ATLANTA, Jan. 12, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — The IHG Owners Association, which represents the interests of IHG® (InterContinental Hotels Group) franchise hotel owners worldwide, announced today that John Muehlbauer has been appointed to the role of chief executive officer.
Muehlbauer will continue to uphold the Association’s mission of maximizing owners’ investments in their IHG-branded hotels. Additionally, he will serve as the primary liaison between the Association and IHG corporate. Muehlbauer succeeds Don Berg, who has been the Association’s CEO since 2015. Berg announced his intention to retire at the end of 2019 and participated in the CEO successor search. Berg will remain with the Association as a consultant for the next six months to ensure a smooth, uninterrupted transition.
Muehlbauer is a Georgia native who brings 25 years of hospitality and service industry experience to his new role. He served in various positions at IHG for 13 years, including roles in distribution, sales and marketing, loyalty and corporate planning. Among his many accomplishments, Muehlbauer was heavily involved in the rebranding of IHG’s Priority Club® Rewards to IHG® Rewards Club. Prior to joining IHG, Muehlbauer earned his MBA from Georgia State University and a business degree from Georgia Tech. He then spent 12 years at Delta Air Lines, where he held roles in corporate planning, IT sourcing, consumer marketing and product management, among others.
“I’m honored to have been chosen for this position,” said Muehlbauer. “This is an unprecedented time for our industry. We know owners are really hurting, and we have to find ways to help them survive and get to the other side. Don has done tremendous work over the past five years, and I plan to continue building on all that he has accomplished for members. I look forward to working with the entire team at the Association to further owners’ interests and help them focus on survival and recovery in 2021 and beyond.”
Kerry Ranson, chief development officer at HP Hotels and 2015 Association Global Board of Directors chair, served on the Association’s CEO hiring committee. “We took a thoughtful, measured approach in our search for the next CEO,” said Ranson. “We were clear on the attributes that were necessary for success in the role and specifically sought out candidates with those qualities. John’s extensive experience with not just the hotel industry, but IHG as well, makes him a fantastic fit for the Association.” Ranson added, “John’s history with our organization in his past roles at IHG lend him an understanding of its processes and—more importantly—showed him first-hand how seriously the Association takes its role as the voice of IHG-branded hotel owners all over the world.”
Muehlbauer and his management team will be collaborating extensively with the Association Board on all initiatives. Chair Wayne West III and the other 2020 Board members will continue to serve the Association in their current positions through 2021, ensuring consistency and strength at a time when owners continue to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic.
The IHG Owners Association, originally established by Holiday Inn® founder Kemmons Wilson in 1955, was the first association of its kind in the hotel industry. The global organization currently represents the interests of more than 4,700 owners and operators of nearly 3,700 IHG® (InterContinental Hotels Group) properties in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Latin America and the Caribbean (AMER); Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Africa (EMEAA); and Greater China. The Association is a voice for its members and plays an integral role in communicating with IHG leadership on issues related to franchised hotel operations. The IHG family of brands includes Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas, Regent Hotels & Resorts, InterContinental® Hotels & Resorts, Kimpton® Hotels & Restaurants, Hotel Indigo®, EVEN Hotels®, HUALUXE® Hotels and Resorts, Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts, voco™, Holiday Inn® Hotels & Resorts, Holiday Inn Express®, Holiday Inn Club Vacations®, avid™ hotels, Staybridge Suites®, Atwell Suites™ and Candlewood Suites®. For additional information, visit https://www.owners.org/.