PHOENIX–Best Western Hotels & Resorts announced today that it has appointed Mahmood (Mike) Merchant to its Board of Directors. Merchant brings more than 30 years of industry experience and has previously served as a governor with Best Western Hotels & Resorts – a key leadership role within the brand. Merchant will represent the interests of hotel owners in District VI, including California, Nevada and Hawaii.
“I’m pleased to welcome Mr. Merchant to our Board of Directors and look forward to his contributions as we continue to grow our brands globally,” said Larry Cuculic, President and Chief Executive Officer, Best Western Hotels & Resorts. “Mr. Merchant brings significant hospitality experience to this role and we know he’ll be a tremendous leader. As a seasoned commercial real estate veteran and owner of multiple properties, he has the knowledge and perspective to serve the interests of our hoteliers with both effectiveness and the caring spirit for which our hotel family is known.”
Merchant is President and CEO of Merchant Valley Corporation and owns and operates four Best Western branded hotels, including the Best Western Big Country Inn in Coalinga, California; the Best Western Apricot Inn in Firebaugh, California; the Best Western Colonial Inn in Selma, California; and the Best Western Plus Coalinga Inn & Suites in Coalinga, California, which has been a recipient of the prestigious Best Western M.K. Guertin Award, designated for the highest performing Best Western branded properties. Merchant is also actively involved in the development and management of commercial shopping centers in Illinois, South Carolina, North Dakota and Louisiana.
“I’ve been with Best Western for more than 20 years, and it’s a privilege to now begin serving on the Board of Directors,” said Merchant. “Collectively, we’ve done a remarkable job navigating a very challenging time for our industry, and we’re excited to see what’s to come for our brand next year. With a strong leadership team and the unwavering commitment and support of our hoteliers, Best Western Hotels & Resorts will be even stronger in 2022.”
In addition to his new role with Best Western Hotels & Resorts, Merchant remains an active member of his local community, dedicating time to mentor young entrepreneurs and organize community outreach efforts to help underserved countries. His breadth of industry experience will help Best Western Hotels & Resorts as the company continues its growth in 2022.
In addition, Best Western Hotels & Resorts announced today that it has appointed Viral (Victor) Patel to its Board of Directors. Patel brings over two decades of hospitality experience and has been a member of Best Western Hotels & Resorts for more than 20 years. He has served in various leadership roles with Best Western Hotels & Resorts, including as a governor and as the chair of the Best Western Kentucky marketing co-op, where he liaised between the brand and hoteliers and led strategic input and direction on regional marketing efforts. Patel is currently the owner and operator of the Best Western Corbin Inn in Corbin, Kentucky.
“Mr. Patel will bring extensive brand and hospitality experience to our Board,” said Larry Cuculic, President and Chief Executive Officer, Best Western Hotels & Resorts. “He has the respect of his peers, and we’re privileged to welcome him to the Board of Directors. We look forward to his leadership as he takes on this new role within the organization.”
In addition to Patel’s various roles with Best Western Hotels & Resorts, he has also held a number of leadership positions at the national and local levels. Currently, Patel is the Chairman of the Board for the Corbin Tourism & Convention Commission in his hometown of Corbin, Kentucky and was the first hotelier to serve as Chairman of the Board for the Kentucky Travel Industry Association. Additionally, he has held leadership roles with the Chamber of Commerce and served as an ambassador for the Asian American Hotel Owners Association.
“I am honored and excited to be appointed to the Board of Directors for Best Western Hotels & Resorts. I’ve witnessed tremendous growth within our brand over the years and am excited to join my fellow Board members as we move forward under Larry’s leadership,” said Patel. “Service is extremely important to me, and I feel grateful to have served my colleagues and community in a variety of roles over the years. I look forward to this new set of responsibilities and am fully committed to serving our hoteliers across the Midwest and parts of Canada and our hoteliers at large.”
In addition to his passion for Best Western Hotels & Resorts, Patel is equally dedicated to community. He remains actively engaged in his local Hindu temple and is a contributing member of the Indian Cultural Society in Lexington, Kentucky. Patel was raised in India and has lived in the United States for more than 30 years. His lifelong hospitality career began at a motel in Baltimore, Maryland, before recognizing his dream of hotel ownership.
Patel will play an integral role for Best Western Hotels & Resorts as the company continues to grow in the new year.