BALTIMORE—Texas hotelier Nishant (Neal) Patel is the new chairman of AAHOA’s board of directors. Patel stepped into his new role at the conclusion of the 2022 AAHOA Convention & Trade Show at the Baltimore Convention Center here.
“I’m thrilled to be stepping up to the role of chairman and honored to serve as the association’s youngest chairman in history,” Patel said. “AAHOA has gone through a lot of changes over the past year, and I’m looking forward to helping lead this great organization into the future.”
Patel became an AAHOA member in 2012 and soon volunteered to serve as an AAHOA ambassador. He joined AAHOA’s board of directors in 2016 after being elected as the Young Professional Director Western Division, a position he held for three years.
“If you’ve ever wondered to what extent AAHOA serves its membership, I am a perfect example,” Patel said. “My parents didn’t have the opportunity to have AAHOA as a resource, but thankfully, when I took over the family business, AAHOA was there for me as I navigated the hospitality industry. AAHOA provided me with the educational tools I needed to run a hotel successfully.”
Patel grew up in Surat, India, and nearly two decades ago, his family left everything they knew to start a new life in Mississippi.
“Like the majority of AAHOA members, we were in search of the American Dream,” Patel said. “My parents wanted to create a better life for their children and leave a legacy that generations to come would be proud of.”
Patel is a second-generation hotelier who grew up in the industry wearing many hats as he helped his family run their first 20-room independent property in Laurel, MS.
These days, Patel calls Austin home and is the managing partner of Blue Chip Hotels, which owns and operates multiple hotels. The company has more than 1,200 rooms in several states among both branded and independent properties.
“My parents always told me that if you don’t try, you won’t succeed; if you talk too much, you’re not learning,” Patel said. “As I step into my new role, my focus is on our members and serving them well. Going forward, I will be the facilitator to make things happen.”
Patel is inspired to give back to the hospitality industry through service. He serves on the HITEC Advisory Council and promotes organ donor awareness through his volunteer work with Samaj Saves Lives.
“AAHOA helped us create generational success,” Patel said. “After all that AAHOA has given me and my family, I’m looking forward to serving this great organization and giving back to the AAHOA community through listening, learning, bringing new ideas to the table and enacting change at every level of the organization. Thank you for placing your faith in me as AAHOA’s next chairman. I am here to serve you, our valued members.”