Board of Directors Elected for 2003

PHOENIX—Best Western International, Inc. has re-elected board director Lowell Cruse to a second three-year term, and has elected Larry McRae as a new director replacing Michael Scholz who completed his tenure on the board after a second three-year term.

Cruse, formerly board vice chairman, will serve one year as chairman of the seven-member board effective Dec. 1, 2002. He replaces Ken Smotherman who will remain on the board as a director. Cruse owns the Best Western Villa Inn in Lawrenceburg, Tenn. A 22-year Best Western veteran, he has served in various leadership roles on Best Western executive committees and as a director since his election in 1999. Cruse holds a bachelor of science degree in business administration from the University of Arkansas.
Nayan Patel, previously secretary/treasurer, will serve as board vice chairman. 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 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.

Nils Kindgren replaces Patel as secretary/treasurer. Kindgren owns and 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.

McRae owns and operates the Best Western Grant Creek Inn in Missoula, Mont. and has been a member of Best Western since 1985. He has been in the hospitality business since 1961 and has managed and operated hotels in Colorado, Montana and Texas. McRae has served in various capacities including as a Best Western governor and on the Executive Marketing Advisory Committee.

Other directors of the current board include Cindy Binkele and John Van Duyn.


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, they are elected to a three-year term and may be re-elected once.

Best Western International is THE WORLD’S LARGEST HOTEL CHAIN® with more than 4,000 hotels in 80 countries. It is a membership association of independently owned and operated hotels that provides marketing, reservations and operational support to its members.