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Posts tagged: Washington Water Power

Jon Eliassen recalls the contributions to WWP board by the late Gen. Schwarzkopf

Jon Eliassen, the current CEO of Red Lion Hotel Corp., sent us this afternoon his impressions of H. Norman Schwarzkopf's contributions on the Washington Water Power board, from 1993 to 1997.

To counter any who might have thought an Army general was just window dressing on the board, Eliassen, who a company VP of finance at the time, recalls a man fully focused on the utility's business.

Eliassen's offered comment is:

“The General was a thoughtful, articulate and engaged board member, and he was always well prepared and always willing to offer comments and questions—Great military leaders translate well into very capable leaders in many business situations, and Norm was no exception.   It was a pleasure to work with him for those four years he sat on our boards of WWP and of Pentzer.”

In the 1990s Gen. Schwarzkopf sat on the Washington Water Power board

As just a little footnote to the obituary of former U.S. Army General Norman Schwarzkopf, we'll mention that the guy served for more than three years on the board of Washington Water Power, now Avista.

In 1997 SR business writer Bert Caldwell took note of Mr. Schwarzkopf's departure from the utility's board:

Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf will step down from the Washington Water Power Co. board of directors in May after four years of service. With the consent of shareholders, he will be replaced by John Kelly, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Alaska Air Group and Alaska Airlines.

The changes are the first since Schwarzkopf joined the Spokane utility's board in 1993. The company said schedule demands dictated the decision by Schwarzkopf, who has accepted positions on several other corporate and nonprofit boards since he retired from the U.S. Army after leading allied forces in the Gulf War.
  

Taking the board position was an obvious career move for the general at a time when he could partay his public fame into some sort of corporate credential.

One has to believe WWP brought Schwarzkopf onto the board not so much because of his executive insights.

Likely, it was WWP's attempt to add a little glitz to its board.

Red Lion Hotels revamping website to get more booking revenue, using hyperlocal content

Spokane’s Red Lion Hotels is revamping its website in hopes of getting more people to book visits there instead of through online travel sites.

Company Executive Vice President Harry Sladich said the makeover will affect the main Redlion.com site plus 44 microsites for the chain’s individual hotels.

The goal is to save money by gaining more online reservations at its own sites instead of through online companies such as Expedia or Hotels.com.

“When (guests) make reservations through online travel agents, we take a substantial discount on the money they’re spending,” Sladich said.

The discount varies depending on how big the booking site is. Big sites like Expedia or Travelocity get close to 35 percent; smaller sites are taking cuts in the 20 percent range, Sladich said.

All bookings made at Red Lion’s site stay with the company.

To read the full story, go to Spokesman.com starting after 9 p.m. on Friday, May 4.

Red Lion Hotels trying to sell properties in Missoula and Medford

Spokane-based Red Lion Hotels Corp. announced they're preparing to sell two of its hotels in Medford and Missoula.

Both hotels were part of a group previously leased from iStar Financial Inc. of New York.

Last week Red Lion purchased the hotels to end the leases. The company said at last week's announcement it would sell some of the hotels and keep others.  Keep in touch to see which other hotels in the group will also go on the for-sale block.

Jon E. Eliassen, president and CEO, said, “We will continue to look for ways to strategically position Red Lion with hotels that fit the brand going forward. Selling these two properties also furthers our effort to restructure our balance sheet, which will give the company more financial flexibility and increase shareholder value.”

 

What keeps Eliassen ticking? Sunday’s story looks into his post-retirement career

Jon E. EliassenPeople who know Jon Eliassen say he's the busiest retired person they know.

In Sunday's Business section of The Spokesman-Review, we take a look at how Eliassen, who retired in 2002 after 33 years at WWP and Avista, has become a very busy executive around the area.

Eliassen has plenty to say about retirement and what he expected to do once he left Avista.

He continues serving, for the time being, as CEO and president of Red Lion Hotels Corp.

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