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ATLANTA—Late last year, InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) announced that its IHG Green Engage program would be rolled out across the company’s global estate of 4,900 hotels as of January 1, 2015. All properties flying an IHG flag—Holiday Inn, Hotel Indigo, Candlewood Suites, etc.—now have until the end of this year to reach at least Level One within IHG Green Engage. In a franchisor/franchisee relationship, mandates sometimes do not go over well but in this case, says Lindsay Wilkinson, Manager—Environmental Sustainability, Corporate Responsibility for IHG, reception has been widely positive. Helping to oversee the transition to IHG Green Engage is just one of Wilkinson’s many responsibilities within IHG. Those properties working to achieve Level One must accomplish 10 action items—setting up a green team and tracking utility data are two of the items.
BUFFALO, N.Y.—Jim Houser has been promoted to president of Delaware North’s parks and resorts business, as well as company operations in Australia and Asia. Houser most recently served as COO of the parks and resorts business and company operations in Australia and Asia. A Delaware North veteran of more than 35 years, Houser began his career as a vendor with Delaware North Sportservice and steadily climbed the ranks to become general manager of the company’s operation at the former Cinergy Field in Cincinnati. Houser was promoted to director of labor relations and then chief operating officer of Delaware North Sportservice. In those roles, he managed the division’s operations and its efforts to realize growth potential for concessions, fine dining and retail groups. Houser’s impact hasn’t just been in operations; his leadership has touched virtually every corner of Delaware North’s business.
LAS VEGAS—Caesars Entertainment Corporation’s Jan Jones Blackhurst, Executive Vice President of Communications, Government Relations and Corporate Responsibility, was recently recognized as the “2015 CSR Professional of the Year” by PR News. This award honors the most powerful, highest impact and most inspiring individuals leading CSR efforts for their organizations and beyond. This year’s finalists included Bob Langert from McDonald’s Corp., Angela Peruso from Verizon Foundation, and Tessie Tapel from Time Warner Cable, to name a few. “I am humbled by this recognition from PR News as CSR Professional of the Year,” said Jan Jones Blackhurst. “I have been fortunate in my career to have opportunities to create programs and support initiatives that have a direct impact on people, communities and our world,” urst. “Corporate citizenship is a critical part of my everyday work at Caesars Entertainment. I am proud to be a part of an organization that values social responsibility and sustainability and look forward to continuing the great work.”
TORONTO—It has been 25 years now since Fairmont Hotels & Resorts launched its groundbreaking Green Partnership Program, a roadmap for hotels looking to reduce waste, energy and water consumption. The program has had many champions within Fairmont along the way and the latest, Jane Mackie, Vice President, Fairmont Brand, has helped Fairmont reach an important goal—the reduction of operational CO2 emissions by 20 percent below 2006 levels. That accomplishment came as part of the World Wildlife Fund’s Climate Savers Program. “We are the only hotel company to have reached the goal,” Mackie says. The emissions reduction achievement occurred as part of the company’s Fairmont Sustainability Partnership program—today’s version of the Green Partnership Program. Fairmont Sustainability Partnership has four fundamental pillars: Environment, Ecosystem, Engagement and Responsible Business. Emissions reduction falls under the Environment pillar. As Vice President, Fairmont Brand, Mackie oversees sustainability efforts at 70 properties, many of them iconic, historic structures. Fairmont is expected to grow to 100 hotels open or under construction by 2019.
ST. LUCIA—A prominent Caribbean hotelier, Karolin Troubetzkoy, has been appointed Chairman of the Caribbean Alliance for Sustainable Tourism (CAST). The appointment is the latest Caribbean tourism sector leadership role for Troubetzkoy, who serves as Executive Director of the storied Jade Mountain and Anse Chastanet resorts in Soufrière, St. Lucia. “It is with great honor that I accept this role of promoting responsible environmental and social management within the region’s hotel and tourism sector,” said Troubetzkoy, who will work alongside the recently appointed CAST Technical Director, Denaye Hinds, the Sustainability Director for OBMI—a leading Caribbean-based architectural and master planning firm. Troubetzkoy, who also serves as President of the St. Lucia Hotel and Tourism Assn. as well as First Vice President of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Assn., paid tribute to the numerous sustainable tourism pioneers who laid the foundation of CAST. Troubetzkoy, whose resorts adhere to strict environmental standards, hopes to provide guidance and expertise in best environmental and sustainable development practices for the region.
CHICAGO—Ryan McKenzie has been appointed General Manager at Chicago’s newest downtown hotel, the LEED Certified Hampton Inn Chicago Michigan Avenue, opening June 2015. The hotel’s owner, Integrated Motor Club LLC, an affiliate of Murphy Asset Management (MAM), has invested substantially into the transformation of one of Chicago’s finest Art Deco buildings, the historic 1928 Chicago Motor Club Building. Opening in the heart of Downtown Chicago at 68 E. Wacker Place, just steps from the Magnificent Mile, Millennium Park and the Theater District, Hampton Inn Chicago Michigan Avenue will feature a grand, three-story Art Deco lobby, a 67-seat 1920s-style cocktail bar, and intricate architectural details throughout the property. McKenzie was most recently General Manager of Hampton Inn & Suites Mt. Prospect. Beginning his career as a bellman in Tucson, Arizona, McKenzie has built a career out of working for private boutique resorts and hotels for nearly 20 years.
MCLEAN, VA.—Last year Hilton Worldwide began implementing a responsible sourcing strategy that had four main components, the first of which was development of a position within Hilton Supply Management to oversee responsible sourcing, sustainability and special projects. The person selected to fill that role was Judy Pines. Hilton did not have to look far to find her. Pines had been with Hilton for more than 30 years, having originally started as an administrative assistant. Just prior to her current role, Pines was Director Strategic Sourcing FF&E, a position in which she researched, developed, implemented and managed value based supply chain solutions for FF&E products. One of Pines’ primary responsibilities is dealing with waste within the supply chain. Her efforts support RePurpose, Hilton’s waste management program, which helps hotels find creative ways to reduce, reuse and recycle to avoid waste. Pines was instrumental in the development of a corporate-wide mattress recycling program.
NEW YORK—It is becoming a common story in the lodging industry: Executive passionate about sustainability convinces higher ups to create a full-time position dedicated to implementing best, green practices. Naomi Mirsky, Vice President of Sustainability and Innovation for New York based Denihan Hospitality Group, did just that in her company. She joined Denihan in 2011 but in 2013 she pitched the idea of Denihan moving her into a full-time sustainability position. A year later, the middle of last year, Denihan gave her the title and responsibilities she wanted. Now, a little more than half-way into her first year as Vice President of Sustainability and Innovation, Mirsky is helping to formalize Denihan’s commitment to efficiency and corporate social responsibility. Denihan, a nationally recognized, independent owner and operator of boutique hotels, currently has 14 total properties open with one under development. Two hotels are fully owned, six are majority owned, and six are managed.
LAS VEGAS—Two top executives at MGM Resorts International have been recognized for their contributions in diversity, philanthropy and sustainability. Phyllis A. James, Executive Vice President, Special Counsel-Litigation and Chief Diversity Officer for MGM Resorts International, has been named one of 2014’s most influential women in corporate America by Savoy Magazine. Cindy Ortega, Chief Sustainability Officer and Senior Vice President for MGM Resorts International, was named one of the 10 most powerful women in sustainability by Green Building & Design (GB&D). “These honors demonstrate the effect that both Phyllis and Cindy have had in CSR, not just for our company but for the fields of diversity, philanthropy and sustainability,” said Jim Murren, Chairman and CEO of MGM Resorts. One of the influential women joining James on Savoy’s list is Carla Harris, Vice Chairman, Global Wealth Management, Morgan Stanley. Another is Ursula M. Burns, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Xerox.
SEATTLE—Paladino and Company, a leading sustainability and green building consulting firm, announced Dina Belon LEED AP ID&C is joining the company as a Director on its senior management team. Belon, who brings two decades of sustainability experience in the development and hospitality industries, will be responsible for working with Paladino’s clients to implement results-driven high performance building strategies. “Dina has an incredible reputation for delivering measurable results through sustainable development,” said Paladino founder and CEO Tom Paladino. “Adding her expertise to our team will be instrumental as we continue in our quest to help our clients innovate and get the most out of their green practices.” Most recently Belon has worked in the sustainable supply space and as principal of RUSH Hospitality, a sustainability design and construction company. Belon has served in prominent development and sustainability leadership roles.
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