IRVING, TX (January 27, 2009) –The Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI)  has selected Tom Santora, chief marketing officer and senior vice president of sales for Dallas based Omni Hotels, as one of the “Top 25 Most Extraordinary Minds in Sales and Marketing” for 2008. The sixth annual list recognizes the “best of the best” in the hospitality, travel and tourism industries, and the recipients were honored at HSMAI’s annual Adrian Awards gala last night in New York City. The 2008 “Top 25” recipients were judged by a panel of senior industry executives for their recent work based on the following criteria: creativity and innovation; cutting edge sales or marketing campaigns; triumph in challenging situations; and sales efforts that resulted in dramatic gains. 

“Tom’s inclusion in the Top 25 list is a testament to the exceptional talent we have working to propel our brand forward,” said Mike Deitemeyer, president of Omni Hotels. “His engaging leadership, broad knowledge base and high-end hotel expertise has enabled us to continue to effectively engage and excite new customers and guests.”

Santora has more than 20 years of experience in the hotel industry and leads the award-winning hotel company’s continued brand growth and development. He is responsible for establishing and driving strategic plans across all disciplines including advertising, public relations, e-commerce, customer loyalty, global sales, revenue management as well as electronic and call center distribution. 

Prior to joining Omni Hotels, Santora was executive vice president of sales & marketing for Kor Hotel Group, where he built the sales and marketing team and set the overall position for the company’s two iconic boutique brands, Viceroy and The Tides. He also played an integral role in their substantial portfolio growth. Before joining Kor, Santora served in various sales and marketing positions during his 16 years with Marriott, including opening the flagship Renaissance Hollywood Hotel, establishing centralized group sales centers in the west and facilitating national sales schools.

“This year, HSMAI received more nominations than ever,” said Dorothy Dowling, HSMAI board of directors’ chair and senior vice president of marketing and sales at Best Western International. “The quality of the field of candidates was outstanding and is truly representative of the creative work being implemented throughout the industry by top professionals today.”

In addition to being honored at the annual Adrian Awards gala, recipients will be featured in an HSMAI Marketing Review article. The HSMAI Adrian Awards honor creative brilliance and best practices in hospitality, travel and tourism-related marketing. In its 52nd year, the competition has evolved into the world's most renowned and prestigious advertising, public relations, and web marketing competition specifically tailored for the hospitality, travel, and tourism industries.


Omni Hotels creates compelling, memorable guest experiences at 43 luxury hotels and resorts in leading business gateways and leisure destinations across North America. From exceptional golf and spa retreats to dynamic business settings, each location features four-diamond services, including award-winning signature restaurants, Wi-Fi connectivity and unique fitness options. Omni’s mission for total customer service is further supported by its “Power of One” program that empowers associates to make on-the-spot decisions to meet or exceed guest expectations. Guests can locate hotels and book accommodations online or by calling 1-800-THE-OMNI.


HSMAI is the hospitality industry source for knowledge, community, and recognition for leaders committed to professional development, sales growth, revenue optimization, marketing, and branding. With a strong focus on education, HSMAI has become the industry champion in identifying and communicating trends in the hospitality industry, and bringing together customers and members at annual events, including HSMAI's Affordable Meetings®. Founded in 1927, HSMAI is an individual membership organization comprising more than 7,000 members worldwide, with 40 chapters in the Americas Region. For more information on HSMAI, contact the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International, 1760 Old Meadow Road, Suite 500, McLean, Va. 22102; (703) 506-3280; fax (703) 506-3266, or visit their website

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