Position Filled: HSG Sr. Director of Sales and Marketing

HSG is excited to announce that Hotel Services Group has reintroduced dedicated sales and marketing support at the office.  Kristen Keltz, formerly our Regional Director of Sales for our two Candlewood Suites hotels, has accepted the position of Sr. Director of Sales & Marketing.

Keltz first joined our team in May 2016, and has since raised our awareness about new market opportunities, and proven her strength and collaborative leadership in community and client relations.  She has become an integral part of our hotel teams and the guest experience over the past year, and we’re excited about the future of our portfolio with Kristen in this role.  She will ensure we continue to deliver increasing value to our hotel owners and investors as we continue to enhance our programs – bringing more guests to our hotels to serve and satisfy.

Keltz’s start date will be on June 1st, and she will begin immediately to support sales and marketing efforts at the recently opened Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites and Northwater Restaurant in Bellingham.  Once we come closer to stabilizing the new hotel, she will turn her full attention back to our entire portfolio and continue to bolster and support all hotels’ sales efforts.

This is the second position filled at HSG this month, and marks a new chapter in HSGs development as a Hotel Management Company.

New HSG Position Created: Sr. Director of Hotel Performance

We are excited to announce the creation of a new position at HSG: Senior Director of Hotel Performance.  Mark Bentley is new to our organization and excited to take on the new role.  He is in the process of moving to the Pacific Northwest after spending a few years in Hawaii.

A large part of Mark’s role at HSG will be to make sure that the process of continuous improvement never slows down.  From his Mount Vernon office, he will be identifying areas of opportunity in the way we work, how we spend money and where …generally all areas that ensure that things run as smoothly and efficiently as possible at all our managed hotels.  Mark will not only draw upon his many years of experience as a hotel/resort controller, but a wide range of other disciplines that will bring fresh new thought to the group.  In the longer term, Mark’s contributions and our collaborative effort will deliver greater value to our hotel owners and an accelerant to our mission to identify areas of opportunity to improve our performance, and work together to strengthen the best practices of our organization.

We look forward to learning and growing through Mark’s contributions and to see where his work will amplify our portfolio’s performance.  We have already discussed a variety of new topics that will deliver greater value to our owners, and also to our guests – efforts that will enable our Key Team Members to spend more time delivering excellent guest experiences throughout our portfolio of nine hotels.

General Manager Announcement – Kim Straight

We are pleased to announce that Kim Straight has been promoted from Director of Sales to General Manager at the Holiday Inn & Suites in Sumner.  Ariel Schonberg has tendered her resignation and leaving us for new adventures, but has agreed to stay on until the end of the month to help Kim to settle in to her new role.

Kim will take the helm as General Manager on June 1st, 2017.  She has nearly 4 years with us at this hotel and over 12 years in the hospitality industry overall.  Her education includes a Bachelor’s Degree in Hospitality Administration from Washington State University, and she completed our Management Training Program last year.

Thank you, Kim, for your passion for hospitality and dedication over the years.  We wish you the best of luck and more success for you and your team.

General Manager Announcement

We are pleased to announce today our new General Manager for the award-winning Candlewood Suites – Burlington.  Please join us in congratulating Austin Dudley for taking this next step in his hospitality career!

Austin began his hospitality career with us at the Hampton Inn & Suites – Burlington in early 2013, and has since been determined to take on and learn as much as we can give him.  We appreciate his dedicate to his team, and his ongoing commitment to customer service excellence.  This is a natural next step for Austin, and his new team at the Candlewood Suites – Burlington is excited to have him.

Therese Lundvall, the hotel’s past General Manager, is taking on a new position as Director of Hotel Operations at our Bellingham Holiday Inn & Suites slated to open in January.  Therese has been available for Austin for a couple of weeks to help him acclimate to his new position, and begins her new role today.  It’s been like a game of checkers for the past month, as our Front Office Manager at the Holiday Inn Express & Suites in Marysville, Veronica Verge, has taken Austin’s former role to pick up a different experience with a new hotel Brand at the Best Western Plus in Arlington.

 

General Manager Announcement – Kelly Robinson

We are pleased to announce that Kelly Robinson has accepted the General Manager position at the Best Western PLUS Park Place Inn & Suites in Chehalis, WA.

Robinson is not new to HSG. She joined the team at the Holiday Inn Express & Suites in Chehalis shortly after the hotel opened in 2009, and has since worked through the front office and primarily in sales for the past 7 years. For the past two months, Kelly served both Chehalis hotels in an Regional Sales capacity for HSG. She also completed HSGs inaugural Management Training Program that concluded in May, this year, and has hit the ground running.

HSG was hired in May to manage the hotel after a group of our key investors/owners acquired the 60-room hotel. Kelly will be taking over for Terra Green who has plans to move to Alaska.

We appreciate Kelly for her hard work and dedication over the years. We’re excited to see her continue the journey of creating hospitality excellence.

General Manager Appointed – Hampton Inn & Suites, Burlington WA

On June 1st, both Fercie Cabrera and HSG came to the clear conclusion about the position from which she can best serve our guests and team members at the Hampton Inn & Suites – Burlington, WA.  We are pleased to formally announce Fercie Cabrera as General Manager!

Andy Tift, Fercie Cabrera, and Lennart Bentsen
Andy Tift, Fercie Cabrera, and Lennart Bentsen

Fercie Cabrera takes the place of Damian Humphreys, who moved on to new challenges in early April, 2016.  Cabrera joined the Hampton team about six years ago, and has served their guests as Front Office Manager for the past three years.  She has also participated in our HSG Management Training Program since last September – this is a natural fit for Fercie and we’re excited about the hotel’s future under her leadership.

In other news, Hilton concluded a Quality Evaluation visit this week; a process that evaluates cleanliness, condition and guest experience scores.  Fercie and her team earned an “Outstanding” designation – the highest possible.  This is one of many exciting metrics that we anticipate seeing more of as she continues to settle into her new role.

Congratulations 2016 MTP Graduates

We are excited to congratulate our inaugural Hotel Management Training Program graduates – class of 2016.

For the past 9 months, Lennart and Andy have worked with one or two individuals from nearly all portfolio hotels to deepen their understanding of key areas of hospitality management.  The goal of the program is to enable participants to have a rounded understanding of hospitality management as it relates specifically to HSG’s approach to running hotel operations.  At its conclusion, program participants presented their key takeaways from the program, and shared with all current General Managers and participating hotel investors their desired career path.

HSG is excited about the outcome of this program, and will be continuing to create opportunities for both graduates and other hotel team members to facilitate their career advancement.

This year’s program graduates are:

  • Amanda Zimmerman, Front Office Manager at Best Western Plus Harbor Plaza in Oak Harbor
  • Jamie Rueb, Guest Services Representative at Candlewood Suites in Burlington
  • Fercie Cabrera, now General Manager at Hampton Inn & Suites in Burlington
  • Chelsea Thornton, Director of Sales at Hampton Inn & Suites in Burlington
  • Poonum Sandhu, Family/Ownership at Best Western Plus in Arlington
  • Austin Dudley, Front Office Manager at Best Western Plus in Arlington
  • Veronica Verge, Front Office Manager at Holiday Inn Express & Suites in Marysville
  • Kim Straight, Director of Sales at Holiday Inn Express & Suites in Sumner
  • Kelly Robinson, now HSG Regional Director of Sales at both hotels in Chehalis

Congratulations again, class of 2016!

2016 MTP Graduates
Management Training Program Graduates – Class of 2016

Regional Director of Sales & Marketing selected for Extended Stay hotels

We are excited to announce Kristen Keltz, our new Regional Director of Sales & Marketing for our Candlewood Suites hotels in Oak Harbor and Burlington.

Kristen Keltz has an extensive background in Skagit County and Whidbey Islands, both personally and professionally. She’s returning to the hospitality industry after about 13 ½ years as CEO at the Mount Vernon Chamber of Commerce. She has earned tremendous accolades throughout her career, and made countless connections in the region. For 8 years prior to her time with the Chamber, she was the Director of Sales & Marketing at the now Best Western Plus Skagit Valley Inn in Mount Vernon.

The Regional DOSM for these two Candlewood Suites is a new position at HSG. Keltz will be responsible for all sales and marketing activities for both hotels and serve as an integral part of the Revenue Management process.

Welcome Best Western Plus Park Place Inn & Suites

After much anticipation, excitement, and hard work; our family has grown by 20 Team Members – welcome team Best Western Plus Park Place Inn & Suites in Chehalis, WA!

Best Western Plus Park Place Inn & Suites
Best Western Plus Park Place Inn & Suites

The deal closed at noon on Friday, April 29, 2016 and the hotel was purchased by five of our investors.  At HSG, we’re excited about the opportunity to manage yet another hotel, and engage this team in our mission to work together and become stronger as a group of hospitality professionals.

The Best Western Plus Park Place Inn & Suites was constructed in mid-1999, has 60 guestrooms, and is well known as one of the top two places in which to stay in Chehalis.  Our Holiday Inn Express & Suites is, of course, the other.  We’re excited about offering a larger portfolio in the Chehalis market, and leveraging strategic opportunities to deliver higher value for our guests, our team members, and investors.

New Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites in Bellingham to reveal a whole new look for the brand

Dan Mitzel at the September 2015 IHG Owners Conference in San Francisco, CA.
Dan Mitzel at the September 2015 IHG Owners Conference in San Francisco, CA.

Once we roll this out, Holiday Inn brand will become relevant to the people in their 20s and 30s who weren’t alive when Kemmons Wilson started this whole thing back in the mid 50s”.

These are the words of Dan Mitzel, Hotel Services Group.  Mitzel has been engaged in an InterContinental Hotels Group taskforce for the past 18 months, a taskforce that has focused intensely on the Holiday Inn brand’s new design standards.  “Our investor group is excited about what’s coming, and we’re going to be the first to implement it in Bellingham.

Mitzel has developed and owned hotels for over 30 years, and is a major investor in the coming Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites in Bellingham, WA International Airport (BLI).  Mitzel also owns M&H Contracting, the project General Contractor.  “We’re pouring concrete for the hotel right now, but we’ve intentionally been stalling the interior design portion of the project.  This is work that’s usually done as much as 12 months before we start site work, but our investor group made the decision to be part of the new IHG SRDs released on October 1st.

Along with the new SRD (Standard Room Design) to give the brand new full-service Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites the latest look and feel, the group is also developing a new restaurant concept from scratch.  Aptly named northwater cascade kitchen, the restaurant will present travelers and local residents with a refreshing combination of Pacific Northwest cuisine at competitive market prices that deliver high value with every bite.

For more information about the project, Mitzel encourages Ragan Humphrey be contacted at ragan@hotelservicesgroup.com.  Humphrey is currently serving the investor group as Director of Operations for the project.  Once the hotel opens, he will continue as the General Manager.  The hotel is currently targeting an opening date in early September, 2016.