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 Roger Aufieri Named Executive Vice President and COO for Merritt Hospitality; 
Formerly the President and COO at White Lodging Services

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NORWALK, Conn., September 23, 2005 — Merritt Hospitality, LLC, an independent hotel management company and a wholly-owned subsidiary of HEI Hospitality, LLC, today announced that Roger Aufieri has been named to the newly created position of executive vice president and chief operating officer.  He joins the firm from White Lodging Services, where he was president and chief operating officer of that company’s hospitality management subsidiary.

“Roger has a proven track record of operating excellence and will be a welcome addition to our team as we continue to aggressively acquire hotels,” said Gary Mendell, chief executive officer of HEI Hospitality.  “Under Roger’s stewardship, his hotels have won numerous, top-brand awards for service and operations, experience that matches up well with our own commitment to operating excellence.”

“Roger brings additional depth to our management team as we continue to absorb the rapid expansion that we have undertaken recently,” said Dave McCaslin, president of Merritt Hospitality.

As president and COO of the hospitality management company of White Lodging Services, a hotel management and ownership group with approximately 90 hotels, Aufieri was responsible for leading the company’s staff disciplines in marketing, sales, revenue management, engineering and field operations.  The portfolio consistently exceeded the brands’ key performance indicators.  

He began his career with Marriott.  During his 13-year career there, he held a number of key operations positions.  He was formerly the president of the Fairfield Inn Franchise Advisory Board and has participated in the Marriott, Renaissance, Courtyard and Residence Inns Franchise Advisory Boards.

HEI Hospitality, headquartered in Norwalk, Conn., is an ownership/investment firm that owns and/or operates 26 first-class and full-service hotels throughout the United States under such well-known brand names as Marriott, Sheraton, Westin and Hilton.  Merritt Hospitality is an independent hotel management company and a wholly-owned subsidiary of HEI Hospitality.

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Contact:

Gary Mendell
Merritt Hospitality
 (203) 849-2214

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Also See: HEI Hospitality Names Ernie Freedman Senior VP & Chief Financial Officer; To Oversee Hotel Portfolio Finances and HEI Hospitality Fund / March 2005
HEI Hospitality Fund Acquires Hilton Long Beach for approximately $77 million; Plans $5 Million Renovation / January 2005


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