The IHG Owners Association chose Deepesh Kholwadwala, president and CEO of Dreamcatcher Hotel Group and Sun Capital Hotels, as the chairman of its global board of directors for 2018. Kholwadwala is taking over the roll from Allen Fusco, owner and operator of ANABRA Associates.
Kholwadwala graduated from University of New Mexico, and holds a Master's in mechanical engineering from Purdue University. He was the principal investigator at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque and principal member in the Intelligent Systems and Robotics Center before taking his initial leap into the hospitality industry. He also completed the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration's real estate development program from 2007 to 2010 and Emory Institute's Goizueta Business School Executive Global Leadership program in 2009.
"Deepesh's intellect and mathematical mindset will prove beneficial as we tackle our hotel owners' challenges with revenue management and commissions to third parties," Don Berg, CEO of the IHG Owners Association, said in a statement. "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."
Kholwadwala launched his hotel company in 2003, which owns and/or operates nine IHG, Hilton and Marriott hotels. Another four properties under these companies are in the pipeline. He will lead and advocate on behalf of IHG Owners Association members, who represent InterContinental Hotels Group franchise hotel owners worldwide, within this new position.
"The success of any brand is ultimately determined by long-term profitability of its owners, not shareholders. 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 said in a statement.
Kholwadwala is an also officer of the IHG Owners Association's board of directors, Capital CDC's board of directors, Albuquerque Lodgers' tax committee, co-chair of the IHG Owners Association Americas Council since 2015 and IHG OA Strategic Planning Committee since 2015. He was vice-chair of the Governance Committee between 2013 and 2016, New Mexico Lodging Association board of directors between 2010 and 2012, La Quinta's brand council between 2006 and 2012 and was an executive of First American Bank's advisory board between 2012 and 2015.
The IHG Owners Association's 2018 Global Board of Directors are:
- 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