AHLA names 2023 officers, board, executive committee

The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) has revealed its 2023 officers, board of directors and executive committee, which include top leaders representing all segments of the hospitality industry.

RLJ Lodging Trust President/CEO Leslie D. Hale was named chair of the board; Hilton CFO/President, Global Development Kevin Jacobs was named vice chair; Aimbridge Hospitality President/CEO Michael J. Deitemeyer joins as secretary/treasurer; RLJ Lodging Trust COO Tom Bardenett will remain chair of the AHLA Foundation board of trustees.

Hale succeeds Apple Hospitality REIT Inc., CEO Justin Knight, who has served as AHLA board chair for the past year and becomes immediate past chair.

“AHLA’s executive committee and board have always attracted hospitality’s best and brightest, and I am humbled and honored to be able to lead this amazing group in 2023,” said Hale. “I am excited to build upon AHLA’s strong legacy of success on behalf of our industry and eager to work with my fellow board members to help AHLA accomplish the many important objectives in its strategic plan, including growing the hospitality workforce, achieving advocacy wins and highlighting hotels’ leadership on sustainability and diversity.”

“Each year, AHLA brings together a cross section of the top minds in hospitality to serve on its executive committee and board, and this year is no exception,” said AHLA President/CEO Chip Rogers. “This esteemed group of leaders will help AHLA reach new heights in 2023, as we continue delivering unparalleled ROI for members by racking up policy victories at all levels of government and providing top-notch member services and communications support.”

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, independent hotels and state associations.

New members of the board appointed to two-year terms in 2023 include:
Julie Arrowsmith, president/Interim CEO, G6 Hospitality
Maribeth Bisienere, SVP, The Walt Disney Company
Carol Dover, president/CEO, Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association
Gregg Forde, president/COO, Island Hospitality Management
Kristie Goshow, CCO, KSL Resorts
Naveen Kakarla, president/CEO, Hersha Hospitality Management
Pete Sams, COO, Davidson Hospitality Group
Walt Sheffler, SVP, Avendra Hospitality and Europe, Avendra
Lindsey Ueberroth, CEO, Preferred Hotels & Resorts
Derrick Yee, VP, asset management, Placemakr

Additionally, AHLA welcomed four new members to its executive committee, which serves as the association’s core governance body and guides its policy agenda.

New representatives on the executive committee include:
Thom Geshay, CEO/president, Davidson Hospitality Group
Mark S. Hoplamazian, president/CEO, Hyatt Hotels Corporation
Patrick Pacious, president/CEO, Choice Hotels International Inc.
Ben Seidel, president, Real Hospitality Group

AHLA Foundation welcomes 2023 board of trustees
The AHLA Foundation also revealed its newly elected 2023 board of trustees.

Bardenett continues his role as the chairman of the board; Julienne Smith, chief development officer, Americas, IHG Hotels and Resorts remains vice chair; and Anu Saxena, president/global head, Hilton Supply Management, will continue to serve as secretary and treasurer.

“It is a privilege to be chairman of the AHLA Foundation’s Board of Trustees and help guide meaningful progress across key challenges affecting our industry,” said Bardenett. “In 2022, the AHLA Foundation delivered on its vast agenda—including launching new DE&I trainings and resources, creating a human trafficking survivor fund, spearheading a nationwide career pathways awareness campaign, as well as expanding its empowering youth and apprenticeship programs. We will build on that momentum this year, and I eagerly anticipate working with the bright minds of the board of trustees and foundation staff.”

In addition to ushering in a new board of trustees, the AHLA Foundation also welcomes a new president, Anna Blue.

“As I embark on this new chapter, I am honored to be partnering with the 2023 Board of Trustees,” she said. “This year, we strive to deliver even deeper impact in the areas of workforce development, DE&I, and human trafficking awareness and prevention. I look forward to collaborating with such talented, passionate individuals as we fulfill the Foundation’s mission to empower our workforce and strengthen the hotel industry.”

New members of the board appointed to two-year terms in 2023 include:
Jean-Luc Barone, CEO, White Lodging
Andrea Foster, SVP, development, Marcus Hotels & Resorts
John Lancaster, VP emerging markets franchise development, Choice Hotels International
Malaika Myers, chief HR officer, Hyatt Hotels Corporation
Brian Quinn, chief development officer, Sonesta International Hotels
Elaine Richard, area VP, Americas Eastern region, Marriott International
Ryan Rivett, president/CEO, My Place Hotels
Jon Stanner, president/CEO, Summit Hotel Properties
Tricia Taylor, EVP/GM, The Breakers Palm Beach
Suraj Bhakta, CEO, NewGen Advisory (honorary trustee)