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STARWOOD LAUNCES NEW "AMERICAS" PROGRAM

To handle the changes, Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc. (SVO) just promoted Steve Williams, effective July 1, as the program’s senior vice president and chief operating officer, to oversee the program’s day-to-day operations.

Williams brings to this position 12 years of experience with Starwood, a company he joined in 2000. Most recently, he was the company’s senior vice president of sales and marketing.

His task now will be to implement the new Americas program, which Starwood called a “key structural change” in a news release outlining the shift in strategy.

The goal, Starwood noted, “reflects a strong, integrated relationship between Starwood and its vacation ownership group. By leveraging the company's combined resources, talent and understanding of its guests and owners, the move is expected to maximize synergies between hotel and timeshare operations.”

The Vacation Ownership program offers preferred customer access to Starwood hotels and resorts, and, as Starwood notes, ‘’Flexibility is also a key driver. Through the Starwood Vacation Network program, owners can choose to vacation within a collection of 19 villa resorts each year using their specific value of StarOptions.”

Members also have the option of selecting from nearly 1,100 Starwood hotels and resorts in 100 countries, with no blackout dates. They can redeem their specific value of Starpoints through the Preferred Guest program.

Williams’ new role in the Americas program was created as part of organizational changes made by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide. As part of the organizational change, Serge Rivera, previously the chief executive officer of SVO, has become the new co-president of Starwood Americas.

The two men are ideally suited to expand the reach of the Vacation Ownership program into both North America and Latin America, said Frits van Paasschen, president and chief executive officer of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide.

Van Paasschen noted that Williams brings more than three decades of experience in growing the vacation ownership, fractional, residential and branded hospitality industries, since he worked at Marriott Vacation Club and Fairfield Communities before joining the Starwood team.

"Steve has been integral to the success of SVO and we are delighted to promote him to this new leadership role,” van Paasschen said. “The promotions of both Steve and Serge underscore the great talent we have within the ranks of our SVO organization, and we look forward to the group’s continued success under Steve’s leadership."

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide operates 1,103 properties in 100 countries and territories.

The staff of more than 154,000 employees at its owned and managed properties makes it one of the larger vacation ownership firms in the world.

Starwood Hotels is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels, resorts and residences, with brands that include St. Regis, The Luxury Collection, Westin, Le Méridien, Sheraton, Four Points by Sheraton, Aloft, and Element.

The loyalty program Starwood Preferred Guest allows members to earn and redeem points for room stays, room upgrades and flights. Starwood Vacation Ownership provides vacation experiences through villa-style resorts and access to Starwood brands.

For more information, log on to www.starwoodhotels.com



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