People September 2013

Craig Norris-Jones has left his position as VP of operations at Coast Hotels & Resorts to become the new GM of the Pan Pacific Hotel Vancouver and many more changes in the hospitality and accommodations industry.


Craig Norris-Jones has left his position as vice-president of operations at Coast Hotels & Resorts to become the new general manger of the Pan Pacific Hotel Vancouver. Norris-Jones spent more than 25 years with Coast Hotels & Resorts. He helped expand the company into Western Canada and the U.S. He’s also been the regional GM for Coast properties in British Columbia as well as GM of the Coast Plaza Hotel & Suites in Vancouver.

Jacques-Alexandre Paquet is now general manager of Hôtel Le Germain Montréal. He has been a trusted member of the team for several years having gained experience within different departments at ALT Hôtel Québec City, Hôtel Le Germain-Dominion and at the corporate office in Montréal as part of the marketing team.

Kris Crundwell is now vice president sales at Trade Centre Limited, Halifax, responsible for the World Trade and Convention Centre (WTCC). He comes to the Trade Centre from Pacrim Hospitality where he was vice president sales and marketing for almost six year. Prior to that he was director of global sales for InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG).

Pradeep Batra was recently appointed executive chef at The Westin Prince Hotel in Toronto. Batra has more than 19 years of culinary management experience in Canada, the U.S. and international markets. He also has significant experience with the Starwood and Westin brands, having served as the executive chef at The Westin Waltham-Boston for the past seven years and leading culinary teams as executive chef at the Sheraton Suites Eau Claire-Calgary. At The Westin Calgary, he worked under the chef Fred Zimmerman.

Leslie Steh is the new executive pastry chef of the Chocolate Lab at the Stock Restaurant Bar & Lounge at the Trump International Hotel & Tower Toronto. The Cordon Bleu-trained chef opened Toronto’s Petit Four Bakery in 2007 and has worked at a number of French bakeries in the city, including Ma Maison and Senses at the SoHo Metropolitan Hotel.

Choice Hotels Canada has hired Mike Bobbitt as director, distribution and revenue. The distribution and revenue department is newly created as part of an internal restructure, which includes a merger with the sales department. Bobbitt has more than 26 years of hospitality experience working as vice president of operations at Westmont Hospitality Group, general manager of sales and catering at World Trade and Convention Centre and regional director of sales and marketing at Atlific Hotels. Most recently, he was COO at Royal Host Hotels, which is the master franchisor for Travelodge in Canada.

Laura Pallotta has been promoted to executive director, sales, Delta Hotels & Resorts. Pallotta is a seasoned sales professional with over 21 years of hotel experience, 10 of which were spent in rapidly progressive leadership positions at Delta. This includes her most recent role as corporate director of sales where Pallotta provided strategic support for sales distribution and partnerships and oversaw the national sales team. 

Jagdish Nair has been appointed as project director, design and construction at Delta. In this role, Nair is responsible for the successful delivery of all projects within Delta’s owned assets. Nair was most recently senior project manager at CB Richard Ellis Limited where he managed a large portfolio of capital projects. Nair has extensive international experience having managed both hospitality and commercial projects in Dubai, the Middle East and India.

Liana Guiry has been named director of marketing. She was most recently the vice president, marketing at the Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation where she oversaw all marketing and research initiatives across its domestic and global markets. Guiry also worked as director, customer development for American Express where she successfully grew new business volume in partnership with sales teams.

Sandy Indig, who was director of public relations at Delta Hotels & Resorts, has started the next chapter of her career as corporate communications manager at Lowe’s Companies Canada.

A champion of the Ottawa Valley tourism industry has passed away. Marilyn Alexander died suddenly last month. She was general manager of the Comfort Inn in Pembroke and a director and past president of the Ottawa Valley Tourist Association. In an article in Pembroke Today,  OVTA communications coordinator Lauren McIllfaterick described her as engaged and enthusiastic. She noted that Alexander reached out to other tourism operators and saw the value of working together instead of competing against each other.

Tim Tindle is now vice president, operations for Atlific Hotels. He has over 20 years’ experience in the hotel industry, most recently as general manager, Pan Pacific Hotel Vancouver. His distinguished career throughout British Columbia, Fort McMurray and Toronto, includes local, national and international markets with Pan Pacific, Marriott International, Westin and New World Hotels. His role will see him focus on Atlific’s over 25 hotels across British Columbia and Alberta.

Melissa Kenney is the national director of marketing for Atlific Hotels. In this role, she leads the marketing efforts for the company’s 55 hotels across Canada. Kenney joins the company after eight years with Realstar Hospitality where she was senior director, marketing, responsible for three brands in Canada. Prior to that, she was manager, corporate communications for Choice Hotels Canada for five years.

The Hotel Omni Mont-Royal, a newly-renovated luxury four-star hotel located in the heart of downtown Montreal, is pleased to announce two strategic additions to its leadership team with the appointment of Monica Orr as director of sales and marketing and the promotion of Naguib Orfali to catering director. In her role at the Omni, Orr will be responsible for developing and leading the hotel’s new marketing and communications strategy. She will supervise a staff of 12 sales and marketing professionals. As catering director, Orfali will leverage his expertise to serve the hotel’s clients in the planning of their special events, corporate meetings, weddings and other occasions.

James Rilett is the new vice-president, Ontario of the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association (CRFA). Rilett took over on Aug. 13 from Stephanie Jones, who resigned to relocate to the West Coast, according to a release.  Rilett was former chief of staff to several Ontario ministers, and also managed stakeholder relations for the premier’s office. Recently, he was vice-president at government relations consulting firm Pathway Group.

Marina Shcherbina has joined OTEC as its new director, learning and development. Shcherbina has over 10 years of training, facilitation, learning and development experience from a variety of organizations, including Deloitte, Loblaw Companies Limited and Fifth P Solutions. She holds a Masters of Education from the University of Toronto with a special focus in Workplace Learning & Change and a Bachelor of Arts in Education Psychology from Novgorod State University in Russia. At OTEC, Marina will lead the learning & development team and spearhead many projects, including the creation of OTEC’s new Service Excellence web-based learning program.

Jasmin Kobajica has left his position as director of food and beverage and executive chef at the Algonquin Hotel & Resort in St. Andrews By-the-Sea, NB.