Westin Kierland announces the appointment of general manager

The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa announced the appointment of Derek Ellis as General Manager. In his role Ellis will oversee all operations for the acclaimed Scottsdale property, which is presently underway with a transformation of its 732 guestrooms and corridors, signaling the re-imagination of an elevated guest experience set to debut holiday 2019. 

“I am thrilled to join the talented team at this esteemed resort rich in innovation, inimitable experiences and unparalleled service,” says Ellis. “It is especially timely and exciting to bring my own personal touches to the resort during this incredible transformation as we welcome guests and the community to the next iteration of our property’s evolution.” 

Prior to joining The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa Ellis most recently served as Resort Manager for JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa, General Manager of JW Marriott Houston by The Galleria, and General Manager of the Houston Marriott Medical Center, where he was recognized as the 2013 Best in Class “General Manager of the Year” for Host Hotels & Resorts®. Previous hospitality management experience includes roles at the JW Marriott Tucson Starr Pass Resort & Spa, JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa, and Renaissance ClubSport Aliso Viejo Laguna Beach Hotel.

Evergreen Devco has promotion, addition

Evergreen Devco, Inc., a leading retail and multifamily development company, announced the promotion of Jeff Market to Vice President of Arizona Multifamily and the addition of Michelle Sinclair as Director of Asset Management.

Market is responsible for the development and construction management for Evergreen’s Arizona multifamily projects.

“Jeff is a talented and valuable team member,” said Matt Evans, Regional President, Multifamily for Evergreen. “He is actively involved in all aspects of the planning, design and construction management of Evergreen’s Arizona multifamily projects.” 

Market has nearly 30 years of experience in the real estate development industry, with previous work as Director of Project Development and as a General Contractor Senior Project Manager. Market holds a bachelor’s degree in Construction Management from the University of Wisconsin—Stout and has been with Evergreen since 2016.

Sinclair, as its Director of Asset Management – Arizona Multifamily, will be responsible for overseeing the Arizona portfolio of multifamily apartments, which includes all aspects of the administrative, financial and operational performance as well as assisting with new acquisitions and sales from the portfolio. She joins Evergreen after serving four years as Director of Operations at MC Residential. Sinclair began her career in the multi-housing industry in 1989 and joined Trillium Residential in December 2003 as its Director of Employee Development before being elevated to President in 2011.

Bondurant High Performance Driving School names CEO

Bondurant High Performance Driving School announced today that Franki Buckman, tenured track leader with a history of operational, sales and marketing success with motorsports programs and properties, has joined the company as its chief executive officer and general manager. In this role, Buckman assumes responsibility for all operations of the school including strategic and day-to-day oversight, the guest experience and team management. 

Bruce Belser, one of the investors who purchased the school in May, will turn the keys of the operation over to Buckman after having served as its top leader during the first six months under new ownership. His expertise in transition was critical to the operation and he will continue to hold an ownership stake in the company.

“We thank Bruce for the foundational work he and the team have done to build on for the future,” said John Arney, chairperson of the Bondurant board, “and we look forward to execution of the strategic plan, led by a seasoned industry insider who understands how to operate and evolve a track for the next generation.”

Buckman has been involved in the auto industry since 1990, when she joined Pro Formance Driving Events and Motorsports, a national ride and drive company and sister organization to Arizona’s only CART professional Indy Car Team fielding driver Scott Pruett at the time. There, she worked directly for the owners, who were experts in the field of automotive events and included racing names like Breedlove and Unser.  She then spent 18 years at Firebird International Raceway, working directly for NHRA Funny Car legend and track owner Charlie Allen, who originally brought the Bob Bondurant school from California to Arizona. “I had the opportunity to work directly with Bob 25 years ago and I’m thrilled to have the chance now to help carry on the unique method of driving instruction that the long-tenured team of trainers at the school still teach today,” said Buckman.

Junior League of Phoenix elects executive vice president

At the Junior League of Phoenix (JLP)’s General Member Meeting in October, Elizabeth Goldstein was announced as the 2020-2022 Executive Vice President-Elect. The Executive Vice President oversees the Management Team of JLP, who manage the daily operations of the organization. Elizabeth “Liz” Goldstein will take the reins from Annette Tanori; her tenure will begin in June 2020 and run through May 2022. 

Liz was born in Memphis and is a graduate of the University of Tennessee. She originally joined the Junior League of the City of New York and transferred to the Junior League of Phoenix when she moved to Phoenix in 2015. Since that time, Liz has served JLP in many capacities, amassing a wealth of knowledge and depth of experience. She has been a Provisional Advisor, part of the Communications Team, Social Vice Chair and Chair, and most recently, Membership Vice President. Liz also served on the Junior League of Phoenix Foundation Board for 3 years and served as the Stewardship Chair for 2 years.