Industry Remembers IHG Leader

As InterContinental Hotels Group prepares for a memorial service in Atlanta for its late Americas region leader, Steve Porter, many of his colleagues and friends are lauding him as a visionary.

“In my mind, he was the savior of IHG,” says Rick Takach, president and CEO of Vesta Hospitality and chairman of the International Association of Holiday Inns. “Six or seven years ago, before Steve became president, no one on the IAHI board was developing IHG products. Today, all of them are and a big reason was Steve's leadership.”

Porter, 53, died Aug. 7 at his home in Los Angeles following a short illness for which he had been hospitalized since mid-July. He joined IHG in 2001 as COO of the Americas and was named president a year earlier. Under his leadership, the company acquired its sixth brand (Candlewood Suites) and launched a seventh, Hotel Indigo, which was at the forefront of the industry's new lifestyle brand segment. In 2006, Lodging Hospitality honored Porter with its Stephen W. Brener Lodging Hospitality Silver Plate Award.

“One of Steve's gifts was being able to surround himself with top talent and then getting the best from them by asking everyone the right questions,” says Takach. “He could be tough, but if he disagreed with you, he did it in a way that respected your point of view.

“He was an excellent leader, and his loss is one for both IHG and the entire industry,” says Takach.

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