The Forum Returns in 2019 to Drive Positive Change and Foster Women’s Leadership


Phoenix, Arizona (October 3, 2019) – On Wednesday, October 2, leading into its 2019 North American Convention, Best Western Hotels & Resorts hosted its second annual “Today’s Women in Leadership Forum.” Returning after a remarkably successful launch in 2018, the forum celebrates the vital role women play both inside their organizations and out, and delivers relevant content for today’s women in business.

The all-day forum was led by one of the most respected and recognized female leaders in the hospitality industry, Dorothy Dowling, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer for Best Western Hotels & Resorts. Dowling founded the event in 2018 as a place for women and men to gather and discuss ongoing challenges, celebrate successes and learn from each other in a collaborative and motivational environment.

“I was humbled with the incredible response we had to our inaugural event in 2018 and I’m thrilled that we were able to return in 2019 with a powerhouse lineup of extraordinary speakers,” said Dowling. “We are at a pivotal moment in the gender diversity conversation and I believe every man and woman in a senior leadership role has an obligation to join the conversation, share their stories and empower the next generation of female leaders.”

A powerful and inspiring day filled with informative sessions, insightful panels and motivational advice, the forum, which was sponsored by AAA, was moderated by internationally recognized and acclaimed speaker Dr. Lalia Rach, who was joined by powerhouse speakers such as sales expert Tammy Gillis; Jane Gould with Disney Channels Worldwide; and Judi Holler, acclaimed improviser and keynote speaker. Throughout the day, attendees also heard the stories of strong female leaders within the Best Western brand, from successful entrepreneurs and hoteliers to corporate trailblazers.

“The progressive and forward-thinking culture at Best Western has made this event possible, so it’s only fitting that we highlight the incredible women behind the brand,” continued Dowling. “Championing diversity at Best Western and supporting initiatives like the ‘Today’s Women in Leadership Forum’ is our President and CEO David Kong. I am honored to stand by David’s side and lead this march for such an iconic brand as we continue fostering a generation of strong female leaders both within Best Western and beyond.”

In April 2019, Dowling was named President of the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) Allied Leadership Council after previously serving as Vice President. She also acts as Chair on GBTA’s Strategic Advisory Board helping advance WINiT’s mission of driving positive change for the career mobility of women in the travel-related industries.

Dowling has been honored with a number of awards, including the prestigious “Allied Member of the Year” award at the GBTA convention in 2018 for her valued stewardship in the business travel industry. In 2017, Dowling was named as one of Hotel Management magazine’s “30 Influential Women in Hospitality,” for her trailblazing leadership, and she was named the 18th most influential Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) in the world in the Forbes/ScribbleLive/LinkedIn’s 4th Annual CMO Influence Study in 2015. Additionally, she was among HSMAI’s Top 25 Extraordinary Minds in Sales and Marketing two times; and in 2014, was inducted into the Direct Marketing News Marketing Hall of Femme.

About Best Western® Hotels & Resorts:

Best Western Hotels & Resorts headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, is a privately held hotel brand within the BWH Hotel GroupSM global network. With 16 brands and approximately 4,700 hotels in over 100 countries and territories worldwide*, BWH Hotel Group suits the needs of developers and guests in every market. Brands include Best Western®, Best Western Plus®, Best Western Premier®, Executive Residency by Best Western®, Vīb®, GLō®, Aiden®, Sadie®, BW Premier Collection® and BW Signature Collection®. Through recent acquisition, WorldHotels® Luxury, WorldHotels Elite and WorldHotels Distinctive brands are also offered. Completing the portfolio is SureStay®, SureStay Plus® and SureStay Collection® franchises**. For more information visit or


* Numbers are approximate, may fluctuate, and include hotels currently in the development pipeline.

**All Best Western, WorldHotels and SureStay branded hotels are independently owned and operated.




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