NewsFebruary 2, 2022

ISHC Honors Peggy Berg with the Pioneer Award at ALIS

Pioneer Award Peggy Berg
From left to right: Todd Leach, ISHC, Partner, Dedica Group; Andrea Belfanti, CEO, ISHC; Peggy Berg, Chair, Castell Project & Pioneer Award Recipient; Kristie Dickinson, ISHC, Managing Director/EVP, CHMWarnick; and Jeff Higley, ISHC, President, The BHN Group.

Los Angeles – January 27, 2022 The International Society of Hospitality Consultants (ISHC) in partnership with the Americas Lodging Investment Summit (ALIS) presented Peggy Berg, chair of the Castell Project, with the Pioneer Award which recognizes an individual annually who has made an outstanding contribution, achievement and/or improvement in the hospitality industry.

Jeff Higley, ISHC, president of The BHN Group; Todd Leach, ISHC president and partner of Dedica Group; and Kristie Dickinson, ISHC treasurer and managing director/EVP of CHMWarnick presented Berg with the recognition during the conference plenary session. Dickinson remarked, “I can tell you firsthand that Peggy has had a direct impact on my life and career, and I am just one of the hundreds, if not thousands, of people that share the privilege of knowing her, walking through the countless doors that she has opened and following the path that she has blazed for our industry.”

Upon accepting the award, Berg noted, “Pioneers step forward and create opportunity when restrictions are lifted – whether they are technological, legal or other restrictions.” She recounted life experiences that led her to that very moment, including the lifting of legal restrictions preventing women from accessing birth control; the Equal Employment Opportunity Act; being hired as the first female employee at PKF under the promise of not getting pregnant for two years; launching the Highland Group with her personal savings; and the Women’s Business Ownership Act lifting restrictions on women borrowing money for businesses enabling her to become a hotel owner.

“The Castell Project is about encouraging companies to remove their unintended restrictions and teaching women to grow past their ingrained social restrictions. This industry, including men and women here, have been incredibly supportive,” Berg said. “It’s never been about men versus women in hospitality. It’s always been about making the pie bigger as removing restrictions creates opportunity for us all.”

Berg also gave hope for the near future, “While restrictions on debt were lifted, equity has been surprisingly slow to respond. I believe 2022 will be the turning point when equity finally wakes up.”

Established in 1996, ISHC Pioneer Award winners are selected on a basis of three criteria: active involvement in the hospitality industry; contribution to the industry; and personal/organizational attributes and qualities adhering to professional standards recognized and respected by industry peers.

“This year’s Pioneer Award is extra special. Not only does Peggy have a long list of accomplishments making an incredible impact on the hospitality industry, but she also is a founding member, member #7, of ISHC. Her legacy is deep-rooted in the Society’s DNA, and we are thankful for her many contributions,” remarked Andrea Belfanti, CEO of ISHC.

Past recipients of the Pioneer Award include:

  • Marilyn Carlson Nelson (2020)
  • Jack DeBoer (2019)
  • Wing T. Chao (2018)
  • Ian Schrager (2017)
  • Lyndall DeMarco (2016)
  • Stephen Kaufer (2015)
  • Michael Bedner (2014)
  • Steve Rushmore (2013)
  • Chip Conley (2012)
  • Kathleen Taylor (2011)
  • Leland C. Pillsbury (2010)
  • J.W. Marriott (2009)
  • Jean Gabriel Peres (2008)
  • Stanley Selengut (2008)
  • Jean-Claude Baumgarten (2007)
  • James E. Burba (2007)
  • Stelios Haji-Ioannou (2006)
  • H.P. Rama (2006)
  • Costakis Loizou (2005)
  • Barry Sternlicht (2005)
  • Christel DeHaan (2004)
  • Regis Bulot (2004)
  • Bill Kimpton (2002)
  • Jonathan M. Tisch (2001)
  • Michael A. Leven (2000)
  • Jack Vaughn (1999)
  • George Johnson (1998)
  • Randell A. Smith (1997)


For more information, contact:
Lauren Marshall
Director of Membership & Marketing

About ISHC

The International Society of Hospitality Consultants is truly The Leading Source for Global Hospitality Expertise, represented by over 200 of the industry’s most respected professionals from across six continents. Collectively, ISHC members provide expert services in over 50 functional areas and have specialized skills in virtually every segment of the hospitality industry. ISHC is dedicated to promoting the highest quality of professional consulting standards and practices for the hospitality industry. Candidates undergo a rigorous screening process, ensuring that all ISHC members have a reputation of integrity and are qualified by their experience, training and knowledge to develop and express sound judgment on industry issues. Additional information about the organization and membership process, along with a directory of ISHC members, is available on the ISHC website at

About the Americas Lodging Investment Summit (ALIS)

Produced by Northstar Travel Group in association with the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) and The BHN Group, the two-and-a-half-day ALIS event features an extensive array of seminars and panels hosted by leading experts and investors discussing important trends and identifying new opportunities. The conference attracts the lodging industry’s leading hotel executives, investors, lenders, developers and professional advisory community. ALIS 2022 took place January 24-26, 2022 at the JW Marriott/Ritz-Carlton Los Angeles LA LIVE. Visit the ALIS website,, for additional information.

About Northstar Travel Group (

Northstar Travel Group is the leading B-to-B information and marketing solutions company serving all segments of the travel industry including leisure/retail, corporate/business travel, corporate and sports meetings, incentives, hospitality, and travel technology. Northstar is the owner of leading brands serving these travel segments. The company produces more than 100 face-to-face events in 13 countries in retail travel, hospitality, corporate travel, travel technology, sports travel, and the meetings & incentive industry. In addition, Northstar owns Phocuswright, the leading research, and event producer serving the travel technology industry. Northstar Travel Group owns The BHN Group, the leading producer of hotel investment conferences. Northstar is also the majority shareholder in Inntopia, the leading SaaS e-commerce software business serving the mountain destination, golf, activities, and hospitality markets. Based in Secaucus, NJ, the company has 14 offices in the U.S., UK, Singapore, and China. Northstar Travel Group is owned by funds managed by EagleTree Capital.

About The BHN Group

The BHN Group is the worldwide leader in developing and organizing conferences for the hotel and tourism investment community. With over three decades of experience, more than 160 events completed to-date, and in excess of 110,000 international delegates, these conferences have become “must attend” events for industry leaders who come together to network, conduct business, and to learn about the latest trends. The current slate of events include: the Americas Lodging Investment Summit (ALIS) in Los Angeles; ALIS Law in Los Angeles; ALIS Summer Update; Alternative Ownership Conference Asia Pacific (AOCAP) in Singapore; Caribbean Hotel & Resort Investment Summit (CHRIS) in Miami; Hotel Investment Conference Asia Pacific (HICAP) in Singapore; HICAP UPDATE; Hotel Opportunities Latin America (HOLA) conference in Miami; and HICAP Australia New Zealand (HICAP ANZ) in Sydney. The BHN Group’s website at is the gateway for information about the annual conferences it produces, as well as a direct link to important players in the hospitality investment world.