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Wendy Watkins, Delaware North Companies
Food service and financial executive to lead growth of airport restaurant and retail business
BUFFALO, N.Y. (April 17, 2008) – Delaware North Companies, a leading global hospitality and food service provider, has named food service and financial executive Matt King president of its Travel Hospitality Services operating company. Delaware North made the announcement in advance of the busy summer travel season that will see millions of domestic and international passengers converge upon the nation’s airports.
King will lead Delaware North’s airport and travel services division, which includes airport and retail hospitality operations at Minneapolis/St. Paul, Austin, Detroit and Los Angeles, and travel plazas on the New York State Thruway, to name a few of its high-traffic venues.
King joins Delaware North from Tthe Schwan Food Company, a multibillion dollar manufacturer of several popular frozen food brands, where he focused on the company’s strategy and growth agenda.
“With his extensive experience in food service and finance, Matt has the talent, strategic mindset and breadth of knowledge required to foster significant growth for Delaware North Companies Travel Hospitality Services,” said Chuck Moran, Delaware North president and chief operating officer.
“Delaware North has built a world-class reputation in the hospitality industry at prestigious venues such as Wembley Stadium in the United Kingdom, Kennedy Space Center in Florida, Yosemite National Park in California, and Boston’s TD Banknorth Garden,” Moran said. “With Matt’s new perspective, we are focused on leveraging the resources of Delaware North toward the growth of our travel hospitality business.”
He said the company conducted an extensive search to fill the vacancy created in June 2007, when Nick Biello assumed a new position as chief operating officer. Expanding the division’s leadership team by having both a president and COO would help reaffirm the company’s commitment to its long-standing airport hospitality business, Moran said.
Delaware North now operates more than 300 restaurants and retail stores at more than 20 major airports and travel centers. The company has won awards for its innovative and leading-edge hospitality and retail programs, and was the architect behind introducing branded concepts coupled with local and regional flavor to airports nearly two decades ago. King said he is eager to help Travel Hospitality Services develop new markets and bring the best global, national and regional brands to travelers.
“Delaware North Companies has a reputation for being an innovative and world-class company –one of the best in the world when it comes to hospitality management. I am excited to be a part of ensuring the long-term success of the company’s travel and airport brand,” said King. “Delaware North is not only a large and successful family-owned company, it is one that has had leadership and stewardship from the same family since its inception. It is a privilege to be part of a company that is steeped in history, but also incredibly creative and growth-focused.”
Bio and Background on Matt King
King brings a wealth of experience to the president’s post. As vice president and COO for Schwans’ Venture Group, he facilitated growth and acquisitions. Prior to that, as director of corporate development, he lead due diligence efforts for all of Schwan’s acquisition, divestiture and joint venture efforts, including a $240 million asset purchase of Mrs. Smith’s Bakery, the leading frozen pie manufacturer and marketer in the United States. He was also involved in the development of Schwan’s long-term strategic plan.
Prior to joining Schwan, King was vice president of investment banking at Dougherty & Company, a Minneapolis-based brokerage, and was an associate with the Investment Banking, Mergers and Acquisitions group for Piper Jaffray. He began his career with PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP.
King earned a law degree from the William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul, Minn., and a business degree from the University of St. Thomas.
He will be based at the company’s global headquarters in Buffalo, N.Y.
About Delaware North Companies Travel Hospitality Services
Delaware North Companies Travel Hospitality Services, a well-established subsidiary of Delaware North Companies, is one of the nation’s leading airport food service and retail companies, operating 300 restaurants and retail outlets in toll plazas and more than 25 airports worldwide, and serving more than 350 million customers each year. The GuestPath® customer service training program ensures that all Delaware North Companies Travel Hospitality Services associates embody the company’s vision of “delivering special experiences, one guest at a time.” Providing Care and Comfort to People Away from Home.”
About Delaware North Companies
Delaware North Companies is one of the world’s leading hospitality and food service providers. Its family of companies includes Delaware North Companies Parks & Resorts, Delaware North Companies Gaming & Entertainment, Delaware North Companies Travel Hospitality Services, Delaware North Companies Sportservice, Delaware North Companies International and Delaware North Companies Boston, owner of , TD Banknorth Garden, and American Park ‘n Swap. Delaware North Companies is one of the largest privately held companies in the United States with revenues exceeding $2 billion annually and 40,000 associates serving half a billion customers in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand. For more information, visit www.DelawareNorth.com.