STR Co-Founder and CEO Presented with Lifetime Achievement Award

Travel News Asia Latest Travel News Podcasts Videos Thursday, 4 February 2010

Randell A. Smith, CEO and co-founder of Hendersonville, Tenn.-based STR, was presented with the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award at the Americas Lodging Investment Summit (ALIS) on 26 January, 2010, in San Diego. Smith was recognized for his legacy in pioneering global hotel benchmarking, the foundation of the company he co-founded with his wife, Carolyn Smith.

"We have had the privilege of working with all of the major brands in this industry, and I am constantly impressed by their talent and knowledge," Smith said to attendees. Smith also thanked his former colleagues at Laventhol & Horwath, where he began his career as an analyst. Smith cited his mentor, the late John Lesure, as being instrumental in the launching of STR. In addition, he thanked the American Hotel & Lodging Association, STR employees, STR president and long-time friend Mark Lomanno, and his wife, Carolyn Smith. "Without Carolyn's encouragement, insight, knowledge and expertise, STR would have never succeeded," he said. "Together we created and built the company that enabled me to win this award today."

Smith launched STR in 1985 in Lancaster, Pa., to create a service to provide the best information on overall performance trends to the lodging industry and its observers. The company moved to Tennessee in 1987. The initial concept was to create a complete list of all properties in the United States and provide that list to suppliers to create districts and territories for their sales staff. That project developed into the STAR program in 1988, which has grown into a series of daily, weekly and monthly reports made available to the hotel industry. The STAR program has become the definitive source of benchmarking information for chains, management companies, lenders, appraisers, consultants and developers.

In 2008, STR brought together Deloitte's HotelBenchmark business and The Bench to form STR Global, which offers monthly, weekly and daily STAR benchmarking reports to more than 38,000 hotel clients, representing nearly 5 million rooms worldwide. In addition to the headquarters in Hendersonville and the STR Global office in London, STR has offices in Boulder, Colo., and Cleveland, Ohio.

Smith is a member and past co-chairman of the AH&LA's Industry Real Estate Financing Advisory Council (IREFAC) and the 2002 recipient of its prestigious C. Everett Johnson Award. He is vice chair of the American Hotel & Lodging Foundation Funding Committee. He is a charter member of the International Society of Hospitality Consultants and a former member of the board of directors, and he was awarded the ISHC's 1996 Industry Pioneer Award for outstanding contributions to the lodging industry. Smith is a 2007 inductee to the Florida State University College of Business Hall of Fame.

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