October 3, 2019, Montego Bay, Jamaica: Parris Jordan, Chairman of the Caribbean Hotel Investment Conference & Operations Summit (CHICOS) has announced that this year’s event will feature five inspirational, innovative, and notable C-Suite Executives participating in the always eagerly awaited Leaders Panel: Jose Carlos Azcárraga, Chief Executive Officer of Grupo Posadas; Laurent de Kousemaeker, Chief Development Officer of the Caribbean and Latin America for Marriott International; Fernando Mulet, Executive Vice President and Chief Development Officer, Playa Hotels and Resorts; Terry Sanders, Chief Development Officer, Americas for Radisson Hotel Group; and Alex Zozaya, Executive Chairman of Apple Leisure Group.
CHICOS, scheduled for November 14-15, 2019, is the premier hospitality investment conference for the Caribbean region. The event will be hosted at the Secrets Wild Orchid Resort in Montego Bay, Jamaica.
Azcárraga, de Kousemaeker, Mulet, Sanders, and Zozaya will address nearly 300 hospitality developers and executives with interests in the Caribbean and will share their vision and insights regarding any and all aspects of travel, tourism, hospitality, and development, as well as their perspectives on the nuances of conducting business in the region.
José Carlos Azcárraga Andrade is the CEO of Grupo Posadas. He is an Industrial Engineer with an MBA from J.L. Kellogg School, Northwestern University. Prior to Grupo Posadas, he worked for Booz Allen & Hamilton and for Chase Manhattan Bank in New York City.José Carlos began his career within Grupo Posadas in 1994, leading different areas including Real Estate Division, Vacation Ownership, and Hotel Sales & Marketing. Posadas is the leading and fastest growing hospitality company in Mexico, with 180 hotels, resorts, and vacation properties in its portfolio that includes almost 30,000 rooms and 52 hotels under development. Posadas currently has more than 19,000 employees and is listed on the Mexican Stock Exchange. In more than 50 years since the opening of the first hotel, Posadas has defined the hospitality industry in Mexico and established a portfolio of ten highly recognized brands that include Live Aqua, Fiesta Americana, Fiesta Inn, One Hotels, and Gamma, among others. José Carlos is a member of the Board of Directors of Grupo Posadas, ARDA (American Resort Development Association), CNET (National Board of Mexican Private Tourism Enterprises), President of Communication Council, and the Citibanamex Advisory Board.
Laurent de Kousemaeker is the Chief Development Officer for Marriott International Inc. in the Caribbean & Latin America (CALA) region. He has 20+ years’ experience in the hospitality industry, including hotel operations, marketing, finance, valuation, transaction, and development experience. Based in Miami, Mr. de Kousemaeker leads the growth strategy and transactions for all 30 of Marriott’s brands in the CALA region. His experienced, talented team is located across various regions, with staff based in Miami, Mexico City, Bogotá, Santiago de Chile, Buenos Aires, and São Paulo. Prior to his current position, Mr. de Kousemaeker was Marriott’s Senior Vice President of Development for the Mid-Atlantic region in Bethesda, Maryland, and, prior to that, Vice President Development for EMEA, based in Madrid, Spain. Before joining Marriott in 2005, Mr. de Kousemaeker was managing director of HVS International’s Madrid office, which he opened in 2002. From 1999 to 2002, Mr. de Kousemaeker was an associate director at HVS International’s office in London, UK, and prior to that, he worked in a range of hotel operations departments for six years in Europe and the Caribbean. Having lived in different twelve countries provides him with a global perspective, and his cross-cultural exposure and language skills (French, Dutch, English, Spanish, and basic understanding of Portuguese) are well suited to the task of crossing cultural divide among stakeholders from different continents
Fernando Mulet is the Executive Vice President and Chief Development Officer of Playa Hotels & Resorts. Mr. Mulet is recognized as the facilitator of Playa’s key strategic alliances, more recently with Hilton in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, and in La Romana, Dominican Republic, as well as with Sagicor in Jamaica. Prior to that, Fernando helped established the partnership with global lifestyle brand Panama Jack and was instrumental in spearheading Playa’s alliance with Hyatt—the first of its kind in the all-inclusive hospitality sector. Playa now owns or manage assets in many of Mexico’s and the Caribbean’s best beachfront locations. Before joining Playa, Fernando was the Director of International Investments & Asset Management with Highland Hospitality Corporation (NYSE: HIH). A native of Spain, he began his career in the hospitality industry at Barceló Hotels & Resorts. He earned his BA at the Universidad Pontificia de Comillas (ICADE) in Madrid, Spain, and earned a certification in Real Estate, Development, and Hotels Investment from The School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University.
Terry Sanders serves as Chief Development Officer, Americas of Radisson Hotel Group (formerly Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group). Sanders leads, builds, and delivers the development and growth strategies across its core brands in the Americas, including Radisson Blu, Radisson, Radisson RED, Park Plaza; Park Inn by Radisson, and Country Inn & Suites by Radisson. He also manages strategic investments for the portfolio and spearheads merger and acquisition activity related to portfolio growth. Sanders reports to Ken Greene, President, Americas. Sanders is a 20-year veteran of the hotel industry. Most recently, he was a Senior Broker at Avison Young in Dallas, Texas. Prior to that, he held various positions at Wyndham Hotel Group for almost 15 years, such as Senior Vice President of Development for franchised and managed hotels in the U.S. and Western Canada. Before Wyndham, Sanders was a partner at DDS Capital Group. He began his hotel career in 1997 as a Franchise Sales Director with HFS Inc., which later became Cendant.
As Executive Chairman of Apple Leisure Group, Alex Zozaya leverages 30 years of industry insight to optimize global synergies between the Group’s 14 leading travel and hospitality brands. Today, ALG serves more than 3.2 million guests annually, delivering more North American leisure travelers to Mexico and the Caribbean than any other hospitality company in the world, and positioning itself as the #1 vertically integrated provider of charter flights. Amstar DMC is the largest destination management company in Mexico, Jamaica, and the Dominican Republic. For over 25 years, Amstar has expertly served group, business, and leisure travelers with personalized tours, private excursions, and deluxe airport transfers. Prior to establishing AMResorts in 2001, Alex held senior positions at Fiesta Americana Hotels & Resorts, where he directed all commercial activities for Latin America's largest hotel consortium. Alex's outstanding contributions to international hotel business have garnered numerous industry accolades, including recognition as “Hotelier of the Year” by Alta Hotelería, for which he received the distinguished Diamante Award; CNN Expansion magazine ranked Alex among the “100 Most Important and Influential Businesspeople in Mexico.” In February 2018, Alex was named Vice President of the Mexican National Council of Tourism Companies (CNET for its acronym in Spanish), the main organization for representing the tourism private sector in the country. Additionally, in August 2018, Alex joined the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) Executive Committee as Vice Chairman for Latin America and the Caribbean. The council provides valuable expertise and services to the travel and tourism sector while actively shaping the future of the industry in those regions. On August 29, 2019, after six years as CEO and 20 years participating in the many stages of the company’s trajectory, Alex took over the position of Executive Chairman of Apple Leisure Group, where he continues to play a strategic role in the company’s expansion.
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For conference registration and hotel information please visit us here. To confirm accommodations at the CHICOS host hotel, Secrets Montego Bay, click here.
Media Contact for CHICOS:
Leora Halpern Lanz, LHL Communications
Mobile: (516) 680-8529