Hospitality People in the News

Ross Klein and Amar Laivani left Starwood Hotels and Resorts to join Hilton Hotels Corp. as, respectively, global head of luxury & lifestyle brands and global head of luxury & lifestyle brand development. Klein was president of the luxury brand group at Starwood, Laivani SVP development of that group and global head of W development. In related Hilton news, Phil Cordell was promoted from SVP brand management-Hampton to global head of focused-service brands and William Fortier adds managed businesses to his duties as SVP development, Americas. He was SVP franchise development, Americas.

Robert Burg was promoted to executive vice president and chief operating officer of Aimbridge Hospitality. He was senior VP of operations.

Danny Watts was named general manager of the Waterfront Palace Hotel in Morgantown, WV. He runs the 205-room hotel on behalf of Marshall Management and owner Mermaid, LLC. He joins the Waterfront from the Stonewall Resort in Roanoke, VA.

Michael Barniello succeeds Jon Bortz as chief executive officer of LaSalle Hotel Properties. Bortz will continue as board chairman. Former COO Barniello also was named president of LaSalle.

Jeff Zidell was appointed vice president, Gold Passport, at Hyatt Hotels & Resorts. He joins that global frequent guest program from Google, where he was regional manager, media solutions in Dallas. He reports to Tom O'Toole, chief marketing officer, Global Hyatt Corp.

Joie de Vivre realigned its executive team in anticipation of a major expansion throughout southern California, where it plans to double its 35 hotels by the end of 2008. Leading the effort: Ingrid Summerfield, former senior vice president of new hotel operations, who rejoins JdV as executive vice president and chief operating officer. Fred DeStefano has been named EVP for southern California, while Karlene Hollman, SVP of operations, will be in charge of northern California. Christian Strobel, former SVP of development and real estate, was promoted to chief development officer.

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