People News: Virginia Beach CVB, Hyatt Regency, FACE2FACE Meetings & Incentives and More Appoint New Leaders, Grow Workforces

May 21, 2021

The hiring craze at event and hospitality companies continues, with organizations, CVBs and hotels across the country tapping fresh leadership and expanding their teams. Take a look:

Virginia Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau 

Virginia Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau has appointed 15-year hospitality sales and marketing professional Dee Mittman as its new convention sales manager. Most recently, she served as national sales manager for the Greensboro Convention and Visitors Bureau, spending seven years at the CVB successfully sourcing meetings and events in the sports, corporate, and diversity association markets. 

A Greensboro native, Mittman got her start in the hospitality industry at the Wyndham Garden hotel, formerly the Clarion Hotel. During her tenure at the full-service property, she advanced from catering sales manager to director of sales.

Hyatt Regency

Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort & Spa, located outside of Austin, has appointed Chris Cummer as its new executive chef. He joins the resort from Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Golf Resort, Spa and Marina in Cambridge, Md. With more than 28 years of culinary experience and dedicated to sustainable food practices, Cummer has worked as executive chef at Andaz Wall Street in New York City, director of food and beverage and culinary operations at Andaz Savannah and most recently as executive chef at Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay.

Hyatt Regency Salt Lake City has tapped 20-year hospitality professional Jarrod Finley as its director of sales and marketing. Finley will develop and implement strategic sales and marketing initiatives for the new 700-room convention hotel, which is attached to the Salt Palace Convention Center and slated to open in 2022. Finley previously served as vice president of sales for the San Diego Tourism Authority, and has held sales and marketing leadership positions at the Long Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau, Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina, Anaheim Marriott and Marriott International’s U.S. Account Sales team.

Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa in San Antonio has hired 36-year hospitality veteran Steven J. Smith as its general manager. During his tenure with Hyatt, he has held various positions ranging from opening project manager at Hyatt Regency Reston to senior opening rooms executive at Hyatt Regency Lake Las Vegas Resort. He has held general manager positions at hotels throughout the country including Hyatt Regency Bellevue, Hyatt Regency Long Beach, Hyatt Regency Washington D.C., Grand Hyatt Washington D.C., and most recently, Hyatt Regency Houston.

FACE2FACE Meetings & Incentives

FACE2FACE Meetings & Incentives has appointed Laura Byes as director of meeting partnerships. With more than 30 years of leadership experience in both the nonprofit and private sectors, Byes has created, planned and executed annual strategic planning processes that have been incorporated into more than 30 non-profit organizations.


INVNT GROUP has made new hires across its parent company, its branded content studio and content marketing agency, HEVĒTM, and global live brand storytelling agency, INVNT.

As the GROUP’s new director of business development, Adam Milner brings more than 20 years of experience in the digital media, sports and technology sectors to his new role. Based in New York, he has held positions at Google, DAZN Group, and Time Inc.

The HEVĒ team in New York has appointed Robert Terlizzi as creative director. With work spanning digital, design and campaign development for brands including Hershey’s, Barnes & Noble and Volvo, he joins the company following 10 years at Havas, where he most recently served as associate creative director. HEVĒ also recruited Christine Marhin as senior marketing coordinator.

The agency’s headquarters in New York recruited Heather Foley and Laura Bowman as producers. Both have extensive experience designing and producing in-person, virtual and hybrid events.

INVNT has expanded its production department in Sydney with the appointment of Ema Wakeford as executive producer. She previously worked at George P. Johnson and has worked on events including the Light, Music & Ideas Festival, Vivid Sydney and with brands such as Cadbury and Johnson & Johnson.

The Sydney production team also appointed Caroline Bubb as senior producer, Rebecca Wheatley as producer and Lauren Moorhouse as production coordinator.

In Singapore, INVNT hired Sarah Bailey as creative director for the APAC region. She brings more than 10 years of experience to her role, including agency and client-side roles at Freeman and Publicis Singapore.  


Virtual and hybrid event platform Glisser has appointed two new board members and a new senior hire in the U.S.: Steve Pedrick as chief revenue officer, David Hose as board director and Bill Portelli as chair. 

As a CEO advisor, board director, and private equity/venture CEO, Portelli has helped create billions of dollars of incremental enterprise value and tech company revenues. 

Hose is a seasoned technology executive and serial entrepreneur, with more than 35 years as founder, CEO, investor, board member and advisor for more than 40 companies. He was the founder and CEO of Signalsoft, served as CEO Of Napster/Rhapsody from 2014 and CEO of AirMap from 2018-2020. 

Prior to Glisser, Pedrick was an operating partner at Downing Ventures.. 

Plantation on Crystal River 

Florida’s Plantation on Crystal River recently named 30-year culinary veteran Timothy Head its new executive chef. He will direct daily culinary operations at the resort’s signature West 82 Bar & Grill and other dining outlets, and oversee food and beverage offerings for the property’s meeting and convention space. He previously worked as executive chef for Laurel Springs Golf Club in Georgia and has served as chef and executive chef at an extensive array of properties including the Atlanta Hilton and Towers; Grand Palms Hotel, Spa & Golf Resort in South Florida and Adam’s Mark Hotel & Conference Center in Winston Salem. 


As part of its expansion into the United States, U.K.-based events software provider VenuIQ has appointed John D’Adamo as its new head of U.S. sales. He has more than 10 years of experience in the events industry, including nearly six years at BizBash.. 

Louisville Tourism 

Doug Bennett has been promoted from senior vice president of convention development to executive vice president of Louisville Tourism, effective July 1. He began his career with the CVB in 2015, managing the convention sales team. A national search is currently underway to fill his former role. In August, Angi Van Berg, who joined Louisville Tourism in 1996, will retire as vice president of trade show sales, responsible for booking large trade shows into the destination.

Mohonk Mountain House 

Mohonk Mountain House in the Hudson Valley has appointed Kristie Prantil as director of marketing. She has held key strategic marketing roles with properties including Horseshoe Bay Resort in Central Texas, Wyndham Hotels and Resorts, Marriott and Greenbrier Resort.


U.K.-based creative consultancy and services provider Counterculture has tapped film and television production designer and screen content director, Simon Beresford, as partner and creative director of its expanding live events division. Specializing in designing large-scale live events, broadcasts and commercials, he has designed shows for Norah Jones, The Cure, Nickelodeon, launched MTV in Africa and boasts commercial clients including Heineken, Wagamama, Microsoft, Rolex, BBC Sport, Unilever, Cisco, IMG, Studio of Art and Commerce and The Manual London.

Visit Plano

Visit Plano has named Marisa Obando its new SMERF and government sales manager. She comes to the CVB following a 12-year tenure at the Grand Hyatt DFW at DFW Airport, where she rose through the ranks to become senior event planning manager. Prior to joining the Grand Hyatt DFW, Obando coordinated group tour events and banquets at Southfork Ranch in Parker, Texas.

ROAR for Good 

Philadelphia-based hotel worker safety technology company ROAR for Good has appointed Sebastian Rodas as its director of customer operations. He will oversee and manage existing accounts, lead customer support and installations of the company’s AlwaysOn platform, and support growth through new client acquisition.

Rodas spent the last eight years in a variety of customer-centric roles at GuestTek Interactive, based in Calgary, Canada, where he served as director of quality management and professional services. 

Luminary Hotel & Co.

Luminary Hotel & Co. in Fort Myers, Florida, has promoted Brent Gauthier to executive chef for all food and beverage operations and outlets at the hotel. Gauthier started with Luminary in January 2021 as senior sous chef and has since assisted in all aspects of the hotel’s food and beverage department, overseeing the hotel’s culinary team as interim executive chef in April.

Gauthier was senior sous chef at Gaylord National Harbor in Maryland. Prior to that, he served as executive chef at Le Meridien Arlington, Virginia.

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