Best Western executive joins hospitality management advisory board

Paul Rigazzi, worldwide sales director for Best Western Hotels & Resorts, has joined the Penn State School of Hospitality Management (SHM) Industry Advisory Board.

“I look at this as an amazing opportunity to share my experience and knowledge with the future leaders of the hospitality industry,” Rigazzi said. “In my career of 27 years in the hospitality industry it has always been a source of great pride to work with and mentor new graduates into the exciting industry of hospitality.”

The board invites industry experts to strategically advise SHM on industry trends and guide students who are studying hospitality management. The members are leaders in the field, including vice presidents and senior vice presidents of large companies and executive vice presidents, chief operating officers and CEO’s of smaller companies.

A veteran in the hotel industry, Rigazzi oversees the Best Western sales efforts in the Asia Pacific market, which notably has resulted in an exponential increase in Asia’s outbound revenue. He also leads the business recruitment endeavors of Best Western properties to ensure revenue potential is maximized for each hotel and the brand.

“I look forward to offering global insight on how business is being transacted around the world and how it affects the U.S. market, and engaging with the select group of thought leaders that comprise the School of Hospitality Management’s prestigious Industry Advisory Board,” he said.

Additionally, Rigazzi leads the Best Western Business Advantage Program, developing strategies and programs to increase contributions to the brand’s award-winning loyalty program, Best Western Rewards. Since Rigazzi’s involvement with Best Western Rewards, the program’s revenue has increased by more than 30 percent.

Rigazzi has a strong background in planning and executing sales and marketing plans, cultivating strategic partnerships, and ensuring proper tactics are in place to exceed brand goals. He is recognized in the industry as a decisive leader with extensive experience recruiting, hiring, and retaining sales teams.

“Paul’s enthusiasm for hospitality education and his global perspective as an executive of one of America’s iconic lodging brands will complement the expertise and energy assembled with our dedicated advisory board members,” said Donna Quadri-Felitti, director and associate professor for the Penn State School of Hospitality Management. “I have known Paul for almost my entire life and watched his sales and marketing career continue to rise in the lodging industry, so I know personally and professionally the strong values and talent he brings to our school.”

Rigazzi is an active member of the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International, the Global Travel Business Association, and the Association of Corporate Travel Executives. Rigazzi earned a bachelor of social science in journalism and advertising from West Virginia University.

PHOTO: Paul Rigazzi, worldwide sales director for Best Western Hotels & Resorts, has joined the Penn State School of Hospitality Management (SHM) Industry Advisory Board.

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