Expotel promotes Bret Chittenden to president

Expotel Hospitality, a full-service third-party hotel management company, promotes Bret Chittenden, formerly the firm’s chief operating officer, to president. Expotel Hospitality Chairman George Newton made the announcement. Chittenden has been part of the company since its inception in 1999. He also previously worked for the founders of the company George Newton and the late David Burrus.

“I want to thank Mr. Newton and late Mr. Burrus for a lifetime of building value in me through conversations and lessons geared both professionally and personally,” Chittenden said in a statement. “I am surrounded by the best people in the hospitality business and without the hard work of all the people at Expotel Hospitality over the years, I would not have the opportunity to be where I am today.”

As president, Chittenden will be responsible for driving the overall development and growth of the company. He will continue to lead the company’s owned and managed portfolio; establish policies that promote the company’s culture and vision, as well as oversee the operations of the company; manage and assist in the development of the firm’s executive leadership team; work closely with the Expotel development and real estate investment committee; and serve as Expotel Hospitality’s liaison to brand partners and industry groups.

A native of New Orleans, Chittenden has more than 28 years of experience in the hospitality industry, including currently serving on the board of directors of Greater New Orleans Hotel and Lodging, Jefferson Parish Convention and Visitors Bureau board of directors, Holy Cross School Alumni board of directors, and secretary of the Tigers Den Booster Club. He served as chairman of the board and president of the Louisiana Hotel and Lodging Association from 2016-2022. Chittenden was with Burrus Investment Group 1996-1999 and Expotel 1999-2024 since its inception. He has been part of the core team and was instrumental in building an initial portfolio of eight owned and managed properties, which subsequently grew to include more than 20 third-party managed hotels in 10 states.

“I’m honored to take on this role in support of Expotel hotels, partners, team members and the owners that we represent,” Chittenden said. “Operational challenges are continuing throughout 2024 in our industry, and it is a tough time to recruit and bring team members back into the hospitality industry when they had to step away in 2020 to find other ways to make a living. Our core principles must remain the same throughout—clean and comfortable rooms, operating mechanicals, outstanding customer service and valuing our team members daily.”

“Expotel could not be in better hands," George Newton, Expotel chairman, said. "Bret is the best at driving results for hotel owners that I have ever seen in my nearly 50 years in the hospitality business.”