AAHOA President & CEO Cecil P. Staton to Step Down


EVP/COO Rachel Humphrey to Depart Association Following August Convention

ATLANTA, Ga., June 7 – AAHOA announced today that Cecil P. Staton is stepping down as President & CEO.  Staton will continue to work with AAHOA’s leadership to ensure an effective transition and the success of ongoing projects and relationships as a consultant.

“On behalf of America’s hoteliers, we thank Cecil for his service to AAHOA,” AAHOA Chairman Biran Patel said. “For more than a year, hoteliers faced immense pressure as the COVID-19 pandemic brought a period of decade-long prosperity to a grinding halt. Cecil proved to be a steady hand, leading and guiding the association to record member engagement through this turbulent year. His leadership in the development of our Strategic Plan will have a lasting, positive impact upon the association.”

“I’m grateful to have led this organization through one of the hardest times in our industry’s and association’s history through our concentrated efforts related to COVID-19 support and relief and for making a difference in the lives of so many hoteliers,” Staton said. “AAHOA has the most dedicated team with whom I’ve had the privilege to work, and I’ve been impressed with their commitment to excellence from the moment I joined this great organization. Our work to develop AAHOA’s new Strategic Plan holds the promise to propel the association forward toward its fullest potential.”

AAHOA Executive Vice President & COO Rachel Humphrey announced that she also will be exiting the association on August 7.

“Over 20 years ago, Rachel began working with AAHOA by providing franchisees with legal advice,” Patel said. “In 2015, she became part of AAHOA’s Executive Leadership Team as the VP of Franchise Relations before rising to become EVP and COO. She also served as Interim President & CEO for most of 2019, including leading the association during AAHOA’s record-breaking 30th-anniversary celebration at the 2019 AAHOA Convention & Trade Show in San Diego. Rachel’s dedication to AAHOA and her impact on franchise and industry relations and association operations have helped us achieve a new level of success over the past six years. On behalf of the AAHOA membership and our Board, I thank her for her selfless dedication to serving AAHOA.”

“It’s been a privilege to serve America’s hotel owners and, more specifically, AAHOA’s nearly 20,000 members over the last six years,” Humphrey said. “I’m incredibly proud of AAHOA’s critical role in the industry today and the team I have served alongside. I know AAHOA will continue its successful trajectory of being the foremost resource and advocate for America’s hotel owners and look forward to seeing everyone in Dallas.”

AAHOA has accomplished remarkable work on behalf of its members during what has been one of the worst times in our industry’s history – and the work never stops. AAHOA is well-positioned to continue its work to fulfill its vision and the ambitious goals set forth in the Strategic Plan.

“AAHOA is a strong organization led by exceptional teams,” Patel said. “Our dedicated Board of Directors, Executive Leadership Team, and professional staff will continue to lead AAHOA into the future. AAHOA’s work on behalf of our members will continue to be guided by our Strategic Plan, which will carry the association’s strategy into 2023 and leave a lasting impact for many years to come.”

The organization is in the process of conducting a comprehensive search process to identify new leadership that will continue to help guide America’s hoteliers on the road to recovery.


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