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WASHINGTON, D.C.—Sustainable Travel International, the leading nonprofit focused on improving lives and protecting places through changes in the way destinations around the world manage travel and tourism, announced that Geoff Bolan has been named CEO. Bolan succeeds Sustainable Travel International’s Founder and CEO, Brian Mullis. Mullis will transition into an Executive Advisor role after nearly 14 years guiding the organization. Bolan will lead Sustainable Travel International in its next chapter of growth, focusing on expanding the organization’s global impact to combat threats like environmental degradation and economic inequality. Bolan joined Sustainable Travel International in January 2016 as the organization’s Chief Operating Officer. His background includes more than 25 years of management, business development, and strategic planning on a global scale in both the nonprofit and private sectors.
LAS VEGAS—Further advancing its commitment to corporate social responsibility, MGM Resorts International announced the appointments of two proven leaders in the field of environmental sustainability. Chris Magee has been promoted to Vice President of Sustainable Facilities, while Yalmaz Siddiqui joined MGM Resorts as Vice President of Corporate Sustainability. “Implementing efficient, sustainable and morally responsible practices across our operations is a top priority for MGM Resorts,” said Cindy Ortega, Senior Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer for MGM Resorts International. “Not only is it the right thing to do, but it is also a competitive differentiator. For these reasons, it is essential that we place proven leaders like Chris and Yalmaz at the helm of our company’s sustainability efforts.” In Magee’s new capacity as Vice President of Sustainable Facilities he is responsible for providing strategic direction and operational oversight to the development and implementation of large-scale, renewable applications and energy efficiency programs to reduce the environmental impact of company operations.
BETHESDA, MD.—It was appropriate for Niki Zoli to be on hand for an important first earlier this month at the Annual Meeting of the Governors’ Climate and Forest Task Force and concurrent Climate Summit of the Americas in Guadalajara, Mexico. It was there that Zoli, Director, Social Responsibility & Community Engagement for Marriott International, accepted the first-ever certificate of carbon emissions reduction from the Secretary of Environment for Amazonas, on behalf of the State Government of Amazonas, and the Amazonas Sustainable Foundation (FAS). Marriott was honored for its work to help protect 1.4 million acres of rainforest in Brazil. Marriott has contributed more than $2 million to FAS and raised nearly $300,000 through its partners, guests and associates.
YOUNTVILLE, CALIF.—Bardessono Hotel & Spa, the luxurious, LEED Platinum certified wine country retreat in the heart of Napa Valley, announced Jennifer Mayo as the new Spa and Shop Director of the award-winning spa. With over a decade of valuable industry experience, Mayo will contribute her management skills and creative expertise to oversee all operational aspects of the spa and boutique shop. Letting nature guide the nourishment of both body and spirit, the acclaimed Spa at Bardessono creates an environment that celebrates natural beauty. The seasonally-driven spa menu features rotating treatments and essential oils that target the needs of the season. “I’m thrilled to work with a team where eco-friendly practices and an appreciation for natural resources are integral to the spa’s philosophy,” Mayo says. “We have planned some beautiful program enhancements that will appeal to both hotel guests and day visitors.”
LAS VEGAS—The Sustainable Green Printing Partnership (SGP) announced that Vice President of Sustainability for Las Vegas Sands Corp. Katarina Tesarova will serve as the keynote speaker for its upcoming 2016 Printing Industry Sustainability Conference, which will be held at the Renaissance Las Vegas Hotel on September 13. As Vice President of Sustainability, Tesarova has developed and implemented a comprehensive sustainability strategy designed to measurably reduce Las Vegas Sands’ impact on the environment. The organization’s award-winning sustainability program lends expertise, manpower, and knowledge to environmental efforts worldwide, which makes Tesarova an ideal fit to speak to an exclusive conference of printers and leading brands dedicated to pushing the envelope of efficiency.
CHIANG RAI, THAILAND—John Roberts may be the only person on the planet to work for a resort company and have the word “elephant” in his title. When your company has resorts in areas where elephants either roam free in the wild or captive in city streets, it is easier to understand the need for a Director of Elephants & Conservation Activities. For Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas, having someone dedicated to elephant protection aligns with its goal of creating luxury travel experiences that also benefit the local communities where each hotel and resort are located. Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas is a brand of Minor International. Minor International is the largest single donor of the Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation. Roberts has long had an interest in elephants, having seen his first one in the wild in 1999 in Nepal. Since that time he has come to understand the highly complex state of the elephant in Asia—there are more than 4,000 non-wild elephants in Thailand, for example.
NORWALK, CONN.—Russ Rogg, President and CEO of Metroflor Corp., along with Harlan Stone, Halstead and Group CEO, announced the appointment of Rochelle Routman, LEED AP, O+M, as the first Chief Sustainability Officer for Metroflor and Halstead International. Routman will oversee product development, customer service and regulatory aspects in a collaborative fashion to define the greatest potential for environmental leadership. She will be based at the company’s Calhoun, Ga. campus. Rochelle brings over 30 years’ experience as a sustainability and environmental professional. At Lockheed Martin Aeronautical Systems, where she served as Pollution Prevention and Environmental Safety Coordinator in the 1990s, she established a “green team” to focus on addressing environmental issues through proactive program initiatives rather than mere regulatory compliance: the precursor of what we now call sustainability.
ATLANTA—It is no coincidence that big projects and accolades seem to gravitate toward Wes Shirley. The Director of Engineering at the Grand Hyatt Atlanta in Buckhead is always looking for something new to elevate the guest experience, cut costs and reduce environmental impact at the same time. Shirley, who fell in love with building and operating buildings at an early age, has been the driver behind projects such as a 50,000-gallon rainwater harvesting system and a 20-panel solar thermal system. This past week he accepted an award for the hotel as part of the Atlanta Better Buildings Challenge. Participants in the Challenge pledge to reduce energy and water consumption by 20 percent by 2020. As Director of Engineering at the 439-room hotel, Shirley oversees a team of 12 engineers. He and the hotel’s controller act as coaches of the green team which consists of one manager from every department.
PORTLAND, ORE.—Scott Lipscomb is always trash talking. It is his job, literally, as Environmental Coordinator at McMenamins in Portland, Ore. If there is something that can be donated or recycled, it is Lipscomb’s job to make it happen. McMenamins has provided Lipscomb with many challenges since he began working for the company in December 1992. Then, McMenamins had just 12 locations. Today it has 70 pubs and restaurants, 25 breweries, two distilleries, a winery, and 10 hotels. “I started as a regular pubster,” Lipscomb says. “After a couple of years the person handling the recycling program for our company was leaving. I have always been a proponent of recycling so I applied and got the position (recycling coordinator). In the beginning I would work 20 to 25 hours a week picking up recycling at the locations in the Portland area and our beer truck would bring back recyclables that were not recycled locally. I would then recycle those materials here in Portland at several different recycling centers. As the company grew we changed my job title to Environmental Coordinator.”
BRIDGETOWN, BARBADOS—The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) has appointed Dominican native Amanda Charles as Sustainable Tourism Specialist. Charles will coordinate and implement the CTO’s sustainable tourism program aimed at enhancing the development, growth, quality, competitiveness and sustainability of Caribbean tourism. Charles is a tourism professional with several years of experience, having worked most recently as the adviser to the Directorate of Sustainable Tourism at the Association of Caribbean States (ACS) in Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago, a position she held for five years. While there Charles coordinated the directorate’s sustainable tourism program and managed the financial, technical and logistical aspects of the directorate’s projects and activities. She also worked as a Tourism Specialist Consultant at the Organization of American States (OAS) Department of Economic Development, Trade and Tourism in Washington, D.C. and as a Project Consultant at the OAS Department of Sustainable Development. A CTO Foundation scholarship winner in 2006 and 2007, Charles is a graduate of George Washington University in Washington, D.C.