Trudy Rautio, executive vice president and chief administrative officer of Carlson Hotels Worldwide, has been promoted to the position of president of the Americas division. The appointment was announced by Curtis Nelson, president and COO of Carlson Companies, who said that the promotion of Rautio fills a key leadership position in the global organization of Carlson Hotels Worldwide which is led by Jay Witzel, president and CEO.
“As we continue to build the global structure of Carlson Hotels Worldwide in alignment with the world`s three primary economic theaters, Rautio will play a major leadership role, overseeing the company`s important operations in the Americas,” Nelson stated. The brands of Carlson Hotels Worldwide include Regent International Hotels; Radisson Hotels & Resorts; Park Plaza Hotels & Resorts; Country Inns & Suites By Carlson and Park Inn.
Carlson Hotels Worldwide has aligned its business operations into the three economic theaters: The Americas; Asia Pacific; and Europe/Middle East/Africa (EMEA). Witzel had previously held the dual responsibilities of president of Carlson Hotels Worldwide and the Americas division. “With the appointment of Rautio to this position, Witzel will be focusing on the global leadership of the Carlson Hotels Worldwide organization, with a special focus on investment and growth opportunities.”
“Global growth and brand presence are key strategies for the Carlson Hotels organization, requiring a strong leadership team and structure to drive this strategy forward,” Witzel stated. “Rautio brings this high degree of proven leadership and management strength to the organization in the Americas.” he added.
In her role as president of Carlson Hotels Worldwide - The Americas, Rautio will have overall responsibility for the operation and growth of the company`s five brands in North and South America. The leaders of the company`s full service (Regent, Radisson and Park Plaza) and select service (Country Inns & Suites and Park Inn) brands will report to Rautio along with the executive leaders of development, management services, sales & marketing, and distribution. The leaders of key support functions will also report to Rautio, including such areas as technology, public relations, human resources and purchasing.
Rautio has been a member of the senior management team at Carlson since joining the company in 1997. Most recently she served a dual role as executive vice president and chief financial officer of the Carlson Consumer Group and Chief Administrative Officer of Carlson Hotels Worldwide. She was responsible for developing and implementing financial strategies and policies for Carlson Consumer Group which includes all of the company`s operations and brands in hotels, resorts, restaurants, cruise ships and leisure travel agencies. She also was responsible for several key support areas of the organization including finance and accounting, planning and acquisitions, public relations, legal, human resources and technology.
During the past several years, she has been instrumental in leading the planning and implementation of several key initiatives including a program called “greatwork” designed to increase effectiveness and efficiencies of processes throughout the organization.
In other experience, Rautio was senior vice president and chief financial officer of Josten`s, Inc., headquartered in Minneapolis. She also served as vice president of finance for Pillsbury Co., which is also based in Minneapolis.
She serves on the board of directors for Select Comfort Corporation and is also a board member of HIRED, a nonprofit organization that assists the unemployed.
Rautio is active in several finance-related organizations including the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Institute of Management Accountants and Financial Executives Institute. In 2001, she was named one of the top women in finance in the Twin Cities by Minnesota-based business publication Finance and Commerce.
A graduate of Bemidji State University, Rautio holds an MBA and is also a CPA and CMA (Certified Management Accountant).
Minneapolis-based Carlson Hotels Worldwide, part of Carlson Hospitality Worldwide, includes five hotel brands, totaling 885 hotels in 67 countries. Hotel brands include: Regent International Hotels, one of the most respected brands in the luxury segment of the lodging industry with 10 locations; Radisson Hotels & Resorts®, one of the world`s leading upscale hotel companies with 448 locations in 61 countries; Park Plaza® Hotels & Resorts, positioned in the mid-scale to upscale segment of the full-service hotel category, have 36 hotels globally; Country Inns & Suites By Carlson®, one of the fastest growing, mid-tier lodging chains with 324 locations offering excellent value with upgraded services and amenities; and Park Inn® hotels, with 67 hotels worldwide, are positioned within the economy to mid-scale segment of the limited service hotel category.
Carlson Hospitality Worldwide is a global leader in hospitality services, encompassing more than 1,690 hotel, resort, restaurant and cruise ship operations in 82 countries. Carlson Hospitality Worldwide is one of the major operating groups of Carlson Companies, Inc., a global leader in providing corporate solutions and consumer services in the marketing, travel and hospitality industries. Other names among the Carlson family of brands and services are: Carlson Marketing Group, Carlson Wagonlit Travel, Results Travel, Cruise Holidays, T.G.I. Friday`s and Pick Up Stix restaurants. The company has been recognized by both Fortune and Working Mother magazines as one of the “100 best places to work for in America,” Carlson Companies` corporate headquarters are in Minneapolis, Minnesota.