Worldwide lodging franchisor Choice Hotels International Inc. (NYSE:CHH) announces the appointment of Brian Parker as director of new business development. In his new role, Parker is charged with leading Choice Hotels` franchise sales efforts in identifying qualified African-American, Hispanic and Native American developers for any one of the company`s eight brands- Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, Quality, Clarion, Sleep Inn, Econo Lodge, MainStay Suites, and Rodeway Inn.
Parker, formerly director of sports marketing and sales, will report directly to Joseph Squeri, Choice`s senior vice president of development and CFO. “African-Americans, Hispanics and Native Americans have been traditionally under-represented groups in the hospitality industry,” said Squeri. “Brian`s ability to create a presence for Choice Hotels in untapped markets, as demonstrated with his success in developing our sports marketing division, makes him an exceptional candidate for this critical role.”
Choice has been working diligently to promote diversity throughout its business practices, with particular emphasis on its workforce, franchisee and vendor bases.
n July 2002, Choice launched a minority incentive plan to encourage franchise sales to African-American, Hispanic and Native American developers. In September 2002, the company`s board created a Diversity Committee, which oversees and reviews management`s progress in carrying out diversity initiatives.
“One of the major goals of the diversity committee is to ensure that Choice Hotels is actively pursuing opportunities for minorities to participate in franchise ownership,” Squeri said. “Brian`s appointment reinforces Choice Hotels` commitment to the success of our diversity initiatives.”
Parker began his career with Choice in 1998 as strategic planning analyst. He was later promoted to project manager of business development where he identified the sports industry as a multi-billion dollar market. As director of sports marketing and sales, he executed all sports marketing programs and promotions, established strategic alliances and sponsorships with sports organizations, and spearheaded the launch of www.choicesportstravel.com, Choice Hotels` customized web site designed exclusively to accommodate the lodging needs of traveling teams, athletes, and fans.
Parker holds a bachelor`s degree in business administration and marketing from Delaware State University.
In 2002, Travel Agent Magazine named him one of the 100 Rising Stars in the travel industry. He has been featured in Black Enterprise Magazines` Executive “On The Move” and Street and Smith`s Sports Business Journal.
Choice Hotels International is one of the world`s largest lodging franchisors, marketing more than 5,000 hotels open or under development in 42 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.