Hotel Online Special Report

Choice Creates VP, Fair Franchising Post;
Realigns Franchise Sales Force
Sterbini, Pepper, Burgett Appointed to Key Positions

Silver Spring, MD (October  3, 2002) – Choice Hotels International President and CEO Charles A.  Ledsinger, Jr., today announced organizational enhancements that  realign the company’s franchise sales strategy to ensure more consistent and strategic growth of its eight brands and create, for the first time, an executive level position dedicated to the company’s landmark fair franchising principles. 

Vice President, Fair Franchising

Paul Sterbini, a ten-year Choice veteran who most recently served as vice president, franchise sales, has been named to the Fair Franchising post. “Our Fair Franchising Policy, established more than three years ago, dictates a corporate philosophy of fairness, integrity and trust in all issues relating to our franchisee customers,” Ledsinger said.  “Paul’s intimate knowledge of our business, his long-standing relationships with many of our franchisees and his own personal integrity combine to make him the ideal executive for this critical position.” 

Sterbini’s new responsibilities include ensuring communication and consistent application of Choice’s Fair Franchising Policy and its Impact Policy, considered one of the industry’s most comprehensive; management of the impact objection process; and development of processes to enhance impact issue identification and resolution.  He reports to Thom Hall, vice president, brand management and strategy. 

Realignment of Franchise Sales Force

Ledsinger also announced a realignment of the company’s franchise sales force into three teams. The first team, charged with development of Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, Sleep Inn and MainStay Suites brand hotels, will be led by David Pepper, newly appointed as vice president, franchise sales.  Pepper joined Choice earlier in 2002 as senior director, business strategy; previously, he had held executive level franchise sales positions in the lodging industry. 

The second team, responsible for growth of Choice’s Quality and Clarion brands, will be led by Ron Burgett, currently vice president, franchise sales for Choice’s economy brands.  And Burgett will maintain responsibility for the third team, charged with growing Choice’s Econo Lodge and Rodeway Inn brands. 

“The strong performance of our brands, even in these challenging economic times, coupled with our stable presence in a volatile marketplace have created a demand for Choice brands throughout the franchise community,” Ledsinger said.  “These changes in our sales structure are designed to meet that demand with enhanced brand consistency and a more strategic growth plan for each brand. 

“David and Ron have each demonstrated the leadership skills that are vital in furthering our system growth goals,” Ledsinger continued.  “We are fortunate to have executives of their caliber at the helm of our franchise sales efforts.” 

Pepper and Burgett report to Joe Squeri, Choice’s senior vice president, development and chief financial officer. 

Choice Hotels International is one of the world’s largest lodging franchisors, marketing more than 5,000 hotels open or under development in 46 countries under the Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, Quality, Clarion, Sleep Inn, Econo Lodge, MainStay Suites and Rodeway Inn brand names. 


Anne Curtis 
Tel:  (301) 592-5155
Also See: Choice Hotels Board of Directors Creates Diversity Committee to Oversee Initiatives in Promoting Diversity Throughout its Business Practices / Sept 2002
Choice Offers Development Incentive for Conversions to Quality Brand; Up to $85,000 in Savings for Conversion Properties  / Aug 2002

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