When David Kong retired as President and Chief Executive Officer of BWH Hotel Group at the end of 2021, he did so as the longest-running CEO of any major hotel company. His leadership and legacy, characterized by a genuine care for people and a passion for hospitality, attracted praise and respect from leading voices across the industry. When he arrived in the United States from Hong Kong as a young adult, he had no money, no job, and no connections to offer support. He started as a dishwasher; and leaned into the values and work ethic instilled by his parents to rise through the ranks of the hospitality industry, culminating in his role as one of the industry’s most notable leaders. David led Best Western Hotels and Resorts to unprecedented growth, transforming the company and expanding its portfolio from one brand to 18 distinct brands in every chain scale segment and setting successive new records in RevPAR and EBITDA. Prior to Best Western Hotels & Resorts, David held leadership positions with KPMG Consulting, Hyatt, Omni and Hilton. David has received numerous awards and accolades including the inaugural Arne Sorenson Social Impact Award in 2022 and Life Time Achievement Awards from both Business Travel News and International Hospitality Investment Forum in 2022.