ROCKVILLE, Md., July 23, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Choice Hotels International, Inc. (NYSE: CHH), one of the world's largest hotel companies, honored Jay Patel and the Athena Companies with the company's prestigious Premier Legacy award. This distinction was in recognition of Patel's commitment to the Choice Hotels International family of brands. This honor was announced during an evening gala at the 59 th annual convention of Choice Hotels International in Los Angeles.
The Premier Legacy award honors a Choice Hotels franchisee whose history of performance sets a high standard for the industry. These exceptional franchisees are truly committed to the brand and work closely with Choice Hotels to enhance the brand's success.
This year's honoree, Jay Patel, is chief financial officer for Athena Companies ( athenacompanies.com). The Athena Companies own and operate food service businesses and hotels in Tennessee, Ohio and Louisiana, including five Choice Hotels franchised properties. Created by the merger of several regional companies, Athena thrives under its business motto, "it's all about relationship." The Athena portfolio includes Comfort Inn properties in Columbia, Tennessee and Lima Ohio; Comfort Inn and Suites hotel in Memphis; Comfort Suites Airport Nashville; and Quality Inn hotel and Suites in Franklin, Tennessee.
"We are deeply honored to receive this Premier Legacy award," said Mr. Patel. "Our property teams work very hard to deliver the best guest experience possible, and this award recognizes our work and commitment to the hospitality industry.""Jay has been a strong advocate for Choice Hotels for more than a decade," said Stephen P. Joyce, president and CEO of Choice Hotels International. "He is a business leader who believes strongly in giving back to the community through his work with many civic associations, and we are proud of our relationship with him, and with the Athena Companies." About Choice Hotels Choice Hotels International, Inc. franchises over 6,200 hotels, representing more than 500,000 rooms, in the United States and more than 30 other countries and territories. As of March 31, 2013, 395 hotels, representing more than 30,000 rooms, were under construction, awaiting conversion or approved for development in the United States. Additionally, 81 hotels, representing approximately 7,000 rooms, were under construction, awaiting conversion or approved for development in more than 20 other 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, as well as its Ascend Hotel Collection membership program, serve guests worldwide. Additional corporate information may be found on the Choice Hotels International, Inc. website, which may be accessed at www.choicehotels.com. Choice Hotels, Choice Hotels International, Choice Privileges®, Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, Quality, Sleep Inn, Clarion, Cambria Suites, MainStay Suites, Suburban Extended Stay Hotel, Econo Lodge, Rodeway Inn and Ascend Hotel Collection are proprietary trademarks and service marks of Choice Hotels International. © 2013 Choice Hotels International, Inc. All rights reserved.