U.S. Travel's Roger Dow named 2010 Hospitality Executive of the Year

August 05, 2010

Roger Dow, president and chief executive officer of U.S. Travel Association, has been named the 2010 Hospitality Executive of the Year by the Penn State Hotel and Restaurant Society (PSHRS). Dow will receive the award during the 49th Hospitality Executive of the Year Award Reception on Sunday, Nov. 14, 2010, at the Rosenthal Pavilion of the Kimmel Center, New York University. As part of the honor, Dow will also be inducted into the Penn State Hospitality Hall of Fame, located at The Nittany Lion Inn on Penn State’s University Park campus.

“Mr. Dow has been a real pioneer for the hospitality industry. We are pleased to induct him into the Penn State Hospitality Hall of Fame,” said Joe McCann, president of Optimum Hotel Brokerage and president of the Penn State Hotel and Restaurant Society. “In recognizing Roger Dow, we also recognize U.S. Travel Association’s influence and leadership within the hospitality industry.”

U.S. Travel Association is the national umbrella organization representing all segments of the $704 billion U.S. travel and tourism industry. Its mission is to increase travel to and within the United States. It advocates the power of travel to leaders in government, provides authoritative travel research and commentary, hosts annual signature events and manages DiscoverAmerica.com, the official travel and tourism website of the United States.

“I’m humbled and honored to be recognized by the prestigious Penn State Hotel and Restaurant Society,” said Dow. “I truly believe that travel and tourism is the front door for economic prosperity for our country. Although our industry has faced many challenges in the past decade, we’ve shown that by coming together and speaking with one voice we can make changes that will improve the travel industry and benefit the American economy.”

“We are delighted that Roger Dow has accepted this honor,” said Bert van Hoof, director of the Penn State School of Hospitality Management. “He is an accomplished leader and his expertise bridges several areas of the hospitality industry, from event planning to travel to sales. This award brings the academic perspective and the management preparation process closer to the U.S. Travel Association -- the leading travel and tourism organization in the country. It also provides an exceptional model for our students and alumni in terms of career paths and provides an enormously beneficial corporate perspective. The organization that Roger Dow heads is an exemplary view of what lies beyond the classroom.”

Dow has served as president of U.S. Travel since 2005. Prior to this, he served in many roles with Marriott International for 34 years, ending with senior vice president, Global and Field Sales, leading Marriott's 10,000-person worldwide sales organization. His many accomplishments for the company included the development of Marriott Rewards, the world's leading frequent traveler program.

Dow received an honorary degree from Johnson & Wales University (Doctor of Business Administration in Hospitality Management) and was named the William R. Tiefel Professorial Chair in the university's Hospitality College. He was recognized by his peers as the 2008 Association Executive of the Year, an honor presented by Association Trends magazine that reflected Dow's success in unifying the travel industry and greatly increasing its effectiveness on Capitol Hill. He also was recognized by Meeting Professionals International (MPI) as one of the industry's top leaders and was selected by MeetingNews as one of the 25 most influential people in the meetings industry.

Dow frequently speaks on leadership, sales, marketing, and management at conventions and corporate meetings, and he has co-authored two books: "Turned On: Eight Vital Insights to Energize Your People, Customers, and Profits" and "The Trust Imperative: The Competitive Advantage of Trust-Based Business Relationships." He has served on the board of directors of numerous organizations, including MPI Foundation (chairman) and the Travel Institute. A native of New Jersey, Dow earned a bachelor of science degree from Seton Hall University. He and his wife, Linda, reside in Potomac, Md.

The Penn State Hotel and Restaurant Society was created in 1948 by alumni and friends of the School of Hospitality Management in Penn State’s College of Health and Human Development. PSHRS and the school created the Hospitality Executive of the Year Award in 1960 to honor individuals who exemplify the successful leadership characteristics and who strive to instill those in students and to convey them to alumni and colleagues.

“Mr. Dow joins the ranks of many distinguished hospitality icons who have been honored by our organization, and he honors us with his involvement,” said Brian Black, director of hospitality industry relations at Penn State’s School of Hospitality Management.

Last year’s award recipient was Niki Leondakis, Chief Operating Officer, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants. Previous winners include Andrew Kerin, executive vice president, ARAMARK Corporation, and president, ARAMARK North America Food, Hospitality and Facility Services; Tom Giannopoulos, chairman, president and CEO of MICROS Systems, Inc.; Richard Schnieders, chairman and chief executive officer of SYSCO Corporation; James Broadhurst, chairman and chief executive officer, Eat’n Park Hospitality Group; Robert F. Cotter, president and chief operating officer of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.; Allan L. Schuman, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Ecolab, Inc.; Michel Landel, president and chief executive officer of Sodexho; Marilyn Carlson Nelson, chairman and CEO of Carlson Companies, Inc.; Joseph Neubauer, chairman and CEO, ARAMARK; Henry R. Silverman, chairman and CEO, HFS Incorporated; Herman Cain, former president, Godfather’s Pizza; Raymond Schultz, former president and CEO, Promus Hotel Corporation; J.W. Marriott, Jr., chairman and president, Marriott Corporation; Barron Hilton, chairman and president, Hilton Hotels Corporation; and Walter J. Conti, a member of the Penn State Board of Trustees, retired owner of Conti’s Cross Keys Inn and Pipersville Inn in Doylestown (Pennsylvania), and creator of the distinguished Conti Professorship in the School of Hospitality Management.

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Last Updated January 09, 2015