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 Brinker, Hammons, Leven, Rose and Winegardner to be Inducted into the Hospitality Industry Hall of Honor

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Houston, August 26, 2004 - The Hospitality Industry Hall of Honor is pleased to announce its 2004 inductees:  
  • Norman Brinker, Chairman Emeritus of Brinker International; 
  • John Q. Hammons, Chairman & CEO, John Q. Hammons Companies; 
  • Michael Levin, President & CEO, US Franchise Systems; 
  • Michael Rose, Chairman, Gaylord Entertainment Co.; and 
  • Roy Winegardner, Chairman of Winegardner Hammons.
Norman Brinker is a pioneer in the restaurant industry.  From his beginnings with Jack-in-Box, he went on to create the concepts of Steak & Ale and Bennigan’s while he was with the Pillsbury Company,  In 1982, he as named President of the Pillsbury Restaurant Group, which included Burger King, Steak & Ale, Bennigan’s and Poppin’ Fresh Restaurants.  In 1983, Brinker bought the concept, Chili’s, Inc. and took the company public that same year.  In 1990, the name was changed to Brinker International, which now has over 1,400 restaurants, which includes Chili’s Grill & Bar, Romano’s Macaroni Grill, On the Border Mexican Grill & Cantina, Maggiano’s Little Italy, Corner Bakery Café, Big Bowl Asian Kitchen, and Rockfish Seafood Grill.

John Q. Hammons has been a leading innovator in the lodging industry.  He entered the industry in 1958 and joined forces with Roy Winegardner to purchase Holiday Inn franchises from Kemmons Wilson.  In the late 1960s, he formed John Q. Hammons Hotels.  Today, the company operates properties under the Embassy Suites, Renaissance, Marriott, Radisson, Sheraton, Holiday Inn brands, as well a sits own signature Plaza brand. 

Michael Leven is a veteran executive of the lodging industry.  He has held senior executive positions with Days Inns, Americana Hotels, Dunfey Family Hotels and Sonesta Hotels.  Levin is the co-founder of the Asian American Hotels Owners Association.  He served as President and COO of Holiday Inns prior to his current position of Chairman, President and CEO of US Franchise Systems, which includes the Microtel, Hawthorn, Best Inns & Suites hotel brands.

Michael Rose began his career working for Holiday Inns and held positions of President, CEO, and was named Chairman in 1984.  Upon the sale of the Holiday Inn brand in 1990, he formed Promus Companies, Inc. and served as its Chairman and CEO.  In 1997, he joined Gaylord Entertainment, a hospitality company focused primarily on the large group meetings segment.  The Gaylord branded hotels include the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in Nashville, Tennessee, the Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center near Orlando, Florida and the Gaylord Texas Resort and Convention Center near Dallas, Texas.  In 2001, he became Chairman of the company. 

Roy Winegardner purchased his first motel, Towne House, in 1957.  A year later, he joined forces with John Q. Hammons and formed Winegardner & Hammons, a hotel company that developed, owned and/or operated more than 100 hotels.  The company merged their hotels with Holiday Inns in 1969, which led to his eventual appointment to the office of President and later Chairman of Holiday Inns.  Under his leadership, the company developed Embassy Suites, Hampton Inns, acquired Harrah’s Casinos and the River Boat Casino.   In 1984, he retired from Holiday Inns and turned his attention to the private business interests of hotels and the financial markets.

The Hospitality Industry Hall of Honor is located in the University of Houston’s Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel & Restaurant Management.  Within the complex are displays and memorabilia related to the life, career and accomplishments of each inductee.  Dr. Ronald A. Nykiel, Chairman of the Hospitality Industry Hall of Honor stated, “…from the moving portraits in the ‘Leaders Gallery’ to the visual displays and historic documents, a true ‘learning from leadership’ educational environment is provided.”

The Hospitality Industry Hall of Honor Induction Ceremony will take place on Wednesday, October 13, 2004 at the Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel & Restaurant Management.  The Masters of Ceremonies will be Jacki Kelley, Senior Vice President of USA Today and Joe McInerney, President & CEO of American Hotel & Lodging Association.

   

 
Contact:

Ronald Nykiel
Chairman
  (713) 743-2432
  
Laura Sutherland
Director of Communications
  (713) 743-2487
 

Also See: Hospitality Industry Hall of Honor 2002 Inductees; Jennie Grossinger, Elaine Grossinger Estess and William Norman / Sept 2002
Ed and Lynn Hogan, Founders of Pleasant Holidays, L.L.C., Inducted into the Hospitality Industry Hall of Honor at the Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel & Restaurant Management / October 2001
Walt Disney, Barron Hilton and J. Willard Marriott Inducted into Hospitality Industry Hall of Honor / Oct 1998
Accor's Paul Dubrule and Gerard Pelisson Receive Selected for Induction into the Hospitality Industry Hall of Honor and Archives / June 1999


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