People on the move: White lodging, MGM, Kempinski

White Lodging, an independent hotel development and management company based in Merrillville, Indiana, has named Jean-Luc Barone its chief executive officer. He joined White Lodging in 2016 as the vice president of food and beverage, and most recently served as the company’s chief operating officer, a position he has held since 2018. Prior to joining White Lodging, Barone spent 16 years with Starwood Hotels in a variety of operation roles. In his new role, he will be responsible for all of White Lodging’s hospitality management operations, including new hotel openings, concept creation and execution.

Filling the now-open chief operating officer position is David Lanterman, the company’s current senior vice president of operations. Prior to joining White Lodging in 2013, he spent 10 years with Winegardner and Hammons Hotel Group, Cincinnati, Ohio. As the new COO, Lanterman will oversee all strategy execution, operations and customer service at the property level.

“Jean-Luc and David have been catalysts for positive change and have quickly elevated the company’s urban and lifestyle hotel offerings and locally relevant restaurants,” said White Lodging Founder and Chairman Bruce White. “Both leaders also have a reputation for creating an environment that allows each associate to be their best self, and grow through training, development and mentorship – something associates all across the industry need more than ever.”

The company has also named new organizational capability and rooms operation vice presidents. Steve Ransone will serve as White Lodging’s vice president of organizational capability. He most recently served as vice president of rooms operations, after having worked at Marriott International for more than 10 years. Filling the role most recently held by Ransone, former Director of Rooms Operations Whitney Flores has been named the vice president of rooms operations. Before Joining White Lodging in 2014, she spent five years in various Hyatt Hotel operations roles.

From top left, clockwise: Jean-Luc Barone (White Lodging), Danielle Rice (The Donohoe Companies), Travis Lunn (Borgata Casino Hotel & Spa) and Consuelo Vega (Amara Resort and Spa)

Carver Road Hospitality—an investor, developer, operator, and marketer of premier hospitality concepts based in Las Vegas, Nevada—has elevated Bryan Bass to chief marketing officer. Bass had served as Carver Road’s vice president of hospitality marketing since its inception in 2020.

Noble Investment Group, a real estate investment manager headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, has appointed new senior managers. Ben Brunt, who joined Noble in 2005, has been named chief investment officer. Former Chief Financial Officer Jim Conley has been named chief compliance officer, and George Dabney has joined the firm as chief financial officer. Dabney previously served as managing director and chief financial officer of Brookfield Hotel Properties, an international hospitality platform.

Blossom Hotel Houston, Texas, has appointed Tasir Bukhari as director of guest relations. Bukhari previously worked at The Peninsula New York, where he held the position of concierge for 13 years.

General Manager David Curell has taken the helm as general manager at The Josie Hotel, Rossland, British Columbia, Canada—a boutique ski-in, ski-out hotel that is part of Marriott International’s Autograph Collection. Curell was most recently the general manager of Versante Hotel, Richmond, British Columbia, Canada.

The Tides Inn, Irvington, Virginia, has appointed new leadership roles for the 2022 season. Terrence Doyal, who joined the Tides Inn team as chef de cuisine in the summer of 2021, has been promoted to executive chef. Richard Keurajian has also joined the resort as director of marketing and resort programming. Most recently, he led the sales and marketing efforts for Lansdowne Resort and Spa, Leesburg, Virginia.

Pendry Washington D.C. – The Wharf, scheduled to open late 2022, has appointed Pascal Forotti as general manager. Forotti joins the Pendry Hotels & Resorts team after having served as managing director of The Watergate Hotel, Washington, D.C.

Kempinski Hotels has named Markus Iseli as the new general manager for Kempinski Summerland Hotel & Resort, Beirut, Lebanon. He is joining the team from Kempinski Hotel Yinchuan, China, where he held the position of general manager.

MGM Resorts International has reappointed Melonie Johnson as president and chief operating officer of MGM National Harbor, Maryland. Over the last year and a half, Johnson served as the president and COO of Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, an MGM Resorts destination in Atlantic City, New Jersey. She previously led the Prince George’s County, a resort and casino based in Maryland.

Travis Lunn has been appointed by MGM Resorts International as president and chief operating officer of Borgata Casino Hotel & Spa, Atlantic City, New Jersey. Lunn steps into the position after serving as the MGM Resorts Southeast group president and COO, where he led Beau Rivage Resort & Casino, Biloxi, Mississippi and Gold Strike Casino Resort, Tunica, Mississippi.

Andrei Mocanu has been appointed as the new general manager of Hôtel Barrière Le Carl Gustaf St. Barth, Saint Barthélemy. He previously served as the general manager of the Golden Rock Nevis Inn, St. Kitts and Nevis.

The Donohoe Companies, Bethesda, Maryland, has promoted Danielle Rice to assistant vice president of human resources. She joined Donohoe as director of human resources in 2018, after having held the same position at Interstate Hotels, Plano, Texas.

Rosewood São Paulo, Brazil, made key appointments to its executive food and beverage team ahead of its opening on January 10. Felipe Rodrigues has been named as executive chef. Previously, he held the same position at the Palácio Tangará, São Paulo, Brazil. Also joining the Rosewood team are Rachel Codreanschi as executive sous chef, Saiko Isawa as pastry chef, Felipe Barros as head baker and Ana Paula Ulrich as head bartender.

Alila Napa Valley, St. Helena, California, has named Dave Stevens as the general manager of Acacia House, the luxury adults-only boutique hotel’s signature restaurant. Prior to joining Alila Napa Valley, Stevens served as the director of rooftop operations for Thompson Hotels in San Antonio, Texas.

Amara Resort and Spa, Sedona, Arizona, has appointed Chef Consuelo Vega as the new executive chef tasked with leading the resort’s signature restaurant, SaltRock Southwest Kitchen, as well as its private meeting and event venues. She previously worked as a sous chef at Narrative, the signature restaurant of The Jacquard Hotel, Autograph Collection, Denver, Colorado.

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