ROCKVILLE, MD—Stewart Bainum Jr., chairman of the board of directors of Choice Hotels International Inc., yesterday received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Americas Lodging Investment Summit (ALIS) for his career-long contributions to the hospitality industry. The recognition comes as Choice Hotels celebrates its 80th anniversary.
“My father, Stewart Bainum Sr., founded Choice Hotels. Today, my family, Choice Hotels’ associates, and our franchisees around the world continue to fulfill his legacy of hospitality, service, and innovation,” said Bainum. “I am deeply proud of our company’s past and present contributions to the hotel industry and the foundation that we’ve built to take us into the future. I share this honor with all of the dedicated individuals who made Choice Hotels the company it is today as well as those who currently leverage their passion for connecting the world through the power of hospitality on our behalf.”
Bainum has been chairman of Choice Hotels since 1987 and a member of its leadership team since 1976, when the company’s market value was less than $6 million. He has overseen Choice’s growth from a franchisor of 290 hotels under one brand in the United States to a global enterprise with more than 6,900 franchised hotels in more than 40 countries and territories.
Throughout his career, Bainum has led a number of organizations, including four current or former publicly listed companies: Choice Hotels; HCR Manor Care; Vitalink Pharmacy Services; and Sunburst Hospitality. He has also established a legacy of civic engagement, having served eight years as a delegate and senator in the Maryland General Assembly. His numerous accolades include recognition from the NAACP, Maryland Common Cause and the Maryland League of Conservation Voters.
“Stewart’s leadership over the past four decades has propelled Choice Hotels to become one of the largest and most successful hotel franchise companies in the world,” said Patrick Pacious, president/CEO, Choice Hotels. “His passion for the company and our industry is reflected in our history of empowering small business owners through proven brands, with a strategic focus on growth, innovation and best-in-class franchisee resources. The Choice Hotels associates, franchisees and shareholders are fortunate to have his continued guidance as we look to the future.”
Founded in 1939 as Quality Courts United Inc., a nonprofit referral chain of seven motels in Florida, Choice Hotels has grown from one brand to a family of well-segmented brands, including Quality Inn, Comfort, Cambria Hotels, and WoodSpring Suites. Spanning the upscale, upper-midscale, midscale, economy, and extended-stay segments, Choice Hotels provides business and leisure travelers with a range of lodging options all over the world.