Personnel Profile

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MGM Resorts’ Jim Murren Honored by Corporate Responsibility Magazine


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.

Michael Suomi, with Two Futuregreen Hospitality Forums Behind Him, is Planning Two More


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.”

Jeffery Burrell Appointed General Manager at Westin Riverfront Beaver Creek


AVON, COLO.—With more than 15 years of hospitality experience, Burrell helped open The Westin Riverfront in 2008 as the director of operations, a position that he held for more than four years and where he oversaw the sustainable luxury efforts that helped the resort become Colorado’s first Silver LEED certified hotel. Burrell most recently served as the general manager of Virginia’s historic Mountain Lake Lodge, which completed an extensive multi-million dollar renovation under his leadership. He also previously held management positions at the Brown Palace Hotel & Spa in Denver, the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Tampa and the Disney Vacation Club and the Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. A graduate of the University of Florida, Burrell is currently pursuing his MBA in International Hospitality & General Services Management from Switzerland’s Glion Institute of Higher Education.

Costas Christ Tapped as Six Senses Sustainability Ambassador


BANGKOK—Internationally acclaimed sustainable tourism expert Costas Christ is to join Six Senses as sustainability ambassador, it was announced by Six Senses’ president, Bernhard Bohnenberger. Highly respected as a global pioneer of eco-tourism, Costas helped to officially define the term as a founding member and former chairman of the International Ecotourism Society. NBC Today Show’s travel editor said, “For the past 30 years, Costas Christ has been at the leading edge of the green travel movement, since way before it was ever called ‘green’ or even a movement.” The announcement of Costas’ role follows the recent appointment of Amber Marie Beard as vice president sustainability for Six Senses, further highlighting the commitment of Six Senses to the environment and the communities in which it operates.

Sustainability Coordinator Position a Logical Next Step in Abby Gulden’s Green Career Path


ORLANDO, FLA.—When she was hired as the first sustainability coordinator for the Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) in March 2012, Abby Gulden joined an organization that already had made significant strides in greening its operations and reducing its environmental footprint. With her hiring, however, OCCC now has a point person to drive continuous improvement and network within the Orlando market and beyond it. As sustainability coordinator, Gulden leads the sustainability team and manages the ISO 14001 Environmental Management System. The OCCC’s Environmental Services section received the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 14001:2004 certification for its Environmental Management System in 2007. It was the first convention center in the United States to receive the certification.

Six Senses Names Amber Marie Beard Vice President Sustainability


BANGKOK—Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas has named Amber Marie Beard Vice President Sustainability. Beard has had a fascinating career in locales around the world, which began in Boston, where she worked for Lend Lease, one of the world’s largest property developers. Relocating to Hong Kong, Amber joined China Resources, which is one of China’s largest government owned organizations, working on the city’s first existing building sustainable redevelopment project that was targeting LEED Gold certification. A move to Singapore saw her as head of sustainability with Sustainability Ltd., an investment finance company managing niche real estate opportunities in China, Japan and Australia, where she focused on delivering heightened levels of sustainability while delivering attractive financial returns.

Andrew Named Chairman of GMIC Sustainable Meetings Foundation


WASHINGTON, D.C.—Mark S. Andrew, CMP, CHA, regional vice president and general manager, Fairmont Washington, D.C., Georgetown has been appointed chairman for the Green Meeting Industry Council Sustainable Meetings Foundation (GMIF) along with its 2013-2014 Board of Trustees for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2014. In his role as chairman, Andrew plans to move the Foundation’s 2013-2014 capital campaign forward via new initiatives. One such initiative includes the assemblage of a cookbook entitled “Unspoiled”—a compilation of recipes produced by chefs and others on food waste solutions for kitchens and supply chains. Proceeds from the sale of Unspoiled will go directly to supporting food banks and the Green Meeting Industry Council Sustainable Meetings Foundation.

Sustainable Travel International CEO Appointed to National Travel and Tourism Advisory Board


WASHINGTON, D.C.—Brian T. Mullis, who founded global nonprofit Sustainable Travel International in 2002 and continues to serve as its CEO, was recently appointed to the United States National Travel and Tourism Advisory Board. The official announcement was made by U.S. Deputy Secretary of Commerce Rebecca Blank. The Board, established in 2003, serves as the advisory body to the Secretary of Commerce on matters relating to the travel and tourism industry in the United States. Its members represent a broad cross-section of the industry, including transportation services, financial services, and hotels and restaurants, as well as a mix of small and large firms from across the country. Mullis joins five other new appointees to the Board, which is chaired by Travel Oregon executive director Todd Davidson. “I am thrilled about my appointment to the National Travel and Tourism Advisory Board, which demonstrates the increasing importance of sustainability to the national tourism strategy,” said Mullis.

Frank Kawecki Keeps Watchful Eye on Kimpton’s Restaurant Initiatives


SAN FRANCISCO—When Frank Kawecki was a teenager, he was part of an effort to eliminate tuna from his high school cafeteria. At that time (and even still today), tuna was touted as the wrong seafood selection because of the number of dolphins killed in its harvesting. Today, as the person leading Kimpton Restaurants’ Eco Program on the West Coast, he makes sure that all fish served at Kimpton restaurants are recommended as part of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program. Kimpton’s Eco Program for its restaurants is part of its companywide EarthCare Program. The restaurant program encompasses everything from procuring eco-friendly wine and coffee to low flow spray valves to food waste composting. Green restaurant practices are now standard in Kimpton restaurants and making sure restaurant operators are adhering to Kimpton standards is part of Kawecki’s job. “As I travel, I do walk-throughs and check eco-standards while I am there,” he says.

Caesars Entertainment’s Eric Dominguez Keeps Company Focused on Efficiency First


LAS VEGAS—When studying mechanical engineering at Cornell University, a school well known for its School of Hotel Administration, Eric Dominguez had no intention of entering the hospitality industry. In fact, he wanted to be an aerospace engineer. It was by accident, he says, that he ended up getting into the energy business after college. After accumulating years of diverse experience in that area in both the public and private sectors, it was by fate, Dominguez adds, that he made some connections with Caesars Entertainment. Today, after eight years with Caesars, Dominguez’s responsibilities encompass enterprise utility management, corporate engineering and environmental affairs. Dominguez works at the corporate office of Caesars Entertainment, a 70,000-employee company that now has 52 properties worldwide. Some of those properties include Caesars Palace, Harrah’s, and Paris Las Vegas. Three energy engineers and one environmental engineer report to Dominguez.

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