Chawla rebrands, names Walker CEO of Delta Lodging Group

By FROM STAFF REPORTS,

Chawla Hotels has undergone a rebranding.

Hotelier Suresh Chawla announced this week the formation of his new management company, Delta Lodging Group LLC.

The move comes a little over a month after former Chawla Hotels Chief Executive Officer Dinesh Chawla was arrested at Memphis International Airport, accused of stealing luggage valued in the thousands of dollars, according to multiple reports at the time.

Longtime Chawla executive Shelley Cresswell Walker has been named CEO of Delta Lodging Group, according to a press release issued by the organization this week.

It is unclear at this time what role, if any, Dinesh Chawla will play in the newly-formed company.

"Shelley has a brilliant business mindset and has a knack for organizational structure that is second to none," Delta Lodging Group President Suresh Chawla said in making the announcement. "Her background is perfect for our company. She comes with experience in manufacturing, service, workforce education and tourism. She will really elevate our new company to be the premier hotel management company in the state of Mississippi."

The Chawla family has operated multiple hotels in the Mississippi Delta for years, including one of their recent developments, a Hampton Inn in Indianola.

Walker has assembled a team of three directors of operation to help oversee the dozen locations across the region, the release said.

Sarah Ozbun will serve as director of operations for the Greenville Hampton Inn, Greenville Holiday Inn Express, Greenville EconoLodge and the new Tru by Hilton Greenville, which opened Sept. 26. Ozbun also oversees the Hampton Inn of Indianola.

Walker is being assisted in another Delta market by Director of Operations Emily Thornton, who will oversee the operations of the Hampton Inn of Greenwood, Holiday Inn Express of Greenwood, Holiday Inn Express of Grenada and Hampton Inn of Yazoo City.

Finally, Walker will be assisted by veteran hotelier Marcus McTeer, who will serve as director of operations and oversee the operations of the Hampton Inn of Clarksdale, Comfort Inn of Clarksdale and the Rodeway Inn of Clarksdale.

"I am looking forward to my continued business partnership with Suresh Chawla,” Walker said. “We will be working together along with our team to take the hospitality and hotel industry to the next level in our region and state through Delta Lodging Group, LLC."

In the past, Walker has enjoyed many management and executive positions at Mississippi State University, Georgia-Pacific, East Central Community College, Milwaukee Tool and the Greenwood Tourism Commission.

She is married to John Paul Walker, who works as assistant vice president and branch sales leader for CB&S Bank in Greenwood.

They have two children, Kaitlyn (14) and Fin (10).

They are active members of Westminster Presbyterian Church and serve in various volunteer roles, committees and boards throughout the region and state

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