April 15, 2016 – Executive search firm AETHOS Consulting Group has been retained by Red Lion Hotels Corporation to lead its search for a chief financial officer. James Bell, its former CFO, decided to leave Red Lion to pursue another professional venture.
The board has appointed David Wright, the company’s vice president of accounting, tax & external reporting, as interim CFO while AETHOS conducts the search for a permanent replacement.
Red Lion Hotels is a hospitality company primarily engaged in the franchising, management and ownership of upscale, midscale and economy hotels under the Hotel RL, Red Lion Hotel, Red Lion Inn & Suites, GuestHouse International and Settle Inn brands. Established in 1959, the company has 124 hotels systemwide and also owns and operates an entertainment and event ticket distribution business.
AETHOS Consulting is a human capital advisory firm focused on the hospitality sector, specializing in executive search, compensation consulting, performance management, culture creation and organizational effectiveness. The firm is headquartered in Boulder and maintains offices in New York, London, Melbourne, Philadelphia, and Dallas.
After taking a massive hit during the Great Recession, employment and hiring within the hotel and hospitality industry has begun to rebound. In the last year, according to one set of survey metrics, the industry added 527,000 jobs (2.6 million since 2004). That number is forecasted to increase in 2016, as global tourism and traveling in general are expected to rise.
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The travel and hospitality market is estimated to generate an annual economic impact of $6.5 trillion worldwide this year. In the U.S. alone the $1.5 trillion industry accounts for nearly eight million jobs – more than five percent of total jobs across the country.
In response, AETHOS has bulked up its staff in recent months. The firm recently joined forces with Greger / Peterson Associates, which now operates under the AETHOS Consulting Group name. “Not only did we gain Ken Greger, John Peterson and Matt Peterson as business partners, we added office locations in Portland and Los Angeles, which is a critical aspect of our growth strategy,” said AETHOS managing director and CEO Keith Kefgen.
The firm also added Paige Brewer and Derek Walker to its global consulting team. Ms. Brewer, who serves as a principal and consultant with AETHOS, led KQ Consulting since 2000. Previously, she was senior vice president of compensation consulting with HVS Executive Search. Mr. Walker, who joined the firm as an associate, spent time in both the restaurant and hotel arenas. He worked on the construction and facilities team at Shake Shack, as well as in the sales and marketing department at the Four Seasons hotel in New York.
Contributed by Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor, Hunt Scanlon Media