SOURCE: Dolce Hotels and Resorts

November 18, 2008 09:00 ET

Dolce Hotels and Resorts Names Steven A. Rudnitsky President and CEO

MONTVALE, NJ--(Marketwire - November 18, 2008) - In a move to build upon its achievements and further accelerate growth , Dolce Hotels and Resorts, a meetings-focused hospitality company based here that manages 23 hotels, resorts and meetings centers in the United States, Canada and Europe, has appointed industry veteran Steven A. Rudnitsky as president and chief executive officer, effective Dec. 8.

Rudnitsky, who recently stepped down as president and chief executive officer of Wyndham Worldwide's Hotel Group, based in Parsippany, will be responsible for driving Dolce's growth worldwide. The company earlier this year announced plans to double its portfolio during the next five years.

The expansion plans will be underwritten by Broadreach Capital Partners, which purchased a majority stake in Dolce last year, and other capital partners.

Rudnitsky will be responsible for developing the company's strategic direction and plans, delivering on business objectives and overseeing all departments including Operations, Sales & Marketing, Finance, Acquisition & Development and Human Resources. He will serve on the Dolce board and report to company Chairman Andy Dolce, with whom he will work closely to stimulate growth through acquisition and development efforts.

Reporting to Rudnitsky will be Steve Giblin, chief operating officer; Debra Bates, chief financial and development officer; and Carl Cohen, chief sales & marketing officer.

Rudnitsky said his first task will be to develop short- and long-term objectives and strategies that build on Dolce's recent successes including a brand refresh and capital improvements. Among other tactics, the company is working to increase occupancy with more social and leisure business. He also will spend a large part of his first 100 days visiting as many Dolce properties as possible, where he will work side-by-side with the front-line and back-of-the-house property staff.

Andy Dolce said Rudnitsky was selected for the position because of his "proven CEO capabilities, his knowledge of the hospitality industry including the meetings segment, his understanding of the importance of branding, his commitment to reinforcing the people-centric culture of the company, and his ability to maximize a company's value proposition in the best and worst of times.

His track record for building collaborative teams, identifying opportunities, developing acquisition strategies and bringing them to close is exactly what Dolce Hotels and Resorts needs to continue its leadership position as the pre-eminent hospitality company specializing in the global meetings market."

During his six-and-one-half-year tenure as president and chief executive officer of Wyndham Hotel Group, a business unit of Wyndham Worldwide (NYSE: WYN), Rudnitsky is credited with improving performance of the company's hotel brands and expanding its portfolio domestically and internationally in wake of the 9/11 hospitality industry downturn. He launched one of the travel industry's largest loyalty programs, acquired four brands and negotiated numerous domestic and international management contracts as well as joint-venture agreements for Europe, the Middle East and Africa and the Asia Pacific region.

Rudnitsky said his decision to move from a publicly traded company to the private, equity-backed, entrepreneurial Dolce Hotels and Resorts was influenced by his desire to tackle a new challenge and evolve the Dolce brand to "iconic" status.

"I am impressed by what Dolce Hotels and Resorts has been able to accomplish," he said. "The Dolce brand is a leader in the meetings industry, having pioneered a conference center concept that delivers inspiring, productive environments for meetings. With the continued support of Broadreach Capital Partners, we have every reason to be optimistic about our growth targets and our goal to make the Dolce name known around the world."

During Rudnitsky's 30-year career, he also held leadership positions at Fortune 500 companies including Kraft, Nabisco and Pillsbury -- where he turned around lagging operations and aggressively grew the businesses both organically and by expanding distribution -- and held several domestic and international sales and marketing positions at PepsiCo. He began his career with McNeil Consumer Products, a Johnson & Johnson Company.

He is a former chairman of the American Hotel & Lodging Association's Multicultural & Diversity Advisory Council and served on the Travel Business Roundtable, the Planning Committee of the annual New York University Hospitality Industry Investment Conference and the Advisory Board of the University of Delaware School of Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management.

He is a former trustee of the National Restaurant Association's Education Foundation, a past director and founding member of the Multicultural Foodservice Hospitality Alliance and a former board member of the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association. He received the Stephen W. Brener Lodging Hospitality Silver Plate Award at the NYU conference in 2007.

A personal video message from Andy Dolce and Steve Rudnitsky about this appointment and the future of Dolce Hotels and Resorts is available at

About Dolce Hotels and Resorts: Dolce Hotels and Resorts, formerly Dolce International, is a unique global hospitality company specializing in delivering an exceptional meetings experience by providing the most hospitable environments for people to meet and learn. Whether for business or leisure, distinctive elements inspire the most productive meetings, events and celebrated experiences. Dolce integrates superior cuisine and amenities, facilities with state-of-the-art technology and a community of passionate, intuitive associates, all of which enables the company to remain at the forefront of the hospitality industry with 23 unique properties in the United States, Canada and Europe.

Dolce's Hotel and Resort portfolio includes Lakeway Resort and Spa in Austin, Texas; Dolce Hayes Mansion in San Jose, Calif.; Dolce Chantilly in the Paris area; and Dolce Sitges in the Barcelona area. The company's Conference Hotels features IBM Palisades Center in Palisades, N.Y.; American Airlines Training & Conference Center in Fort Worth, Texas; and The William F. Bolger Center in Potomac, Md. Every property meets International Association of Conference Centers standards and has been honored by AAA, Mobil, Michelin and Meeting Professionals International. Well-suited for leisure travelers, many Dolce destinations offer spas, championship golf courses and workout facilities. Founded in 1981 by Chairman Andy Dolce, the company is headquartered in Montvale, N.J., and Paris. Majority-owned by Broadreach Capital Partners, Dolce has approximately 4,000 employees worldwide. Visit

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