Florida hotelier Bharat Patel is the new chairman of AAHOA’s board of directors. He became chairman at the conclusion of the 2023 AAHOA Convention & Trade Show in Los Angeles, which set a record level of booth sales for the trade show, making it the largest in AAHOA history.
Patel said, “Like the theme from AAHOACON23, I look forward to honoring the past and creating a bolder future by working with AAHOA’s nearly 20,000 members to ensure we reestablish strong partnerships with our state associations, grow the AAHOA PAC to new record levels and make advocacy front and center to AAHOA’s mission and vision.”
The new chairman has been an active member of AAHOA since 2008. He served as an ambassador for several years before his election to the board of directors as the regional director for Florida in 2015. He is a second-generation hotelier who learned the hotel business through hands-on experience at properties owned by his parents. Today, he is partner at Gulf Coast Hospitality, a company based in Sarasota, FL.
“From a young age, I wanted to make a difference, which is why I wanted to join AAHOA,” Patel said. “AAHOA leadership meets with legislators at the highest levels of government, and we’re doing so while simultaneously showing the industry—and beyond—that representation matters.”
Laura Lee Blake, AAHOA president/CEO, said, “Congratulations to Bharat Patel on becoming AAHOA’s newest chairman. Working alongside him as vice chairman over the past year has been a pleasure, and I am looking forward to all that he will accomplish in the year ahead.”
“My main focus is all about AAHOA priorities, strategic planning and laying the path for the future of AAHOA,” Patel said. “We will continue to create educational and networking opportunities for the next generation, create new revenue streams for AAHOA, new sponsorship opportunities and focus on how AAHOA can provide more value for our members and loyal industry partners for years to come.”
New secretary, board members
In other AAHOA board news, Rahul Patel of Bradenton, FL, was elected the new secretary. Patel is the proprietor of Wisdom Group LLC.
AAHOA members also elected the following 10 members to the board of directors:
- Arkansas Regional Director: Danny (Chintu) Patel
- Florida Regional Director: Chetan (Chris) Patel
- Georgia Regional Director: Vikesh (Vik) Zaver
- Greater Los Angeles Area Regional Director: Naresh (ND) Bhakta
- North Central Regional Director: Bhavesh N. Patel
- North Pacific Regional Director: Ankit Panchal
- North Texas Regional Director: Dhiren Masters
- Director at Large Western Division: Nalin (Neil) Patel
- Young Professional Director Eastern Division: Dylan Patel
- Women Hoteliers Director Eastern Division: Purnima Patel
“Congratulations to our new AAHOA secretary, Rahul Patel, and all of our newly elected board members,” said Bharat Patel. “It is truly encouraging to see so many members volunteering to serve America’s hotel owners. Together, we are continuing to showcase the value and importance of AAHOA, the largest hotel owners association in the world.”
Blake added, “Congratulations to Rahul Patel and to all our newly elected board members. These individuals are excellent additions to the board of directors of America’s premier hotel owners association. I am thankful for their dedication to our members and to the hospitality industry, and it is truly an honor to work with our officers, board of directors and the entire AAHOA team as we continue to lead this industry as the largest hotel owners association in the world.”