Industry NewsAHLA Announces 2024 Officers, Executive Committee, and Board of Directors

AHLA Announces 2024 Officers, Executive Committee, and Board of Directors

WASHINGTON—The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) announced its 2024 officers, Executive Committee, and Board of Directors, which all include leaders from a variety of hospitality industry segments.

Kevin Jacobs, Hilton’s chief financial officer and president, global development, was named chair of the board; Vision Hospitality Group President and CEO Mitch Patel was named vice chair; Marriott International Group President, United States and Canada Liam Brown was named secretary/treasurer; and IHG Hotels & Resorts Chief Development Officer, Americas Julienne Smith was named chair of the AHLA Foundation Board of Trustees.

Jacobs succeeds RLJ Lodging Trust President and CEO Leslie D. Hale, who served as AHLA’s board chair in 2023 and will continue on the board as immediate past chair. Pebblebrook Hotel Trust Chairman and CEO Jon Bortz continues as chair of the HotelPAC Advisory Council, and AHLA President and CEO Chip Rogers continues as president and CEO of the board.

“It’s an honor to serve as chair and help build upon AHLA’s impressive record of accomplishments on behalf of the hospitality industry nationwide,” said Jacobs. “I look forward to helping AHLA advance policies in support of our incredible industry, deliver exceptional member services and communications support, and rally the industry around our shared priorities.”

“Year after year, AHLA raises the bar for hospitality advocacy and member services thanks in large part to the amazing leaders from all sectors of our industry who serve on our board and executive committee,” said Rogers. “We have assembled another slate of extraordinary executives in 2024. Their guidance and counsel will be instrumental to delivering advocacy victories for our members in 2024.”

In 2023, AHLA advocacy efforts led to:

  • A clarification in Paycheck Protection Program eligibility guidelines that will save hoteliers an estimated $14 billion
  • A $9 increase in the continental U.S. per diem rate that will generate an estimated $300 million for hoteliers
  • The release of an additional 64,716 H-2B temporary nonagricultural worker visas for fiscal year 2024

AHLA’s Board of Directors and Executive Committee include leaders from all sectors of the lodging industry, including brands, owners, real estate investment trusts (REITs), management companies, branded properties, independent hotels, and state associations. New members for 2024 are:

AHLA Executive Committee:

  • Julie Arrowsmith, president and CEO, G6 Hospitality, LLC.

AHLA Board of Directors:

  • Kurt Alexander, president, Omni Hotels & Resorts
  • Cody Bradshaw, managing director, global head of hotel asset management, Starwood Capital Group
  • Meghan Connolly, SVP/GM, global client group, American Express
  • David Duncan, president and CEO, First Hospitality
  • Bryan Giglia, CEO, Sunstone Hotel Investors, Inc.
  • Sarah Gulla, SVP, asset management, Pebblebrook Hotel Trust (Hospitality Asset Managers Association)
  • Michael Jacobson, resident and CEO, Illinois Hotel & Lodging Association
  • Alexi Khajavi, president, hospitality, travel and wellness, Questex
  • Ayesha Molino, president and COO, ARIA and Vdara; chief public affairs officer, MGM Resorts International
  • Michael Morton, SVP brand management, Best Western Hotels & Resorts
  • Vinay Patel, president and CEO, Fairbrook Hotels
  • Brad Rahinsky, president and CEO, Hotel Equities
  • Azim Saju, CEO and president, HDG Hotels
  • Scott Strickland, EVP, chief information and distribution officer, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts (HTNG)
  • Shai Zelering, managing partner, Brookfield