ATLANTA—The IHG Owners Association, which represents InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) franchise hotel owners worldwide, has announced that Deepesh Kholwadwala has assumed chairmanship of its Global Board of Directors for 2018. Kholwadwala is the president and CEO of Dreamcatcher Hotel Group and Sun Capital Hotels with expertise in hotel feasibility, planning, financing, construction, and operations. He succeeds Allen Fusco, owner and operator of ANABRA Associates.
“I am proud to serve as the voice of our owner members this year, and I look forward to collaborating with IHG in this endeavor,” Kholwadwala says.
Don Berg, CEO of the IHG Owners Association, notes that, “Deepesh’s intellect and mathematical mindset will prove beneficial as we tackle our hotel owners’ challenges with revenue management and commissions to third parties. Another of our main goals is to manage industry disrupters to ensure optimal returns to the bottom line. Deepesh’s technological perspective will be a fresh, forward-thinking approach for our Association members.”
Guided by his father’s principles of business, Kholwadwala raised capital and structured a successful launch of his hotel company in 2003. Today, his company owns and/or operates nine IHG, Hilton, and Marriott-branded hotels in its portfolio with an additional four in the pipeline.
“The success of any brand is ultimately determined by long-term profitability of its owners, not shareholders,” Kholwadwala says. “Every dollar improves owner’s margin, and each margin point drives their future branding decision, and therefore, chains must commit to protecting and growing the owners’ margins to remain a relevant choice.”
Kholwadwala is a University of New Mexico graduate and holds a Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue University. He started his first career at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque where he was appointed as the principal investigator to lead several Russian R&D projects aimed at nuclear non-proliferation. Kholwadwala became a principal member managing research projects in the Intelligent Systems and Robotics Center. He jointly holds three patents, the most recent in 2017 which deals with neural interface methods for artificial sensory. Kholwadwala has received the R&D 100 Award and was the recipient of the Individual Leadership Award for developing new methods in solving complex engineering problems.
Deepesh serves as an officer of the IHG Owners Association Board of Directors, Capital CDC Board of Director, Albuquerque Lodgers Tax Committee (2018), co-chair of the IHG Owners Association Americas Council (2015), IHG OA Strategic Planning Committee (2015), vice-chair of the Governance Committee (2013-2016), New Mexico Lodging Association Board of Director (2010-2012), La Quinta Brand Council (2006-2012), and First American Bank Advisory Board Executive (2012-2015). He completed the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration Real-estate Development Program (2007, 2010), and Emory Institute Goizueta Business School Executive Global Leadership program in 2009. Deepesh’s hotels have received the Newcomer of the Year and Quality Excellence Awards from IHG (2011-2013 and 2016), Hilton’s Lighthouse Award (2014, 2015), and Marriott Gold Guest Satisfaction (2016).
The IHG Owners Association also announced its 2018 Global Board of Directors:
Chair: Deepesh Kholwadwala
Chair Elect: Kurt Furlong
Treasurer: Jerry Dimeo
Secretary: Felix Seiler
Past Chair Representative: Bakulesh “Buggsi” Patel
IHG Owners Association CEO: Don Berg
AMEA Regional Representative: Ronald Barrott
AMER Member at Large: Peter D. Beukema
AMER Member at Large: Perry Molubhoy
AMER Member at Large: Manish Patel
AMER Member at Large: Joel Zorilla
Europe Regional Representative: John Stuart
Europe Regional Representative: Nicola Taylor
IHG Representative: Elie Maalouf