Bob Ekman to retire from IHG to lead elite MORE American Hospitality team
With over 30 years of hospitality industry experience and the last 19 years in Franchise Sales & Development, with the last four as Vice President-Franchise Sales & Development-North America, Bob Ekman has decided to retire from IHG and join MORE American Hospitality as CEO starting July 1, 2015.
Bob’s range of hospitality industry experience ranges from hotel franchising to hotel, resort and restaurant operations to hotel and resort sales and marketing. He was co-founder and president of a third party hotel management and acquisitions firm, The Bricton Group out of Chicago. He was developer and co-owner of a Cajun restaurant called Bourbon Street Café in the Chicago area. Bob began his career in the late 1970’s working his way up the ranks from busboy, bellman, van driver, front desk clerk and manager and other front and back of the house hotel and resort positions. Bob was with Marriott Corporation for over 10 years…mostly in property level sales and marketing with leadership positions at Marriott’s Tan-Tar-A Resort in Lake of the Ozarks, MO, the Maui Marriott in Hawaii and the Minneapolis Marriott City Centre.
During his tenure with IHG, Bob has been directly or indirectly responsible for over 2,700 new deals plus strategic retentions, resulting in over $6 billion in application fees and franchise fees for IHG. His leadership experience in growing business in the hospitality arena coupled with his long standing relationships will allow MORE American Hospitality to grow the platform of resort and entertainment as well as hotel development and operations.
Bob will work in tandem with MORE American Hospitality’s partner and operational arm…American Hospitality Management headed up by Don Schappacher, Fred Kindell and Chris Godfrey who has joined Dale Morris and Marc Oswald overseeing operations at the Deadwood Mountain Grand, a Holiday Inn Resort…also owned by Morris and Oswald with numerous other investors including American Hospitality Management’s executive team plus Bob & Karen Ekman…among others. Bob will become Operating Member of DMG after he comes on board as CEO of MORE American.
Bob will also be heading up the development of The Lodge at Fontanel, a Holiday Inn Resort in Nashville. The planning stages are now under way with the goal of pushing dirt by this coming fall. The resort is expected to open by spring of 2017. He will also be working with General Manager, JP Dansereau and American Hospitality Management on the overall operations and strategic growth of Fontanel Properties.
Bob will also take on the role of strategic growth of MORE American Hospitality. This newly formed entity has already signed its first third party management contract with several others under consideration. Please feel free to call Bob if you have interest in their unparalleled services…630-240-4747.
Bob received his bachelor’s degree in hotel & restaurant management from the University of Wisconsin-Stout. He also serves on the board of directors of the School of Hospitality Management at Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Michigan…where Bob and Karen also have a lake home.
“I love IHG and everything the IHG brands stand for. I am going to miss working along-side some of the best colleagues in the business…most of whom I call friends” said Ekman. “I look forward to accomplishing great things with MORE American Hospitality and the incredible team which has been assembled”.
Posted on June 16th, 2015 in Press Releases.