Forum Returns In-Person at Best Western Hotels & Resorts’ Annual Convention in Las Vegas

Phoenix, AZ (October 5, 2021) – On Monday, October 4, leading into its 2021 North American Convention, Best Western Hotels & Resorts hosted its fourth annual “Women in Leadership Forum.” Sponsored by AAA, the forum celebrates the vital role women play both inside their organizations and out, and delivers relevant content for today’s women in business.

Returning in-person after being hosted virtually in 2020, this year’s event addressed how the last 18 months have changed the lives of professional men and women in unimaginable ways. Insightful speakers provided actionable tools and advice on how attendees can leverage their strengths and new-found learnings from the pandemic to move forward in a post-COVID world.

“I was thrilled to bring the Women’s Forum back as an in-person event the year,” said Dorothy Dowling, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Best Western Hotels & Resorts. “There has never been a more critical moment in time than now to focus on diversity, equity and inclusion. The gender inequalities that existed pre-pandemic have been intensified by COVID-19 as women battle systemic gender bias that impact every area of their lives. There’s no doubt that the pandemic will have a lasting impact on our lives, and through this year’s forum we aimed to empower our attendees to lean into their learnings to emerge from the pandemic stronger than ever before.”

A powerful and inspiring day for women and men at all professional levels, the event was filled with informative sessions, insightful panels and motivational advice, and featured powerhouse speakers such as internationally acclaimed Dr. Lalia Rach; professionally trained improvisor and author, Judi Holler; AAA’s Senior Vice President of Travel, Paula Twidale; and keynote speaker, Allison Massari. Throughout the day, attendees also heard the stories of strong female leaders within the Best Western Hotels & Resorts brand, from successful entrepreneurs and hoteliers to corporate trailblazers.

Dowling founded the forum in 2018 and is well-recognized as a leader in women in empowerment in the travel industry, and her commitment to driving positive change for women in leadership is far-reaching. Dowling was recently elected President of the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) Allied Leadership Council for a second term. She is also Senior Advisor for GBTA WINiT’s Strategic Advisory Board, helping to advance WINiT’s mission of improving career mobility of women in the travel-related industries.

Dowling continues to be recognized for her immeasurable contributions to the industry. This year Dowling was awarded the Hotel News Now Stephen W. Brener Silver Plate Award, just a few months after being recognized by the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International with the Albert E. Koehl Award Lifetime Achievement Award. Dowling was also named a “Top 40 Women in Travel” in 2019 by WINiT by GBTA – a network focused on the advancement of women professionals in the industry. In 2018, Dowling was honored with the prestigious “Allied Member of the Year” award from GBTA 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. 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. Additionally, Dowling was the recipient of the 2016 Applied Health Sciences Alumni Achievement Award, from the University of Waterloo, her alma mater.

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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 18 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 acquisition, WorldHotelsTM Luxury, WorldHotels Elite, WorldHotels Distinctive and WorldHotels Crafted collections are also offered. Completing the portfolio is SureStay®, SureStay Plus®, SureStay Collection® and SureStay StudioSM franchises**. For more information visit,, and

* 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.