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People in the News

March 12 - People in the News

Oglethorpe Mall, owned and managed by General Growth Properties, Inc., has announced shopping center veteran Paul Baker has joined the center as senior general manager. In his new position, Baker is responsible for the daily operation of Oglethorpe Mall and developing community partnerships.

Baker brings extensive experience to his new position. Before joining Oglethorpe Mall, he served as senior associate general manager at Harborplace, The Gallery at Harborplace and The Village at Cross Keys, all Baltimore-area malls owned by General Growth Properties, Inc. Prior to joining GGP, Baker spent 20 years with the Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust, managing a variety of properties, including regional shopping centers in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

“I’m looking forward to getting out in the community and developing new relationships with local businesses in Savannah,” said Baker. “Oglethorpe Mall is an excellent community partner and a fast-growing shopping destination. I’m delighted to be part of a local shopping institution with such an exceptional reputation and strong track record.”

Originally from Lutherville, Md., Baker earned a B.S. in Mass Communication from Towson University in Towson, Md. An active community volunteer, he formerly served on the marketing committee of the Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore in Baltimore, Md. and as a volunteer with the Feed My Sheep food ministry in Camden, N.J.

Baker and his wife, Deborah, recently relocated to the Savannah area from Baltimore, Md. They currently reside on Wilmington Island.

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The State Bar of Georgia recently recognized HunterMaclean partner Dennis Keene as one of three statewide recipients of the Georgia High School Mock Trial Competition Outstanding Attorney Coach Award.

Keene has served as an attorney coach in Region 14, which includes Savannah and Brunswick, since the 2000 mock trial season and has coached Savannah Country Day School high school students since 2001. He and fellow HunterMaclean attorney coaches Colin McRae and Rachel Young have led the Savannah Country Day team to numerous regional titles during their years as coaches.

“Dennis is a dedicated attorney coach who generously donates his time to help students develop their mock trial skills,” said Frank S. Macgill, HunterMaclean’s managing partner. “He has served as an inspiration to many local students who are interested in pursuing careers in the legal field.”

Keene is an AV-rated Partner who represents corporations and individuals in tort-based litigation with an emphasis in product liability and trucking law. His diverse client base ranges from international manufacturers and national motor carriers to regional carriers and local businesses. He gained extensive trial experience as a judge advocate in the U.S. Army, and continues to use these trial skills as a civil practitioner, having litigated and tried a number of lawsuits in Georgia.

He received his B.A. in Economics, magna cum laude, from Syracuse University in 1990, and his J.D., cum laude, from the University of Miami School of Law in 1993. After law school, Keene completed the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s (JAG) Corps Officer Basic Course and served on active duty in the U.S. Army JAG Corps from 1993 to 1999, holding various legal positions including government contract attorney, procurement fraud advisor, prosecutor and criminal defense attorney. 

A member of the State Bars of Florida and Georgia, Keene currently serves as Vice Chair of the American Bar Association’s Trial Techniques Committee, Vice Chair of the American Law Firm Association's Product Liability Practice Group and a steering committee member for ALFA's Transportation Practice Group. He is also a member of the Savannah Bar Association’s Bar Grievance Committee and the Defense Research Institute’s Product Liability Committee.

 

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Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort, known for its focus on families, has racked up yet another family-friendly accolade. The U.S. Kids Golf Top 50 Kids Teachers Awards named Doug Weaver, director of golf instruction at the resort, one of the top kids golf teachers in the country. Weaver was one of 50 instructors awarded an honorable mention in the awards, which honor professionals for their expertise and commitment to developing the game of golf in youth.

Weaver is a former PGA Tour Pro and U.S. Open record holder, who has played and practiced with Vijay Singh, Tom Watson, Payne Stewart and many others. He is a Golf Digest South Carolina Top-Ten Instructor. Weaver helps young athletes develop a love for the game and improve their golf skills through the Junior Programs at the Palmetto Dunes Golf Academy.

“The principles of golf not only teach athletic skills, but are true lessons for life,” says Weaver. “I enjoy helping children build their golf, and life, skills and am so excited to have been recognized for doing a job that I love.”

The U.S. Kids Golf Foundation is the largest Junior Golf organization in the country, hosting more than 400 local, regional, national and international events annually. The 2011 Top 50 Kids Teachers and Top 50 Honorable Mentions were awarded at the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando on January 27.

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McKibbon Hotel Management, Inc., based in Tampa, Fla., is pleased to announce that Kristen Hughes has been selected to join the sales and marketing team as sales manager for the company’s four Savannah-based hotels – Courtyard by Marriott® Savannah Downtown/Historic District, Residence Inn by Marriott® Savannah Downtown/Historic District, Residence Inn by Marriott® Savannah Midtown and TownePlace Suites by Marriott® Savannah Midtown.

Hughes graduated from Purdue University in 2009, earning a bachelor’s degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management. She also held the position of president of the Purdue Tourism Association.

She started her career at The University Plaza Hotel, where she was sales manager of Purdue University, wedding, social, education, religious and fraternal markets. Most recently, Hughes was the sales manager of corporate market for the Homewood Suites by Hilton® and Hampton Inn in Lafayette, Indiana. In 2011, she completed both Sandler Sales Training and Hilton Sales Training programs.

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