CONVENTION CENTERS AND BUREAUS Stephen B. Richer has been appointed executive director of the Mississippi Gulf Coast Convention and Visitors Bureau in Gulfport, MS. Richer is the former president of the Atlantic City Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The Portland Oregon Visitors Association (POVA) has chosen Joe D'Alessandro as its new president. He joins POVA from the Oregon Tourism Commission, where he was executive director.

Richard Binford is the new president of the Metropolitan Detroit Convention and Visitors Bureau. Since 1994, Binford had been senior vice president, sales and marketing, for the New York Convention and Visitors Bureau, where he previously had been senior vice president and COO. Before joining the bureau, Binford was director of travel industry sales and marketing for Northwest Airlines in St. Paul, MN.

Jan Roy, CMP has been named director of corporate sales for the Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau. She had been manager of sales promotion for McCormick Place in Chicago.

At the Greater Milwaukee Convention & Visitors Bureau, Dawn Poker has been named vice president of sales. She had been director of sales at the bureau.

The Palm Springs (CA) Desert Resorts Convention and Visitors Bureau has named Pamela Bryant senior sales manager, responsible for convention and incentive group accounts in the eastern USA. She had been in sales positions at Marriott Hotels in La Jolla, CA and Washington, DC.

HOTELS AND TRAVEL Timothy M. Lane is the new president and chief executive officer of Holiday Inn Worldwide. He had been president, Asia and the Middle East, for PepsiCo Restaurants International. Bryan D. Langton remains as chairman of Holiday Inn Worldwide until his retirement in December.

Brian Gamache has been named president of the Williams Hospitality Group, based in San Juan, PR. Williams owns and manages El Conquistador Resort & Country Club, El San Juan Hotel & Casino, and the Condado Plaza Hotel & Casino. Gamache will continue on as president of El Conquistador.

Frank Calaguire has left Hyatt Hotels & Resorts, where he was vice president, sales operations, to joine Renaissance Hotels International as senior vice president of sales and marketing. Calaguire, 44, had spent 18 years at Hyatt and is a graduate of the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration. He will be based in Cleveland.

Wyndham Hotels & Resorts has appointed Michael O'Connor director of resort sales, based in New York. O'Connor had served as director of sales, Caribbean hotels, for Hilton International.

Mark Heinzelman has been appointed general manager of the Hyatt Regency Kauai. He had been general manager of the Hyatt Grand Champions Resort in Palm Springs, CA.

Joe Forster has been named vice president, sales and marketing, for the Scottsdale (AZ) Plaza Resort. He will oversee all sales and marketing, with a focus on corporate meeting business, his area of expertise. He had been director of sales for the Seabrook Island (SC) Conference Resort.

David Hawley, CHA has been named general manager for the SunBurst Resort in Scottsdale, AZ. Hawley had been general manager for the Radisson Hotel Midtown in Phoenix.

The Westin Rio Mar Beach Resort & Country Club in Puerto Rico, set to open in August, has made several appointments. Bryan Guillot was named vice president of sales and marketing for Tishman Hotel Corporation, initially responsible for the sales and marketing efforts of the Westin Rio Mar. Guillot had been director of marketing at the Walt Disney World Swan. Also at the resort, Reinhard Werthner was named managing director. He had been vice president of concept development for Marriott Corporation. Ramon L. Sanchez has been named director of sales and marketing. He had been executive director of sales and marketing for the Condado Beach Trio in Santurce. And Cynthia Cunningham is national sales manager, with responsibility for the insurance market. She had been national sales manager at the Walt Disney World Swan in Lake Buena Vista, FL.

Ed Sowers was named general manager of the new Aston Wailea Resort (formerly the Maui Inter-Continental). He had been assistant vice president for Aston Hotels & Resorts for the past year; before that, he was vice president of operations with the Island of Lanai. Alex Doyle stays on as the resort's director of sales, a position he held with the Maui Inter-Continental since 1989.

The Stouffer Renaissance Stanford Court Hotel recently named Peter Rockwood director of sales. He had been director of national sales for Renaissance Hotels International in Los Angeles.

Sandy Aarons has been named director of sales and marketing for the Sheraton Newport Beach (CA). She had been associate director of sales at the Waterfron Hilton in where, CA.

Bob Gamez has been named director of sales at the Resort at Squaw Creek in Olympic Valley, CA. Gamez had been director of marketing and sales for the Westin Rio Mar Beach Resort & Country Club in Palmer, PR during pre-opening.

The Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers recently welcomed Ross Hosking as director of sales and marketing. Ross had been director of sales at the Sheraton Washington (DC) Hotel.

Dianne Baribeault has joined Swissotel Boston as director of sales. She has held sales positions at Radisson Hotels of America and at the Copley Plaza in Boston and the Boston Park Plaza.

The Sheraton New York Hotel & Towers and the Sheraton Manhattan hotel complex have named Rick Keating director of sales and marketing. Keating was director of sales and marketing for the Sheraton Boston Hotel & Towers and, before that, held a similar position at The Plaza in New York.

Tim Groves was appointed director of marketing for the Century Plaza Hotel and Tower, managed by Westin Hotels & Resorts, in Los Angeles. Groves had been director of sales and marketing at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco.

The Crystal Mountain Resort in Thompsonville, MI has named Rick Schmitt director of sales, responsible for managing all conference, golf, and ski groups. He had been meeting and conference sales manager at the Inverness Hotel and Golf Club (formerly the Scanticon Conference Center) in Denver.

Michael McMahon was appointed director of sales and marketing at the Kea Lani Hotel on Maui. He had been director of sales at the Stanford Court Hotel in San Francisco.

Kristal Eckley has been promoted to the position of director of sales and marketing at Indian Lakes Resort in Bloomington, IL and Nordic Hills Resort in Itasca, IL, both western Chicago suburbs. She had been director of sales at Indian Lakes Resort.

Peter J. Bonell has accepted the position of director of marketing at Indian River Plantation Resort on Hutchinson Island in Stuart, FL. He had been director of marketing at The Naples (FL) Beach Hotel & Golf Club and vice president of sales and marketing at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, CO. Also at Indian River Plantation, Lloyd Williams was named director of sales. A second-generation hotelier, Williams had been senior sales and marketing manager at Amelia Island (FL) Plantation Resort.

The Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort in San Antonio, TX has named Cindy Loppacker associate director of sales. Loppacker had been regional sales manager for Hyatt Resorts Caribbean.

The 815-room Hyatt Regency Maui has named Hope Williams director of catering and convention services. She had been in a similar position at the Hyatt Regency Chicago.

Karyn Altman has returned to Rogal Associates (a division of McGettigan Corporate Planning Services) as regional director of sales. Based in Miami, Altman will focus on expanding the McGettigan/Rogal client base in the southeastern USA, while also managing accounts nationwide. She had been with Rogal Associates for eight years before joining Landry & Kling Cruise Specialists as director of sales in 1990.

Joan Hall, formerly vice president, CMC Event Consulting Group, has announced the formation of Joan Hall & Associates, LLC, specializing in marketing, managing, and producing events, meetings, and conferences. The new company is based in Westport, CT.

Joan Sills recently was named president of Pacific Marine Yachts, the San Francisco­p;based owner and operator of a fleet of four yachts. Sills had been president of Colony Hotels and Resorts.