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Dallas Billionaire Robert Rowling Seeks
 Election to Gaylord Board
By Brendan M. Case, The Dallas Morning NewsMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News

January 29, 2009 - Dallas billionaire Robert Rowling said Wednesday that he and three others would stand for election to Gaylord Entertainment Co.'s board of directors, after charging earlier this month that the hotel company had "lost its way."

Rowling's company, Irving-based TRT Holdings Inc., is Gaylord's largest shareholder, with a nearly 15 percent stake. TRT Holdings also owns Omni Hotels, among other companies.

A Gaylord spokesman said the company would review and evaluate the list of proposed nominations. Gaylord's annual shareholder meeting is typically held in early May.

Nashville, Tenn.-based Gaylord rejected an earlier proposal by Rowling to take a greater role in running the company, describing him as a competitor trying to control Gaylord on the cheap.

Earlier this month, Rowling faulted Gaylord's managers for what he called poor strategic decisions and subpar financial results. Gaylord defended its record.

Gaylord's shares have fallen about 60 percent since Rowling announced his stake in July.

TRT's other three nominees to the Gaylord board:

-- Dave Johnson, president and chief executive of Aimbridge Hospitality, a Carrollton-based hotel management company.

-- Mark Langdale, a former U.S. ambassador to Costa Rica and hotel management executive. He is now president of the George W. Bush Foundation.

-- Michael Dickman, a consultant and longtime investment banker specializing in energy. He left Morgan Stanley in August.

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Copyright (c) 2009, The Dallas Morning News

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