Former AAHOA President & CEO
The Greek philosopher Heraclitus once famously stated: “There is nothing permanent but change.” As I move to a new life chapter, I realize that change, while inevitable, can be painful. However, it also can be good.
For the past nine years, I’ve had the opportunity to work with some of the most impressive people I have ever met. They are entrepreneurs, risk takers, dreamers, leaders, and builders. Collectively, they are AAHOA.he Greek philosopher Heraclitus once famously stated: “There is nothing permanent but change.” As I move to a new life chapter, I realize that change, while inevitable, can be painful. However, it also can be good.
Rarely does one get the chance to change his life in such a positive way as I have following my introduction to AAHOA in 2009. Little did I know at the time that I was embarking on a journey that would lead me to make hundreds of friends among the hotel owners who make our industry all that it is for millions of people.
Among them, I’ve met leaders who could stand shoulder to shoulder with the most successful and recognized names in business and politics, people like past Chairman Mehul Patel. I would trust Mehul to captain anything I was involved with. Men like him are rare in life, and I am blessed to have spent time in his presence.
When I think of human decency, Bruce Patel comes to mind. Altogether, I probably spent 1,000 hours with him, and believe me, after that much time, you really get to know a person. He is an example of the type of man you would want your son to grow up to be.
When I think of fun, the list is too extensive for this column, but I’ll start with Pratik Patel. He and his family turn every moment you’re with them into a smile. And Vipul Dayal and Timmy Patel have a knack for making every occasion a joyous one. If you’ve ever been around those two, even briefly, you know exactly what I mean. I also am reminded of Tarun Patel and Bhavesh Patel and the many hours I spent with them. They are the kind of people you just want to sit around and talk to, especially about football. Thoughts of inspiration bring Champ Patel, Heetesh Patel, and Jagruti Panwala immediately to mind. But they are just three of the dozens of AAHOA members who have inspired me in so many positive ways.
And no list would be complete without Binita Patel, one of my absolute favorite members. AAHOA needs more people like her in its ranks. In fact, it needs more women, in general. Their presence would only serve to make a great organization better.
Space limitations prevent me from naming the hundreds of others who have been instrumental in my personal and professional growth over the years. But please know that each and every one of you has had a profound impact on my life, and I am truly grateful for the time we’ve spent together.
As my time at AAHOA draws to a close, I want to give heartfelt thanks to the most important group of all – the staff I have been blessed to work with for these past years. Whatever accolades I have received and whatever milestones we have achieved were because of their hard work and dedication to me and this organization. It is the realization that I will be spending less time with these dear friends that makes this life change more painful. Yet, it is the knowledge that I will continue to help lead our wonderful industry that fills me with hope and optimism for the future.
So, with that, I’d like to again say thank you to each and every member for allowing me to be a part of the AAHOA family, and I wish you all the very best life has to offer.