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VAI Resort unveils ‘Rockstar’ Executive Team to lead Arizona’s hospitality destination

Grant Fisher, CEO, President, VAI Resort.

VAI Resort introduces an executive team with over 200 years combined global hospitality experience, setting new luxury and entertainment standards in Arizona.

GLENDALE, ARIZ. – VAI Resort introduces its distinguished executive team, comprised of seasoned professionals with over 200 years of combined experience in the global hospitality industry. This impressive team includes leaders from renowned hotel and casino resorts such as Starwood, Marriott, Waldorf Astoria, Sheraton, Aimbridge, Caesars Entertainment, MGM Resorts, Penn Entertainment, AEG Live, and others, reflecting VAI Resort’s commitment to excellence and unparalleled service.

Grant Fisher, CEO and co-owner of VAI Resort, remarks, “Our executive team represents the pinnacle of expertise and dedication in the hospitality industry. Each member brings a wealth of experience and a unique vision that will ensure VAI Resort sets new standards of luxury and entertainment in Arizona.” 

The latest addition to this exceptional team is Lora Picini, whose appointment as General Counsel marks a significant milestone for VAI Resort. Lora brings extensive experience from her previous role at Caesars Entertainment Corporation, enhancing the team’s diverse legal expertise.

The resort, located in Glendale, AZ, is set to open in phases in 2025, promising a transformative experience with four hotel towers, 1100 luxury rooms, suites, and villas, 12 signature restaurants, a state-of-the-art amphitheater, and Arizona’s only beach.

  • Grant Fisher, CEO, President: Grant is the CEO, co-owner, and visionary behind VAI Resort. As a third-generation leader of Fisher Industries, one of the country’s largest heavy civil construction companies, Grant has been working in the family business for more than a decade and leads its foray into luxury hospitality development and operations with VAI Resort in the Fisher family’s home city.
  • Howard Weiss, SVP of Entertainment & Sponsorships: Howard leads the design and programming of VAI’s $50M, state-of-the-art performance stage for world class bands, DJ’s, and performers. For the past 20 years Howard has worked for many of the world’s premier entertainment businesses, including MGM Resorts, Penn Entertainment, PURE Management Group, AEG Presents, Caesars Entertainment, Area15 and others.
  • Rian Kirkman, SVP of Marketing: Rian leads the marketing function for VAI Resort. Throughout his career, Rian has held a variety of hospitality marketing leadership positions. During that time, he has led marketing efforts for resorts at Caesars Entertainment and The Venetian; entertainers including Celine Dion, Elton John, Britney Spears, and Shania Twain; and chefs including Nobu, Gordon Ramsay, Thomas Keller, Guy Fieri, and Giada, among others.
  • Ben Yoo, Vice President of Hotel Operations: Ben is responsible for all things hotel operations at VAI Resort. His professional trajectory includes executive leadership roles in prestigious Five-Star properties across iconic locations such as Las Vegas, Beverly Hills, and Dallas. Among the renowned establishments he’s been associated with are Hotel Bel-Air, Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas, Wynn, Encore Las Vegas, and Hotel Swexan.
  • Ryan Littman, Vice President of F&B: Ryan brings a wealth of knowledge in food and beverage, previously working as the Director of F&B at the Gaylord Opryland Resort in Nashville. Over Ryan’s 30-year career with Marriott, he has opened two JW Marriott properties in San Antonio and Tucson and supported the food and beverage and culinary operations at hotels in Chicago, Palm Desert, and Dallas.
  • Lora Picini, General Counsel: Lora Picini comes to VAI Resort as a respected legal operations leader and business advisor in the hospitality, gaming, and healthcare industries. Throughout her career, she has provided legal counsel and advice, as well as operational support as in-house counsel to several corporations and hospitality properties.  Her experience includes senior roles with Everi (a gaming equipment and Fintech company) and with Caesars Entertainment, including serving as Chief Counsel, Regional Operations for the Caesars hospitality properties in Nevada and as a Vice President on the Caesars Corporate Social Responsibility Team.  At VAI Resort, her extensive and specialized expertise in hospitality and operations law, combined with her leadership in legal matters, will be invaluable.
  • Diana Hindi, Vice President of Human resources: Diana Hindi is a seasoned hospitality professional with extensive experience in hotel operations and human resources. Throughout her career, she has provided strategic HR leadership and operational support to renowned properties, holding key leadership roles at prestigious locations such as The Phoenician Resort, JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa, JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback Inn Resort + Spa, and Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort. Diana excels in talent acquisition, employee relations, and organizational development, consistently enhancing team performance and driving operational success in luxury hospitality environments. Her strong operational background allows her to see the bigger picture and understand the ripple effects of HR decisions, making her an invaluable HR partner at VAI Resort.
Vicky Karantzavelou
Co-Founder & Chief Editor - TravelDailyNews Media Network | Website

Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales.

She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.