AAHOA Chairwoman (2019-2020)
AAHOA is an association where hoteliers work together to lift each other up. When we succeed in our businesses, we succeed as an association and as an industry. In my first six months as AAHOA Chairwoman, I saw how our Board of Directors, our Ambassadors, our members, and our professional staff all came together to make substantial progress in key areas that will continue to build up our association. When we work together, there is nothing that we cannot accomplish.
The launch of MyAAHOA.com this summer is a game changer for our association and our nearly 19,000 members. As AAHOA continues to listen to member feedback about how we can serve America’s hoteliers, we are tailoring our online tools to help hotel owners get the most out of their membership. Through this new online portal, hoteliers can manage all aspects of their membership, access hundreds of exclusive webinars and educational content through the AAHOA HOTEL OWNERS ACADEMY™, register for events, and share property information securely and confidentially. This last feature can play a critical role in helping our association work with lawmakers, brands, and vendors. As more AAHOA Members enter their property information, it helps us paint a more complete picture of our membership and our footprint not only in the hospitality industry but also in the American economy.
I am proud of the hard work and level of engagement I’ve seen from our Regional Directors and Ambassadors. They are encouraging more hoteliers to attend AAHOA events, and it is inspiring to see the innovative drive behind some of these events such as the recent tri-state Town Hall in Memphis, TN.
AAHOA’s young professionals and women hoteliers are building a lot of momentum for their events and bringing hotel owners and prospective owners into AAHOA’s orbit. I am also pleased by the turnout at the 2019 Legislative Action Summit. More than 200 AAHOA Members traveled to Washington, D.C., to advocate for our industry and met with more than 200 senators, representatives, and professional staff.
Member engagement also continues to be a driving force in promoting AAHOA as a leading voice in the fight against human trafficking. Thanks to our team’s hard work, more hoteliers and their employees are completing AAHOA’s Human Trafficking Awareness Training. Emails, text messages, and robo calls imploring people to take the training are effective, but hotelier-to-hotelier appeals from those who not only complete the training themselves but also train all their employees is remarkably impactful in pushing others to do the same.
AAHOA and the American Hotel and Lodging Association are holding joint anti-trafficking events across the country to raise awareness of the issue and train hoteliers. Governors, first ladies, attorneys general, U.S. senators and representatives, and other elected officials are partnering with our associations in this fight, and we are demonstrating that our industry is part of the solution when it comes to ending trafficking in our communities. AAHOA partner Businesses Ending Slavery and Trafficking (BEST) is conducting trainings at these events, and we are seeing very positive media coverage of our efforts to elevate this issue and hoteliers’ commitment to combating human trafficking.
We are achieving great things as an association, and I look forward to the next six months and all that we will accomplish together.