AAHOA President & CEO
With any new job, it takes time for one to become familiar with the role, the institutions, the people, and how business gets done. In U.S. presidential politics, there is a fixation with a new president’s first 100 days in office. It takes some time to get into the groove, especially when that job is one of the most important in the world. 100 days. It just seems like such an arbitrary figure. Clocking in at a little over three months or a day or two over 14 weeks, it does not even line up neatly with how we typically measure time. Thankfully, I’m not saddled with the weight of the world as President of the United States. If anyone is counting, I’m also not quite past my first 100 days in my new job as AAHOA’s President & CEO, but I wanted to share with you some of my insights, observations, and experiences from the past three months that I’ve been leading this great association.
I had the pleasure of meeting the AAHOA Board of Directors at their last meeting in New Orleans in November. Seeing their level of dedication in guiding the association to best serve our more than 19,600 members is inspiring, especially considering that they volunteer for these positions. I also met with the Past Chairmen Council and found it encouraging that this group of passionate leaders remains so active and engaged with AAHOA. They provided me with an important historical perspective on the association.
So far, I’ve only met a handful of our thousands of AAHOA Members, but I’ve been impressed with the dynamism of these hoteliers. Everyone’s story is different, yet similar themes weave through each one. I look forward to meeting more of you this year, especially at the 2020 AAHOA Convention & Trade Show in Orlando, FL. I’ve also spent time working alongside every one of AAHOA’s professional staff, and it is encouraging to have such capable individuals working on behalf of America’s hoteliers.
January was National Human Trafficking Awareness month, and I was proud to speak at the No Room for Trafficking event in Miami, FL, where members of the hospitality industry, legislators, law enforcement, victims’ rights advocates, and the NFL came together to affirm our commitment to stopping trafficking and raise awareness of the problem prior to the Super Bowl. As hoteliers, we can be the first line of defense in communities across the nation when it comes to stopping traffickers. AAHOA’s Human Trafficking Awareness Training is an invaluable resource that we provide to members and their employees at no cost. I’ve completed the training, and I encourage you and your staff to complete it as well if you have not yet done so. Lives could depend on it. To learn more, visit www.AAHOA.com/HTAT. Last month, I also attended the ALIS conference where I met with several industry leaders and moderated a panel on development.
Our 2020 planning is in full swing, and we’ve organized a full year of Regional Conferences & Trade Shows, Town Halls, education sessions, webinars, advocacy at the state and federal levels, and much more for AAHOA Members. We have a big year ahead of us, and there is much we will accomplish together. I’m looking forward to it.