PEOPLE update August 11, 2020

Former Fairmont CEO Bill Fatt passes away. Xavier Icardo joins Activar. Ravi Rawlani now GM at Easton’s Group. Phil Hugh joins Radisson. Arjun Channa moves to USVI. Tourism HR Canada Welcomes Four New Board Members.

CALGARY — The hotel industry is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of former executive and CP board member William R. (Bill) Fatt, who once led CP Hotels and moved them to the Fairmont Hotels & Resorts banner.

“Bill Fatt was a consummate business leader, with the background, financial knowledge and overall gravitas to take on big challenges and turn them into successes,” said Keith Creel, CP president and CEO. “He was not afraid to take risks and learn from his successes and mistakes. Bill’s advice and counsel were invaluable to so many and he will be sincerely missed.”

He joined the CP board in September 2016. He served as chair of the finance committee and a member of the Audit Committee before resigning for health reasons in November 2017. Earlier in his career, he served as CP’s CFO before taking the helm of Canadian Pacific Hotels and eventually moving the company’s properties to the Fairmont Hotels & Resorts banner.

“As chief financial officer at CP, chairman and chief executive officer at Canadian Pacific Hotels, and a board member at CP, Mr. Fatt made significant contributions to businesses that continue to impact many people,” said Isabelle Courville, chair of CP’s Board of Directors. “I am sure I can speak for all who have worked with Bill when I say we are fortunate to have had the opportunity to know him.”

Please note that an earlier version of this story was picked up in error from Hotelier’s website. Canadian Lodging News apologizes for any confusion this may have caused for readers.

Xavier Icardo has joined Activar Hôtels as vice-president of operations. A bilingual leader with more than 25 years in the hotel industry, Icardo has been collaborating with multiple Accor, Wyndham and Marriott brands. At Activar, he will oversee all aspects of hotel management including the selection, training and development of team members, pre-opening of new hotels, sales, marketing and revenue management. Icardo was most recently regional director of operations, Eastern Canada, for MasterBUILT Hotels. Before that, he was general manager of a TownePlace Suites by Marriott hotel, founder and president of Open Door Hospitality Group, senior director of operations for Westmont Hospitality and vice-president of operations at G6 Hospitality. He also spent 16 years working with Accor Hospitality, progressing from operations manager in charge of a training centre in South Africa, to vice-president of operations for Motel 6 and Studio 6, based in Mississauga.

Ravi Rawlani is now general manager at Holiday Inn Toronto International Airport, an Easton’s Group property. Prior to this, he was hotel manager and director of operations at that property. Before that, he worked as sales and operations manager at Hilton Toronto. Rawlani has also worked for Taj Hotels, Palaces, Resorts, Safaris at The Taj Mahal Palace in Mumbai, India for almost 17 years, gaining progressive management experience in food and beverage, sales and marketing, and becoming resident manager at the palace.

Radisson Hotel Group has announced the appointment of Phil Hugh as chief development officer for the Americas. Hugh is a seasoned and enthusiastic development leader with 20 years of experience leading and motivating Franchise Sales & Development teams. In this role, he will be responsible for the execution of the company’s growth goals for the Americas. Hugh and his team will work towards driving the expansion of all seven of Radisson Hotel Group’s brands. Most recently, Hugh spent seven years as a development leader at Red Roof Franchising, where he created a franchise division. His team built strong relationships that resulted in transforming the company to an asset-light and franchisee-focused organization. Prior to that, he held a variety of development leadership positions at Realogy Franchise Group, Development Opportunity Corporation and Cendant Corporation.

Arjun Channa has moved to a new position as general manager of the Ritz-Carlton in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. His previous position was general manager of the Westin Calgary, where he led the hotel for five years. After studying hospitality in Neufchatel, Switzerland, Channa began his hospitality career in Algeria, working in stewarding. He moved to United Arab Emirates, where he started his career with Starwood in June 1995. He worked in various Food & Beverage roles, leading him to his first director of F&B at the Great Wall Sheraton in Beijing, China. A few more leadership moves led him back to UAE, to Kenya, and back to China where he served as hotel manager at the Sheraton Sanya Resort. After much success in Sanya, Channa took on his first general manager role at Le Meridien Port Vila Resort & Casino in Vanuatu, followed by another GM assignment at the Sheraton Udaipur Palace Resort & Spa in India. Channa then transitioned to serving as task force general manager for Starwood’s Brand Assurance Team as well as the Acquisition & Development Team, both for South Asia. He then moved his family to the Americas, taking the role of hotel manager at the Sheraton Centre Toronto. It was during this time that he gained experience in the Caribbean as the task force GM at the Westin Aruba Resort & Casino as well as the W Vieques Resort in Puerto Rico.

Tourism HR Canada is pleased to announce the appointment of four tourism champions to its Board of Directors. Joining the Tourism HR Canada Board are: Krista Bax, CEO, go2HR; Juanita Ford, chief operating officer, Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador; Tracey Kalimeris, vice-president, talent & culture, Accor, North & Central America; and Beth Potter, president and CEO, Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO).

Krista Bax is a strategic leader who was recently appointed the CEO for go2HR, British Columbia’s tourism human resource and health and safety association. The organization plays a lead role in executing the province’s Tourism Human Resources Strategy.

She has worked with various sector councils and is experienced in labour market economics, skills training, health and safety, Indigenous relations, strategic planning, and marketing.

Juanita Ford is a leader in the tourism industry, with a focus on human resources and industry development. At Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador, Juanita leads the organization in strategic planning, marketing, revenue generation, and project management, working closely with the Hospitality NL Board of Directors and other industry stakeholders throughout the country. Hospitality NL is a non-profit membership association that leads, supports, represents, and enhances the province’s tourism industry.

Beth Potter is a strategic leader and planner, advocating on myriad issues affecting the tourism industry.

Since 2011, she has been President and CEO of the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO), which represents 189,000 tourism businesses and 400,000 employees across Ontario.

She brings extensive experience working in the not-for-profit sector and as a member of several Boards and tourism groups.

Tracey Kalimeris is a senior human resources leader translating business needs into human resource initiatives to improve performance and profitability. Tracey ensures the successful operation of the Talent & Culture function within hotel operations across North & Central America for Accor, a hospitality business with more than 30 brands, 80 partnerships, and over 5,000 hotels in 110 countries. She is also a member of the Policy Advisory Board at the University of Guelph.

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