The Porter House Hotel Sydney MGallery General Manager, Joleen Hurst

Accor announces Joleen Hurst to lead Sydney’s Porter House Hotel

Joleen Hurst takes the position of General Manager at luxury property The Porter House Hotel Sydney– MGallery, which is set to open in July.

Hurst’s career with Accor spans 20 years and has seen her work across a variety of hotels including Sebel Quay West Suites and Apartments at Sydney’s Circular Quay, Novotel Sydney International Airport, Novotel Melbourne Glen Waverley, Mercure Sydney Parramatta, Mercure and Ibis Brisbane, Novotel Launceston and Accor Hotels Darling Harbour.

She was appointed one of Australia’s first female General Managers at the age of 25 and has been a recipient of the NSW Premier’s Award for Most Outstanding Contribution to Tourism. 

“Joleen is a highly regarded senior leader at Accor. We know she will bring the experience, knowledge and commitment required to bring this extraordinary project to life,” said Accor Pacific CEO, Sarah Derry.

Hurst is also a foundation member of Accor Diversity, which was formed in 2012 to cement the group’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.

“I am so excited to be part of this journey and introduce guests to an exciting – and elegant – new era for the iconic Porter House,” Hurst said.

“The redeveloped Porter House plays with the concept of intriguing contrasts and by placing two extraordinary buildings together, we have created something remarkably original. I can’t wait to take local, interstate and international guests on this fascinating journey of discovery with me.”

The Star Sydney appoints two General Managers

The Star Sydney has appointed two General Managers to its NSW property leadership team.

Christina Grasso

Christina Grasso has been promoted to General Manager Hotels, Events and Guest Experience, while Jason Alcock takes up the position of General Manager Food and Beverage.

“Christina and Jason bring tremendous experience and understanding of the hospitality industry to a team determined to enhance our position as the city’s premier hospitality, dining and entertainment precinct,” said The Star Sydney’s Chief Operating Officer, Damian Quayle.

Grasso has more than 15 years’ experience in the tourism, hospitality, and accommodation sectors, and is a member of the Accommodation Association of Australia NSW Advisory Board.

“Since commencing with The Star Sydney in 2019 as Director of Hotels, Christina has been an exceptional leader, with an unwavering dedication to delivering guest service excellence across our three hotels – The Darling Sydney, The Star Grand Hotel and The Star Grand Residences,” Quayle added.

“As the tourism industry continuous to be reenergised, her leadership will be integral to our property being the destination of choice for visitors seeking out the best Sydney has to offer.”

Grasso said she looks forward to the new challenge.

“While I’ve had the pleasure of working with and learning from extraordinary team members within our hotels, I’m excited to do the same across our events, logistics and retail teams,” she said.

“I’m thrilled with the opportunity to be a role model for other women at The Star – and particularly those in traditionally male-dominated fields.”

Alcock has been with The Star for over a decade and has held senior operational positions in the business including Executive Chef and Director Food and Beverage Operations.

Jason Alcock

He was also instrumental in establishing The Star Culinary Institute, which is now one of Australia’s largest privately run apprenticeship programs, according to the company.

“Our venues are in great hands. Jason is an accomplished and award-winning chef with a passion to attract, train, and build talented hospitality teams,” Quayle said.

Alcock said he’s honoured to lead The Star Sydney’s food and beverage operations.

“It’s an exciting time for our venues and our industry as it gets back on its feet after a difficult period,” he said.

“With the support of a great team, fresh bar and dining concepts, and an opportunity to leverage the built-up demand of local, domestic and international visitors, I look forward to expanding The Star’s reputation as a world-class foodie and nightlife destination.”

Culinary experts to lead reopening of The Oaks Ranch

Josh Tyler has been appointed as General Manager of The Oaks Ranch in Mossy Point, NSW, which reopens next month.

Tyler brings over 20 years of culinary and hospitality experience, both in Australia and overseas, including his most recent role as Executive Chef at luxury property Mona Farm in Braidwood, NSW. Tyler previously worked at 5-star villa resort The Ungasan Clifftop Resort in Bali, where he managed a of team of 76 employees.

The Oaks Ranch General Manager, Josh Tyler

“Josh brings a fresh and dynamic energy to the company and his culinary expertise and dedication to personal service will play a significant role in enhancing the experience of guests and his team members,” said The Oaks Ranch Co-owner, Lisa Carroll.

As Owner and Operator of Tyler’s Kitchen Malua Bay and Tyler’s Pantry Mogo in NSW, he was awarded a Chef’s Hat from the Sydney Morning Herald, a Wine Goblet from Gourmet Traveller Australia, and appeared in two episodes of River Cottage Australia.

Tyler said it’s his goal for The Oaks Ranch to become “one of the most visited destinations to stay, indulge and dine on the NSW South Coast”.

The Oaks Ranch Executive Chef, Massimo Spedaletti

Leading the kitchen as Head Chef is Massimo Spedaletti, who joins from luxury farm stay Mount William Station in Victoria and Quamby Estate, Tasmania.

He previously held the role of Resort Manager at boutique hotel Gipsy Point Lakeside Resort in Victoria and was Lodge Manager at Merrijig Ski Club in Victoria. He also brings experience in fine dining as Head Chef of seafood ristorante Riccadone’s in Italy.

Craig Gibbons promoted to Los Angeles Tourism Managing Director, Asia Pacific

The Los Angeles Tourism and Convention Board has promoted Craig Gibbons from Regional Director, Asia Pacific to Managing Director, Asia Pacific.

Gibbons joined Los Angeles Tourism as a permanent staff member in 2014, opening its Asia Pacific office in Sydney. He has over 19 years of experience in tourism marketing and sales in both Australia and the UK with leading tourism entities such as Visit Britain, The Indonesian Ministry of Tourism, NRMA Travel and Qantas.

“I’m thrilled to expand my role with Los Angeles Tourism as we continue to welcome back international travellers to Los Angeles,” Gibbons said.

“With a variety of exciting new offerings and additional air routes connecting Asia Pacific regions to the City of Angels, there are many opportunities to share L.A. as a premier destination in these markets.”

In this new role, Gibbons will oversee marketing and aviation development in the Oceania, Southeast Asia, Japan and South Korea markets from the Sydney office.