WEST HILLS, Calif.— The Boutique & Lifestyle Lodging Association (BLLA) revealed the choice for the 2012 Person of the Year Award to be Joe McInerney, chairman of the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA). After a lengthy review of the nominations, BLLA believed Joe stood out as an individual who deserves to be recognized for his accomplishments over the past 12 years while at the helm of the AHLA.
Joe McInerney has contributed extensively to the travel and tourism industry for nearly 50 years. McInerney started off his career by moving quickly through the ranks of Sheraton until he was named president of ITT’s Sheraton franchise division in 1980. After 25 years with Sheraton, the Pritkzer family tapped him to be president/CEO to helm the launch of Hawthorn Suites. His next industry position came when Sir Rocco Forte named him president/CEO of Travelodge in 1991 and then president/CEO of Forte Hotels in 1992, finally appointing him to chairman in 1995. Prior to AH&LA, he was president and CEO of the Pacific Asia Travel Association and for the past 12 years – including such difficult times as 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina – the CEO of the American Hotel and Lodging Association.
In an announcement, John Russell, conference chair of the Leadership Symposium, stated, “Joe’s contributions to the industry are legendary and many. He reorganized AHLA to meet the needs of our ever changing industry and has been extremely supportive of other hospitality organizations. Joe has not only helped the travel industry domestically but internationally as well.”
“Mr. McInerney’s involvement with hospitality programs at colleges and universities is unparalleled and his commitment to hospitality education at all levels is exemplary. Under his leadership the hotel industry has a strong voice on Capitol Hill and through his efforts, the lobbying PAC has tripled. He is highly deserving of the honor of BLLA’s Person Of The Year 2012,” said Frances Kiradjian, BLLA Founder & Chair.
The award will be presented at the Gala Dinner being held during the Leadership Symposium at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel on Tuesday, October 23.