Gary Spencer and Erika Kauffman

Smart Moves headshots of Gary Spencer and Erika Kauffman
Gary Spencer (left) and Erika Kauffman (right), Highgate

Real estate and hospitality management company Highgate expands its Hawaii leadership team with two new appointments.

Spencer is appointed as senior vice president of sales & marketing, luxury, lifestyle & Hawaii. He brings over 30 years of experience in sales, marketing and hospitality to his new role, in which he will oversee an integrated sales, marketing and communications strategy for Highgate’s Hawaii portfolio. In addition to spending 20 years at Evolution & Aimbridge Hospitality, he was also a co-founder and principal at Evolution Hospitality.

Kauffman takes on the role of regional director of communications. Acclaimed for her results-driven strategies, partnership maximization, performance excellence and sustainable portfolio growth, she will oversee Highgate Hawaii’s strategic communications, including partnerships with TableOne Hospitality. Prior to this role, Kauffman was the founder and president of EPR+, a 17-year independent marketing, communications and public relations consultancy.

Ashley Del Buono

Ashley Del Buono headshot
Ashley Del Buono, The Windsor Court

The Windsor Court announces Ashley Del Buono as sales manager. Most recently, she served as the events and sponsorships coordinator at the Terra Bella Institute, in which she managed the coordination, budgeting and implementation of various events. She will now be responsible for driving sales initiatives, creating and maintaining client relationships and promoting The Windsor Court as a premier destination.

Katie Kirkland

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Katie Kirkland, Chicken Ranch Casino Resort

Kirkland joins Chicken Ranch Casino Resort as group sales manager. She brings over 14 years of experience in the hospitality, tourism and sales industry and is known for her success in designing and implementing innovative campaigns. She looks forward to serving as part of Chicken Ranch Casino Resort’s summer 2024 opening team. Kirkland will work to shape the group’s sales strategies and establish meaningful connections within the community.

Anita Paic

Anita Paic
Ainta Paic, Vienna Tourist Board

Paic is named as the head of Vienna Tourist Board’s B2B management department. An expert in strategic marketing communication, she brings many years of international corporate experience. She has served in many global tourism management positions, including at FMTG Falkensteiner Michaeler Tourism Group, Sacher Hotels and Marriott International. She will head the Vienna Convention Bureau, which is responsible for the worldwide acquisition of congresses, corporate conferences and incentives in addition to providing support to meeting planners.

Andreas Heckmann

Smart Moves headshot of Andreas Heckmann
Andreas Heckmann, Cvent

Cvent appoints Heckmann as chief customer officer. He will lead Cvent’s global, 1,500+ person client services organization, focusing on customer experience and client satisfaction. He spent nearly 25 years at SAP, most recently serving as executive vice president of customer solution support & innovation, he led a global team of over 10,000 customer services and development employees and achieved record-setting results in customer satisfaction and operating margins.

Grant Hart

headshot of Grant Hart
Grant Hart, Fenway Hotel

Hart is promoted to the role of director of sales at Fenway Hotel. She will handle training and supervision of the sales and event planning team to generate and execute meeting business for the corporate, government, sports and social market segments. She brings over a decade of hospitality experience, most recently serving as director of sales at another Mainsail Lodging & Development property, Hotel Forty Five.

Brittany Cockrell

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Brittany Cockrell, Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau

Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau appoints Cockrell as director, membership and corporate events. In this role, she will manage programs and initiatives to maximize member retention while planning and executing a range of industry events. She brings over 16 years of hospitality experience, most recently serving as the director of catering and conference services at Omni Barton Creek Resort & Spa.

Karim Ikrimah

Karim Ikrimah
Karim Ikrimah, Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa

Ikrimah takes on the role of general manager at Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa. He brings nearly 20 years of hospitality leadership experience, most recently serving at sister hotel, Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu in Quebec. Prior to that, he held the role of director of operations at the same property. He is also a member of Le Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, an international association of gastronomy established in over 75 countries.

Susan Williams

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Susan Williams, Viceroy Los Cabos

Williams is appointed as director of sales and marketing at Viceroy Los Cabos. She brings over two decades of sales and marketing in the luxury and lifestyle industry, most recently overseeing the sales and marketing efforts for Hyatt Hotels & Resorts Mexico lifestyle brand, Thompson Zihuantanejo. She brings innovative leadership skills and a results-oriented mindset to this new role, in which she will spearhead sales, revenue management and strategic and tactical marketing.

Matt Durdel

Matt Durdel
Matt Durdel, Enchantment Resort

Enchantment Resort appoints Durdel as director of adventure and activities. He will oversee the resort’s destination outpost, Trailhouse, after formerly serving as the outdoor adventure manager at the property. He brings a wide array of certifications, including Leave No Trace (LNT) Master Educator, Wilderness First Responder, Swift Water Rescue, and  National Association for Interpretation Certified Interpretive Guide among others.

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