AAHOA CHAIRMAN (2020-2021)
The late summer months typically mark the beginning of a new school year for students across the country. Colleges welcome millions of young adults to their campuses, and K-12 students rush back into the classroom, eager to share the happenings of their months-long break with their peers. It is a sad reality that the national prevalence of COVID-19 has plunged the back-to-school season into uncertainty. This presents quite the challenge to our nation’s most critical and influential infrastructure. Schools cultivate and educate America’s youth – an investment in education is an investment in the future of our nation.
The same principle of investing in education also applies to our association, which is why AAHOA prioritizes our educational programming. Given the extraordinary circumstances we face today as hotel owners, it is imperative to harness cutting-edge knowledge and then apply it to our businesses. At this moment, our industry is on the road to recovery and the need for continuous learning in hospitality has never been more relevant. When equipped with the best, up-to-date industry practices and protocols, hoteliers are better prepared for the uncertainties the path to recovery will bring. As an association dedicated to serving America’s hoteliers, AAHOA will continue to arm our members with a toolkit of knowledge, while also investing in the education of the next generation of hoteliers.
AAHOA has a longstanding commitment to education, both within our association and our communities. During the 2019 AAHOA Convention & Trade Show, we announced the Mike Leven & Lee Dushoff AAHOA Scholarship for Compassionate Leadership, a collaborative scholarship endowment between AAHOA and Kennesaw State University (KSU) in Atlanta. In less than one month after its announcement, the scholarship fund raised more than $125,000 to support undergraduate students studying hospitality management at KSU, while also offering networking opportunities with AAHOA executives and the Board of Directors at the annual convention and regional events. Additionally, AAHOA offers scholarships to hospitality students at the University of Houston Conrad Hilton College of Hotel & Restaurant Management. By investing in education within our communities, we are building up the next generation of America’s hoteliers.
Our pursuit of excellence in education does not stop with scholarships. AAHOA has been on the forefront of industry-leading education and training programs for more than 30 years. In the past six months, our AAHOA team has launched more than 100 COVID-19-related webcasts and developed training programs like the AAHOA/P&G Professional’s Training in Hotel Sanitization and Cleanliness. AAHOA is constantly exploring ways we can adapt to the changing needs of our membership, while engaging industry partners and leading experts to curate educational content, programs, and resources. In a number of webinars and virtual events, our membership of seasoned professionals also has lent their time, expertise, and insight. It is during times like these that our association’s network truly delivers unrivaled value to our members. As we forge a path for our association going forward, rest assured that AAHOA will continue to invest in the education of our members, the future of our industry, and the well-being of our communities.