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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Red Lion hires former Coldwater Creek executive

Red Lion Hotels has hired former Coldwater Creek executive James A. Bell as executive vice president and chief financial officer.

Bell, 47, will join the publicly traded hotel company at the end of October. He will take over a position held by Julie Shiflett. Shiflett will remain executive vice president of finance until Dec. 31.

Shiflett plans to return to a corporate consulting company she created before joining Red Lion.

Bell worked for Coldwater Creek during its final five years. He was executive vice president and chief financial officer from January 2012 to June 2014.

At that point, he was named interim CEO and helped arrange the final days of the women’s clothing retailer. The company, launched in Sandpoint in 1984 by Dennis and Ann Pence, shuttered its stores and ceased operations after declaring bankruptcy.

Bell left Coldwater Creek in September and said he was eager to join Red Lion, a company that he said has rebooted itself and changed focus. Its new CEO, Greg Mount, has said it will focus on selling off some of its hotels and concentrate on a franchise-hotel strategy.

Mount has also said Red Lion will refocus by having properties in the country’s top 80 markets, rather than remain a western U.S. operation.

“Red Lion is well positioned to grow with that new strategy,” Bell said.

A document filed with the Securities Exchange Commission noted he will be paid $285,000 per year. He also is able to earn additional bonuses through Red Lion’s executive compensation program.

Before joining Coldwater Creek, Bell was senior vice president of planning and finance for Harry & David Holdings. Before that, he was a senior finance director for The Gap Inc.

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