HOSPITALITY PEOPLE IN THE NEWS

Former Coca-Cola and Procter & Gamble executive Javier Benito joined Starwood Hotels & Resorts as executive vice president and chief marketing officer. In other Starwood news, Scott Duff was appointed senior director of development in Canada.

J. Richard Keegan joined GuestHouse International Franchise Systems as director of franchise development for the southeast region. He had been chief development officer of a multi-state hotel development and management company.

The management team is in place at the Le Meridien in Sunny Beach Isles, FL: Mark Francis Osborne, general manager; Barbara Piagari, director of sales and marketing; Karen Meno, director of human resources; and Karyn O'Connell, hotel manager. The 210-unit all-suites resort opens this summer.

US Franchise Systems President Mike Leven will receive the Total Quality Franchising Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Association of Franchisees & Dealers. AAFD will also recognize USFS as Franchisor of the Year. The awards will be presented this month at the association's annual conference.

New director of catering and conference services at the Ritz-Carlton Huntington Hotel & Spa in Pasadena, CA is Eric Czerlonka. He joins the property from the Ritz-Carltons in Boston.

ResortQuest appointed Ray Lewis as senior vice president of marketing and distribution. He had been managing principal of JRL Associates, a business advisory group.

Kimberly Schaefer was promoted to chief operating officer of Great Wolf Resorts. She had been chief brand officer. The company also announced that Craig Stark, president, and Eric Lund, executive vice president of sales & marketing, resigned from the company.

New general manager and director of sales at the Days Inn Hotel in Claremore, OK is Debby Blair. Most recently, she was GM and director of sales at the Lexington Suites Hotel in Tulsa, OK.

Interstate Hotels & Resorts promoted Paul Burke to president of hotel operations. He had been executive VP of operations for the manager of more than 300 lodging properties.

Marriott International recently announced its GM of the Year award winners. Among the recipients: Kristine Gagliardi, San Francisco Marriott; Todd Plouffe, The Del Monte Lodge, a Renaissance Hotel, Rochester, NY; Ken Schwartz, Renaissance Hollywood (CA) Hotel; Keith McNeil, Courtyard New York Manhattan/Midtown East; Bruce Wallace, Residence Inn, Fort Collins, CO; Matt Crall, SpringHill Suites Atlanta Buford/Mall of Georgia; Michael Langlais, TownePlace Suites, Burlington Williston, VT; and Catherine Brown, Fairfield Inn & Suites, Sarasota Lakewood Ranch, FL.

Richard Senechal joined Loews Hotels as senior vice president of facilities. He had been senior VP, design and construction for Wyndham Hotels.

New general manager of The Chattanoogan in Chattanooga, TN is Scott Spann. Most recently, he was a partner with Metropolitan Services Group, a Scottsdale, AZ-based healthcare services firm that provides hospitality services to healthcare facilities.

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