Two executive team members at Best Western International, THE WORLD’S LARGEST HOTEL CHAIN®, have been promoted and assigned expanded areas of responsibility. President and CEO, Tom Higgins of Best Western International made the announcement.
Tapped as part of a re-emphasis of Best Western’s global operations strategy were Anupam Narayan, senior vice president of Global Brand Management and Chief Financial Officer, and David Kong, senior vice president of Global Strategy and Development.
“Anupam and David are two of the best strategists in the hospitality industry today,” says Higgins. “By allowing them to focus on broader areas of Best Western’s global strategy and operations, we will continue to ensure that the Best Western brand is the leading choice of both guests and hoteliers in the global mid-market.”
Narayan, who joined the Best Western executive team in 1997, was formerly senior vice president Global Strategy and chief financial officer. In his new position, he continues to be responsible for all financial matters, procurement and legal services. He also assumes responsibility for global quality assurance, brand identity, education and training, design and a variety of yield management services designed to support individual Best Western hotel owners and operators.
Narayan is a 20-year veteran of the lodging industry and has previously held management positions at Doubletree Corporation, Red Lion Hotels and Holiday Inns, Inc. He serves on the IHRA (International Hotel & Restaurant Association) Board of Directors and is Chairman of the IHRA Chains Council. Narayan is a frequent speaker and panelist at various hotel industry and investment conferences around the world.
Kong was formerly vice president of Operations and Strategic Services for Best Western.
Kong, who has more than 30 years of hospitality industry experience, will now oversee global strategic planning and development for the chain in North America and Asia. This includes oversight of the company’s strategic vision, annual business plans and research endeavors. Kong also has responsibility for the recently re-launched Gold Crown Club International, Best Western’s frequent guest program and the popular Best Western Travel Card.
Prior to joining Best Western, Kong was with KPMG Consulting as a Senior Manager in the Hospitality & Real Estate practice, and served Hyatt Hotels Corporation for 19 years in senior positions in operations and sales and marketing. Kong has completed the Executive Development Program at the Kellogg Graduate School of Management from Northwestern University and has a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration in Travel Industry Management from the University of Hawaii.
Best Western International is THE WORLD’S LARGEST HOTEL CHAIN® with more than 4,000 hotels in 80 countries and territories. It is a membership association of independently owned and operated hotels that provides marketing, reservations and operational support to its member hotels.