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 The AH&LA Elects David Kong as 2008 Secretary/treasurer; The President and CEO
of Best Western International Will Serve as the Association’s Chairman in 2010


New York City, November 13, 2007 — The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) has elected David Kong as secretary/treasurer to its 2008 board of directors.  Kong is currently president and CEO of Best Western International and will serve as the association’s chairman in 2010, during AH&LA’s 100th Anniversary year.
 
As a long-time, active member of AH&LA, Kong held a vital role in the association’s governance restructuring task force, which resulted in the restructuring of the AH&LA bylaws to transition the association from a federation to a dual-membership organization in 2005.  Today, Kong maintains his strong voice within AH&LA through involvement on the CEO Council and Government Affairs Council.
 
With more than 35 years experience as a hospitality industry leader and innovator, Kong has served as president and CEO of Best Western International since 2004, spurring years of double-digit reservations system revenue growth and highest member satisfaction levels. Several notable industry firsts under Kong’s leadership include Best Western as the first brand to offer free high-speed Internet access at all of its North American properties; first to launch virtual tours for each of its North American hotels on the brand’s website; first to offer electronic gift cards redeemable in various currencies and for free nights; and first to initiate strategic and exclusive partnerships with NASCAR® and Harley-Davidson®.  
 
Before Best Western, Kong’s career includes managerial experience with top hotel brands, including Hyatt Hotels; Omni International; Regent International; and Hilton Hotels.  Kong came to Best Western from KPMG Consulting’s hospitality and real estate practice.  Kong is a graduate of the Executive Development Program at Northwestern University and has a bachelor's degree in Business Administration in Travel Industry Management from the University of Hawaii.  
 
“David’s broad range of industry experience and proactive business approach will effectively take AH&LA to a higher level of member service in the future,” said AH&LA President/CEO Joseph A. McInerney, CHA. “With more than 35 years of hospitality experience, he will be a tremendous asset as we continue to surpass core objectives of AH&LA, as well as the goals of the entire lodging community.”
 
Other 2008 AH&LA officers include Chairman Thomas J. Corcoran, Jr., chairman of FelCor Lodging Trust; Vice Chairman Joe Martin, owner and operator of Stillwater Hospitality, LLC; and Immediate Past Chairman Robert L. Steele, II, general manager of the Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay.  These hoteliers are led by AH&LA President and CEO Joseph A. McInerney, CHA.  For more information, please visit www.ahla.com, or call 202-289-3100.

Serving the hospitality industry for nearly a century, AH&LA is the sole national association representing all sectors and stakeholders in the lodging industry, including individual hotel property members, hotel companies, student and faculty members, and industry suppliers. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., AH&LA provides members with national advocacy on Capitol Hill, public relations and image management, education, research and information, and other value-added services to provide bottom-line savings and ensure a positive business climate for the lodging industry. Partner state associations provide local representation and additional cost-saving benefits to members.

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Contact:

Jessica Soklow
jsoklow@ahla.com
 

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Also See: Thomas Corcoran Inaugurated as 2008 AH&LA Chairman of the Board; Chairman of FelCor Lodging Trust Thinks Outside the Box for AH&LA’s Future / November 2007
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