Benchmark Hospitality International named Darren Law as general manager of Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort Curacao. He held the same position for The Regent Palms Resort and The Sands Resort of Turks and Caicos Islands in British West Indies. Most recently, Law was group general manager for Nofa Equestrian Resort in Riyadh, and before that he served at Amber Dune Resort & Spa in Dominican Republic. Law is a graduate of Southern Alberta Institute of Technology.
“It is with great pleasure that I formally welcome Darren to Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort,” said Todd Felsen, senior vice president of Benchmark Resorts & Hotels. “He comes to our property with important experience managing luxury resorts in remarkable destinations. Darren is a welcome addition to our leadership team in Curaçao.”
Sergio Bocci was hired as general manager of DoubleTree by Hilton San Diego Mission Valley. Bocci will oversee operations of the 300 room hotel. He brings with him three decades of hospitality experience with Hilton Worldwide hotels. Bocci most recently served as hotel manager of Hilton Aneheim, where he led a $13 million renovation. He has also worked at The Beverly Hilton, La Quinta Resort and Club, Waldorf Astoria Resorts and Hilton Los Cabos. While Bocci was executive assistant manager of Hilton Los Cabos, the hotel received the Connie Award for two consecutive years.
“Sergio not only brings his years of extensive operations experience, he also adds the attitude of our philosophy of creating a rewarding experience for our team members and guests alike,” says J Peter Lynn, regional general manager of Hilton Worldwide.
Trine Ackelman was named the new director of sales and marketing at The Westin South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, CA. Previously, she served as the director of sales and marketing at St. Regis New York and as the director of sales and marketing for Omni Berkshire Place. She has also been the complex director of group sales for W Hotels New York and the director of sales for Palace Hotel, Luxury Collection in San Francisco.
“We are delighted to welcome Trine aboard and know she will be a great asset to our hotel team,” said Mike Hall, general manager of The Westin. “Her experience will be invaluable to us in re-launching the Westin South Coast Plaza following our major renovation.”
Among her accolades, Ackelman was named “rising star” by San Francisco Hotel Council in 2004 and “sales leader of the year” by Starwood in 2007. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in communications and public relations at Hawaii Pacific University. She also attended Les Roches Hotel Management School in Switzerland. Ackelman is fluent in Swedish, English, Danish and German.
Chris White is the new area director of sales and marketing for Starwood Hotels & Resorts. White will oversee luxury properties along the coast of Southern California, including a multi-million dollar renovation of St. Regis Monarch Beach. He will also manage all sales, marketing and public relations for U.S Grant Hotel, W San Diego, Westin Gaslamp Quarter, Westin Mission Hills, Westin South Coast Plaza and Sheraton San Diego.
White previously served as director of marketing at Four Seasons Resort Hualalai and director of sales and marketing at St. Regis Princeville Resort in Kauai. Prior to that he held directorial and managerial roles in sales and marketing at Fairmont Chateau Whistler, Hyatt Regency Minneapolis, Hyatt Regency Calgary, Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa and at Hyatt Regency Vancouver. White graduated from University of Guelph, Ontario with a degree in marketing.
“Chris’ branding expertise in the hospitality industry, specifically with positioning and connecting to the luxury consumer, gives us an edge as we look ahead to the exciting renovations we are making at the resort,” said Ian Pullan, general manager at St. Regis Monarch Beach. “His experience developing teams with strong guest-oriented culture is sure to deliver growth and success for all the Starwood properties.”
Julie Sevilla has joined L.E. Hotels as its new global director or marketing. In her position, Sevilla will lead teams in their marketing and revenue generation strategies. She will also develop brand awareness, drive customer engagement and oversee strategic partnerships.
Before joining L.E. Hotels, Sevilla served as director of marketing for Island Spa Catalina, a Santa Catalina Island company. Prior to that, she was the associate director of marketing at Terranea Resort in Palos Verdes and marketing manager at The Vox Group.
“Julie has a proven track record for developing cohesive brand platforms for multiple hotel properties, restaurants and spas,” said L.E. Hotels Founder and Chairman, Efrem Harkham. “As the L.E. Hotel’s brand continues to grow, I am confident that she will make a valuable addition to the marketing team.”