Repositioned: Industry Execs Move Onward & Upward

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David Bilbe is the new GM of The Royal Sonesta New Orleans.

As summer sets in, careers are heating up. Take a look at who’s turning those lazy days into longer days as they make vertical moves at hotels around the country.

David Bilbe, Royal Sonesta New Orleans

Hospitality industry veteran David Bilbe has taken over as General Manager of The Royal Sonesta New Orleans a Bourbon Street icon in the heart of the French Quarter. In his role, Bilbe will be responsible for overseeing the 483-key hotel’s day-to-day operations, management, training, and guest satisfaction.

Bilbe comes to Royal Sonesta with over two decades of experience managing and operating U.S. hotels, the most recent being seven years as GM at the Omni Royal Orleans Hotel, where he was responsible for a team of over 200 associates overseeing all aspects of hotel operations. Prior to this, Bilbe oversaw operations at Westin New Orleans Canal Place Hotel, Loews New Orleans Hotel, Historic Courtyard by Marriott Downtown and International House New Orleans; and held over a decade of sales and marketing positions.

Manuel Magana, JW Marriott Clearwater Beach Resort & Spa

JW Marriott Clearwater Beach Resort & Spa, part of Marriott’s luxury and lifestyle portfolio, has announced the appointment of Manuel Magana as GM. A highly accomplished and results-driven hotel executive with 27 years of experience in the hospitality industry, Magana brings a rich skill set to the property, which opened in May 2023.

His journey began as a room service waiter at the JW Marriott Mexico City and evolved into roles in HR and food & beverage, and quickly advanced to management roles. During his time in Mexico City, Magana played a pivotal role in the openings of the JW Marriott Hotel Quito in Ecuador and the Panama Marriott Hotel, contributing his expertise to the pre-opening F&B task force team.

Magana brings a global experience and perspective from his roles around the world in locations like Renaissance Prague Hotel in the Czech Republic, Marriott Casa Magna Cancun Resort, and JW Marriott Miami. His leadership was instrumental in achieving the AAA Five Diamond award for the JW Marriott Cancun Resort and the Hotel of the Year and Food & Beverage Financial Excellence awards.

Most recently, Magana served as the Multi-Property GM for the Marriott Puerto Vallarta Resort & Spa and the Westin Puerto Vallarta Resort & Spa. Under his leadership, these properties saw record revenue growth, significant ADR improvements, and prestigious awards such as the AAA Four Diamond distinction and 2021 hotel of the year.

Laura Jarvinen, The Ritz-Carlton St. Thomas

Industry pro Laura Jarvinen brings more than 25 years of experience to her new role as GM of The Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas, holding key positions at The Ritz-Carlton and W brands across the US and CALA regions, managing various disciplines, including F&B, culinary, rooms, and events, while leading numerous strategic initiatives. Most recently, she served as Hotel Manager at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, where she played a key role in implementing innovative guest service initiatives and maintaining its Forbes Triple Five-Star status.

In her new role, Jarvinen will leverage her extensive experience, strong skill set, and creative abilities to enhance the guest experience and drive the strategic vision of the 180-room luxury property. Her primary focus will be on maintaining the highest standards of service and hospitality across all hotel operations, including the introduction of enhanced amenities, elevated programming, and new executive positions in F&B as well as wellness, all aimed at enriching the overall resort experience.

Andrew De Lapp, Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort, Spa and Casino

Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort, Spa and Casino—set in the Sierra Nevada Mountains on the shores of Lake Tahoe in Incline Village—just named Andrew De Lapp as resort manager. De Lapp was promoted from the role of Director of Operations.

In his new position, De Lapp will support all aspects of the resort’s operations, from front office and guest services to dining and spa.

With more than 15 years of experience working in the hospitality industry—an interest De Lapp discovered in his native Australia—De Lapp has worked at hotels around the U.S. from Park Hyatt New York to Hyatt Regency Waikiki Resort & Spa in Hawaii. In his new position, he is dedicated to continuing the legacy of Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe by providing incredible travel experiences, helping colleagues grow in their careers, and to be a strong partner within the local community.

Dale MacPhee, Conrad Washington, DC

Conrad Washington, DC recently named Dale MacPhee the new GM of the luxury 360-room property. Boasting more than 30 years of experience in the hospitality industry, and with Hilton, MacPhee joins the property from Cairo, Egypt, where she most recently led the successful opening of Waldorf Astoria Cairo Heliopolis, the first Waldorf Astoria opening on the African continent.

In her new role, MacPhee will lead the team in all aspects of hotel operations, from marketing and hotel administration to luxury hospitality, while delivering on Conrad Hotels & Resorts’ commitment to purposeful and passionately delivered service.

Bringing global experience, MacPhee’s dynamic career has taken her across the world from Canada to Europe to Africa, holding various leadership positions across the portfolio, including general manager of Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh–The Caledonian and GM of the former Waldorf Astoria Collection London Syon Park. Her tenure as general manager includes additional roles at Hilton and London Hilton on Park Lane.

Wayne Morris, The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans

The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans has announced the appointment of industry veteran Wayne Morris to GM. Morris’ luxury hospitality roots are within The Ritz-Carlton, as he first began his career in 2000 on Canal Street at the beloved French Quarter hotel, and later spent over 8 years with the brand. More than two decades later, Morris will lead The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans into its next era as the hotel anticipates a milestone 25th anniversary in 2025.

Throughout his career, he has played an integral role in several Ritz-Carlton properties including Aspen Highlands, Sarasota, South Beach, and Reynolds Lake Oconee, strengthening each hotels’ position as premier luxury destinations in their respective markets.

Most recently, Morris served as VP of the Health and Wellness Division at Ochsner Health, the largest health system in Louisiana. During his tenure, he spearheaded several corporate initiatives such as “Best Place to Work” programs and developed new business and service lines, increasing revenues by over $150 million.

Anthony Duggan & Christina Richardon, Grand Hyatt Deer Valley

Grand Hyatt Deer Valley, poised to become the new icon of mountain luxury accommodations, is nearing its November 2024 debut. Two esteemed Hyatt Hotels leaders have been appointed to oversee the 442-room leisure and convention property: General Manager Anthony Duggan and Director of Sales, Marketing & Events Christina Richardson. Both bring an abundance of knowledge and passion to this brand new luxury build anchoring the highly anticipated East Village expansion to Utah’s beloved Deer Valley Resort.

Renowned for his ability to elevate operational performance while fostering exceptional guest satisfaction and staff engagement, Anthony Duggan has honed his skills at some of the world’s most respected luxury hospitality brands, including InterContinental Hotel & Resorts, Fairmont Hotel & Resorts, St. Regis Hotels & Resorts, Aman, and now Hyatt Hotel Corporation. In the most recent years, he’s been tapped by Hyatt Corp. to elevate the experiences at and operational excellence within brands such as Alila Hotels and Miraval Resorts & Spas.

Christina Richardson’s impressive career is distinguished by world renowned resort destinations including Carmel Valley Ranch, Hyatt Regency Maui, and the Marriott Waikiki Complex. Richardson brings a wealth of experience and passion for hospitality, as well as expertise in crafting successful sales and marketing strategies within the luxury sector. This is combined with a proven track record of driving revenue growth and fostering strong client relationships.

With Grand Hyatt Deer Valley promises an enchanting retreat as the heart of the East Village expansion.

Markus Krebs, La Bahia Hotel & Spa

Ensemble Hospitality has announced the appointment of Markus Krebs as GM for La Bahia Hotel & Spa, Santa Cruz’s first luxury beachfront hotel and spa, offering a dramatic setting where the tip of Monterey Bay touches Santa Cruz’s coveted Main Beach.

Based in Long Beach, Calif., Ensemble also owns and manages the Dream Inn in Santa Cruz and is now excited to introduce La Bahia to the vibrant Santa Cruz community.

The 155-room La Bahia is scheduled to open on the Santa Cruz waterfront in spring of 2025 and Krebs will be establishing the pre-opening offices and working closely with the project managers on the construction of La Bahia. His years of luxury and international experience—including a position as GM of Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort in Hawaii, a KSL Resort—bodes well for the new resort property.  With a work history spanning four continents, Krebs has held senior hotel management positions with leading luxury brands including Shutters on the Beach, InterContinental, Raffles, Fairmont, Anantara and Waldorf Astoria.

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