Choice Hotels names new emerging markets leaders

Choice Hotels International Inc. has named two new franchise development directors to join the company’s emerging markets team: Jacquelyn Peterson and Marcus Thomas.

Together, Peterson and Thomas bring more than three decades of hospitality expertise to Choice, where they will help further the company’s longstanding efforts to extend hotel ownership opportunities to underrepresented populations.

Peterson joins Choice Hotels as an emerging markets director. In this role, she will build on her tenure of empowering small business ownership by focusing specifically on bridging the gaps between veteran and female entrepreneurs and hotel ownership.

Thomas also joins Choice as an emerging markets director, where he is responsible for driving new development and expansion opportunities for the company’s African-American, Latin American and Native American emerging market segments. He brings more than 10 years of sales and business consulting experience in the hospitality, technology and real estate industries to the position, most recently serving as a senior consultant for Konica Minolta, a Tokyo-based multinational technology company.

“At Choice Hotels, optimizing the right brands in the right markets—and equipping our owners with the right tools to succeed in any environment—is only part of how we deliver on our commitment to fuel their profitability and success. Equally important are the efforts to enhance opportunities for minority-owned businesses,” said John Lancaster, VP, emerging markets, franchise development and owner relations, Choice Hotels. “Since forming the industry’s first emerging markets-focused development team, Choice has awarded and financially supported more than 300 franchise agreements with under-represented minorities and seasoned entrepreneurs, including nearly 30 contracts last year alone. Jacquelyn and Marcus are both results-driven, charismatic leaders whose wealth of industry experience will help the company build on its commitment to supporting a diverse franchise base.”