Radisson — new CEO, conference and Canadian winners

By Colleen Isherwood, Editor

Jim Alderman, new Radisson CEO Americas.

LAS VEGAS — Last week Radisson Hotel Group announced it has a new chief executive officer for the Americas. Alderman will be based in the company’s U.S. headquarters in Minnetonka, Minn. and will be responsible for the corporate offices and more than 680 hotels in the company’s portfolio throughout the Americas. He will report to Federico J. González, chairman, Global Steering Committee for Radisson Hotel Group, as the representative of the company’s Board of Directors.

“Jim is a hospitality executive whose determination and ability to accomplish what he sets out to do is widely known throughout the industry,” said González. “He is aligned with our vision, supports our revitalized plans and I know he will be an inspirational leader to complement and guide our dedicated Americas teams, as we deliver on our strategic five-year plan and beyond.”

“As the COVID-19 pandemic evolves daily, Jim will immediately begin to provide guidance and support for addressing the needs of the business in the Americas while continuing to deploy appropriate resources to help maintain a healthy environment for our customers and team members,” added González.

Alderman most recently served as executive vice-president for Extended Stay Americas (ESA), where he started the company’s franchising group and transformed ESA from whole ownership to a thriving franchisor. He was responsible for its next-generation product through new construction and franchise sales, and asset management of existing real estate portfolio, as well as acquisitions/dispositions and future redevelopment.

Prior to joining ESA, Alderman held various senior leadership positions with Kimpton Hotels, Wyndham, Starwood Capital, IHG and Ernst & Young. With more than 34 years of experience in hospitality, Alderman has an extensive background in hotel and restaurant development, private equity fund investment, management contracts, franchises, public/private partnerships and investor relations. He has led global teams through both times of crisis and prosperity during his professional tenure dating back to 1986, and has been involved in the acquisition, development, joint venture and financing of more than $15 billion of hotel real estate projects globally.

Americas Business Conference Recap

Federico J. González, chairman, Global Steering Committee for Radisson Hotel Group.

At its Americas Business Conference in Las Vegas late last month, Radisson Hotel Group (RHG) announced that it had signed five hotels set to join its Americas portfolio including three Radisson RED hotels in top U.S. destinations — San Francisco Market Street, Los Angeles Arts District and Nashville Arts District. Other key signings include Radisson Hotel Long Island City, just outside Manhattan, and Radisson Hotel Raleigh-Durham Airport, the first new build prototype featuring the latest Radisson design.

“Over the past two years, our team has been working aggressively to grow our Americas portfolio, primarily in key gateway markets in the U.S.,” said Terry Sanders, chief development officer, Americas, Radisson Hotel Group. “These signings, many of them new-build hotels, from the Music City to the sunny West Coast, exemplify the commitment from our owners, who understand our vision and are helping us to expand these great brands across the Americas.”

The conference was upbeat, with González and Aly El-Bassuni, COO, Americas, Radisson Hotel Group, giving facts and figures that show the company is on track in the third year of its five-year plan. González said 2019 has been a transformative year for the company. The company expanded its global footprint, entering new destinations that it has looked at for some time.

As of December 2019, Radisson had more than 1,180 hotels with more than 180,000 rooms in operation around the world. It has another 270-plus hotels representing more than 46,000 rooms under development.

The company opened and signed 72 hotels representing 15,194 rooms in the Americas last year, the majority of which were Radisson and Country Inn & Suites brands. In Europe, the Middle East and Africa, the company opened and signed 78 hotels with 15,477 rooms, comprising mostly Radisson and Radisson Blu properties. In the Asia-Pacific region, the company opened and signed 39 hotels with 6,785 rooms, led by the Radisson and Park Inn by Radisson brand.

Canada night at Radisson Conference

Radisson Hotel Group announced it has a new CEO
Canadian night at the Radisson Americas Business Conference.

On the night of Tuesday, Feb. 25, at the Americas Business Conference, attendees from Canada and Latin America were invited to join Radisson Hotel Group leaders for region-specific dinners full of delicious food, festive music and great conversation. Radisson’s managed hotel owners also had a fantastic dinner of their own.

The Canadian dinner was planned by Radisson’s corporate meetings and events team that puts on our Americas Business Conference. Intello Technologies helped sponsor the dinner. Judd Wadholm (vice president, owner relations & operations, Americas, Radisson Hotel Group); Sarah Law (regional director for Canada, Radisson Hotel Group); and Aly El-Bassuni, hosted the dinner. There were 32 people who attended the dinner, including hotel owners, general managers, directors of sales, and management companies all from Radisson’s Canadian hotels. The dinner was held at Costa Di Mare at the Wynn Hotel. 

This is a dinner Radisson hosts every year at the Americas Business Conference for their Canadian attendees.

Canadian winners at the Conference

There were a number of Canadian winners at the Conference.

From left: Aly El-Bassuni – chief operating officer, Americas, Radisson Hotel Group; Nathalie Lalonde – Radisson Admiral Hotel Toronto-Harbourfront, general manager; Federico J. González – chairman, Global Steering Committee, Radisson Hotel Group; and Judd Wadholm – vice president, owner relations and operations, Americas, Radisson Hotel Group.

Nathalie Lalonde won General Manager of the Year. Nathalie is general manager at Radisson Admiral Hotel Toronto-Harbourfront (which is converting to Radisson Blu Toronto Downtown this spring.)

From left: Aly El-Bassuni, COO, Americas, Radisson Hotel Group; Wendy Harkness, front desk manager, Radisson Hotel Kitchener Waterloo; Federico J. González – Chairman, Global Steering Committee, Radisson Hotel Group; and Judd Wadholm, vice-president, owner relations and operations, Americas, Radisson Hotel Group.

Wendy Harkness won Employee of the Year. Wendy is the front desk manager at Radisson Hotel Kitchener Waterloo.

Park Inn by Radisson Toronto-Markham.

Park Inn by Radisson Toronto-Markham won the award for Radisson Rewards Highest Enroller.