Shelley Cresswell Walker stresses quality training and a team-oriented work culture.

Shelley Cresswell Walker


The 41-year-old CEO of Greenwood hotelier Suresh Chawla’s new management company, Delta Lodging Group LLC, is expected to bring those emphases as well as a broad range of experience to managing the company’s 12 properties and its 250 employees.

“Shelley has a brilliant business mind-set and has a knack for organizational structure that is second to none,” said Chawla in a prepared statement. “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 Yazoo County native came to Greenwood in 2014 as a manager at Milwaukee Tool. She then served for a year as executive director of the Greenwood Convention and Visitors Bureau before going to work in June 2016 for Chawla Hotels, from which Delta Lodging Group is apparently spinning off.

She had worked for Chawla Hotels in various capacities since her hire and was promoted to vice president  in February of this year.

“When I moved back to the Mississippi Delta five years ago, I was on a very purpose-driven mission to make a difference in the region that has made me who I am today as a person and professional,” she said in a statement. “Over the years, I have been fortunate to have been trained and mentored by some of the most amazing leaders who saw leadership potential in me. I now strive to do that daily with those that I work with, from front-line team members to management.”

Walker also has held management and executive positions at her alma mater, Mississippi State University, Georgia-Pacific and East Central Community College.

Joining Walker on Delta Lodging Group’s management team are: Sarah Ozbun, director of operations for five  hotels in Greenville and Indianola; Emily Thornton, director of operations for four hotels in Greenwood, Grenada and Yazoo City; and Marcus McTeer, director of operations for three hotels in Clarksdale.

Walker 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.

Contact Tim Kalich at 581-7243 or

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