Hotel franchising veteran John C. Buttolph, 78, died recently in Hendersonville, TN. After more than three decades in the hotel business, the tall, gruff Buttolph retired in 2003. At retirement, he was vice president of franchising and development for ShoLodge Inc., which at the time operated the Shoney's Inn and GuestHouse International brands. Before joining the company in the mid-1990s, John held a variety of senior franchising executive positions with Prime Motor Inns, Howard Johnson and Hospitality Franchise Systems.
John started his professional life in the rough-and-tumble world of real estate development in New Jersey. To survive in that industry, John developed a tough demeanor that really covered a much softer side. I remember seeing him years ago at the funeral of New York hotel real estate legend Steve Brener. John talked very emotionally about the influence Steve had on his career and personal life and wasn't afraid to shed a tear in mourning for his friend and mentor.
John is survived by his wife, Charlene, a son and five daughters.