UJA-Federation of New York honored David Kong, former president/CEO, Best Western Hotels & Resorts, and a principal of the recently launched DEI Advisors, at its Hospitality Division Annual Event on June 7, at the Marriott Marquis in New York City.
Chip Rogers, president/CEO, American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) and 2021 honoree, presented Kong with his award in recognition of his professional and philanthropic achievements. Funds raised at this year’s event benefit UJA’s annual campaign and will help support UJA’s ongoing humanitarian response to the war in Ukraine and ongoing COVID recovery efforts.
“David is an inspirational leader and has had an impressive journey from dishwasher and busboy to the longest-running president and CEO of a major global hotel chain,” said Stacy Silver, president, Silver Hospitality Group, and UJA Hospitality Division committee member. “We honored him for all he has done for our industry in addition to his dedication to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives. The money raised will support UJA’s work, including aid for Ukrainians, COVID relief efforts and initiatives in mental health and security for communities.”
“I am deeply honored and humbled knowing I am joining a select group of remarkable individuals who have won this award in the past,” said Kong. “UJA Federation of New York is the largest local philanthropy in the world. It is an inclusive organization that raises and provides funding for hundreds of nonprofits to tackle today’s pressing needs.
“I am grateful for the opportunities that I have been given and the success I have enjoyed in the industry,” he added. “I also know first-hand the challenges immigrants face as they try to make progress in their careers. My daughter has three young children. I have witnessed her struggles as a working mom to realize her career aspirations. That’s why I am launching DEI Advisors to empower and support women and minority groups to dream boldly about their future and achieve their bold dreams.”