PEOPLE update as of June 23, 2020

CLN’s most robust PEOPLE section in months! 

Red Lion Hotels Corporation (RLHC) has appointed John J. Russell, Jr. as its chief executive officer. Russell is an industry veteran with more than 40 years of hospitality experience and has been serving as RLHC’s interim CEO since Dec. 3, 2019. Prior to joining RLHC, Russell served as president and COO of Sentry Hospitality, a management company for hotels, resorts, conference centres and private-residence clubs. Throughout his career, he has also held roles with the Georgia Aquarium and Ocean Visions, Inc., as well as hospitality companies such as ITT Sheraton, Days Inn of America and Carlson Companies. Russell is also a past chairman of the American Hotel & Lodging Association and president of the Hospitality Sales Marketing Association International.

Charles Suddaby of Cushman & Wakefield will be retiring as of June 30th.  Suddaby established the Gaming and Hospitality VAS Group at Cushman & Wakefield 15 years ago and the group has grown to one of the largest such group in Canada.  He has developed many friendships over his 40 year career in the hospitality sector in Canada. Brian Flood who has co-led the group since joining Cushman & Wakefield in 2017 will continue to manage the Canadian Group along with Cindy Schoenauer in Vancouver and Vadess Johan in Toronto.  The group will continue to avail themselves of Suddaby’s knowledge and insights, particularly as they emerge from the impact of COVID-19.

“We consider Charles a friend, and know that many of you feel the same way and also share a lot of history with Charles. If you haven’t had a chance to congratulate Charles on this next chapter in his life, please do so, and hopefully we’ll find an opportunity in the near future to properly acknowledge his contributions to the Hospitality Industry,” said Brian Flood in an email announcing Charles’ retirement.

OTEC is pleased to announce that Joe Baker will be joining its team effective June 15 as Systems Leadership and Integrated Strategy Advisor. This newly created role was designed to support the OTEC senior team in their collaborative role in tourism and hospitality workforce recovery alongside our numerous industry and association partner organizations. 

“The unprecedented ripple-effect of COVID-19 through this sector has required us to take a comprehensive, responsive approach to provide pandemic recovery to hundreds of thousands of affected workers,” said Adam Morrison, President and CEO, OTEC – Workforce Innovation. “Joe’s industry and advocacy expertise will be a game-changer in terms of our ability to provide rapid response to this hard-hit sector. The work ahead will be critical to the sustained recovery of the tourism industry and the resilience of the tourism workforce.”

Joe brings 20 years of combined hospitality operations and tourism education leadership experience to OTEC. Most recently as Dean of Hospitality, Tourism and Culinary Arts at Centennial College, Joe transformed the School over the last six years, during which time enrollment more than doubled, solidifying its reputation as one of Canada’s premier destinations for tourism industry focused education.

Bruce Williams has taken the helm of the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce as its new chief executive. Williams, a former broadcaster and the interim chief executive officer of the South Island Prosperity Partnership, stepped into the role in June when Catherine Holt departed. “Bruce has proven himself as a highly capable leader in Greater Victoria. We’re delighted he’s agreed to take the helm at the chamber as we work to restart our economy after a very challenging time,” said board chair John Wilson. “Bruce is well known and trusted as someone who cares deeply about our community. He’s also had tremendous success connecting with people in business and government, which will be vital in his new role.” Williams is co-owner of the Spark Strategic Group and has served as a business executive with Bell Media and as a broadcast producer, on-air host and television anchor with the CTV television network.

Danica Boyd, formerly brand leader and vice president operations Wyndham Garden at Wyndham Hotels and Resorts has a new position as principal at DB Hart Hospitality Consuting. “I have made myself available as a consultant for the hospitality world. I’m currently working with the Castell Project on an exciting project and I can’t wait to announce a second project shortly that will have direct impact on COVID 19 Rapid Response in the hotel industry,” Boyd said in a post on LinkedIn. Boyd had worked with Wyndham since 2000, coming from Cendant which acquired rights to the Wyndham hotel brands in 2005. She started as as senior manager training and operations and franchise services management at Cendant, and rose through the ranks.

David Steinbach, formerly vice-president, regional development at Radisson Hotel Group, has joined Hospitality Advisory Associates, a leading hospitality advisory firm, based in Seattle, Wash. His territory at Radisson included the Pacific Northwest and Western Canada. Prior to his position at Radisson, Steinbach was chief hospitality officer for J&M Hospitality Group, national sales manager for Caesars Entertainment Corporation in San Francisco, and national sales manager for Parc 55 Hotel, also in San Francisco. Before that he was sales manager at Hilton San Francisco.

The University of Guelph and the Gordon S. Lang School of Business and Economics are excited to announce that Dr. Lysa Porth will become the new dean of the Lang School, which includes the School of Hospitality, Foodservice and Tourism Management, effective October 1st, 2020. Dr. Porth is an award-winning academic with an international reputation for excellence, innovation, and business leadership. She is currently the associate dean of strategic partnerships and administration in the Asper School of Business at the University of Manitoba and the director and department head of the Actuarial Science Department in the school’s Warren Centre for Actuarial Studies. Dr. Sara Mann, who was named interim dean last May, will continue in the position until Porth’s arrival.  Mann will continue in her role as associate dean (academic).

It is with great pleasure that FLOOR13 welcomes Grant MacDonald as the newest member of its team. FLOOR13, is a boutique Canadian consulting firm dedicated to bringing innovative solutions to traditional problem solving for the tourism and destination industry. MacDonald is one of Canada’s leading experts in sport tourism and major events. A trusted professional in sport tourism and major events planning, he has worked with host cities and venues, destination organizations and event rights holders across the country to develop strategy to grow businesses and communities, while helping to further advance Canada’s reputation for hosting events. MacDonald also works with host cities as the head of consulting for the Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance. 

Hugo Germain has been promoted to the position of vice-president of operations at Groupe Germain Hotels, based in Quebec City. He comes to that position from his 12 years as director of development at Groupe Germain, where he increased both ALT Hotels’ and Le Germain Hotels presence in key strategic markets across Canada. He also occupied various operational and project management roles at Germain Hotels. Before joining the family business in 2006, he worked at Krispy Kreme for three years on the Quebec provincial store opening team, and as off-premises sales and logistics manager. Groupe Germain currently has 10 ALT Hotels, seven Le Germain Hotels and one Escad Hotel.