Hyatt bolsters regional executive team with two appointments

Hyatt bolsters regional executive team with two appointments

The roles increase the group’s representation of female leaders 

Hyatt Hotels Corporation has made two senior appointments in its 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% 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 company’s growth has continued into 2023, with 10% of its record pipeline of 117,000 rooms expected to join the portfolio in EAME markets.

Both executives bring extensive experience in the hospitality sector in some of Hyatt’s primary growth markets and “a track record of championing and progressing equitable practices in the workplace”. Their appointments also increase female representation at the highest levels of the organisation 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.

First Look: Grand Hyatt Kuwait
Hyatt to welcome seven new Middle East properties by 2025
Interview: Alila’s Juan Paolo Alfonso on getting guests back to Oman

Joining from Hilton Hotels and Resorts, where she held the position of vice president of operations for Australasia, 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.

She said: “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 website and World of Hyatt app, and I look forward to working closely with Monique to develop and support the diversity of talents across our region.”

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 role of general manager at the Park Hyatt Vienna, while also serving on the group’s Global Diversity Equity and Inclusion Council and as chair of Women @ Hyatt, a global initiative to accelerate and increase professional growth opportunities for female employees.

In her new role, she will be responsible for for creating professional opportunities for Hyatt’s growing workforce of more than 18,000 professionals in EAME. 

She said: “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.”

Águila added: “Heidi and Monique are incredible talents and will be instrumental as Hyatt continues growing with intent here in 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.”

For more information, visit

Don’t Miss...

Royal Caribbean Arabia’s Mohamed Saeed on 2023’s best-selling cruises and incentives for agents

Share article

View Comments