Conferences and EventsALISRed Roof's Lina Patel Honored With AHLA's 'Paving the Way Award'

Red Roof’s Lina Patel Honored With AHLA’s ‘Paving the Way Award’

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COLUMBUS, OHIO—Red Roof celebrated Lina Patel, director of strategic franchise initiatives, who was recognized by the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) with the “Paving the Way Award.” The award is reserved for female trailblazers throughout hospitality.

Patel was presented with the distinction during the Stars of the Industry Awards, hosted on Jan. 21 during the Night of a Thousand Stars Gala at the beginning of the Americas Lodging Investment Summit (ALIS) in Los Angeles. She was the sole winner in her category and was chosen from 250 applicants submitted by hospitality industry leaders and professionals.

Patel has been a hotel owner for 27 years and previously led one of the industry’s largest Franchise Advisory Committees, where she worked to improve conditions and opportunities for her fellow hoteliers. Patel joined the board of AAHOA (the Asian American Hotel Owners Association) in 2017 and helped launch the organization’s HerOwnership program to help further foster, promote, and empower women entrepreneurs in hospitality.

In 2023, Patel joined Red Roof intending to increase its population of women and minority hotel owners. She worked alongside Chief Development Officer Matthew Hostetler to launch RIDE with Red Roof (Road to Inclusivity and Diversity in Entrepreneurship), a program created to provide minority and women hoteliers access to capital, resources, education, and networking opportunities.

“Within the past year, we have seen the positive effects of Lina’s impact,” Hostetler said. “Her support in launching RIDE with Red Roof has helped us lay the foundation to further diversify hotel ownership and entrepreneurial opportunities for underrepresented groups. Under her leadership, Red Roof has signed two 100 percent woman-owned properties since RIDE’s inception—moving our over 35 percent of properties owned or partially owned by women closer to our 40 percent goal.”

RIDE, alongside its sister program, SHE, inspired by Red Roof, serves as Red Roof’s primary resource for otherwise underrepresented prospective business leaders looking to thrive in hospitality. Patel remains active on panels and at industry events, including participating in groups like the Women’s Innovation Council.

“Receiving the Paving the Way Award from AHLA is truly an honor,” Patel said. “The hospitality industry is full of talented, driven individuals who may feel lost or without opportunities. It is our job as hotel leaders to elevate them wherever possible. This includes finding ways for the entrepreneurial leaders of tomorrow to make inroads into hospitality and truly understand the possibilities and pathways to success within our industry. There is still work to do, but it is important to celebrate how far we have come. This award validates the efforts of countless hospitality professionals pushing to expand the potential of our industry–as well as its reach.”