News Briefs

  • 7/16/2023

    BWH Hotels Appoints Joelle Park Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer

    Joelle Park headshot, image credit BWH Hotels

    BWH℠ Hotels has appointed Joelle Park to the role of Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, reporting to President and Chief Executive Officer, Larry Cuculic. As a key member of the executive team, Park will lead the company’s global marketing, brand strategy, and communications, including oversight of the company’s award-winning loyalty programs. She brings an extensive background in hospitality marketing, spearheading customer-centric programs with a proven track record of success.

    “BWH Hotels is at an exciting chapter in its celebrated history and brand evolution, with a strong portfolio of diverse brands. I’m thrilled to be a part of the journey ahead,” said Park. “I am passionate about brand building, from uncovering the essence of a brand’s purpose to crafting insight-driven marketing that drives performance. Each brand in the portfolio is special, making this an exceptional opportunity to curate those unique brand attributes into a compelling story to share with the world.”

    “We are very excited that Joelle is joining our team. Her extensive marketing background, knowledge, and expertise will propel our future global success across our family of 19 brands and our strong loyalty programs,” said Cuculic.  “She is a tremendously strong leader who will effectively drive our collaborative global spirit and culture of inspiring travel through unique experiences.”  

    With over two decades of marketing experience, Park brings a wealth of expertise driving business results through strategic and innovative marketing, and inspiring cross-functional teams to achieve shared goals. Most recently, Park served as Vice President, Global Enterprise and Cross Brand Marketing at Hilton, overseeing strategy, branding, and messaging for the Hilton portfolio of brands. Her work at Hilton included the recent launch of a breakthrough global brand platform and campaign. Throughout her career, she has held various marketing leadership positions spanning brand management, digital strategy, customer experience, and product development. Park is known for launching integrated, go-to-market plans with consistent messaging across marketing, sales, and communications that fuel performance.

    Before entering the hospitality industry, Park held management roles at various agencies crafting creative solutions for top-tier brands in retail, entertainment, travel, and technology. She is a proud alumnus of the University of Virginia, and the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) has recognized her as one of its Top 25 Extraordinary Minds.

  • 6/21/2023

    Shiji and IPORT Partner to Transform Hotel Restaurant Operations with All-in-One Tablet and Payment Device Solution

    Shiji teaser logo

    Shiji, a global hospitality technology innovator, has partnered with IPORT, an award-winning manufacturer known for enhancing the usability of iPads and iPhones, to introduce an all-in-one software solution for hotel restaurants. This collaboration will provide hoteliers with a seamless combination of a tablet and payment device to maximize their F&B operations.

    The integrated iOS and payment device solution simplifies guest service for hotel restaurant servers, providing them with an effortless tool to cater to their guests' needs. As a certified Apple partner, Shiji and IPORT guarantee exceptional performance and reliability. Hoteliers can choose from multiple device options, including iPad Pro, iPad Mini, and iPhone, ensuring flexibility and compatibility with their operations.

    “IPORT products are built around modularity and flexibility that empower our hospitality customers to do more with the iOS platform. We are thrilled to partner with a leading iPad and iPhone cloud PMS and POS platform provider like Shiji,” said Chris Lawson, Head of Partnerships, IPORT. “We look forward to innovating with Shiji in disrupting legacy, monolithic providers who have limited the industry from harnessing the power of iOS and mobility. The future is bright, and the possibilities are endless with IPORT, iOS, and Shiji.”

    "The partnership with IPORT is a significant milestone for Shiji in our commitment to provide innovative technology solutions for the hospitality industry," said Ryan King, Senior Vice President of Shiji in the Americas. "By combining our expertise with IPORT’s hardware solutions, we empower hoteliers to streamline restaurant operations and deliver exceptional guest experiences. This collaboration represents another step forward in our dedication to driving success in the Americas, and globally."

    The tablet and payment device solution seamlessly integrates with multiple payment gateways, allowing hoteliers to choose the system that best suits their needs. By simplifying the payment process, it reduces operational complexities, minimizes errors, and saves valuable time and resources for hoteliers.

  • 6/24/2023

    Steak n Shake Adds New Way to Pay

    Steak n Shake exterior in Indy

    Steak n Shake will offer PopID Check In and PopPay on its self-ordering kiosks in select locations in the Orlando market, with plans to expand to more than 300 corporate locations. PopID Check In is an opt-in service that enables consumers to scan their face to automatically sign into their loyalty reward account and see their past orders, making the ordering process as convenient as possible. When a guest checks in with PopID, they also have the option to use PopPay to automatically complete their payment.

    “Our partnership with PopID is a key part of our effort to provide guests with a fast and seamless ordering experience," said Keith Correia, Chief Information Officer. "When using PopID Check In, a guest does not need to use their phone or take out their wallet as part of the ordering process. They will automatically be checked in for loyalty rewards, and they can choose to make an automated payment with PopPay. A guest can even see their past orders and quickly reorder their favorite menu items. Ordering at Steak n Shake has never been easier or more convenient.”

    In addition to enhancing the guest experience and improving order throughput, PopPay helps to reduce fraud and offers lower payment processing fees.

  • 7/16/2023

    Marriott International and MGM Resorts International Announce Long-Term License Agreement and Creation of “MGM Collection with Marriott Bonvoy”

    MGM hotel in las vegas

    Marriott International, Inc. and MGM Resorts International announced an exclusive long-term strategic licensing agreement and the creation of MGM Collection with Marriott Bonvoy, which will launch in October 2023, and encompass 17 of MGM’s unrivaled resorts, representing more than 40,000 rooms in Las Vegas and other cities across the U.S.

    Beginning in October, several MGM Collection with Marriott Bonvoy resorts will be available for booking on Marriott’s robust digital platforms, including and the Marriott Bonvoy mobile app, with all properties expected to be available by the end of the year. These resorts will continue to be available on MGM Resorts’ channels, including and the MGM Resorts mobile app.

    “This historic, long-term agreement brings together two of the most trusted and iconic brands in hospitality and entertainment,” said Bill Hornbuckle, President and Chief Executive Officer, MGM Resorts. “We’ve seen first-hand the strong demand from Marriott International customers through our existing relationship at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, and this new agreement will enable us to further optimize our overall profitability. We’re thrilled to now scale the relationship and offer Marriott Bonvoy members greater distribution access to our award-winning resorts – as well as exclusive event and entertainment opportunities - in Las Vegas and across the U.S.”

    "We are excited to make MGM Resorts’ incredible properties available on Marriott channels, allowing our members to enjoy Marriott Bonvoy benefits when they stay at MGM Collection with Marriott Bonvoy resorts,” said Anthony Capuano, President and Chief Executive Officer, Marriott International. “We look forward to increasing our global rooms distribution by 2.4 percent as we grow our presence on the Las Vegas Strip and in other compelling destinations across the U.S.”

    The agreement between MGM Resorts and Marriott will also benefit members of both companies’ loyalty programs. Members of MGM Rewards, MGM Resorts’ acclaimed loyalty platform with more than 40 million members globally, will be eligible to link accounts with Marriott Bonvoy and receive select member benefits. Members of Marriott Bonvoy, Marriott’s award-winning loyalty platform with over 180 million members globally, will be able to earn and redeem points for stays at all MGM Collection with Marriott Bonvoy properties.

    Familiar Brands on a New Stage

    Of the 17 MGM resorts that will join MGM Collection with Marriott Bonvoy, four properties will also be affiliated with existing Marriott collection brands: Bellagio Resort & Casino will join The Luxury Collection, ARIA Resort & Casino will join Autograph Collection, Park MGM will become part of Tribute Portfolio, and The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas will continue its affiliation with Autograph Collection.

    Eight MGM resorts in Las Vegas will join MGM Collection with Marriott Bonvoy: Vdara Hotel & Spa, MGM Grand Hotel & Casino, NoMad Las Vegas, The Signature at MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, New York-New York Hotel & Casino, Luxor Hotel and Casino, and Excalibur Hotel & Casino.

    Five MGM Resorts in other U.S. locations will also join MGM Collection with Marriott Bonvoy: Borgata (Atlantic City, New Jersey), Beau Rivage (Biloxi, Mississippi), MGM Grand Detroit (Michigan), MGM National Harbor (Maryland), and MGM Springfield (Massachusetts).

    Marriott and MGM Give Loyalty Members Access to a New and Inspiring Level of Experiences

    Travelers visit Las Vegas for everything from food and wine to sports, music, gaming, and more. Marriott Bonvoy and MGM Rewards will unlock significant benefits and experiences for members of both programs. Marriott Bonvoy members will enjoy benefits at MGM Collection with Marriott Bonvoy resorts and MGM Rewards members will receive certain benefits at Marriott Bonvoy’s global portfolio of more than 8,500 properties, while members of both programs will also be able to exchange MGM Rewards points for Marriott Bonvoy points and vice versa. Marriott Bonvoy Moments, the program providing members access to unparalleled experiences that fuel personal passions, will be enhanced by MGM’s unmatched culinary, entertainment and sports offerings. More information about linking loyalty accounts, new experiences and other loyalty program benefits will be provided to members of both programs in the coming months.

    BetMGM and Marriott Bonvoy Further Enhance Member Benefits

    Marriott International has also entered into a loyalty marketing agreement with BetMGM, MGM Resorts International’s online gaming and sports betting joint venture, for Marriott Bonvoy to become BetMGM’s exclusive hospitality loyalty program partner in the U.S. and Canada. Under this agreement, Marriott and BetMGM will collaborate to provide Marriott Bonvoy members opportunities to earn Marriott Bonvoy points on certain BetMGM transactions, and participate in exclusive games, experiences, and offers on the BetMGM platform. In addition, BetMGM Rewards members will have the opportunity to exchange BetMGM Rewards points into Marriott Bonvoy points. More information about the collaboration will be available this fall.

    Adam Greenblatt, BetMGM, Chief Executive Officer said, “We couldn’t be more excited to be able to offer Marriott Bonvoy Members and our players another suite of incredible perks only found on BetMGM. Our new agreement with Marriott International will create a truly robust rewards program that connects our players and Marriott guests to the full BetMGM omnichannel experience.”

    For more information, please visit or

  • 7/16/2023

    KFC U.S. Names First CDO

    kfc bucket

    Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) has named Paul Tuscano Chief Digital Officer of KFC U.S., effective August 1. He will report to Tarun Lal, President of KFC U.S.

    In the new role created to drive digital priorities further, Tuscano will lead the execution of the KFC U.S. digital roadmap, ensuring proper focus and capabilities driving digital solutions supporting the customer.

    Tuscano will work alongside KFC U.S. Chief Technology Officer, Chris Caldwell, who will continue to lead restaurant technology initiatives, including the restaurant technology support call center.

    Tuscano joins KFC U.S. from Marriott, where he spent seven years working in product management for Marriott’s digital organization, most recently as Vice President of Onsite Digital and Mobile Products. In this role, he was responsible for the Marriott Rewards/Ritz Carlton/SPG apps, the Bonvoy app and all guest digital/technology experiences.

    Before Marriott, Tuscano spent over ten years with Verizon Wireless developing new digital and wireless products across multiple industries. 

  • 7/16/2023

    Marco's Pizza Names Denise Lauer Chief Marketing Officer

    Denise Lauer

    Marco's Pizza has appointed seasoned brand marketing leader Denise Lauer as Chief Marketing Officer. 

    Lauer has a 20-plus-year history of building brands and accelerating growth for companies domestically and internationally, including over a decade of experience specifically within the food industry. She has an extensive background developing high-performing, data-driven marketing and communications strategies for both startups and leading brands, including Morton Salt, PepsiCo – Quaker Foods & Snacks, FedEx, and Eaton Corporation.

    As Chief Marketing Officer of Marco's Pizza, she is responsible for brand strategy, national advertising and media buying strategy, digital and social media, web/app experience, product development and innovation, promotions, multicultural marketing, field/regional marketing and consumer engagement.

    Lauer's expertise lies in unlocking growth potential in businesses, brands, and teams, by partnering with cross-functional leaders on growth strategies, including innovation, e-commerce, digital transformation, and new product launches. She has a proven track record of developing and executing strategies that help strengthen financial performance and brand equity.

    Lauer will report directly to Steve Seyferth, EVP, Chief Growth Officer, and serve on the Marco's Pizza Executive Leadership Team.

  • Show MoreShow More
This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds