SILVER SPRING, Md., Feb. 25, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Choice Hotels International, Inc. (NYSE: CHH), one of the world's largest lodging franchisors, today announced that Thomas P. Bernardo has joined the company as regional vice president of franchise sales, reporting to David Pepper, senior vice president of global development. (Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130225/PH65608 ) Bernardo has an established career in franchise sales, selling and supporting the growth of several franchised hotel brands, and brings extensive franchise experience to Choice Hotels. He will head up franchise sales for Choice's distribution brands Quality, Clarion, Econo Lodge and Rodeway Inn for the U.S. Eastern region. "We are extremely pleased to have a highly respected and experienced franchise sales veteran like Tom join the Choice Hotels team," said David Pepper, senior vice president of global development. "His proven sales leadership and success will be a vital part in helping us to continue to strategically grow our well sought- after brands." Prior to joining Choice Hotels, Bernardo served as a key executive and sales professional for over 17 years with Hospitality Franchise Systems, later known as Cendant Corporation and recently Wyndham Worldwide, Inc. He has also served on various boards and committees throughout his career including, the Asian American Hotel Owners Association Advisory Board. Tom earned his bachelor's degree in Hotel and Restaurant Administration from Cornell University. About Choice Hotels Choice Hotels International, Inc. franchises approximately 6,200 hotels, representing more than 499,000 rooms, in the United States and more than 30 other countries and territories. As of December 31, 2012, 394 hotels, representing more than 31,000 rooms, were under construction, awaiting conversion or approved for development in the United States. Additionally, 88 hotels, representing approximately 7,800 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 at its Ascend Hotel Collection membership program, serve guests worldwide. Additional corporate information may be found on the Choice Hotels International, Inc. web site, which may be accessed at www.choicehotels.com. Choice Hotels, Choice Hotels International, Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, Quality, Sleep Inn, Clarion, Cambria Suites, MainStay Suites, Suburban Extended Stay Hotel, Econo Lodge, Rodeway Inn and Ascend Collectionare proprietary trademarks and service marks of Choice Hotels International. (C) 2013 Choice Hotels International, Inc. All rights reserved.