companies, REITs, mutual funds, interval funds and 1031 exchange products.