Power Players: Hospitality Industry Movers and Shakers

Hotels & ResortsNews

One of the Nation’s Finest

Few people in the hospitality industry have had such colorful careers as that of David Feder. The veteran hotel executive recalls humble beginnings as a young bellman, as he enjoys a prominent leadership role alongside the most powerful family in America. Feder is the vice president and managing director of Forbes Four Star, AAA Four Diamond Trump National Doral Miami, the crown jewel of the Trump Hotel Collection.

In more than 35 years of serving at some of the nation’s most prestigious hotels and resorts—including The Plaza Hotel in New York City; The Breakers Resort in Palm Beach, Florida; Fontainebleau Miami Beach; Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix; and Turnberry Isle Miami—Feder never worked so closely with the name behind a brand that has gained an incredible amount of worldwide publicity as he has during the recent election and nomination of brand founder and U.S. President Donald Trump.

“This has been a unique experience indeed, and it is an exciting time for Trump Hotels,” he said. “We aim to expand our hotel brand awareness and grow our business in the meetings, leisure and golf luxury markets under the direction of our Trump Hotels executive leaders.”

Amid recent scrutiny over Trump’s business entanglements, Feder praises the organization that gave him an opportunity to oversee one of the most prominent resorts in the country. A close confidant of Trump before his political career, Feder admires the president’s business ethics and penchant for leadership. At the same time, he carefully specifies Trump’s lack of involvement in his organization, which is currently overseen by his sons, Eric and Donald Trump Jr.

“When you see Mr. Donald Trump on TV, he is pretty much the same person off-screen,” Feder shares. “He is one of the brightest, most perceptive, driven, hardworking and passionate men I have ever met.”

Feder came to the resort in 2014, two years after the Trump Organization purchased the ailing property with grand plans to restore the 800-acre resort to its former glory. The Miami landmark, once owned by real estate developer and hotelier Alfred Kaskel, underwent a prolonged $250 million restoration, with the last phase completed in early 2016.

Feder and three of Trump’s children oversaw the entirety of the massive project, which encompassed 643 guest rooms, more than 100,000 sq. ft. of function space and four championship golf courses, including the famed Blue Monster golf course, former host of the PGA Tour for 55 consecutive years. In working so closely with the Trump family, he has witnessed their tireless involvement and pride in the business—a side the public is not privy to see.

“It has been a pleasure working with the Trump family,” he says. “This was a very unique experience, since most other developers would have simply handed the project over to the operations team and moved on. I appreciate their deep-rooted passion, pride and personal care for the property—sentiments that I’ve always carried with me wherever I’ve worked in the hospitality business.”


Smart Moves

Chris Coan

Chris Coan has been tapped as the incoming chairman of the board of directors for Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau in 2017. Coan is the vice president and general manager of business and government markets for Atlanta-based Gas South. He has served on ACVB’s board since 2014 and also sits on the board of directors for Cobb Chamber of Commerce, Georgia Restaurant Association, Council for Quality Growth and WellStar Foundation.

Rhanee Palma

Visit Oakland hired Rhanee Palma as director of sales for the Bay Area destination management organization. Palma brings diverse hospitality and nonprofit experience to Visit Oakland, most recently serving as director of sales for Hilton San Francisco Financial District. Prior to that, she was a sales executive for the Marriott International Western Mountain Pacific area. She was also the senior employer representative for Marriott Foundation in Oakland, where she was instrumental in transitioning young adults with disabilities into the competitive workforce.

Phil DeLone

Reno-Sparks Convention & Visitors Authority (RSCVA) board of directors appointed Phil DeLone as president and CEO. He brings more than 35 years of experience in tourism, sales, marketing and management to Reno, Nevada. DeLone, who has 20 years of executive sales and management experience working at Reno hotels, is being welcomed back to the destination after spending more than four years as CEO of Safari Club International in Tucson, Arizona.