Hyatt strengthens brand and marketing leadership

26th May 2013
Hyatt strengthens brand and marketing leadership

Hyatt Hotels has appointed four marketing professionals to leadership positions. All four positions are designed to enhance the company’s global brand-led focus and innovative thinking process.

“We’ve put together a dynamic, balanced team of outside industry brand experts and hospitality professionals to help us reach our goal of becoming the most preferred brand,” said John Wallis, Chief Marketing Officer at Hyatt.

“These four individuals are great additions to the strong team that serves our passionate hoteliers by providing them with the consumer insights and brand frameworks that will help them deliver compelling and exciting new guest experiences.”

The appointments include:

Katherine Melchior-Ray, Vice President, Luxury Brands


In this newly created role, Katherine Melchior-Ray will lead the development of the brand experience and marketing strategy for Park Hyatt and Grand Hyatt, ensuring that the culture of both brands is vibrant, alive and drives brand preference.

Melchior-Ray has 20 years of experience building luxury and fashion brands internationally. She has worked as a senior executive on three continents in four languages, setting global strategy in marketing, business and product development while developing top class local teams in their native languages.

Melchior-Ray’s most recent position was Executive Director of Strategic Planning at Gucci in Japan. She also served as Vice President of Marketing for Louis Vuitton Japan and for Tommy Hilfiger Japan. Prior to Japan, she lived in France, developing the global marketing department for the Nordstrom brand Façonnable. In the United States, Melchior-Ray led the development of Nike’s women’s footwear division from the brand’s headquarters in Oregon.

Melchior-Ray graduated from Brown University in Providence, R.I. and studied at Keio University in Tokyo, Japan.

Karen Dawson, Vice President of Digital Strategy

In her new role, Karen Dawson will lead Hyatt’s digital and social media efforts, focusing on new digital developments and creating a customized and interactive brand marketing approach. This role will aid Hyatt in redefining the customer experience and connecting with consumers through new digital and social initiatives.

Dawson has more than 20 years of creative brand strategy and marketing experience. She most recently served as the Principal/Digital Marketing and Creative Director for Two Blue Spruce in Hampton, New Hampshire, where she focused on creating timely, impactful, and brand-appropriate marketing and advertising elements for clients including Timberland, Harrods, The Limited, and Nestle.

Dawson graduated from Colgate University and holds a Master of Arts in Journalism from New York University. She has also received numerous awards and recognitions throughout her career, including Interactive Marketer of the Year in 2012 from MITX (Innovation and Interactive Awards) and Official Honoree, Retail in 2012 from the Webby Awards.

Chris Walker, Vice President, Brand Experience, Hyatt Place and Hyatt House

Chris Walker is responsible for the brand development and management of Hyatt Place and Hyatt House, two of the company’s fastest growing brands worldwide. Most recently, Walker served as Director of Partner Marketing, where he was responsible for the launch of Hyatt’s first ever co-branded credit card, issued by Chase Card Services.

Walker has 15 years of hospitality and marketing experience, starting his career at Hyatt in 1998 as a Corporate Management Trainee at Hyatt Regency Dubai and later working in various marketing positions for the company.

Prior to returning to Hyatt, Walker was with American Express, in their Service Delivery Network and Consumer Travel Network, most recently leading Fine Hotels & Resorts,American Express’ Luxury Hotel program for Premium Card members.

Walker graduated from the University of Calgary and holds a Master in Business Adminstration from Harvard Business School.

Heather Briggs, Vice President of Consumer Insights and Market Research

Heather Briggs has been promoted to the newly created position of Vice President of Consumer Insights and Market Research, where she manages a global team to leverage guest feedback and increase guest satisfaction scores to ultimately drive brand preference. In addition, Briggs is responsible for developing and introducing tools and resources that measure brand awareness across global markets.

Briggs joined Hyatt in 2011 as a Director of Consumer Insights and Market Research and previously held a similar role at United Airlines. She has also worked for a management consulting firm, focusing on consumer insights and started her career at Target Corporation in Minneapolis, focusing on supply chain and merchandising.

Briggs graduated from the University of Illinois and holds a Master in Business Administration from the University of Chicago.


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