NewsJune 3, 2019

ISHC Rising Star Award goes to Playa Hotels & Resorts’ Youngest Director of Sales at the CHRIS Conference

From L to R: Jonathon Zink, Managing Director, The BHN Group; Paola Gomez Lopez, Director of Sales, Hilton La Romana; Andrea Belfanti, Executive Director, ISHC.

Miami, FL (3 June 2019): The International Society of Hospitality Consultants (ISHC) in partnership with the Caribbean Hotel & Resort Investment Summit (CHRIS) recognized Paola Gomez Lopez, Director of Sales of the Hilton La Romana, with the 2019 Rising Star Award Caribbean. Paola was presented the award during plenary session of the CHRIS conference at the Loews Miami Beach Hotel.

As Director of Sales, Paola is responsible for all aspects of sales for the Hilton La Romana, the first Hilton all-inclusive resort in the Dominican Republic. Paola began her career at Playa Hotels & Resorts in 2013 as a Sales Executive and through commitment and perseverance, quickly became the youngest Director of Sales in the company’s history.

“Paola has shown steadfast determination during her tenure at Playa and her passion and creative approach to sales continues to shine through in her most recent role as the Director of Sales at Hilton La Romana,” said Kevin Froemming, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at Playa.

ISHC Executive Director Andrea Belfanti commented, “We are honored to be a part of the Rising Star Award in the Caribbean. The nominations we received represent the very best and brightest in our industry. It is obvious that Paola is a deserving recipient of this award and I know we will continue to see great things from her. We would like to thank CHRIS, the Judges Panel and sponsors for their support.”

This is the ninth year ISHC and CHRIS have collaborated to recognize young, talented leadership in the Caribbean. Previous award winners include Saul Nunez Tirado (2018), Marlen Mena (2017), Pedro Javier Tomas Contreras (2016), Christal Stubbs (2015), Sanovnik Destang (2014), Rodrigo Rizzi de Oliveira (2013), Maxence Bonnamain (2012) and Rafael Bolivar (2011).

Nominations for the Rising Star Award Caribbean must be 35 years of age or younger, currently living and working in the Caribbean in the hospitality field and recognized by leaders as a rising star. Finalists were voted on by the esteemed Judges Panel including:

Jorge A. Apaez, IHG
Kenneth M. Blatt, CPG Real Estate
Ian Carter, Hilton
Frank J. Comito, CHTA
John J. Issa, SuperClubs
Tessa Jacques Antoine, CAIPA
Dave Johnson, Aimbridge Hospitality
David Kong, Best Western Hotels & Resorts
Jared Melnik, KSL Capital Partners
Alejandro Moreno, Wyndham
Xavier Mufraggi, Club Med
Karolin Troubetzkoy, Anse Chastenet & Jade Mountain Resorts
Bruce D. Wardinski, Playa Hotels & Resorts


About ISHC

The International Society of Hospitality Consultants is truly The Leading Source for Global Hospitality Expertise, represented by over two hundred of the industry’s most respected professionals from across six continents. Collectively, ISHC members provide expert services in over fifty functional areas and have specialized skills in virtually every segment of the hospitality industry. ISHC is dedicated to promoting the highest quality of professional consulting standards and practices for the hospitality industry. Candidates undergo a rigorous screening process, ensuring that all ISHC members have a reputation of integrity and are qualified by their experience, training and knowledge to develop and express sound judgment on industry issues. Additional information about the organization, along with a directory of ISHC members, is available on the ISHC website at          

For more information, contact:
Lauren Marshall, Director of Membership & Marketing
Phone: +1 678.735.9453

About Caribbean Hotel & Resort Investment Summit (CHRIS)

Caribbean Hotel & Resort Investment Summit (CHRIS) is the Caribbean’s most important hotel and tourism investment conference. The conference immediately follows a second important event, the Hotel Opportunities Latin America (HOLA) conference. The back-to-back nature of the two events provides a venue for the hotel investment community that is interested not only in the Caribbean, but also in Latin America, to conduct their business while in Miami. CHRIS and HOLA are produced by Northstar Travel Group in association with The BHN Group.

About Northstar Travel Group (
Northstar Travel Group is the leading B-to-B information and marketing solutions company serving all segments of the travel industry including leisure/retail, corporate/business travel, corporate and sports meetings, incentives, hospitality, and travel technology. Northstar is the owner of well-known brands including Travel Weekly, TravelAge West, Travel Weekly China, Business Travel News, Successful Meetings, Meetings & Conventions, Incentive, M&C China, Travel42, Axus Travel App, and Web in Travel. The company produces more than 80 face-to-face events in 13 countries in retail travel, hospitality, corporate travel, travel technology, sports travel, and the meetings & incentive industry. In addition, Northstar owns Phocuswright, the leading research, business intelligence, and event producer serving the travel technology industry. Northstar Travel Group is the leading producer of hotel investment events globally, including ALIS, the largest hotel investment conference in the world and HICAP, Asia Pacific’s most important annual investment conference. Northstar is also the majority shareholder in Inntopia, the leading SaaS e-commerce software, CRM database marketing and predictive analytics business serving the mountain destination, golf, activities, hospitality, and specialty destination travel markets.

About The BHN Group
The BHN Group is the worldwide leader in developing and organizing conferences for the hotel and tourism investment community. With over three decades of experience, more than 150 events completed to-date, and in excess of 100,000 international delegates, these conferences have become “must attend” events for industry leaders who come together to network, conduct business, and to learn about the latest trends. The current slate of events include: the Americas Lodging Investment Summit (ALIS) in Los Angeles; ALIS Law in Los Angeles; ALIS Summer Update; Alternative Ownership Conference Asia Pacific (AOCAP) in Singapore; Caribbean Hotel & Resort Investment Summit (CHRIS) in Miami; Hotel Investment Conference Asia Pacific (HICAP) in Hong Kong; HICAP UPDATE in Singapore; Hotel Investment Forum India (HIFI) in Mumbai; Hotel Opportunities Latin America (HOLA) conference in Miami; Hotel Investment Conference Europe (Hot.E) in London; and HICAP Australia New Zealand (HICAP ANZ) in Sydney. The BHN Group’s website at is the gateway for information about the annual conferences BHN produced, as well as a direct link to important players in the hospitality investment world.