ROCKVILLE, MD—Choice Hotels International has named Mark Shalala as VP of franchise development for Cambria Hotels & Suites.
In his new role, Shalala will be responsible for the franchise growth of the Cambria Hotels & Suites brand. He will be responsible for leading the franchise sales team in developing and implementing new strategies to increase the brand’s distribution among key markets nationwide, according to Choice. This includes capitalizing on the company’s commitment to the brand, including $250 million in corporate investments and other financial based incentives aimed to fuel the brand’s growth, primarily in urban markets.
“Our Cambria Hotels & Suites brand continues to experience dynamic growth, and we are thrilled to have Mark on our team to help drive strategic development for our franchisees,” said David Pepper, SVP, global development. “We are riding the success following a wave of recent openings in key markets including Washington, DC; White Plains, NY; and Plano, TX. With Mark on our team, we look forward to propelling the Cambria Hotels & Suites brand to new heights in the eyes of Millennials and business travelers.”
As Shalala oversees the franchise development team, the Cambria Hotels & Suites brand will also place a concentrated effort on solidifying institutional capital partnerships, according to the company. CA Anderson, VP, Cambria Investments, will lead that effort moving forward.
Recently, Cambria Hotels & Suites unveiled a new-construction property prototype designed with the business and Millennial traveler in mind. It’s new positioning “Cambria Hotels & Suites. Where everybody is somebody.” focuses on the guest’s desire for quality service, unexpected delights during their stay, flexibility, and a light-hearted environment, according to the brand.
Shalala rejoins Choice Hotels with more than 15 years of experience of hospitality development and franchise sales experience. Most recently, he served as senior director of development at Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide and was responsible for the strategic growth of Starwood’s nine upscale and luxury lifestyle brands in the southeastern United States and in the Caribbean. He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in business and sports management.