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Ritter Receives Lifetime Achievement Award
You would think that Kurt Ritter, the president and CEO of Rezidor Hotel Group, would be content with winning two lifetime achievement awards for his work in the hotel and hospitality industry. But, to add another feather to his cap, the European Hospitality Awards presented the industry veteran with yet another lifetime honor at a ceremony held last week in London.
“I am very honoured to receive this Lifetime Achievement Award – and yet very humbled. Without my family and my team, my success would not have been possible. I would like to thank my family and all Rezidorians; they have made me the man and leader I am," said Ritter.
Key dates of Ritter's career include the Master Franchise Agreement with Carlson Hotels Worldwide to create Radisson SAS in 1994, and the agreement with Carlson in 2002 to also develop the brands Country Inns & Suites, Park Inn, and Regent across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. In 2005, Ritter signed the worldwide licence agreement with Missoni to develop and operate the luxury lifestyle brand Hotel Missoni, and in 2006 he was responsible for Rezidor’s IPO on the Stockholm Stock Exchange. In 2012, he co-launched the Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group and also signed a Strategic Alliance Agreement with Regent Hotels & Resorts.
Upon announcing Ritter as the winner of the lifetime achievement award, the jury said, "The remarkable rise of Rezidor is inseparable from Kurt Ritter’s; and it is difficult to think of anyone in the business today who has dedicated more of his or her life to the hospitality industry."
Ritter announced in September that he would be stepping down as the company's leader, and would be replaced by Wolfgang M. Neumann, Rezidor's executive vice president and chief operating officer, beginning on January 1, 2013.
The annual European Hospitality Awards 2012—presented by Arena-International and Hotel Management International—celebrated Europe’s exceptional hotels and hoteliers of the year. Members of the jury that decided about the winners in 13 categories were Ted Teng, CEO of the Leading Hotels of the World; Harry Handelsman, CEO of Manhattan Loft Corporation; Claus Sendlinger, CEO & President of Design Hotels; Peter Bierwirth, President of the European Hotel Managers Association; Masha Polshinskaya, Senior Project Manager of Cleverdis/The Hotel Innovations; and Michelin Star Chef Heinz Beck.
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