Roy Flora Of Us Franchise Systems Tapped For 'Access To Freedom' Sath Award

Monday, January 07, 2008

The Society for Accessible Travel & Hospitality (SATH) (www.sath.org) -- whose mission is to raise awareness of the needs of all travelers with disabilities and expand travel opportunities in the United States and worldwide -- has presented its Access to Freedom award to Roy. E. Flora, Chief Operating Officer of Atlanta, GA- based US Franchise Systems, Inc. (USFS) (www.usfsi.com), parent company of the franchisor of the Microtel Inns & Suites and Hawthorn Suites hotel brands. The honor was presented late yesterday at the 12th annual SATH World Congress in Orlando, FL.

The Access to Freedom Award recognizes the individual or organization that has made the greatest strides in the past year in creating economic opportunities for persons with disabilities in the travel industry and promoting awareness of and access for travelers with disabilities. The first such award was given in 1994 at the ASTA World Congress in Lisbon, Spain, to President George Bush for his signing the Americans with Disabilities Act into law.

"SATH is honored to award the Access to Freedom distinction to Roy Flora, an outstanding individual who exemplifies all that is good in an executive in the 'People Business,'" said Steve Mydanick, Director of Corporate Affairs for SATH. "Roy has made significant contributions to the advancement of people with disabilities, and has gone above and beyond to assure that the needs of travelers with disabilities are met and that they are treated with respect." Microtel Inns & Suites (www.microtelinn.com) is the award-winning chain of all-new construction economy/limited service hotels, and Hawthorn Suites (www.hawthorn.com) is the all-suites, extended stay hotel brand.

Microtel Inns & Suites was the first hotel brand to become a sponsor of SATH; Hawthorn Suites is also a sponsor.

"At Microtel and Hawthorn, we're not solely in the hotel business serving people... we're in the People Business serving quality, accessible accommodations and service to people who travel, people who have needs, and people who have chosen to stay with us," said Flora. "I am proud of our partnership with SATH and that our commitment to accommodating people with disabilities is helping to raise awareness of their needs, promote universal physical and attitudinal accessibility, and further the progress that has been made in integrating this important and growing market segment into our world." Flora is an accomplished operations executive and well known in the industry. He has spent his entire 38-year career in virtually every phase of the hotel franchise business, and was with Holiday Inn Worldwide for over 20 years, beginning in 1970 as Director of Projects Development and System Administration. He completed his tenure as Corporate Director of Business Relations for Holiday Inn Worldwide overseeing the administrative and legal processes relative to the various divisions, subsidiaries and operating units including the Holiday Inn, Hampton Inn, Embassy Suites and Homewood Suites hotel brands. He was subsequently a member of the International Society of Hospitality Consultants (ISHC) and served as a franchise consultant and litigation expert for such hotel companies as Bass Hotels & Resorts (InterContinental), Best Western, Ramada, Howard Johnson, Days Inn, Sholodge and Sheraton, as well as franchisee entities and companies outside the hotel industry such as Shell Oil and Dairy Queen.

Flora is a qualified and approved Rule 31 Mediator in the field of General and Civil Mediation by the Tennessee Supreme Court Alternative Dispute Resolution Commission. He received his bachelor's degree in Business Administration from Carson-Newman College in Jefferson City, TN. Formerly of Memphis, Flora resides in Atlanta with his wife, Diana. He has a daughter, son and five grandchildren.

About SATH The Society for Accessible Travel & Hospitality, founded in 1976 by Murray Vidockler, CTC, is an educational non-profit (501C3) organization whose mission is to raise awareness of the needs of all travelers with disabilities, remove physical and attitudinal barriers to free access and expand travel opportunities in the United States and worldwide. Members include travel professionals, consumers with disabilities and other individuals and corporations. For information, visit www.sath.org.

SOURCE The Society for Accessible Travel & Hospitality

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