Appointments & Promotions

From First Employee to General Manager: Kenya Bannister, GM of Courtyard Marriott Long Beach Airport

LONG BEACH, CA. August 30, 2017 – Courtyard Marriott Long Beach Airport is pleased to announce Kenya Bannister as general manager of the 159-room Long Beach, California hotel. Bannister was the first employee on the hotel’s opening team in March 2013 and originally served as the hotel’s director of sales. In her new role as general manager, Bannister manages the hotel’s day-to-day operations and a team of 51 employees.

Bannister brings over two decades of experience in the hospitality industry to the Courtyard Marriott Long Beach Airport team and Kokua Hospitality, LLC, the hotel’s San Francisco-based independent management company. She officially joined Kokua Hospitality in October 2015 when the company assumed management of the hotel and represents just one of many female leaders within Kokua’s executive team and portfolio of hotels. Prior to her tenure at the property, Bannister served in positions ranging from front desk clerk and to director of sales and marketing across various hotel brands. Her time spent at hotels such as the Belamar Hotel Manhattan Beach, DoubleTree by Hilton LAX/El Segundo, and Residence Inn Orange armed Bannister with experience in diverse hotel sectors, including limited service, select service, full service, and boutique hotels.

“Kenya is a dedicated and results-driven leader who knows this hotel better than anyone,” says Kirk Pederson, president of Kokua Hospitality. “We are excited to have her leading the team and look forward to the continued success of the property under her direction.”

Bannister is a Long Beach, California native and studied communications at Long Beach City College. A role model for her team, Bannister holds the community close to her heart and regularly volunteers at the Long Beach Rescue Mission, WomenShelter of Long Beach, and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. She is an activist in the local tourism community and serves on the local convention and visitor’s bureau Board of Directors.

To learn more about the Courtyard Marriott Long Beach Airport or to make reservations, please visit More information on Kokua Hospitality and its portfolio of hotels can be found at

About Courtyard Marriott Long Beach Airport

With over 900 hotels in 37 countries, Courtyard by Marriott gives worldwide convenience and travel experiences that fit the needs of their customers. Travelers will enjoy a hotel designed with them in mind with spacious rooms, plush bedding and complimentary wireless. Parent company, Marriott International, Inc., is a leading hospitality company with more than 3,900 properties, 18 brands, and associates at the headquarters, managed and franchised properties around the world. Founded by J. Willard and Alice Marriott and guided by Marriott family leadership for more than 80 years, the company is headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, USA, and reported revenues of nearly $13 billion in fiscal year 2013. For more information on the hotel, please visit

About Kokua Hospitality, LLC

Kokua Hospitality, LLC is an independent hotel management company founded with the drive to become the operator of choice for strategic institutional and select private lodging investors by producing superior results as turnaround specialists. Created by veteran lodging investment and management experts to appeal to an investor’s sensibility, Kokua Hospitality blends best-in-class operating practices with an owner’s DNA. Kokua Hospitality manages a growing portfolio of hotels and resorts nationwide. For more information on Kokua Hospitality, please visit and follow along on Twitter and Facebook.

Renee Herron / Kate Gleason or

Coming Up In The October Online Hotel Business Review

Feature Focus
Revenue Management: Technology and Big Data
Like most businesses, hotels are relying on technology and data to drive almost every area of their operations, but perhaps this is especially true for hotel Revenue Managers. There has been an explosion of technology tools which generate a mountain of data – all in an effort to generate profitable pricing strategies. It falls to Revenue Managers to determine which tools best support their operations and then to integrate them efficiently into their existing systems. Customer Relationship Management, Enterprise Resource Planning, and Online Reputation Management software are basic tools; others include channel managers, benchmark reports, rate shopping tools and review systems, to name a few. The benefits of technology tools which automate large segments of a Revenue Manager’s business are enormous. Freed from the time-consuming process of manual data entry, and having more accurate data available, allows Revenue Managers to focus on analysis, strategies and longer-term decision-making. Still, for most hotels, the amount of data that these tools generate can be overwhelming and so another challenge is to figure out how to effectively utilize it. Not surprisingly, there are some new tech tools that can help to do exactly that. There are cloud-based analytics tools that provide a comprehensive overview of hotel data on powerful, intuitive dashboards. The goal is to generate a clear picture, at any moment in time, of where your hotel is at in terms of the essentials – from benchmarking to pricing to performance – bringing all the disparate streams of data into one collated dashboard. Another goal is to eliminate any data discrepancies between finance systems, PMS, CRM and forecasting systems. The October issue of the Hotel Business Review will address all these important developments and document how some leading hotels are executing their revenue management strategies.