SILVER SPRING, Md. (September 25, 2002) - Choice Hotels International, Inc. (NYSE:CHH) today announced its Board of Directors has created a Diversity Committee to oversee the company`s initiatives in promoting diversity throughout its business practices, with particular emphasis on its workforce, franchisee and vendor bases.
“We welcome the Board`s support in enhancing our efforts to promote diversity in our business,” said Charles A. Ledsinger, Jr., president and chief executive officer. “Success in today`s global business world will come to those companies that embrace diversity as a means to open doors of opportunity for all involved.”
The company announced that director William L. Jews will serve as Chairman of the Diversity Committee. He is president and chief executive officer of CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, the region`s largest health insurer. Joining him on the Diversity Committee are fellow directors Barbara Bainum and Dr. Jerry Robertson. Ms. Bainum is vice chairman of the Commonweal Foundation, a Maryland-based philanthropic organization, and Dr. Robertson is the retired executive vice president of 3M Corporation`s Life Sciences Sector and Corporate Services.
The committee will oversee and review management`s progress in carrying out its existing diversity initiatives and will develop policies and programs aimed at assuring equality of opportunity in all facets of Choice`s business.
Choice`s diversity initiatives are focused in five primary areas:
*Employment/education and awareness in valuing diversity;
*Minority franchise ownership;
*Advertising/marketing directed toward minority populations;
*Minority vendor representation;
*Charitable giving to minority organizations through the Choice Foundation.
Choice Hotels International is one of the world`s largest lodging franchisors, marketing more than 5,000 hotels open or under development in 46 countries under the Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, Quality, Clarion, Sleep Inn, Econo Lodge, MainStay Suites and Rodeway Inn brand names. For more information on Choice, visit the company`s web site at www.choicehotels.com.