IHG Dedicates First White Oak to Young Hotelier Lost to Cancer

On April 14, Clyde J. Harris, III, and his company, American Hotel Development Partners (AHDP), will commemorate the first White Oak tree which is to be planted at the company's new Candlewood Suites hotel in Columbia, S.C., in honor of his son, Clyde J. Harris, IV, who in 2006 at the age of 35, passed away after a three year battle with tongue and neck cancer.

The White Oak tree is the first from InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) to be planted in honor of Clyde. IHG will donate a tree to be planted at every IHG hotel its franchise partner, AHDP, develops. A plaque with the history of Clyde's brave fight will be installed in each hotel lobby.

“Many of us at IHG have known the Harris family for many years and we are honored to help their family in preserving Clyde's memory,” said Steve Porter, president, the Americas, IHG. “The Harris family is part of the IHG family.”

Clyde came from several generations of career hoteliers starting with his grandfather, Clyde Harris, II, who began his career in 1937 at the Ritz, N.Y. After six years he moved to the Plaza Hotel, N.Y. as the Director of Catering for 10 years and then to the Waldorf Astoria, N.Y. as Director of Catering and Entertainment.

Following in his footsteps was Clyde J. Harris, III, the former Director of Development for all IHG company-owned and managed hotels. He assisted in the launching of the Crowne Plaza brand in 1984 and the Staybridge Suites brand in 1998 and he worked on the acquisition of the Candlewood Suites brand in 2004. Today, Mr. Harris, III directly oversees site selection, hotel development and daily hotel operations for AHDP through its subsidiary, the Harris Hotel Group, LLC. AHDP currently has ten hotel properties being built and is one of the fastest growing franchisees in the IHG system.

As a graduate of Curry College in Boston, MA, Clyde J. Harris, IV began his career at the Ritz Carlton in Buckhead, GA., before moving to the Swiss Hotel and finally working as Assistant Chef at The Jazz Corner in Hilton Head, S.C. If he had survived, the youngest Harris was slated to work along side his father in the daily operations of the Candlewood Suites hotel currently being built in Bluffton, S.C. The local government in Bluffton has decided to name the street outside this new hotel as 'Young Clyde Court.'

AHDP and IHG are proud of the fine accomplishments of this young man and are excited at the education and goodwill to be generated by this tree planting project.

For further information please contact: Mr. J.R. Dubler, Director of Marketing 941-918-4300 or jdubler@gdgfl.com