Phoenix, Arizona, United States, September 1, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / Best Western Hotels and Resorts Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Dorothy Dowling, will be awarded the Hotel News Now Stephen W. Brener Silver Plate Award at the NYU International Hospitality Industry Investment Conference in November 2021. Dowling is being recognized for her immeasurable contributions to Best Western Hotels & Resorts and the hospitality industry at large.
The award is given annually to the most influential executive, entrepreneur, company, or association in the travel industry, recognizing exemplary examples of innovation and leadership, and shining a light on the contributions of these remarkable industry leaders. Dowling is the second woman in history to be awarded the Stephen W. Brener Silver Plate Award since its creation in 1959, following in the footsteps of Marilyn Carlson Nelson.
“Dorothy is most deserving of this coveted recognition,” said David Kong, President and Chief Executive Officer, Best Western Hotels & Resorts. “I have had the opportunity to witness firsthand Dorothy’s innovative and strategic thinking for 17 years now. Each day I have been inspired by her unrelenting commitment to our industry and her dedication to Best Western’s hoteliers, guests, and her team of incredibly talented sales and marketing professionals. I have no doubt that Dorothy’s contributions to the industry will be remembered for generations to come.”
“I am not surprised that Dorothy is the second woman in history to receive this accolade, as there is no greater champion for our industry,” said Alison Taylor, Chief Customer Officer, American Airlines. “She has been a catalyst for change through her commitment to collaboration, and her focus on empowering women leaders. I hope the next generation of women in travel embrace Dorothy’s approach to leadership – she has proven that it is possible to deliver business outcomes while also driving positive change.”
Dowling is a veteran industry executive who is a leader, change-maker, innovator and trusted colleague. Leading all marketing and sales strategies for Best Western Hotels & Resorts, Dowling oversees the brand’s loyalty program, digital marketing and distribution, consumer and field marketing activities, advertising, public relations and B2B sales and marketing.
“Dorothy is a leading voice whose dedication to our industry is truly inspiring,” said Ishwar Naran, Board Chairman, Best Western Hotels & Resorts. “I have had the privilege of working alongside Dorothy at Best Western Hotels & Resorts where she has played a critical role in increasing market share and contemporizing our iconic brand.”
Since joining Best Western Hotels & Resorts in 2004, Dowling has reshaped and repositioned the iconic brand. Her work at Best Western Hotels & Resorts includes:
- Driving the growth of the industry-leading loyalty program, Best Western Rewards® which now boasts over 47 million members and provides guests with one of the richest hotel rewards programs in the industry.
- Building an award-winning partnership with AAA®/CAA® resulting in Best Western Hotels & Resorts being named the AAA/CAA Partner of the Year for 12 consecutive years.
- Supporting Best Western Hotels & Resorts’ $2 billion brand refresh which revealed a re-energized and contemporary image for the iconic brand.
- Becoming a first mover by partnering with Google® Street View and leveraging Virtual Reality technology, resulting in Fast Company recognizing the hotel brand as one of the World’s Most Innovative Companies.
- Positioning Best Western Hotels & Resorts as a trusted leader in business travel, earning a number of industry accolades such as Best Western® and Best Western Plus® ranking as the number one midscale and number two upper-midscale hotel brands respectively by Business Travel News.
“It is an honor to be chosen as a Stephen W. Brener Silver Plate Award winner by the NYU conference advisory group,” said Dowling. “This award has been bestowed upon true industry leaders and I am humbled to be joining the list of winners, including Best Western’s very own President and CEO, David Kong, who won this same award in 2013. Driving progress for the travel industry has been my life’s work, and I hope my contributions to the industry will be as impactful and long lasting as those who have come before me.”
“Dorothy is a thought leader and innovator who has united the travel industry with her ‘we win together when we work together’ philosophy,” said Reggie Aggarwal, CEO and Founder, Cvent. “I believe Dorothy’s approach to leadership and dedication to collaboration will have a lasting impact on our industry.”
Dowling’s commitment to the travel industry is far-reaching. In addition to her role at Best Western Hotels & Resorts, Dowling works with a variety of industry organizations. Dowling was recently elected President of the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) Allied Leadership Council for a second term. She is also Senior Advisor for GBTA WINiT’s Strategic Advisory Board, serves on HSMAI’s Foundation Board of Directors, and US Travel’s Board of Directors. In addition to her industry leadership roles, Dowling serves as an Independent Trustee on CubeSmart’s Board of Directors, the third-largest owner and operator of self-storage properties in the United States.
This accolade adds to Dowling’s growing list of awards. Just this year, Dowling was recognized by the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International with the Albert E. Koehl Award Lifetime Achievement Award. Dowling was also named a “Top 40 Women in Travel” in 2019 by WINiT by GBTA – a network focused on the advancement of women professionals in the industry. In 2018, Dowling was honored with the prestigious “Allied Member of the Year” award from GBTA for her valued stewardship in the business travel industry. In 2017, Dowling was named as one of Hotel Management magazine’s “30 Influential Women in Hospitality,” for her trailblazing leadership, and she was named the 18th most influential Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) in the world in the Forbes/ScribbleLive/LinkedIn’s 4th Annual CMO Influence Study in 2015. She was among HSMAI’s Top 25 Extraordinary Minds in Sales and Marketing two times; and in 2014, was inducted into the Direct Marketing News Marketing Hall of Femme. Additionally, Dowling was the recipient of the 2016 Applied Health Sciences Alumni Achievement Award, from the University of Waterloo, her alma mater.
About Best Western Hotels & Resorts
Best Western Hotels and Resorts headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, is a privately held hotel brand within the BWH Hotel Group® global network. With 18 brands and approximately 4,700 hotels in over 100 countries and territories worldwide*, BWH Hotel Group suits the needs of developers and guests in every market. Brands include Best Western®, Best Western Plus®, Best Western Premier®, Executive Residency by Best Western®, Vīb®, GLō®, Aiden®, Sadie®, BW Premier Collection® and BW Signature Collection®. Through acquisition, WorldHotelsTM Luxury, WorldHotels Elite, WorldHotels Distinctive and WorldHotels Crafted collections are also offered. Completing the portfolio is SureStay®, SureStay Plus®, SureStay Collection® and SureStay StudioSM franchises.