Management Team

The New York Hilton Midtown staff is trained to see to your every need and attention to detail is our trademark.

Mark Lauer - Hotel General Manager

Prior to his appointment to the 1,981-room New York Hilton Midtown in 2009, Mark Lauer was Hotel Manager of New York City’s iconic Waldorf Astoria New York for nine years. Mark has spent more than half of his distinguished 29-year career with Hilton Worldwide. An accomplished hospitality professional, he has continuously proven to be an effective team builder who is highly proficient across the areas of sales, marketing, guest services and operations.

In his role as General Manager of Manhattan’s largest hotel, Mark strives to ensure that he and his team deliver the best possible guest experience and often greets guests personally in the hotel’s main lobby. He plays a leading role in the ongoing refurbishment of the New York Hilton Midtown to enhance its positioning in the extremely competitive New York City marketplace. As this storied New York city hotel heads toward its 50th anniversary in 2013, Mark and his dedicated team are committed to ensuring and establishing its legacy as the best option for New York City accommodations by (in the immortal words of Conrad Hilton) “helping to spread the warmth and light of hospitality.”

James J. Johnson - Director of Catering

Since 2000, James Johnson (affectionately known to the hotel team as “JJ”) has been leading the New York Hilton Midtown’s Catering Operation which includes catering activities for special events, meetings and conferences. Clients are thrilled by JJ’s attention to detail when executing events in this Manhattan hotel’s diverse selection of function space. His keen focus on presentation for small or large functions is outstanding. The Hilton New York boasts the city’s largest hotel Grand Ballroom, which has played host to every U.S. president since Conrad Hilton opened this grand New York hotel in 1963.

Prior to joining the Hilton New York, JJ held a variety of catering positions, including those at the prestigious Fontainebleau Hilton in Miami, the renowned Waldorf Astoria, and the San Francisco Hilton. He also spent a culinary summer in Vienna, Austria, serving as a Commis de Cuisine at the Vienna Intercontinental Hotel. There, he gained invaluable experience working in a leading European kitchen.

JJ is a member of the National Association of Catering Executives (NACE) and the Escoffier Society of America.

Kellie Ann Cahill, CMP - Director of Sales and Marketing

Kellie Cahill, a Certified Meeting Professional (CMP), has more than a decade of sales, marketing and managerial experience. Having held numerous positions that have contributed to the success of the New York Hilton Midtown’s room and conference sales development, Kellie is focused on engaging with new clients and returning program managers to ensure their New York City hotel of choice delivers an unparalleled guest experience.

Kellie currently plays an instrumental role in developing a comprehensive sales and marketing initiative aimed at repositioning the New York Hilton Midtown as a unique venue. This effort involves the re-launch of the hotel’s food and beverage outlets, managing the newly refurbished ballroom and meeting space, and reinvigorating the hotel’s image in the highly competitive New York City hotel marketplace.

Kellie is currently a member of Meeting Professionals International (MPI), serving on its board as the Vice President of Finance . She is also a member of the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA).

Richard Brown - Director of Culinary

Executive Chef Richard Brown oversees all of Hilton New York’s culinary operations—including its dining outlets and banqueting venues. He supervises a 100-person staff and is responsible for menu development—which also includes room service operations.

Rich has 23 years of experience in both the restaurant and hotel industries. He has honed his culinary skills under the tutelage of some of the country’s most renowned chefs, including Mario Batali and Tom Collicchio. Prior to his arrival at New York Hilton Midtown, Rich served as executive chef at the St. Regis Hotel New York.

Rich, a native New Yorker and an expert in Italian fare, having served as sous-chef at Esca—as top-rated southern Italian Trattoria co-owned by Chef Mario Batali. Prior to Esca, he spent more than three years as chef de cuisine at the historic Waldorf Astoria Hotel, and was also a key member of the opening team at the famous Gramercy Tavern in New York City.