AAHOA Names New Board Members, Recognizes Members

ATLANTA, GA—On the last day of its 2020 Virtual Convention and Trade Show, AAHOA revealed its new secretary and board members, and the winners of its industry awards.

Bharat Patel, CHO, of Sarasota, FL, is the new AAHOA secretary. Patel is the owner of Gulf Coast Hospitality Solutions LLC. Previously, Patel served as Florida regional director on AAHOA’s board of directors. A record-setting number of eligible voters voted in this year’s election.

AAHOA members also elected the following individuals to its board of directors:

Arkansas regional director: Chintu (Danny) Patel
Florida regional director: Rahul I. Patel
Georgia regional director: Vikesh (Vik) Zaver
Greater Los Angeles area regional director: Naresh (ND) Bhakta
North Central regional director: Bhavesh Patel
North Texas regional director: Dhiren Masters
Young professional director Eastern Division: Bhavik Patel
Female director Eastern Division: Lina Patel

“Congratulations to Bharat Patel and to all our newly elected board members. It is an honor to work with our officers, our board, and the entire AAHOA team as we help the hospitality industry on the road to recovery,” said AAHOA Cecil P. Staton, president/CEO.

“These individuals are great additions to the board of directors of America’s premier hotel owners association,” said Biran Patel, chairman, AAHOA. “I am grateful for their service to our members and to the hospitality industry.”

AAHOA also recognized its members for their achievements and contributions to the hospitality industry in 2019:

The Outstanding Woman Hotelier of the Year Award recognized Komal Tina Patel of Eugene, OR, for her strong leadership, commitment to lodging excellence, and her significant contributions to the industry and to her community.

The Outstanding Young Professional of the Year Award is awarded to a young professional under the age of thirty. This year, both Nauman Panjwani of Mooresville, NC, and Dhruti Patel of Eugene, OR, were recognized for how they exemplify the spirit, dedication and achievement of a professional hotelier.

The Outreach Award for Philanthropy recognized Prakash Saraf of Ellicott City, MD, for helping humanity through philanthropic and charitable activities, domestically or overseas.

The Political Forum Award for Advocacy recognized Vinay Patel of Charlotte, NC, for his extensive involvement in helping advance AAHOA’s mission and the interests of its members by participating in the legislative process through political involvement and government affairs.

AAHOA’s women hoteliers recognized Lina Patel, female director, Eastern Division, and Nimisha Patel, female director, Western Division, with the Award for Excellence in Leadership for their leadership and efforts to pave the path for the next generation of women hoteliers. They also honored 2019-2020 AAHOA Chairwoman Jagruti Panwala with an award for her years of service to the association and for her visionary leadership and commitment to advance women in the hospitality industry.

The association recognized the following regional directors for their achievements on behalf of AAHOA members:

Top Overall Performing Regions:
Florida Region, Bharat Patel, CHO
Central Midwest Region, Hitesh Patel
South Pacific Region, Mike Riverside

Top Overall Membership Growth for 2019:
North Central Region, Bhavesh N. Patel

Most AAHOA Human Trafficking Awareness Trainings in 2019:
Georgia Region, Kapil Patel

Top PAC Fundraising Regions for 2019:
Florida Region, Bharat Patel, CHO
Central Midwest Region, Hitesh Patel

“Excellence is the hospitality industry’s foundation,” said AAHOA Chairman Biran Patel. “The hoteliers recognized today made significant contributions to our industry and to their communities and are a prime example of what it means to go above and beyond in service to others.”

Staton added,  “Congratulations to all of our award winners. Every year, we honor those in our association who set a high bar for distinction as hoteliers. I am confident that the example they set will serve as an inspiration to our entire industry.”

AAHOA also recognized Brandon Jackson with the Team Member of the Year Award, an honor given to the AAHOA employee who goes above and beyond in service to the association and its members.