President, CEO of BWH Hotel Group announces retirement after 20 years
The challenges, values and work ethics instilled by his parents shaped David Kong into the leader he is today
David Kong, President and Chief Executive Officer, BWH Hotel Group, announced his retirement by the end of 2021. Kong, the industry’s longest-running CEO, joined Best Western Hotels & Resorts in 2001 and was named CEO in 2004. During this 20-year journey, Kong would transform the company, form BWH Hotel Group and shape it into a global powerhouse. He leaves an indelible mark on the entire hotel industry.
“David Kong is a once in a lifetime leader whose contributions to Best Western and BWH Hotel Group are truly immeasurable. It has been the honour of my career to work alongside Kong and witness first-hand his remarkable passion and dedication to our industry. Kong has always led by example and, most importantly, cared deeply about those he serves from hoteliers to colleagues, associates, guests and communities,” said Ishwar Naran, Board Chairman, BWH Hotel Group.
“David Kong is recognised in our industry as a leader that truly cares about people. He has been an amazing leader and among the most respected people in this industry,” said Chip Rogers, President and CEO, American Hotel & Lodging Association.
Kong’s first step toward a lifelong career in hospitality began as a dishwasher and busboy. When he arrived in the United States from Hong Kong as a young adult. Like many immigrants before him, he had no money, no job, and no connections to offer support. Despite these challenges, Kong leaned into the values and work ethic instilled by his parents to rise through the ranks of the hospitality industry, culminating in his role as President and CEO of BWH Hotel Group. These values have shaped him into the leader he is today.
“Kong’s legacy is the integrity of a promise, keeping your word and delivering on it. He’s a role model for how this industry leads to fulfilling careers, going from the frontline to CEO, as he's done,” said Roger Dow, President and CEO, U.S. Travel Association.
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