At its best, leadership channels the highest level of service – deliberate decisions and selfless acts that uplift the people and communities around us. Hoteliers have experienced a year of challenges unlike any other, yet we did so together. AAHOA persists through times of crisis because we were built for it. Our more-than 30 years in existence bears testament to that resilience. AAHOA’s strength flows from our thousands of members nationwide. A thriving association relies on the service and commitment of not just the members, but the AAHOA team and volunteer leaders within the association. Since I joined AAHOA in 1993, it has been an incredible journey for me, both personally and professionally, to pave the path for America’s hoteliers. As your new AAHOA Chair, I welcome the opportunity to serve you all as we continue down the road to recovery. I also am grateful to my friend and colleague Biran Patel, the AAHOA Board of Directors, Ambassadors, and the countless members who lend their time and expertise to elevate AAHOA. It is an honor to work alongside a remarkable group of hoteliers to advance AAHOA’s mission.
ENGAGEMENT EMPOWERS ADVOCACY
When we look to the future, know that we have opportunities to rebuild, rehire, and reinvest on the road to recovery. To fully realize the AAHOA 2021-2023 Strategic Plan – to be the foremost resource and advocate for America’s hotel owners – we must engage with our elected officials at all levels of governments – federal, state, and local. As we saw during the pandemic, when crisis strikes and relief funding is legislated, interest groups from every industry vie for a seat at the table. Politics, much like business, is competitive. Whether you are negotiating a purchase of a new property or seeking reforms to a piece of legislation, relationships have significant influence on a successful outcome.
Regardless of your political views, it is my request to you, AAHOA Members, to get to know your city and county councilmen and councilwomen, mayors, state representatives and senators, governors and lieutenant governors, and your members of Congress. These elected officials make decisions that have a real impact on your businesses and your communities. It is critical to become your own advocate and cultivate relationships with them. Input from you – their constituents, job creators, and community leaders – helps to engage, educate, and inform lawmakers who would otherwise have limited insight into our industry and your businesses. Host a back-of-house tour, send a letter, pick up the phone, or participate in the numerous advocacy channels AAHOA offers.
AAHOA has a proud history of resilience, and we are a stronger community now than we’ve ever been before. It was truly a privilege to join thousands of you in person in Dallas at the 2021 AAHOA Convention & Trade Show to celebrate our successes and to plan for the future. I am optimistic that we can continue to grow as an association and reach new heights. We all must take seriously the spirit of service and political engagement. It will be a vital component of our recovery in the months ahead. I look forward to engaging with you all, to serving you, and to leading our industry forward as the AAHOA Chair.