HERE I AM NOW!
JENIFER DWYER SLEE
DIRECTOR OF SALES MICE
SOFITEL SYDNEY WENTWORTH
What did you want to be when you grew up: A musician, artist or doctor? Not quite sure where those ideas came from as a 10 year old. Your first job: Playing the piano in Brisbane’s “Petrie Mansions” restaurant while studying at uni. That was fun! Your first pay packet: Don’t remember, probably $200 for two nights’ work, but the tips were great. Your first break: Working with Ulrich Renner, then GM of Sydney Renaissance Hotel. At 25 having decided I should become more serious about my career, he gave me the opportunity to start in the hotel business, as receptionist. I absolutely loved every bit of it and then had my first sales role with him opening Lilianfels Blue Mountains. Describe your current role: Providing solutions for our customers for their meetings, conferences, launches, social events and much more. Sofitel Sydney has been part of Sydney’s business and social network for so long and many of our customers have very fond memories of this iconic five-star hotel. The best part of your job: Working with our exceptional people, and receiving feedback from our customers, who are integral to our success and development. The worst: There aren’t enough hours in every day.
Who has inspired you: My mum without a doubt. And the mentors who have invested their time and wisdom along the way. You know who you are and THANK YOU. Your best quality: Tenacity. Your worst quality: Taking on too much. Your best achievement: My beautiful son Fletcher. Where do you want to be in 10 years’ time: Working as an expat and sharing the knowledge I have gained during my hotel and PCO career. Your likes about the MICE industries: The people, their passion and energy. Your dislikes: No real dislikes, however there is an opportunity for the BE community to come together to increase the awareness of the $$ and jobs that our industry contributes to the domestic economy.
Lisa Knowlson has been appointed director of sales of the Pullman Reef Hotel Casino in Cairns. Formerly general manager of the Mantra Amphora Resort and Spa at Palm Cove, Ms Knowlson made the move to Tropical North Queensland 15 months ago. Before moving to Cairns she was the general manager of the Aanuka Beach Resort at Coffs Harbour.
ROB VON HARTITZSCH
RYDGES PLAZA CAIRNS
Rob von Hartitzsch has been appointed general manager of Rydges Plaza Cairns. He took up his position following the transfer of former general manager, Fareid Taheri to QT Resort Falls Creek (operating formerly as Quay West Resort & Spa). With a hospitality career spanning 16 years, Mr von Hartitzsch has held a number of food and beverage management positions across Australia and New Zealand, most recently as the food and beverage manager of Rydges Wellington.
Ryan Mikkelson has been appointed hotel manager for Hilton Lake Taupo. With an extensive background in hospitality and nine years within Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Mr Mikkelson was previously director of business development for Hilton Auckland and Hilton Lake Taupo.
Katie Benson has been appointed CEO and executive director of Langham Hospitality Investments Limited (LHIL). Langham Hospitality Investments’ objective is to provide holders of share stapled units with the potential for sustainable long-term growth of such distributions and enhancement in the value of the hotel portfolio.
Mark Simmons has been appointed vice president sales and marketing, Asia-Pacific, of the Outrigger Enterprises Group. Mr Simmons, an Australian national with 23 years’ experience in hospitality in the Asia Pacific region, will be based at the Outrigger regional headquarters in Phuket.
DIRECTOR OF SALES
Louise Osborne has been appointed director of sales for Victoria and the ACT for Frasers Hospitality. Frasers Hospitality general manager Australia, Matthew Rubie, said: “Louise’s appointment will further augment and synergise the group’s sales and marketing efforts across Australia as we grow the brand’s footprint across key cities.” Ms Osborne will be based at Fraser Place Melbourne.