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DENVER—When Chris Lane, Vice President of Environmental Affairs, Xanterra Parks & Resorts, announced he was leaving his position in 2012, Xanterra got to work to hire someone with similar leadership skills and experience leading complex sustainability projects. In Catherine Greener, now Vice President of Sustainability for Xanterra, they found that person. She brought more than 25 years of experience in the implementation of sustainability, lean manufacturing, and quality management systems to Xanterra. Leading sustainability development at Xanterra, the largest national and state park concessioner in the United States, is a huge challenge. The company’s portfolio has been growing as of late and it operates not only park facilities but also Kingsmill Resort in Williamsburg, Va., Windstar Cruises, and VBT Bicycling and Walking Vacations.
TROY, N.Y.—The appointment of Doug Bechtel as president and chief executive officer of Audubon International (AI), a New York-based organization that works with organizations in 36 countries on environmental sustainability, was announced by the AI board of directors. Bechtel has been serving as associate director of environmental programs for AI. Prior to joining the organization, Bechtel was director of conservation science for The Nature Conservancy’s New Hampshire Chapter for more than 15 years. AI is a not-for-profit organization that works with nearly 2,500 golf courses, business and other organizations to encourage good management of natural resources. Its mission is to deliver high-quality environmental education and facilitate the sustainable management of land, water, wildlife, and other natural resources in all places people live, work and play.
WARRENTON, VA.—Airlie Center General Manager Kevin Carter announces the promotion of Jeremy Anderson to Executive Chef. A member of the culinary team for more than nine years, Anderson has worked hand-in-hand with Culinary Director Jeff Witte who served as Executive Chef for 11 years. “Chef Anderson has been working with Chef Witte for many years and is ready to take Airlie’s culinary program to the next level,” says Carter. “Jeremy’s culinary talents will allow him to tell lots of stories about sophisticated simplicity through his creations.” As partners, Witte and Anderson have developed a sustainable, local and organic program. Anderson’s passion for educating his team as well as Airlie guests on the “simple sophistication” of great meals has been the foundation for his consistent delivery of unique food presentations. Anderson has a passion for learning and expanding his cooking prowess. His Neo-American style is centered on local, seasonal ingredients, either grown at Airlie’s Local Food Project or provided by local farmers.
LAS VEGAS—Timing may not always be everything but in Jessica Rosman’s case it was definitely advantageous. It was just a day after Caesars Entertainment launched its CodeGreen program that she interviewed for a President’s Associate internship. Her interest area was sustainability. She got the internship in Las Vegas and worked with the food and beverage sourcing team—an “incredible experience,” she says. Just a few months later she was offered a full-time position with the same sourcing team. Today, as Director of Supplier Diversity and Sustainability for Caesars, Rosman is part of a team committed to making sure that all suppliers get a fair chance to compete for Caesars’ business—including those businesses owned by women and minorities. Rosman’s goal is to also make sure that those that do business with Caesars share similar values in the area of environmental responsibility.
PALM BEACH GARDENS, FLA.—In recognition of her success in leading multiple sustainability efforts at the PGA National Resort & Spa—she helped save the property $350,000 in the last five years—Kathy McGuire was recently promoted to Manager, Sustainable Development. Since joining the resort eight years ago, Kathy has been instrumental in leading efficiency efforts in the areas of energy management, water conservation and waste management. She recalls that when she first started working for the resort, she could only find one blue recycling bin on the property. Today, not only do public spaces have recycling bins but so do all guestrooms. A recycling team has been created and a Heroes for the Planet program has been launched to quarterly recognize associates who have been particularly helpful with recycling.
MEADOWLANDS, N.J.—Thirty-year hotel veteran Steven S. Kaiser has joined the 427-room Hilton Meadowlands as general manager. The hotel, which converted to the Hilton brand from the Sheraton Meadowlands on October 31, 2013, is located at Two Meadowlands Plaza in East Rutherford and features a 1.1-megawatt solar photovoltaic installation on its carport. The solar panels are expected to generate 20 percent of the property’s energy. “Steve has worked for top-rated hotels on both coasts, the last 20 years on the East Coast, including multiple properties in New Jersey,” said Joseph Bojanowski, president of PM Hospitality Strategies (PMHS), operators of the property. “He most recently was general manager of our Hilton Baltimore BWI Airport property, which has consistently received high guest satisfaction ratings.
DENVER—It was five years ago that Lindsay Arell became the first full-time sustainability manager hired by a convention center—the Colorado Convention Center. Today, she says, there are probably 10 to 15 people in similar roles. Now Sustainable Programs Manager for the Center, Arell continues to help bring notoriety to it as a contracted consultant with Arell Logic. Under Arell’s watch last year, the Center became the first event and conference venue in the world to achieve Level One certification with the ASTM Standard pertaining to the Evaluation and Selection of Venues for Environmentally Sustainable Meetings, Events, Trade Shows, and Conferences. Three years ago, the Center achieved Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for Existing Buildings (LEED-EB) certification. Today, Arell is helping to guide the Center through its LEED recertification process.
LAS VEGAS—In her role as Global Sustainability Manager with Las Vegas Sands Corp., Mandy Martin is part of a team that has significantly reduced the company’s environmental impact on the Strip and in resort locations including Pennsylvania, Macau and Singapore. Since January 1 this year Las Vegas Sands has reduced energy consumption by 22 million kilowatt-hours. Martin says most of the savings have come through lighting retrofits. “We do a lot of lighting projects,” she says. Martin’s typical day involves meetings, conference calls and possibly giving what her company calls “sustainability safari” tours—tours of the complex of the company’s LEED certified buildings that include The Venetian, The Palazzo, and Sands Expo and Convention Center. “I have been working a lot with our local university—the University of Nevada Las Vegas,” she says.
LAS VEGAS—Corporate Responsibility (CR) Magazine, a preeminent publication which recognizes America’'s most socially responsible chief executives, has named Jim Murren, Chairman & CEO of MGM Resorts International, a 2013 Responsible CEO of the Year Award winner. The annual awards are presented to CEOs across industries that clearly exceed standards in the areas of employee relations, environmental impact, human rights, philanthropy, and corporate responsibility practices. “In a business landscape where transparency, sincerity and social impact are an ever important business goal, we are pleased to shine a spotlight on a group of individuals and their organizations which exude a commitment to their stakeholders and society,” said Elliot Clark, CEO of SharedXpertise, the publisher of Corporate Responsibility Magazine.
NEW YORK—Having heard enough “Green 101” and tired of attending green conferences at non-sustainable venues where he would get a “swag bag of junk made in China,” Michael Suomi hatched the idea of an intensive one-day event at a highly sustainable venue. Born in 2012 with the help of other leaders in the lodging industry was Futuregreen Hospitality Forum. “I thought, ‘Could there be an approach to a conference focused just on sustainability in a sustainable venue? An event where people in our business would come up with a great idea that could have an impact?’” Suomi asked. “I came up with some ideas for some topics. I wanted a laser focus on a single session—with the goal of coming up with one idea. Cindy Allen [Editor in Chief, Interior Design] loved it so much she wanted to be my partner.”
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