BW Announces Board Of Directors For 2002

Three Best Western International hoteliers have been elected officers and a fourth has been named as a new director of the global hotel chain’s board of directors for the 2002 fiscal year commencing December 1.

Serving as chairman of the seven-member board is Ken Smotherman, a Texas hotelier who served last year as vice chair. The new vice chairman is Lowell Cruse and serving as secretary/treasurer is Nayan Patel. Elected as director is Nils Kindgren from Arizona.

Chairman Smotherman, CHA, opened his first Best Western hotel in 1976 and during the past 24 years, he has owned three Best Western hotels. He currently co-owns and operates the Best Western Old Main Lodge in Waco, Texas. He has also served on various Best Western member committees. Smotherman is a graduate of the University of Southwestern Louisiana where he earned a degree in business administration.

Vice Chairman Cruse, CHA, was elected to Best Western International’s board of directors for a three-year term that began Dec. 1, 1999. Cruse owns the Best Western Villa Inn in Lawrenceburg, Tenn. A 21-year Best Western veteran, Cruse has served in leadership roles as a co-chair and member of Best Western member committees. Cruse holds a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from the University of Arkansas.

Secretary/treasurer Patel, along with his family, owns and operates four Best Western properties in Virginia, Maryland and Washington D.C. Part of the Best Western family since 1987, he is involved in governing roles for the brand and is an active participant in regional marketing and advertising co-ops. Patel has an undergraduate degree from Duke University as well as a degree in law from Georgetown University.


Best Western hotel member Nils Kindgren replaces Mark T. Brown as director of District One. Kindgren operates the Best Western Sun City Inn and Suites in Sun City, Ariz. and has been a member of Best Western since 1985. He has been an active member of various Best Western marketing, advertising and leadership committees as well as industry organizations such as the national and state chapters of the AH&LA.

Other members of the current board include immediate past Chairwoman, Cindy Binkele, John Van Duyn and Mike Scholz.

Best Western is governed by a seven-member board of directors, elected by Best Western member hoteliers in seven geographic regions in North America. Each region or District has an average of 300 Best Western properties. Board members must be Best Western member hoteliers and they serve a three-year term as a director and may be re-elected once.