Powerhouse hotel leaders join AHLA Executive Committee, Board of Directors

Hilton’s Kevin Jacobs named 2024 board chair

WASHINGTON – The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) announced its 2024 officers, Executive Committee, and Board of Directors, all of which include some of the most influential leaders from all segments of the hospitality industry.

Kevin Jacobs, Hilton’s Chief Financial Officer & President, Global Development, was named chair of the board; Vision Hospitality Group President & CEO Mitch Patel was named vice chair; Marriott International Group President, U.S. & Canada Liam Brown was named secretary/treasurer; and IHG Hotels & Resorts Chief Development Officer, Americas Julienne Smith was named chair of the AHLA Foundation Board of Trustees.

Jacobs succeeds RLJ Lodging Trust President & CEO Leslie D. Hale, who served as AHLA’s board chair in 2023 and will continue on the board as immediate past chair. Pebblebrook Hotel Trust Chairman & CEO Jon Bortz continues as chair of the HotelPAC Advisory Council, and AHLA President & CEO Chip Rogers continues as president and CEO of the board.

“It’s an honor to serve as chair and help build upon AHLA’s impressive record of accomplishments on behalf of the hospitality industry nationwide,” said Jacobs. “I look forward to helping AHLA advance policies in support of our incredible industry, deliver exceptional member services and communications support, and rally the industry around our shared priorities.”

“Year after year, AHLA raises the bar for hospitality advocacy and member services thanks in large part to the amazing leaders from all sectors of our industry who serve on our board and executive committee,” said AHLA President & CEO Chip Rogers. “We have assembled another slate of extraordinary executives in 2024. Their guidance and counsel will be instrumental to delivering advocacy victories for our members in 2024.”

AHLA is the largest hotel association in America and remains deeply engaged in policy issues affecting hoteliers at all levels of government. In 2023, AHLA advocacy efforts led to:

A clarification in Paycheck Protection Program eligibility guidelines that will save hoteliers an estimated $14 billion
A $9 increase in the continental U.S. per diem rate that will generate an estimated $300 million for hoteliers
The release of an additional 64,716 H-2B temporary nonagricultural worker visas for fiscal year 2024

AHLA’s Board of Directors and Executive Committee include leaders from all sectors of the lodging industry, including brands, owners, real estate investment trusts (REITs), management companies, branded properties, independent hotels, and state associations. New members for 2024 are:

AHLA Executive Committee:

Julie Arrowsmith, President & CEO, G6 Hospitality, LLC.

AHLA Board of Directors:

Kurt Alexander, President, Omni Hotels & Resorts
Cody Bradshaw, Managing Director, Global Head of Hotel Asset Management, Starwood Capital Group
Meghan Connolly, SVP/GM, Global Client Group, American Express
David Duncan, President & CEO, First Hospitality
Bryan Giglia, CEO, Sunstone Hotel Investors, Inc.
Sarah Gulla, SVP, Asset Management, Pebblebrook Hotel Trust (Hospitality Asset Managers Association)
Michael Jacobson, President & CEO, Illinois Hotel & Lodging Association
Alexi Khajavi, President, Hospitality, Travel and Wellness, Questex
Ayesha Molino, President & COO, ARIA and Vdara; Chief Public Affairs Officer, MGM Resorts International
Michael Morton, SVP Brand Management, Best Western Hotels & Resorts
Vinay Patel, President & CEO, Fairbrook Hotels
Brad Rahinsky, President & CEO, Hotel Equities
Azim Saju, CEO & President, HDG Hotels
Scott Strickland, EVP, Chief Information and Distribution Officer, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts (HTNG)
Shai Zelering, Managing Partner, Brookfield

Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.

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