10 Smart Moves in Nashville, San Antonio and London

Smart Moves

Joshua Schaeffer and Shane Fortner

Schaeffer is director of experience and Fortner is director of sales for Virgin Hotels Nashville in Tennessee.

Before joining Virgin Nashville, Schaeffer worked in directorial positions, such as director of guest services, guest relations manager and director of operations, at San Ysidro Ranch in Santa Barbara, California; Sorrel River Ranch Resort and Spa in Moab, Utah; The Hermitage Hotel in Nashville; Hyatt Greenville in South Carolina; and South Seas Island Resort in Captiva Island, Florida.

Fortner previously worked as area sales manager for Loews Hotels in Nashville. He has also worked as senior sales manager for Hilton Nashville Downtown and Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, also in Nashville.

Gary Murakami, GTP, GLP, CMP, CMM, DES

Murakami is vice president of sales and industry relations for Teneo Hospitality Group. Murakami previously worked as director of global sales for MGM Resorts International. He has also worked with The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts and Hyatt Hotels & Resorts. Murakami serves on PCMA Foundation Board of Trustees and is a former chapter president of PCMA Northern CA Chapter.

Jennifer Sharpe

Sharpe is senior catering sales manager and wedding planner for Walt Disney World Dolphin Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. This marks a return to this property for Sharpe after having leading positions with Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, JW Marriott, and Wonderful Weddings and Events. Sharpe has received numerous accolades, including Walt Disney World Dolphin Resort Manager of the Quarter and Starwood Top Sales Award.

Samuel Thomas and Chinyere Hubbard

Thomas has been promoted to chief operating officer and Hubbard has been promoted to senior vice president of communications and marketing for Events DC.

Thomas was senior vice president and general manager for Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. He has also worked with Aramark as resident district manager of food service for Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans and, later, general manager of food service for Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia and Greater Columbus Convention Center in Ohio.

Hubbard previously worked as vice president of communications and marketing for Events DC. She serves on the boards of National Cherry Blossom Festival, DC History Center, Cultural Tourism DC and DC Commission of Nightlife and Culture.

Mishaal Eid

Eid is hotel manager for The Franklin London-Starhotels Collezione. Eid comes from Flemings Mayfair in London, where he worked as rooms division manager. He was also on the opening team for JW Marriott Marquis Dubai. Eid is an active member of AICR International, an association for deputy managers and front office managers at luxury hotels.

Heather Matusiak, DMCP

Matusiak is regional vice president of corporate event planner PRA, focusing on Southern California and Las Vegas. Previously, Matusiak was vice president of sales for Hosts Global. She has also worked with Destination Concepts as manager of business development and as a freelance event manager for Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Lance Wheeler and Mario Bass

Wheeler becomes director of corporate business development for Visit San Antonio in August and Bass is the CVB’s chief sales officer.

Most recently, Wheeler worked with Choose Chicago, where he led corporate convention business development. In 2019, Wheeler was awarded the Sales Leadership Award by Choose Chicago.

This represents a promotion for Bass, who previously served as vice president of destination sales and experience. Before joining Visit San Antonio, Bass was director of sales and marketing for JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa and director of sales and marketing for Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center in Grapevine, Texas.

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