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Ashford Trust CEO Kessler is Stepping Down

Ashford Hospitality Trust said Douglas A. Kessler is voluntarily resigning as president and CEO to pursue other professional opportunities. He’ll be succeeded by J. Robison Hays, III, the Dallas-based REIT’s chief strategy officer, effective May 14.

“I would like to thank Douglas for his invaluable leadership and contributions to Ashford Trust during his considerable tenure,” said Ashford Trust chairman Monty J. Bennett. “He has been an extraordinary colleague, and instrumental in the growth of Ashford Trust since its IPO in 2003.”

Bennett added that with Hays’ breadth of experience since joining Ashford Trust in 2005, “we believe the transition will be seamless.” In taking the reins at Ashford Trust, Hays will resign as Ashford Inc.’s co-president and chief strategy officer, and as chief strategy officer of both Ashford Trust and Braemar Hotels & Resorts.

Kessler’s departure follows criticism over Ashford Inc.’s pursuit of $126 million in Paycheck Protection Program loans.

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About Paul Bubny

Paul Bubny serves as Senior Content Director for Connect Commercial Real Estate, a role to which he brings 13-plus years’ experience covering the commercial real estate industry and 30-plus years in business-to-business journalism. In this capacity, he oversees daily operations while also reporting on both local/regional markets and national trends, covering individual transactions across all property types, as well as delving into broader subject matter. He produces 15-20 daily news stories per day and works with the Connect team and clients to develop longer-form content, ranging from Q&As to thought-leadership pieces. Prior to joining Connect, Paul was Managing Editor for both Real Estate Forum and at American Lawyer Media, where he oversaw operations at both publications while also producing daily news and feature-length articles. His tenure in B2B publishing stretches back into the print era, and he has served as Editor in Chief on four national trade publications. Since 1999, Paul has volunteered as the newsletter editor of passenger rail advocacy groups (one national, one local).

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