People News: ALHI, The Balfour Hotel, Meet Chicago Northwest and More Tap New Executives, Welcome New Appointees

September 13, 2021

From new leadership positions at leading organizations to management roles at new hotel properties, corporate event professionals are continuing to find fresh career opportunities as the industry forges ahead toward recovery. Here’s the latest people news to keep on your radar:

Associated Luxury Hotels International

Associated Luxury Hotels International (ALHI) has welcomed 25-year meetings and events industry veteran Silvia Zamora as its new vice president of meeting design and experience. In this executive role, Zamora will lead and accelerate the global sales organization’s vision for meetings and events in partnership with more than 250 member hotels and partners, including elevating ALHI’s global profile, expanding its U.S. market strategy and developing a team of event experts.

Prior to joining ALHI, Zamora spent seven years at Virtuoso, a global network of travel agencies specializing in luxury and experiential travel, where she served most recently as its director of event operations. She has also held positions at Motorola, the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, as well as roles producing events in the tech, pharmaceutical and banking sectors. 

The Balfour Hotel 

The Balfour Hotel, which recently opened on Miami Beach, has appointed James E. Moore III as general manager. Bringing more than 20 years of hotel experience to his new role, he will be responsible for driving overall operations and guest satisfaction, as well as overseeing the property’s food and beverage outlets.

Moore joins The Balfour Hotel after leading the team at the Havana Cabana at Key West Hotel for three years. He has previously held roles in the hospitality, retail and food and beverage industries, working with notable hospitality brands such as Hilton Hotels, including DoubleTree, Embassy Suites, Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton Inn and Intercontinental Hotels. 

Meet Chicago Northwest

Gus Martinez has been selected as director of sales for Meet Chicago Northwest, the official destination marketing organization for Chicago’s northwest suburbs. In his new role, Martinez will manage a team of three sales account executives and handle the professional association markets in Metro Washington, D.C., as well as the cultural markets nationwide.  

An 18-year veteran of the hospitality industry, he most recently worked with Maritz Global Events as a national account manager. His experience in the CVB world began as a regional director of sales for Cincinnati USA and then at Visit Milwaukee, where he spent six years as its convention sales and diversity manager.


Leading business and events technology solutions provider SmartSource, an ABCOM Technology Group company, has appointed Tom Shanley as senior vice president, technology services, responsible for leading the further growth and expansion of the company’s Managed Information Technology (IT) Services. In his new role, Shanley will be directing SmartSource’s team of IT professionals to provide vital services, including help desk support, rapid deployment of equipment and ensuring customer data protection.

Shanley brings more than two decades of high-level IT technical and professional services experience to his new role, most recently as vice president of information technology with the Greater Nevada Credit Union, where he was responsible for the financial institution’s broad IT operations. Prior to that, he served as senior vice president of professional services at Logically, an IT outsourcing and consulting firm that acquired his former employer, IQ Technology Solutions.

Boulder CVB

After 20 years with the Boulder CVB, CEO Mary Ann Mahoney will retire Oct. 15, 2021. Charlene Hoffman, the CVB’s current operations and financial officer, will assume the CEO role on October 16.

A valued leader in Colorado’s tourism industry who has mentored a generation of tourism professionals in her 40-year hospitality career, Mahoney joined the Boulder CVB in 2001, and during her time, transformed the organization into one of the city’s most effective economic vitality contributors. In 2019, she was awarded the Boulder Chamber’s Celebration of Leadership President’s Award of Distinction, as well as the Governor’s Award for Outstanding Individual Contribution to Colorado Tourism.  

Since joining the CVB in 2014, Hoffman has played an integral role in advancing its strategic priorities, overall impact and daily operations. She brings more than 25 years of diverse experience in senior-level management and ownership roles in sales, marketing, management, business development, finance and business operations to her new leadership role.  

Main Light

Live entertainment technology and equipment rental partner Main Light has made two new hires to bolster its burgeoning Main Light West location in Las Vegas.

As the company’s new rental executive, Steve Nancarrow is responsible for business development and client interfacing with professional production companies on the West Coast. Nancarrow previously worked for 27 years at PRG Las Vegas, most recently holding the position of entertainment lighting representative.

Mike Gaynor has been tapped to serve as operations manager. A third-generation member of the live entertainment industry, he brings a depth of experience to his new role, with logistics and assistant operations manager positions at 4Wall Entertainment and prior to that, as operations manager at Christie Lites in Las Vegas. 

Botánika Osa Peninsula

Diego Oviedo has been appointed general manager of Botánika Osa Peninsula in Costa Rica, a new luxury eco-resort and Curio Collection by Hilton property, set to open in early 2022. In his new role, Oviedo will oversee daily operations of the property’s guestrooms and residences, programming, staff management and guest relations.

In his 10 years working in the hospitality industry, Oviedo has held a series of ascending leadership positions with Hilton in Costa Rica, including resident manager of Gran Hotel Costa Rica, another Curio Collection hotel. He has also held roles as front desk manager and operations manager at Hilton Garden Inn San Jose and front desk supervisor and night auditor at DoubleTree Cariari San Jose. 

Louisville Tourism

Louisville Tourism has appointed 24-year hospitality industry veteran Sonia Fong as senior vice president of convention development. Her responsibilities include managing the convention sales team to achieve annual room night goals, developing and implementing the convention sales and marketing plan, outlining specific sales objectives and priorities for the convention sales staff and establishing sales policies and procedures to maximize Louisville as a convention destination.

Prior to coming to Louisville Tourism, Fong served as vice president of convention sales and services for the Greater Miami CVB, where she worked for 21 years serving in a variety of sales positions with additional responsibilities overseeing their Washington, D.C., regional sales office. Prior to the Miami CVB, she worked in several Miami-based Marriott properties and at the Biltmore Hotel Miami, and has worked with many high-profile groups and national trade shows.

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