AHLA Announces 2022 Officers, Board of Directors, and Executive Committee

WASHINGTON—The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) announced its 2022 Officers, Board of Directors, and Executive Committee, which includes leaders representing all segments of the hospitality industry at a pivotal time for the industry’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Coming on the heels of record membership and engagement over the past two years, AHLA is launching a new strategic plan to guide the association.

Justin Knight, CEO of Apple Hospitality REIT, Inc., was named chair of the board; Leslie D. Hale, president and CEO of RLJ Lodging Trust, was named vice chair; Kevin Jacobs, CFO and president of global development at Hilton, joins as secretary/treasurer; and Tom Bardenett, executive vice president, asset Mmnagement at RLJ Lodging Trust, becomes chair of the AHLA Foundation Board of Trustees. Knight succeeds Mark S. Hoplamazian, president and CEO of Hyatt Hotels Corporation, who has served as chair for the past year and becomes immediate past chair.

“It is an incredible honor to be appointed Chair of the AHLA Board and build on the accomplishments of my predecessors to revive our industry and, more importantly, our workforce,” said Knight. “While our industry has a long way to go to regain what was lost during the pandemic, I am optimistic about the future of the hotel business and our association. Our strategic plan will guide AHLA into the next chapter, as we continue strengthening our industry and our workforce, and showcasing our leadership on important issues like human trafficking prevention, sustainability, and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI).”


“As we look ahead to 2022 and beyond, I’m incredibly proud of the depth of experience our Officers, Executive Committee, and Board members bring to the table, and that these individuals represent the most diverse group of leaders in our association’s history,” said Chip Rogers, president and CEO of AHLA. “We are grateful to these individuals for volunteering their time and energy to ensure that AHLA and our industry are successful as we continue moving toward recovery.”

Knight takes the helm of AHLA at a critical juncture for both the industry and the association, whose membership roster recently surpassed 30,000 members for the first time and includes 80 percent of all franchised hotels and the largest hotel companies in the United States. In addition to hoteliers, AHLA membership includes partner state associations, industry vendors and suppliers, hospitality students, and those who teach and mentor them.

AHLA and the hotel industry also continued its record engagement with policymakers, growing the HotelsACT grassroots network to nearly 60,000 people, putting a human face on the industry, and impacting important policy decisions in Washington and in state capitols and city halls throughout the country.

The AHLA Board of Directors represents leaders from the lodging industry, including brands, owners, real estate investment trusts (REITs), management companies, independent hotels, and state associations.

New members of the board appointed to two-year terms in 2022 include:

  • Mark Carrier, president, B.F. Saul Company Hospitality Group
  • Antoine Chahwan, president hotel operations, Americas East, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts
  • Greg Friedman, managing principal, CEO, Peachtree Hotel Group
  • Greg Juceam, chief operating officer, ESA Management LLC
  • Daniel Kornick, chief information officer, Loews Hotels & Co. (representing HTNG)
  • James Merkel, CEO, Rockbridge Holdings
  • Lynn D. Minges, president and CEO, NCRLA (representing ISHA)
  • Ravi Patel, president, Hawkeye Hotels
  • Keith Pierce, EVP, president franchise and development, Sonesta International Hotels Corporation
  • Amb. Gordon Sondland, founder and chairman, Provenance Hotels
  • Jonathan Stanner, president and CEO, Summit Hotel Properties, Inc.
  • Richard Stockton, president and CEO, Braemar Hotels and Resorts
  • Larry Trabulsi, executive vice president and managing director, CHMWarnick (representing HAMA)

Additionally, AHLA welcomed five new members to its Executive Committee, which serves as the association’s core governance body and guides its policy agenda. New representatives on the Executive Committee include:

  • Lawrence Cuculic, president and CEO, Best Western International, Inc.
  • Michael J. Deitemeyer, president and CEO, Aimbridge Hospitality
  • Carlos R. Flores, president and CEO, Sonesta International Hotels Corporation
  • Sheila C. Johnson, founder and CEO, Salamander Hotels & Resorts
  • Mitch Patel, president and CEO, Vision Hospitality Group Inc.
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