MCLEAN, Va. - Embassy Suites Hotels today announced the completion of the brand's second annual year-long general manager (GM) leadership program, "The Circle of Leadership." During a recent graduation ceremony, the group's six GMs gathered to share their unique experiences. The Circle of Leadership, which began in 2008, is designed to provide individualized coaching and leadership development to directly support the Embassy Suites service statement, "Gracious, engaging and caring. Making a difference in the lives of others, in ways both big and small." The program recognizes the brand's high potential leaders while bringing them additional resources to further improve the performance of their hotels. During the graduation ceremony, held at Hilton Wordwide's global headquarters in McLean, Va., each general manager gave a short presentation about what he/she gained from the year-long experience.

In an effort to tie professional development into key initiatives at Embassy Suites, the program involves a series of seven webinars facilitated by Bixler Consulting Group of Atlanta, as well as individual coaching. Each participant completed a series of five leadership assessments with a focus on the leadership development of both the GM and the property teams. The sessions focus on best demonstrated practices and leadership skills, aiming to create self-awareness that leads to professional growth and more confident decision-making. Each month, the general managers received assignments that necessitated practical application of everything they learned, along with new tools (DVDs, books, articles) they could implement with their teams.

"The results we see from the second class of Circle of Leadership general managers are phenomenal," said Jim Holthouser, global head of Embassy Suites Hotels and full service brands, Hilton Worldwide. "What exceeded expectations was the immediacy with which their commitment reaped benefits for their teams. The program without a doubt provided the tools necessary for our general managers to apply the brand's Make a Difference culture at their hotels."

Graduates were awarded a Circle of Leadership plaque and new business cards with the Circle of Leadership designation. Graduates include:

  • Steve Hilton Embassy Suites Lincoln (Lincoln, Neb.)
  • Kurt Schatzl Embassy Suites Hot Springs - Hotel & Spa (Hot Springs, Ariz.)
  • Pat Sorber Embassy Suites San Rafael - Marin County (San Rafael, Calif.)
  • Dominic Acolino Embassy Suites Anaheim - South (Anaheim, Calif.)
  • Kathleen Lyons Embassy Suites Richmond - The Commerce Center (Richmond, Va.)
  • Cheryl Skeen Embassy Suites Atlanta - Alpharetta (Alpharetta, Ga.)

Embassy Suites Hotels will continue its Circle of Leadership tradition of encouraging its team members to grow personally and professionally and revitalize their teams, their communities and the Embassy Suites brand. The program will resume this fall when a new class of seven general managers is announced.

Maggie Giddens
Embassy Suites Hotels
(703) 883-5346

Alexandra Valasek
Ruder Finn, Inc.
(212) 593-5825

About Embassy Suites by Hilton
Embassy Suites by Hilton, one of Hilton’s 14 market-leading brands, is dedicated to delivering what matters most to travelers. The full service, upscale brand offers two-room suites, free made-to-order breakfast and a nightly two-hour reception with complimentary drinks and snacks. Both leisure and business travelers looking for a relaxed, yet sophisticated experience will feel right at home with brand-standard amenities like inviting atriums and complimentary 24-hour business and fitness centers. Embassy Suites by Hilton has 245 hotels with 47 in the pipeline. 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, visit or Connect online with Embassy Suites by Hilton at Facebook, Twitter 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.