NATIONAL REPORT—Industry veteran Kristen Richter has joined short-term rental provider Sonder in the newly created position of VP of sales, while CBRE and Preferred Hotels and Resorts have also made personnel moves.
Richter Joins Sonder
Sonder has added Kristen Richter, former chief commercial officer of the Radisson Hotel Group, to its roster as its first VP of sales.
In this position, Richter will dedicate her efforts to proactively connecting guests and spearheading new strategic partnerships with corporate brands, organizations, associations and leisure travel groups. Her goal is to continue to unlock the Sonder experience for an even wider range of consumers.
She comes to Sonder with more than 20 years of commercial experience in the travel industry. With Radisson, she led top-line revenue growth for the sales, marketing, revenue management, digital and channel teams. She also led Wyndham Hotel Group’s global revenue management department, overseeing all facets of revenue generation for Wyndham’s more than 8,000 properties and 19 brands around the world.
CBRE Adds Gompel
Olivier Gompel, a veteran of more than 25 years in hotel advisory, operations, asset management and valuation, has joined CBRE as managing director and practice leader of the company’s Midwest Hotels Advisory practice.
Based in Chicago, Gompel will work with Les Linder, senior managing director for CBRE Valuations and Advisory Service’s Midwest division, and Tommy Crozier, national practice leader of CBRE Hotels Advisory, to expand CBRE’s Hotels Advisory practice in the Midwest. The practice represents hotel owners, municipalities and lenders by providing project feasibility, operator searches, development advisory, acquisition due diligence, asset management and other services.
Prior to joining CBRE, he worked for Hyatt Corp., where he built the company’s feasibility department and oversaw all feasibility analyses worldwide, leading a global team of 21 associates. During his tenure with Hyatt, he underwrote $2.5 billion in acquisitions and $3 billion in corporate owned, new-build developments. He also supported Hyatt’s internal asset management of more than 50 owned hotels, handled underwriting of capital and expansion projects and helped with optimization strategies for guestroom inventory and project amenities.
Prior to Hyatt, Gompel worked as a senior associate in the international hospitality and leisure practice of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP from 2004 to 2007 and as an advisory and asset management associate with JLL Hotels in Paris, London and Miami from 2000 to 2004. Earlier, he worked in operations for various hotels, including Novotel Bagnolet in Paris, Hotel Ritz in Paris and Le Meridien in Boston.
Preferred Hotels & Resort Promotes Klein
Preferred Hotels & Resorts has promoted Caroline Klein to chief communications officer.
In her new role, Klein leads corporate positioning efforts, managing the company’s reputation through consistent messaging across all touchpoints; developing new and enhanced communications strategies; and overseeing all aspects of corporate communications. She also serves as chief communications officer of Preferred’s sister division, PHG Consulting, a global travel and tourism marketing and consulting agency.
She has worked as part of the Preferred team since August 2012, first as senior manager of public relations for the Americas before being promoted to take on global responsibilities, in addition to greater functions such as corporate communications, social media, crisis management and executive communications, most recently serving as EVP of corporate communications and public relations. Since joining Preferred, Klein, in collaboration with a global team of media experts, has orchestrated extensive campaigns that have successfully elevated the company’s industry profile, strengthened brand integrity, and increased awareness of the company and its client portfolio among media audiences worldwide.
Previously, Klein worked with public relations agencies in New York and Chicago, focusing exclusively on luxury travel and hospitality clients.