PEOPLE IN THE NEWS

Hostmark Hospitality Group recently honored properties and associates for outstanding achievement in the past year. Among the winners were Tony Miu, Holiday Inn Mart Plaza, Chicago, General Manager of the Year-Full Service; and Jeff Arthur, Inn at Saint Mary's, South Bend, IN, General Manager of the Year-Select Service.

Benchmark Hospitality named Michael Taylor as opening general manager of The Heldrich, a conference center, hotel and spa under construction in New Brunswick, NJ. The $110-million property opens next March.

Gregory Smith was named chief financial officer and chief administrative officer of Cleveland-based Boykin Management Co. Smith returns to Boykin after 18 years with Interstate Hotels, where most recently he was vice president of international finance and regional director of finance.

Keith Poehlman joined Hersha Hospitality Management as vice president and corporate controller. He previously held a similar position with Starr Restaurant Organization.

In an unprecedented honor, Matt Crall was named General Manager of the Year for 2005 at Marriott's GM conference in San Diego. It was the second year in a row that Crall, the GM of Sivica Hospitality's SpringHill Suites-Mall of Georgia hotel, won the award.

Great Wolf Resorts promoted Melissa Wheeler to brand vice president. Developer of the company's standard operating procedure manual, Wheeler is in charge of brand standards at Great Wolf Lodge and Blue Harbor Resort & Conference Center.

Ameesh Patel was named vice president of development and acquisitions for Edge Resorts, developer of the W Las Vegas Hotel, Casino and Residences with Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide.

Rick Lohr was named general manager of The Lexington at Orlando CityPlace. He comes to downtown Orlando's new downtown luxury business hotel from Morritt Properties Group on Grand Cayman Islands, where he was director of resort operations.

Cornell Hotel School Professor Cathy A. Enz has been appointed associate dean for Industry Research and Affairs. Enz, who has been with the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration for 16 years, is the Lewis G. Schaeneman Jr. Professor of Innovation and Dynamic Management.;

Greg Wolkom joined Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants as its new chief financial officer. He comes to Kimpton from Banc of America, where he was managing director of corporate finance and global head of the lodging and leisure group. Kimpton also tapped Holly Houston as its new vice president of communications and brand. She has held executive positions at the Ms. Foundation for Women, Bausch & Lomb and AT&T.

InterContinental Hotels Group named Michael Hoe-Knudsen general manager of the 524-unit Holiday Inn SunSpree Resort in Montego Bay, Jamaica. The Cornell Hotel School graduate has held positions with IHG hotels in Frankfurt, New York, San Francisco, Miami, Rio and Caracas.

Lillian Garzon was named regional sales director for Miami-based Desires Hotels, the boutique hotel division of Tecton Hospitality.

The new general manager of the Founders Inn in Virginia Beach, VA is Ellen Ruane-Johnson. She comes to the Benchmark Hospitality International property from Benchmark's four-diamond North Maple Inn in Basking Ridge, NJ.

Greg Schahet, chief operating officer of Schahet Hotels in Indianapolis, is the new chairman of INN-PAC, the political action committee of InterContinental Hotel Group's owners association, the International Association of Holidays Inns, or IAHI.

San Antonio hotelier Thomas D. Smith was honored with the Donald M. Pritzker Award for Excellence as Hyatt Hotels Corporation's General Manager of the Year for 2005. Smith is general manager of the Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa in downtown San Antonio.

Glyn Aeppel has joined Loews Hotels as executive vice president, acquisitions and development. The position, new for Loews, signals an aggressive effort to grow the brand beyond its current 18 properties. Aeppel joins Loews from Fairmont Hotels and Resorts.

John L. Segreti, a legend in the luxury hotel business, died of a pulmonary embolism Feb. 9. He was 52 and was managing director of the New York Palace Hotel, a property he took to new heights, according to former associates. An Astoria, Queens native, he spent 11 years as COO at Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts. Segreti became managing director of the New York Palace in 2003. Services were held Feb. 14 in Southampton, NY.

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