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Bennett to boost ownership diversity for Marriott

Marriott has appointed Ray Bennett as senior vice president, lodging development for select service and extended stay brands, Eastern region, and leader of Marriott’s Diversity Ownership Initiative, a program developed in 2005 to increase the number of minority- and women-owned hotels. As of year-end 2008, more than 500 hotels were owned, managed or in the pipeline by women and diverse groups.

“We’re excited that Ray is taking over the reins of such an important initiative,” said Liam Brown, executive vice president, lodging and development, Marriott International, Inc. “In less than three years, the program has doubled our portfolio of diverse owners, and I’m confident that Ray’s hotel management, leadership and development experience are the perfect combination to continue that success.”

Ray Bennett joined Marriott International from PepsiCo Bottling Group in 2001. He served as vice president of operations for Marriott’s Distribution Services. In this role, he was responsible for overseeing six distribution centers totaling $850 million in sales annually.

In 2004, he transitioned into lodging and held several hotel management positions in northern Virginia including resident manager of the Crystal City Gateway and general manager of the Residence Inn Pentagon City. Most recently, he held the position of area vice president of lodging development for Courtyard, Fairfield Inn, Residence Inn, SpringHill Suites and TownePlace Suites with responsibility for New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, and Washington, D.C.