Interstate strengthens Moscow presence

Interstate has announced that the company has further strengthened its international presence with the opening of a branch office in Moscow, Russia, and the appointment of three senior executives to be based there.  The announcement comes on the heels of news that the company recently signed its fifth hotel management contract in Moscow.
Kenneth McLaren was named executive vice president of Interstate Management Services, Inc. and will oversee operations of the local hotels, with all general managers reporting directly to him.  Irina Kulagina, new vice president sales and marketing, will also be responsible for new business development.  As vice president-director of projects, Mikhail Rodionov will oversee the capital project process for the company’s Moscow hotels, as well as assist during the renovation/construction of new hotels.
“These three hospitality executives add significant bench strength to our international management team and together bring more than three decades of relevant industry experience in property and project operations and marketing,” said Thomas F. Hewitt, chief executive officer of Interstate Hotels & Resorts.  “We recently announced our fifth management contract in Moscow and have an active pipeline for future growth.  Our new office and executive team will give us greater operational strength and allow us to achieve strong economies of scale.  We also have enhanced our ability to source additional new contracts and/or development and acquisition opportunities, both in Russia and throughout Europe.”
“All three executives have strong, proven track records in this region and are very familiar with the Moscow hotel market,” said Henry L. (Hank) Ciaffone, president of international operations and development at Interstate.  “In addition to overseeing hotel operations, Ken also will also be directly responsible for the Marriott Hotels area sales and marketing office, the area human resources department and the area purchasing department.  Ken, Irina and Mikhail all will report directly to me.”