ATLANTA—Davidson Hospitality Group announces the promotion of Thom Geshay to CEO and president, effective January 1, 2022. Only the fifth CEO and president in the hospitality management company’s nearly 50-year history, Geshay succeeds John Belden, Davidson’s longest-serving CEO, who will remain actively engaged as executive chairman, as well as a member of Davidson’s Board of Directors.
This transition in leadership is a natural progression, leveraging Geshay’s long and successful career at Davidson, thus positioning Davidson Hospitality Group for continued success in strategic development, recruitment and retention, and the positioning of its portfolio. As CEO and president, Geshay will carry forward the company’s direction to create value, bring heart to the business of hospitality, and deliver services to its property owners, brands, team members, and guests.
“I couldn’t be more pleased, nor more confident, that our team members, property owners, and investors are in excellent hands and will be well-served under Thom’s tremendous direction,” said John Belden, current chairman and CEO, Davidson Hospitality Group. “In his 30-plus years with the company, Thom has been instrumental in our achievement of major milestones, a critical catalyst in championing our culture, and a driver in the development of our immensely talented team. Leadership is a team sport at Davidson, and the same leaders that have driven our success during my time as CEO will continue working as a team to drive our success with Thom as CEO, further adding to this seamless transition.”
Since joining the company in 1988, Geshay has ascended through the ranks, being named chief operating officer in 2016 and president in 2019. He has worked with Belden and Davidson’s leadership team to position Davidson as a respected, trusted, and successful operating platform. With his shared vision and commitment to operational excellence, Geshay has been a contributor in the launch of Pivot, Davidson Resorts, and Davidson Restaurant Group operating verticals, as well as the refinement of the company’s brand architecture, the deployment of its Global Sales Office, and hybrid meetings initiative rollout earlier this year.
Belden noted, “I have spent much of my adult life cultivating and growing Davidson and can’t imagine a better steward to hand the baton to than Thom. While Thom takes over the day-to-day reins of the company, I will continue to support Thom and the team as executive chairman, focusing on our vision and strategy development, portfolio growth, and owner relationships.”
As a portfolio, Davidson Hospitality Group has achieved 18 consecutive years of RGI increases; developed relationships with Marriott, Hilton, and Hyatt; become the largest operator of Margaritaville Resorts & Hotels; and been appointed one of the first third-party operators for brands including Thompson, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, and Nobu Hotels.
The company has grown into one of the industry’s largest operators, with a quality portfolio positioned primarily in the upper-upscale to luxury segments. Davidson projects to end the year with approximately 70 hotels, representing over $1.8 billion in normalized portfolio revenue. Davidson has placed focus on recruitment and career development in order to continually enhance its management and talent resources, meet the demand for further specialization, and lay the groundwork for future portfolio growth.