Richard C. Kessler, President, CEO and COO of The Kessler Enterprise, is a visionary and entrepreneur in the hotel industry, combining an inspiring business sense with creative energy and dedication to purpose.
Born in Savannah, Ga., Richard was raised a true gentlemen with a distinctive southern charm. After graduating from Georgia Institute of Technology with both Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Engineering, Richard earned honorary doctorate degrees from Valparaiso University and Newberry College. With motivation to become a self made man, combined with his character as a creative philanthropist and avid art collector, Richard was on his way to success at a very young age.
At the young age of 23, Richard Kessler became the right-hand man to real estate developer, Cecil Day, the founder of Days Inn Hotels. Richard helped found Days Inn in August of 1970, and was named President and CEO of the company by 1979. One year later, Richard became the President and Chairman of the company - he owned 20 percent of Days Inn when it was sold
During the 1980s, Richard owned a chain of banks in the United States for nearly three years. After moving forward from that business, Richard started his first theme hotel in Savannah in 1982. Only two years later, he formed his most famed accomplishment; The Kessler Enterprise. As Chairman and CEO, Richard has expanded his enterprise to include twelve outstanding, four-star boutique hotels around the country known as "The Kessler Collection."
Richard Kessler has become a nationally recognized industry leader with a community-minded focus and over 37 years of experience in the field of hotel development and operations. With a strong commitment to family and personal ties, Richard has developed a collection of one-of-a-kind, boutique hotels with plans to pass along the family business in years to come.
As a strong supporter of the arts, Kessler formed annual scholarship programs and contribution projects to support the community, for example, the New Ebenezer Retreat and Conference Center and the Treutlen House for Children. Kessler's awards, involvement and accolades also include:
- Florida Ernst & Young Master Entrepreneur of the Year Award, 2000
- Developer and Builders Alliance Developer of the Year Award, 2006
- Youngest CEO of Major Lodging Chain, 1982
- Alumnus Award of Georgia Tech
- Emory University Dean’s Medal for singular commitment and contribution to the Candler School of Theology
- Served 7 years on the Industry Advisory Council of the American Hotel and Motel Association
- Effingham County Honored Treutlen Award for Outstanding Leadership
- Served on Board of Directors of Lutheran Brotherhood, 1990-2001
The Kessler Collection hotels include:
- Casa Monica Resort & Spa, St. Augustine, FL
- Castle Hotel, Orlando, FL
- Grand Bohemian Hotel, Orlando, FL
- Grand Bohemian Hotel, Asheville, NC
- Beaver Creek Lodge, Beaver Creek, CO
- Bohemian Hotel Celebration, Celebration, FL
- Bohemian Hotel Savannah Riverfront, Savannah, GA
- Mansion on Forsyth Park, Savannah, GA
- Grand Bohemian Hotel Charleston, Charleston, SC
- Grand Bohemian Hotel Mountain Brook, Mountain Brook, AL