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Choice Hotels Promotes Mary Beth Knight and Bill Carlson to Senior Vice Presidents Within Its Marketing Division

Choice Hotels Promotes Mary Beth Knight and Bill Carlson to Senior Vice Presidents Within Its Marketing Division

Category: Worldwide - Careers - Appointments
This is a press release selected by our editorial committee and published online for free on 2006-05-03

Choice Hotels International, Inc. (NYSE: CHH) today announced the promotions of Mary Beth Knight and Bill Carlson to senior vice presidents. Mary Beth Knight is the company's senior vice president, eCommerce, and Bill Carlson is Choice's senior vice president, consumer revenue growth. Both continue to report to Wayne Wielgus, Choice's executive vice president and chief marketing officer. Knight and Carlson, in conjunction with their promotions, have been elected officers of the company by the Choice Hotels Board of Directors.

Mary Beth Knight, who joined Choice in February 2002, is responsible for all electronic channel distribution, including, third party travel sites, global distribution systems, and electronic database management. Her new role is a testament to her accomplishments and Choice's dedication of increased resources and focus toward the Internet, which continues to grow in importance and is becoming the industry's dominant reservations channel, exceeding phone reservations. During her career with Choice, she has played a key role in building the company's global eCommerce distribution strategy, including making strategic, revenue-generating enhancements to the company's Website, She has also created and negotiated several successful strategic partnerships with key eCommerce distributors, including Expedia,, Travelocity, TravelWeb, Orbitz and Cendant. These partnerships have generated significant incremental revenues while providing extensive cost savings to Choice's franchisees.

Prior to joining Choice, Knight served as vice president, eCommerce for Best Western International. In her 20-year hospitality career, she has also held various senior marketing and sales positions with Doubletree Hotels, Ramada International and Servico Hotel Management Corporation. Knight is a graduate of Columbia College.

Bill Carlson, who joined Choice in September 1998, has led the company's efforts in the consumer research arena and guided its rewards programs, promotions and industry partnerships. In his role, he has been instrumental in increasing membership in the company's rewards programs, Choice Privileges and EA$Y CHOICE. Since 2001, membership in these organizations has increased from 1.2 million to 4.5 million members, with revenue growing to more than half a billion dollars. Carlson has also played major roles in establishing the company's customer database, creating its customer care strategy, and developing and deploying Choice's hotel-level guest satisfaction system. In his expanded role, Carlson will broaden the scope and reach of his responsibilities for the company's customer database and customer relationship management (CRM) systems, the loyalty marketing rewards programs, national promotions and partnerships, consumer research and market information.

Prior to joining Choice, Carlson was senior director, marketing information and planning for Promus Hotel Corporation. A 20-year hospitality industry veteran, he also served in a variety of market/research analysis positions for Holiday Inns. He holds a BA and an MBA from Arizona State University.

"Mary Beth Knight and Bill Carlson have made invaluable contributions to Choice's marketing effectiveness," said Wayne Wielgus, executive vice president and chief marketing officer of Choice. "Thanks to Mary Beth's contributions, we have been able to strengthen the revenue contribution from our Web site and establish and solidify strategic relationships with key third-party, Web-based distributors. With Bill heading our consumer marketing area, we have greater insight into our guests and can therefore more effectively market to them and serve them through programs such as Choice Privileges and targeted consumer promotions."

Choice Hotels International franchises more than 5,200 hotels, representing more than 425,000 rooms, in the United States and more than 40 countries and territories. As of March 31, 2006, 653 hotels are under development in the United States, representing 51,157 rooms, and an additional 69 hotels, representing 6,223 rooms, are under development in more than 20 countries and territories. The company's Cambria Suites, Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, Quality, Clarion, Sleep Inn, Econo Lodge, Rodeway Inn, MainStay Suites and Suburban Extended Stay Hotel brands serve guests worldwide.

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