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ROCKVILLE, Md.—Choice Hotels International has announced it will match Choice Privileges member donations to the American Red Cross. Members can donate loyalty points that convert to cash. Choice Hotels will match up to 20 million points contributed by members in support of disaster relief and recovery efforts through the end of this year.

Choice Hotels is a member of the Red Cross Disaster Responder Program, which ensures American Red Cross is prepared to respond to disasters and meet the needs of those affected anytime and anywhere across the United States.

Each year, the American Red Cross responds to nearly 64,000 disasters around the country, providing food, shelter, and comfort to people affected by disasters during their greatest time of need. In 2017, Choice Privileges members donated to disaster relief, together raising a combined total of nearly $400,000, in addition to providing 1,000 comfort kits and blankets.

“Our thoughts go out to everyone affected by Hurricane Florence, and we are committed to assisting our franchisees and their guests, as well as supporting local recovery efforts,” said Patrick Pacious, president and chief executive officer, Choice Hotels. “Hospitality extends beyond hotels and into the communities where we live and work, which is why Choice is dedicated to ensuring those in need are cared for during disasters.”

Roxy, creator of a speech-enabled device built for hotels, has announced a partnership
with Redwood Systems Group, a hospitality technology provider and integrator. This
partnership will enable hotels to use a single technology provider for their in-room voice
assistant, PBX, HSIA, and CCTV needs.

The Roxy device integrates directly with Redwood Systems’ PBX offering so that guests can get information about hotel amenities and services from the device and also make internal and external calls, including emergency calls. This functionality allows Roxy to replace guestroom telephones at a similar price point. Roxy also has functionality enabling it to replace the in-room speaker, alarm clock, charging ports, and guest booklet so that by consolidating in-room hardware, hoteliers are able to cut costs and reduce clutter in guestrooms.

“We’re excited to be working with a company that has long been at the forefront of new hotel
technologies,” said Cam Urban, CEO of Roxy. “Redwood Systems is an important partner
because of their focus on future-proofed solutions.”

This announcement comes following a recent report by technology advisory and research company, Gartner, which predicts that there will be a voice-activated smart speaker in three out of four U.S. households by the end of 2020. As more guests get used to using these devices in their homes, they begin to expect them in hotel rooms as well.

ATLANTA—Hotel management and development company, Hotel Equities (HE), has created a strategic alliance with private equity firm, Virtua Partners. Virtua Partners, a global private equity firm with a specialty in commercial real estate, is making a series of investments totaling more than $500 million into HE’s hospitality platform. The new capital will be used to fuel growth through hotel management company acquisitions, organic growth, and strategic investments into various hospitality assets.

Hotel Equities provides management and development services to 115 properties across 25 states and two Canadian provinces with a total of $2 billion in assets under management. HE manages premium hotel brands, primarily with Marriott and Hilton and the asset classes range from suburban, urban upscale boutique, as well as resort-style destination properties.

“Hotel Equities is an industry leader in hospitality management and development. HE has a 29-year award-winning track record for employee recruitment, training and retention. This culture of service permeates throughout the entire company. Virtua Partners is excited to invest in such a dynamic organization,” says Quinn Palomino, principal of Virtua Partners.

“This capital infusion allows us to expand our platform as we look to grow Hotel Equities through acquisitions and organic growth. Our mission is to provide outstanding service to our key stakeholders and deliver strong returns to our owners. We are delighted to have Virtua Partners invest in our company, as they share our values and culture,” says Fred Cerrone, founder and chairman of Hotel Equities.

Virtua Partners holds investments in hotels and other hospitality properties throughout the country. Virtua Partners has targeted a series of investments totaling over $500 million, some of which will be deployed through hospitality investments and Opportunity Zones, as well as acquisitions and new development.

Cameron Lamming has been promoted from chief development officer to chief operating officer and president of RAR Hospitality. Before he joined RAR, Lamming worked at Brixton Capital, where he was responsible for the acquisitions group.

For more notable comings and goings that took place this week, click here.

21c Museum Hotels appointed Sarah Robbins to the position of chief operating officer. A founding partner of 21c Museum Hotels, Robbins has been with 21c Museum Hotels since 2005 having previously served as chief hospitality officer. In her new role, she will be responsible for overseeing all hotel operations, in addition to food and beverage operations and human resources.

More of this week’s notable comings and goings here.

Hilton has announced that Danny Hughes will be the company’s executive vice president and president, Americas, effective September 4. Hughes will oversee Hilton’s interests across North, Central, and South America with a focus on enhancing the managed portfolio. Hughes previously held the position of senior vice president and commercial director of the Americas.

Here’s a look at other notable comings and goings that took place this week.

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