Former Vail Resorts Chairman & CEO Adam Aron joined the board of directors of Starwood Hotels & Resorts. Currently, Aron is chairman & CEO of World Leisure Partners.

Best Western named Tony DiRico to the newly created position of vice president of operations. The former Sunburst Hospitality and Choice Hotels executive oversees education and training, revenue management and quality assurance for Best Western.

Four Seasons Hotels promoted Kathleen Taylor to president & chief operating officer. She had been president of worldwide business operations. Also at Four Seasons, Wolf Hengst, president of worldwide hotel operations, will retire at the end of the year. Jim FitzGibbon will replace Hengst.

Robert Gartner has joined Northwest Hospitality Group in Vancouver, WA as director of acquisitions. Gartner also serves as principal and partner in Portland, OR-based Cypress Capital Management, a boutique real estate investment and advisory firm.

On July 1, Michael Johnson became the sixth dean of the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration. A specialist in customer information systems, Johnson was the D. Maynard Phelps Collegiate Professor of Business Administration and Professor of Marketing at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. He succeeds David Butler, who was dean for five years.

In other Cornell hotel school news, David Sherwyn was appointed academic director at the Center for Hospitality Research. A specialist in labor law, Sherwyn has taught at Cornell since 1997.

The new president of Hawaiian Hotels & Resorts is Gary Hogan. He oversees all hotel operations and development plans for the Royal Kona Resort on the Big Island of Hawaii and the Royal Lahaina Resort on Ka'anapali Beach, Maui.

Interstate Hotels & Resorts named Chris Van der Baars vice president, development, a new position for the management company. Van der Baars is a veteran of resort operations who joined Interstate in 2000. He will spearhead the company's condo-hotel efforts, beginning with the Interstate-managed Pinnacle Condominium Resort, a 1,100-unit project under development in Las Vegas. Interstate also named Larry Shupnick as senior vice president, development and acquisitions. He joins Interstate from MeriStar Hospitality Corp., where he held a similar position. William Stanton has been appointed managing director of the Fort Lauderdale area for LXR Luxury Resorts. He is responsible for LXR's Hyatt Regency Pier Sixty-Six Resort & Spa, the Bahia Mar Beach Resort & Yachting Center and the Fort Lauderdale Grand Hotel & Yacht Club.

Graham Wootten has been promoted to vice president and corporate controller, and Sean Dell'Orto has been promoted to vice president and treasurer at Highland Hospitality Corp., a lodging real estate investment trust. Both joined Highland in 2003.

Interstate Hotels & Resorts promoted Ted Knighton to president, hotel operations. The 16-year Interstate veteran was EVP operations-full service division.

Marshall Management added Benjamin N. Seidel and Patrick Welton to its senior management team. Seidel is executive vice president, Welton director of revenue.

Victor Barothy-Langer was named general manager of The US Grant-A Luxury Collection Hotel. The Starwood property in downtown San Diego is scheduled to reopen Nov. 1 following a $52-million renovation.

Carol D. Hian was named general manager of the nine-room Britt Scripps Inn, a nine-room luxury hotel near Balboa Park in San Diego.

Tim Miller returns as chief branding officer and Jennifer Nellany was named general counsel at Morgans Hotel Group, a boutique hotel operator. Miller was vice president of brand management and openings for Morgans until 2004, when he became founder and president of Alden Hotels.

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