AHLA Foundation Announces 2023 Board of Trustees

WASHINGTON—The AHLA Foundation announced its newly elected 2023 Board of Trustees, which includes senior leaders from across the hotel industry. Tom Bardenett, chief operating officer for RLJ Lodging Trust, will continue his role as the chairman of the board; Julienne Smith, chief development officer, Americas, at IHG Hotels and Resorts remains vice chair; and Anu Saxena, president and global head of Hilton Supply Management, will continue to serve as secretary and treasurer.

“It is a privilege to be Chairman of the AHLA Foundation’s Board of Trustees and help guide meaningful progress across key challenges affecting our industry,” said Bardenett. “In 2022, the AHLA Foundation delivered on its vast agenda—including launching new DE&I trainings and resources, creating a human trafficking survivor fund, spearheading a nationwide career pathways awareness campaign, as well as expanding its empowering youth and apprenticeship programs. We will build on that momentum this year, and I eagerly anticipate working with the bright minds of the Board of Trustees and Foundation staff.”

In addition to ushering in a new Board of Trustees, the AHLA Foundation also welcomes a new president, Anna Blue. With her leadership, the AHLA Foundation will take on an ambitious agenda in the year ahead.

“As I embark on this new chapter, I am honored to be partnering with the 2023 Board of Trustees,” said Blue. “This year, we strive to deliver even deeper impact in the areas of workforce development, DE&I, and human trafficking awareness and prevention. I look forward to collaborating with such talented, passionate individuals as we fulfill the Foundation’s mission to empower our workforce and strengthen the hotel industry.”


New members of the board appointed to two-year terms in 2023 include:

  • Jean-Luc Barone, Chief Executive Officer, White Lodging
  • Andrea Foster, Senior Vice President of Development, Marcus Hotels & Resorts
  • John Lancaster, Vice President Emerging Markets Franchise Development, Choice Hotels International
  • Malaika Myers, Chief Human Resources Officer, Hyatt Hotels Corporation
  • Brian Quinn, Chief Development Officer, Sonesta International Hotels
  • Elaine Richard, Area Vice President, Americas Eastern Region, Marriott International
  • Ryan Rivett, President & Chief Executive Officer, My Place Hotels
  • Jon Stanner, President & Chief Executive Officer, Summit Hotel Properties
  • Tricia Taylor, Executive Vice President & General Manager, The Breakers Palm Beach
  • Suraj Bhakta, Chief Executive Officer, NewGen Advisory (Honorary Trustee)
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