AAHOA's Staton, Humphrey leaving; interim CEO named

Cecil P. Staton is stepping down as president and CEO of AAHOA, and the organization is in the process of conducting a search process to identify new leadership. (AAHOA)

Just a year and a half after taking on the role, Cecil P. Staton is stepping down as president and CEO of AAHOA. Ken Greene will serve as the association's interim president and CEO.

Staton will continue to work with AAHOA’s leadership to support an effective transition and the success of ongoing projects and relationships as a consultant.

“On behalf of America’s hoteliers, we thank Cecil for his service to AAHOA,” AAHOA Chairman Biran Patel said. "For more than a year, hoteliers faced immense pressure as the COVID-19 pandemic brought a period of decade-long prosperity to a grinding halt. Cecil proved to be a steady hand, leading and guiding the association to record member engagement through this turbulent year. His leadership in the development of our strategic plan will have a lasting, positive impact upon the association.”

Related: AAHOA taps educator Cecil Staton as president/CEO

“I’m grateful to have led this organization through one of the hardest times in our industry’s and association’s history through our concentrated efforts related to COVID-19 support and relief and for making a difference in the lives of so many hoteliers,” Staton said. “AAHOA has the most dedicated team with whom I’ve had the privilege to work, and I’ve been impressed with their commitment to excellence from the moment I joined this great organization. Our work to develop AAHOA’s new strategic plan holds the promise to propel the association forward toward its fullest potential.”

Interim Leadership

Ken Greene (Radisson Hotel Group)

“Ken will be leading the association in an interim capacity during a critical time for AAHOA members and the hotel industry,” Patel said. “We are confident his experience, relationships and extensive knowledge and appreciation of the industry are the perfect fit to serve in this capacity as AAHOA Members continue down the road to recovery.”

Before joining AAHOA, Greene served as a global leader of a number of hotel brands, including president, Americas for Radisson Hotel Group, president and CEO for Delta Hotels and Resorts and in various roles at Cendant Corp., Wyndham Worldwide and many of its divisions. Greene also recently founded Greenehouse Consulting, which focuses on acquisitions, management and advisory services to the hospitality industry. 

Related: Radisson Americas president steps down

“AAHOA’s nearly 20,000 members represent the heart and soul of America’s hospitality industry and I am eager to step into this role, working alongside the hotel owners who drive our industry forward each and every day,” Greene said. “As our industry recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s a critical time for owners and America’s tourism industry, and I’m looking forward to bringing my extensive experience to the organization to help propel America’s hotel industry forward on the path to recovery.”

Rachel Humphrey

Rachel Humphrey (AAHOA)

AAHOA executive VP & COO Rachel Humphrey announced that she also will be exiting the association on Aug. 7.

“Over 20 years ago, Rachel began working with AAHOA by providing franchisees with legal advice,” Patel said. “In 2015, she became part of AAHOA’s executive leadership team as the VP of franchise relations before rising to become EVP and COO. She also served as interim president & CEO for most of 2019, including leading the association during AAHOA’s record-breaking 30th-anniversary celebration at the 2019 AAHOA Convention & Trade Show in San Diego. Rachel's dedication to AAHOA and her impact on franchise and industry relations and association operations have helped us achieve a new level of success over the past six years. On behalf of the AAHOA membership and our board, I thank her for her selfless dedication to serving AAHOA.”

“It’s been a privilege to serve America’s hotel owners and, more specifically, AAHOA’s nearly 20,000 members over the last six years,” Humphrey said. “I’m incredibly proud of AAHOA’s critical role in the industry today and the team I have served alongside. I know AAHOA will continue its successful trajectory of being the foremost resource and advocate for America’s hotel owners and look forward to seeing everyone in Dallas.”

“AAHOA is a strong organization led by exceptional teams,” Patel said. “Our dedicated board of directors, executive leadership team and professional staff will continue to lead AAHOA into the future. AAHOA’s work on behalf of our members will continue to be guided by our strategic plan, which will carry the association's strategy into 2023 and leave a lasting impact for many years to come.”