Virgin Hotels Nashville Adds to Leadership Team

USA, Nashville, Tennessee. July 20, 2021

Virgin Hotels, the lifestyle hotel brand by Sir Richard Branson, is pleased to welcome three new members to its Nashville property's leadership team: James Garrido as Director of Food & Beverage, Joshua Schaeffer as Director of Experience, and Shane Fortner as Director of Sales.

James Garrido joins Virgin Hotels Nashville as the new Director of Food & Beverage. Garrido will oversee the Food & Beverage department to deliver a Virgin-branded experience that seamlessly incorporates fantastic food, delicious drinks, and superb service. Prior to joining Virgin Hotels, Garrido spent four years managing the Food & Beverage Operations team at the Kimpton Aertson Hotel in Nashville. During his time there, he oversaw the opening of Henley Nashville which won Eater Nashville's "Restaurant of the Year" Reader's Choice Award in 2018 and Nashville Scene's "Bar Program of the Year" Critic's Choice Award in 2019, and the Greater Nashville Hospitality Association award for Best Restaurant Manager in Nashville for 2019.

Prior to this, Garrido was the General Manager of multiple outlets at the Chicago Athletic Association and served as the Treasurer on the Executive Board at Slow Food Middle Tennessee. He remains deeply passionate about serving the Nashville community and supporting organizations that deal with inequality and food insecurity in the area.

Joshua Schaeffer joins Virgin Hotels Nashville as the new Director of Experience, managing the hotel's Guest Services and Housekeeping departments that aim to provide exceptional guest experiences while performing within financial guidelines. Schaeffer started his hospitality career in Santa Monica, California with Fairmont Hotels and Resorts, later managing top hotels including the San Ysidro Ranch, the Sorrel River Ranch Resort and Spa, the Hermitage Hotel, the Hyatt Greenville and the South Seas Island Resort in positions of Director of Guest Services, Guest Relations Manager and Director of Operations.

Nashville native Shane Fortner brings 15 years of experience in the Nashville hospitality industry to his new role at Virgin Hotels Nashville as the new Director of Sales. As Director of Sales, Fortner will oversee and supervise the Sales and Catering team at Virgin Hotels Nashville and ensure revenue goals for the property are met.

Prior to joining Virgin Hotels, Fortner served as Area Sales Manager for Loews Hotels in Nashville where he supervised a team of sales managers to grow business for the property. Additionally, Fortner gained experience serving in senior sales manager roles at the Hilton Nashville Downtown and the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.

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Coming up in August 2021...

Food & Beverage: Necessity Breeds Invention


Hotel restaurants were not immune to the devastation that Covid caused in the food & beverage industry last year. In order to survive, many operations expanded their services to include packaged food sales, prepared meals to go, mini pop-up grocery stores, meal kits, takeout, and delivery to make up for lost revenues. These hybrid operations have become increasingly popular in hotels because they maximize limited F&B space and also attract local business. In those restaurants where customers are willing to dine in, there is a greater emphasis on safety protocols. Tables and chairs are spaced far enough apart to provide a sense of safety and comfort between parties. There are also stricter cleaning and disinfecting practices occurring in between dining encounters. In addition, there is a greater emphasis on outdoor dining with its offer of fresh air. The August issue of the Hotel Business Review will report on what some leading hotels are doing to manage their F&B operations in the wake of the pandemic.