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Best Western Hires New Chief Financial Officer



PHOENIX (July 29, 2008) – Best Western International today announced the hiring of Mark Straszynski as the hotel chain’s chief financial officer. In this role, Straszynski will set strategic financial direction for the iconic brand, overseeing finance, accounting, treasury and risk management. He also sits on the brand’s senior executive team to help shape and execute Best Western’s long-term strategies.

Straszynski brings more than 15 years of financial experience to the position, most recently serving as corporate controller and treasurer at Chicago-based United Plastics Group, Inc. He served as a change agent for the $200 million global contract manufacturing company, executing a successful restructuring and turnaround growth strategy. As a financial executive, Straszynski has extensive experience running a global finance department, and aided in designing and implementing streamlined policies and programs to support growth opportunities.

“Mark is a true financial utility player: He brings a wealth of financial experience, thought leadership and terrific energy to Best Western,” said David Kong, Best Western’s president and CEO. “He will greatly contribute to the needs of our members and our mission of increasing brand equity and member value.”

Straszynski has also served as audit senior manager for Ernst & Young LLP, where he provided audit and advisory services to public and private entrepreneurial and high-growth companies in a variety of industries.

Straszynski earned a Master of Business Administration from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, and a Bachelor of Science in Accountancy from Northern Illinois University. Straszynski is a Certified Public Accountant and a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Illinois Certified Public Accountants Society.

Best Western International is THE WORLD'S LARGEST HOTEL CHAIN®, providing marketing, reservations and operational support to over 4,000* independently owned and operated member hotels in 80* countries and territories worldwide. An industry pioneer since 1946, Best Western has grown into an iconic brand that hosts 400,000* worldwide guests each night. Best Western's diverse property portfolio, its greatest strength, stems from a business model designed to give owners maximum flexibility to address market-specific needs. Equally committed to the business and leisure traveler, Best Western recently embarked on a five-year mission to lead the hotel industry in customer care. Since 2004, Best Western has served as the Official Hotel of NASCAR®. For more information or to make a reservation, please visit

*Numbers are approximate and can fluctuate.

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