Mark Carrier’s Journey to the Top of the Industry

While there is no doubt that AHLA’s reach in the lodging industry has grown, Carrier also wants to deepen engagement. “We’ve especially grown membership on the leadership side of the industry,” Carrier says. “The senior executives of major hotel brands, management companies, and ownership groups are actively engaged and energized to serve. I will encourage more professionals to become engaged—general managers and other team leaders—so that they feel connected to AHLA and draw on the association’s resources.”

These resources include everything from data to education and scholarships. Recently, on a trip to New York City, Carrier had an opportunity to meet with student AHLA chapters from eight universities throughout the United States. “To be able to engage with the young folks who are currently going through their hospitality training was amazing. And it was great to be able to talk to them about their relationship with AHLA. It really gave me a sense of how we can continue to strengthen our association and develop deeper engagement throughout the entire industry.” The AHLA Educational Foundation provides industry leading scholarship opportunities at all levels of education.

In his years of service to AHLA, Carrier has developed a strong appreciation for the role state associations have in positively impacting the hotel industry. “The professionals who lead the state associations, whether it’s California, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Texas, or Virginia, these are people working every day to make a difference. There are so many issues that come up at the state and local level that could become national issues if they’re not dealt with effectively at an early stage. We stand in partnership with these state associations and know that they are critically important to AHLA and the industry as a whole. I encourage my peers in the industry to actively engage on the state as well as the national level.”

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With so many excellent partners and the entirety of AHLA’s 24,000 members behind him, Carrier is so excited to make a difference in an industry that he loves. “What’s so fantastic about the hotel industry is that—at all levels—you have an opportunity to make a difference in other people’s lives. Providing excellent service is the foundation of our careers and we have the opportunity to make it happen.”

Hospitality is also a sophisticated business, Carrier points out. “It involves everything from finance and real estate development to operational execution to the creativity of great marketing and digital programs and technology. The breadth of this industry is so enjoyable, no matter what your career interests, you can find a home in the hotel industry that’s right for you.”

Carrier’s enthusiasm will surely carry him and AHLA positively over the next two years. He most looks forward to partnering with Katherine Lugar, the leader of AHLA, her fine team and the officers, the Executive Committee, the many engaged members of the Board, and, of course, the membership to share what makes the lodging industry great. The story of the industry is being told through AHLA’s “Dreams Happen Here” campaign. “It’s really important for our industry to tell our story in a way that engages people. We are a fantastic industry for employment, investment, and personal growth, and everyone should know it.”