MEMPHIS, Tenn., March 8, 2013 - Hilton Worldwide announces the appointment of Don Willingham as vice president, brand performance support and sales, for the Hilton Garden Inn brand.
Willingham joins the Hilton Garden Inn team most recently as senior director, brand sales, Homewood Suites and Home2 Suites by Hilton. He has more than twenty years of hospitality experience, ranging from brand sales support, training and operations.
"Don's blend of operations, training and sales experience is the perfect fit for this position with Hilton Garden Inn," said Adrian Kurre, global head, Hilton Garden Inn. "A hospitality veteran with knowledge of the key franchisee and owner relationships that are so important to our brand, combined with his familiarity with Hilton Worldwide and our brands, Don is the perfect insider to bring in to this integral role in our organization."
Willingham graduated from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville with a bachelor of science in Business Administration and a major in marketing. After graduating college, he worked for several hotels in the Atlanta area and went on to become the general manager at two Atlanta Hampton Inn hotels. He joined Promus Hotels in 1994 as a training manager, where he was responsible for sales, pre-opening, and leadership development training. He later moved on to regional operations and development training for the Hampton, Embassy Suites, Homewood Suites and Doubletree brands.
Since 2000, Willingham has played a vital role in the Homewood Suites brand serving as a regional brand performance support director with responsibility for more than 30 hotels, as well as facilitating the brand's extended stay sales training. He moved into the senior director, brand sales role in 2003 and was integral in the launch of the Home2 Suites by Hilton brand, as well as creating and leading the Homewood Suites sales strategies and programs.
As vice president, brand performance support and sales for Hilton Garden Inn, Willingham will provide direction to the regional brand performance support (BPS) team in operations and sales and marketing support, as well as other shared service departments within Hilton Worldwide. In his new role, Willingham's overarching goal is for his team is to provide the guidance, training, tools and resources for all hotels and ownership groups.
About Hilton Garden Inn
Hilton Garden Inn is the award-winning, upscale, yet affordable hotel brand that continually strives to ensure today’s busy travelers have everything they need to be most productive on the road — from our oh-so-comfortable Garden Sleep System® bed to complimentary wired and Wi-Fi Internet access in all guestrooms. So whether on the road for personal or business reasons, Hilton Garden Inn offers the amenities and services for travelers to sleep deep, stay fit, eat well and work smart while away from home. For more information about our locations around the globe, visit www.hgi.com or www.news.hgi.com.
About Hilton Worldwide
Hilton Worldwide is a leading global hospitality company, spanning the lodging sector from luxurious full-service hotels and resorts to extended-stay suites and mid-priced hotels. For 93 years, Hilton Worldwide has offered business and leisure travelers the finest in accommodations, service, amenities and value. The company is dedicated to continuing its tradition of providing exceptional guest experiences across its global brands. Its brands are comprised of more than 3,900 hotels and timeshare properties, with 640,000 rooms in 91 countries and include Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, DoubleTree by Hilton, Embassy Suites Hotels, Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton Hotels, Homewood Suites by Hilton, Home2 Suites by Hilton and Hilton Grand Vacations. The company also manages the world-class guest reward program Hilton HHonors®. Visit www.hiltonworldwide.com for more information and connect with Hilton Worldwide at www.facebook.com/hiltonworldwide, www.twitter.com/hiltonworldwide, www.youtube.com/hiltonworldwide, www.flickr.com/hiltonworldwide and www.linkedin.com/company/hilton-worldwide.