BWH Hotel Group has announced their highly respected President and Chief Executive Officer, David Kong will be retiring at the end of 2021.
After 20 years at the helm of the global hospitality brand Mr Kong, is the industry’s longest-running CEO and he will be much missed across the whole hospitality sector.
He joined Best Western Hotels & Resorts in 2001 and was named CEO in 2004. During this 20-year journey, Kong transformed the company, formed BWH Hotel Group and shaped it into a global powerhouse. He leaves an indelible mark on the entire hotel industry.
Ishwar Naran, Board Chairman, BWH Hotel Group said: “David Kong is a once in a lifetime leader whose contributions to Best Western and BWH Hotel Group are truly immeasurable.
“It has been the honor of my career to work alongside David and witness first-hand his remarkable passion and dedication to our industry. David has always led by example and, most importantly, cared deeply about those he serves from hoteliers, to colleagues, associates, guests and communities.”
Chip Rogers, President and CEO, American Hotel & Lodging Association said: “David Kong is recognized in our industry as a leader that truly cares about people. He has been an amazing leader and among the most respected people in this industry.”
Geoff Ballotti, President and CEO, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts added: “David has been a mentor to so many of us over the years. He inspired me early in my career as he has so many others to get more involved in our industry, including the American Hotel & Lodging Association, AAHOA, and the U.S. Travel Association. He is someone I trust and greatly admire.”
Kong’s first step toward a lifelong career in hospitality began as a dishwasher and busboy. When he arrived in the United States from Hong Kong as a young adult, like many immigrants before him, he had no money, no job, and no connections to offer support. Despite these challenges, Kong leaned into the values and work ethic instilled by his parents to rise through the ranks of the hospitality industry, culminating in his role as President and CEO of BWH Hotel Group. These values have shaped David Kong into the leader he is today.
“David’s legacy is the integrity of a promise, keeping your word and delivering on it,” said Roger Dow, President and CEO, U.S. Travel Association. “He’s a role model for how this industry leads to fulfilling careers, going from the frontline to CEO, as he’s done.”
Under Kong’s leadership, BWH Hotel Group has evolved into a modern and innovative hotel company. Together with his leadership team, Kong spearheaded a number of initiatives that transformed the hotel brand into the global hospitality powerhouse it is today.