Obama Nominates Travel Industry Ally for Commerce Secretary

President Barack Obama today nominated Chicago businesswoman Penny Pritzker, niece of Hyatt Hotels Corp. founder Jay Pritzker, as U.S. Secretary of Commerce. If confirmed by the Senate, Pritzker — who serves on Hyatt’s board — would spearhead the Obama Administration’s relations with business leaders.

The travel industry applauded the president’s choice, citing Pritzker’s “unique and direct” relationship to the travel and hospitality sectors.

Said U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow:

“Penny Pritzker is a proven professional who is more than qualified to lead the U.S. Commerce Department.

“Her successful track record as an innovative business leader and entrepreneur makes her ideally suited to take charge of a department focused on issues that directly impact U.S. economic growth. She brings unparalleled credentials to the U.S. Commerce Department as well as a unique and direct relationship to the travel industry through her lifelong affiliation with Chicago-based Hyatt Hotels Corp.

“Supporting one in eight American jobs and generating $2 trillion in the U.S. economy in 2012, the travel industry is a leading economic driver, and we have full confidence that Ms. Pritzker will be a champion for business, including the travel industry, and for policies to keep our nation strong and competitive.”

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