DALLAS, June 5, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Ashford Hospitality Trust, Inc. (NYSE: AHT) today announced that Chief Executive Officer Monty J. Bennett has been named the hotel industry's "Top-Performing CEO of the Year" for 2011 by HVS Executive Search, one of the world's leading consulting firms serving the hotel, restaurant and gaming industries. The award was presented to Mr. Bennett at the 34th Annual Hospitality Leadership Awards in New York on June 4, 2012 by Keith Kefgen, Chief Executive Officer of HVS Executive Search, and Steve Rushmore, President and Founder of HVS. The award is presented each year to the CEO who offers the best value to shareholders based on HVS's pay-for-performance model. The model compares financial results relative to CEO compensation, as well as stock appreciation, company growth and increases in EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization). Past winners include Jeffery H. Boyd, Stephen Holmes, Jon E. Bortz, William McCarten, Stephen Bollenbach, Hasu Shah, Jonathan Tisch, David Litman, Charles A. Ledsinger, Jr., J.W. Marriott, Jr., Isadore Sharp, Michael Leven, Barry Sternlicht, Stephen Bollenbach, Tony Wilson, David Simon, and Michael Rose. Mr. Bennett has served as Founder, Director and Chief Executive Officer of Ashford since its formation in August 2003. Today, Ashford has over $4 billion in assets and has outperformed its peer average in total shareholder returns on a trailing basis consistently over the past eight years. "I am honored to receive this award and accept it on behalf of all of the associates at Ashford who have been instrumental to our company's success," said Mr. Bennett. "It is their in-depth asset management experience and dedication to our broad investment philosophy that have made it possible for Ashford to achieve industry leading shareholder returns since our IPO. I am grateful to everyone at Ashford, whose efforts have led to this impressive industry recognition."