Thursday April 19th, 2012 - 10:15AM
LOS ANGELES—Industry veteran and Hilton Worldwide executive, Thomas “Tom” Wingham, has died. He was 42.
The director of global brand public relations for DoubleTree by Hilton for 13 years, Wingham was a 25-year career executive with the lodging chain.
Beginning in corporate procurement for food and beverage and hotel renovations, in 1994 he joined Hilton’s marketing communications and public relations teams, serving five brands, including: Hilton, Hilton Garden Inn, Conrad, Red Lion and Harrison Conference Centers, before transitioning to DoubleTree.
There, he oversaw the strategic and day-to-day media relations operations for more than 280 Doubletree hotels and resorts either open or under development in more than 25 countries. His responsibilities included: hotel openings/developments; brandwide initiatives and special events; promotional partnerships; individual hotel and destination support; video production; tradeshows and panel discussions; owner relations; crisis communications and social media.
Wingham also helped advance the DoubleTree CARE culture and launched the award-winning Teaching Kids to CARE corporate responsibility program. Milestones included the planting of more than 300,000 trees and the development and promotion of a traveling tree museum seen by more than one million visitors across the United States. The Teaching Kids to CARE program has received more than 40 local, regional and national awards and has included partnerships with such organizations as The Arbor Day Foundation, TIME For Kids magazine, Kids Voting USA, American Red Cross, WWF, the Woodland Trust and the United Nations World Food Program.
Wingham also wrangled the DoubleTree by Hilton Cookie CAREavan Across America, which included the donation of 1.5 million of the brand’s signature chocolate chip cookies to community groups. The effort won the PR Week Award for Product Brand Development Campaign of the Year.
A fifth-generation native Californian, Wingham was a graduate of Woodbury University in Los Angeles, where he earned his Bachelor of Science in Management and International Business. He was a member of the Public Relations Society of America, Travel Bloggers Exchange and the National Association of Travel Journalists.
He is survived by his parents, George and Penny Wingham and a niece, Veronica, of whom he was guardian following his sister Victoria’s death several years ago.
Hilton Worldwide expects to share information on charitable donations in Wingham’s honor at a later date.