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Press Releases: Press Releases

HTNG Names Michael Blake to Succeed Douglas Rice as CEO

Tuesday, April 21, 2015  

CHICAGO (April 21, 2015) – Hotel Technology Next Generation (HTNG), the membership association that unites the world’s hospitality companies and technology innovators to solve industry challenges, has named Michael Blake to succeed Douglas Rice as its Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer. Blake will start immediately, and will assume the CEO title when Rice retires on August 1, 2015.

Michael Blake has been an active HTNG supporter since shortly after joining Hyatt Hotels Corporation as its CIO in 2009. He served on HTNG’s Board of Directors from 2010 through early 2015, and as Treasurer from 2012 through early 2015. Blake’s history includes roles as CIO at Commune Hotels + Resorts as well as Hyatt, and senior financial positions at First Data Corporation, Kaiser Permanente, Sears and United Airlines. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from the University of Utah, an MBA in Finance and Economics from the University of Chicago and a Master of Technology in Computer Science from Northwestern University. 

HTNG’s Chief Executive Officer oversees day-to-day operations of the organization and supervises a staff of nine professionals. The position reports to an all-volunteer Board of Governors and President, drawn from top-level IT executives from 21 hotel groups from around the world.

HTNG’s President Monika Nerger, Global CIO of Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, said, “Michael Blake was selected after a very thorough and competitive search process. HTNG’s Succession Committee, which was appointed last year by the HTNG board, did an outstanding job,” said Nerger. “The selection of Michael Blake was the culmination of a rigorous process. We looked at leadership potential, business acumen, technology credentials and personal credibility, all of which Michael brings to the organization as its next CEO. We are very pleased with the outcome and I look forward to working with Michael going forward.”

Commenting on his selection, Michael Blake said, “I am thrilled to have the opportunity to be the next CEO of HTNG, and I look forward to building on its successes to date and creating many new ones in the years to come.”

Blake succeeds Douglas Rice, who was a founder of HTNG in 2002 and later became its first permanent staff executive. Rice has served nearly eleven years in his current role, growing the organization from a grass-roots startup to its current position as the leading trade association serving hospitality technology globally. “The board and members of HTNG owe Douglas Rice gratitude for taking what was really just an idea, first helping to make it a reality, and sticking with it for 13 years to make it the successful and positive force in the industry that it is today,” said Monika Nerger.

Rice will retain the title of Founder and CEO Emeritus after his retirement from HTNG. Rice said, “I have been incredibly privileged to have the opportunity to work with so many dedicated people over the years. It’s the right time to make way for the next generation of leadership, and I am fully supportive of Mike Blake as my successor. While he has the challenges of running the organization after August, I will still look forward to supporting him, and the organization, as a volunteer for many years to come.”




About Hotel Technology Next Generation

The premier technology solutions association in the hospitality industry, HTNG is a self-funded, nonprofit organization with members from hotel and hospitality companies, technology vendors to hospitality and other industry members including consultants, media and academic experts. HTNG's members participate in focused workgroups to bring to market open solution sets addressing specific business problems. HTNG fosters the selection and adoption of existing open standards. Where necessary, it also develops new open standards to meet the needs of the global hospitality industry.

Membership in HTNG is open to hotel and hospitality companies, technology vendors to hospitality, consultants, academics, press and others. Currently more than 400 corporate and individual members from across this spectrum, including most of the world's leading hotel companies and technology vendors, are active HTNG participants. HTNG's Board of Governors, consisting of 21 top IT leaders from hotel companies around the world, itself has technology responsibility for nearly 3 million guest rooms. HTNG publishes workgroup proceedings, drafts and specifications for all HTNG members as soon as they are created, encouraging rapid and broad adoption. HTNG releases specifications into the public domain as soon as they are ratified by the workgroups. For more information, visit