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Senior Management Team Appointed for Interstate China, an Interstate Hotels & Resorts
Joint Venture with Shanghai Jin Jiang International Hotels

New Team to Spearhead Launch of Independent Hotel Management Model in China

ARLINGTON, Va., February 17, 2011—Interstate Hotels & Resorts, Inc., the United States’ largest independent hotel management company, today announced that Interstate China Hotels & Resorts Company Limited, a joint venture between Interstate Hotels & Resorts, Inc., and Shanghai Jin Jiang International Hotels Company Limited (“Jin Jiang Hotels”), China’s leading hotel operator and developer, has unveiled its senior leadership team.  The new team, which has been assembled over the past six months, will spearhead the company’s launch and expansion of its independent franchise hotel management model in China, the world’s largest economic growth market.  The Interstate China senior operating team includes Chris van der Baars, chief operating officer; David Kasten, chief financial officer; Roger Fung, executive vice president-hotel operations; and D. C. Becker, senior vice president-sales & marketing.  All four executives operate out of Interstate China’s Shanghai headquarters.

“China is an incredibly important emerging market, and our new platform will benefit enormously from the depth of international experience and expertise these accomplished executives bring with them,” said Thomas F. Hewitt, Interstate’s chairman and chief executive officer.  “This is a proven global all-star team, and represents exactly the kind of professional management China is looking for as it expands rapidly.  With a full leadership team in place, we will be able to fully and respectfully integrate and pioneer the third-party management platform in China.”

“As the country’s first third-party, independent operator, we believe we have significant growth opportunities to operate both existing hotels and the substantial number of properties in the development pipeline,” said Chris Bennett, Interstate’s managing director, international.  “We have unparalleled operating systems and expertise and strong relationships with the Chinese hotel industry, international investors and hotel brands.  We now have the complete infrastructure in place to rapidly accelerate our growth plan, which includes third-party management, ownership and joint-venture investment.”

Chris van der Baars, Chief Operating Officer
Van der Baars previously served as vice president, operations and development, of IHR de Mexico, Interstate’s third-party hotel management platform in Mexico.  A hospitality industry veteran, he joined Interstate in 2000.

“His most recent experience in overseeing our resort properties in Mexico and sourcing additional management opportunities in Mexico and Latin America, made him a natural choice for this important position,” Hewitt said.  “That experience, combined with his strong leadership skills, will give us a competitive edge in identifying and securing management opportunities throughout China.”

Prior to joining Interstate in 2000, van der Baars was president of his own consulting firm, which specialized in maximizing individual and team performance in the hospitality industry for such clients as Hershey, Colonial Williamsburg, Starwood, Dolce Int’l., Kohler Company, Preferred Hotels & Resorts Worldwide and the DuPont Company. 

David Kasten, Chief Financial Officer

David E. Kasten’s diverse hospitality career includes nearly 30 years of progressively responsible experience in locations ranging from Dallas, Texas, to Amsterdam, The Netherlands and Hong Kong, China, directing as many as 150 direct and indirect reports in hotels and international regions.  His experience spans full- and select-service hotels in urban, airport, resort and international locations, where he has been deeply involved in turn-around scenarios, openings, acquisitions and growth modes.

Most recently, as chief financial officer and regional vice president of finance for two of Marriott International’s international regions, Kasten was based in Hong Kong where he assisted with the integration of Marriott’s acquisition of the Renaissance Hotel Group and participated in the growth of the region to 62 operating units across 15 countries and US$ 800 million in revenues.  He subsequently served as Marriott’s CFO and regional vice president of finance for the Caribbean & Latin America Region, which grew to 54 operating units across 27 countries/territories, representing revenues of US$ 800 million.

“David’s understanding of both domestic and international lodging finance, his operational acumen and his strong communication skills perfectly qualify him for this key position,” Hewitt commented.

Roger Fung, Executive Vice President-Operations

A long-time hospitality industry veteran, including 27 consecutive years in the People’s Republic of China, Roger Fung is the longest-serving Hong Kong expatriate in the country’s hotel industry.  During his distinguished career, he has held positions of increasing responsibility with many of the world’s most well-known and respected brands, including Hilton, Regent, Radisson, Hyatt, Peninsula, New World, Marriott, Mandarin and New Asia (rebranded under IHG), as well as a number of independent hotels.  He has served in a variety of positions at the property through international levels.  He has opened six, five-star hotels in China, as well as taken over management of numerous existing hotels.

“Roger has unmatched hands-on experience, exceptional leadership skills and an impeccable reputation within China’s hotel industry, attributes which complement the skill-sets of the rest of the executive team,” Hewitt noted.

D. C. Becker, Senior Vice President-Sales & Marketing
An industry veteran with more than three decades of hotel experience, D. C. Becker joined Interstate China from Titan Group of New York LLC, a successful consulting practice he founded in 2003, specializing in marketing luxury hotels and resorts in the U.S. and Caribbean.

He began his career with Hilton Hotels Corporation, where he moved up through the ranks, becoming the first and youngest director of sales & marketing for The Logan Airport Hilton/Boston.  He later joined Interstate Hotels Corporation, where he served in a series of key hotel sales and marketing management positions, culminating in his promotion to regional director of sales & marketing.   He also served as chief marketing officer for Flag Luxury Properties and as SVP of sales & marketing for Wyndham Hotels & Resorts.

“D. C. brings a full range of hotel marketing experience, from brands to ownership groups, from management companies to consulting,” Hewitt said.  “He has unparalleled expertise in transitioning and re-positioning hotels and hotel sales organizations.  His strategic vision and hands-on experience will help our hotels gain awareness, market share and profitability.”

About Jin Jiang Hotels
Shanghai Jin Jiang International Hotels (Group) Company Limited is one of the leading hotel operators and managers in China.  The Group is licensed to use the well-regarded “Jin Jiang” brand.  Currently, over 650 hotels are under operation and development, including star-rated hotels and Jin Jiang Inn budget hotels, providing over 100,000 rooms in aggregate.  With a solid home base in Shanghai and Beijing, the Group has also successfully spanned its hotel network across nearly 150 cities and towns in 31 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities throughout the PRC as of end of June 2010.  In October 2010, the Group was ranked 13th in the world in terms of number of rooms, according to HOTELS Magazine, the official publication of the International Hotel & Restaurant Association.

About Interstate China Hotels & Resorts
Interstate China Hotels & Resorts Company Limited is a joint venture formed in 2010 between Interstate Hotels & Resorts, Inc., the United States’ largest independent hotel management company, and Shanghai Jin Jiang International Hotels Company Limited (Jin Jiang Hotels), China’s leading hotel operator and developer.  The company has created a platform to pioneer third-party hotel management in the country, providing the resources and infrastructure necessary for comprehensive hotel management operations, including sales and marketing, revenue management, food and beverage operations, e-commerce, and design and construction project management services for hotel owners and developers seeking a proven and experience hotel management company.  For more information, contact Chris van der Baars, chief operating officer, Interstate China Hotels & Resorts, at 86 158 006 96071.

About Interstate Hotels & Resorts
Interstate Hotels & Resorts, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of a 50/50 joint venture between subsidiaries of Thayer Lodging and Jin Jiang, is the nation’s largest independent hotel management company based on revenue managed.  The company and its affiliates manage and/or have ownership interests in 310 properties with 58,562 rooms in 39 states, the District of Columbia, China, Russia, India, Mexico, Belgium, Canada, Ireland and England.  The company has ownership interests in 55 of those properties, including six wholly owned assets.   For more information, visit the company’s web site,

Jerry Daly, Carol McCune
Daly Gray
(703) 435-6293 
Carrie McIntyre
SVP, Treasurer
Interstate Hotels & Resorts
(703) 387-3320



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