Aruba Hotel and Tourism Association moved quickly to fill the CEO
post vacated by Jorge Pesquera, who was tapped to serve as
president and CEO of the Palm Beach County (Fla.) Convention &
Visitors Bureau, effective Nov. 1.
Rob Smith, currently
general manager of the Westin Aruba Resort, will take over the top
job at AHATA, effective Oct. 1.
Smith, who has been GM
at the Westin since 1998, formerly served as vice president of
Aruba Hotel Enterprises and general manager of the then-Wyndham
property prior to its sale and reflagging as a Westin.
In making the
announcement, Ewald Biemans, chairman of the board of the AHATA,
said that "we are fortunate that Rob was willing and available to
take on this most critical position and ensure continuity in the
expanding role that AHATA has undertaken as it pertains to
destination marketing, advocacy and member support
Biemans cited Smith's
contributions to the AHATA, which include serving as chairman of
the nominations committee since 2001, the CEO search committee in
2003, the Aruba Hospitality and Security Foundation from 2002 to
2006 and of AHATA's marketing committee this year. In addition,
Smith is a member of the Aruba Strategic Communications Task Force
and the AHATA board of directors.
Elsewhere, Smith has
been a board member of the Caribbean Hotel Association since 2000,
was recognized as hotelier of the year by the AHATA in 2005 and was
nominated for the same award on a regional basis with the
In other AHATA news,
Stephen Tipsword was named senior director of marketing for the
association, responsible for overseeing its global marketing
strategies, including Meet Aruba, the official group marketing
division of the AHATA.
Tipsword, who is based
in Fort Lauderdale, formerly was general manager of Continental
Vacations, spent two years as director of e-commerce for Air
Jamaica and was with Delta Airlines for 25 years in various sales
and marketing positions.
contact reporter Gay Nagle Myers, send e-mail to [email protected].