Choice Hotels Promotes Sonia Egyhazy to Regional Vice President of Franchise Development for Cambria Hotels

USA, Rockville, Maryland. January 31, 2019

Choice Hotels International, Inc. (NYSE: CHH), one of the world's largest hotel franchisors, announced the promotion of Sonia Egyhazy to regional vice president of franchise development for Cambria Hotels.

"Choice Hotels' growth in the upscale segment is a top priority for the company, and the continued success of Cambria Hotels and the Ascend Hotel Collection is key to strengthening our foothold in the ever-growing upscale segment," said Mark Shalala, vice president, franchise development, upscale brands, Choice Hotels. "Cambria and Ascend have allowed us to expand our upscale footprint to meet guest and developer demand. We now have nearly 20,000 upscale rooms open in the U.S. and over 47,000 globally.

"Sonia has played an important role in the Cambria brand's expansion throughout the Mid-Atlantic having forged relationships with some of the industry's top developers. She has demonstrated a tremendous work ethic and a deep understanding of real estate, feasibility, development, and finance - all of which are critical to executing the Cambria growth strategy and success in her new role," continued Shalala.

Egyhazy previously served as director of franchise sales for Cambria in the Mid-Atlantic since 2015. In her new role, Egyhazy will manage the Cambria development team, supporting their efforts to source projects and execute new franchise agreements, and drive growth in targeted markets for the brand in the U.S.

In addition, Jake Fischer and Jeff Johnson have joined the company's upscale development teams, supporting Cambria Hotels and the Ascend Hotel Collection, respectively. 

"Jeff and Jake bring nearly 40 years of combined experience in hospitality, real estate, development and sales, and we are thrilled to add their expertise to our development efforts in the Mid-Atlantic and Midwest regions to fuel growth for the brands," said Shalala.

As the new Cambria director of franchise sales in the Mid-Atlantic, Fischer will assume Egyhazy's development responsibilities. Fischer started his career in operations for the Hyatt Hotels Corporation and, most recently, held the position of vice president of real estate and business development at The Hotel Group. Johnson returns to Choice Hotels as director of franchise development for the Ascend Hotel Collection in the Midwest. In his previous stint with the company, he held a variety of roles in sales. Throughout his career, he has also been a managing director and consultant at GRANT Hospitality, director of hotel commercial management at American Express Global Business Travel, and the director of sales for Wyndham International.

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The hotel industry has undertaken a long-term effort to build more responsible and socially conscious businesses. What began with small efforts to reduce waste - such as paperless checkouts and refillable soap dispensers - has evolved into an international movement toward implementing sustainable development practices. In addition to establishing themselves as good corporate citizens, adopting eco-friendly practices is sound business for hotels. According to a recent report from Deloitte, 95% of business travelers believe the hotel industry should be undertaking “green” initiatives, and Millennials are twice as likely to support brands with strong management of environmental and social issues. Given these conclusions, hotels are continuing to innovate in the areas of environmental sustainability. For example, one leading hotel chain has designed special elevators that collect kinetic energy from the moving lift and in the process, they have reduced their energy consumption by 50%  over conventional elevators. Also, they installed an advanced air conditioning system which employs a magnetic mechanical system that makes them more energy efficient. Other hotels are installing Intelligent Building Systems which monitor and control temperatures in rooms, common areas and swimming pools, as well as ventilation and cold water systems. Some hotels are installing Electric Vehicle charging stations, planting rooftop gardens, implementing stringent recycling programs, and insisting on the use of biodegradable materials. Another trend is the creation of Green Teams within a hotel's operation that are tasked to implement earth-friendly practices and manage budgets for green projects. Some hotels have even gone so far as to curtail or eliminate room service, believing that keeping the kitchen open 24/7 isn't terribly sustainable. The May issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to integrate sustainable practices into their operations and how they are benefiting from them.