Progress keeps AAHOA going

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JAGRUTI PANWALA
AAHOA Chairwoman (2019-2020)

I’m excited to be stepping into the position of Chairwoman at such a transformative time for AAHOA. This year brings new opportunities and changes that I’m eager to be a part of. AAHOA achieved its most successful year to date in 2018, and I thank HP for his wonderful work as Chairman. His leadership, along with the dedication of my fellow AAHOA Officers, the Board of Directors, and Ambassadors allowed us to usher in this new chapter.

Our 30th anniversary is the perfect time to reflect on our history as an association and begin thinking about what we want to focus on in the future as the stewards of AAHOA. We have come this far and built AAHOA to what it is today only because we have been steadfast in our desire for improvement, achievement, and long-term growth. At this pivotal point in our history, we must ensure that the next 30 years are even more successful than our last.

It’s a responsibility that all of us share equally because AAHOA is uniquely different from other trade associations. We aren’t a group of hotel owners who simply joined an association; we are an association formed by the efforts of each individual hotelier, and that means every member plays a fundamental role in its success. AAHOA’s story is our story, and it will continue to reflect our efforts in the years to come.

I believe that one of AAHOA’s most important priorities is the education of the next generation of hoteliers. Our children and grandchildren, as well as other young entrepreneurs, may not be starting their businesses from scratch with little to no experience like many of us did, but equipping them with the know-how that we gained through the years can help them reach their goals. AAHOA can, and should, be the resource that provides them with the tools they need to learn how to facilitate brand relationships, manage a portfolio, and adapt to changing trends in the industry.

It’s also important in this regard for AAHOA to help promote diversity within the industry and the association. In recent years, the hotel industry has made great strides in opening the door to a more diverse array of hoteliers. More women are taking the leap toward hotel ownership, and it’s important that AAHOA spearheads outreach and support for these entrepreneurs. As hoteliers who often run family businesses, it’s up to us to offer encouragement for the business endeavors of our daughters and sons.

Successful stewardship requires us to protect and promote all of the good that AAHOA accomplishes through our many community and advocacy initiatives. Whether it’s increasing the number of hoteliers and employees who have taken BEST Inhospitable to Human Trafficking Training, sponsored by AAHOA, or Polaris, growing attendance at our state Lobby Days, or doubling our AAHOA PAC contributions, these are goals that will bring AAHOA to new heights. If reaching these goals means that we have to make changes to our current processes, that’s OK. Change means progress, and progress means success.

It’s my hope in this 30th year that we think big. Instead of being content with the accomplishments we have made to this point, we must continue to set new goals and put in the effort it takes to achieve them. I want each of us to look back at the work we did with AAHOA with pride, and inspire our children and grandchildren to be dreamers, innovators, and self-starters. We must be proactive in the creation of our path ahead and build the future we want to see together. I thank each of you for the good work you do, and I look forward to all of the successes we will achieve together this year.

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