Illinois Hotel & Lodging Association Honored Chairman Klok’s Contributions to the Industry at Association Luncheon on Tuesday, May 21st 2019


Phoenix, Arizona (May 22, 2019) – Best Western Hotels & Resorts today announced that Chairman of the Board Anthony “Tony” Klok has been named 2019 Ambassador of Hospitality by the Illinois Hotel & Lodging Association (IHLA). The Ambassador of Hospitality Awards champion four individuals who advocate for the greater good for the hotel community and those it serves. Celebrating his many career accomplishments, as well as his immeasurable contributions to Best Western Hotels & Resorts, Klok’s recognition is a significant accomplishment for the hospitality industry veteran.

Each year, the IHLA Award Selection Committee identifies individuals who have influenced the hotel industry in Illinois, are active in advocacy, promote associate engagement and support of IHLA's missions. The IHLA hosted the Annual Hospitality Awards Luncheon at McCormick Place in Conjunction with the Annual National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show on Tuesday May 21st.

“We are delighted to see Chairman Klok’s incredible accomplishments recognized with this esteemed accolade,” said David Kong, President and CEO, Best Western Hotels & Resorts. “The Ambassador of Hospitality is truly fitting for a professional like Tony, whose forward-thinking and innovative mindset makes an impact on his own business, our work at Best Western and the industry as a whole.”

A University of Illinois Champaign graduate, Klok began his career in hospitality as Co-Founder and Principal of the successful Rebel Hospitality, which boasts development of 15 independent boutique and brand hotels, restaurants and entertainment venues in Chicago and Memphis.

Throughout his career, Klok has had far-reaching involvement in a number of hospitality associations, including the IHLA, the DePaul University School of Hospitality Advisory Board and the Lakeview East Chamber of Commerce. Klok’s deep industry knowledge led to his election to Best Western’s Board of Directors in 2013 to represent the interests of Best Western hotel owners in eight states and provinces in the Midwestern United States and Canada, from Ontario to Kentucky. In 2018, Klok was elected by the Board of Directors to lead as Board Chairman of Best Western Hotels & Resorts in 2019.

“We are thrilled to give our most prestigious awards to Illinois’ deserving recipients who have made significant contributions to the hospitality industry statewide. This 2019 class of influential leaders join a legacy of honorees who have made a significant impact on our industry,” said Michael Jacobson, IHLA President and CEO.

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About Best Western® Hotels & Resorts:

Best Western Hotels & Resorts headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, is a privately held hotel brand with a global network of approximately 4,500 hotels in nearly 100 countries and territories worldwide. Best Western offers 16 hotel brands to suit the needs of developers and guests in every market. Best Western branded hotels 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, Best Western now also offers WorldHotels® Luxury, WorldHotels Elite and WorldHotels Distinctive brands. Completing its portfolio, Best Western offers SureStay®, SureStay Plus®, and SureStay Collection® franchises**. Now celebrating more than 70 years of hospitality, Best Western provides its hoteliers with global operational, sales and marketing support, and award-winning online and mobile booking capabilities. Best Western continues to set industry records regarding awards and accolades, including 66 percent of the brand’s North American hotels earning a TripAdvisor® Certificate of Excellence award in 2018, Business Travel News® ranking Best Western Plus and Best Western number one in upper-midscale and midscale hotel brands respectively for two consecutive years, and Fast Company honoring Best Western Hotels & Resorts with a spot in the Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in the Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality category. Best Western has also won 10 consecutive AAA®/CAA® Lodging Partner of the Year awards, recognizing the brand’s commitment to providing exceptional service and great value to AAA/CAA’s nearly 60 million members in the U.S. and Canada. Best Western-branded hotels were top ranked in breakfast (food and beverage category) by J.D. Power’s 2018 North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index Study – ranking first for midscale; and second for upper midscale. Nearly 40 million travelers are members of the brand’s award-winning loyalty program Best Western Rewards®, one of the few programs in which members earn points that never expire and can be redeemed at any Best Western-branded hotel worldwide. Best Western’s partnerships with AAA/CAA and Google® Street View provide travelers with exciting ways to interact with the brand. Through its partnership with Google Street View, Best Western is the first major company of its size and scale to launch a virtual reality experience for customers, setting a new industry standard and reinventing how guests view hotels. 

 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.