Hot Leads: The Ritz-Carlton, Omni and Cox & King Add New Execs

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The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Waikiki Beach has appointed Katherine Gioia as senior sales manager. In this position, she is responsible for growing the resort’s overall group segment and travel trade in the Northeast, Midwest, Oceania and European territories. With the opening of The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Waikiki Beach’s new Diamond Head Tower this fall, there will be a total of 552 ocean-view residences in both towers along with 10 venues for meetings and events.

Gioia brings 10 years of luxury hospitality sales experience to the resort, most recently serving as senior sales manager, groups at The Ritz-Carlton, Georgetown where she was responsible for leading and growing the corporate group market segment for the hotel. Past positions also include diplomatic and international, travel industry and business travel sales manager at The Ritz-Carlton, Boston; leisure sales manager at Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa; and sales and public relations coordinator at The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua.

Tom Kermabon

Omni La Costa Resort & Spa in Carlsbad, CA has made a trio of appointments, beginning with Tom Kermabon, its new general manager. Kermabon has been with Omni since 2010, when he joined as director of operations at Omni San Diego Hotel. He went on to serve as hotel manager of Omni Shoreham Hotel and general manager of Omni Tucson National Resort, where, under his leadership, the resort brought back the PGA TOUR Champions Event hosted by the Tucson Conquistadores. Prior to his tenure at Omni, he spent sixteen years with Starwood Hotels in the United States, Japan and China. He also worked as a GM for Kimpton Hotels for four years in his hometown, San Francisco.

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Omni also announced Patrick Sarte as its new director of food and beverage, and Paul Guccini as director of finance. Sarte, previously assistant director of food and beverage, will now oversee operations as director of food and beverage. Since joining in 2016 as the first general manager for Bob’s Steak and Chop House, his team has been integral in raising the bar for several of the resort’s restaurants and dining outlets achieving new heights in revenue and Medallia. Guccini brings 25 years of experience, holding senior leadership positions at Interstate, Starwood and Wyndham.

On the tour operator side, Cox & Kings has added two new destination specialists to join its U.S. team. Each will provide expertise and firsthand knowledge of their respective regions as they handcraft one-of-a-kind experiences and deliver expert advice.

Derek K. Ong joined as senior destination specialist for Asia. Ong studied Asian International Relations at Lehigh University and has lived in and traveled throughout Asia. Most recently, he held the position of director of sales and marketing for Asia DMC; he also served as regional director of sales for Abercrombie & Kent Southeast Asia out of its Bangkok office.

Additionally, Cheri Burns joined as destination specialist for Europe, bringing over a decade of experience in the luxury travel sector, including 10 years as a luxury travel advisor. In her most recent position, Burns was a travel consultant for Scenic Luxury Cruises. She will also assist in existing partnership relations and further developing sales initiatives.

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