Kelly Led Growth of Delaware North Companies Parks & Resorts in North America and Australia
BUFFALO, N.Y. (Oct. 17, 2012) – Delaware North Companies, a global leader in hospitality and food service, today named Kevin Kelly to the newly created position of vice president of shared services for the company’s worldwide operations.
Currently president of Delaware North Companies Parks & Resorts, Kelly will oversee enterprise-wide services – including retail, the Culinary and Hospitality Council, supply management services, facilities, corporate security and the GreenPath environmental management program. Shared services are involved with each operating company within Delaware North Companies vast portfolio of locations and industries.
Kelly’s appointment and other strategic leadership changes were announced by Delaware North Companies President and Chief Operating Officer Charles E. Moran as part of the company’s overall strategy for growth in North America and around the world. The changes take effect Jan. 1, 2013.
“Kevin Kelly has led the growth of Delaware North Companies Parks & Resorts in recent years, and I know his operational and retail background will be valuable as we build this new and important area of our company,” Moran said. “He will work to ensure Delaware North is fully leveraging those areas where value can be created by sharing talent, knowledge and skills across the company.”
Under Kelly’s leadership since 2005, the Parks & Resorts division has secured important contract extensions at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex and Yosemite National Park, as well as recent National Park Service contracts at Olympic and Shenandoah national parks. In addition, Kelly led the acquisition of three hotels in West Yellowstone, Mont. Kelly also led the company’s newest additions to its hotel portfolio – Lizard Island, Heron Island, Wilson Island, El Questro and Kings Canyon in Australia. Under Kelly’s leadership in the Parks & Resorts, the company was named as a top hotel management company and several of its properties were regularly ranked in the world’s best.
Kelly joined Delaware North Companies Parks & Resorts in 1996 as director of retail operations at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, which is managed by Delaware North. He later served as director of retail operations and then chief operating officer for Delaware North at Yosemite National Park before going on to serve as a regional vice president for the division and president of the company’s Yosemite National Park operations
In addition to his leadership role with Delaware North, Kelly serves on the boards of the Buffalo Olmsted Park Conservancy and the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural Site Foundation. He has been a strong advocate for responsible stewardship of U.S. national parks through participation on numerous committees and councils at a national level, including the National Parks Hospitality Association, of which he is vice-chairman.
Rick Abramson, currently president of Delaware North Companies Sportservice, succeeds Kelly as president of Delaware North Companies Parks & Resorts. In addition, Abramson will lead the company’s Australia and New Zealand operations – including overseeing its extensive sports venue, travel hospitality and luxury resort business – and pursue opportunities for growth in Asia, including India, in the new role of executive chairman of Delaware North Companies Australia and Asia.
Moran said the company’s ability to look well into the future – including making these types of leadership changes – is a significant benefit of being a privately held, family-owned company.
“Publicly-traded companies must focus on the short term, whereas Delaware North has the ability to think longer term, especially related to its imperatives for growth. This is important because we expect our growth to continue to accelerate as we explore a growing spectrum of new and exciting opportunities, both organically and through acquisition around the world,” Moran said.