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David Kloeppel Named President of Gaylord Entertainment

NASHVILLE, Tenn.- November 24, 2008 - Gaylord Entertainment Company (NYSE: GET) today announced that executive vice president and chief financial officer David Kloeppel has been promoted to president of the Company, effective immediately. In addition to retaining his duties as CFO, Kloeppel will assume new responsibilities including oversight of marketing, media and entertainment. 

Kloeppel has established a strong record of leadership during his seven years as chief financial officer with Gaylord Entertainment. Prior to joining Gaylord, Kloeppel was a vice president in the mergers and acquisitions department of Deutsche Bank in New York, where he was responsible for the department’s activities in the lodging, leisure and real estate sectors. 

Colin V. Reed, Gaylord Entertainment chairman and chief executive officer, said, “Over the last seven years, I have observed Dave’s talents and witnessed his growth into becoming a very effective leader and I concluded it was time for the company to reward him with more responsibility. Dave’s wealth of financial experience as well as his knowledge of operational excellence will serve our company well as we navigate the extraordinary economic climate that the nation presently faces. I look forward to working more closely with Dave over the next few years as we chart the company’s future.” 

Kloeppel earned his master’s degree in business administration, graduating with honors from the Owen Graduate School of Management at Vanderbilt University, and a Bachelor of Science degree in economics, also from Vanderbilt University. In 2003, the school presented him with the Distinguished Young Alumnus Award. 

Kloeppel said, “This is a tremendous opportunity for me. Colin and I have a shared vision for Gaylord, which starts with a belief that the strength of the Company lies in its people and its focus on operational excellence. It has been great working with Colin for the last seven years; he is truly one of the leaders and innovators in our industry and I look forward to working closely with him and my other colleagues in the years ahead. There is no better management team in the hospitality industry and none better equipped to manage the severe headwinds we all face today.” 

Also Gaylord announced several key promotions, effective immediately. The moves come in recognition of the outstanding role each has played in Gaylord’s continued success. 

  • Rich Maradik, currently senior vice president and chief information officer will retain these roles in addition to taking the reigns as chief marketing officer. Maradik will be charged with leading the efforts on Gaylord’s improved customer relationship management systems. 
  • Gara Pryor, presently vice president of compensation, benefits and human resources information systems, will assume the role of senior vice president of human resources. 
  • Carter Todd, formerly senior vice president and general counsel has been promoted to executive vice president and will retain his general counsel responsibilities. Todd will also lead the Company’s corporate compliance efforts. 
“These individuals have each demonstrated superior skills and leadership in their respective fields during their tenures with Gaylord,” said Colin V. Reed, Gaylord Entertainment chairman and chief executive officer. “I am confident in their abilities and look forward to their continued significant contributions as we seek to grow and strengthen our brand.” 

Maradik joined Gaylord Entertainment more than two years ago from SmartDM, Inc. where he was co-founder and chief executive officer. Maradik helped grow SmartDM into one of the leading database-marketing firms in the U.S. serving middle-market enterprises including several hospitality and gaming companies. As part of his new role, Maradik will oversee the Company’s brand marketing, strategic alliances, and revenue management departments. “We will be drawing on Rich’s deep experience and expertise in building marketing systems to enable us to more effectively communicate with our clients and retain and attract an even larger base of loyal customers,” said Reed. 

Gara Pryor will lead Gaylord Entertainment’s human resources division. Pryor joined Gaylord four years ago as vice president of reward systems and was recently promoted to vice president of compensation, benefits and HRIS. Previously, Pryor worked for five years as senior director of compensation, HRIS and stock services with Dollar General. 

In addition to his responsibilities as general counsel and secretary, Carter Todd will serve as the Company’s chief compliance officer. Prior to joining Gaylord in 2001, he was a partner at Baker Donelson law firm, where his practice emphasis was in mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance, and securities regulations. 

About Gaylord Entertainment 
Gaylord Entertainment (NYSE: GET), a leading hospitality and entertainment company based in Nashville, Tenn., owns and operates Gaylord Hotels (, its network of upscale, meetings-focused resorts, and the Grand Ole Opry (, the weekly showcase of country music’s finest performers for more than 80 consecutive years. The Company's entertainment brands and properties include the Radisson Hotel Opryland, Ryman Auditorium, General Jackson Showboat, Gaylord Springs Golf Links, Wildhorse Saloon, and WSM-AM. For more information about the Company, visit 


Investor Relations
Gaylord Entertainment
Mark Fioravanti, 615-316-6588
Senior Vice President and Treasurer

Brian Abrahamson, 615-316-6302
Vice President of Corp. Communications

Also See: New Management Turns Gaylord Entertainment into Hospitality Industry Giant / March 2004



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