Cecil P. Staton
AAHOA President & CEO
In normal times, AAHOA hosts the industry’s largest in-person convention and trade show for our members, staff, industry, and vendor partners. While planning this year’s event, our utmost priority has been to preserve the health and wellbeing of the AAHOA community. We have had to make difficult decisions over the past several months from first postponing the event to then transitioning the 2020 AAHOA Convention & Trade Show to a virtual space. Thousands of AAHOA Members and hundreds of vendor partners signaled their readiness to convene in Orlando, yet the unfortunate spike in Florida’s COVID-19 cases in addition to local health and safety guidelines directed our decision to move the convention online.
As I enter my ninth month as AAHOA’s President & CEO, I am disappointed that we are unable to connect in Orlando. In such times, sharing knowledge and experience is key to tackling our industry’s pressing challenges from resuming operations to planning for long-term recovery. The pandemic has highlighted how important it is for AAHOA and the hospitality industry as a whole to have the flexibility to shift course and adapt to adversity at every turn. AAHOA is excited to bring together our industry in a virtual space where we can network, receive world class programming, and hear from keynote speakers. Most importantly, our members will elect the AAHOA’s future leaders – the selfless volunteers who will direct our association for years to come.
We will look back on this atypical convention as a unique moment in our association’s rich history. AAHOA has repeatedly adapted to and overcome an array of challenges throughout the years. As community leaders, trusted resources for elected officials, and champions of the entrepreneurial spirit, America’s hoteliers are well-positioned to navigate the road to recovery. The 2020 AAHOA Convention & Trade Show marks a vital juncture where our association and our industry can reunite and prepare for the future.
AAHOA will continue to grapple with unpredictable circumstances in the weeks and months ahead. Our focus remains on ensuring the vitality and success of our AAHOA Members and industry partners. In pursuit of this mission, we will learn, adapt, and advocate. With that in mind, I look forward to connecting with you all virtually at this year’s 2020 AAHOA Convention & Trade Show.