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 HSMAI to Honor Peggy R. Bendel with the Grice Award and
Barry S. Sternlicht with the Koehl Award
MCLEAN, VA (Dec. 6, 2005) – Recognizing individuals who have made significant contributions and lasting impressions on the hospitality and travel industry, the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI) announces the recipients of its annual Winthrop W. Grice Award for public relations and the Albert E. Koehl Award for advertising and marketing excellence.
The 2005 recipients of these lifetime achievement honors, who will be acknowledged at the 49th Annual HSMAI Adrian Awards program on Jan. 30, 2006 in New York City, are Peggy R. Bendel, of Development Counsellors International (DCI), who will receive the Grice award and Barry S. Sternlicht of Starwood Capital Group, who will be honored with the Koehl distinction.
“It is an honor to present Peggy Bendel and Barry Sternlicht with these distinctions,” states Robert A. Gilbert, CHME, CHA, president and CEO of HSMAI.  “Both individuals have served the industry beyond compare, doing so professionally with extreme talent, grace and class.”
“These annual awards are HSMAI’s way of paying tribute to them, and hopefully encouraging others to make similar commitments to their careers, the discipline and the industry,” Gilbert adds.
Winthrop W. Grice Award
Peggy R. Bendel is Senior Vice President of Travel Marketing for Development Counsellors International (DCI), which specializes exclusively in all phases of economic development and tourism marketing.
Prior to her tenure with the New York-based DCI, Bendel was a principal in the seminal “I Love New York” program. Peggy directed DCI's travel marketing and public relations accounts since 1985, including Acoma Pueblo, the Australian Tourist Commission, Finger Lakes Wine Country, Hong Kong Tourism Board, Indianapolis, Maine, Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau, Pennsylvania, Metro Portland Tourism Alliance, Premier Tours, Raleigh, Scottish Tourist Board, Singita Private Game Reserve, South African Tourism Board, Sacramento, St. Petersburg/Clearwater Convention & Visitors Bureau, Staunton (VA), Swedish Travel & Tourism Council, Tasmania, Texas, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Wisconsin.
Bendel has also sub-specialized successfully in major television placement, such as one week on-location placements for Australia (NBC’s Today Show), the U.S. Virgin Islands (Good Morning America) and Scandinavia (Good Morning America), which were handled by her from start to finish.
Bendel is a board member of the Association of Travel Marketing Executives, and a former board member and consultant to The International Ecotourism Society.  She is also a member of the Society of American Travel Writers, Bay Area Travel Writers and the Public Relations Society of America, and has lectured on promotions, ecotourism marketing and crisis communications at New York University, the World Trade Institute and many conferences.
A graduate of Georgian Court College (now University), Bendel studied marketing and public policy at NYU Graduate School of Public Administration. Peggy and her husband, Richard Ivan Gussaroff, live in New York and Tucson, AZ.
The Winthrop W. Grice Award was established in 1989 to recognize individuals who have made significant contributions to public relations in the hospitality industry.  It was named in honor of Winthrop W. “Bud” Grice, CHME, a long-time senior marketing executive with Marriott, who was the award’s first designate.  Some of the other winners include: René A. Mack, Lou Hammond, Bunny Grossinger, Herbert D. Kelleher, Steve Wynn, Alan Fredericks and Donald J. Trump.
Albert E. Koehl Award
Barry S. Sternlicht is Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of Starwood Capital Group, a private investment firm he formed in 1991.  For the past fourteen years, he has structured almost three hundred separate investment transactions with a cost basis of more than $30 billion.
From 1995 through 2004, Sternlicht was Chairman and CEO of Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, Inc., a company he founded in 1995.  Today, Starwood Hotels is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with more than 750 properties in 80 countries.
Barry Sternlicht has been credited as a dynamic and innovative hotel leader, creating new products and programs with immediate global appeal.  Sternlicht created and launched W Hotels, which has grown to 20 operating hotels with an additional twenty under way around the world.   Some of his innovations include the creation of Westin’s “Heavenly Bed,” “Heavenly Bath,” “Westin Workout,” and the world’s first frequent traveler program with “no blackouts.”
One of the youngest leaders in the hotel and leisure industry today, Sternlicht places as strong an emphasis on his humanitarian efforts, working with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, City Cares of America, Habitat for Humanity, Junior Achievement, Ronald McDonald House, UNICEF and Kids in Crisis, among others. 
He received his BA, magna cum laude, with honors from Brown University.  He later earned an MBA with distinction from Harvard Business School.  
Sternlicht is a trustee of Brown University.  He serves on the Board of Directors of National Golf, The Estée Lauder Companies, the National Advisory Board of JP Morgan Chase, and the Advisory Board of Eurohypo Bank.  He serves on the boards of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation’s National Leadership Advocacy Program, Channel 13/WNET, Kids in Crisis, The Harvard Club, the Business Committee for the Arts, and the Center for Christian-Jewish Understanding.  He is a member of the Committee to Encourage Corporate Philanthropy, the Presidential Tourism & Travel Advisory Board, the Young Presidents Organization, the World Travel & Tourism Council, and the Urban Land Institute.
The Albert E. Koehl award was established in 1975 to recognize individuals who have made significant contributions to advertising and marketing in the hospitality industry.  A lifetime achievement award, it was named in honor of Albert E. Koehl, a pioneer in hotel advertising.  Past recipients include:  Gary Leopold, CHME, Horst H. Schulze, John J. Russell, CHME, Michael A. Leven, CHME, Richard Branson, Michael D. Eisner and Gordon “Butch” Stewart.
HSMAI is an organization of sales and marketing professionals representing all segments of the hospitality industry.  With a strong focus on education, HSMAI has become the industry champion in identifying and communicating trends in the hospitality industry, while operating as a leading voice for both hospitality and sales and marketing management disciplines.  Founded in 1927, HSMAI is an individual membership organization comprising nearly 7,000 members worldwide, with 38 chapters in the Americas region.
Tickets and table sales for the HSMAI Adrian Awards Gala at the New York Marriott Marquis are available at $2,850 per table of 10 ($285 an individual seat) if reserved prior to Jan. 17, 2006; seats cost an additional $25 after that date.  Tickets can be purchased by contacting Cass Bullock at phone: (609) 628-2348; fax: (609) 628-2819; or e-mail: or visit

Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International, 
8201 Greensboro Drive, Suite 300
McLean, VA 22102
phone (703) 610-9024

Also See: Gary Leopold and René A. Mack Recipients of HSMAI's Winthrop W. Grice Award for Public Relations and the Albert E. Koehl Award for Advertising and Marketing Excellence / November 2004
HSMAI to Honor Marilyn Carlson Nelson with the Grice Award and Stanley C. Plog, Ph.D. with the Koehl Award / January 2004
Bunny Grossinger Receiving the W. Grice Award and Peter Warren, CHME the Albert E. Koehl Award from HSMAI / November 2002


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