MeriStar Hotels & Resorts, the nation`s largest independent hotel management company, today announced that it has elected Leslie R. Doggett and John Emery to its board of directors.
Doggett is the former Deputy Assistant Secretary for Tourism Industries at the International Trade Administration, where she served as the nation`s highest-ranking federal tourism official, and previously was Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for the United States Travel and Tourism Administration.
With 22 years of hospitality industry experience, she presently is a consultant on tourism development, working with Porter Novelli, the world`s seventh largest public relations agency, and the Walker Marchant Group, a D.C.-based public relations firm, to create ``smart growth`` initiatives for destination marketers and related hospitality industry service providers. Ms. Doggett was the Director of the Mayor`s Office of Tourism in New York City prior to joining the federal government, and has more than a decade of experience in hotel sales and marketing.
``Leslie brings in-depth marketing expertise to our board that is especially important in these unprecedented times for the hospitality industry,`` Paul W. Whetsell, MeriStar chairman and chief executive officer. said. ``Her expertise in working with governmental authorities and convention and visitor bureaus, as well as her understanding of global tourism, add an important new dimension to our board.``
Doggett is the recipient of the Francis Smiley Trailblazer Award by the National Multicultural Tourism Advisory Council and has been named one of the ``World`s Most Powerful Women in Travel and Tourism`` for four consecutive years by Travel Agent Magazine. She also has been named as one of the nation`s leading African-Americans by Black Conventions Magazine. She serves on the Advisory Board of New York University`s Tisch Center for Hospitality, Tourism and Travel Administration.
John Emery, president and chief operating officer of MeriStar Hotels & Resorts, joined the company in 1995 as director of finance, rising to treasurer in 1996, CFO in 1997 and chief investment officer in 2000. In September, he was named president and chief operating officer of both MeriStar Hotels & Resorts and its affiliated REIT, MeriStar Hospitality (NYSE: MHX - news). Prior to 1995, he worked for the accounting firm Deloitte & Touche L.L.P. He holds a bachelor`s degree in accounting from Virginia Tech. Emery, a Certified Public Accountant, also serves on the board of MeriStar Hospitality.
``John`s election to the board reflects his recent appointment as president and chief operating officer of both MeriStar companies, and the significant contributions he has made as a board member of MeriStar Hospitality, our associated REIT,`` Whetsell said. ``John has proven leadership skills and the experience and vision necessary to help direct our future growth.``
MeriStar Hotels & Resorts operates 275 hospitality properties with more than 57,000 rooms in 41 states, the District of Columbia, and Canada, including 54 properties managed by Flagstone Hospitality Management, a subsidiary of MeriStar Hotels & Resorts. Through its Doral Golf division, MeriStar manages six golf courses. BridgeStreet Corporate Housing Worldwide, a MeriStar subsidiary, is one of the world`s largest corporate housing providers, offering upscale, fully furnished corporate housing throughout the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Paris, France and 35 additional countries through its network partners. For more information about MeriStar Hotels & Resorts, visit the company`s Web site: www.meristar.com.
This press release contains ``forward-looking statements,`` within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, about the Company, including those statements regarding future operating results and the timing and composition of revenues, among others, and statements containing words such as ``expects,`` ``believes`` or ``will,`` which indicate that those statements are forward-looking. Except for historical information, the matters discussed in this press release are forward-looking statements that are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause the actual results to differ materially, including the effects of the events of September 11, 2001 and the downturn in the economy. Additional risks are discussed in the Company`s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the Company`s annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2000.