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MAUI, HAWAII—Lumeria Maui, a member of Healing Hotels Of The World and a leading Hawaiian wellness retreat located in Upcountry Maui between Paia and Makawao, announces the appointment of Gary Sterman as the property’s general manager. Sterman brings extensive tactical and strategic leadership in operations, sales and marketing to the position, with more than 15 years of experience in the hospitality industry. Sterman comes to Lumeria from his role as general manager and consultant for the Carpe Diem Guesthouse and Namaste Spa, the leading guest house and spa in the resort town of Provincetown, Mass. Other important general manager positions included his extensive work with Joie De Vivre at The Mill Valley Inn and Hotel del Sol in San Francisco. Sterman acquired recognition for leading these properties in luxury hospitality as he increased guest loyalty and customer satisfaction, achieved certification in green business, and oversaw capital improvements.
BOSTON—Since 1989, longer than almost every other hotel company on the planet, the Saunders Hotel Group (SHG) has been taking serious steps to minimize its environmental impact. What first began with office paper recycling has evolved to a long list of actions the company takes each day. For its efforts the company has received international recognition and saved millions of dollars. Helping to lead SHG’s green efforts the last two years has been Scot Hopps, environmental program manager. Along with Tedd Saunders, SHG’s chief sustainability officer, and one other staff person, Hopps makes sure that everything possible is being done to save energy, water and reduce waste at the six managed hotels in which SHG has an equity stake. Hopps says not two of his days are the same. “While my office is in The Lenox Hotel, every day I am on site at one of our properties.”
WASHINGTON, D.C.—National Restaurant Association (NRA) president and CEO Dawn Sweeney has been recognized by the Campaign to End Obesity for her work in helping inspire and guide the foodservice industry’s nutrition initiatives. Sweeney, in recognition for her efforts, received the award at a December 6 awards gala at Discovery Channel Worldwide headquarters in Silver Spring, Md. “Dawn has been an enthusiastic and engaged leader in the fight to reverse America’s obesity epidemic,” said Stephanie Silverman, a founding director and senior advisor to the Campaign to End Obesity. “We applaud Dawn’s work encouraging and supporting restaurants’ innovative efforts to provide nutritious options for their customers.” After joining the NRA in 2007, Sweeney established a healthy-living platform that allows restaurant operators to contribute to a more healthful America while fostering a healthy and thriving restaurant industry.
KIRKLAND, WASH.—The Heathman Hotel, a full-service luxury hotel in Kirkland, Wash., with a long history of environmental commitments, has selected Troy Longwith as general manager. He will have full responsibility for the operation of the Heathman Hotel and Trellis Restaurant while maintaining the high visibility and community goodwill within the vibrant city of Kirkland. “I am extremely excited to be joining the Heathman family,” said Longwith. “The Kirkland property is incredibly dynamic, with a highly professional, dedicated staff that is committed to creating exceptional guest experiences.” Longwith comes to The Heathman from Tulalip Resort Casino, where he was acting executive vice president for hotel operations. He also served as director of sales & hotel marketing, and as general manager at Tulalip Resort Casino. Prior positions in the hospitality industry include managing the Microsoft campus office as vice president of Conference Direct.
ORLANDO, FLA.—“I enjoy getting to do what I am passionate about every day.” So says Dina Belon, Sustainability/Energy Specialist at The Peabody Orlando, when asked what she enjoys most about her job. Belon is one of just a handful of people in the United States employed full time in a sustainability-related position at a single hotel level. Belon’s position was newly created by the Peabody Hotel Group a little more than four months ago. Peabody Hotel Group may eventually employ full-time sustainability/energy specialists at its hotels in Memphis and Little Rock. “Their objective is to pilot this position here in Orlando,” Belon says. Belon balances her responsibilities at the 1,641-room Peabody Orlando with numerous industry volunteer activities. She is chair for the Green Destination Orlando program, serves as the sunshine chapter president for NEWH.
BETHESDA, MD.—Denise Naguib has almost always been an environmentalist. Growing up in Egypt, she admired the beauty of the Mediterranean Sea and Red Sea. At the age of 11, after she had moved to Oregon, she wrote a letter to the governor of the state to relay her concerns about clear cutting. Today, after a career path with a number of twists and turns, Denise is one of the lodging industry’s most influential green champions as vice president, Sustainability and Supplier Diversity for Marriott International. Denise focuses on the operations side of the hotel business and reports to Marriott’s senior vice president of Design and Development for Global Operations. When not traveling to industry events or other meetings, she works on multiple projects. She was the subject matter expert for Marriott’s most recent Sustainability Report and recently helped roll out an environmentally responsible meeting program for The Ritz-Carlton brand.
COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO.—As someone who loves the outdoors, Sunny Pressler is in her element as recycling coordinator for The Broadmoor in scenic Colorado Springs. She gets to spend from six to seven hours out of her eight hour day outdoors. The native Chicagoan, who has been in her current position for almost five years, makes sure what can be recycled is recycled at the 744-room, 3,000-acre resort. Pressler spends her day making sure the back-of-house cages and totes are emptied and in their proper spots. They contain the metal, glass and plastic containers that are taken away for recycling. She also monitors the five loading docks where balers are used to pack cardboard. The Broadmoor also recycles paper and yellow grease. Last year, 60,000 pounds of yellow grease was taken away for conversion into biodiesel fuel. While The Broadmoor gets paid for many of the recyclables that are taken away, it does not get paid for the grease (it does not have to pay to have it taken away).
DALLAS—As director, Energy & Sustainability Department for LQ Management L.L.C. (La Quinta), Michael Milburn influences activities that can have a tremendous impact on La Quinta’s overall environmental impact. Reducing its environmental footprint is important for a company the size of La Quinta—it operates and provides franchise services to more than 800 hotels, representing more than 80,000 guestrooms. Milburn’s typical day is spent assisting hotel managers with any property related issues such as mechanical, plumbing, HVAC, electrical, etc. His responsibilities include utility bill management—the collection, organization, budgeting, auditing, and payment processing of corporate utility bills (electric, natural gas, water and sewer). He is also in charge of supply side management—the negotiation and procurement of energy supply in competitive deregulated areas. Demand side management is also his responsibility—reducing energy usage thru energy efficiency measures, technology, and conservation methods.
SEQUOIA NATIONAL PARK, CALIF.—Wuksachi Lodge, a full-service hotel nestled in the heart of Sequoia National Park and operated by Delaware North Companies Parks & Resorts, recently announced the appointment of new executive chef Jeff Graham to its culinary team. The mountain hideaway also unveiled a new name for its restaurant. Previously known as The Wuksachi Lodge Dining Room, The Peaks is a nod to the towering summits visible through the dining room’s floor-to-ceiling windows. Bringing nearly 10 years of culinary experience to the table and a passion for using local ingredients, Chef Graham shares the Lodge’s commitment to sustainability, as well as DNC’s environmental initiatives which include supporting the National Park Service’s Healthy Parks, Healthy People campaign. “Food shines when you start with the freshest flavors available,” said Chef Graham. “I absolutely love going to farmers’ markets and am committed to supporting our local growers.”
LAS VEGAS—As vice president of corporate sustainability for MGM Resorts International, Christopher Brophy manages a team of eight people, including an executive assistant, who guide the hospitality company’s sustainability efforts. Each member of the team has a specialty—engineering, finance, strategy, etc. Together, they have helped MGM reduce its environmental impact by staggering amounts. That is no small feat for a company with the likes of CityCenter, Bellagio, MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay and others in its fold. “Since 2007 (excluding CityCenter) we’ve reduced our annual electricity consumption by enough energy to power both the Monte Carlo and New York New York hotel and casinos each year,” Brophy says. “That’s more than 5,000 hotel rooms, two casinos, five pools, and 20 restaurants that we can power just on the energy we’ve saved.” Brophy mentioned a couple of examples of projects that have led to the energy consumption reductions.
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