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Press Releases: Press Releases

Hotel Technology-Next Generation Names Permanent Executive Director

Wednesday, September 1, 2004  

Douglas Rice succeeds Matthew Dunn in Planned Transition

CHICAGO (September 1, 2004) -- Hotel Technology Next Generation (HTNG) announces the appointment of Douglas C. Rice as Executive Director, succeeding Dr. Matthew Dunn, who served as Acting Executive Director since early this year.  This planned transition marks the continued growth and impact of HTNG on the hospitality technology sector.  Dr. Dunn remains integrally involved in HTNG and will assume a formal advisory role.

Douglas Rice moves into the HTNG executive role from a successful career spanning more than 15 years as a consultant to senior executives throughout the hospitality industry.  Mr. Rice was one of the original visionaries and founders of HTNG, recruited many of the CIOs that formed its first Board of Directors, and has remained integrally involved throughout the early years of the organization, serving as Executive Advisor to HTNG since the organization was formalized. 

“The Board of Directors and I welcome Doug Rice as HTNG’s next leader, and as our first step in establishing a permanent organization” said Gebhard Rainer, President of HTNG and Vice President of Hotel Finance and Technology for Hyatt International Corporation.  He continued, “We also owe Matthew Dunn a tremendous debt of gratitude for his dedication and speed in building the organization to the point where a permanent Executive Director became feasible.  His success in establishing HTNG as a credible industry force far exceeded the Board’s expectations.  The time commitment Matthew made to HTNG was very significant, and we respect his need to refocus his own efforts on his consulting and speaking engagements.  We look forward to his continued active involvement in HTNG in an advisory role.”

“The tremendous growth in membership that Matthew achieved over the past six months has brought HTNG to a critical mass,” said Douglas Rice.  “I am delighted to have the opportunity to lead the organization into the future, and to address the technology challenges that have plagued the hotel industry for so many years.  The levels of interest we are now seeing in HTNG’s activities, across the entire spectrum of hotel companies and vendors, prove that our formula for customer-vendor cooperation is working.”

“There’s no better champion for HTNG than Doug Rice.” said Matthew Dunn.  “His acceptance of this position ensures that HTNG will be able to continue its forward momentum without interruption.  He has been integral in the organization from the beginning.  I can think of no better Executive Director for a forward-moving and forward-looking association in the hotel technology sector. His understanding of the industry as a whole is unparalleled. ”

Douglas Rice brings to HTNG 25 years of experience in travel marketing, information services and consulting, including 16 years in hospitality.  Through his company, Stratus Management Group, he has led consulting projects for dozens of major hotel companies and technology vendors in areas including marketing, distribution, technology strategy, revenue management, and corporate strategy.  In 2003-2004, as a consultant to Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, Mr. Rice played a key role in bringing to fruition the breakthrough technologies at the company’s new hotels in New York and in Washington.  In particular, he architected an approach to vendor cooperation and systems integration that led to comprehensive use of XML-based web services to seamlessly tie together disparate systems.  Much of the intellectual property developed by the vendors for this project was later contributed to the first HTNG workgroup, helping it to achieve rapid success. Previous milestones in Mr. Rice’s career include management roles at United Airlines and Data Resources, Inc, and an MBA from the Harvard Business School, where he earned top honors as a Baker Scholar.

Dr. Matthew Dunn originally joined HTNG in 2003 as a Board member, when he was CIO of Intrawest Corporation (NYSE:IDR), the leading developer and operator of village-centered resorts across North America.  Through a special arrangement between HTNG and his company, Socratech, Inc. (, Dr. Dunn undertook the Executive Director role for HTNG in February 2004 to see the organization through its critical startup phase for six months. Industry response was extremely positive, enabling HTNG to grow by 1100% in less than nine months. The organization now includes over 50 technology vendors, 30 hotel companies, and 20 consultants, media and academic members.

Ongoing HTNG Activities

The HTNG Workgroup that brought inter-vendor demonstrations to the recent HITEC conference continues to work toward fulfilling its charter.  In addition, HTNG has accepted applications for participation in the Property/Distribution Solutions Workgroup, the composition and kick-off of which will be announced in September.  

Two additional workgroups will also be announced during September, including one focused on Application Architecture and another on Guestroom Technology Services.  The latter group will address the so-called “Triple Play” of voice, video, and data over a single IP network in the hotel.

About Socratech, Inc. 

A boutique consulting and speaking firm, Socratech provides senior strategy and technology assistance to enterprises, technology companies, investment firms and community organizations. 

About Hotel Technology Next Generation 

The premier technology solutions association in the hospitality industry, HTNG is a self-funded, non-profit organization with members from hotel and hospitality companies, technology vendors to hospitality, and other industry members including consultants and academic experts. HTNG’s members participate in focused workgroups to bring open solution-sets addressing specific business problems to the hospitality market. 

Membership in HTNG is open to hotel and hospitality companies, technology vendors to hospitality, consultants, academics, press and others.   For more information, visit