WHY IT RATES: Choice Hotels has just made significant changes to its leadership structure, installing a new SVP real estate and finance; SVP, head of international and strategic & financial planning; chief accounting officer; and regional VP, emerging markets, franchise development and owner relationships, — Laurie Baratti, TravelPulse Associate Writer
Choice Hotels International, Inc., one of the world’s largest lodging franchisors, has announced four leadership roles to advance the company’s corporate priorities and drive growth.
Scott Oaksmith, senior vice president of real estate and finance, Choice Hotels; Raul Ramirez, senior vice president, head of international and strategic & financial planning, Choice Hotels; Elizabeth Redmond, chief accounting officer, Choice Hotels; John Lancaster, regional vice president, emerging markets, franchise development and owner relationships, Choice Hotels.
—Scott Oaksmith has been promoted to senior vice president of real estate and finance. In this role, he will lead several strategic areas of the company, including real estate investment and asset management, as well as the company’s treasury operations. Oaksmith will work closely with the company’s franchise development and brand teams to accelerate the growth trajectory of the company’s brands through strategically deploying capital in the form of hotel development, joint venture investing and lending programs with a focus on major markets and sought-after destinations where guests want to travel. As part of his new role, Oaksmith will also assume oversight of Choice’s business intelligence group, where he will oversee the company’s data analytics initiatives and promote a culture of data informed decision-making. Since joining Choice in 2002, Oaksmith has held numerous positions within the company, including controller, as well as senior vice president of finance and chief accounting officer.
—Raul Ramirez has been promoted to senior vice president, head of international and strategic & financial planning. Ramirez will assume leadership for all aspects of Choice’s international division, including building the overall strategic direction and expansion of the company’s international operations, which spans over 40 countries and territories. Prior to this promotion, Ramirez served as senior vice president of international strategic planning and global head of financial planning and analysis, where he led the finance, corporate development and business planning of the international organization. Ramirez will continue to lead the company’s financial planning function and assume oversight of Choice’s strategy group, where he will establish the long-range strategic and financial plans for the company. He has been a key member of Choice since 2017, when he joined as the company’s vice president of strategic finance and financial planning and analysis.
—Elizabeth Redmond has been promoted to chief accounting officer, where she will be responsible for the company’s financial reporting requirements and transforming several of the company’s critical functions, including corporate accounting, domestic and international accounting operations, financial reporting and accounting policy, and real estate accounting. Across her 13-year tenure at Choice, Redmond has been instrumental in the company’s success through leading enterprise-wide process reengineering efforts, implementing new complex accounting standards and improving internal control structures and procedures. Redmond joined the company in 2007 and has held various key roles in the finance department, most recently serving as vice president of financial reporting and accounting.
—John Lancaster moves into the newly created position of regional vice president, emerging markets, franchise development and owner relationships. In this role, he will lead Choice’s efforts to extend the opportunity of hotel ownership to underrepresented populations through the company’s one-of-a-kind emerging markets franchise development program. The company awarded — and financially supported — 34 franchise agreements with minority and veteran entrepreneurs through this program last year. Lancaster will also lead the company’s reinstitution of an owners’ council specifically intended to represent and provide continued support and advocacy for these unrepresented hoteliers. Lancaster has held various roles at Choice since 2011, including most recently as regional vice president of franchise development, as well as director of global sales sourcing and solutions and director of franchise development for the mid-Atlantic, New England and emerging markets.
Choice Hotels continues to be recognized for workplace achievements. Just this year, Choice was named by Forbes as a Best Employer for Diversity; earned a top score on Disability:IN’s 2020 Disability Equality Index; and was recognized by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index as a Best Place to Work for LGBTQ Equality. In July, Choice’s president and chief executive officer, Patrick Pacious, was awarded Comparably’s Best CEOs for Women Award for inspiring, encouraging and supporting women’s voices and contributions in the workplace.
For more information, visit choicehotels.com.
SOURCE: Choice Hotels International, Inc.
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