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Jerry Bindel Named General Manager of Forest Suites Resort at Heavenly Village

Jerry Bindel has been named general manager for Forest Suites Resort at Heavenly Village, in South Lake Tahoe, California.

Benchmark COO and President Greg Champion made the announcement. “It is with great pleasure that I welcome Jerry to Benchmark and to our resort,” said Champion. “He brings important local and regional market awareness and business connections to his new role, and a strong background of success in leading hotels and resorts.”

Alisal Appoints Local Food & Beverage Director

Certified sommelier Kyle Erickson joins the Alisal Guest Ranch & Resort team in Solvang, CA as the new food and beverage director. Former partner of Ted Vance (Vance Erickson Fine Wine Brokers), Erickson will now work alongside executive chef Anthony Endy to rejuvenate Alisal’s food and beverage menus. As a Santa Barbara native, he strives to incorporate his passion and knowledge of the region to his new role.

Wine Country Welcomes New Director of Catering and Conference Services

The Estate Yountville in Napa Valley, California has expanded their culinary team by appointing Katie Cotten as director of catering and conference services. Cotten brings 13 years of experience in luxury events, including celebrity weddings and television shoots, to her new position, where she will manage and assist meeting and event planners in the execution of their functions. Cotten specializes in setting goals with her clients and working with them closely to ensure a successful and unique event.

Two New Hires for Fairmont Austin

Thomas J.W. Voss has just been appointed managing director of the 1,048-room-Fairmont Austin, opening the summer of next year. He will be responsible for overall operations, performance and strategic direction for the newest and largest Fairmont hotel in the U.S.

With more than 35 years of experience in the hospitality industry, Voss has held a number of positions, including executive roles with Starwood Hotels.

Stephen Starr & Philadelphia’s Schools

It was announced in late February that during the month of March uber-restaurateur Stephen Starr would be introducing a unique "Support our Schools" program in his 20 Philadelphia restaurants.

Philadelphia schools have long been a subject of discontent and Starr’s plans to raise $100,000 during the one-month period would help support multimedia labs, elementary school playgrounds and six-week summer internships. Starr’s restaurants average 40,000 customers per week and diners would be encouraged to add a donation when paying their bill.

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