Management Profile

Profiles of key members of the management team at Royal Sonesta New Orleans.

Alfred L. Groos

General Manager

Alfred Groos

Alfred L. Groos was appointed General Manager of Royal Sonesta New Orleans on April 1, 2006. After graduating from Cornell University School of Hotel Administration, Groos started his hospitality career at the Royal Sonesta New Orleans as a trainee. In 1994 he moved to the former Chateau Sonesta Hotel New Orleans to become the hotel’s opening general manager. In 1996 Groos was named General Manager of the Royal Sonesta Boston. Groos returned to New Orleans in 2000, when he rejoined the former Chateau Sonesta Hotel as General Manager.

In 2003, Groos served as President of the New Orleans Hotel & Lodging Association. The Association, which is comprised of hospitality professionals of the Greater New Orleans area, represents the lodging industry and provides a means to further professionalism, knowledge, and profitability. That same year, Groos was honored with Where Magazine’s 2003 “General Manager of the Year” award.

Groos has served on the board of the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau and in 2005, was named Chairman of the Board. He currently serves on the Bureau’s Executive Committee. In 2006, Groos was sworn in as the Vice Conseiller Gastronomique for the Confrerie de la Chaine des Rotisseurs. In 2007, Mayor C. Ray Nagin appointed Groos as a Commissioner to the board of the Morial Convention Center, whose exclusive mission is to spur economic growth and development that will attract out of state visitors to the state. Groos currently holds the Secretary position on the Morial Convention Center's board.

In 2009, Groos was appointed to the Advisory Board of the Lester E. Kabacoff School of Hotel Restaurant and Tourism Administration. He was selected by the Governor of Louisiana, Bobby Jindal, to the French Quarter Marigny Historic Area Management District Board of Directors. The organization’s mission is to strengthen the historic area within its boundaries and maintain it as a vital component of Louisiana’s tourism industry.

In 2010, Groos was selected as an honored member of Sonesta’s Corporate Operations Committee responsible for overseeing the daily operations of certain newly developed Sonesta properties.


Brigette Folse

Director of Sales & Marketing

Brigette Folse

Folse has over two decades of experience in the hospitality industry that includes overseeing several major hotel openings. Before joining the Royal Sonesta New Orleans, Folse served as the associate director of sales for the Hyatt Regency New Orleans. While at Loews Hotels, Folse served as associate director of sales at the Loews Coronado Bay Resort & Spa in San Diego and as the national sales manager for the opening of Loews New Orleans. Folse has held additional managerial positions at both the J.W. Marriott and Hotel Monaco in New Orleans.Brigette Folse was named as the hotel’s director of sales and marketing in January 2015. Folse is responsible for the leadership, effectiveness and productivity of the Royal Sonesta New Orleans’ sales organization. The position’s primary responsibility is to guide sales strategies in all market segments towards maximizing hotel revenue. Folse joined the Royal Sonesta New Orleans in 2013 as the director of sales and has demonstrated exemplary leadership abilities that have positively impacted her team’s effectiveness. “Brigette Folse is a solution-driven goal-oriented leader. She possesses strong interpersonal skills that propel the production of our sales team to exceed their goals. We are confident that under Folse’s direction the sales and marketing teams will exceed expectations. Brigette Folse is an asset to our executive team and we are fortunate to have her talent on board,” said Alfred L. Groos, president and general manager of the Royal Sonesta New Orleans.


Juanita Hill-Kennedy

Director of Human Resources

Juanita Hill-Kennedy

Juanita Hill-Kennedy joined the hotel as human resources director in May 2015. Hill-Kennedy is responsible for developing and directing hotel policy in accordance with Sonesta International Hotels Corporation standards relative to all human resources activities at the French Quarter property. Specifically, Hill-Kennedy will oversee new hires, manage employee relations, help guide career development, and oversee promotions and relocations at the hotel. Working closely with management, Hill-Kennedy will also help guide Sonesta’s Culture of Caring community initiatives at the New Orleans property. She will monitor employee morale while effectively managing retention and increasing employee productivity.

Immediately prior to joining Royal Sonesta New Orleans, Hill-Kennedy served as region human resources manager at Iv-AGA Engineering, a Metairie-based firm with offices in Louisiana and Texas, where she was responsible for recruitment, training and employee relations. An expert in the field of human resources, Hill-Kennedy has also worked as a highly successful independent consultant. At Harrah’s Entertainment, Hill-Kennedy served as regional director of recruitment and employment over a workforce of over 5,000 employees. Juanita Hill-Kennedy pursued her undergraduate studies in the field of education at the University of New Orleans with some course work at Honolulu Community College in Hawaii. She is certified as an SPHR-Senior Professional in Human Resources and most recently obtained certification as an SHRM-SCP, an honor bestowed by the Society of Human Resource Management. Hill-Kennedy’s professional affiliations include NOLA SHRM, the New Orleans SHRM chapter where she served on the board of directors as the organization’s diversity director. She is also a member of the Society of Human Resources Professionals.


Daneen Zeringue

Director of Revenue

Zeringue holds a Master of Business Administration and Bachelor of Business Administration from Loyola University New Orleans.Daneen Zeringue's career in hospitality first began when she joined the Sonesta team in 1993. She started at the front desk with an interest in rooms operations where she soon realized her long-term goal was to become the hotel's general manager. In 2005 Zeringue was appointed the general manager of the former Chateau Sonesta in New Orleans. Her focus shifted to revenue management as it became a critical role in the hospitality industry. Zeringue has found a happy work-life balance as the revenue director at Royal Sonesta New Orleans since 2009.


Zachary Martin

Director of Food and Beverage

Zachary Martin

In his role, Martin oversees all the hotel’s on-site dining and entertainment venues – which include Restaurant R’evolution and Bar R’evolution, The Jazz Playhouse, Desire Oyster Bar, Le Booze and PJ’s Coffee Cafe – as well as full-staff catering services.With more than two decades of experience in the hospitality industry, Zachary Martin brings a wealth of expertise to Royal Sonesta New Orleans.

Most recently, Martin served as the general manager of The Alida Hotel in Savannah, Georgia. He was also the director of operations for The Hamilton Hotel in Washington, D.C., and he held multiple positions with The Kessler Collection Hotel Group at properties in Florida and Georgia. Returning to the New Orleans market, Martin is a former sous/pastry chef for Emeril’s Restaurant.

An award-winning chef, Martin has previously been invited to host New Year’s Eve dinner at the James Beard House in New York City. He was also recognized for his talents in management with the 2016 Interstate Hotels and Resorts Hotel of the Year award, as well as two Kessler Financial Awards.


Jason Routzahn

Executive Chef


Jeffrey Martin

Director of Rooms


Jose Flores

Director of Finance

Jose Flores

As its director of finance Flores brings an extensive operational and financial expertise to the Sonesta executive team.

Flores joins Royal Sonesta New Orleans with more than 13 years of hospitality experience. Most recently, he served in the director of finance role at Commune Hotels + Resorts, The Resort at Pedregal in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico and at the Viceroy in Anguilla, British West Indies. He also has experience in the roles of financial controller and assistant managing director at other properties across the U.S. Flores attended Miami Dade College where he received an Associate of Arts degree in banking and financial support services.