Richard C. Kessler
Combining an entrepreneurial business sense with creative energy and dedication to purpose, Richard C. Kessler is a visionary and entrepreneur in the hotel industry. Born in Savannah, Georgia and reared in Effingham County, Richard graduated from Georgia Institute of Technology with both Bachelor and Masters degrees in Engineering, and he also earned honorary doctorate degrees from Valparaiso University and Newberry College. Richard has over 37 years of experience in the field of hotel development and operations, which supports his focus on developing one-of-a-kind, boutique hotels. He was the President and Chairman of Days Inn of America for nine years before forming The Kessler Enterprise, Inc. in 1984 where he has served as Chairman and CEO for 25 years. Having served seven years on the Industry Advisory Council of the American Hotel and Motel Association, Richard has become a nationally recognized industry leader and has helped to develop outstanding hospitality practices nationwide. He has maintained a community-minded focus and is a strong supporter of the arts, forming annual scholarship programs and other contribution projects to support the community, including the New Ebenezer Retreat and Conference Center and the Treutlen House for Children. Richard's hotel company, The Kessler Collection, is a portfolio of boutique four and five-diamond quality properties located in Florida, Georgia, Colorado and New Mexico. Known for luxurious, art-inspired atmosphere and decor, each hotel is uniquely designed and focuses on providing the highest level of service and attention to detail. The boutique properties feature an emphasis on quality that is designed to entertain guests while making them feel comfortable and at home.
Awards & Activities: * Florida Ernst & Young Master Entrepreneur of the Year Award, 2000 * Developer and Builders Alliance Developer of the Year Award, 2006 * Youngest CEO of Major Lodging Chain, 1982 * Alumnus Award of Georgia Tech * Emory University Dean's Medal for singular commitment and contribution to the Candler School of Theology * Effingham County Honored Treutlen Award for Outstanding Leadership * Board of Directors of Lutheran Brotherhood, 1990-2001