Management Profile

Profiles of key members of the management team at Sonesta Fort Lauderdale Beach.

Eduardo Fernandez

General Manager

Eduardo Fernandez

Eduardo Fernandez is a seasoned hospitality industry professional with more than 30 years of diverse hospitality experience. Fernandez began his career at Le Centre Sheraton Hotel and Towers in Montreal and went on to manage numerous properties for Sheraton Hotels and Resorts in Boston, New York, Delaware and Miami. He then went on to work with Starwood Hotels & Resorts, where he served in various roles including Senior Director of Operations for New Builds and Transitions and managed various properties for W Hotels.
Most recently, Fernandez spent two years serving as general manager of B Ocean Fort Lauderdale, where he played a key role in the successful turnaround of B Hotels & Resorts’ flagship hotel. Upon the 2014 sale of B Ocean, Fernandez was retained as general manager, and has since helped seamlessly transition the property into a successful new addition to the Sonesta Hotel & Resorts portfolio.

As an award-winning leader, Pace is frequently invited to speak at national environmental meetings. With a keen interest in sustainability, mentorship, and guest speaking, Pace is actively involved in the local community. He currently serves as president for the Hotel & Restaurant Foundation where he oversees the granting of over $150,000 a year in scholarships throughout California, director on the board for the California Hotel and Lodging Association and the Hotel Council of San Francisco, as well as serving as an advisory board member for City Car Share and San Francisco State University.

A native of Malta, Pace is fluent in Maltese, German, Italian, French, and English. When not onsite at The Clift Royal Sonesta Hotel, he enjoys gardening, mountain biking, and spending time with his family in Novato, CA.

 

Jessica Quiroz

Director of Sales and Marketing

Jessica Quiroz

In her role, Quiroz is now responsible for the successful execution of the hotel’s sales and marketing strategy for all revenue generating areas, as well as overseeing the property’s advertising, public relations, social media and direct sales initiatives.

“Jessica has been a tremendous asset to Sonesta Fort Lauderdale Beach since joining our team in 2014, and has made quite an impact within that time, so we are thrilled to announce this promotion” said Eduardo Fernandez, the hotel’s general manager. “Jessica’s ability to not only cultivate relationships with those around her, but translate them into results for the hotel, have helped position her perfectly for this new leadership role.”

Most recently, Quiroz served as the hotel’s transient sales manager, a position in which she maintained and grew local and national corporate accounts through relationship building with travel agent professionals and groups. Prior to joining the Sonesta Fort Lauderdale team, Quiroz served as director of sales and marketing for Element by Westin Miami International Airport. She has also held various other positions within the hospitality industry through her 23-year career, including working for Marriott International, InterContinental Hotel Group and John Q. Hammonds Hotels & Resorts.

 

Thomas Russo

Executive Chef

Thomas Russo

Heading up the Culinary Team here at Sonesta, Ft. Lauderdale Beach Hotel is Chef Thomas Russo, CEC.

Chef Russo is an accomplished Certified Chef by the American Culinary Federation and is one of only about 1500 Certified Executive Chefs in the United States sanctioned by the American Culinary Federation. He also holds a degree in Food Service Management from Central Texas College and is a graduate of the US Department of Labor’s Chef Apprentice Program as well as a graduate of the Academy of Health & Sciences, Ft. Sam Houston, Texas with specialties in veterinary and agricultural Food Inspection. He was honored by representing the United States as a member of Culinary Team USA, United States Armed Forces Culinary Arts Team. Competing as a national Team at the 96 Culinary Olympics’ (IKA, Internationale Kochkunst Ausstellung) the world’s Oldest, Largest, and Most Prestigious Culinary Competition where over three thousand Chefs from thirty two countries compete in real live Iron Chef Fashion. Chef Russo Brought home two Gold Medals as well as a Silver.

Chef Russo’s inspiration for becoming a chef was birthed in him as a child at the feet of his Italian immigrant, paternal grandmother, who’s passion was cooking up a piece of her heritage for her children and grandchildren, and also his maternal grandfather who brought his heritage of Germanic mixed with French cuisine to the table, and finally his father’s words of wisdom of “Son, if you ever found something that you liked to do so much, that you would still do it, even if you weren’t paid to do it, well, then you would never have to go to work” with this passion and a desire to serve his country, he joined the US Marines where he rose to the top of his field and was selected to hold positions as the private chef for the Commander in Chief of the US Atlantic Command, Supreme Allied Command and the US Southern Command, where he was able to taste and refine the flavor points of many of the countries he visited. After a 20 year career, he transitioned into the civilian sector and went from four-star Generals to four-star Hotels and since then, has held appointments as Executive Chef for JW Marriott Hotel Miami, Renaissance Miami Biscayne Bay Hotel, The Pier House Resort and Caribbean Spa in Key West, Westin Colonnade Hotel in Coral Gables and finally here at Sonesta, Fort Lauderdale Beach Hotel. Chef Russo also taught at Johnson & Wales University in the capacity of Chef Instructor, both at the Norfolk, Virginia and North Miami Beach Campuses.