Title: President/CEO, Choice Hotels.
Photo: Fist pumping at NYSE bell when Cambria Hotels & Suites celebrated “triple groundbreaking” in NYC.
Job: Strategy, recruiting, and developing talent.
Years on the job: 7.
Company: $6b in system revenue last year; over 6,300 hotel franchises (500,000 rooms) in US and 35 countries and territories; as of December 2014, had 510 hotels (39,000 rooms) under construction, being converted, or approved for development in US; and 93 hotels (8,700 rooms) under construction, converting, or approved in over 15 other countries.
Memorable project: Current expansion into upscale market with Choice’s Ascend Hotel Collection and Cambria hotel + suites (targeting business and Millennial travelers). Choice pioneered soft brand concept with Ascend and competitors have followed suit. Strategy is evolving from appealing option for independent hotels to new construction option for developers.
Current project: SkyTouch Technology business division – widely distributed cloud-based property management system in lodging industry. Recently signed agreement with G6 Hospitality for Mexican and Latin American properties.
CRE career: At 19, ran largest disco in Charlottesville during disco craze. Job quickly shaped roles in hospitality.
Grew up: New Carrollton.
Current home: McLean.
Schools: Largo HS and UVA.
First job: Newspaper delivery boy.
Job in another life: News anchor or writer with focus on Washington politics. (After writing one book, sticking with lodging industry.)
Daily habit: Check Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Yahoo!, AOL, and Google News.
Favorite apps: Waze and CellarTracker.
Favorite movie: Casablanca.
Favorite restaurant: Any by Michel Richard.
Favorite music: AC/DC.
Favorite vacation spot: Nova Scotia or any trip with daughters.
Guilty pleasure: Ice cream after midnight when everyone else is asleep.
Bucket list: Deep water diving in Maldives and skydive.
Hobbies: Cooking for friends, reading, and wine tasting.
Startling fact: Was a champion wrestler in the 127 lb. weight class. (“Now I have a leg that weighs that much.”)