ATLANTA—AAHOA announced that Cecil P. Staton is stepping down as president and CEO. Staton will continue to work with AAHOA’s leadership to ensure an effective transition and the success of ongoing projects and relationships as a consultant to AAHOA leadership. AAHOA Executive Vice President and COO Rachel Humphrey announced that she also will be exiting the association on August 7, 2021. Following the announcements, AAHOA has appointed hotel industry veteran Ken Greene to serve as interim president and CEO.
Cecil P. Staton
“On behalf of America’s hoteliers, we thank Cecil for his service to AAHOA,” AAHOA Chairman Biran Patel said. “For more than a year, hoteliers faced immense pressure as the COVID-19 pandemic brought a period of decade-long prosperity to a grinding halt. Cecil proved to be a steady hand, leading and guiding the association to record member engagement through this turbulent year. His leadership in the development of our Strategic Plan will have a lasting, positive impact upon the association.”
“I’m grateful to have led this organization through one of the hardest times in our industry’s and association’s history through our concentrated efforts related to COVID-19 support and relief and for making a difference in the lives of so many hoteliers,” Staton said. “AAHOA has the most dedicated team with whom I’ve had the privilege to work, and I’ve been impressed with their commitment to excellence from the moment I joined this great organization. Our work to develop AAHOA’s new Strategic Plan holds the promise to propel the association forward toward its fullest potential.”
“Over 20 years ago, Rachel began working with AAHOA by providing franchisees with legal advice,” Patel said. “In 2015, she became part of AAHOA’s executive leadership team as the VP of franchise relations before rising to become EVP and COO. She also served as interim president and CEO for most of 2019, including leading the association during AAHOA’s record-breaking 30th-anniversary celebration at the 2019 AAHOA Convention & Trade Show in San Diego. Rachel’s dedication to AAHOA and her impact on franchise and industry relations and association operations have helped us achieve a new level of success over the past six years. On behalf of the AAHOA membership and our Board, I thank her for her selfless dedication to serving AAHOA.”
“It’s been a privilege to serve America’s hotel owners and, more specifically, AAHOA’s nearly 20,000 members over the last six years,” Humphrey said. “I’m incredibly proud of AAHOA’s critical role in the industry today and the team I have served alongside. I know AAHOA will continue its successful trajectory of being the foremost resource and advocate for America’s hotel owners and look forward to seeing everyone in Dallas.”
“AAHOA is a strong organization led by exceptional teams,” Patel said. “Our dedicated Board of Directors, executive leadership team, and professional staff will continue to lead AAHOA into the future. AAHOA’s work on behalf of our members will continue to be guided by our Strategic Plan, which will carry the association’s strategy into 2023 and leave a lasting impact for many years to come.”
Greene is a well-known and highly respected industry veteran who is well-suited to lead AAHOA during the organization’s leadership transition. The Board’s selection of Greene as AAHOA interim president and CEO reflects the group’s trust and confidence that he can carry the organization forward as the industry continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. Greene is eager to continue to execute upon the Association’s 2021 through 2023 Strategic Plan and serve alongside AAHOA’s Board and staff to continue its vision to be the foremost resource and advocate for U.S. hotel owners.
During each chapter of Greene’s career, he’s been involved with AAHOA, its members, and industry partners. Prior to joining AAHOA, Greene served as a global leader of many hotel brands, including president, Americas for Radisson Hotel Group, president and CEO for Delta Hotels and Resorts, and in various roles at Cendant Corporation, Wyndham Worldwide, and many of its divisions. Greene also recently founded Greenehouse Consulting, which focuses on acquisitions, management, and advisory services to the hospitality industry.
Greene has an understanding of and an appreciation for the hotel industry and has many longstanding relationships that are well-suited to guide AAHOA during this leadership transition period. Greene also has served on and led several industry-related boards, providing and contributing to strategic direction in a number of capacities.
“Ken will be leading the Association in an interim capacity during a critical time for AAHOA members and the hotel industry,” Patel said. “We are confident his experience, relationships, and extensive knowledge and appreciation of the industry are the perfect fit to serve in this capacity as AAHOA Members continue down the road to recovery.”
“AAHOA’s nearly 20,000 members represent the heart and soul of America’s hospitality industry and I am eager to step into this role, working alongside the hotel owners who drive our industry forward each and every day,” Greene said. “As our industry recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s a critical time for owners and America’s tourism industry, and I’m looking forward to bringing my extensive experience to the organization to help propel America’s hotel industry forward on the path to recovery.”
Over the course of Greene’s career, he’s had the opportunity to personally get to know and form relationships with many of AAHOA’s members. Greene is well-positioned to build on AAHOA’s strong foundation as the organization carries out its vision of being the foremost resource and advocate for America’s hotel owners during this critical time in the industry’s recovery.
“We are confident Ken will bring the passion, dedication, knowledge, and insight he has exhibited in all of his prior roles within the industry to AAHOA and its members,” Patel said. “Please join us in congratulating and welcoming Ken in his new position as AAHOA interim
president and CEO.”