Join us this spring as we host our annual event celebrating our community of hospitality industry professionals and UJA’s critical and lifesaving work.
We’ll honor David Kong, who recently retired as the longest-running president and CEO of Best Western Hotels & Resorts and whose journey from dishwasher and busboy to successful hospitality executive fuels his dedication to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives and the empowerment of every individual.
You’ll pay tribute to David and discover how your support amplifies UJA’s humanitarian response to the war in Ukraine and our ongoing work to help New Yorkers affected by Covid’s toll.
Dietary laws observed.
UJA policy requires that all event attendees be fully vaccinated against Covid-19. Please bring proof to the event. This event will be held in accordance with applicable laws and regulations, including current local, state, and CDC guidelines, to protect the health and welfare of our staff and guests.
David Kong retired at the end of 2021 as president and CEO of Best Western Hotels & Resorts, where he had served as the longest running CEO of any major global hotel chain. Starting in 2004, David led the company to unprecedented growth, transforming the company and expanding its portfolio from one brand to 18 distinct brands in every chain scale segment. The company repeatedly broke records in RevPAR Index and achieved the highest guest and hotel satisfaction scores during his tenure.
David positioned the company as a frontrunner in innovation, and Best Western was named one of the Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in the world by Fast Company in 2018. His achievements were further honored in 2019 with Hotel Interactive (USA) and GuestLab Magazine (Italy) both naming him Innovator of the Year. David has also received numerous awards and recognition for his contribution to the industry and his transformative leadership at Best Western.
Prior to Best Western Hotels & Resorts, David held leadership positions with KPMG Consulting and Hyatt Hotels. He is a University of Hawaii graduate and completed the Executive Development Program at Northwestern University's Kellogg Graduate School of Management. David was the 2010 chairman of the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) and has served on the AHLA Executive Committee and the AHLA Foundation Board of Trustees. He also served three years on the U.S. Department of Commerce Travel and Tourism Advisory Board.
Being an immigrant and having experienced firsthand the challenges minority groups face as he built his career, starting as a dishwasher and busboy, David is dedicating his new chapter to helping companies improve their DEI initiatives and empowering individual success.
Jonathan Tisch, Loews Hotels & Co.
Bruce Blum, Liberty Hotel Advisors, LLC
Richard Born, BD Hotels
Jonathan Falik, JF Capital Advisors
Mark Gerstein, McKinsey & Company
Mark Gordon, Intrinsic Hotel Capital
Michael Lefkowitz, Triumph Hotels
Michele Mahl, JLL | Hotels & Hospitality Group
Gary Mendell, HEI Hotels & Resorts
David A. Pepper, Choice Hotels International, Inc.
Stacy Silver, Silver Hospitality Group LLC
Evan Weiss, LW Hospitality Advisors
Young Hospitality Chair
Rich Levins, Fulcrum Hospitality LLC
Young Hospitality Vice Chair
Jess Shevins, Newmark
Young Hospitality Committee Members
Sean Banilivy, Paramount Lodging Advisors
Marlee Birnberg, WeWork
Avery Blum, MSD Partners, L.P.
Ben Broad, Keter Point
Jeremy Cooper, Sydell Group
Ben Djaha, Edition
Ryan Erenstein, Actual Hospitality Group
Katie Fishbin, Newmark
Lauren Greenberg, Cushman & Wakefield
Alana Gross, Corner Table Restaurants
Rachel Rosen, Ennismore
Adam Schuit, A/O PropTech
W. Mason Smith, Certares Management LLC
Brendan Stone, Vornado Realty Trust
Peter Weiss, Prospect Ridge
Commemorative Journal Closing Date: Tuesday, May 17, 2022
Ad Specifications: 4.5” wide x 7.5” deep
All ads at the silver level and up can be color or black & white. We accept only digital files as press-quality PDFs. If UJA-Federation is mentioned in the ad, please note it’s spelled with a hyphen and without the article the. Ads submitted should contain a congratulatory message and not promote or advertise a business. Ads should not include crop marks or any printers marks.