Lead Stories

CEO Danziger Departs Trump

Luxury Brands, Owner/Operators Undergo Personnel Changes

By Dennis Nessler | March 4, 2022

This week’s announcement that Eric Danziger is departing as CEO of Trump Hotels headlined a number of lodging industry personnel moves involving both luxury brands and major owner/operators.

Danziger—who joined Trump Hotels following roles as President and CEO of Starwood Hotels, President and COO of Carlson Hotels Worldwide, and President and CEO of Wyndham Hotel Group—has been hired as CEO of Braintree Group, an Idaho-based family of companies.

Danziger will oversee the Braintree entities in the group’s portfolio of companies including real estate investment and development; hospitality management; and venture capital investments.

Meanwhile, Virgin Hotels—the luxury lifestyle hotel brand by Sir Richard Branson—has added three new members to its newly formed global sales team: Maya Latinovic, VP, global sales; Peter D’Elia, global director of business travel and entertainment sales; and Alyssa Maselli, global director of group sales.

Latinovic, who leads the global sales efforts for Virgin Hotels, has more than 20 years of hospitality sales experience with a worldwide clientele.  As the VP, global sales, she and her team will uncover revenue opportunities for Virgin Hotels’ portfolio.

D’Elia brings more than 15 years of luxury and lifestyle sales experience to his role at Virgin Hotels. As global director of business travel and entertainment sales, he will be responsible for revenue generation in the portfolios for the business travel and entertainment sectors. Maselli joins the Virgin Hotels team as global director of group sales with more than 15 years of hospitality sales experience.

A couple of owner/operators also bolstered their executive ranks. Vesta Hospitality has hired Philip D’Amico as its vp, sales, according to company president Mark Hemmer.

In his role as vp, sales, D’Amico will strategize with the hotel teams at each of Vesta’s properties to create strategic sales and business initiatives designed to grow sales and revenues for the company’s hotels with the goal of positioning them as top performers in their respective markets. Building, training, and motivating dynamic teams to establish a creative and results-focused sales culture will be a key component in this effort, according to the company.

D’Amico’s career in the hospitality industry spans 18 years and includes time spent in executive positions at several leading companies in the industry, including Wyndham Hotels & Resorts and PAH Management.

Finally, Catherine Johnston has been promoted to Vice President of Human Resources at OTO Development. She is tasked with leading and developing the Spartanburg-based hotelier’s HR team, which supports roughly 2,400 employees across the country.

Johnston is a graduate of Clemson University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in speech and communication studies followed by a master’s degree in human resources development. She has two decades of experience in the HR field, with positions of increasing responsibility at SCANA Corporation, Extended Stay America, Trident Health and, for the past four-and-a-half years, OTO Development.

Dennis Nessler

Dennis Nessler is Editor-in-Chief of Hotel Interactive, parent company of Hotel Community Forum. Nessler brings more than 28 years of editorial experience to his position, including some 17 years in the hospitality industry. As part of his duties, Nessler not only covers the industry editorially but moderates various high-level panel sessions at hospitality events and frequently conducts one-on-one interviews with C-level executives.

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