Dubai, United Arab Emirates- Hyatt Hotels Corporation (NYSE: H) announces two senior appointments in its fast-expanding Europe, Africa, and Middle East (EAME) region: Heidi Kunkel as Senior Vice President of Commercial Services, and Monique Dekker as Senior Vice President Human Resources.
The appointments bolster the region’s executive team as it prepares for continued growth under the leadership of EAME Group President Javier Águila. In 2022, 45 percent of the 120 hotels that joined the global Hyatt portfolio were based in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. The region’s contribution to the Hyatt growth journey continues into 2023, with ten percent of its record pipeline of 117,000 rooms expected to join the portfolio in EAME markets.
Both leaders bring extensive experience in the hospitality sector in some of Hyatt’s primary growth markets alongside a track record of championing and progressing equitable practices in the workplace. The appointments of Heidi and Monique increase female representation at the highest levels of the organization as part of an intentional strategy to attract and recruit exceptional female talent into leadership positions, in its regional Head Office and across its portfolio of hotels.
“Heidi and Monique are incredible talents and will be instrumental as Hyatt continues growing with intent here in EAME,” says Javier Águila, Group President for EAME. “As we scale, we want to attract and develop strong leaders who will take our culture and purpose of care out into our new properties and across our corporate offices, infusing this philosophy with our partners. I couldn’t think of two more perfect professionals to help us achieve that ambition.”
Heidi Kunkel, new Senior Vice President of Commercial Services
Heidi Kunkel will lead Hyatt’s Commercial Services function in EAME, which combines sales, revenue management, distribution strategy, corporate marketing, brands, communications and digital, along with oversight for the World of Hyatt loyalty platform.
Heidi joins from Hilton Hotels and Resorts, where she held the position of Vice President of Operations for Australasia, and, previously, spent 15 years at Club Med with Commercial and Operations responsibility across Asia Pacific and Europe & Africa, and has an enviable track record of achieving uplifts in revenue, profitability, operational efficiency and employee engagement across the Pacific region, Southeast Asia and Europe / Africa.
Heidi Kunkel says: “I am incredibly excited about accelerating growth opportunities for Hyatt across the EAME region, focusing on priority source markets such as the UK, Germany, France, and Spain, and driving engagement of our World of Hyatt loyalty programme. We have a great opportunity for growth in increasing direct bookings through our Hyatt.com website and World of Hyatt app, and look forward to working closely with Monique to develop and support the diversity of talents across our region.”
Monique Dekker, new Senior Vice President Human Resources
Born in the Netherlands, Monique Dekker began her career with Hyatt more than 25 years ago at Grand Hyatt New York. After numerous posts across Hyatt properties in Tokyo, Düsseldorf, Chicago and Singapore, she took on the coveted role of General Manager at the Park Hyatt Vienna, one of the group’s most iconic properties in Europe. She combined that role with that of Area Vice President for Austria, Czech Republic, Italy and Hungary, whilst also serving on the group’s Global Diversity Equity and Inclusion Council and was Chair for Women @ Hyatt –a global initiative to accelerate and increase professional growth opportunities for female employees, with 13 chapters and more than 600 colleagues directly involved in EAME alone.
In her new role, Dekker will be responsible for bringing Hyatt’s purpose to life as it scales, creating professional opportunities for its growing workforce of more than 18,000 professionals in EAME at every level. Besides driving the development and retention of the industry’s best talent, she will advance a more diverse, inclusive, and equitable workplace.
Monique Dekker says: “I am incredibly passionate about Hyatt’s purpose of care, and am committed to creating a culture where everyone, regardless of who they are, where they are from, or at what stage they are in their careers, have equal chances to be their best and are encouraged to speak up and be heard. I can’t wait to turn my long-term involvement with Women @ Hyatt and with our diversity, equity and inclusion efforts at property level into a major part of my new role.”
“The strategic impact of HR is growing, and its value has never been more important. I look forward to leveraging my Operations background to support our hotels and corporate offices in the region, and will approach the role with a growth and learners’ mindset. I am thrilled to go out of my comfort zone and to become a role model for others to do the same”.