End of an era



AAHOACON22 brought 6,200 registered attendees together for industry-rich educational sessions, unforgettable networking events, award-winning keynote speakers, and deal-making with more than 500 exhibiting companies. We are hoping AAHOACON23 is even bigger.

For the second time, we will host our Tech Pitch competition, giving hospitality-focused tech companies a platform to share how they’re helping hoteliers save on their bottom line. A panel of judges with expertise in technology and hospitality will choose contestants with the top ideas and products that will help the hospitality industry.

This will be my final message as I wrap up my time as AAHOA Chairman. This year has been a whirlwind, and I am so thankful for all the members who worked with me as I led AAHOA into another successful year.

These past 12 months have shown me that we’re stronger together. During my year as your AAHOA Chairman, AAHOA appointed President & CEO Laura Lee Blake, who brings decades of experience in the fields of law, government, business, and academia. Several dedicated members of the AAHOA team were also promoted.

This year has been a whirlwind, and I am so thankful for all the members who worked with me as I led AAHOA into another successful year.

AAHOA launched a brand-new website, released its updated 12 Points of Fair Franchising, and launched the 12 Points Webinar Series, helping AAHOA Franchisee Members begin conversations with potential business partners and better understand franchise agreements.

AAHOA hosted 23 regional conferences and trade shows, hosted more than 50 town hall meetings across the country, held its inaugural Volleyball Tournament in Orlando, Fla., raised $333,539 for local causes across five AAHOA charity golf tournaments, and came together with members to help hoteliers navigate the aftermath of Hurricane Ian.

AAHOA continues to actively fight human trafficking in the hospitality industry. In 2022, more than 1,000 AAHOA Members completed the Businesses Ending Slavery and Trafficking (BEST) Inhospitable to Human Trafficking Training sponsored by AAHOA, and more than 200 people attended training sessions at eight regional events.

AAHOA launched HerOwnership: Opening Doors for Women in Hospitality, an initiative aimed at elevating, educating, and empowering the women hoteliers of AAHOA and across the industry. As part of the initial launch, AAHOA hosted its inaugural HerOwnership Conference & Retreat at the Radisson Hotel Cincinnati Riverfront in October.

We held state advocacy events at capitols nationwide, had hundreds of meetings with public officials, hosted several Brand Alliance Meetings at brand conferences, and gained nearly 1,000 new AAHOA Members.

AAHOA’s important work, message, and successes were shared on major news outlets, including CNN, FOX Business, the Wall Street Journal, USAE, Hotel News Now, Asian Hospitality, Hotel Management, and more. We also launched our TikTok account.

These are just a few examples of what we’ve achieved during my time as chairman.

I want to congratulate Bharat for taking over as chairman this month. His dedication and support as vice chairman were instrumental to all these successes, and I know he will continue to lead the way for AAHOA.


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