Richard Merkel, Chief Executive Officer

Richard (Dick) Merkel's lifetime career in the hospitality industry, where he started as a desk clerk and ended up building True North Hotel Group from just a handful of hotels into a successful 24-property company with national reach, continues to make a remarkably positive impact on two generations of employees, guests, investors and colleagues.

Dick began his career with the Hyatt Corporation, where he held several management positions with increasing management responsibilities over a seven-year period. He then joined Servico, Inc., serving as General Manager of several full-service hotel properties, and was then selected as opening GM of Servico's new multi-million hotel concept, Royce Hotels.

In 1983 he joined Innco Hospitality, Inc., a full-service management and development company, as Senior Vice President of Operations. Innco Hospitality developed and grew a new hotel brand, Clubhouse Inns. Wyndham Hotels and Resorts purchased ClubHouse in 1997, Dick continued to operate the ClubHouse properties until the end of 1998 as Vice President of Wyndham Hotels and Resorts in Dallas. After that, he relocated to Overland Park, Kan., to partner with Lew Wiens and operate Henry Hotels, Inc., and its affiliate, True North Hotel Group, L.L.C.

In 2002, the company consolidated into True North Hotel Group, Inc. The company's award-winning development, construction and management capabilities today place it in the upper echelon of hotel companies that have an established, national position and solid reputation within the hospitality industry. True to that claim, True North Hotel Group in late 2018 received an unprecedented seventh Partnership Circle Award, the highest owner/developer accolade available, from Marriott International.

Dick's strong acumen as an outstanding people person and natural leader have led him to serve as a board director for several convention and visitors bureaus, chambers of commerce and lodging associations, and on Marriott's SpringHill Suites Marketing Committee. He received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Hotel & Lodging Association of Greater Kansas City in 2015, and in 2019 was appointed to the Kansas State University Olathe Advisory Board. Dick holds certified hotel administration (C.H.A.) designation from the Education Institute of the American Hotel and Motel Association and is a graduate of Western Illinois University.
Monday August 10, 2020