August 2, 2021 | By Bronwen Largier

Marriott International has promoted four key talent into General Manager roles across Australia while IHG Hotels and Resorts has created a new Managing Director role for Australasia and the Pacific.

Three of the four at Marriott have spent more than a decade with the brand, with two clocking more than 20 years.

Victoria Benevolenskaya has been appointed General Manager of Four Points Sheraton, Sydney Central Park, after starting her career as Guest Service Agent at Four Points by Sheraton Darling Harbour 13 years ago and going on to specialise in finance.

“My key focus for the next 12 to 18 months will be establishing a strong foothold as the market bounces back and building a strong team committed to delivering a truly memorable stay for guests,” said Benevolenskya.

Mark Snell has been appointed General Manager of Courtyard by Marriott Brisbane South Bank, after 25 years with Marriott, most recently as Director of Operations of Marriott Brisbane.

“My vision for the hotel is to increase awareness of the brand in the local market, build the reputation for the property and to deliver the very best service for guests,” said Snell.

Carolyn Smith joined Marriott 20 years ago as a Service Express Attendant at The Westin Melbourne. Having honed her skills both in Australia and in London, Smith has taken on the role of General Manager, Courtyard by Marriott Melbourne Flagstaff Gardens, relocating from Port Douglas where she has been Director of Operations at Sheraton Grand Mirage Port Douglas.

“Marriott International is committed to providing solid career progression for their associates, offering excellent training and mentoring programs that provide long-term and rewarding career opportunities,” said Smith, adding that she was excited to be returning to Melbourne.

Karan Singh started with Marriott 22 years ago as a Porter at Goa Marriott Resort in India before working around the world with a variety of major hotel brands. Rejoining Marriott in March 2020 as Hotel Manager of Sheraton Grand Sydney Hyde Park, he will now oversee Element Melbourne Richmond as its GM.

Sheraton Grand Sydney Hyde Park. He commenced in the General Manager role at Element Melbourne Richmond on 26 July.

“Throughout my career I have had the opportunity to work internationally in some of the world’s best hotels. I am truly excited to be offered this career opportunity to lead the team at the Element Melbourne Richmond, a signature lifestyle brand in Marriott’s growing portfolio and take the Element brand’s promise around sustainability and wellbeing to the next level,” said Singh.

Sean Hunt, Area Vice President at Marriott International for Australia and Asia Pacific said he was proud of the four new appointments.

“All four associates have been part of Marriott’s internal training and development program that allows us to develop the skills of our high-performing team members as they move through to senior management positions,” he said.

“Victoria, Mark, Carolyn and Karan are all first-time General Managers, they will each play an integral role in supporting the ongoing success of these hotels and Marriott International. They bring extensive experience and a great passion for the industry. I congratulate them all on their well-deserved appointments.

“At Marriott, we encourage talent retention and internal promotion, as well as our diversity and inclusion programs, mentoring and wellbeing are all key focus areas at Marriott International. I am also delighted with the growing representation of women in our senior management roles, Victoria and Carolyn are [among] our youngest female general managers in the business.”

InterContinental Hotels Group has also recently made a significant Australian appointment, promoting Matthew Tripolone to the new role of Managing Director – Australasia and Pacific. Tripolone has been with the brand for over seven years and will move back to Australia from Dubai, where he is currently the Vice President of Development for the Middle East and Africa.