• Virgin Hotels Appoints Shammas Vice President

     
    POSTED November 3, 2022
     

Development and hospitality management expert brings more than 30 years of experience to Virgin Hotels.

Virgin Hotels, the luxury-lifestyle hotel brand owned by Sir Richard Branson, is welcomed Leslie J. Shammas as vice president of development services. Shammas will be responsible for garnering partner relationships with key stakeholders on an international and domestic level. Stakeholders include developers, engineers, architects, designers, and more. Shammas will spearhead various initiatives with the goal of ensuring hotel projects are successfully achieved with brand, in budget, and on schedule. With a passion in project development and innovation, Shammas brings more than 30 years of leadership experience in project design and management, owner relations, and brand development. She will work closely with Teddy Meyer, Virgin Hotels’ vice president of design and creative director.

Prior to Virgin Hotels, Shammas served as a Development Services Consultant at Montage International. From 2017 to 2020, she worked for Canyon Ranch Wellness Resorts, with the Design and Development team. Starting as the global director and later becoming vice president, she spearheaded design endeavors. Shammas provided design and construction leadership for all architectural and interior renovations at existing properties, while simultaneously lending her support on new development and acquisitions for proposed properties. Before her work at Canyon Ranch, Shammas spent eleven years at Fairmont Raffles Hotels International. As the executive director of design and construction, she provided owners and developers with support throughout the planning and building of new properties, major renovations, and resort residential projects, both domestically and internationally. During her time there, she established expectations and standards for every property to be aligned with the brand ethos.  Prior to that, Shammas was a senior associate at WATG Architects, an international hospitality firm, where she managed numerous projects and brands throughout the world.

“We are thrilled to welcome Leslie to the team,” says James Bermingham, CEO of Virgin Hotels. “Her expertise and extensive background in representing both ownership and brand operators bring value to each project while supporting on budgets and schedules throughout the process.”

Shammas holds a bachelor's degree in architecture from California Polytechnic University. In 2010, she managed the Fairmont Pittsburgh project, which became the first LEED Gold Hotel in the U.S. Shammas went on to be recognized as an industry hospitality and spa expert who has spoken at Boutique Design West, Hospitality Design Expo, and ALIS Conferences. Shammas also recently obtained a WELL AP Certification. 

On Nov. 25, the International Association of Conference Centres (IACC) released its latest quarterly Meeting Room of the Future Barometer. In a nutshell, the global association reports that the recovery of the meetings and events industry remains on a solid and positive trajectory.

Among the findings:

 

The Meeting Professionals International Board of Directors has its sights set on 2027. Building on an organizational strategy initially conceived in 2020 by key board, staff, and executive team members, the organization recently solidified its goals for the next five years.

“Over the course of the past two years, the goals were modified based on economic conditions, but those pillars remained intact and were validated by the MPI Board this past September during meetings held in Quintana Roo, Mexico,” says Drew S. Holmgreen, MPI chief branding officer.

 

The Meetings Mean Business Coalition has announced “Meetings Matter” as the 2023 theme for Global Meetings Industry Day (GMID) to be held on March 30. The international day of advocacy showcases the economic and societal importance of face-to-face business meetings, trade shows, incentive travel, exhibitions, conferences, and conventions.