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NORWALK, CT-Ted Darnall, who resigned this past summer as president of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide’s real estate group, has been named a partner and COO of HEI Hospitality based here. In addition, the hotel executive was also appointed president and COO of the hotelier’s management subsidiary Merritt Hospitality, which is also headquartered here.

Darnall, who joined the company officially on Monday, will be responsible for the company’s hotel operations, asset management and design and construction.

“HEI has acquired, contracted to acquire or developed more than $1.5 billion in hotels in the past three years, and seeks to acquire up to an additional $1.5 billion over the next three years,” states Gary Mendell, chairman and CEO of HEI Hospitality. “To support our aggressive growth plan and maximize the value of our existing properties and new acquisitions, it was important to expand and enhance our senior management team with one of the industry’s top executives.”

Darnall was president of the Real Estate Group at Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. since 2002. The group’s responsibilities include: owned real estate asset management, W Hotels development, Starwood joint-venture management, acquisition and development, franchise development, construction management and new product development/real estate planning.

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