NATIONAL REPORT—Whether in development, marketing or operations, hotel companies are adding to their rosters. Here’s a look at some recent personnel changes.
Jeff Lanzarotta, Kempinski Hotels
Kempinski Hotels has named industry veteran Jeff Lanzarotta to head up its North American leisure & luxury division as global director sales. Lanzarotta joins the Kempinski team after a long career with Starwood Hotels & Resorts, where he acted as director of global leisure & luxury sales in the U.S. in his last position.
Lanzarotta holds a degree in hotel & restaurant management and will continue to be based in Miami.
Rika Lisslö, Two Roads Hospitality
Two Roads Hospitality has appointed Rika Lisslö to VP of acquisitions and development. Lisslö comes to the Two Roads Hospitality team with over 10 years of experience as a real estate executive with a track record in mixed-use developments across the hospitality, retail, office and restaurant sectors. Her multi-disciplinary background will be applied to growing the Two Roads Hospitality family of brands across the Eastern United States.
Previously, Lisslö served as VP of acquisitions and development at Dream Hotel Group, leading brand expansion efforts and hotel development opportunities in North America. She also spent more than two years with JF Capital Advisors as managing director with a focus on the hospitality sector and more than five years as director at Newmark Grubb Knight Frank, specializing in mixed-use developments. Early in her career, Lisslö worked for SCR Architecture and Design in New York City, where she focused on architectural space planning and surveying.
Lisslö studied Economics and French at Frans Schartau in Stockholm, Sweden. She is an active member of the Fundraise for World Childhood Foundation and is a mentor for the Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce Mentor Program.
Claire Bennett, IHG
IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) has appojnted Claire Bennett as chief marketing officer, effective immediately.
Bennett joins IHG from American Express, where she held a number of senior, consumer-focused marketing roles over a period of more than 10 years. She brings extensive marketing, brand and loyalty expertise to IHG, and a track record of leveraging data and technology to drive powerful marketing investments.
During her career with American Express, Bennett was responsible for oversight of global marketing and brand management, leading its worldwide advertising, media, sponsorship and marketing research teams. Most recently, she led the company’s global consumer travel and lifestyle business, and was previously GM for its consumer loyalty team, with responsibility for card member benefits, including American Express’ Membership Rewards.
As Chief Marketing Officer, Bennett will report to IHG’s CEO, Keith Barr, and becomes a member of the company’s Executive Committee.
Prior to joining American Express, Bennett also held senior marketing roles at Dell and at Quaker Oats Company, where she worked in consumer packaged goods. In addition to her marketing experience, she is a former executive board member of the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC).
Michael Shaff, Outrigger Enterprises Group
Outrigger Enterprises Group has appointed Michael Shaff as VP, hotel operations – Waikiki/Guam.
Shaff will lead the repositioning of the Holiday Inn Resort Waikiki Beachcomber, as well as oversee the Ohana Waikiki East by Outrigger, Ohana Waikiki Malia by Outrigger, and the Outrigger-managed Embassy Suites by Hilton Waikiki Beach Walk, Airport Honolulu Hotel, Best Western The Plaza Hotel and Outrigger Guam Beach Resort.
Shaff comes to Outrigger from KSL Resorts, where he held numerous key leadership roles over the past 14 years. Most recently, he served as director of asset management overseeing three luxury resorts in Southern California (the Renaissance Esmeralda, Hotel del Coronado and Monarch Beach Resort & Spa). Prior, he was GM of The James Royal Palm in Miami, Florida, and the Montelucia Resort & Spa in Scottsdale, Arizona. Additionally, his experience includes senior operations roles at La Costa Resort & Club and La Quinta Resort & Club, both large and complex resorts.