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Benchmark Hospitality International Presents the Chairman's Award of Excellence
to Mike Willingham, IT Manager, The Chattanoogan

The Woodlands (Houston), Texas, April 2011 … Benchmark Hospitality International has announced that Mike Willingham, IT Manager for The Chattanoogan, located in Chattanooga, Tennessee, is the recipient of the Chairman’s Award of Excellence.  The Award, which was created by Burt Cabañas, Chairman & CEO of Benchmark Hospitality, annually recognizes extraordinary employee performance.  Ellen Sinclair, Senior Vice President for Benchmark, presented the Award to Mr. Willingham on behalf of Mr. Cabañas.

“Mike is one of those rare individuals who lives to serve others and makes life better for us all,” said Ms. Sinclair.  “Eager to help and always with a positive attitude, he is the personification of Benchmark’s Core Values of integrity, individualism, entrepreneurship, partnership, realism and service.  He is a most worthy recipient of this award and I am happy to present it to him!”
Praise for Mike Willingham that supported his nomination came from his church, his children’s school where he serves as assistant coach, community leaders, his family, and even the United States Government.  Mr. Willingham’s nomination included letters he had received from the United States Army Space and Missile Defense Command/U.S. Army Forces Strategic Command, as well as the White House Communications Agency supporting the Vice President of the United States, recognizing the extraordinary support that Willingham provided their conferences and events held at The Chattanoogan.
Mr. Willingham is the past recipient of Leader of the Quarter and Leader of the Year for Benchmark Hospitality at The Chattanoogan.  As active in his community as he is at the hotel, Willingham serves as a volunteer fireman, on the Advisory Council for his children’s school where he also coaches a Little League team, as youth mentor at his church, and leading a team affiliated with the local chapter of ALS, helping raise funds to fight the disease, which has touched his family.

Mike Willingham was nominated out of a field of more than 6000 Benchmark Hospitality employees globally.  It is with great pleasure and congratulations that Benchmark Hospitality International Chairman & CEO Burt Cabañas and Senior Vice President Ellen Sinclair announce Mike Willingham as a most deserving Chairman’s Award of Excellence recipient!.

(L to R) Tom Cupo, General Manager,
The Chattanoogan;Mike Willingham,
IT Manager, The Chattanoogan and Chairman’s
Award of Excellence recipient; Ellen Sinclair, Benchmark Hospitality International

About the Benchmark Hospitality Chairman's Award of Excellence
The Benchmark Hospitality International Chairman's Award of Excellence is presented annually by Burt Cabañas, founder, chairman and chief executive officer of the company. Recipients are selected from employees nominated by general managers of Benchmark properties globally.
To be nominated for the Chairman's Award of Excellence, employees must meet an established set of criteria, some of which include: providing a truly outstanding act of community service that is recognized by the community; initiating a service or idea that exemplifies the company's entrepreneurial spirit; delivering performance during extremely difficult circumstances that far exceeds job description and job expectations.
The Chairman's Award is designed to recognize and celebrate individuals who demonstrate excellence with significant impact and exemplify Benchmark's core values.

About The Chattanoogan
The Chattanoogan hotel, Chattanooga’s only AAA Four Diamond-rated full-service hotel, is a 210,000 square-foot five-story upscale hotel with 199 newly renovated guestrooms and suites.  The Chattanoogan has three outstanding restaurants, a 25,000 square-foot conference center with comprehensive meeting planning and audiovisual support services, and a spa with four treatment rooms, a steam room, sauna, fitness center, indoor pool, whirlpool and patio overlooking the hotel’s courtyard. 
The property is conveniently located within a two-hour drive from Atlanta; Nashville, Tenn.; Knoxville, Tenn.; Huntsville, Ala.; and Birmingham, Ala.  It is within walking distance of the city’s museums, galleries, retail stores, restaurants and The Tennessee Aquarium.  For more information or reservations, call (423) 756-3400, toll free (877) 756-1684, or visit The Chattanoogan’s Website at
About Benchmark Hospitality International
Benchmark Hospitality International is a leader in the management and marketing of resorts, conference centers, hotels, and Personal Luxury Hotels®.  The independent company, launched in 1980, is a founding member of the International Association of Conference Centers.  Benchmark Hospitality is a worldwide organization operating properties in major metropolitan and resort destinations.  Benchmark's international headquarters is located in The Woodlands, Texas, near Houston.  The company’s northeast regional office is in New Jersey, with international offices in Tokyo, Japan, and Santiago, Chile. For the location of Benchmark’s properties and additional information, visit 

Ken Ellens
Ken Ellens Communications 
201-758-2864 / 201-758-2865-Fax

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Also See: Benchmark Hospitality Presents the Chairman's Award of Excellence to Mike VanDuzer, Director of Facilities at Cheyenne Mountain Resort / March 2010

Vern Bienfang, Server at the The Northland Inn in Minneapolis, Recipient of the Benchmark Hospitality International Chairman's Award of Excellence / June 2009

Benchmark Hospitality Appoints Mike VanDuzer Director of Facilities for Cheyenne Mountain Resort / October 2006

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