PEOPLE update as of Feb. 25, 2020

Janak Bhawnani now VP Operations at Easton’s Group. David Robinson is now interim president and CEO at Destination Canada. RLHC has an interim president and CEO as well.

Janak Bhawnani has started a new position as vice-president operations at Easton’s Group. He is also a member of the board of the Greater Toronto Hotel Association and was recently head of the events committee for the Indo Canadian Chamber of Commerce. Prior to his new appointment, Bhawnani was general manager and regional director for Easton’s Group at Holiday Inn Toronto International Airport for two and a half years. Earlier positions include 13 years working for Accor as general manager of Novotel Toronto Centre and Novotel Toronto North. He is a board member of the Greater Toronto Hotel Association, a part time instructor at Humber and a volunteer at the Langer Seva food organization.

David Robinson is the new interim president and CEO at Destination Canada. Under the Board’s authority, an interim CEO can only be appointed for 90-day periods. In February 2019, Robinson, vice-president of strategy and stakeholder relations, assumed the role of interim president and CEO. With a breadth of experience in both the public and private sectors, Robinson will continue to champion the Team Canada approach and provide stability and strategic direction within our organization. Robinson’s career in both public and private industry spans 25 years, and he has a proven track record of innovative leadership and project-stewardship. He led the Government of Canada’s preparations for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games, including the coordination of more than 30 federal departments and agencies. Destination Canada is still seeking to fill the president and CEO position.

RLHC (Red Lion Hotel Corporation) has an interim CEO, John Russell, who stepped into the role in December after Greg Mount resigned as president and CEO. Mount held the position since 2014. Russell, an expert on hotel brand growth with 40 years of hospitality experience, joined RLH to assist the executive management team in running the business, accelerating franchise sales, improving franchisee retention and aligning its cost structure with the size of its operations. Russell was most recently president and COO with Sentry Hospitality. Additional positions held during his successful career include chairman and CEO or senior executive for companies including ITT Sheraton, Days Inn of America, Carlson Companies, Benchmark Hospitality, HFS, Cendant, RCI, Yesawich, Pepperdine, Brown and Russell (Partner), NYLO Hotels, MODO Hotels and CampusBrands.

Guido Kerpel, COO of New Castle Hotels and Resorts, a leading hotel owner, operator and developer, today announced that veteran hotelier, Matthew Mackenzie (left), has been named general manager of the historic Westin Nova Scotian on the Halifax waterfront. Previously, Mackenzie was the general manager of the New Castle-owned and operated Algonquin Resort in St. Andrews, New Brunswick. Prior to taking the helm at the Algonquin, Mackenzie operated the Keltic Lodge for two seasons under New Castle’s agreement with the province of Nova Scotia. Earlier in his career, he played key leadership roles at some of Canada’s most prestigious hotels including, The Banff Center, the world’s largest arts and creativity incubator, Sooke Harbour House, Fairmont Chateau Whistler and the Delta Grand Okanagan Resort.

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