Quest introduces Chief Customer Officer

Quest Apartment Hotels has appointed Chief Marketing and Digital Officer Jeff Baars to the newly-created position of Chief Customer Officer, as part of its efforts to elevate the guest experience.

“Ensuring we are meeting and responding to the changing needs of guests forms the core of our strategy for success at Quest this year,” said The Ascott Limited Australia Managing Director, David Mansfield.

“I congratulate Jeff on his appointment as Chief Customer Officer. Jeff’s passion for the brand perfectly aligns with our plans for keeping the guest experience top of mind as we invest in growing our brand equity.”

Baars, who joined the hotel company in 2017, said that building an emotional connection with guests, team members and the wider community is a key objective for Quest.

“The more our brand resonates, the more valuable our brand becomes – that’s our shared goal,” he said.

Quest also announced the promotion of Ellen Wilson to the role of Head of Brand & Marketing. Wilson will lead the strategic direction and oversee daily operations of the marketing and digital team.

Additionally, Jason Potter has been appointed to the role of Events and Brand Experience Manager at Quest. He will manage event logistics and projects to improve the guest experience.

Preferred Hotels names Chief Revenue Officer

Preferred Hotels & Resorts has appointed Cheryl Williams to the newly-created position of Chief Revenue Officer.

Williams joins Preferred from Highgate, where she served as Regional Vice President of Sales & Marketing. She will work with department leaders to drive revenue to Preferred’s expanding global portfolio, which includes more than 700 properties across 80 countries.

“As we continue to embrace all the opportunities that industry changes have sparked, we are excited to welcome Cheryl to our global leadership team through this strategic new position designed with her commercial skillset in mind,” said Preferred Hotels & Resorts President, Michelle Woodley.

“Cheryl has been a much-valued extension of the Preferred family as a hotel partner for several years, and her multi-disciplinary expertise will strengthen our position and provide a fresh, solutions-focused approach to optimising business and routes to market for our hotels globally as they recover from recent setbacks.”

In 2007, Williams was named by HSMAI (Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International) as one of the world’s Top 25 Most Extraordinary Minds in Hospitality & Travel Sales & Marketing, and in 2014, she was a Pacific Business News Businesswoman of the Year finalist.

Williams will be based at the company’s corporate headquarters in Newport Beach, California.

Finniss River Lodge appoints co-managers

The Northern Territory’s newest 5-star holiday experience Finniss River Lodge has appointed Liam Hurley and his partner Jordyn Tas as comanagers ahead of the official opening.

The duo both grew up in regional Australia and met while working together as part of the opening team of W Melbourne by Marriot.

Hurley grew up in Cairns and Port Douglas, and landed a job as concierge at the Grand Hyatt Melbourne after leaving school before being promoted to a number of other positions including Duty Manager in the pre-opening teams of the W Brisbane and W Melbourne.

He has learned a thing or two about guest experience along the way.

“It is about being genuine and wholistic and bringing all the five-star elements into perfect alignment,” Hurley said. “It’s about creating a certain energy that guests will feed off and enjoy. Change or challenge!”

Tas has five years of five-star luxury hotel experience at Pullman and MGallery by Sofitel hotels in Western Australia and Melbourne, and recently held a guest relations position as part of the opening team of W Melbourne by Marriott.

“I believe in putting people first, always going above and beyond for both my guests and my team to assure the highest quality service and hospitality is being delivered,” Tas said.

“I feel the best guest experiences are built on a series of genuine interactions and moments.”