BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. - Hilton Hotels Corporation announced today the top developers and hotels among owners of its focused service brands, including Hampton Inn®, Hampton Inn & Suites®, Hilton Garden Inn® and Homewood Suites by Hilton®.

Each brand recognized a Developer of the Year, Best Conversion, Deal of the Year and Outstanding Achievement for the developers who had the greatest number of project approvals or who developed one or more unique hotels that helped enhance the brand’s image in 2008. Together, the brands also recognized a Multi-Brand Developer of the Year who made significant contributions to the Hilton Family of Hotels with the most number of project approvals in 2008, as well as a Lifetime Achievement Award for longevity in the hospitality development arena and loyalty to the Hilton Family of Hotels. To be considered, all hotels in the candidates’ Hilton Family portfolio had to be rated high-quality and in good status, and could represent a combination of new projects, renovations and conversions.

The recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award:

  • Dave Lenz 
    The North Central Group 
    Multiple projects in Phoenix, Ariz.; Omaha, Neb.; and Wisconsin

The recipients of the Developer of the Year award are:

  • Multi-Brand Award Winner 
    Mitch Patel Vision Hospitality Group, LLC 
    Hampton Inn & Suites Melbourne, Fla. 
    Hampton Inn & Suites Orange, Fla. 
    Homewood Suites by Hilton Kennesaw, Ga. 
  • Hampton
    Champak Patel 
    Champion Hotels 
    Hampton Inn & Suites Elk City, Okla. 
    Hampton Inn & Suites Pauls Valley, Okla. 
  • Hilton Garden Inn
    Steve Gupta 
    Easton’s Group of Hotels
    Hilton Garden Inn Mississauga/Toronto, Ont. 
    Hilton Garden Inn Toronto/Vaughan, Ont. 
    Hilton Garden Inn Toronto Downtown, Ont. 
  • Homewood Suites by Hilton
    Mehul Patel 
    Newcrest Hotels 
    Homewood Suites by Hilton Abilene, Texas 
    Homewood Suites by Hilton Midland, Texas 
    Homewood Suites by Hilton Tyler, Texas

Hampton Inn, Hampton Inn & Suites, Hilton Garden Inn and Homewood Suites by Hilton also presented awards for Deal of the Year and Best Conversion, which recognizes the tremendous commitment of time and effort many owners devoted to building a particular brand’s hotel and converting an existing hotel to the particular brand. 

The recipients of the Deal of the Year award are:

  • Hampton
    Bernie Wolfson 
    Brickell Hotel Group, LLP 
    Hampton Inn & Suites Miami Brickell, Fla. 
  • Hilton Garden Inn
    Robert Rauch and Joe Simone 
    Torrey Suites, LP 
    Hilton Garden Inn San Diego/Del Mar, Calif. 
  • Homewood Suites by Hilton
    Jeffery Salinetti 
    RP MRP Potomac Yard, LLC 
    Homewood Suites by Hilton Alexandria/Potomac Yard, Va. 

The recipients of the Best Conversion award are:

  • Hampton
    Nayan Patel 
    C.N. Hotels, Inc. 
    Hampton Inn & Suites Atlantic Beach, N.C. 
  • Hilton Garden Inn
    Walt K. Myers 
    K Partners Denver, LLC 
    Hilton Garden Inn Denver Tech, Colo. 
  • Homewood Suites by Hilton
    David Buffam 
    New Castle Hotels & Resorts 
    Homewood Suites by Hilton Cambridge/Arlington, Mass.

In addition, each Hilton Family focused-service brand presented an Outstanding Achievement Award to recognize the developer’s support of the focused-service brands of Hampton, Hilton Garden Inn and Homewood Suites by Hilton. Each recipient has demonstrated commitment to growing the respective brands and the Hilton Family by investing in the development of new hotel projects.

The Outstanding Achievement award winners are:

  • Hampton
    Pierre Varadi 
    Groupe Canvar, Inc. 
    Hampton Inn & Suites Montreal Downtown 
  • Hilton Garden Inn
    John D. & Allan Gantes 
    Breckenridge Group, Inc. 
    Hilton Garden Inn Palmdale, Calif. 
  • Homewood Suites by Hilton
    Tom Torgerson 
    Torgerson Properties 
    Homewood Suites by Hilton St. Louis Park, Minn. 
    Homewood Suites by Hilton New Brighton, Minn. 

“We are extremely pleased to present Mitch Patel with the Multi-Brand Developer of the Year Award and Dave Lenz with the Lifetime Achievement Award,” said Craig Mance, senior vice president – franchise development, U.S., Canada & Mexico, Hilton Hotels Corporation. “The accolade represents our appreciation of their exemplary commitment to excellence in hotel development, loyalty to our Hilton Family and commendable longevity in the development arena.”

Lifetime Achievement Award 
Representing one of the first Hampton franchisees among a brand celebrating 25 years, Dave Lenz of The North Central Group has developed multiple Hilton Family hotels across the U.S. These hotels are among the top-ranking in quality and performance within the system. The North Central Group has six deals underway in Phoenix and several others in Omaha, Nebraska and Wisconsin.

Multi-Brand Developer of the Year
Mitch Patel at Vision Hospitality Group, LLC is an outstanding developer and operator of multiple Hilton Family brands, including 12 open or under development. In 2008 alone, he achieved four openings (two Hampton Inn & Suites, one Doubletree and one Homewood Suites by Hilton) and one development of an Embassy Suites Hotel. In downtown Chattanooga, four Hilton Family hotels are being represented by Vision Hospitality-owned properties.

Hampton Developer of the Year
Within the past year, Champak Patel has been loyal to the Hampton brand for all new hotel products. In a tight market like Oklahoma where vision is required to commit to an investment, Champ has been willing to pioneer with Hampton.

Hilton Garden Inn Developer of the Year
Within the past two years, Steve Gupta of Easton’s Group of Hotels has been approved for Hilton Garden Inn hotels in Mississauga/Toronto Airport, located in one of the strongest corporate markets in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA); Downtown Toronto, a newly built hotel recently opened, located in the heart of the entertainment district; and a conversion property on the east side of downtown Toronto. Easton’s locations provide the Hilton Garden Inn brand with a strong presence in the high profile Toronto market. They also have operated an existing HGI in Vaughan, Ont., for several years.

Homewood Suites by Hilton Developer of the Year
Mehul Patel has done an excellent job at identifying appropriate markets and sites for Homewood Suites within Texas. All three locations – in Abilene, Midland and Tyler -- approved in 2008 are not only strong locations but true extended stay markets, further indicating the commitment to success in making the Homewood Suites by Hilton brand work ideally for the given market with the Hilton Family as Patel’s first choice.

Brad Carmony

Charmaine Easie-Samuels

Kendra Walker

About Hilton Garden Inn
The award-winning Hilton Garden Inn brand provides business and leisure guests with upscale yet affordable accommodations and modern amenities for a successful and comfortable stay. The satisfaction promise affirms the brand’s goal to make each stay better and brighter. Guaranteed. As a recognized F&B leader, Hilton Garden Inn serves daily cooked-to-order breakfast and offers full service restaurants and bars. Team Members at more than 770 hotels around the world are committed to guaranteeing today’s busy travelers have a bright and satisfying experience from the first hello when they arrive. Hilton Garden Inn is part of Hilton Honors, the award-winning guest loyalty program for Hilton’s 14 distinct hotel brands. Hilton Honors members who book directly through preferred Hilton channels have access to instant benefits, including a flexible payment slider that allows members to choose nearly any combination of Points and money to book a stay, an exclusive member discount that can’t be found anywhere else, free standard Wi-Fi and digital amenities like digital check-in with room selection and Digital Key (select locations), available exclusively through the industry-leading Hilton Honors app. For more information about Hilton Garden Inn, visit or or connect on social media at Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram.

About Hilton
Hilton (NYSE: HLT) is a leading global hospitality company, with a portfolio of 14 world-class brands comprising more than 5,300 properties with more than 856,000 rooms, in 105 countries and territories. Hilton is dedicated to fulfilling its mission to be the world’s most hospitable company by delivering exceptional experiences – every hotel, every guest, every time. The company's portfolio includes Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Canopy by Hilton, Curio Collection by Hilton, DoubleTree by Hilton, Tapestry Collection by Hilton, Embassy Suites by Hilton, Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton by Hilton, Tru by Hilton, Homewood Suites by Hilton, Home2 Suites by Hilton and Hilton Grand Vacations. The company also manages an award-winning customer loyalty program, Hilton Honors. Hilton Honors members who book directly through preferred Hilton channels have access to instant benefits, including a flexible payment slider that allows members to choose exactly how many Points to combine with money, an exclusive member discount that can’t be found anywhere else, and free standard Wi-Fi. Visit for more information and connect with Hilton on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube.