Employee Spotlight

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Valeria Sanchez

Two years ago, I made the decision to work for HEI Hotels & Resorts at the Westin Pasadena. It was my first time working at a hotel and working at the Front Desk. Throughout my time with the company, my experience at my hotel has been wonderful - so many opportunities have opened up and made my journey that much more thrilling. In two years, I've learned about so many different positions working in the Front Office Department. From starting at the Front Desk, learning Gift Shop, and Service Express, I feel like I have a more well-rounded idea of the hotel and the department overall.

In 2018, I was able to start cross-training for our sales department and discovered that it was my passion as well as a future career interest for me. After going through the cross-training, I was able to cover a full position during the leave of another associate and it was an amazing experience that only confirmed my love for Sales! I have grown so much and gained so much knowledge in just two years, and I could not be more grateful. Most importantly, I can say the best part of this journey has been the people I've worked with. They are truly the ones who have made the greatest impact on my growth and have made my experience that much brighter.

William MacGregor

I started working for HEI Hotels & Resorts at the Marriott Fullerton as the Chief Engineer in September 2008. While working at the Marriott Fullerton I was lucky to be there for the roll out of many of the safety, engineering and energy programs that are still in place today. I felt honored when I was invited by the corporate office to attend the 20 year anniversary of Energy Star Awards held in Washington DC. I witnessed HEI receive their Sustained Excellence Award from the US EPA.

I was promoted to the Westin Pasadena to take on a larger hotel that led to more exciting challenges. In January 2015, I was promoted to Senior Chief Engineer by HEI for the west coast properties. This exciting promotion led to many great experiences in my career that helped develop me even more. As part of my new duties, I had the pleasure to be part of the HEI transition team bringing 5 hotels under our management and working with some of the best associates in the business while still continuing to learn at the same time. While being a Senior Chief for HEI, I had the privilege of training many new Chief Engineers at different hotels, brands and states for our company. I'm heading into my 11th year with HEI and looking forward to many more.

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Nora Puga

I started working for HEI Hotels & Resorts in 2008 in the Front Office Department as a Front Desk Agent. My experiences since the very first moment I walked in to The Fullerton Marriott looking for a job has always been positive. I have always considered myself a lucky person for the kind of people I cross paths with. I started to cross-train in the Human Resources Department and was promoted to the HR Coordinator position at The Westin Pasadena Hotel in 2014. It was a dream come true to not only have found my passion in HR, but also to be given the opportunity to learn something completely new.

I have been asked to go on task force and transitions of other HEI properties and be an ambassador to our new hotels joining the HEI Family. HEI has not only provided me with a job but with a family. I am very thankful for all the opportunities that have helped me grow, learn, and develop into the person that I am now. I know that my learning will never end. I also know that I have had the best teachers and mentors through my career. Because of them, I will always be confident in doing the best job possible. The support and knowledge I have gotten from them is priceless and I will forever be thankful.

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Lauren Goodman

I am proud to work for HEI Hotels & Resorts, as it is an organization that has a genuine care about the associates, guests, and owners. The company has been rapidly growing since I started with the organization. The tools and resources HEI has are best in class and foster development of the different roles that utilize them. The opportunities to grow within the company are endless and can be seen at all levels. I admire the laser focus and dedication that HEI demonstrates on delivering results to associates, guests, ownership groups, and other stake holders.

I started with HEI in November 2014 as a Director of Human Resources. Since then, I have been able to transfer permanently in a couple of different roles in different states, as well as travel in task force capacities and be part of new acquisitions in the company. Most recently, I was given the opportunity to be the General Manager at a hotel in Washington DC. I have always felt supported and appropriately challenged by the property and corporate team.  I feel truly grateful to be given the opportunities to grow and to continue my professional development with HEI Hotels and Resorts.


Christian Cardenas

My Name is Christian Cardenas and I am currently Executive Chef-Transitions with HEI Hotels & Resorts. I have been working for our company for Over 7 years. Through great courage and diligence, my path with HEI has been the best career choice of my life. I started in 2011 as a line cook at Marriott La Jolla and throughout the years I had been promoted quite a few times up to the Executive Sous Chef position. Then, in 2017 I was offered to work full time in task force to support other properties within our company. In 2018, I was offered to be part of the corporate team to work with our transition team. 

Working for a company that cares about their employees’ growth and offers great benefits like HEI is what thrills me to be part of our family.  HEI has given me the opportunity to meet and work with the most competitive, smart individuals in their discipline. It is an honor to be part of this family which helped me grow and succeed throughout my career. 

Liz Pasquini

Liz Pasquini

I started at HEI Hotels & Resorts the summer after my Freshman year of college as a Food and Beverage Intern and never thought my summer job would blossom into my career. During my time in F&B, I took advantage of any and all cross training opportunities. In that first year I covered shifts as a server, hostess, bartender, room service server, PBX operator, banquet server, cocktail waitress, steward, valet, and HR Admin. In 2010 I had the opportunity to transition full time into Human Resources. With the guidance of an amazing mentor, I was quickly promoted several times to roles at a variety of HEI properties. About a year ago, I was able to take on a new opportunity with the Corporate office focusing my learned HR skills specifically on Talent Acquisition.

In my nearly 12 years at HEI, I have been able to work with and for amazing hospitality professionals who have given me the freedom to make tough decisions. My opinion matters. The leaders in my department don't just care about my professional growth, but also my personal growth.

Jeremy Medina

Jeremy Medina

I began my career with HEI Hotels & Resorts as a Supervisor at the Front Desk. Having worked on the front line with our group guests, I knew I wanted to learn more about how we obtained and solidified group business. After a year, I expressed interest with my GM and HR Director who were both on board, and willing to help me achieve my goals. Initially as our Group Rooms Coordinator, which helped me dig deeper in to the operations process of group sales, I was able to work hand and hand with our Sales Mangers and our Front Office. After a fun/crazy year in HEI’s prized BT market, and a successful run with Catering, I can say I have now reached my initial goal of becoming a Group Sales Manager for Marriott La Jolla’s SMERF market.

Being with HEI for 5 years now, I have worked with and met so many incredibly smart, professional, and inspiring individuals - seeing that HEI only hires the best of the best. I'm truly honored to be part of this company. With my dedication, and the support of my HEI family, HEI was able to help me get to a place where I honestly thought I would never be - California. All jokes aside, I am honored to work for a company that I feel always has my back and excited for my future and next set of goals with HEI.

Ekaterina Errafi

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I started my career with HEI Hotels & Resorts almost 10 years ago.  My first position was at the Le Meridien hotel in Amuse as a hostess.  A year and a half later, I was promoted to the role of restaurant supervisor, and a year after that I became a restaurant manager at the Le Meridian hotel in Arlington, VA where I worked for 3 more years. 

I was considering changing my career path and leaving the hospitality industry to try something new. My General Manager at that time (big thank you to Jon Coleman) connected me with a wonderful person - Julie Yeung. Julie is a perfect example of a female leader, for she has taught me so much in my time of knowing her. Julie later became my General Manager at The Westin Crystal City, a property that we had opened together after a three month renovation.  I was then promoted to Outlet Manager and the Department Head for F&B at that location.

In 2015, my life drastically changed when I became a mom to a wonderful baby girl. I started searching for a job with a more stable schedule, and I was hired at The Alexandrian Hotel, Autograph collection where I worked as Convention Services Manager. A year later, I was promoted to the role of a Sales Manager. 

I am currently working at The Westin Reston Heights as a Group Sales Manager. The last three HEI Hotels I have worked at, my General Manager has been the same person - Ahmad Erbinieh. I am very happy and proud to work with him. 

Thank you to HEI Hotels & Resorts for the continuous opportunities to grow in my career and develop my skills. I am looking forward to many more happy years with the Company.