ROCKVILLE, Md., Aug. 21, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Choice Hotels International, Inc. (NYSE: CHH), one of the world's largest hotel companies, today announced the appointment of Karmela Gaffney to Vice President of Digital Commerce based out of the company's global technology hub in Phoenix, Ariz. Gaffney will report directly to Choice Hotels Senior Vice President, Global Distribution, Robert McDowell. In this role, she will lead the development of the Choice Hotels Digital Commerce strategy, including search engine optimization, relationships with third-party providers, and ongoing improvements to the functionality of ChoiceHotels.com and mobile and tablet advances. "Karmela will play a vital role at Choice, given our focus on technology and innovation," said Robert McDowell. "Choice always strives to deliver more reservations to our franchisees through the most cost-effective channels available. Karmela's proven track record in Digital Commerce will help position Choice for a strong finish to 2013 and beyond and further establish the company's leadership role in hospitality technology and distribution." Gaffney brings to Choice Hotels extensive experience in hospitality and Digital Commerce. Before joining Choice, she served as Managing Director of Marketing and eCommerce at Best Western. While there, she oversaw brand strategies for traditional and digital marketing, growing the company's business through social media, mobile and digital channels. Gaffney has served in leadership positions with professional organizations throughout her career. She is a past Co-Chair of the Hotel Internet Marketing Committee for the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI) and a recipient of the HSMAI "Top 25 Extraordinary Minds in Hospitality and Travel." Gaffney is a graduate of Arizona State University with a bachelor's degree in broadcast journalism. About Choice Hotels Choice Hotels International, Inc. franchises more than 6,200 hotels, representing more than 500,000 rooms, in the United States and more than 30 other countries and territories. As of June 30, 2013, 365 hotels, representing more than 29,000 rooms, were under construction, awaiting conversion or approved for development in the United States. Additionally, 83 hotels, representing approximately 7,200 rooms, were under construction, awaiting conversion or approved for development in more than 15 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. Choice Hotels International offers the Choice Privileges® rewards program. With nearly 17 million members worldwide, is one of the fastest growing hotel loyalty programs in the travel industry.