Latest Staff Appointments News...
Marcus® Hotels & Resorts Names Susan Madsen General Manager of the Cornhusker, a Marriott Hotel, in Lincoln, Neb.
May 18, 2015
Marcus® Hotels & Resorts, a division of The Marcus Corporation (NYSE: MCS), announced Nebraska native Susan Madsen has been appointed general manager of The Cornhusker, A Marriott Hotel in Lincoln, Neb. Madsen brings her extensive hospitality experience and a longtime career with Marriott hotels to Lincoln’s newly renovated premier property.
Madsen joins Marcus Hotels & Resorts from the Embassy Suites Omaha Downtown/Old Market, where she served as general manager since 2008. Prior to her position in Omaha, she served as general manager of the Kansas City Airport Marriott Hotel in Kansas City, Mo. Prior to her general manager roles, Madsen served as director of operations for the Minneapolis Marriott City Center. She has also served in various human resources and sales roles for Marriott International and served as regional manager of sales and marketing at the Marriott Worldwide Reservation Center.
“Susan’s extensive background in management and human resources will be a valuable asset to The Cornhusker hotel. Susan’s business and community relationships in Nebraska make her a great fit for overseeing one of the state’s most prominent hotels. She will be a welcome addition to the Lincoln community and our hotel management team,” said Joseph Khairallah, chief operating officer of Marcus Hotels & Resorts.
Madsen has held many leadership positions in the following organizations: Greater Kansas City Hotel Lodging Association, SKAL International, Metropolitan Hospitality Association, Nebraska Hotel Motel Association, Old Market Business Association Board Member (Omaha) and Omaha Public School Career Advisory Board.
Marcus Hotels & Resorts and its subsidiary, MCS Capital, acquired The Cornhusker hotel in September 2012 as part of a joint venture with a fund affiliate of LEM Capital of Philadelphia. Marcus Hotels & Resorts is the majority owner.
Hyatt Centric The Loop Chicago Makes Key Staff Appointments
May 12, 2015
Hyatt Centric The Loop Chicago, the first hotel to open under Hyatt’s new Hyatt Centric lifestyle brand aimed at modern explorers, has hired Daniel Lewellin as director of sales and Livia Barker as human resources manager. Karen McGuigan, general manager of Hyatt Centric the Loop Chicago, made the announcement.
In focusing on corporate, entertainment, sports, tour and travel markets, Lewellin has progressively advanced his career through a series of sales management positions at high-volume, full-service hotels locally. He most recently served as a senior sales manager at the Wyndham Grand Chicago Riverfront.
Barker also possesses a strong Chicago-based hospitality background with more than ten years of experience in employee and labor relations, performance management and HR policies and procedures for hotels including Chicago’s Essex Inn, Hotel Arista, The Renaissance Blackstone Hotel and Westin Chicago Northwest.
“The new Hyatt Centric brand is all about giving guests an authentic local experience, so it is critical that our leadership team is composed of enthusiastic, knowledgeable Chicago insiders,” said McGuigan. “As savvy hospitality professionals with extensive experience in our local market, Daniel and Livia have already been critical in bringing this unique new property to life.”
Hyatt Centric The Loop Chicago, a 22-story property built in 1927, has undergone a transformative renovation from an office building to an iconic new hotel with 257 contemporary guest rooms, 2,500 square feet of meeting space, a 24-hour fitness center, a new signature French restaurant Cochon Volant Bakery Brasserie and Bar and a soon-to-open rooftop bar, AIRE, all while maintaining the integrity of the building’s roots. Conveniently located at 100 W. Monroe, the hotel puts guests at the heart of the adventure in the city’s financial district.
Hyatt Centric The Loop Chicago is owned by Integrated Clark Monroe, LLC and operated by Interstate Hotels & Resorts (www.interstatehotels.com), the leading U.S.-based global hotel management company.
Rekoske Named New CVB Director
May 4, 2015
Rick Rekoske, Bel Aire, has been named the new director of the Hays Convention and Visitors Bureau after a nationwide search. He will begin his duties May 26.
“I’m very excited,” Rekoske said.
When he arrives here, he plans to work together with existing employees to see what marketing strategies are already in place.
Rekoske would also like to reach out to the community to see what they would like to see happen and partner with as many good organizations as possible to figure out the way they would like to see the city go.
“There’s going to be a lot of good opportunities for us to tackle together,” the new director said. “Not just one person can do the whole thing. I think there is going to be a multitude of people coming together to make the dreams of the community come true.”
Read the full article, courtesy The Hays Daily News.
JW Marriott Chicago Names Vik Khokhar as New Director of Event Planning
May 1, 2015
The JW Marriott Chicago (151 W. Adams St.) announces that Vik Khokhar joins the landmark, luxury hotel as director of event planning. He brings a wealth of hospitality industry and experiential event knowledge to the hotel’s team.
Khokhar has spent the last four years at the Dolce Hotels and Resorts, now part of Wyndham Hotel Group, where he started as the director of operations for the historic Seaview Golf Resort in New Jersey. In a short time, he was promoted to an assistant general manager, where he was a valuable contributor in redefining the brand. Additionally, Khokhar worked to establish standards for inspiring meetings and special events. Before his work with Dolce Hotels and Resorts, he also worked at other hotel properties, including The Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee, Ballantyne Resort in Charlotte and The Ritz-Carlton Hotel in St. Louis.
With a passion for events and creating luxurious guest experiences, Vik joins the JW Marriott Chicago team to set the stage for both corporate events and weddings in the hotel’s 44,000 square feet of premier event space.
“The JW Marriott Chicago already sets a standard for excellence and superior luxury service for events,” Vik Khokhar says. “As I start my new role with the hotel, I hope to challenge my team to think creatively and develop personalized, new experiences for our guests. I strive every day to showcase my passion for event hospitality through service excellence, quality and innovation.”
JW Marriott Chicago has a variety of event spaces including an 8,000 square foot Grand Ballroom, the 6,000 square foot Burnham Ballroom, and over 36 meeting break-out rooms.
metroConnections Welcomes New Manager of Attend-eTrack Services
April 30, 2015
metroConnections, Inc. – an award-winning conference, event, stage production and transportation services firm – has announced Miranda Ruzich as their new manager of Attend-eTrack services.
With almost a decade of event and conference management experience, Ruzich brings expertise in trade show management and years of experience in client management to this new role. Miranda will be responsible for managing the company’s Attend-eTrack solution, which includes facilitating client needs ahead of an event and executing the Attend-eTrack solution on-site for her clients.
Ruzich holds a bachelor degree in Mass Communication and Advertising, including a minor in Training and Development from the Winona State University.
“Miranda’s background in trade show, conference and event management led us to select her as the newest member of the Attend-eTrack team,” said Tom McCulloch, metroConnections vice president, “In this position, Miranda will provide our clients with exceptional service when using our attendee scanning software and support them throughout their conference lifecycle.”
Vicki Poplin Named Director of Sales and Marketing for Chicago Athletic Association Hotel
April 23, 2015
The Chicago Athletic Association hotel, slated to open in spring 2015, is pleased to announce the appointment of Vicki Poplin as Director of Sales and Marketing. Poplin will be responsible for all sales and marketing initiatives for the 241-room luxury lifestyle hotel; her deep understanding of the hotel industry in Chicago, and the needs and attitudes of guests that frequent the area will propel the Chicago Athletic Association hotel to the top of its class.
“I am incredibly grateful to be a part of the rebirth of the Chicago Athletic Association,” said Vicki Poplin, Director of Sales and Marketing. “The storied building has long captivated the Chicago community, and I’m certain our guests will be enthralled by the one-of-a-kind experiences the Chicago Athletic Association will deliver.”
As a resident of Chicago for the past 13 years, Poplin has held prominent positions in the city, such as Regional Director of Sales and Marketing for Denihan Hospitality, and Director of Sales and Marketing for W Chicago. Under her sales leadership, W Chicago was awarded “Best EBITDA Growth” for all Starwood hotels in North America and “Best Transient Team” for the Midwest/Canada region.
As a direct result of her effective leadership skills and sales strengths, Poplin was promoted to Complex Director of Sales at W Hotels of Chicago where she oversaw the sales and management efforts for both W Lakeshore and W City Center hotels, far exceeding annual booking and revenue goals. After two years transforming the sales team of W Hotels of Chicago, leading the team to exceptional levels of service, Poplin was selected to become the Director of Sales and Marketing for The James Chicago. While there, Poplin, who was an opening executive team member, developed the sales standards for the brand that are still in use today.
Prior to her relocation to Chicago, Poplin began her hospitality career with Omni Hotels and Resorts as the Sales Manager of Omni Royal Orleans. Following two promotions at the hotel – to Associate Director of Sales and Director of Sales and Marketing – she transitioned to the W Hotel New Orleans. While with W Hotels, Poplin successfully converted and opened two hotels simultaneously and repositioned them from mid-scale to upscale.
Poplin’s decorated career and proven track record of leading highly successful sales and marketing teams has led to her appointment at the Chicago Athletic Association hotel. In her newfound role, Poplin’s industry expertise will be integral in implementing strategic sales and marketing programs for the hotel.
“I have known Poplin for many years, and her knowledge of the hospitality industry and the Chicago market is unparalleled,” said Patrick Hatton, General Manager of the Chicago Athletic Association. “Her extensive accomplishments, exceptional reputation and local expertise made her the premier candidate for the Director of Sales and Marketing position at Chicago Athletic Association.”