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Ian Schrager and Laura Davidson to Receive
HSMAI Lifetime Achievement Awards

Albert E. Koehl & Winthrop W. Grice Honors to be Presented at
HSMAI Adrian Awards Gala in New York City on Jan. 28, 2008
MCLEAN, VA (Nov. 16, 2007) – 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 Albert E. Koehl Award for advertising and marketing and the Winthrop W. Grice Award for public relations excellence.

The 2007 recipients will be acknowledged as part of the 51st Annual HSMAI Adrian Awards program at the 18th annual awards gala on Jan. 28, 2008 in New York City.  Ian Schrager, Chairman and CEO of Ian Schrager Company, will be recognized with the Koehl honor, and Laura Davidson, Founder and President of LDPR, will receive the Grice award.
“It is an honor to present Ian Schrager and Laura Davidson with these distinctions,” states Robert A. Gilbert, CHME, CHA, President and CEO of HSMAI.  “These annual awards are HSMAI’s way of paying tribute to those who stand out for serving the industry and encouraging others to make similar commitments to their careers, the discipline and the profession,” Gilbert adds.
Albert E. Koehl Award

Since the 1970’s, entrepreneur Ian Schrager, Chairman and CEO of Ian Schrager Company, has achieved international recognition for concepts that have revolutionized both the entertainment and hospitality industries.
His passionate commitment to the modern lifestyle has been expressed through a series of pioneering concepts: The hotel as home away from home, the hotel as theater, “cheap chic,” “lobby socializing,” the indoor/outdoor lobby, the urban resort, and the urban spa.
His keen instincts for the mood and feel of popular culture were honed during the 1970’s and 1980’s, when he and his late business partner, Steve Rubell, created Studio 54 and Palladium.  Rubell and Schrager soon turned their attention to the hotel business opening Morgans Hotel in 1984, introducing the concept of the “boutique hotel” to the world.
Following this were the equally well received and highly successful Royalton Hotel and Paramount Hotel, in which Schrager again broke with industry convention by creating “lobby socializing,” where the hotel lobby became a new kind of gathering place and “cheap chic,” where affordable luxury was offered in a stylish and sophisticated environment.  Schrager also received international recognition for his one-of-a-kind “urban resorts” – the Delano Hotel in Miami and Mondrian Hotel in West Hollywood.  This was followed by the Hudson Hotel in New York, where Schrager realized his “hotel as lifestyle,” and continued to refine his concept of “cheap chic,” as well as expanding to cities such as San Francisco with the Clift Hotel and London with St. Martins Lane Hotel and the Sanderson Hotel.
His groundbreaking hotel concepts have changed the business and set industry standards that continue to be imitated throughout the world.  He recently completed the new Gramercy Park Hotel in an extraordinary collaboration with artist Julian Schnabel.
His first residential project, 50 Gramercy Park North, provides unique luxury residences adjacent to the only private park in New York City with world-class service from the Gramercy Park Hotel.  50 Gramercy Park North introduces the concept of “effortless living” and lifestyle management, where owners benefit from a fully staffed household 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, without the bother of managing it or maintaining it.  The project was designed by world-famous architect, John Pawson, known for numerous residential projects including the Saatchi home in London, the Novy Dvur Monastery in the Czech Republic, and the flagship Calvin Klein store in New York City.
Schrager recently completed his second residential project, 40 Bond.  The building, designed by eminent Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron, is an architectural masterpiece and is the first residential project in America to combine luxury apartments and townhouses.  40 Bond residences will also benefit from 24-hour, 7 day a week world-class service from Gramercy Park Hotel.
Mr. Schrager’s latest venture, a partnership with Marriott International, intends to create a new brand of as many as 100 hotels that will combine the personal, intimate, individualized and unique lodging experience that he created with the operational expertise that Marriott is known for.
According to J.W. Marriott, Jr. Chairman and CEO of Marriott International, the marriage of the ultimate corporate lodging company and the pioneer of the boutique/lifestyle hotel is an attempt by both to push the boundaries, break new ground and take the hotel industry to a new level.

The hotels will be located in gateway cities throughout North and South America, Europe and Asia.  A diverse set of world-renown architects and designers will be recruited to create the one-of-a-kind buildings.
In addition, Schrager is developing a number of unique and exciting hotel and residential projects in gateway cities around the world that are in various stages of completion.
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:  Barbara Talbott, Barry S. Sternlicht, Vincent Vanderpool-Wallace, Horst H. Schulze, John J. Russell, CHME, Michael A. Leven, CHME, Richard Branson, Michael D. Eisner and Gordon “Butch” Stewart.
Winthrop W. Grice Award

Laura Davidson is the founder and president of LDPR, a leading New York-based public relations agency that specializes entirely in travel.  For 17 years, it has been in the vanguard of its industry, constantly expanding the traditional limits of public relations, embracing new tools and adding services for its roster of top international clients.  Today that roster includes destinations like Australia, Scotland and Montréal; hospitality groups like Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, RockResorts and Ritz-Carlton; private islands like Canouan, Mustique and Peter Island; independent luxury resorts like Curtain Bluff, Eden Rock and The Resort at Paws Up; and tour operators like Intrepid Travel.
Attracted by the promise of seeing the world, Davidson fell into public relations straight out of college when she was hired as a secretary by the Philadelphia agency Spiro & Associates in 1983.  Within a year, she was handling several key accounts, including the 100th anniversary program for the Princess Hotel in Bermuda.  Returning to New York, her hometown, in 1985, she joined Tromson Monroe and soon became the agency’s senior vice president, running its public relations division for six successful years.  When Tromson closed its doors in 1991, Davidson left to open her own agency. 

From humble beginnings (one client, one computer and a kitchen table) LDPR has grown steadily in both size and reputation.  Today the agency fills a loft-office on Madison Avenue.  It’s lean, smart, creative and, with 20 clients and 18 members of staff, the optimum size to mix professionalism with personal attention, enthusiasm with efficiency. 
One measure of LDPR’s success is the collection of more than 50 HSMAI awards (including five Platinums) that dot the office walls.  Just as significant for Davidson is the support of her business partner, Leslie Cohen, and the caliber and loyalty of her staff members, who she recognizes as the real winners of this achievement award.  The third measurement is the constancy and support of her clients, many of whom have stayed with the agency for over eight years.
In addition to her agency work, Davidson has played an active role in her industry, participating in numerous organizations including SATW (Society of American Travel Writers), CTO (Caribbean Tourism Organization), CHA (Caribbean Hotel Association) and ATME (Association of Travel Marketing Executives).  Equally adamant about “giving back” to society, she involves her agency in several philanthropic initiatives – from sponsoring teachers at a primary school in Benin, West Africa to planting a community garden for the homeless in the Bronx.
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.  Other winners include: Yvonne Middleton, Peggy R. Bendel, René A. Mack, Lou Hammond, Bunny Grossinger, Herbert D. Kelleher, Steve Wynn, Alan Fredericks and Donald J. Trump.
Winners will be honored on Jan. 28, 2008 at the New York Marriott Marquis during the 18th Annual Adrian Awards Gala, a multifaceted, black-tie networking extravaganza celebrating award-winning work, lifetime achievement, and the “Top 25 Most Extraordinary Minds in Sales and Marketing.”  Visit for more information on tickets/table purchases. 
Adrian Awards benefactor partners are DEPARTURES Magazine, TravelCLICK, and Yahoo!

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, and bringing together customers and members at annual events, including HSMAI’s Affordable Meetings®. Founded in 1927, HSMAI is an individual membership organization comprising more than 7,000 members worldwide, with 39 chapters in the Americas Region.


Richard S. Kahn,

Also See: HSMAI to Honor Barbara M. Talbott with the Koehl Award and Yvonne Middleton with the Grice Award / October 2006
HSMAI to Honor Peggy R. Bendel with the Grice Award and Barry S. Sternlicht with the Koehl Award / December 2005


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