WASHINGTON—The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) has unveiled its 2021 officers, board of directors and executive committee, which includes top leaders representing all segments of the hospitality industry. The 2021 AHLA leadership team includes the most diverse group of industry leaders in the association’s more than 100-year history.
Mark Hoplamazian, president/CEO of Hyatt Hotels Corporation, was named chair of the board; Justin Knight, CEO of Apple Hospitality REIT, was named vice chair; Leslie D. Hale, president/CEO of RLJ Lodging Trust, joins as secretary/treasurer; and Greg Juceam, president/COO of G6 Hospitality LLC, continues as chair of the AHLA Foundation board of trustees. Hoplamazian succeeds Jon Bortz, chairman/CEO of Pebblebrook Hotel Trust, who has served as chair for the past year and becomes immediate past chair.
“The appointment to chair of the AHLA board is a great honor,” said Hoplamazian. “Along with my fellow officers and the AHLA team, I am fully committed to help protect and rebuild our industry so that hotel employees and owners can thrive in 2021 and beyond. While COVID-19 remains a challenge for everyone in our business, I am confident in the industry’s long-term recovery as the human desire for connection will drive people to experience the joy and value of travel again. The hotel and lodging industry is an important sector and we have every opportunity to be a major contributor to the overall recovery of the U.S. economy.”
Chip Rogers, president/CEO, AHLA, added, “After the most difficult year in our industry’s history, I’m incredibly proud for the depth of experience and diversity that our officers bring to the table as we look ahead to 2021. We are grateful to our officers, executive committee and board members who volunteer their time and energy to ensure that AHLA and our industry are successful. With a new administration, a new and closely divided Congress and new governors and state legislatures, we have an incredible opportunity to make certain the hospitality industry helps lead the American economic recovery.”
The AHLA board of directors represents leaders from all sectors of the lodging industry, including brands; owners and real estate investment trusts (REITs); management companies; ndependent hotels; and state associations.
New members of the board appointed to two-year terms in 2021 include:
- Jim Alderman, CEO of the Americas, Radisson Hotel Group
- Jay Caiafa, COO of the Americas, InterContinental Hotels Group
- Lisa Checchio, EVP/CMO, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts
- Danny Hughes, EVP/president, Americas, Hilton
- Barbara Kilner, general counsel, Accor
- George Limbert, general counsel, Red Roof Inn
- John Russell, CEO, RLH Corporation
- Jeff Wagoner, president/CEO, Outrigger Hospitality Group
- Arash Azarbarzin, president, SH Hotels & Resorts
- Ken Fearn, founder/managing partner, Integrated Capital
- Jamal Mashburn, president, Mashburn Enterprises
- Ken Barrett, president/CEO hospitality management, White Lodging
- Thom Geshay, president, Davidson Hotels & Resorts
- Walter Barela, CDO/principal, Peak Hospitality (representing Latino Hotel Association)
- Paul Sacco, president/CEO, Massachusetts Lodging Association
- Alex Alt, SVP/general manager, Oracle Hospitality
- Harry Javer, chairman, The Lodging Conference
- Jagruti Panwala, president/CEO, Wealth Protection Strategies
Additionally, AHLA welcomed four new members to its executive committee, which serves as the association’s core governance body and guides its policy agenda:
- Liam Brown, group president, Marriott International
- Kris Kielsa, EVP/GM, Ecolab, Inc.
- Heather McCrory, CEO of North & Central America, Accor Hotels Group
- Mit Shah, CEO, Noble Investment Group
AHLA recognizes the importance of diversity and inclusion in the workplace and has committed to advancing women and minorities in the industry, especially at the top levels. In the past two years, AHLA has increased the number of women and minorities represented on the board of directors and executive committee by 42% and 33%, respectively. This comes on the heels of AHLA’s successful ForWard initiative, which the association launched in 2018 as a forum of dialogue and leadership development for women across the hotel industry.