There is light ahead


AAHOACON22 is here – our second in-person convention, third overall – since the pandemic began.

As we enter our third year of this pandemic, it seems like a new variant comes into play just as we think we’re over the hump of the final obstacle. I’ve spent the past few months speaking with members, Industry Partners, and industry leaders about how they stay positive despite the circumstances.

2021 brought about supply chain disruptions and a labor shortage, and some members dealt with Mother Nature and powerful natural disasters, including fires, tornados, and hurricanes, on top of their already difficult situations.

While it can be tough to see the light at the end of the tunnel as the pandemic continues to drag on, it makes us all that much more appreciative of the small wins. We’re seeing more people step up to the plate, take on more responsibility, or simply fill in the gaps.

For example, a Florida-based AAHOA Lifetime Member recently drove hours to pitch in to help with housekeeping duties at an understaffed location, balancing the duties of President & CEO with housekeeping. Other AAHOA Members raised money for families who lost nearly everything they’ve spent their lives building due to disastrous tornadoes.

It may be difficult to see it now, but things could always be worse. Instead of focusing on the negatives or the slow path to recovery, I challenge you to look for your small “wins” each day.

Whether it’s going out of your way to help a customer or colleague or reaching out to someone you haven’t spoken to in a while to simply check in…it’s the little things these days that go a long way.

We can find problems everywhere we look, but it’s the people looking for solutions who will come out on top. I hope AAHOACON22 gives you the opportunity to network, connect, learn, and find those “wins” you are looking for.

This will be my final message as I wrap up my time as your AAHOA Chair. This year has been full of ups and down and I am so thankful for all the members working together with me as I led AAHOA into another successful year. We released the Oxford Study data, held a successful in-person convention – the first time since 2019, hosted 92 in-person events, helped establish the American Hospitality Alliance (AHA)…among many other things.

AAHOA Government Affairs worked fiercely to advocate for COVID-19 relief, PPP and EIDL enhancements, preservation of IRC Section 1031 like-kind exchanges, and state ARP funding for grants.

I want to congratulate Neal for taking over as chairman this month. His dedication and support as Vice Chairman was instrumental to AAHOA’s successes, and I know that he will continue to lead the way.


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