Chris Jennings

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Jennings is general manager at The Lake House on Canandaigua in New York. He most recently worked as director of operations for JW Marriott Nashville, where he played a large part in its opening in 2018. Throughout his hospitality career, he also worked in directorial roles at The Don Cesar in St. Pete Beach, Florida, and The St. Regis Princeville Resort in Kauai, Hawaii.

Amanda Rodriguez

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Miami’s Kimpton Surfcomber Hotel named Rodriguez director of sales and marketing. Rodriguez comes from The Stand Miami, where she most recently worked as director of sales and catering. She also worked at the front desk of The Delano in South Beach, Florida while attending Florida International University

Juliana Liew

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Liew is general manager at Fusion Suites Vung Tau in Vietnam. Liew most recently worked as general manager at Fusion Suites Saigon. Before joining Fusion Hotel Group, Liew worked as resort manager for Cassia Cottage Phu Quoc in Vietnam.

Taylor Abbate, CMP, DES, HMCC

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Abbate is director of national sales for CSI DMC. Abbate comes from Bishop-McCann, where she worked as attendee experience manager. She also worked as a meeting planner for American Public Works Association in Kansas City, Missouri. Abbate is an active member of MPI and PCMA, and also served as membership chair, Emerging Leaders co-chair and sat on the board of director of the PCMA Heartland Chapter.

Dawn Spann

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Spann is director of spa for The Charleston Place in South Carolina. Spann previously worked at Wild Dunes Resort in Isle of Palms, South Carolina, as director of spa and wellness. She has more than two decades of experience in the spa and wellness industry, which includes developing spa and wellness programs and concepts at Mii Amo in Sedona, Arizona, The Spa at Cliff House Resort in Cape Neddick, Maine and Suncadia Resort in Cle Elum, Washington, where she spent nearly 10 years.

Christopher Roden

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Roden is senior public events manager for Will Rogers Memorial Center in Fort Worth, Texas. This promotion follows his previous position at the complex as events trust fund program coordinator. He joined Will Rogers Memorial Center in 2014 as an entry-level service attendant.

Karleen Johnson

Johnson is director of sales for TradeWinds Island Resorts in St. Pete Beach, Florida. She most recently worked as assistant director of sales for the resort complex, during which she was named TradeWinds Sales Manager of the Year four times. Johnson began her career with TradeWinds 22 year ago as catering sales and convention services manager.

Elvira Velez and Rob DeCanter

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Elvira Velez (left) and Rob DeCanter (right)

Velez is director of catering and conference services and DeCanter is senior director of group sales for Fairmont Dallas.

Velez most recently worked as regional director of catering and conference services for Remington Hotels. She has also worked as director of event planning at W Dallas Victory Park, task force senior manager at San Francisco Marriott Union Square, and senior groups and conventions manager and group auditor at Gran Melia Puerto Rico in Ponce.

DeCanter previously worked as the property’s director of group sales. Before joining Fairmont Dallas, DeCanter worked as group sales manager at Fairmont Newport Beach and senior sales manager at Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort, both in California.

Mike Kass

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Highgate has named Kass area managing director for the Hawaii region, where he will serve as general manager at ‘Alohilani Resort Waikiki Beach and will support operations at Royal Lahaina Resort & Bungalows. Kass most recently worked at The Westin Maui Resort & Spa as general manager. He also worked as general manager for San Francisco Marriott Marquis, as well as held management positions with The Ritz-Carlton Maui Kapalua in Hawaii and Dover Mountain Resort in Tucson, Arizona.

Shane Nicolopoulos

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Nicolopoulos is general manager at Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Golf Resort, Spa and Marina in Cambridge, Maryland. Nicolopoulos comes from Portland, Oregon, where he worked as general manager for Hyatt Regency Portland. He has also held leading positions at Andaz San Diego, Hyatt Regency Scottsdale in Arizona, Hyatt Regency Albuquerque in New Mexico and Hyatt Regency Orange County in Garden Grove, California.