Choice Hotels International President & Chief Executive Officer Stephen P. Joyce to Chair AH&LA Multicultural & Diversity Advisory Council

Washington and Silver Spring, Md., // PRNewswire-FirstCall // -- Stephen P. Joyce, president and chief executive officer of Choice Hotels International, Inc. (NYSE: CHH) is the incoming chairman of the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) Multicultural & Diversity Advisory Council (MDAC).

The council was launched in 2004 when diversity was first included as one of three core objectives of the association. It is comprised of diversity representatives from more than a dozen leading hotel companies based on a mission to leverage the business advantages of diversity, address present deficiencies and expand and highlight opportunities for increased inclusion at all levels within the hotel community, and address human resources and workforce issues to ensure hoteliers are reflecting a staff similar to today's workforce. The council also works closely with many groups to increase awareness among minorities and minority focused business and community groups, including the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, National Association of Black Hotel Owners, Operators & Developers, Inc., Hispanic Hotel Owners Association, the Asian American Hotel Owners Association, and the U.S. Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce.

Council initiatives include the creation of a diversity business assessment tool, a dedicated section on the AH&LA Website containing resources for properties implementing their own multicultural programs; a bimonthly members-only eNewsletter, Prism; and ongoing coordination of diversity-related educational seminars at all AH&LA conferences. The council also spearheaded the publication of the 2005 turnover and diversity study and the creation of a Diversity Works video and guide.

"As this particular council, which determines actions supporting one of our association's three core values, has historically been led by a lodging CEO, we are thrilled to have someone of Steve's caliber move into this role," said Joseph A. McInerney, CHA, AH&LA president/CEO. "We must as an industry continue to advance efforts on this front by creating new initiatives to benefit all employees making up our diverse communities. Under Joyce's leadership, I believe we will more effectively lead hotels to integrate essential diversity components into their standard operating procedures and better mirror the industry's multicultural employee and customer base."

"I look forward to the opportunity to serve as chair of this committee and to strengthen our industry's focus on diversity and inclusion," said Joyce. "It will be a great privilege for me to focus on these issues while working closely with subject matter experts from across the industry as we seek to achieve this committee's strategic objectives and enhance awareness of the business imperative to create more diverse organizations in the lodging industry."

About AH&LA

Serving the hospitality industry for nearly a century, AH&LA is the sole national association representing all sectors and stakeholders in the lodging industry, including individual hotel property members, hotel companies, student and faculty members, and industry suppliers. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., AH&LA provides members with national advocacy on Capitol Hill, public relations and image management, education, research and information, and other value-added services to provide bottom line savings and ensure a positive business climate for the lodging industry. Partner state associations provide local representation and additional cost-saving benefits to members.

About Choice Hotels

Choice Hotels International franchises more than 5,800 hotels, representing more than 470,000 rooms, in the United States and more than 30 countries and territories. As of December 31, 2008, 987 hotels are under construction, awaiting conversion or approved for development in the United States, representing 78,915 rooms, and an additional 121 hotels, representing 10,190 rooms, are under construction, awaiting conversion or approved for development in more than 15 countries and territories. The company's Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, Quality, Sleep Inn, Clarion, Cambria Suites, MainStay Suites, Suburban Extended Stay Hotel, Econo Lodge and Rodeway Inn brands serve guests worldwide. In addition, via its Ascend Collection membership program, travelers in the United States and the Caribbean have upscale lodging options at historic, boutique and unique hotels.

Choice Hotels, Choice Hotels International, Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, Quality, Sleep Inn, Clarion, Cambria Suites, MainStay Suites, Suburban Extended Stay Hotel, Econo Lodge, Rodeway Inn and Ascend Collection are proprietary trademarks and service marks of Choice Hotels International.

SOURCE Choice Hotels International, Inc.; American Hotel & Lodging Association

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