PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 7, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- HHM's Independent Collection, commonly referred to as the iC, has doubled in size over the past 8 months, introducing properties in unique neighborhoods of gateway markets across the country, including South Beach Miami, Santa Barbara, Georgetown and Boston's West End. To lead the portfolio, HHM has identified focused, veteran leadership by promoting Foiz Ahmed to Vice President – Independent Collection, where he will oversee all marketing and branding as well as P&L for the majority of the properties. (Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140107/PH42088 ) Two Autograph Collection hotels in Miami, now managed by HHM, will join the iC in early 2014. Only six blocks from each other, the 75-room Blue Moon Hotel on Collins Avenue and the 70-room Winter Haven Hotel on the beach are in the heart of the action of the South Beach Art Deco District. Additionally, Hotel Oceana in Santa Barbara, Calif. which Hersha Hospitality Trust (NYSE: HT) is under agreement to acquire, will join the iC as its first West Coast hotel in the portfolio. The 122-room beachfront property is a charming lifestyle hotel that offers guests access to Southern California living and embraces its ideal location for the complete experience. "Foiz is the perfect leader to take the Independent Collection to new heights. His industry knowledge from many years leading our New York City portfolio and from his time with Marriott complement his innate sense for lifestyle travel, independent brands and consumer sensibility," HHM President & CEO Naveen P. Kakarla said. "In his new role, Foiz will ensure that we have focused leadership around not just property level results, but also the branding, loyalty and customer experience elements that are critical to building out a cohesive collection of lifestyle, neighborhood-focused hotels." The West Coast and Miami properties join the seven current iC hotels, including the recently relaunched Boxer Boston and The Graham Georgetown. The iC's other classic properties include three in New York City, in addition to The Independent in Midtown Village Philadelphia and Capitol Hill Hotel in Washington D.C. Ahmed brings more than 23 years of hospitality experience to his role, and most recently spent time as HHM's Regional Director of Operations, leading the New York City portfolio and contributing significantly to its growth, including the opening of five ground up hotels. Ahmed also spent a significant tenure with Marriott, moving up the ranks in various positions. To learn more about the iC, visit independentcollection.com or call 215.238.1046.