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Avendra CEO Dennis Baker to Retire; COO Steps Up

ROCKVILLE, MD—Dennis Baker, president/CEO of hospitality procurement services provider Avendra is retiring this month after more that 13 years with the company. Avendra COO Wolfram Schaefer will succeed him effective July 31.

As Avendra’s COO, Schaefer has been directly responsible for the performance of key parts of the organization, including strategic sourcing, sales, marketing, customer care, quality assurance, business development and the Avendra Replenishment Group. Schaefer has spearheaded major strategy initiatives across the organization, including the transformation of customer care, the entry into new market segments and a renewed focus on international expansion.

Schaefer came to Avendra with an extensive career in business development, international procurement and supply-chain-technology implementation. He previously served as COO/Europe for NCH Corp. and president of LSG Sky Chefs Supply Chain Solutions, Inc., a subsidiary of LSG Sky Chefs, Inc. He began his career with McKinsey & Co., serving at offices in Frankfurt and Chicago. 

Before Baker’s appointment as CEO of Avendra, the former Marriott International executive led a team responsible for developing and implementing a new strategy for consolidating and streamlining procurement. From this effort, the idea was conceived to create a company that would redefine supply-chain management with more-efficient procurement practices across the hospitality industry. The outcome was the formation of a new business unit, The Marketplace by Marriott, in 1998. As the EVP and general manager of The Marketplace by Marriott, Baker then helped bring together major hospitality management companies, including Marriott International, InterContinental Hotels Group, Hyatt Hotels Corp., Fairmont Hotels & Resorts and ClubCorp, to form an independent company offering strategic supply-chain services for the industry, and in 2001 Avendra was formed..

According to the company, Avendra has grown to $3.5 billion in annual spend, over 400 management company clients representing 5000 properties, 800 supplier agreements and 250 associates.

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