by Bhavesh Patel
AAHOA Chairman (2017-2018)
As millions celebrate Diwali, be sure to embrace the meaning behind the celebration.
This month, millions of people around the world will celebrate Diwali, a traditional Hindu festival that pays tribute to the victory of light over darkness. It is a longstanding tradition and patronage of Indian heritage honoring history, legend, folklore and family.
The importance of the first and last of these cannot be understated. Without the older generations to lead, guide educate and mentor the younger ones, customs cannot carry on or develop into better, brighter ones.
Legacy does not exist within a vacuum. It is only meaningful when others benefit from the wealth of that knowledge. Prior and present generations must be accountable for keeping traditions alive, but also supporting younger generations as they go on to make new and better strides.
Within the hospitality industry, veteran hoteliers who share their experience help bridge the gap for those who are just starting out in the profession. Ultimately, this ensures that the hospitality industry thrives for generations to come. With today’s advances in technology, communication, data and other means of progression, the sky really is the limit for them in their career and personal lives.
In the hotel business, for example, more and more of our young people are carrying on their families’ legacies AND reaching for new heights every day. This year, in fact, nearly 70 young professionals attended the AAHOA Young Professional Hoteliers Conference in Toronto. YP events held in Chicago and other cities earlier this year were completely sold out.
The interest and the potential for a new generation of leaders is there. But they need guidance as they make their way. AAHOA recently started a new mentor match program that is designed to connect more seasoned hospitality professionals to those who are just starting out.
We want our young professionals to have someone they can trust – a skilled and experienced advisor – to provide valuable insight on how to best reach their business and career goals. You might ask, what does it mean for me to be someone’s mentor and how can I best serve in that role?
- making yourself available to support and advise someone when they need it.
- providing that support in a way that is meaningful to that person.
- And always keeping their best interests in mind.
Participating in the AAHOA mentor match program – no matter whether you’ve just graduated or you’re nearing retirement – could make all the difference. If you are interested in becoming a mentor or mentee, please contact Member Services at 404-816-5759 or email [email protected].
I know there are some amazingly talented, smart and gifted hoteliers out there. We need to make sure to spread the wealth – just as we do during Diwali – for generations to come.
So please, get involved today.