With the second act of AH&LA’s new membership model, which launched in January, the association unveiled an entirely new board of directors this morning. Comprised of C-level lodging executives from every facet of the industry—hotel owners, REITs, chains, franchisees, management companies, independents, and state associations—the new board provides a good indication of just how well AH&LA’s new model is being adopted by the lodging industry. “The one thing that has been core to our transformation is the idea of bringing together the entire industry under one strong national umbrella,” says AH&LA President and CEO Katherine Lugar. “And the board of directors released today absolutely reflects this.”
In the release, Jim Abrahamson, AH&LA vice chair and CEO of Interstate Hotels and Resorts noted, “From brands to management companies to independent owners, this board is a veritable who’s who of our industry.” Members range from Mike Depatie, president and CEO of Kimpton to James Miles, general manager and COO of the Otesaga Resort Hotel (the full list of board members available here). “This is a group of strong, dynamic industry leaders who represent brands and owners, management companies, independents, and state associations,” says Lugar. “They will help to bring the alignment we need to speak with one strong voice.”
The new board was selected to reflect the strategic direction and membership model passed last June by a vote of AH&LA members. It will meet twice yearly to discuss a broad range of industry and association-related issues and will set the strategic direction of the association. “Equal spots are given to representatives from the hotel chains and brands as well as leading management companies, small owners to large REITs, independent hotels, and the state associations that remain a very important part of AH&LA,” says Lugar.
Another important addition to the board is Pratik R. Patel, president of REM Hospitality and the 2014 chairman of AAHOA. “Being fragmented hasn’t served us well in the past,” says Lugar. “I think it’s absolutely critical that we build a much stronger alignment and partnership going forward, and having key representatives from AAHOA directly involved with the board is a part of that.”
“This is an important milestone in our restructuring,” says Lugar.