BWH Hotels Names Phil Payne as Board Chairperson

PHOENIX, Arizona—BWH Hotels announced that its Board of Directors has elected Phil Payne as Board chairperson for 2024. Payne, who previously served as Board vice chairperson, brings decades of hospitality experience and over 40 years of BWH Hotels ownership to his role.

“I am pleased to announce Phil Payne as our new Chairperson of the Board,” said BWH Hotels President and CEO Larry Cuculic. “Phil has been a long-tenured, trusted, and highly valued member of our organization for more than four decades. His many years of experience with BWH Hotels and crucial knowledge of the hospitality industry make him the ideal individual to serve as Chairperson for the upcoming year. I look forward to working alongside Phil and his colleagues on the Board of Directors during this exciting time for our brand as we navigate immense global growth and expansion, continue to deliver industry-leading customer care to our guests, and drive superior revenue to our hoteliers.”

Alongside his brothers, Payne has owned and operated six BWH Hotels properties since 1982—offering the Board a perspective as an owner, operator, and industry member. During his time as an owner, Payne also served as managing member of Best Western Plus Rio Grande Inn, Best Western Governor for Western New Mexico, and a member of the brand’s Reservation & Technology Advisory Committee.

“I’m honored to serve as Board Chairperson for BWH Hotels,” said Payne. “Since joining Best Western in 1982, I have been committed to making our brand the industry’s friendliest for hoteliers. This involves providing top-notch support, technology solutions, and driving superior revenue while ensuring we exceed guest expectations. I look forward to collaborating with my fellow directors to strengthen BWH Hotels’ position as one of the world’s largest and leading hotel companies.”


Alongside his tenure with BWH Hotels, Payne draws on a variety of experiences across other industries. During his professional career, he worked as a CPA and attorney and co-founded a CPA firm in Alaska, and he designed and wrote tax, accounting, and financial software systems for various firms.

Payne graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. He later went on to receive a Juris Doctorate from Pepperdine University School of Law.

In addition to electing Payne as Chairperson of the Board, the Board of Directors also elected Steve Wahrlich as Vice-Chairperson and Viral (Victor) Patel as Secretary-Treasurer.

Previous articleAloft Katy Mills Selects PM Hotel Group as Manager
Next articleChoice’s Suburban Studios Opens Its 100th Hotel