NATIONAL REPORT—Hospitality companies are bolstering their leadership rosters with new talent. Here’s a look at recent personnel shifts:
White Lodging’s Deno Yiankes to Retire, New President/CEO Named
White Lodging revealed that Deno Yiankes will retire from his role as president/CEO, investments and development, in January 2020. Simultaneously with Yiankes’ retirement, Terry Dammeyer will assume the president/CEO role for investments and development.
To support the leadership transition, Yiankes will serve as an advisor to White Lodging and Dammeyer through the end of 2020, and will join the company’s board of directors.
Dammeyer joins White Lodging from Winegardner & Hammons Hotel Group where he most recently served as president and chief construction/development officer. He joined Winegardner in 1984 and has served in a variety of development, construction and purchasing roles during his 35-year career.
In his new role, Dammeyer will oversee White Lodging’s pipeline of development projects, which includes more than $1 billion of premium urban hotel investments and openings over the next four years.
Bluegreen Vacations Names Chief Marketing Officer & Chief Administrative Officer
Bluegreen Vacations Corporation named Ahmad M. Wardak, who has been with the company for 16 years, as EVP and chief marketing officer, and that Susan Saturday is returning to the company as EVP and chief administrative officer.
As CMO, Wardak will oversee all aspects of the company’s marketing operations and customer care as well as sales operations at the company’s 51%-owned Bass Pro Shops joint venture. Wardak will continue to serve as a member of the company’s executive committee and as a member of the management committee of the Bass Pro JV.
Saturday has been named to the newly created position of EVP and chief administrative officer. In her new role, Saturday will provide oversight to the functions of human resources, information technology, development services, resort operations and club management, supported by existing leaders Justin Taylor, who was recently promoted to EVP and chief people and technology officer; Kathy Foster, SVP of business development and innovation; and Ada Grzywna, SVP of resort operations.
Jim Biggar Joins eXceed Hospitality Asset Advisors as Partner
EXceed Hospitality Asset Advisors, a hotel and resort advisory firm, revealed that Jim Biggar has joined the firm as partner.
Biggar most recently was EVP, Hersha Hospitality Management (HHM) overseeing the luxury and lifestyle group, now representing 22 hotels and resorts in major destination markets with three more under development. Prior, he served in corporate positions as president, Sixty Hotels; EVP of Interstate Hotels and Resorts; SVP of Tishman Hotels and Resorts; senior director of brand development, Hard Rock Hotels; and GM of several hotels, including the historic Mayflower Hotel, Washington, DC.
Stonebridge Adds VP of Hotel Operations
Stonebridge Companies has added Shauna Sandage to its corporate team as VP of hotel operations. Sandage supports Stonebridge Companies’ team of more than 3,100 associates and portfolio comprising 62 hotels with more than 10,500 guestrooms nationwide.
As VP of hotel operations, Sandage is responsible for ensuring that all hotel operations are carried out to Stonebridge Companies’ and brand standards, and that Stonebridge’s properties consistently deliver Distinguished Hospitality for superior guest service. With more than 13 years of experience in hospitality operations, she has supported the Marriott, Hilton, Hyatt and IHG brands. Sandage began her career with Summit Group in 2006 as general manager, and most recently she served as director of operations and revenue management at KWB LLC.
Concord Promotes Richard Rose to VP of Business Development
Concord Hospitality Enterprises has promoted Richard Rose to VP of business development. In his new position, Rose will help manage business development opportunities, including third party management agreements, acquisitions and new development opportunities, as well as other strategic partnerships across Concord’s ever-growing portfolio.
A 27-year veteran of the hotel industry, Rose holds extensive experience in the opening and operation of both premium-brand hotels, conference centers and independent, luxury properties.