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Upon receiving the award, Chao remarked, “I am profoundly honored and deeply humbled to receive this prestigious award. In honoring me, in essence you are also honoring many other people.” Chao went on to acknowledge and thank Disney leaders, colleagues and designers he worked with and his mother and father who inspired him to be an architect.
The ISHC Pioneer Award was established in 1996 to recognize one individual each year who has made an outstanding contribution, achievement and/or improvement in the hospitality industry. Past recipients include J.W. Marriott, Barry Sternlicht, Jonathan Tisch, Bill Kimpton, Kathleen Taylor, Ian Schrager and many other notable industry leaders. 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.
ISHC Chairman John Fareed and Pioneer Award Chair Stephen Hennis presented the award. Fareed commented, “It is a privilege and honor to present Wing with the ISHC Pioneer Award among hospitality’s top leaders here at ALIS. Wing brought to life the unimaginable through his work with Disney and is without a doubt a pioneer for our industry.”
Stephen Hennis, ISHC Pioneer Award Chair, commented, “We would like to thank our partners at ALIS for the opportunity to celebrate Wing and his extraordinary career that will have a lasting impact on generations to come.”
Chao is an internationally renowned master planner, architect and developer. He is greatly admired and highly respected in both the hospitality industry and the design & architecture communities. Chao began his career at Disney in 1972 and went on to become Vice Chairman of Development for Walt Disney Parks & Resorts, Asia Pacific. He was also Executive Vice President for Master Planning, Architecture & Design at Walt Disney Imagineering.
During the course of his 37-year career at Disney, Chao oversaw the master planning, design and development of its worldwide businesses worth over $12 billion. He directed development teams consisting of Disney Imagineers and the world’s leading architects and designers on projects including Disney theme parks, 100,000 new and renovated resort hotel rooms, 200 restaurants, 4 million-square-feet of retail space, 3 million-square-feet of entertainment venues, 4 million-square-feet of office buildings, 2 million-square-feet of mixed-used development and numerous convention and exhibition centers at Walt Disney Company’s resorts in California, Florida, Hawaii, Tokyo, Paris and Hong Kong. Chao also directed the design for the four Disney cruise ships.
Chao remains actively involved in the hospitality industry and he has been working on numerous multibillion-dollar integrated resorts, theme parks, hotels, water parks, retail, entertainment, commercial, convention and exhibition projects.
The International Society of Hospitality Consultants is truly The Leading Source for Global Hospitality Expertise, represented by over two hundred of the industry’s most respected professionals from across six continents. Collectively, ISHC members provide expert services in over fifty 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, along with a directory of ISHC members, is available on the ISHC website at ishc.com.
About the Americas Lodging Investment Summit (ALIS)
Produced by Northstar Travel Group in association with the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) and Burba Hotel Network (BHN), 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. Proceeds benefit the educational, research, and training missions of the Educational Institute (EI) of the American Hotel & Lodging Education Foundation (AH&LEF), AH&LA’s not-for-profit affiliate. ALIS 2018 took place January 22-24, 2018 at the JW Marriott and Microsoft Theater L.A. LIVE. Visit the ALIS website, www.ALISconference.com, for additional information.
About Northstar Travel Group (www.northstartravelgroup.com)
Northstar Travel Group is the global leader of business intelligence, information, data, research, digital marketing services and events for senior-level professionals in the travel, meetings and hospitality industries. The Northstar portfolio includes; Travel Weekly, Travel Weekly China, Travel Weekly Asia, TravelAge West, Business Travel News, The Beat, Travel Procurement, Web in Travel, Phocuswright, Burba Hotel Network, Successful Meetings, Meetings & Conventions, Meetings & Conventions China, Incentive, Association News, Sports Travel and 75 annual events in thirteen countries including leading events such as ALIS, HICAP, Phocuswright, TEAMS, Web in Travel, and Mountain Travel Symposium. Northstar is also the majority shareholder in Inntopia. Northstar Travel Group is owned by EagleTree Capital and is based in Secaucus, NJ, with offices in New York, NY; Denver, CO; Los Angeles, CA; Winston-Salem, NC; Stowe, VT; Edwards, CO; Glen Ellyn, IL; Costa Mesa, CA; and global offices in Singapore, Beijing, and Shanghai.
About the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA)
Serving the hospitality industry for more than a century, the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) is the sole national association representing all segments of the 8 million jobs the U.S. lodging industry supports, including hotel owners, REITs, chains, franchisees, management companies, independent properties, bed and breakfasts, state hotel associations, and industry suppliers. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., AHLA focuses on strategic advocacy, communications support, and educational resources for an industry that advances long-term career opportunities for employees, invests in local communities across the country and hosts more than one billion guests’ stays in American hotels every year. AHLA proudly represents a dynamic hotel industry of more than 54,000 properties that supports $1.1 trillion in U.S. sales and generates nearly $170 billion in taxes to local, state and federal governments. Learn more at www.AHLA.com.
About Burba Hotel Network (BHN)
BHN is the worldwide leader in developing and organizing conferences for the hotel and tourism investment community. With over three decades of experience, more than 150 events completed to-date, and in excess of 100,000 international delegates, BHN conferences have become “must attend” events for industry leaders who come together to network, conduct business, and to learn about the latest trends. BHN 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 Hong Kong; HICAP UPDATE in Singapore; Hotel Investment Forum India (HIFI) in Mumbai; Hotel Opportunities Latin America (HOLA) conference in Miami; Hotel Investment Conference Europe (Hot.E) in London; and HotelsWorld in Sydney. The BHN website at www.Burba.com is the gateway for information about the conferences BHN produces, as well as a direct link to important players in the hospitality investment world. BHN is a division of Northstar Travel Group.